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On Politics Dear Friends: We exist as finite creatures embraced by Something Infinite. Spiritual teachers throughout the ages have shown how love and joy can shine from these electrified lumps of clay that are our bodies – how love and joy can shine from this substance of darkness and pain. That is the mystery of incarnation. Our task is not to extinguish the impulses of our flesh, but to devote them to that Infinite Something all around us – to love it with all our hearts, all our souls, all our might; and to love our neighbors as ourselves.

On Politics (July 2017)

On Bosses It’s hard to be shut out. It’s hard to be the one (or the family) whose name isn’t on the guest list, the one who is pointedly ignored in the meeting, the one on the roster of workers about to lose their jobs in the downsizing.

On Bosses (July 2018)

On Weapons Dear Friends: Almost anything can serve as a weapon, even life-giving water. All living creatures on earth have evolved (are evolving) fortifications against attack. Cellular life is fortified by membranes, and human societies are fortified by lines in the sand. Nutrients and attractive ideas gain access through those fortifications. Poisons and slander are rebuffed. Inside our fortifications, ideally, scarcity and excess are minimized as we “give us this day our daily bread;” but in actuality, scarcity and excess are the pumping pistons of empire, trampling our planet today.

On Weapons (January 2019)

On Neighbors A lamb in a green pasture is like a kid in a candy shop, or a Friend in bookshop, or a teen at the mall, or a trader at the stock exchange. You’ll see agribusiness associates hectoring the lambs: “You’re so thin! You deserve more! Eat! Eat!” Then all the lambs will gambol around the pastures, nibbling on everything, hither and yon. But my shepherd makes me to lie down. So I lie in the grass and realize I don’t want anything.

On Neighbors (September 2019)

Building Bridges (abridged) [The following text was excerpted from Kenya Casanova-Sales’s complete keynote talk, which is published at: https://westernfriend.org/media/building-bridges]

On Teachers (September 2020)

Practicing Radical Inclusivity (abridged) [The following text was excerpted from Mica Estrada’s complete keynote talk, which is published at: https://westernfriend.org/media/practicing-radical-inclusivity]

On Teachers (September 2020)

On Rules At the level of an individual family, an abused person can walk away from their abuser; they can start a new life elsewhere. That is also possible in a Quaker meeting or even in the Society of Friends – abused members of our Quaker family can leave, and they do. But it is not possible for abused members of the human family to leave the human family, even when humanity is twisted into morbid cycles of cruelty.

On Rules (November 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)

Two Quakers Living with the Military We are two Quaker women who raised our families in towns dominated by the U.S. military. Rather than shun the military and look away, we have lived our witness amidst strong military presences. One thing about being in a military town is that you can’t look away from how big a machine the military is. Each of us found that it was hard to raise a Quaker family in a community with a tiny Quaker presence and a huge military presence. It was hard for our children to find peer support with so few Friends in town. [pullquote]The military has certainly created plenty of occasions for us to talk about our testimonies and our practices in the face of headwinds.[/pullquote] Both of us have found that our situations have actually helped strengthen our faith, since we often have to live our witness when sustained by faith alone.

On Place (May 2022)

Immersed in Prayer (review) Over two dozen people share their thoughts and stories about their prayer lives in this collection edited by Michael Resman. Immersed in Prayer: Stories from Lives of Prayer arose from a project of the editors of the publication What Canst Thou Say, who developed sixteen queries about prayer life, which they sent to their subscribers and Quaker organizations. They ranged from “What happens when you pray?” to “What ways did you find to work around your impediments to prayer?” The sixteen queries form the structure of this book.

On Place (May 2022)