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Beyond Red and Blue

The creatures in the ocean were dying. An old woman sneaked up to the shoreline and quietly picked up a few emaciated fish – red ones and blue ones. She put them in her pockets and took them away. She nurtured them back to health in a clean pond where they thrived and propagated. When she had a large number of each, she took them back to the sea. Everything turned purple and flourished.

On Expansion (May 2018)

Journey to the Heart of Worship

Many Quaker meetings prepare cards or brochures to introduce newcomers to Quaker worship and the meeting. One of my favorites is a tri-fold brochure from Strawberry Creek Meeting in Berkeley, California, which describes meeting for worship in straightforward terms:

On Expansion (May 2018)

Unite for Dignity and Respect

It’s 7PM the first time I answer the phone. “Hi. My name’s Amy,” I hear on the other end, “I’m calling because we need a union at my clinic.”

On Bosses (July 2018)

Epistle on Immigration

Epistle on Immigration from Amigas del Señor Monastary, May 22, 2018

On Bosses (July 2018)

Seeking

Dear Editor: Seeking is woven tightly, Lightly, into our original vocation as Friends. One does not seek what one already knows, but rather, the unknown. Someplace new. The Light within us is brightened by that in others and way becomes clearer. I believe the journey is as sacred as the destination and asking directions is akin to seeking cairns. Together. Ram Dass says, “All we’re doing is walking each other home.” I would add . . . “to a place we’ve never been before.”

On Bosses (July 2018)

God, The Father

Oh, Apparition! I sit, head in hands, Struggling with the personhood of God.

On Bosses (July 2018)

Faith and Practice, Practice, Practice (abridged)

When I started attending Quaker meeting in my late twenties, I had a number of dramatic experiences of having a leading, jumping into it, and way opening. But that is not the story of faith and practice I am going to tell you today. Instead, I am going to tell you about a time when discernment was hard, and slow, and confusing.

On Children (September 2018)

White +

“There’s nothing wrong with dating a black guy,” blonde-haired, blue-eyed Julie Boyle said to her friends in our seventh-grade classroom. “My cousin is dating one, there’s nothing wrong with that.”

On Mixture (November 2018)

The Long View

In the mid-1730s, John Bartram, a Quaker living near Philadelphia, wrote the following in his journal: “One day I was very busy in holding my plough (for thee seest I am but a ploughman), and being weary, I ran under the shade of a tree to repose myself. I cast my eyes on a daisy; I plucked it mechanically, and viewed it with more curiosity than common country farmers are wont to do, and observed therein very many distinct parts, some perpendicular, some horizontal. What a shame, said my mind, or something that inspired my mind, that thee shouldst have employed so many years in tilling the earth, and destroying so many flowers and plants, without being acquainted with their structures and their uses!”

On Mixture (November 2018)

#MeToo and Quaker Men

A year ago, when the phrase #MeToo went viral, it created an opening for women to talk about negative patriarchal experiences that they have been forced to put up with for years, and it drew widespread attention to sexual assault and harassment of women in all walks of life. #MeToo actually began in 2006, when social activist and community organizer Tarana Burke created the phrase “Me Too” on the Myspace social network. Her goal was to promote “empowerment through empathy” among women of color who had experienced sexual abuse, particularly within underprivileged communities. Burke was inspired to use the phrase after finding herself unable to respond to a thirteen-year-old girl who had confided in her that she had been sexually assaulted. Burke later wished she had simply told the girl, “Me too.” On October 15, 2017, actress Alyssa Milano made a very public invitation to women everywhere to spread the #MeToo meme on Twitter. She later gave Burke credit for the meme.

On Mixture (November 2018)