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Privilege and The Other (unabridged)

[This article is abridged from a longer one, published online at https://westernfriend.org/media/privilege-and-other-unabridged.]

On Cliques (September 2021)

23rd-Century-Ready Quaker Institutions

Upon my arrival in Richmond, Indiana – after years of ministry in San Francisco, California – I would often walk the campus in the awareness that Earlham College had been standing at the time of the Civil War. I think often about the tension between spectacular, Ezekiel-like revelations from God and what happens when we attempt to translate such revelations into structured communities.

On Words (November 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)

The Ground from which Miracles Spring

I didn’t want to join the committee. As a “released Friend,” my role is to follow the leadings of my music ministry out in the world, freed from responsibility for the business of Multnomah Monthly Meeting. But I have found myself reckoning lately with a firehose of Spirit blasting a message through me that has nothing to do with songs or cello. In September 2021, this message came out in an epistle, which was published October 30 in Western Friend’s weekly email newsletter. This epistle, “Returning to the Body,” arose from my experience serving on Multnomah’s ad-hoc committee concerned with the question of how to worship in this age of pandemic. [See: https://westernfriend.org/returning-body]

On Freedom (January 2022)

Calls to the Annual Sessions 2022

[The following texts were abridged from the originals, which are available at: https://westernfriend.org/calls-annual-sessions-2022 ]

On Alternatives (March 2022)

Hybrid and/or Embodied Worship (1)

Dear Friends: In response to Anna Fritz’s article in support of in-person worship, I can only say, “That Friend speaks my mind.” I stopped sitting in front of a screen for meeting for worship when I discovered I could no longer be “present” there, nor pretend that I was. If virtual meeting for worship continues for much longer, I will invite two-to-three F(f)riends to worship in person in my home instead, in the spirit of Matthew 18:20, “When two or three gather together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”

On Alternatives (March 2022)

Hybrid and/or Embodied Worship (4)

[This letter was abridged from a longer original, which you can find at: https://westernfriend.org/letters-marchapril-2022]

On Alternatives (March 2022)

Listen to Our Hearts’ Song (review)

Recently, a neighbor came to my door holding a manuscript. She’s a retired librarian from Berkeley, California, and she handed me a document, titled Listen to Our Hearts’ Song: Women in Jail for Peace.

On Alternatives (March 2022)