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Free Films on Nonviolence Dear Friends: Great News!! Five excellent films on the power of nonviolent action and nonviolent movements are now available for free all over the world in twenty different languages. These are powerful films and will hopefully educate and inspire people to build powerful nonviolent actions and campaigns for peace, justice, and environmental sanity in their own communities and cities. Please share this message and this link widely: www.nonviolent-conflict.org/icncfilms/

On Weapons (January 2019)

Quaker Culture: Spiritual Weapons [We] have been enabled to see a splendid vision of what human unity is, and of what human fellowship may be, and have of necessity been filled with a profound sense of the evil of violating this fellowship. This vision has brought us a renewed faith in the power of spiritual forces to build the structure of humanity, and to redeem it from error and wrong. . . Backed by these convictions, we hold the moral law of gentleness and forgiveness and love to be unconditionally binding upon us now. It seems a poor and pitiful thing to believe in principles except when they may have to be applied, in forgiveness only when there is nothing to forgive, in love only for those who love us. . .  May we be faithful to the vision! It bears with it a grave but splendid responsibility.

On Weapons (January 2019)

Quaker Culture: Diversity of Beliefs The many words and phrases Friends use for the divine life and power at the heart of the universe reflect the diversity of beliefs and variety of experiences among us. What one Friend may understand as the Inward Christ, another Friend may understand as the Ground of Being. Over the centuries, Friends have used many such words and phrases: God, the Eternal, the Truth, the Holy Spirit, the Divine Principle, the Light Within, the Inward (or Inner) Light, the Seed, the Light of Christ, Christ Within, the Living God, Lord, the Word, Power, True Silence, Spirit, Source, Grace, Presence, and others. All such terms are weak attempts to express the inexpressible – that which is beyond words.

On Mixture (November 2018)

Dispatch from the Edge We had heard about the Snowflake Museum from friends in Kansas City and decided to make a pilgrimage for the holidays. The kids of course had never seen snow, though they had heard the occasional story. Our parents, after all, were the last generation to witness it first hand in Kansas. But there are several spots along the Continental Divide where a skiff of snow may appear from time to time, though it is very rare any more. It’s been ten years or so since the last sighting up on Monarch Crest, according to Professor Fairdiwel, the curator of the museum.

On Water (March 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)

River Magic “I started studying rivers pretty late in life,” says the ebullient voice of my mid-20s-research-technician-self. “Actually, I got a master’s degree in Forestry first.”

On Water (March 2019)

Appalling Content (1) Dear Editor: I am saddened by your increasing use of web sites for you publication. Like nearly half of Americans, I cannot afford a computer system and, as we age out, that number will increase. This is a new form of classism and exclusion. My understanding of Quakerism is to be in the world but not of it – and to strive for simplicity.

On Water (March 2019)

Appalling Content (2) Dear Friends: We needed to learn the struggle of Quaker Alice Herz, who died in 1965. Without warning, we are plunged into her story by the poem “Ten Days,” found in the Jan/Feb 2019 issue of Western Friend.

On Water (March 2019)

Council of Elders Dear Editor: I am part of the Council of Elders, a volunteer organization in the Rogue Valley of southern Oregon, committed to promoting civil discourse. We started this organization after hearing about Better Angels (www.better-angels.org), a nation-wide organization that sprang up after the politically polarized  2016 elections. We invited them to do a workshop with us, which inspired my excitement and hope.

On Water (March 2019)