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The Estranged Family of Friends Andrew Secrest was a member of both Lake County Worship Group of Redwood Forest Friends Meeting and of Berkeley Friends Church. He was a husband and father, a hospice nurse, and he followed a calling his whole adult life to bridge the gap between evangelical Friends and liberal Friends. He died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in his home in Lakeport, CA, on June 25, 2013. The text below was excerpted from the transcript of an interview that Western Friend conducted with Andrew on May 16 and May 17, 2013. Thanks to Solomon Smilack for helping with the transcription.

On Love (September 2013)

the tree thing, experiencing connectedness during the 2013 gathering of friends general conference in greeley, colorado, a few of us met for three hours each day, all five days, to see what would emerge if we applied friends’ faith and practice towards seeking deeper unity with nature.  mark helpsmeet from “northern spirit radio” often attends this annual gathering; he interviews friends there and edits those interviews into segments for his radio show.   he arranged to interview three of us exploring unity with nature on thursday afternoon.

On Time (March 2014)

On Children In her autobiography, Life on Two Levels (1978), Quaker dynamo Josephine Duveneck tells of a year when she provided a foster home in Los Altos Hills, CA, to a seven-year-old Jewish boy from Germany, while Hitler was rising to power in Europe. “What a sweet little personality he was . . . He had been to school just before the time when Jewish children were banned, hence he was thoroughly indoctrinated with Nazi ideology. . . He told me that Adolph Hitler was the greatest man since Jesus Christ. I did not try to disillusion him. Soon, with the help of our horses, his hero worship was [redirected]. At Peninsula School, he learned English and also found out how to play games instead of how to march. I remember vividly the day when the portrait of Hitler that he had tacked up on his closet door had disappeared, and a poster with Franklin Roosevelt’s photograph on it took its place.”

On Children (September 2018)

Scientific and Moral Reasoning I am a Quaker and a scientist. To be more precise, I am a Quaker and a computer scientist. Some would dispute whether my field is a true science, but what I do is pretty scientific, with gathering of empirical data and testing of hypotheses.

On Science (November 2022)

Hybrid and/or Embodied Worship (4) [This letter was abridged from a longer original, which you can find at: https://westernfriend.org/letters-marchapril-2022]

On Alternatives (March 2022)

The Balm of The Other For if you love only those who love you, what reward have you earned?

On War (January 2013)