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Individual Decision or Mutual Discernment The test for membership should not be doctrinal agreement, nor adherence to certain testimonies, but evidence of sincere seeking and striving for Truth, together with an understanding of the lines along which Friends are seeking that Truth.

On Alternatives (March 2022)

Let Our Lives Speak Within the circumstances of our lives, the Light meets us. As we recognize the Light’s presence in the events of our lives, we see the lived testimony of the Light in our experience.

On Alternatives (March 2022)

Hybrid and/or Embodied Worship (5) [This letter was abridged from a longer original, which you can find at: https://westernfriend.org/letters-marchapril-2022]

On Alternatives (March 2022)

Loving Earth Project Last spring, Cynthia Black from Eugene Friends Meeting published an article in Extra! Extra! – Western Friend’s email newsletter – which described a project being organized by British Friends at Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre in Birmingham, England. Called “The Loving Earth Project,” it invited Friends to reflect on persons or places they love that are endangered by climate breakdown and then express their love and concern by creating 12” x 12” fabric art panels. Friends from around the world have responded to this call, and the Loving Earth exhibit has grown to include over four hundred panels. This is the story of how the project has inspired Friends in the Sacramento Friends Meeting and how you can help to bring an exhibition of Loving Earth panels to the US in 2023.

On Place (May 2022)

Presence and Place When I tell people I was on Mount St. Helens on May 17, 1980, the day before the massive eruption that left fifty-seven dead, the first question they ask is, “Why?”

On Place (May 2022)

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.

On Place (May 2022)

On Place A person can be nice to someone in order to cheat them, but they cannot be kind to them to cheat them; that would not be kind. When Micah taught, “Do justice; love kindness; walk humbly with your God,” the lesson was not to love persons, but to love an attitude towards persons. An attitude that honors the self-respect of every creature and accepts indebtedness to the common good (and hence, indebtedness to the particular creature one is facing) – this is kindness. When engaging in acts of healing, kindness is not over-cautious about insult or injury. The hard truth and the surgeon’s scalpel both cut when they are needed. Recovery is hard work, but healing is only possible when corruption is excised. Also, to enter into another’s healing is always an act of reciprocity.

On Place (May 2022)

On Living with a Concern for Gospel Ministry (review) Quakers assert that everyone can have direct access to the Divine and that anyone can step up to or away from ministry at any time.  Brian Drayton’s On Living with a Concern for Gospel Ministry (revised and updated) is relevant for anyone who wants to embody that power in their lives more fully. One clear intention of this book is to provide guidance to individuals with particular gifts that Quaker meetings might be rusty in recognizing and supporting.

On Place (May 2022)

Growing into the Light Is youth “wasted on the young,” as some have said? No, it is not. I have learned through my experience and that of others that we carry our youthful amazement within us all our life. It simply gets buried under our adult concerns.

On Normality (July 2022)

Widening the Welcome In late February 2020, I was selected to “travel in the ministry” among Friends in Oregon. This was a part of the “Knitting Us Together” project of the Outreach and Visitation Committee of North Pacific Yearly Meeting (NPYM). I traveled virtually by Zoom with my elder, Jay Thatcher. We visited Quaker meetings in NPYM and Friends churches in Sierra-Cascades Yearly Meeting of Friends (SCYMF).

On Normality (July 2022)