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Games for You, Perhaps Dear Friends: A few years ago, a friend of mine came to his first-ever Quaker Meeting. Salim is an Indian actor, a Sufi, a Reiki master. I was nervous in case the ministry didn’t speak to him. But he came out of that meeting having loved the silence and feeling that the ministry had flowed organically from it. “But,” he said, “you’re all so incredibly serious. What you need is a Quaker mirthquake.”

On Puzzles (April 2019)

Thank you, Thank you Dear Editor: The May/June issue, “On Expansion,” is wonderful. I read every article this morning and can’t wait to share the articles “Race and Quakerism” and “Journey to the Heart of Worship” with my meeting – as well as the pullout section for young people. Kat Northrup’s article was helpful to me in the way that she listed and explained so well the stumbling blocks we confront when reaching across racial differences. John Kretzman’s article will be helpful to all members and attenders of our meeting as we seek to deepen our worship experience. Two weeks ago, we had fifteen children at a Family Worship and hike to Mel’s Pond on the Sierra Friends Center campus! I plan to share the pullout section with some of those children. Thank you, thank you.

On Bosses (July 2018)

Thank You Dear Western Friend: I can't tell you how much it means to me to be able to join Quaker meetings for Sunday worship! As a relatively Isolated Quaker at the Oregon coast, your easy website connection, not only for my home meeting of Eugene Friends, but for many meetings, is such an anticipated delight now on First Days. I look forward to it all week and relish being able to see Friends I haven't been in physical proximity to for years. I also appreciate the Extra! Extra! that comes out to keep up with other Quaker events and concerns. I can only hope that other Isolated Quakers who are scattered throughout the West will take advantage of the unique opportunities presented to us by the current requirement that virtually everyone must practice physical distancing. I wish this kind of Friendly connectivity for Isolated folks could continue, way beyond when this virus fades and we are back to normal life. We Isolated Friends will need other Quakers then, as well as now. Thanks to Western Friend for doing this extra work during our time of physical distancing. You continue to be a blessing to us all as you continue to fulfill your mission of bringing Friends in the West together – now through Zoom!

On Wealth (May 2020)

Vicious Games Bill Lovelady is a member of Helena Monthly Meeting, MT (NPYM).

On Patriotism (January 2014)

Greeting Cards for You, Perhaps Dear Friends: Albuquerque Meeting supported our friend Emma in sanctuary for twenty-one months. [See the July/August 2017 issue of Western Friend.]

On Puzzles (April 2019)

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)

Playing Violent Games in Peace In his recent article, “ISIS’s Call of Duty,” Jay Caspian Kang describes similarities between ISIS recruitment films and first-person-shooter games – similarities that are likely intentional (The New Yorker, September 18, 2014). Kang’s article is one of many that play into a larger debate about the role of violent videogames and other violent media in our culture. This debate has continued unresolved for decades, and both sides often succumb to strong emotions and hyperbolic statements. I feel this leads to a shutdown in communication between groups, and that is the issue I would like to address in this article.

On Temptation (November 2014)