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A Guide to Faithfulness Groups (review) I notice a steady growth of intentional spiritual practice among independent Friends. In the past two decades, programs such as “Way of the Spirit” and “Experiment with Light” have been established and started to thrive. More independent Friends are venturing into chaplaincy or other ministries that were once considered unsuitable for unprogrammed Quakers. Guidance for daily devotional practice and prayer is now offered in recent editions of our books of discipline. I’ve found my spiritual life benefitting from some of this shift in culture that’s developed in our local meeting and around our yearly meeting.

On Normality (July 2022)

The Dwindling Younger Generation During this Annual Session of North Pacific Yearly Meeting, we have reflected on the many aspects of Quakerism which have led us to this intentional community. Young Adult Friends are led here out of gratitude for the many intangible gifts Friends offer. We are drawn to this non-authoritative community because we value equality in action. We feel grateful for intergenerational community . . . Out of care for this community and its future, we feel led to express our concerns about the way the Society of Friends is operating.

On Cooperation (September 2022)

Botany on an Endangered Planet I have spent my whole life learning about the natural world. I am a professional botanist whose career was focused for fifty-plus years on trying to use science to understand and “save” specific unusual components of our earth’s ecosystems. I have learned a lot about climate change over the many years since Al Gore published Earth in the Balance in 1992, which my life partner, Dr. Charles Avery, used as a textbook in his Northern Arizona University conservation classes.  However, in recent decades, I have become increasingly sad, frustrated, angry, and sometimes depressed that humans in general, and climate-change-deniers in particular, are threatening the health of our whole earth.

On Science (November 2022)

Toward a Science of Nonviolent Action [The original version of this article, with footnotes and more detail, is published online at: westernfriend.org/media/toward-science-nonviolent-action-unabridged]

On Science (November 2022)

Have Hope, Choose Love, Be Kind Dear Friends: This year, Gila Friends Meeting designed and produced a yard sign that we have been selling to Friends at yearly meetings. It reads, “Have hope / Choose love / Be kind.”

On Science (November 2022)

Listening During Meeting: An Apologia The ear listens, the mind translates. How many times during meeting for worship have I gotten it backwards! I listen with my mind. I ask a question or mull over a problem inside my head and hope God will hear me and answer back, inside me. Then if a worthy thought emerges, I stand to speak. Or if nothing, I’ll blame hearing the bus rumbling down the street, so loud and distracting.

On Science (November 2022)

Persistence Naval Air Station Whidbey Island (NASWI) is a major military base on the island where I live. One of the noisiest planes in the world is stationed here, the EA-18G Growler. When deployed during bombing missions, the Growler works from an aircraft carrier deck and provides electronic jamming of enemy radar. While stationed on Whidbey, Growler pilots practice their maneuvers for landing on aircraft carriers. This practice involves multiple approaches to a small landing strip in central Whidbey, where the planes do touch-and-go exercises, sometimes for hours at a time, both night and day.

On Conflict (January 2023)

On Conflict As Friends, it matters to us that we try to listen. Those times when we are forced to admit that, in fact, we actually have not been paying attention . . . well, we want to fix it. The impulse to repair misunderstandings is commonplace. But the ability to follow through on such repair often takes more patience and humility than a person can muster on a given day.

On Conflict (January 2023)

Compassionate Listening in Alabama Last October, with the help of Friends, friends, and the community college where I teach, Tim Reed and I took the “Compassionate Listening Journey to Alabama.” This is a fantastic trip conducted by the Compassionate Listening Project, a legacy of Quaker peacemaker Gene Knudsen Hoffman, designed to cultivating compassion for ourselves and others. [pullquote]The Project has organized similar journeys to Israel and Palestine for many years. This was their second journey to Alabama.[/pullquote]

On Conflict (January 2023)