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Playing Violent Games in Peace In his recent article, “ISIS’s Call of Duty,” Jay Caspian Kang describes similarities between ISIS recruitment films and first-person-shooter games – similarities that are likely intentional (The New Yorker, September 18, 2014). Kang’s article is one of many that play into a larger debate about the role of violent videogames and other violent media in our culture. This debate has continued unresolved for decades, and both sides often succumb to strong emotions and hyperbolic statements. I feel this leads to a shutdown in communication between groups, and that is the issue I would like to address in this article.

On Temptation (November 2014)

Faith and Sewage Everyone Poops by Taro Gomi (translated into English in 1993) has been my theme book for years. While it was written with toilet trainees and their eager caregivers in mind, I have other reasons to display the book prominently in my office. I work for a program in our local health department, the program that monitors water quality in streams, lakes, and groundwater, the program responsible for ensuring that the septic systems in our county are adequately treating the sewage that flows through them. That’s where “everyone poops” comes in.

On Garbage (November 2017)

Creating Real Security American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) and Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) recently published a pamphlet titled, Shared Security: Reimagining U.S. Foreign Policy (April 2013). At Strawberry Creek Monthly Meeting in Berkeley, California, a small group considered this pamphlet and then organized a larger meeting to talk about this topic after Meeting for Worship on September 29, 2013.  Twenty-eight people attended. For the meeting, we prepared a one-page handout with some quotes from the AFSC/FCNL pamphlet. The text of that handout is included at the end of this article. [The pamphlet is also reviewed on page 32 of this magazine. – Editor]

On Patriotism (January 2014)

A Little Book of Unknowing – Review This “little book” is a high-level survey of a very big subject. As such, it will leave most readers wanting more. Fortunately, the book’s strong organization and its wealth of source materials combine to make it into a solid guide for readers who want to locate in-depth works on “knowing” and “unknowing” by a broad range of great minds, including Rumi, Thomas Kelly, and Matthew Fox.

On Knowing (March 2015)

Quaker Light in Australia and New Zealand Last summer (last winter there), we spent several weeks traveling among Friends in Australia and Aotearoa/New Zealand. During those travels, we gained some insights about ways that our yearly meetings in the U.S. could share our Quaker faith more openly with the world around us.

On Insight (March 2017)