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No Map to Sustainability (2)

Dear Editor: Friend Bob Langfelder is correct that my article is not a roadmap to get a whole society off fossil fuels. It was not meant to be. No map is necessary before a journey is undertaken. My purpose was to encourage Friends to undertake the journey.

On Secrets (July 2020)

No Map to Sustainability (1)

Dear Editor: The article by William Ashworth of Ashland, OR, in the May/June 2020 Western Friend is a perfect example of righteous, individual fossil fuel purity that judges the rest of us gas users as sinners. No analysis on how we transition to get whole society off fossil fuels. No accounting for all the fossil fuels that went into making his Chevy Bolt EV.

On Secrets (July 2020)

Growth Versus Preservation

Dear Editor: Thank you to Bettina Raphael and Western Friend for the worthy tribute to the life and legacy of Olive Rush (March/April 2020).

On Secrets (July 2020)

International Friends School

The International Friends School (IFS) has a guiding spirit. This spirt teaches us, ultimately, that consistent renewals of joyfulness and love provide the sturdiest framework for everything we will experience in life. The smallest acts of love and joy – pulling beets, helping someone after a bike scrape, hanging towels to dry in the sun with a friend – are meaningful. Together with other gestures, behaviors, and practices, these have the power to change the world, as they multiply and create a generation of people who are world-wise and heart-strong. This spirit is evident every day at IFS, a dynamic new school that is intentional in design, molded by Quaker testimonies and practices, and braided gently together by love and joy.

On Teachers (September 2020)

48 Windows Are Being Fitted

Dear Friends: My story, “48 Windows,” ran in Western Friend, May/June 2020. Through the readership, I received donations from twenty individuals and one Meeting – Kalamazoo Friends Meeting in Michigan. With your support, we raised about $4,000, enough for thirty windows that have now been fitted.

On Teachers (September 2020)

2050 Predictions (2)

My article certainly was an experiment in speculative fiction. I think that trying to create a strong, inspiring vision is one of the most important first steps in making change. Many of our movements have failed because we assumed that general support from most of the populous was enough to make big policy changes, when in fact, it’s usually a small, very dedicated, creative, and strategic group of single-minded folks that make change. I’m motivated by Sunrise Movement and how they are learning from and teaching lessons from the past, while also carrying forward their unique perspectives as young people who literally have no choice but to “Fight for our Lives.”  ~~~

On Teachers (September 2020)

Evolution of The Peace Testimony

[The following article is abridged from a more complete original text, which is available at: westernfriend.org/media/evolution-testimony.]

On Rules (November 2020)

A Fitting Punishment

Dear Friends: Drought and forest fires all over the West. Two simultaneous hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico. The North Pole going ice-free. Each summer hotter than the summer before.

On Rules (November 2020)

Speaking Truth

This article has been abridged from a longer original, which can be found at: westernfriend.org/media/speaking-truth-unabridged.

On Vision (January 2021)

Not Impossible Standards

Dear Editor: Thanks to Sharon Doyle for her interesting and informative article in the Nov/Dec 2020 Western Friend about the evolution of the peace testimony. She walked us through centuries with a thumbnail sketch that managed to contain the essence of our inconsistencies, both successes and failures. I have a truer and humbler appreciation for our past. It strikes me that I had similar feelings after reading Fit for Freedom, Not for Friendship. Somehow, I feel that I don’t have an impossible standard to live up to, that Quakers then are like Quakers now: We have some brave, insightful trail-blazers, and the rest of us are trailing along behind, finding excuses until our lack of integrity finally becomes clear, and we see the Light.

On Vision (January 2021)