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On Teachers More than once, I have been humbled by being called racist. My first reaction, however, was not humility. My first reaction was to feel offended and misunderstood. Surely my accuser didn’t know me or my motives or my history. Surely, they were using the term “racist” too broadly – sloppy, really. A more precise definition would be more strategic for The Struggle (You’re welcome!), and would provide the added benefit of keeping me on the right side of history.

On Teachers (September 2020)

On Rules At the level of an individual family, an abused person can walk away from their abuser; they can start a new life elsewhere. That is also possible in a Quaker meeting or even in the Society of Friends – abused members of our Quaker family can leave, and they do. But it is not possible for abused members of the human family to leave the human family, even when humanity is twisted into morbid cycles of cruelty.

On Rules (November 2020)

This Is the Work I am a twenty-year veteran teacher. I’ve always taught the littlest ones – first grade, kindergarten, and preschool for four-year-olds, otherwise known as early childhood education or ECE. I teach ECE today in a predominantly black district – Denver Pubic Schools – at Hallett Academy, where 99% of the students are black.

On Rules (November 2020)

A Quaker View of Gendlin’s Philosophy (review) This book asks: How does our Quaker process help us seek the Light Within and “That of God in every person”? Harbert Rice of Reno Monthly Meeting (PacYM) answers this question by using the philosophy of Eugene Gendlin to look at Quaker practices.

On Rules (November 2020)

Cassandra 2020 Part faux Republican presidential campaign, part art project, with its candidate drawn from Greek mythology, Cassandra 2020 resists categorization. It has taken the form of community conversations, performance protest, video art, and guerilla sign-drops. It has been supported by a constant flux of contributors and co-creators, many of whom are also Quaker. It has sparked amusement, concern, scorn, joy, connection, and most importantly, curiosity.

On Vision (January 2021)

Native Connections It helps to belong somewhere. Belonging can be quite healing.

On Relevance (March 2021)

Off the Shelves Last year, our Library Committee worked diligently to create a wonderfully complete online library catalog of all the books held by Santa Monica Friends Meeting. Then, the pandemic hit. Our meetinghouse closed in March 2020, and virtually all our books have been sitting idle for a year. I have a deep love of physical books: the smell when you crack one open, the texture of a page in your hand, the way you can find a passage you’ve read by remembering where it was on the page. Physical books are absolutely delightful. I believe that everything we treasure, we should use often and reverently, not tuck it away into oblivion. [pullquote]In using the things that we value, we are able to understand what their value is.[/pullquote]

On Relevance (March 2021)

Correction of a Quaker Baby Dear Editor: I’ve studied the cover of the Jan/Feb 2021 issue for many minutes, even inverted it. I used a magnifying glass on the reflections in the eyes. I still cannot figure out how one can tell that the pictured child is a Quaker baby.   What’s the giveaway?

On Relevance (March 2021)

Across the Generational Divide Dear Editor: In response to Rebekah Percy’s article in your Jan/Feb 2021 issue, I will start by saying that every generation faces challenges which seem daunting. Future challenges, remaining to be withstood, will always look more daunting than past problems that have been resolved, even if they have only been resolved in ways that have kicked the can down the road.

On Relevance (March 2021)

A Puzzling Grave in a Quaker Cemetery With his death approaching, I asked him, “John, who was Martha Jones?”

On Tricks (May 2021)