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Somewhere in My Youth

Mike Paul Michaels began his life among the littler folk in 1963 at Pacific Oaks Children’s School, founded by Friends. His journey has included teaching and living among children and their families in five cultures on three continents. He attends Friends House Worship Group in Santa Rosa, CA, and is a member of Orange Grove Meeting in Pasadena, CA (PYM).

On Expansion (May 2018)

Please Proofread More Carefully

Dear Editor: I was startled by several errors in the May/June 2018 issue of Western Friend.

On Bosses (July 2018)

A Great Place to Work

An Interview with Robert Levering

On Bosses (July 2018)

The Legacy They Gave Us (review)

I really enjoyed this short book by Matilda Hansen, who grew up in Iowa Yearly Meeting (Conservative) in the mid-1900s. Luckily for us, Hansen decided to research and document her Norwegian Quaker ancestors. The resulting book has a lot in it – a love story, a story of conscientious objection, immigration, travel, a Quaker split, and the Underground Railroad. If you are interested in the history of western Quakers in twentieth-century America, you will also likely be interested to read about some of the roots of that history in nineteenth-century Iowa.

On Bosses (July 2018)

Uprooting Racism (abridged)

My son was raised as a Quaker, but he left the meeting and joined an African American mega-church. Both our daughters were raised as Quakers, and they also left. During a retreat I attended this summer, several African American Friends told me they no longer attend their Quaker meetings because they cannot tolerate the racism they experience there on a weekly basis.

On Children (September 2018)

In Memory of Mary Dyer

The martial music plays, bronzed alive only the invisible songs survive to fuse two sculptures in a final swoon singing today’s melodies of hope and doom, the Holy Spirit’s breath whispering between them as Mary Dyer speaks to the Colonel’s men, urging them to ascend to Jesus once again, chanting songs of the beginning and the end

On Mixture (November 2018)

Money and Soul

Dear Friends: I have just read Pendle Hill Pamphlet #450, Pamela Haines’s “Money and Soul,” and I encourage Friends to read it. It’s based on a talk that the author gave at Intermountain Yearly Meeting in 2017 (which was published by Western Friend; see: westernfriend.org/article/money-and-soul-abridged). Haines packs much that is central to economic justice into this little pamphlet – both on the institutional/systemic and the individual levels. The latter often seems more difficult to discuss. Because of its clarity and hopeful tone, this pamphlet would be a useful resource for study groups and worship-sharing groups in all our meetings.

On Water (March 2019)

Before the Monsoon (review)

In the author statement that concludes Eleanor Dart’s latest book of poems, Before the Monsoon, Dart writes, “I don’t want to leave my writing buried in filing cabinets when I depart this life. Hence, this book.” I imagine her poems being rescued from papery depths, freed from the ponderous weight of file folders and metal drawers. Perhaps these poems once lived among tax statements, instruction manuals, love letters, but in this volume, they live together without any trace of compression or randomness.

On Water (March 2019)

Warner Mifflin, Unflinching Quaker Abolitionist (review)

In Warner Mifflin, Unflinching Quaker Abolitionist, Professor Gary B. Nash brings to life a long-neglected leader of the Quaker abolitionist movement. Although largely unknown to historians and scholars, Mifflin was known and admired by his contemporaries – including such prominent figures as Washington, Adams, Franklin, and Jefferson – who saw in him a tireless and premiere legislative lobbyist who worked at the local, state, and federal levels for the emancipation of slaves and the abolition of slavery.

On Puzzles (May 2019)