Western Friend logo

Search

Quaker Culture: Clerks and Committees For Friends . . . “A lot of work happens in Quaker committees. A lot of work is done by appointed individuals. (We hesitate to call them Officers, as that sounds quite corporate or military.) A lot of work is carried out by those who know how to do it. . . Committees are appointed for action, not for stalling or burying an issue. Quaker individuals work as best they can; they are not figure-heads and do not have honorific titles. For example, the Meeting has a Clerk. In old English that meant a secretary, a servant. The Clerk and others serve the Meeting as workers, as servants, not as high-handed administrators.”

On Bosses (July 2018)

Epistle on Immigration Epistle on Immigration from Amigas del Señor Monastary, May 22, 2018

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)

Two Views of One Quaker Workplace Katie: I’ve worked for Linda Seger for six years, mainly doing her typing. Linda is not supposed to work at the computer because she has a neurological condition called dystonia, so she has hired me part time to do typing and office management. However, that is not my background. I have an M.A. degree in Early American Culture and a B.A. degree in Art History. Before working for Linda, I had a thirty-year museum career at various institutions, the most recent being the curator of the Colorado Springs History Museum. 

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)

What is Tribe? I was living in the Mua Hills of Kenya in 1969, an area where the Kamba tribe is predominant. One day I was walking down the road and noticed a group of Maasai – the Kenyan tribe beloved by tourists – at the home of a local villager. Kamba and Maasai cultures are quite different from each other. The Kamba care for small farms – growing corn, beans, bananas, and other crops, along with a few cows, goats, sheep, and chickens. The Maasai are a pastoral people who traditionally raised cattle and lived off them, including drinking their blood.

On Children (September 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)

Offensive Dear Editor: Since I first went to sub-Saharan African in 1964, I have often had to respond to negative and derogatory comments about Black Africa. For example, I have twice complained to Quaker publications where, in the captions for pictures, they gave the names of the White Americans but not of the Black Africans in the same picture. The greatest transgression is what I call African porn – using this definition of pornography: “the depiction of acts in a sensational manner so as to arouse a quick intense emotional reaction.” This is often extremely humiliating pictures of poor, starving Africans, frequently children. 

On Mixture (November 2018)

Amor Fati Paradox defined: “Items and situations that seem mutually exclusive, yet somehow reflect upon each other, often creating a deeper, more nuanced truth, perhaps in dynamic tension, or complementing each other.” Like a Quaker serving in the military. I lived that paradox intermittently for seven years while serving in the reserves during medical school and residency. Then I lived it full-time during four years of active duty, which started when I completed my medical training in 2000. My first year of active duty seemed pretty benign, then 9/11/2001 happened, and my situation instantly became truly “military.” I faced impending deployment to “the sandbox,” the Middle East. 

On Weapons (January 2019)