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Nineteen Children

Dear Friends: I am Hellen Lunkuse Tanyinga, a member of Bulungi Tree Shade Friends Meeting in eastern Uganda. We are a new Friends meeting, inspired by David Albert of the Olympia Friends Meeting. We have worked with David for many years and have felt a lot of love and admiration for him, so we started asking him questions about what it means to be a Quaker. He answers fire pumped us, and in February 2018, sixteen of us met under a mango tree in Kamuli and resolved to start a Friends meeting. We now meet every Sunday, 9am to 11am, under that mango tree in Kamuli. [pullquote]We agreed on the name “Bulungi Tree Shade,” thanks to our mango tree, which gives us shade during worship.[/pullquote] The word “Bulungi” means “welcome,” and we are welcoming to all. On any given Sunday, we have at least 53 adults and 75 children, many of them orphans and children with HIV, as we meet on the campus of a school and orphanage.

On Mixture (November 2018)

Our Racism

Dear Editor: From cover to cover, the September/October 2018 edition of Western Friend made plain the grievous suffering caused by racism. Our racism.

On Mixture (November 2018)

A Thousand Times, Come

The room was dimly lit. I was one of fifty dancers standing in a circle, shoulder to shoulder, holding hands. Our leader, Johnathan, stood in the middle of the circle with his guitar. He said he was going to lead us in a practice to experience the aspect of God that existed before time began.

On Mixture (November 2018)

On Mixture

Dear Friends: Our bodies cannot live outside of history, nor can we live outside of history’s cruelty, its “mixing memory and desire.” Rowing our boats with our backs towards the future, we despair at the carnage we watch flowing out from our wakes – oceans choked by our poisons, lives crushed by our bigotry, truth and kindness twisted by our greed. Some bits of beauty bob along, too. But it’s easy to view the whole scene as basically grim.

On Mixture (November 2018)

Gun Control and/or Civil War?

It is currently popular to call for “gun control” in the United States, especially in the wake of senseless mass shootings that have rocked the nation. However, most proposed “gun control” legislation has at its center the punishment of blameless people for the violent acts of a few. That is, these measures restrict or prohibit gun availability to citizens who have broken no laws, have harmed no one, and have merely exercised their rights under the Constitution to buy and own weapons. Promoters of strict “gun control” often seem to vilify gun owners as a sub-class of humans who do not merit recognition, rights, or respect. This polarizing attitude makes effective communication almost impossible.

On Weapons (January 2019)

Quakers and Gun Violence

In the United States, gun violence is not a mere veneer on the surface of an otherwise peaceful society, but something deep and dark, with roots in the colonization of the continent and the founding of the nation, in ethnic cleansing, enslavement and the seizure of land from Mexico. White settlers, armed to the teeth, faced the constant prospect of insurrection by Native peoples and enslaved populations, as well as violence on contested borders.

On Weapons (January 2019)

Ten Days

Ten days a wisp of smoke from one ancestral strum to the next distant guitar on the horizon stark like a city sunset.

On Weapons (January 2019)

Two Quaker Observers to COP24

2018 was a year of climate records. The fourth warmest year since the beginning of the industrial revolution, it featured intense drought and wildfires in western North America, a devastating hurricane season in the Southeast, unprecedented flooding in southern Asia, and continued loss of Arctic sea ice. It was also the year that the U.N. International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that humanity had twelve years to stave off global climate catastrophe.

On Puzzles (April 2019)

Be a CASA

Be a CASA – Court Appointed Special Advocate

On Puzzles (April 2019)