Healing the World

The Price of Lettuce

So yesterday, a lady comes to our produce table at the local Farmer’s Market, hefts one of our football-sized sweet potatoes, and asks, “How much?”

“Six dollars, ma’am,” I reply. “Three pounds at two dollars a pound.”

“It’s so expensive!!”

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Sticking Out Like Sore Thumbs

Given that Quakers don’t like to use violent words like “kill,” we use euphemisms instead.  So the current trend among Quakers to euthanize our Peace and Social Concerns Committees is one that I will call the “Shelver Movement.” We have spent countless hours in recent years trying to lay these committees down, but we end up “shelving” them instead.

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Raising Quaker Voices about Race

When I was in high school, some friends and I snuck into a neighborhood swimming pool that was closed after dark. We tried to keep quiet, but we were having too much fun, and a neighbor called the cops. An officer showed up and calmly asked us to please leave, which we did. Those friends and I are white.

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Moving Forward Together – In A Good Way

Quaker Oaks Farm is a place where we, Darlene and Melissa, children of families from very different backgrounds, are creating new stories together. We are characters in the stories, and we are authors.

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Not the Final Word

Part of my dad’s job with the American Friends Service Committee was to take speakers around to various college campuses, churches, and summer institutes. As a kid, I sometimes went along and got to meet such spiritual giants as peace activist A.J. Muste and civil rights leaders Bayard Rustin and Ralph Abernathy.

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SPICES and Human Population Growth

Friends are not known for large families. However, it is my experience that many members of the Religious Society of Friends are like most people in the USA – we are generally unaware of the connections between what we hold dear and the growing number of people in the world. Human population growth is an “elephant in the room,” which we typically avoid or ignore.

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Quakers, Climate, and Money

This year I retired from a quarter century of teaching college geoscience. A major challenge accompanying this new venture has been making investment decisions I have little experience with. In doing so, I must, of course, protect our family “nest egg,” so we can continue to pay the bills, take care of emergencies, and help with the extended family.

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Truth, Justice, and Reconciliation in Alaska

About three years ago, a group of my Alaskan friends were talking about abuses suffered by citizens from unconstitutional police acts. One of us said that we need a Truth, Justice, and Reconciliation Commission like the one that Desmond Tutu used to help South Africa recover from apartheid.

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Talking the Walk of Peace

We know a lot about war talk. We speak of fighting crime, obesity, drugs, and climate change. I am currently “fighting” depression. But if Quakers seek alternatives to violence, we need to develop a practical language for building peace. It’s not enough to “smite the enemies” of the problems in our lives.

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