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The Confluence of Body, Mind, and Soul The coming together (“confluence”) of Friends in silent worship is a rare and precious human experience. Even if other creatures have their equivalent merging with the Divine, Quaker worship is a distinctly human thing to do. It draws upon capabilities inherent in our human bodies, including built-in social senses usually active in family relationships and tribal rituals (like supporting your team in a ball game).

On Flesh (November 2016)

Of Quakers and Corporations George Fox and the early Quakers made their witnesses to authentic and original Christianity public by their testimonies. The English word, testimony, derives from the Latin word for “witness,” which is primarily an outward expression “to the whole world … actions and words, intended to proclaim, demonstrate and convince” (from The Quaker Peace Testimony, Friends House, London, 1993).

On Superiority (July 2013)

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)

Embodying the Words of Thomas Kelly Some wannabe disciples of Brother Lawrence (like me) are baffled by quotes like this from a book of his teachings, The Practice of the Presence of God:

On Words (November 2021)

Knowledge of the Lord

To Friends Everywhere: It is with joy that I present to the public again, after nearly two centuries out of print, Job Scott’s Remarks upon the Knowledge of the Lord, the Only True God.

On Seeds (November 2023)

Privelege, Interrupting Some Western Friend readers may have already met RantWoman, an official Quaker holy terror known for telling too much of the Truth about all kinds of things, at rantwomanrsof.blogspot.com. Recently a call went out for Friends to write articles about the 14th White Privilege Conference, held near Seattle in April 2013. RantWoman was stirred to venture into print and even agreed to let the editor of Western Friend have a crack at making her slightly more presentable than she appears in her electronic journal.

On Superiority (July 2013)

Surmounting Limits in Quakerism When I asked Mary Klein if she would publish an article about the 2016 meeting of Friends World Committee on Consultation, she suggested that I write one for the issue on “Limits.” My initial response was: “Is she kidding?” I was grateful for her offer, but something in me bristles at the word “limits.”

On Limits (May 2016)

A Different Gender Story Numerous people around the world do not identify with the gender that they were assigned at birth, yet the media tend to focus on one story: There is a teenager who always knew that something was off in their life from a young age. They came to realize that they are transgender (only ever falling under the gender binary of male or female) and then come out to their parents, who either accept them or take some time to do so. This story is told again and again; there’s nothing invalid about it. But it is important to look at other stories as well, to see the full picture of what it is to not be cisgender. Since I am currently in the middle of my own personal journey towards finding my gender, I am sharing my story here as one that does not fit the stereotype.

On Insight (March 2017)

Vision for the Day to Be Peace I ask of thee of river, Peace, Peace, Peace. When I learn to live serenely, cares will cease. From the hills I gather courage, vision for the day to be. Strength to lead and faith to follow, All are given unto me. Peace I ask of thee of river, Peace, Peace, Peace.                     by Gwyneth Walker

On Vision (January 2021)