Letters

The Dwindling Younger Generation

During this Annual Session of North Pacific Yearly Meeting, we have reflected on the many aspects of Quakerism which have led us to this intentional community. Young Adult Friends are led here out of gratitude for the many intangible gifts Friends offer. We are drawn to this non-authoritative community because we value equality in action. We feel grateful for intergenerational community . . .

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Two Hands of Nonviolence

Dear Editor: I am writing to thank David Albert for his article, “Gandhi’s Smile,” in the July/August 2022 issue of Western Friend. I have been studying the life and work of Barbara Deming, and Albert’s article resonated with those studies.

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The Future of the Religious Society of Friends

Dear Friends: Ben Lomond Quaker Center (California) and Elsie K. Powell House (New York) are pleased to invite you to a seven-part series of retreats that we are cosponsoring September 2022 through June 2023, concerning the health and future of the Religious Society of Friends. The year-long series is called “Testimonies to Mercy.”

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A Call to End Hostilities in Ukraine

Dear Western Friends: Please consider joining Boulder Meeting in our Statement of Concern about the Ukraine War (7/17/2022). We adapted it from a recent letter by FCNL’s General Secretary Bridget Moix. We hope to share Friends’ profound commitment to peace widely.

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Thanks for History of Gun Laws

To the Editor: Wow. Bill Durland’s piece on the Second Amendment and gun control was clear and educational. I must have slept through civics class. I learned a lot about different levels of the law and about the duty of the judicial system to balance the right to individual freedom against the right to be safe and secure.

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All Our Histories

To the editor: Mackenzie Barton-Rowledge begins her article in the May/June 2022 issue of Western Friend with her grandfather, modeling the integrity she is seeking from Quakers in North Pacific Yearly Meeting (NPYM). She calls attention to one set of family histories in NPYM, which she calls a “settler-majority” community.

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A Sacred Space

Dear Editor: I write regarding the article “Place of Privilege” by Ann Clendenin in the May/June 2022 issue of Western Friend.

Our meetings for worship are in effect Holy Ground. A weekly gathering at once sublime and simple. Physical and spiritual terrains co-mingle. Become seamless. Limitless. Even eternal.

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Normality is Ever Changing

Dear Editor: Normality is an ever-changing reality. As we go through life, our perspective of what is normal changes and evolves. Everyone’s family, work, and religious backgrounds are not the same. It’s all from a different view depending on the person.

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In Pursuit of Reconciliation


Dear Friends: In “Alternatives to Prison” (Western Friend, March/April 2022), Susan Cozzens suggests that “Quakers by and large want to live in that Light and Love that takes away the occasion of all prisons.” Taking away “the occasion of all prisons” would seem to be a prerequisite for their abolition.

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The Meaning of Membership


Dear Friends: I’m sad that so many people – including so many “recorded Friends” – misunderstand what “membership” in a meeting means.

In the modern age, when we no longer face persecution for public expression of Quaker faith and practice, meetings no longer need to document whether or not a person who self-identifies as “Quaker” may or may not speak for us publicly.

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