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Individual Decision or Mutual Discernment The test for membership should not be doctrinal agreement, nor adherence to certain testimonies, but evidence of sincere seeking and striving for Truth, together with an understanding of the lines along which Friends are seeking that Truth.

On Alternatives (March 2022)

Hybrid and/or Embodied Worship (2) As meetings consider how to reimagine worship, Friends have written movingly about the value of traditional in-person Quaker worship. As I consider these heartfelt thoughts, a song comes to mind from my Methodist days: “This Is My Father’s World.”

On Alternatives (March 2022)

Hybrid and/or Embodied Worship (1) Dear Friends: In response to Anna Fritz’s article in support of in-person worship, I can only say, “That Friend speaks my mind.” I stopped sitting in front of a screen for meeting for worship when I discovered I could no longer be “present” there, nor pretend that I was. If virtual meeting for worship continues for much longer, I will invite two-to-three F(f)riends to worship in person in my home instead, in the spirit of Matthew 18:20, “When two or three gather together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”

On Alternatives (March 2022)

Forging a Relationship with Self When I was a child, I craved quiet places where I could be alone with my feelings. Sometimes I would go along the side of the house where camellia and pomegranate grew or down the stone steps to a small orchard under a tangerine tree in full fruit. Later in life, when I was old enough to be trusted, I would venture to a meadow and lie down in the tall grasses or climb high in a tree. Each of these places offered an essential opportunity to experience my inner being. [pullquote]Children have access to this “still small voice” in nature, preferably alone, where they can connect with their dreams and harness themselves for disappointment, which will surely come in life.[/pullquote]

On Place (May 2022)

The Meaning of Membership Dear Friends: I’m sad that so many people – including so many “recorded Friends” – misunderstand what “membership” in a meeting means.

On Place (May 2022)

William Penn’s “Holy Experiment” (review) I’d be interested in this book even if I weren’t a Quaker.

On Normality (July 2022)

Quaker Culture: Gather Together And know the life of God in one another, and the power of God in one another . . . Mind that which is eternal, which gathers your hearts together up to the Lord, and lets you see that ye are written in one another’s hearts; meet together everywhere.

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)

God (or Not) among Quakers [This article was excerpted from a more detailed original, which is published online at: https://westernfriend.org/media/concepts-god-or-not]

On Conflict (January 2023)