Western Friend logo

Search

A search result that only shows a person’s name often links to a list of articles written by that person.

Immersed in Prayer (review)

Over two dozen people share their thoughts and stories about their prayer lives in this collection edited by Michael Resman. Immersed in Prayer: Stories from Lives of Prayer arose from a project of the editors of the publication What Canst Thou Say, who developed sixteen queries about prayer life, which they sent to their subscribers and Quaker organizations. They ranged from “What happens when you pray?” to “What ways did you find to work around your impediments to prayer?” The sixteen queries form the structure of this book.

On Place (May 2022)

On Living with a Concern for Gospel Ministry (review)

Quakers assert that everyone can have direct access to the Divine and that anyone can step up to or away from ministry at any time.  Brian Drayton’s On Living with a Concern for Gospel Ministry (revised and updated) is relevant for anyone who wants to embody that power in their lives more fully. One clear intention of this book is to provide guidance to individuals with particular gifts that Quaker meetings might be rusty in recognizing and supporting.

On Place (May 2022)

Normal Feelings

Hate is something normal. We know lots about hate, but hate is corrupt. Hate prevents change; hate crazes people. Hate hurts people. Hate kills people, too. We know hate, but love, love helps people. Love heals people. Love promotes justice and change. Love is peaceful and gentle. [pullquote]Love is new and different. Change scares people, but it shouldn’t.[/pullquote] We’ve gone through change multiple times. But love is normal. It always has been. It’s just mysterious. We don’t know. Love is what is life. When love’s full power is released, we become loved. Love is big, and everyone needs LOVE.

On Normality (July 2022)

That Spark of Connection

Back in the days of my Dark Night Journey, I worked hard to define what I meant by “spirit” and “spiritual.” What my reasoning mind came up with was an analogy: Just as our eyes are physical organs of sight, designed or evolved to detect certain frequencies of electromagnetic radiation, our spirits are as-yet-unidentified organs of relationship. (I hear Isaac Penington raising a Friendly alarm against this rationalistic formulation.)

On Normality (July 2022)

Normality is Ever Changing

Dear Editor: Normality is an ever-changing reality. As we go through life, our perspective of what is normal changes and evolves. Everyone’s family, work, and religious backgrounds are not the same. It’s all from a different view depending on the person.

On Normality (July 2022)

A Sacred Space

Dear Editor: I write regarding the article “Place of Privilege” by Ann Clendenin in the May/June 2022 issue of Western Friend.

On Normality (July 2022)

Positively Quaker

My smartphone bristles with news every day. I mostly ignore it, knowing the news items trend toward the sensational and quirky, not balanced reporting. But recently, the words “Toxic Positivity” appeared as a headline, and that got me to thinking.

On Cooperation (September 2022)

Two Crows

I’d stopped in the back parking lot to adjust a bike clip and noticed two crows noticing the guy in the apron coming out the back door to dump the garbage. “Lookit that,” the one crow says to his mate, “Opposable thumbs! That is so cool.” His partner picked up a cigarette butt, looked at it, dropped it. “Dude,” she said, “I’ve got opposable thumbs; you’ve got opposable thumbs; what’s the frickin’ big deal?” The other crow looked at her. “Yeh, I got opposable thumbs . . . on my feet!” A half a hamburger slid off the pile, and they both eyed it coolly. Another piece fell.  The first crow went on, [pullquote]“I’ll tell ya what I saw them do this morning that really knocked me out, right there in that intersection.”[/pullquote] They continued their conversation while strolling over to the hamburger.

On Cooperation (September 2022)

Thanks for History of Gun Laws

To the Editor: Wow. Bill Durland’s piece on the Second Amendment and gun control was clear and educational. I must have slept through civics class. I learned a lot about different levels of the law and about the duty of the judicial system to balance the right to individual freedom against the right to be safe and secure. For example, one does not have the right to shout “Fire” in a crowded movie theater. No right is absolute and unlimited, including the right to bear arms. Bill is a gift to us Quakers and the greater society. Thank you, Bill. And thank you, Mary, for publishing it.

On Cooperation (September 2022)

Two Hands of Nonviolence

Dear Editor: I am writing to thank David Albert for his article, “Gandhi’s Smile,” in the July/August 2022 issue of Western Friend. I have been studying the life and work of Barbara Deming, and Albert’s article resonated with those studies. Like Gandhi, Deming addressed ways we can make use of the positive energy that anger brings, while not allowing ourselves to become overcome by its force. She used a “two hands” metaphor to help describe the tension that many of us feel in moments like the one we are living in now.

On Cooperation (September 2022)