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The Show Goes Wrong The show goes wrong. This is my mantra as a pastor. My congregants hear me say it a lot, and it’s usually followed by a laugh. It’s not something I came up with myself. I give credit to Andy Dwyer, a character from the sitcom Parks and Rec. His “incorrect” version of “the show must go on” is actually far better than the original. His version is one to live by. I do not think there could be a more fitting maxim for a new pastor in the throes of a pandemic.

On Tricks (May 2021)

Bitcoin: A Consideration for Friends In 1779, Quaker abolitionist Warner Mifflin wrote and circulated a tract that was both thoughtful and provocative: “Statement Concerning His Refusal to Use and Circulate Continental Currency.” (A copy of this tract can be found today in the Friends Historical Library at Swarthmore College.)

On Debt (July 2021)

Creating Resilience for Climate Justice (abridged) [The following text was drawn from a complete manuscript of Cherice Bock’s keynote talk, which is published at: https://westernfriend.org/media/creating-resilience-climate-justice-unabridged]

On Cliques (September 2021)

Richmond Anti-Draft Declaration of 1948 Friends are exhorted to adhere faithfully to [our] testimony against all wars and fightings, and in no way to unite with any warlike measure such as a Selective Service Draft or Universal Military Training . . . A living concern having been expressed that Friends’ practices be consistent with their professions, Friends are urged: 

On Cliques (September 2021)

Goatwalking is Back! Dear Friends: For the first time in thirty years, you can buy a new copy of: Arizona Quaker Jim Corbett’s book Goatwalking.

On Cliques (September 2021)

On Cliques Semi-permeable membranes are essential to the flourishing of most organic life on Earth. From bacteria to civilizations, our lives exist within vibrant walls that delineate, protect, and provision us.

On Cliques (September 2021)

The Color of Law (review) The GI Bill was a White guy thing. Yes, the famous law that gave so many young veterans a good start in life after World War II. Although technically, it was for all veterans, in practice, African-Americans found it impossible to get the promised support. Before long, they stopped applying for it. And that was only the beginning. In his 2017 book, The Color of Law, Richard Rothstein shows that many housing laws were designed to discriminate against African-Americans. He shows that it was in fact the policy of the federal government to discriminate in housing. And he shows how racial discrimination in housing led to the segregated society we know today; divisions by neighborhood, by financial situation, by profession, and by level of education – all come out of housing discrimination.

On Cliques (September 2021)

The Depth of Our Belonging (review) Many people educated in the rational laws of Newtonian physics have difficulty accepting mysticism or even the concept of God. Although Mary Conrow Coelho was raised in an environment of Quaker mysticism, she found no place for that outlook in the materialistic (pre-quantum) science degree she pursued in college. Nevertheless, she continued her exploration of religion in general and mysticism in particular until she discovered the newer quantum physics, which offered her a way to reconcile the two realities of her life – the external/materialistic and the internal/mystic.

On Words (November 2021)

Freedom, Fraternity, and Friends (abridged) [The following text was excerpted from: https://westernfriend.org/media/freedom-fraternity-friends.]

On Freedom (January 2022)