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Are Committees Still the Answer? Dear Friends: Liberal unprogrammed Quaker meetings are organized or disorganized by committees. Without an identified pastor or priest, we count on the wisdom of committees.

On Needs (May 2015)

Who We Are Heritage is an inheritance, a kind of gift, good or bad, we receive from the past – cannot avoid receiving, since it’s ingrained in our character and being. Even when we may not recognize it or admit it (and especially if we do), it’s an essential element in who we are. As Quakers, we carry our generally unwritten heritage forward, especially in unprogrammed meetings. We do not subscribe to any dogma, governing us from the top down. Times change, and we change with the times, trying to respond as responsibly as we are able, with integrity, common sense, good will and (we hope) divine guidance. As Quakers we look to the past. We have a respectable history, checkered with human mistakes, but in the main reflecting who we are. We may seem somewhat “left of center,” but we generally fit in with other citizens of our country and are friendly with other denominations, even those not specifically Christian, i.e. Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist. We are glad to share our heritage, but we do not want to impose it on others. ~~~

On Heritage (July 2016)

Minutes are Important I came to California and PYM over three years ago. PYM is my seventh yearly meeting. One of the delights for me of yearly meeting is wrestling with a seasoned minute brought forth by some group. Often I knew of the concern, sometimes had even agonized about the concern, but now there was a minute. Often it had passed through many hands as groups of people struggled to find the right words, the right tone, to state a truth that came from leadings of the Spirit. I have experienced the power of a feeling of Presence, of being “covered,” of feeling Spirit there in the room when we united on a minute. Also a thankfulness. My feeling that something needed to be said in the public sphere had happened. With joy, I would unite.

On Water (March 2019)

We Are All One Like many Quakers, my beliefs and responses to the world have been challenged by the political chaos of recent years. It is hard for me to see children separated from their parents, public wilderness areas sacrificed to corporate interests, and the dearth of compassion or humane feelings shown by many politicians and bureaucrats. I have found myself being pulled into adversarial attitudes that I know I do not believe in.

On Separation (November 2019)

How Are Friends Helping? Dear Friends: We would like to survey Friends meetings of Pacific Yearly Meeting in California to find out how these meetings are serving and helping their communities.

On Beginning (March 2016)