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Normality is Ever Changing Dear Editor: Normality is an ever-changing reality. As we go through life, our perspective of what is normal changes and evolves. Everyone’s family, work, and religious backgrounds are not the same. It’s all from a different view depending on the person.

On Normality (July 2022)

On Normality Elizabeth Fry, the “Angel of Prisons,” would pray, “Oh Lord, may I be directed what to do and what to leave undone.” As it turned out, Fry had done quite a lot by the time her life ended in 1845 – prison reform, social reform, education reform, philanthropy – had done so much and so well that her portrait is now on the British £5 note. Fry was aware of her own growing notoriety in her day. She wrote in her journal in 1817, “Newgate Prison and myself are becoming quite a show, which is a very serious thing. I believe that it certainly does much good to the cause [of prison reform] in spreading amongst all ranks of society a considerable interest in the subject, also a knowledge of the Society of Friends and of their principles.”

On Normality (July 2022)

On Normality

Jul / Aug 2022

Beautiful Article about Minding the Earth Dear Editor: “A New Story for Earth” by Mary Ann Percy, in the November/December issue, is one of the best articles that I have ever read. I happened to read it right after our meeting held our second-hour discussion one First Day, concerning what each of us can do to be more mindful of the earth (and promised to try). I think we might discuss this article in another second hour soon. It ties a lot of big questions and big concepts together really well, and it is beautifully written.

On Mediation (January 2020)

Shining Light on Anti-Semitism American Friends Service Committee is encouraging Friends and others to support the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions campaign (BDS) until Israel complies with international law to treat Palestinians fairly. I am happy with that, since I work with Jewish Voice for Peace on this issue. However, when I speak about BDS, I often find people are reluctant to support it because they want to avoid anti-Semitism. I point out to them that Jewish Voice for Peace stands as a reminder to the larger world that criticizing Israel is not anti-Semitic.

On Heritage (July 2016)

What is the Light? George Fox described himself during his early adulthood as “a man of sorrows in the times of the first workings of the Lord in me.” Shortly later, he stated, “After this did a pure fire appear in me, a spiritual discerning came into me.” By the following year, while he was 24, a major transformation had occurred, “In the year 1648, as I was sitting in a Friend’s house . . . I saw there was a great crack to go throughout the earth, and a great smoke to go as the crack went, and that after the crack, there should be a great shaking. This was the earth in people’s hearts which was to be shaken before the Seed of God was to be raised out of the earth . . . and great meetings we began to have.” He discerned the reason for this change was because “the Lord God had opened to me by his invisible power how every man was enlightened by the divine Light of Christ; and I saw it shine through all.”

On Heritage (July 2016)

Embedded in Two Cultures with AFSC My first job at the American Friends Service Committee was in 1965, when Self-Help Enterprises was being created. This was also my first real experience working with white people, as opposed to working for them, although at the tender age of nineteen, I still did not realize that. I have gone through many emotions – some even tearful – as I recalled my youth and my work while writing this article. As the daughter of a farmworker, I have been confronted with the typical things around racism, feminism, classism, etc., during my youth and into my adult life. It was, in fact, not too many years ago when I decided not to let those things rule my life.

On Balance (May 2017)