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It’s OK to Talk about Quakerism Sometimes we are reluctant to talk about our Quakerism with friends, neighbors, and co-workers. In my (so far unpublished) research on expressing Quaker spirituality in the workplace, I interviewed one person who said that when a co-worker found out he was a Quaker, he was stunned. “I worked next to you for five years and had no idea you were a Quaker.”

On Normality (July 2022)

The Life and Religious Labors of Lloyd Lee Wilson (review) To be precise, the title of this book is: Memoir of the Life and Religious Labors of Lloyd Lee Wilson, a Minister of the Gospel of the Religious Society of Friends, Particularly of North Carolina Yearly Meeting (Conservative), to describe the workings of the Lord in the various stages of my life, showing how God is at work in all things for good, whether we perceive it so or not, and how our surrender to divine providence allows God’s work to be done in and through us for the advancement of the Realm of God.

On Cooperation (September 2022)

Mountain Time Edifice of rock and ice born of molten silicates       thrust from below the earth’s rocky skin, built of clouds of rock ash and rivers of liquid stone, patiently etched by streams of ice fed by winter storms.

On Science (November 2022)

Listening During Meeting: An Apologia The ear listens, the mind translates. How many times during meeting for worship have I gotten it backwards! I listen with my mind. I ask a question or mull over a problem inside my head and hope God will hear me and answer back, inside me. Then if a worthy thought emerges, I stand to speak. Or if nothing, I’ll blame hearing the bus rumbling down the street, so loud and distracting.

On Science (November 2022)

New Structures, New Life Sierra-Cascades Yearly Meeting of Friends (SCYMF) is a relatively new addition to the yearly meetings of Friends in the West. Many SCYMF Friends have been involved with other Western yearly meetings, formally and informally, for years, including involvement in “Convergent Friends” – a fellowship which has met occasionally for more than a decade, bringing together members of liberal “Friends Meetings” and Christian “Friends Churches.” Some of us have also participated for many years in the Pacific Northwest Quaker Women’s Theology Conferences, another opportunity for Friends from different branches to share ideas, worship, and fellowship. So, SCYMF is new, but not new.

On Conflict (January 2023)

Stop Arms from U.S. to Mexico Dear Friends: On Monday [12/5/2022], I filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) for refusing to release data on crime guns traced from Mexico and Central America back to purchases in the United States, in response to a Freedom of Information Act request I submitted last year.

On Conflict (January 2023)

Living Grief, Finding Connection As climate disasters, species extinctions, and the relentless unraveling of the Web of Life on Earth become ever more impossible to ignore, eco-anxiety becomes ever more widespread. There’s now a name for this unique mental anguish – solastalgia – a term created by environmental philosopher Glenn Albrecht in the early 2000s. Unrelenting hurricane seasons, devastating forest fires, smoke- and smog-filled air, prolonged drought, extreme heat, clear-cutting – all these can trigger solastalgia. Buddhist deep ecologist, eco-philosopher and activist Joanna Macy expresses this well in The Bestiary:

On Loss (May 2023)

The “Why” of What We Do I had an occasion recently to hear some young Friends talk about ministry services they are performing on behalf of Quakers. I have nothing but heartfelt compliments for their generous spirits and their hard work in pursuit of making the world a more humane, just, and merciful place. In light of the significant proportion of their cohort who are NOT volunteering in such efforts, I feel special appreciation that these young people are rising well above what seems to be the present norm of disengagement. For their good and faithful work, I am grateful.

On Loss (May 2023)

A Meaningful Weekend Dear Editor: I know Western Friend has focused on what our yearly and regional meetings can do to sustain and enhance their respective communities and wanted to share a bit about the spring meeting of Arizona Half Yearly Meeting (AHYM) this past March. We were blessed to have Francisco Burgos from Pendle Hill as our keynote speaker.

On Loss (May 2023)