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Steel to Flint

“For the last time, I am ordering you to depart the grounds of Griffiss Air Force Base or you will be subject to arrest.” On a crisp spring morning in 1984, I came to realize – in a hands-on, hand-cuffed kind of way – that I was not just a participant in conflict; I was also its student. The tension in the air that day was as taut and clear as the bright blue line demarcating the base. I had just crossed that line, along with my nonviolent comrades, and I realized I had things to learn.

On Conflict (January 2023)

Phoenix Meeting on Abortion

Dear Friends: On Sunday, December 4, 2022, at our regular Meeting for Worship for Business, Phoenix Monthly Meeting approved a minute on abortion.

On Conflict (January 2023)

Friendly Leadership (review)

Donn Weinholtz’s practical new book, Friendly Leadership: Humanely Influencing Others, connects Quaker values with research on how organizations function (or don’t). In it, Weinholtz shows ways for Friends to bring their Quaker spiritual practices into the secular mix as well as in service to their Quaker meetings.

On Conflict (January 2023)

Martyrs for Conscience’s Sake

“Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” These words were written by Lord Acton in 1887. Throughout the ages, we have seen this: When autocrats exercise power corruptly, heroic persons stand up to challenge them. This essay is a brief history of just a few of the countless individuals who have spoken truth to power over the past 2500 years and who sacrificed their lives for it. Let us not forget them.

On Loss (May 2023)

What I’ve Been Trying to Say

I believe that we may – likely do – have new Friends, especially young Friends and Friends who live isolated or far away, schooled by the pandemic years, who have never attended a Quaker meeting for worship in person, but only online. Rather than simply rejoice that they found us at all, we need to invite such newcomers to attend meeting for worship somewhere, sometime, in person.

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)