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Etude for Belonging (review) Curiosity sent me to the dictionary to look up “etude” before opening this poetry collection.

On Cliques (September 2021)

Quakerism: The Basics (review) Two of our Western Friends, Marge and Carl Abbott, long-time members of Multnomah Monthly Meeting in Portland, Oregon, have teamed up to offer a book providing a clear, simple, and accessible overview of the Society of Friends. While the book serves as an introduction for newcomers, it also offers to all of us, new or old, an excellent review of our faith and history.

On Freedom (January 2022)

Waging Peace – Review (2013) Waging Peace: Discipline and Practice (Pendle Hill Pamphlet 420) by Pamela Haines, reviewed by Forrest Curo of San Diego Friends Meeting

On War (January 2013)

Slow Parenting Teens – Review Written by Molly Wingate and Marti Woodward

On Family (September 2014)

Waging Peace – Review (2015) If war is not the answer, what is? David Hartsough’s Waging Peace: Global Adventures of a Lifelong Activist can help an uncertain reader progress to a firm conviction that effective nonviolent means of overcoming aggression and injustice really can be discovered and applied even in extreme situations – and that we “ordinary people” can do this. What makes the book so compelling is that it is an account of the author’s direct experience as an organizer and trainer in nonviolent campaigns, and as a participant in grassroots movements around the world.

On Knowing (March 2015)

Airplants: Selected Poems - Review Artists and poets are fond of irony and William H. Matchett is no exception. The title of his selected poems refers to an editor who commented in 1872 that Emily Dickinson’s poems reminded him “of air plants that have no roots in the earth.” Well, I would note that there are at least two levels of irony here: Dickinson’s poems are deeply rooted in her New England soil of hymns, history and experience; and Matchett’s poems are deeply rooted in his location outside of Seattle, Washington, overlooking a fiord and the Olympic Mountains. In fact, exploring the irony even further, one of the underlying themes of these selected poems is Matchett’s deeply rooted celebration of place, including its geography, biology, birds, soil, plants, and their meanings.

On Needs (May 2015)

Unlacing the Heart - Review Unlacing the Heart (2015) offers a series of vignettes from Henry Freeman’s life as a fundraiser and his subsequent break from his career to do service in Central America. The accompanying study guide (by Freeman with Colin Saxton, 2016) adds scripture readings and queries for each vignette. Freeman shares a variety of experiences, including relationships he developed in El Salvador while on a mission there and interactions he had with teachers, mentors, and clients. Taken together, they fit into the Quaker tradition of sharing impactful personal experiences in worship, personal journals, and diaries; and using those to develop spiritual insight and practice. [pullquote]With each story, Freeman examines his sense of connectedness to others and identifies guideposts for his future relationships.[/pullquote] The study guide invites the reader to further consider the impact of these insights on their own style of living and relating to others.

On Insight (March 2017)

Empire of Guns (review) How free is your life from war, violence, and oppression? How free is your financial life from these forces? Satia Priya poses these questions as she traces the conflict between the Birmingham Monthly Meeting (BMM) in central England in the 1790s and the Galton family, who were members of the meeting and who made their livelihoods selling guns as England became the leading weapons manufacturer in the world. In fact, Quakers owned or managed over half of the ironworks in operation in England in the last half of the 18th Century, and weapons were a major product of the iron industry, sold to the Ordnance Office of the British Government and on the open market – throughout several decades of war and colonial expansion dominated by the British.

On Weapons (January 2019)

The Kendal Sparrow (review) Bold voices emerge from a nation wracked by years of war, political division and generational change: The origin of Early Friends was always a colorful tale. Barbara Schell Luetke uses Early Friends as a canvas on which to paint a coming-of-age portrait of individual convincement, ministry, and faithful struggle in her historical novel The Kendall Sparrow. The novel explores the seventeenth-century life and circumstances of Elizabeth Fletcher, but the parallels for today’s young Friends are resonant.

On Wealth (May 2020)

Facilitating Group Learning (review) Adults learn best through well-managed conflict, especially in multicultural groups, says George Lakey, one of the most prominent practitioners of satyagraha – the force of truth as the universe arcs toward justice. Originally published in 2010, this second edition of Lakey’s pathbreaking book appears to be aimed at college and university instructors, but it brims with insights for educators of adults in many other settings: training for social justice and social service work, professional and technical training, and even religious education that values experience as well as book learning. Our best efforts as Friends take the form of leading each other toward truthful insights through respectful, cooperative arguments over ideas. George Lakey shows us how to follow this leading.

On Teachers (September 2020)