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Quaker Culture: Practice [We] must remember that there is one worse thing than failure to practice what we profess, and that is to water down our professions to match our practice.

On Alternatives (March 2022)

That Clear and Certain Sound (review)

What rings true? Something with “that clear and certain sound.”

On Alternatives (March 2022)

9th Street Ministries A cold Wednesday evening in May 2017 found me standing, as usual, in front of the meetinghouse on 9th Street in San Francisco. Few people passed by that night. In front of me, one of the many drug dealers who worked our neighborhood was crouched, his back to me. I grappled with conflicting feelings.

On Place (May 2022)

A Spiritual Home I have noticed that more young adults have been coming to our meetings for worship since we reopened our meetinghouse after COVID. Perhaps the pandemic gave them time to reflect. Young adulthood is naturally a time of choosing the values one will live by. I think the young people who visit our meeting are looking for ways to practice their values with other people.

On Place (May 2022)

Finding Life with the Dead My sanctuary is my favorite cemetery. It’s easy to miss if you don’t know it’s there. Shielded by shrubbery, it runs down a slope to the river. Outside, my life is rushed and I lose the bigger picture. Inside, I walk with ghostly companions, listen to their wisdom, and find perspective.

On Place (May 2022)

Magnolia Grove Monastery Batesville, Mississippi In memory of Thich Nhat Hanh, 1926-2022

On Place (May 2022)

Presence and Place When I tell people I was on Mount St. Helens on May 17, 1980, the day before the massive eruption that left fifty-seven dead, the first question they ask is, “Why?”

On Place (May 2022)

In Pursuit of Reconciliation Dear Friends: In “Alternatives to Prison” (Western Friend, March/April 2022), Susan Cozzens suggests that “Quakers by and large want to live in that Light and Love that takes away the occasion of all prisons.” Taking away “the occasion of all prisons” would seem to be a prerequisite for their abolition.

On Place (May 2022)

Three Numbers Three numbers to remember: 2, 16 and 20,000. What’s the story behind three such different numbers, and how are they all related?

On Normality (July 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)