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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)

Peace – One Yard at a Time Gila Friends Meeting reactivated our Peace and Social Concerns Committee a couple of years ago, after several years of inaction. Many “social concerns” had begun attracting our attention, and we wanted to act on them. Then during one of our committee meetings, someone asked about the “peace” part of our mission. What would we do about “peace”? And thus, it began.

On Conflict (January 2023)

Phoenix Meeting on Abortion Dear Friends: On Sunday, December 4, 2022, at our regular Meeting for Worship for Business, Phoenix Monthly Meeting approved a minute on abortion.

On Conflict (January 2023)

A Rattler’s Tale (review) This children’s book by Nancy Marshall of Phoenix Friends Meeting was published in September 2021. Several Friends from Intermountain Yearly Meeting have written to praise it:

On Conflict (January 2023)

Can You Believe? Johan Maurer is a member of Camas Friends Church in Washington State who has been publishing a blog called “Can You Believe?” since June 2004. He is also a member of Moscow Friends Meeting in Russia and is a recorded Friends minister. In his blog, which he produces virtually every Thursday, Maurer reflects frankly on religion, politics, philosophy, and more.

On Perception (March 2023)

Close-up on The Lord’s Prayer This is my path: a struggle to learn to be willing to surrender to the Holy Spirit, to finally go home. I have been on this path for years, struggling with the idea of an “other,” an incomprehensible energy. Recognizing the necessity of surrendering to something greater than myself – and interior to me – has taken a long time. I have learned that transformation is about choice, action, willingness to surrender, and knowing that I am never alone.

On Perception (March 2023)

Beyond Linear Thinking (review) Beyond Linear Thinking (2022) is a page-turner in which Linda Seger uses humor, spiritual wisdom, and practical advice, supported by scientific research, to describe ways of moving beyond linear, competitive, hierarchical, patriarchal thinking – toward cooperation, equality, and diversity. I love the metaphors of line, circle, spiral, and web that she uses to explore these different thinking models. I also like her repetition of this point: holding a goal larger than the self is one way to avoid the pitfalls of pride and the pettiness of hierarchy.

On Perception (March 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)