Dear Editor: Two of us at Orange County Friends Meeting have undertaken a “project” to stimulate thought and dialogue about Western Friend's topics.
Briefly, in my capacity as the Western Friend subscription rep for the meeting, I wanted this year to turn around our dropping subscription rate. I had to use some real imagination to bring the subscription number up to at least 16.
My next target was one of our younger Friends, who is a writer by profession and a very thoughtful guy in the rich mix of thinkers in our meeting. I asked him why he was reluctant to subscribe, and he replied that he hated to read something that generated a lot of ideas and then have them all die in a vacuum for want of anyone to discuss his ideas with. I said I'd make him a deal. If he would agree to subscribe, I would set up a dialogue in Adult Religious Education (before Meeting for Worship) on one chosen article from each of the six issues we would be getting this year. He got quite a glint in his eye, and said, "Okaaaaaaay…."
I have kept my half of the bargain, although we had a slow start, with "On War" being delayed in publication. But our first two dialogues have been very good, and attendance at the dialogues is gradually increasing too! The first dialogue was on "The Balm of the Other" by Zachary Moon; the second on "The Spiritual Power of Art" by Maya Wright, an article that my young Friend colleague both chose and composed the query for. We are planning to discuss an article from “On Power” in September, and one from “On Superiority” in November. I will keep you posted down the line about the interest and vitality this project has generated – I'm glad I made a deal that has brought so many into the Western Friend circle.