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Information on Public Education: Ask the Students

Dear Editor: I was not surprised to find that my article in the March/ April issue of Western Friend, “My Quest to Change the Education System,” was controversial to some Friends. Regarding Gary Miller’s letter to the editor, I would like to write my own response in my defense.

On Heritage (July 2016)

Elizabeth Gurney Fry: A Quaker Mess

Friends are doing a lot of reevaluation these days, reexamining our past and our venerable Quaker ancestors. In some cases, when moral inconsistencies emerge into the open, reexamination means that some iconic Friends are losing their luster. In other cases, stories of early Friends’ messy lives help us to see their humanity, which can lend greater depth and nuance to their spiritual writings. This happened for me when I read Chad Thralls’ May 2011 article in Friends Journal on the “embodied” life of Thomas Kelly. Learning how Kelly confronted his inner demons through surrender to Spirit increased my appreciation of his lyrical testimony.

On Conflict (January 2023)

Water Camp

On January 12, 2019, Western Friend conducted an interview with several members of the Quaker Oaks Farm (QOF) community. Located in the Central Valley of California, Quaker Oaks Farm is an environmental and cultural learning center that is supported by Visalia Friends Meeting. Since 2013, QOF has hosted annual service-learning camps, which have brought together youth and adults from Wukchumni, Mexican-American, and Quaker communities in the Central Valley and beyond.

On Water (March 2019)

The Strengthening Power of Discomfort

A friend of mine bicycled 2,700 miles this summer along the Continental Divide. In an article she wrote for the Fairbanks Daily News Miner (8/12/2018), she said, “When doing endurance races, I have a question I ask myself when I want to quit: ‘Am I in danger or just uncomfortable?’ If I’m just uncomfortable, I tell myself to keep going. Things will get better. And they usually do.”

On Mixture (November 2018)

Final Accounting: Carpe Mortem

Kathleen Fitzgerald: The Women’s Group of Live Oak Friends Meeting has been gathering monthly for decades. We have shared and listened deeply through childbirth, parenting, partnering, unpartnering, changing jobs, changing everything, emptying nests, retiring, and finding our way with special regard to our testimonies.

On Debt (July 2021)