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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)

Palestine, October 2022 As we have done before, my wife Janet and I traveled recently in Palestine. We joined a two-week journey in October with the British organization Quaker Voluntary Action. [pullquote]We visited Tel Aviv, Jifna (a small village near Ramallah in the West Bank), and Jerusalem.[/pullquote] As a group of eleven, we visited a settlement, harvested olives, roamed the Old City in Jerusalem, visited Ramallah Friends School, shared meeting for worship twice at Ramallah Friends Meeting, and – in worship and conversation – faced the predicament of this “much too promised land,” as Aaron David Miller has described it.

On Conflict (January 2023)

Quaker Culture: Smiting Words [When the] servant [of God] . . . is commanded to smite the rock, [he should] do so, and when to speak calmly to do so. Let the consequence be as it may. And I believe many precious gifts have been greatly marred and some lost by endeavoring to please.

On Conflict (January 2023)

How to Avoid a Climate Disaster (review) I can almost guarantee that there will be some parts of this book that you won’t like. This is especially true of the agricultural policies Bill Gates promotes and his advocacy of nuclear power to generate electricity. You may be, as I am, appalled by his great wealth. As Bernie Sanders says, it is obscene. But this book is so valuable that I ask you to look past those difficulties and see within Bill Gates a person with That of God within him. His philanthropic work shows that he listens to that Voice. It has given him a heart for the poor. An essential part of his plan is to encourage economic growth in poor countries. “It would be immoral and impractical to try to stop people who are lower on the economic ladder from climbing up.” Economic development in these countries would increase greenhouse gas emissions. That is part of the reason Gates sees innovation as essential.

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)

Life Cycle of a Quaker Meeting The lessons we learn from accompanying people as they die can help inform our understanding of the care that Quaker meetings need as they change and age. While closure is an expected and important part of any life, including the life of a meeting, in our youth-focused culture, it can be hard to tend this part of our life cycle. We believe that Quakers are missing some important opportunities for deep spiritual experiences and growth when we don’t address these challenges. Here, we will consider what it might mean to tend the Spirit and the spiritual life of a meeting that is in the later stages of its life.

On Loss (May 2023)