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On Bosses It’s hard to be shut out. It’s hard to be the one (or the family) whose name isn’t on the guest list, the one who is pointedly ignored in the meeting, the one on the roster of workers about to lose their jobs in the downsizing.

On Bosses (July 2018)

Epistle on Immigration Epistle on Immigration from Amigas del Señor Monastary, May 22, 2018

On Bosses (July 2018)

Beyond Enemy Thinking in the U.S. Dear Editor: I just re-read “Beyond Enemy Thinking” by Meagan Fischer in the May/June 2018 edition. As I did so, I realized that her message about relations between LGBTI people in Latin America and non-local advocate organizations has much wider implications. My mind continually turned to how we view “others” in our country today. How frustrated I can be with my fellow Americans whose beliefs and goals are so different from my Quaker understanding of how we are meant to live with others in this world.

On Bosses (July 2018)

A Girl with Vision and Resolve When Veronica Obodo-Eckblad is asked about her escape from war-torn Nigeria as a seven-year-old, she is cryptic. That’s because her emphasis – actually, her life’s focus – isn’t on herself. What drives her is her commitment to others and to a dream. That dream morphed into conviction and then into reality. But we are getting ahead of ourselves in this gripping story, so let’s settle down.

On Children (September 2018)

Nineteen Children Dear Friends: I am Hellen Lunkuse Tanyinga, a member of Bulungi Tree Shade Friends Meeting in eastern Uganda. We are a new Friends meeting, inspired by David Albert of the Olympia Friends Meeting. We have worked with David for many years and have felt a lot of love and admiration for him, so we started asking him questions about what it means to be a Quaker. He answers fire pumped us, and in February 2018, sixteen of us met under a mango tree in Kamuli and resolved to start a Friends meeting. We now meet every Sunday, 9am to 11am, under that mango tree in Kamuli. [pullquote]We agreed on the name “Bulungi Tree Shade,” thanks to our mango tree, which gives us shade during worship.[/pullquote] The word “Bulungi” means “welcome,” and we are welcoming to all. On any given Sunday, we have at least 53 adults and 75 children, many of them orphans and children with HIV, as we meet on the campus of a school and orphanage.

On Mixture (November 2018)

Our Racism Dear Editor: From cover to cover, the September/October 2018 edition of Western Friend made plain the grievous suffering caused by racism. Our racism.

On Mixture (November 2018)

Offensive Dear Editor: Since I first went to sub-Saharan African in 1964, I have often had to respond to negative and derogatory comments about Black Africa. For example, I have twice complained to Quaker publications where, in the captions for pictures, they gave the names of the White Americans but not of the Black Africans in the same picture. The greatest transgression is what I call African porn – using this definition of pornography: “the depiction of acts in a sensational manner so as to arouse a quick intense emotional reaction.” This is often extremely humiliating pictures of poor, starving Africans, frequently children. 

On Mixture (November 2018)

Peace with Frisbees Ultimate Peace, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that runs a summer sports camp, teaching ultimate frisbee to Muslim and Jewish teenagers near Ashkelon, at the edge of the Negev Desert in Israel, about eight miles from the Gaza Strip. For many years, I have helped to manage this organization from afar and have long been inspired by stories of Jewish and Muslim teenagers meeting each other, building relationships, and learning how to resolve their disagreements peacefully. But, after being asked to assume a greater leadership role, I felt that I had to see it for myself. My son, Aidan Murphy, had just graduated from college, and the timing was perfect.

On Weapons (January 2019)

Free eBook: Remixing Faith Dear Friends: Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to refine and summarize some of my thinking as it pertains to the concepts of convergent Friends, remix, and renewing faith traditions. I worked to distill down some of the ideas that I think are most important, and I have put them together in an eBook to share with Friends. This book is complete with lots of pictures and illustrations that add to the reading experience. I wanted to share this book with all of you, to make it as accessible as possible, so it is free to download as an eBook or PDF. Please find this book, Remixing Faith, at: gatheringinlight.com/2018/11/20/new-ebook-remixing-faith-now-available/

On Weapons (January 2019)

A Progressive Water Policy Platform The San Joaquin Valley of California is the most productive agricultural region in the world yet also has the highest levels of poverty, pollution, and hunger in the United States. This paradox did not occur by happenstance, nor should the poor be blamed for their condition. Geographies are planned and constructed; by definition, imprinted with our designs.

On Water (March 2019)