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Talking Truth about Military Recruitment [Join Kate Connell online in November to talk about Truth in Military Recruitment. See https://westernfriend.org/event/truth-and-military-recruitment-nov-16]

On Cliques (September 2021)

Alternative Realities I met Rachel Heisham Bieri in Missoula, Montana, four months after she had been given a terminal cancer diagnosis. She was forty-five then, only fifteen years older than I was, though she was already a grandmother. Doctors had given her two months to live.

On Alternatives (March 2022)

Leap into Wings The way of love is not a subtle argument,

On Consumption (May 2013)

Native Voices and Quaker Choices So, where’s all the Indians?” asked Yaynicut Franco, one of the Wukchumni adults. The whiteness of the conference was a bit shocking to us, given the title: “Quakers, First Nations, and American Indians.”

On Insight (March 2017)

Finding Balance with MS I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) four months after I completed a 150-mile bike ride for the American Lung Association. I was thirty-one years old. Two years later, I had to stop working. Soon, I could no longer identify with anyone I knew. It seemed like everyone was either having babies or working. I was doing neither.

On Balance (May 2017)

Who Left their Dishes in the Sink? I began exploring my spiritual path through Buddhist meditation in my early twenties. Since that time, I have attended five weeklong, silent, Buddhist retreats. These were pivotal to my spiritual growth and developing self-awareness. My last one was in December, and I realized two things. First, to be in silence is a practice that gives me the space and grounding I need to seek authentic wholeness and to strive to align my life with a higher purpose. Second, I realized that because I knew no one at these silent retreats, I was essentially surrounded by strangers, and I left with unsettling feelings of emptiness. In the last decade, I have grown to love the continuous community of Quakers. Recently, I have been feeling more guided to keep my spirituality contained within Quakerism, as it is my home.

On Home (September 2017)

The Inner Boss I have had the privilege to spend my life attending to leadings of Spirit. My young adult years were largely spent living very simply, moving from an internship to an activist position to part-time jobs in the non-profit and education sectors, which allowed me to follow my own artistic leadings while paying attention to what might be next. I had the benefit of spiritual mentors who sometimes also happened to be my bosses and jobs in which I had little supervision and much freedom to live into my leadings. My spiritual life as a Quaker and my work life were closely intertwined, and were often also intertwined with my personal life as well. I co-founded an activist and ecumenical intentional community during this period.

On Bosses (July 2018)

Staying Connected with Our Children The school year is about to begin. Parents and school districts are making decisions about what is best for children in the midst of a pandemic, anxiously weighing health risks against social and mental health benefits, deciding between distance learning and in-person, socially distanced learning. We are facing these same kinds of decisions in our Quaker meetings, as we yearn for social connection and consider our options. As we consider our adult needs and capacities, let’s also remember to ask ourselves: What are we doing to stay connected with our Quaker children and families? How are we attentive to their spiritual needs?

On Teachers (September 2020)

DIY Divestment Some tasks seem to take a long time to get started. Doing dishes, weeding the garden, and paying bills come to mind. Once I’ve finally gotten going, I wonder why they ever seemed like a big deal. Divesting my family’s bank accounts from fossil fuels was like that.

On Debt (July 2021)

Healing with Native Peoples through Truth (abridged) [The following text was excerpted from the keynote presentation to Lake Erie Yearly Meeting on July 30, 2021. The unabridged text is published online at: https://westernfriend.org/media/healing-native-peoples-thru-truth.]

On Freedom (January 2022)