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News as Spiritual Exercise It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the torrents that flow from TV, radio, social media, and the occasional print publication. Vast arrays of information, persuasion, entertainment, and junk threaten our sanity. They can also condition our attitudes and perceptions in ways that we are not even aware of. As Friends, we want to engage with news media in ways that reflect our deepest values. But how?

On Cliques (September 2021)

Open the Channel To celebrate the release of my third solo album, I played a big concert (of course). This was in 2016. I remember the nearly sold-out crowd gathering in the swanky Portland club and me, sitting in the back stairwell behind the stage, trying desperately not to barf, trying to ground back into my shaking-with-adrenaline body. Part of my difficulty lay in knowing that the people buying cocktails and chatting with their friends were there for a little Saturday night entertainment, while I was there to do battle – a spiritual warrior, fighting my way through self-doubt, fear, and a broken culture’s demands that I be small and obedient and perfect.

On Control (July 2019)

Not by Our Strength Alone - Unabridged Not by My Strength Alone: Laboring Together Beyond Our Comfort Zones

On Love (September 2013)

On Perception Like circus cars ejecting impossible numbers of clowns right before our eyes, we humans emit endless parades of bright ideas into the crowded world. Then we jostle among all the world’s other creatures – animals, vegetables, minerals – and find ourselves wondering, now and then, about our own integrity, the coherence of our lives.

On Perception (March 2023)

Playing Violent Games in Peace In his recent article, “ISIS’s Call of Duty,” Jay Caspian Kang describes similarities between ISIS recruitment films and first-person-shooter games – similarities that are likely intentional (The New Yorker, September 18, 2014). Kang’s article is one of many that play into a larger debate about the role of violent videogames and other violent media in our culture. This debate has continued unresolved for decades, and both sides often succumb to strong emotions and hyperbolic statements. I feel this leads to a shutdown in communication between groups, and that is the issue I would like to address in this article.

On Temptation (November 2014)

Vision for the Day to Be Peace I ask of thee of river, Peace, Peace, Peace. When I learn to live serenely, cares will cease. From the hills I gather courage, vision for the day to be. Strength to lead and faith to follow, All are given unto me. Peace I ask of thee of river, Peace, Peace, Peace.                     by Gwyneth Walker

On Vision (January 2021)

Finding Truth in the Time of Hysteria Before they were nicknamed Quakers, the early converts of Fox called themselves the Publishers of Truth. But in today’s world of manufactured news, click bait, and iPhone reporting – What is the truth?  No matter what news source you subscribe to, our media seem to thrive on hysteria. The world is about to collapse from global warming, ISIS, international bankers, too much control, too little control, the breakdown of the family, racism, globalism, nationalism, the fraying of our social fabric or all of the above.

On Media (September 2016)

A Different Gender Story Numerous people around the world do not identify with the gender that they were assigned at birth, yet the media tend to focus on one story: There is a teenager who always knew that something was off in their life from a young age. They came to realize that they are transgender (only ever falling under the gender binary of male or female) and then come out to their parents, who either accept them or take some time to do so. This story is told again and again; there’s nothing invalid about it. But it is important to look at other stories as well, to see the full picture of what it is to not be cisgender. Since I am currently in the middle of my own personal journey towards finding my gender, I am sharing my story here as one that does not fit the stereotype.

On Insight (March 2017)

Borders and Migrations An interview with Adriana Jasso by Greg Elliott

On Countries (January 2016)

A Deeper Understanding of Racism Racism no longer hides below the surface in our country. It has broken out into the open boldly, loudly, and deadly – and not only here in the USA but also around the world. With social media and video cameras in nearly everyone’s hands, we see the violence of racism daily in our own cities, towns, and neighborhoods. And all the while, the USA admonishes other countries for their lack of human rights and abuses of authority.

On Flesh (November 2016)