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Thanks for History of Gun Laws To the Editor: Wow. Bill Durland’s piece on the Second Amendment and gun control was clear and educational. I must have slept through civics class. I learned a lot about different levels of the law and about the duty of the judicial system to balance the right to individual freedom against the right to be safe and secure. For example, one does not have the right to shout “Fire” in a crowded movie theater. No right is absolute and unlimited, including the right to bear arms. Bill is a gift to us Quakers and the greater society. Thank you, Bill. And thank you, Mary, for publishing it.

On Cooperation (September 2022)

Dancing with History (review) The title of this book beautifully describes George Lakey’s preferred way to engage with the world: Dancing with History. I thoroughly enjoyed this memoir about Lakey’s roots and his path over eighty-four years.

On Cooperation (September 2022)

Revolutionary Nonviolence Dear Editor: I was delighted to see an article about Lawrence and Viola Scott and their Quaker activities in the “Pages for All Ages” section of the July/August 2022 issue of Western Friend.

On Science (November 2022)

Olive Rush’s Legacy Dear Friends: Some of you might be interested in further information on the significant Quaker artist, Olive Rush. My article “Olive Rush and Her Legacy” was published in Western Friend in the March/April, 2020 issue. The Santa Fe Monthly Meeting is still wrestling with the issues of preserving her legacy. However, the decision on the future of the Olive Rush Studio and its collection seems relevant to a broader Quaker community and not just one small meeting. In March 2022, I presented a slide lecture on Olive Rush’s mural paintings for the National New Deal Preservation Association of New Mexico. A copy of that presentation, “Olive Rush’s Paintings on the Walls of New Mexico,” is posted online. You can view it at: tinyurl.com/OliveRushPresentation

On Science (November 2022)

Sociocracy Dear Compassionate Listening Community: Our facilitators have been gathering for brave, courageous meetings, to practice what we preach: listening and speaking from the heart. During a recent meeting, one of our facilitators said, “You can’t dialogue with someone that you can’t hear!” Our practices are not easy. . . We all know how hard it can be to listen to someone when we are feeling deeply triggered. It takes skill and courage!

On Science (November 2022)

Community v. Crisis Recently, I had an opportunity to learn about the  fragility of our country’s current health care system and its social safety net. At the same time, I renewed my appreciation for my community and my Friends meeting.

On Conflict (January 2023)

Messages to Meetings (review) For Christians, epistolary writing (letter writing) dates back to the Apostles and early church fathers, who visited fledgling Christian communities to offer support, encouragement, and correction, which they later continued by way of writing. In like manner, Brian Drayton, a traveling Quaker minister, has written letters to Quaker meetings he has served. He explains that he wrote these out of a sense of “unfinished business” and “motions of love.” Messages to Meetings is a collection of some of these letters, some relevant blog posts, and even notes from some of Drayton’s vocal ministry.

On Conflict (January 2023)

Beyond Linear Thinking (review) Beyond Linear Thinking (2022) is a page-turner in which Linda Seger uses humor, spiritual wisdom, and practical advice, supported by scientific research, to describe ways of moving beyond linear, competitive, hierarchical, patriarchal thinking – toward cooperation, equality, and diversity. I love the metaphors of line, circle, spiral, and web that she uses to explore these different thinking models. I also like her repetition of this point: holding a goal larger than the self is one way to avoid the pitfalls of pride and the pettiness of hierarchy.

On Perception (March 2023)