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The Search Committee “It just isn’t done that way,” the experienced voice responded when a Friend of Color on the Search Committee asked why we weren’t posting the salary. The committee resumed silent reflection. “Keeping salaries confidential is a longstanding way of maintaining wage inequality, especially when persons other than White males apply, not knowing how much others are paid.” More reflection. “It is insulting to qualified young adults to ask them to go through a hiring process, then offer to pay them less than a living wage.” More reflection. In the end, the committee united around our decision to include the base salary in the solicitation.

On Alternatives (March 2022)

Now or Never We must stay on our mission of being witnesses of Earthcare. Will everyone restore rare rainforest in Hawaii? No. Some will restore their aina (sacred land) by planting a small urban garden or one tree in their small yard. Some may sing songs for a local nonprofit forest refuge to raise donations and awareness. Some will talk it up on Facebook and have a window garden. “Kokua” (ko kew ah) in Hawaiian means to share and care, to take responsibility enough to take action that shows care. Easy to say, maybe not so easy to do.

On Alternatives (March 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)

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)

A Guide to Faithfulness Groups (review) I notice a steady growth of intentional spiritual practice among independent Friends. In the past two decades, programs such as “Way of the Spirit” and “Experiment with Light” have been established and started to thrive. More independent Friends are venturing into chaplaincy or other ministries that were once considered unsuitable for unprogrammed Quakers. Guidance for daily devotional practice and prayer is now offered in recent editions of our books of discipline. I’ve found my spiritual life benefitting from some of this shift in culture that’s developed in our local meeting and around our yearly meeting.

On Normality (July 2022)

The Life and Religious Labors of Lloyd Lee Wilson (review) To be precise, the title of this book is: Memoir of the Life and Religious Labors of Lloyd Lee Wilson, a Minister of the Gospel of the Religious Society of Friends, Particularly of North Carolina Yearly Meeting (Conservative), to describe the workings of the Lord in the various stages of my life, showing how God is at work in all things for good, whether we perceive it so or not, and how our surrender to divine providence allows God’s work to be done in and through us for the advancement of the Realm of God.

On Cooperation (September 2022)

To Form a Faithful Community

On February 24 this year, Russia invaded Ukraine. For now, I ask you to set aside all history and politics. I ask you to step back with me to that moment when I realized in terror that terror had just filled a country I had visited many times, where I had friends, where there was a Quaker meeting and facilitators for the Alternatives to Violence Project. The invasion couldn’t be happening . . . but it was.

On Cooperation (September 2022)

The Perception of the Heart In our highly commercial world, the way we think of the heart’s emotional capacity is mostly limited to its role in romantic love. As wonderful as romance can be, this trivializes the heart. The heart is an organ of perception. It’s where we go to make sense of feeling states we can’t quite pin down, try as we might to encapsulate them in words.

On Perception (March 2023)

On Dignity In meeting for worship on the occasion of heaven, we love to see everyone acting exactly like themselves. When we meet on the occasions of daily life, we often can’t quite remember where our true selves are. It’s a gift of grace to be in your right body, in your right mind, at the right place and time. And it’s a gift of grace to be in a community that encourages you to play your part for the truth, rather than for approval.

On Dignity (July 2023)

Centering Voices of the Next Generation (abridged) Centering Voices of the Next Generation: Keynote Presentation by Sofia Faith Cantu and Nora Lisette Cooke; July 22, 2023; Mount Madonna, Watsonville, California

On Healers (September 2023)