Dear Editor: Thanks to Friend Kirby Urner for throwing light on the sometimes troubled relations between Meetings, their Nominating Committees, and their Peace and Social Concerns Committees (“Sticking Out Like Sore Thumbs,” July/August 2015). My Meeting has felt this tension, and I’ve talked to other Meetings that have as well.
Dear Editor: July 8, 2015, is the one-year anniversary of “Operation Protective Edge,” the most recent devastation of Gaza by Israel. According to the United Nations, about 2,200 Gazan people were killed during the onslaught, 65% of them civilians. I think it is high time that Friends discuss more vigorously and publicly the issues surrounding Israel and the Palestinians.
Dear Editor: I applaud Pablo Stanfield for his excellent article, “Those Other Friends.” My first experience with a Friends World Committee on Consultation conference was back in the 70s, in Wichita, Kansas. It was then that I realized Quakers are good about working towards peace outside our family of “Friends,” but we are not very good at working towards peace within our own family.
Dear Editor: I want to thank Mr. Urner for a very provocative article, “Sticking Out Like Sore Thumbs.” I, too, have often asked myself: What happened to the progressive movement? I want to focus on what we might have done better, rather than resting on our laurels.
To Friends Everywhere: September 26th marks the first anniversary of the horrific enforced disappearance of 43 students from the rural Ayotzinapa teaching college in Guerrero, Mexico. We carry a heavy weight, as hopes for justice seem increasingly dim. Yet we continue to raise our voices alongside the parents and classmates in remembrance.
Dear Editor: As I have said before, I love the “Pages for All Ages.” Reading all the themes that you have planned in the months ahead (money, beginning, limits, etc.), this one comes to mind for me: “First Day School Lesson Plans.” I am sending you a few that I have developed, which you can share with other Friends, and I’ll share more with you soon.
Dear Editor: I was glad to see Richard Grossman address the population crisis in your May/June 2015 issue, both for the sake of this grave topic, and also because he organizes his arguments around the SPICE acronym for describing key Quaker values, or “testimonies:” Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, and Equality (and Grossman adds Stewardship).
Dear Editor: I read with interest the article “Quakers, Climate, and Money” in the May/June 2015 issue of Western Friend. I am always happy when Friends concern themselves as individuals with the future that climate change will bring, and take action.