Author(s): Elspeth Benton, Ann Boone, Donna Higgins Smith

To celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the Progresa program in Guatemala, program participants and supporters gathered in Guatemala in April 2013 to review the program’s history and accomplishments. Looking back across forty years, we found much to celebrate.

The program began in the summer of 1973, when the small Friends Worship Group in Guatemala decided to start a scholarship/loan program for very poor students, and ten families each pledged $10 a month. Their intent was to... Read more.

Author(s): Bill Durland

George Fox and the early Quakers made their witnesses to authentic and original Christianity public by their testimonies. The English word, testimony, derives from the Latin word for “witness,” which is primarily an outward expression “to the whole world … actions and words, intended to proclaim, demonstrate and convince” (from The Quaker Peace Testimony, Friends House, London, 1993).

I left the Catholic Church with my wife Genie in 1980 because it emphasized dogma,... Read more.

Author(s): Lucy Duncan

Currently immigrant youth are characterized as either angels or demons: angels who are valedictorians and student body presidents or criminals who are gang members, coyotes, or drug runners.

Left out of this binary characterization of undocumented youth are the majority that are no different from most documented U.S. students: Sure, some are exemplary students, and some get sucked into crime, but the regular kid goes to school each day and tries to make the best of his or her... Read more.

Author(s): Pablo Paredes

An interview with Pablo Paredes

Pablo Paredes is program director of 67 Sueños, a project of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), based in its San Francisco office. The project helps underprivileged migrant youth bring their voices into the national immigration debate. Pablo Paredes spoke by phone with Western Friend on May 29, 2013. Thanks to Solomon Smilack for transcribing the interview, which is excerpted below.

Western Friend: Could you begin by... Read more.

Author(s): Anthony Manousos

Dear Editor:  I thought your readers might be interested in this timely article. I've written a lot about this issue on my blog ever since we started our "turning swords into plowshares" campaign three months ago.

On May 11, 2013, city residents turn in 135 firearms to the Pasadena Police Department during a gun buyback in which people received gift cards in exchange for guns. Since it was just before Mother's Day, a man told reporters he decided to turn in his gun to obtain a gift... Read more.

Author(s): Robert Griswold

Dear editor: I read with amusement the memorial minute in the May/June issue that referred to the person's "commitment to the tenants of Quakerism.” While it is quite true that many in our meetings seem to be leaseholders of our faith rather than owners and thus in great need of support from others, it would be better still if Friends understood that our faith has no tenets and that "Quakerism" as an ideology is a corruption of our faith.

Yours in the Light, Robert Griswold

Author(s): Vickie Aldrich

Dear Western Friend: In the time since I wrote the article about my frivolous filing penalty with the IRS, there have been some new developments. I would like to share the end of the story. I thought it had ended in August of 2012 when I agreed to pay a $500 penalty instead of the $5000 penalty. I was blue about this, but did feel that it was the best decision considering the situation. It turned out that the $500 had already been taken along with an extra $200 from our daughter's college... Read more.

Author(s): Barbara Christwitz

Dear Editor: I am on page 12 of the May/June issue of Western Friend, and already my husband, Edwin, and I feel the challenge. I inherited some money recently and this issue of the magazine is helping me to ask how I can invest in the 7th generation rather than just our own comfortable retirement. “Leap into Wings” is a great model for limiting transportation and electrical use. Edwin and I have a long ways to go, but slowly and with some kicking and screaming we have been following a few of... Read more.

Author(s): Jerry Peterson

The Failure of Success by Jennifer Kavanagh

Reviewed by Jerry Peterson

Probably few Quakers would be surprised by the idea that Western society is immersed in a culture of success and celebrity. In this book, Jennifer Kavanagh takes a deep look at the meaning and implications of success in our culture – what it is, how it is measured, and the meaning of failure. She explains how success is generally understood today as the achievement of something... Read more.

Author(s): Dorothy Blackcrow Mack

Feeling Light Within, I Walk: Tales, Adventures & Reflections of a Quaker Activist

by Peg Morton

Reviewed by Dorothy Blackcrow Mack

The city of Eugene, Oregon, just presented the Turtle Award to Peg Morton for “sticking her neck out” during her lifetime of service to the community. Peg has devoted her whole life to efforts for social justice – bearing witness that one person can make a difference. The key to Peg’s effectiveness is persistence. This book... Read more.


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