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On Expansion

Dear Friends: To be poor in spirit is not the same as to be poor materially or socially. Even so, material wealth and social authority tend to obstruct our view of the long arc of history that bends towards a world of justice and kindness. Although anyone is capable of recognizing justice and kindness as fundamental purposes of humanity – even persons with wealth and authority –  all too often, wealth and authority masquerade as justice and kindness themselves, a tricky sort of bait-and-switch that distracts us from keeping our eyes on the road.

On Expansion (May 2018)

On Expansion

May / Jun 2018

Beautiful Article about Minding the Earth

Dear Editor: “A New Story for Earth” by Mary Ann Percy, in the November/December issue, is one of the best articles that I have ever read. I happened to read it right after our meeting held our second-hour discussion one First Day, concerning what each of us can do to be more mindful of the earth (and promised to try). I think we might discuss this article in another second hour soon. It ties a lot of big questions and big concepts together really well, and it is beautifully written.

On Mediation (January 2020)

Shining Light on Anti-Semitism

American Friends Service Committee is encouraging Friends and others to support the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions campaign (BDS) until Israel complies with international law to treat Palestinians fairly. I am happy with that, since I work with Jewish Voice for Peace on this issue. However, when I speak about BDS, I often find people are reluctant to support it because they want to avoid anti-Semitism. I point out to them that Jewish Voice for Peace stands as a reminder to the larger world that criticizing Israel is not anti-Semitic.

On Heritage (July 2016)

Thank you, Thank you

Dear Editor: The May/June issue, “On Expansion,” is wonderful. I read every article this morning and can’t wait to share the articles “Race and Quakerism” and “Journey to the Heart of Worship” with my meeting – as well as the pullout section for young people. Kat Northrup’s article was helpful to me in the way that she listed and explained so well the stumbling blocks we confront when reaching across racial differences. John Kretzman’s article will be helpful to all members and attenders of our meeting as we seek to deepen our worship experience. Two weeks ago, we had fifteen children at a Family Worship and hike to Mel’s Pond on the Sierra Friends Center campus! I plan to share the pullout section with some of those children. Thank you, thank you.

On Bosses (July 2018)

Some Notes on Quaker Speech

When Quakerism originated in the 17th century, English pronouns in all groups, with one major exception, had already achieved the forms we use today:

On Heritage (July 2016)

Quakers and Gun Violence

In the United States, gun violence is not a mere veneer on the surface of an otherwise peaceful society, but something deep and dark, with roots in the colonization of the continent and the founding of the nation, in ethnic cleansing, enslavement and the seizure of land from Mexico. White settlers, armed to the teeth, faced the constant prospect of insurrection by Native peoples and enslaved populations, as well as violence on contested borders.

On Weapons (January 2019)