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Focus and Immersion in Present Experience Waiting for sunrise on a desert morning this March, my focus came to the inward Truth only. I had walked in darkness with a quiet dog to a saddle between two hills in the middle of the Mojave Desert Preserve. In wild lands, especially in dry lands, I find less cumber between God and me. I can feel a presence in my middle. With Light arriving, I reflect on my feelings and what I’m led to do. Guidance from the Holy is clearer in these times of presence.

On Play (September 2015)

Work Not in Vain Lloyd Lee Wilson’s words to Pacific Yearly Meeting, July 14, 2015; Walker Creek Ranch, Petaluma, California; as reported by Western Friend

On Play (September 2015)

Quakercraft: Becoming the Quakers the World Needs Excerpts from a presentation to North Pacific Yearly Meeting; July 16, 2015; Whitworth University, Spokane, Washington

On Play (September 2015)

Before “Things” The language we necessarily use shapes our experience of the everyday world as a world of “things,” objects that we view from the outside. This is the case whether the “things” are apples, worlds, ideas, relationships, plans, or even the entire universe. We view and manipulate “things” as if we face them from a separate, outside position in which we seem to live.

On Beginning (March 2016)

Practical Mystics Dear Editor: We Quakers have been called practical mystics. The title of our handbook makes it plain: Faith and Practice. Our prayer and our witness are a tightly woven fabric. Inseparable yet unique. The warp and woof of our witness. We cannot have one without the other. This is our charism. And our challenge.

On Heritage (July 2016)

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)

From Competition to Compassion When I graduated from law school and began working as an attorney, I thought I had “arrived,” that my career would unfold seamlessly, and that I would achieve, through competition and striving, excellent results for my clients. Success was going to happen just at it had in high school and college – work hard, don’t get distracted, follow the rules, and things just naturally fall into place.

On Competition (January 2017)

Quakers and Standing Rock Western Friend received several accounts of Quaker support for the Standing Rock resistance in North Dakota during the fall of 2016. The opening paragraphs of those accounts are presented below. Follow this link to read the full accounts.

On Competition (January 2017)

Queer Quaker Kinship The first time I worshipped with the Friends for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Concerns (FLGBTQC), I experienced a profound sensation that spirit was moving in a way I had never felt before. I entered the room after navigating a sprawling and meticulous college campus in Greeley, Colorado, and encountered an energy that I could immediately tell was unique among spaces at that FGC Gathering. I don’t even remember any of the words spoken in ministry that day, but I do remember feeling that a weight had been lifted from my shoulders and I could breathe more freely.

On Home (September 2017)

Everyday Prophets (Review) Recently, I read the wonderful 2016 Backhouse Lecture, Everyday Prophets by Margery Post Abbott. I identified with Abbott’s description of everyday prophets as “. . . people who listen to the voice of all that it Holy and follow its guidance” (p. 3). Yet these everyday prophets face challenges, too. “It takes practice to develop the skill of listening with an inward ear and coming to recognize the taste and color of all that it holy . . . Above all, such a person is one who listens inwardly and has learned to distinguish the voice of the Spirit, the presence of Christ, from their own desires or self-will, the pressures of the surrounding culture and the need to win approval from those around them” (pp. 5-6).

On Home (September 2017)