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More on Racism and Policing (2) Dear Friends: The word “defund” troubles me when we talk about confronting our issues with the police. I believe many people from all racial backgrounds want some kind of police protection. Repeated horrific acts by police officers, now being filmed and exposed constantly, demonstrate the real need for major change. But will words like “defund the police” help as we move forward?

On Relevance (March 2021)

The Show Goes Wrong The show goes wrong. This is my mantra as a pastor. My congregants hear me say it a lot, and it’s usually followed by a laugh. It’s not something I came up with myself. I give credit to Andy Dwyer, a character from the sitcom Parks and Rec. His “incorrect” version of “the show must go on” is actually far better than the original. His version is one to live by. I do not think there could be a more fitting maxim for a new pastor in the throes of a pandemic.

On Tricks (May 2021)

Fake News for Real Peace I have been a Friend for forty-five years. I started attending a few years after returning to the U.S. from a tour in Vietnam. It was a stressful time. We had two young children. At the encouragement of Charles and Mary Minor, we visited Flagstaff Friends Meeting on South Beaver Street, just off the campus of Northern Arizona University.

On Tricks (May 2021)

Thanks to a Friend of Moscow Dear Editor: I loved the article by Julie Harlow in the March/April issue of Western Friend. She really touched my heart with her honesty, commitment, and vision for authentic Quakerism. Like Julie, I was deeply involved in Soviet-American reconciliation work in the 1980s. I got to know Julie when she was taking groups of Friends from PacYM to the Soviet Union to build friendships and get to know our “enemy” as part of the citizen diplomacy movement. I felt our citizen diplomacy work helped to end the Cold War. Julie continued to follow her calling to be a Friendly presence for those in Russia who are drawn to Quakerism. Over the years, she has done amazing work through her faithfulness to her leading. I thank God for her!

On Tricks (May 2021)

Sabbath Economics Sabbath economics offers an alternative approach to dominant paradigms of economic theory and practice. Theologian-educator Ched Myers coined the term “Sabbath economics” in the 1990s, drawing from the Torah standard of social and economic justice and based on God’s call to “keep the Sabbath” by alternating good work with periods of rest.

On Debt (July 2021)

On Words Language is a technology, a means of employing experience-based knowledge for practical purposes. Words are torches that beam from mind to mind, prompting individuals to turn their attentions in the same direction and to coordinate their efforts for survival. Many species rely on communication systems in this way. Homo sapiens, however, is a species that seems to have undergone a freakishly powerful cognitive mutation about 70,000 years ago. We became enabled then to speak of fictions.

On Words (November 2021)