Healing the World

Daily Practice

This past year, I started coming to grips with the fact that I am not a political scientist; I am not a sociologist. I have finally, after more than a decade, let go of some of those college textbooks. I accept that I will never rewrite the thesis I should have written for Poli-Sci. I am not a debater. I am not a diplomat. As it turns out, I am a musician.

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Song Powers a Movement

I learned about the power of nonviolence and nonviolent action in the spring of 1960, while participating in sit-ins at lunch counters in Maryland and Virginia with African American fellow students at Howard University. Most Saturdays we would go to a People’s Drug store, sit down at a lunch counter, get arrested, and then sing freedom songs in our jail cells all weekend.

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The Airtight Cage of Poverty

“We are tired of smothering in an airtight cage of poverty in the midst of an affluent society,” said Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., in his “Letter from Birmingham Jail” (1963). To address this crisis, Dr. King (along with Quaker activist Bayard Rustin) launched the Poor People’s Campaign, focusing on economic justice, especially around jobs and housing.

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Freed from Crushing Poverty in Bolivia

The current century is one of political, economic, and cultural upheaval in Bolivia, which has long been the poorest country in South America. Extreme rural poverty, lack of educational opportunity, and discrimination have held the indigenous majority captive for centuries. These are the Aymara – people who have lived high in the Andes for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.

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Fifty Years of Right Sharing

A few months ago, I visited a Friends church in Indianapolis. They have a tradition that, for the first few minutes of each worship service, the children go up to the front row for a brief lesson.

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Chickens on the Cheap

Ever since we moved to rural Honduras in 2006, Sister Alegría and I had wanted chickens. Our imaginations became reality when, in 2012, friends gave us some pullets and a young rooster. We quickly discovered that raising fowl wasn’t so straightforward. The second night the birds were here, perching in the branches of a tree, a possum helped himself to the rooster!

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Stewardship of Stuff

An intense pleasure of my profession as a chemical engineer is the practice of balancing. Not the balancing of a body in movement (although I do know that pleasure – in dance and in Aikido), but the balancing of accounts of the earth itself. Everything that comes out of the earth goes back into it. Or almost everything.

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A New Thing Springs Forth

The following two epistles were written in July 2017 to introduce and welcome a new Quaker yearly meeting in the Pacific Northwest – Sierra-Cascades Yearly Meeting of Friends, a community of evangelical Friends churches that affirm same-sex relationships and welcome the participation of LGBTQ+ people.

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