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Gratitude for Role Models To the editor: Thank you for sharing excerpts from Lee and Asia Bennett’s presentation at Horizon House in the May/June issue. What a meaning-filled, interesting and spiritually rich journey these two “socially inexperienced young people” have shared for more than sixty years, since marrying halfway through their sophomore year in college! I had the pleasure of knowing Asia while we were both involved with the AFSC, and I recall her leadership with much affection and gratitude.

On Bosses (July 2018)

Seeking Dear Editor: Seeking is woven tightly, Lightly, into our original vocation as Friends. One does not seek what one already knows, but rather, the unknown. Someplace new. The Light within us is brightened by that in others and way becomes clearer. I believe the journey is as sacred as the destination and asking directions is akin to seeking cairns. Together. Ram Dass says, “All we’re doing is walking each other home.” I would add . . . “to a place we’ve never been before.”

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)

NPYM Faith & Practice in Uganda Dear Friends: At the rise of meeting in Olympia this past Sunday [May 6], I heard from David Albert that our recently published NPYM Faith & Practice is being used by a newly formed worship group in eastern Uganda. By report, the Ugandans find it a valuable guide in their formation as Friends. I’m astonished and delighted.

On Bosses (July 2018)

Please Proofread More Carefully Dear Editor: I was startled by several errors in the May/June 2018 issue of Western Friend.

On Bosses (July 2018)

Primitive Quakerism Revived (review) The path of spiritual growth has few shortcuts. In fact, the path is often uncertain, as if you were hiking at night on a narrow trail without a flashlight. Paul Buckley, in Primitive Quakerism Revived, challenges any timid pace we might take in our transformation – as individuals and as religious communities. He writes, “This book calls on Quakers today to . . . repossess the essential principles that energized and strengthened [seventeenth-century] Friends of Truth, to apply those principles to the various societies and cultures we live in around the world, and, once again, to be patterns and examples to our neighbors.”

On Bosses (July 2018)

Revitalize Unions Dear Editor: Regarding Kiernan Colby’s article in the July/August issue, “Unite for Dignity and Respect,” I want to bring to Friends’ attention successful organizing in Missouri over the last year. The Missouri campaign mobilized over 300,100 people to sign petitions to put an initiative on the ballot to block implementation of “right-to-work” legislation in the state. Union members then knocked on thousands of doors, engaged in one-on-one conversations across the state, and successfully mobilized voters to pass the initiative at the polls on August 7, thus turning back efforts in Missouri to gut private-sector unions.

On Children (September 2018)

Not So Fast Dear Editor: I want to thank Kat Northrup for her article, “Race and Quakerism,” in May/June 2018 Western Friend. She has articulated very well my own observations and concerns. I was struck by this comment: “[The] uncomfortable feeling of disingenuous tokenism . . . is a hard feeling to avoid, unless one is already familiar with how highly the Quaker community values honesty.” I think in this case, Northrup is letting Quakers off the hook too easily. Valuing honesty is not the same as being honest. My range of Quaker experience is limited, but I have observed many who are quick to find the mote in another’s eye and maybe slower to examine their own (sometimes unconscious) biases and motivations. I wonder sometimes if, when we speak of “diversity,” we mean we want to be with people just like us, only with different color skins. Those of us who have found a spiritual home in a Quaker faith community want to share it. But can we share it with those who do not have the same social and political concerns that we have? Can those of us who identify as Christians, as followers of the teachings of Jesus, feel comfortable talking about our relationship with God and Scripture?

On Children (September 2018)

In Memory of Mary Dyer The martial music plays, bronzed alive only the invisible songs survive to fuse two sculptures in a final swoon singing today’s melodies of hope and doom, the Holy Spirit’s breath whispering between them as Mary Dyer speaks to the Colonel’s men, urging them to ascend to Jesus once again, chanting songs of the beginning and the end

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)