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A search result that is a person’s name followed by “(person)” often links to a list of articles written by that person.

Quakers Do What! Why? (review) I am convinced again, Friends! Credit goes to Quakers Do What! Why?, a 72-page booklet from Quaker Quicks, written by Rhiannon Grant. In it, she takes the reader through a wide range of beliefs and practices of unprogrammed Quakers, using a friendly, conversational style. For example, the first chapter is titled: “Wait – Quakers still exist?” This book is great for people interested in exploring what it means to be Quaker as well as being full of great reminders for seasoned Friends. 

On Words (November 2021)

Hybrid and/or Embodied Worship (5) [This letter was abridged from a longer original, which you can find at: https://westernfriend.org/letters-marchapril-2022]

On Alternatives (March 2022)

It’s OK to Talk about Quakerism Sometimes we are reluctant to talk about our Quakerism with friends, neighbors, and co-workers. In my (so far unpublished) research on expressing Quaker spirituality in the workplace, I interviewed one person who said that when a co-worker found out he was a Quaker, he was stunned. “I worked next to you for five years and had no idea you were a Quaker.”

On Normality (July 2022)

Gandhi’s Smile So, if you are anything at all like me, you might have to admit that, underneath it all, you are angry – and angry most, if not all, of the time. I know I am. This is not the world I bargained for. This is not the economic system I bargained for, the political system I bargained for, the system of education I bargained for. I never signed up for global racism, for worldwide environmental collapse, for overpowering patriarchal institutions that devalue more than half the world’s population, for a cloud of nuclear war hanging over my head.

On Normality (July 2022)

Deep Hope in Optimystical Times (abridged) For decades, I’ve been talking publicly about the gathering catastrophes of climate change and social injustice, and about the decline of the Society of Friends. Sounds pretty gloomy, I know. My day job as a palliative care chaplain at a large urban hospital entails sitting at the feet of those very powerful teachers named in Buddhist tradition: old age, sickness, and death.

On Cooperation (September 2022)

Mountain Time Edifice of rock and ice born of molten silicates       thrust from below the earth’s rocky skin, built of clouds of rock ash and rivers of liquid stone, patiently etched by streams of ice fed by winter storms.

On Science (November 2022)

Steel to Flint “For the last time, I am ordering you to depart the grounds of Griffiss Air Force Base or you will be subject to arrest.” On a crisp spring morning in 1984, I came to realize – in a hands-on, hand-cuffed kind of way – that I was not just a participant in conflict; I was also its student. The tension in the air that day was as taut and clear as the bright blue line demarcating the base. I had just crossed that line, along with my nonviolent comrades, and I realized I had things to learn.

On Conflict (January 2023)

How to Avoid a Climate Disaster (review) I can almost guarantee that there will be some parts of this book that you won’t like. This is especially true of the agricultural policies Bill Gates promotes and his advocacy of nuclear power to generate electricity. You may be, as I am, appalled by his great wealth. As Bernie Sanders says, it is obscene. But this book is so valuable that I ask you to look past those difficulties and see within Bill Gates a person with That of God within him. His philanthropic work shows that he listens to that Voice. It has given him a heart for the poor. An essential part of his plan is to encourage economic growth in poor countries. “It would be immoral and impractical to try to stop people who are lower on the economic ladder from climbing up.” Economic development in these countries would increase greenhouse gas emissions. That is part of the reason Gates sees innovation as essential.

On Conflict (January 2023)

The Perception of the Heart In our highly commercial world, the way we think of the heart’s emotional capacity is mostly limited to its role in romantic love. As wonderful as romance can be, this trivializes the heart. The heart is an organ of perception. It’s where we go to make sense of feeling states we can’t quite pin down, try as we might to encapsulate them in words.

On Perception (March 2023)