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Haregewoin’s Wail For a single moment, time collapsed in the Tucson International Airport. Heads turned abruptly. Passersby stopped dead in their hurried tracks. A soul-deep wail erupted from the throat of a sturdy woman with a mighty set of lungs. Haregewoin’s cry shattered the hubbub and echoed off the sterile walls, like thunder. All throughout the terminal, from baggage claim to the Homeland Security screening lines, a haunting stillness presided. Haregewoin’s two children and her husband had just arrived by plane from Africa, just stepped into view, and stood there atop the arrival ramp escalator, fifty yards away from her. [pullquote]Haregewoin had not laid eyes on her family in years, had not been sure that she ever would. Her wail was a wail of anguish and ecstasy, like the prophets of old.[/pullquote]

On Separation (November 2019)

Martha and Mary There is a short story in Luke’s gospel about two sisters, Martha and Mary. One way people have often found meaning in this story is to see Martha and Mary as representative of two “ways” of spirituality – the contemplative way (Mary) and the active way (Martha). The idea being not that one is more important than the other but that they are both essential, each “way” to be held in balance, enriching the other.

On Separation (November 2019)

Quaker Culture: Unpopular Stands If pressure is brought upon you to lower your standard of integrity, are you prepared to resist it? Our responsibilities to God and our neighbor may involve us in taking unpopular stands. Do not let the desire to be sociable, or the fear of seeming peculiar, determine your decisions.

On Separation (November 2019)

Beautiful Article about Minding the Earth Dear Editor: “A New Story for Earth” by Mary Ann Percy, in the November/December issue, is one of the best articles that I have ever read. I happened to read it right after our meeting held our second-hour discussion one First Day, concerning what each of us can do to be more mindful of the earth (and promised to try). I think we might discuss this article in another second hour soon. It ties a lot of big questions and big concepts together really well, and it is beautifully written.

On Mediation (January 2020)

A Needless Dualism Dear Editor: I appreciated Matt Boswell of Sierra-Cascade’s article on Martha and Mary. How gracious, profound, inspired, and true that these two women’s approaches to Jesus and life were both important and valid. A both-and, not an either-or. Thanks, Matt, for deconstructing yet another needless dualism.

On Mediation (January 2020)

On Mediation Love and truth spring forth in all times and all places – even in the hearts of chaos and corruption. We strive to follow the Good Way, but only in vain can we define it. Dust devils of DNA whirl down the generations, rampaging, making things new, making things fit, breaking eggs to make omelettes. To our surprise, we arrive in this life. Then we do our best to do the right thing, never really knowing all the good and all the damage we are causing.

On Mediation (January 2020)

Visual Ministry Something about the process of capturing, editing, printing, and viewing images often leads me to think beyond the subject itself, to search what other meanings might be suggested by the subject matter, the lighting, the mood, or arrangement of items in the composition. When the process is internal, I think of it as offering visual queries. Sometimes, when I hang prints in the meetinghouse for others to see, I imagine the process as being visual ministry.

On Art (March 2020)

Mary Dyer’s Hymn (2nd review) As ever, Stan Searl’s poems are a glory, a pleasure, and an incantation, whether he hymns in praise of God or records one man’s heartfelt, sometimes agonizing love for his child. This volume, however, goes further and is a history lesson as well. The benign version of Puritans, which some of us learned in childhood, is overwhelmed by the facts we confront in these poems, as we watch the Puritans hang Mary Dyer and drive other colonists and Native Americans to their deaths.

On Art (March 2020)