Author(s): Joe Morris

Like many others, I was drawn to the Religious Society of Friends by its compassionate work with people in need. As an undergraduate in the 1960s, I witnessed that compassion first-hand by participating in several AFSC projects, including visiting mental-hospital patients in the Bay Area and working with disadvantaged children during Freedom Summer in Memphis, Tennessee. Those experiences inspired my later career as a child psychologist. Yet almost from the beginning, I have found it... Read more.

Author(s): David Zarembka, Mary Klein

Dear Editor: Since I first went to sub-Saharan African in 1964, I have often had to respond to negative and derogatory comments about Black Africa. For example, I have twice complained to Quaker publications where, in the captions for pictures, they gave the names of the White Americans but not of the Black Africans in the same picture. The greatest transgression is what I call African porn – using this definition of pornography: “the depiction of acts in a sensational manner so as to arouse... Read more.

Author(s): Peter F. Neumeyer

Dear Editor: My friend Chula Morel-Seytoux was kind enough to pass on to me your little piece on Josephine Duveneck’s adventure with the “sweet little personality” from Germany [“From the Editor’s Desk,” September/October 2018]. I appreciated that, since I’m what’s left of that little boy – surely not quite as sweet as in 1936, but just as appreciative of Josephine’s extraordinary kindness. That all seems so very long ago, but my affection for her has not diminished, nor my astonishment at... Read more.

Author(s): Kate McClellan

Dear Friends: I’ve come to think of the phrase “save the planet” as the ultimate in hubris. Do we know what the planet actually is, this roughly spherical celestial object that is 24,000 miles in circumference, spinning at 1,000 miles per hour, orbiting the Sun? The planet we call Earth has a molten layer just below the surface that occasionally comes to the surface in the form of lava that destroys everything in its path... Read more.

Author(s): john heid

Dear Editor: From cover to cover, the September/October 2018 edition of Western Friend made plain the grievous suffering caused by racism. Our racism.

The “Editor’s Desk” listed seventeen countries with active armed conflicts this year. Every nation listed is made up of people of color who have been invaded, conquered, and colonized by white nation states.

In her keynote presentation (p.30), Vanessa Julye made clear: “Our past is not divorced from our present.” Today... Read more.

Author(s): Stanford J. Searl Jr.
Mary Dyer and Colonel Shaw on Boston Common

Augustus Saint-Gaudens memorial to Robert Gould Shaw, photo by the U.S. National Park ServiceThe martial music plays, bronzed alive
only the invisible songs survive
... Read more.

Author(s): Julie Peyton

Trees in fog

Dear Western Friends: We held a quarterly gathering of our new Yearly Meeting on Saturday, October 20, 2018, at Eugene Friends Church in Eugene, Oregon. One Friend accepted the task of taking photographs, and these have been showing up on our Facebook page over the past few days. The photographer caught Friends... Read more.

Author(s): Sally Kingsland

In the five years I have lived in California, the deepest public worship experiences I have had, without a doubt, have been during my two visits to the Soledad Worship Group. This group is the “best-kept secret” in Pacific Yearly Meeting. There you find Friends with faith strong enough to humble you on the spot. I believe the worship in Soledad is especially deep both because many of its members are committed to personal transformation and because their circumstances require them to hand... Read more.

Author(s): Christine Betz Hall

A friend of mine bicycled 2,700 miles this summer along the Continental Divide. In an article she wrote for the Fairbanks Daily News Miner (8/12/2018), she said, “When doing endurance races, I have a question I ask myself when I want to quit: ‘Am I in danger or just uncomfortable?’ If I’m just uncomfortable, I tell myself to keep going. Things will get better. And they usually do.”

My friend’s observation about the positive role that discomfort can play in... Read more.


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