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The Wrong Kind of Silence We simply can’t always speak out. But there are critical times within Friends’ communities when failing to speak truth can cause great damage. Trying not to offend, trying to maintain a surface calm, can cause a disastrous loss of trust and can betray our commitment to answering the Light in everyone. Often it enables cruel behavior to continue. When problems remain unnamed, it can threaten our ability to address them. This kind of silence can undermine integrity, cause profound personal hurt, and splinter community. Much is lost when we fail to say what we think and when we fail to help each other speak up when serious interpersonal issues develop. Therefore I want to name self-silencing of truth as a significant threat to the ability of Friends to live our testimonies and a threat to the Religious Society of Friends.

On Deception (November 2013)

Waging Peace – Review (2015) If war is not the answer, what is? David Hartsough’s Waging Peace: Global Adventures of a Lifelong Activist can help an uncertain reader progress to a firm conviction that effective nonviolent means of overcoming aggression and injustice really can be discovered and applied even in extreme situations – and that we “ordinary people” can do this. What makes the book so compelling is that it is an account of the author’s direct experience as an organizer and trainer in nonviolent campaigns, and as a participant in grassroots movements around the world.

On Knowing (March 2015)

Are Committees Still the Answer? Dear Friends: Liberal unprogrammed Quaker meetings are organized or disorganized by committees. Without an identified pastor or priest, we count on the wisdom of committees.

On Needs (May 2015)

Ulysses (review) Many Friends are unaware that James Joyce included a Quaker librarian, Lyster, in Ulysses. As the Religious Society of Friends gropes out of its colorless stasis, Ulysses reminds us that Friends carry a cultural presence beyond the confines of minutes, meetings, and social concerns.  Even so, [pullquote]I encourage Friends to read Ulysses not for its utility, but as a brutally honest exploration of our inner condition.[/pullquote]

On Mediation (January 2020)

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)