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9th Street Ministries A cold Wednesday evening in May 2017 found me standing, as usual, in front of the meetinghouse on 9th Street in San Francisco. Few people passed by that night. In front of me, one of the many drug dealers who worked our neighborhood was crouched, his back to me. I grappled with conflicting feelings.

On Place (May 2022)

Charting Our Way Tockhwock (AKA Geoffrey Kaiser) produced “The Chart” that hangs as a poster in many Quaker meetinghouses, depicting Quaker history as a tree. Beginning in the late 1960s, he revised and updated The Chart continually until 2010. During that time, he and his husband Bruce traveled widely among Friends in North America and gave lectures about Friends’ 350 years of schisms and associations. Tockhwock is a member of Appleseed Meeting in Sebastopol, CA (PYM), grew up in Gwynedd Meeting in Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, and was a founding member of Friends for Lesbian and Gay Concerns in 1970. He spoke with Western Friend by phone on January 23, 2014. Following are edited excerpts from a transcript of that interview.

On Time (March 2014)

Being Quaker . . . Where You Are (review) Reading Sakre Edson’s collection of interviews is an experience akin to sitting in worship-sharing with Friends whom you almost think you know already, each contemplating the query, “What kind of Quaker am I?”

On Garbage (November 2017)

Surrendering into Silence (review) In this small book (55 pages) of informative essays, David Johnson begins by defining what he means by Quaker prayer. He says it is a contemplative practice of surrendering into silence, seeking the presence of God, or the Light, which is hidden within our beings. The author further describes Friends’ worship tradition as a practice where life and religion are not based on accepted belief or ritual, but on firsthand knowledge of God’s presence. The main focus of the book is how one finds access to that sacred inner knowledge.

On Words (November 2021)