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Hybrid and/or Embodied Worship (5) [This letter was abridged from a longer original, which you can find at: https://westernfriend.org/letters-marchapril-2022]

On Alternatives (March 2022)

Reckoning – Quakers and Indian Boarding Schools Schools don’t have graveyards. At least, that is what many believed until some gruesome recent discoveries.

On Place (May 2022)

Place of Privilege (abridged) [The following article was abridged from a version published online at:  https://westernfriend.org/place-privilege-unabridged]

On Place (May 2022)

Finding Life with the Dead My sanctuary is my favorite cemetery. It’s easy to miss if you don’t know it’s there. Shielded by shrubbery, it runs down a slope to the river. Outside, my life is rushed and I lose the bigger picture. Inside, I walk with ghostly companions, listen to their wisdom, and find perspective.

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)

2022 Calls to the Annual Sessions [The following texts were abridged from the originals, which are available at: https://westernfriend.org/calls-annual-sessions-2022 ]

On Place (May 2022)

On Normality Elizabeth Fry, the “Angel of Prisons,” would pray, “Oh Lord, may I be directed what to do and what to leave undone.” As it turned out, Fry had done quite a lot by the time her life ended in 1845 – prison reform, social reform, education reform, philanthropy – had done so much and so well that her portrait is now on the British £5 note. Fry was aware of her own growing notoriety in her day. She wrote in her journal in 1817, “Newgate Prison and myself are becoming quite a show, which is a very serious thing. I believe that it certainly does much good to the cause [of prison reform] in spreading amongst all ranks of society a considerable interest in the subject, also a knowledge of the Society of Friends and of their principles.”

On Normality (July 2022)

It’s OK to Talk about Quakerism Sometimes we are reluctant to talk about our Quakerism with friends, neighbors, and co-workers. In my (so far unpublished) research on expressing Quaker spirituality in the workplace, I interviewed one person who said that when a co-worker found out he was a Quaker, he was stunned. “I worked next to you for five years and had no idea you were a Quaker.”

On Normality (July 2022)

Three Numbers Three numbers to remember: 2, 16 and 20,000. What’s the story behind three such different numbers, and how are they all related?

On Normality (July 2022)

Two Hands of Nonviolence Dear Editor: I am writing to thank David Albert for his article, “Gandhi’s Smile,” in the July/August 2022 issue of Western Friend. I have been studying the life and work of Barbara Deming, and Albert’s article resonated with those studies. Like Gandhi, Deming addressed ways we can make use of the positive energy that anger brings, while not allowing ourselves to become overcome by its force. She used a “two hands” metaphor to help describe the tension that many of us feel in moments like the one we are living in now.

On Cooperation (September 2022)