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Work Not in Vain Lloyd Lee Wilson’s words to Pacific Yearly Meeting, July 14, 2015; Walker Creek Ranch, Petaluma, California; as reported by Western Friend

On Play (September 2015)

On Media Immersed in stories as humans are – print, radio, television, internet, social media, interactive gaming, virtual reality – we can easily lose sight of truth. Especially when a story fills our imagination with images we dearly want to believe in, we can feel reluctant to break the story’s spell.

On Media (September 2016)

Not Shakespeare Dear Editor: Whoever wrote the passage boxed on page 10 of the last issue, I have no idea, but I do know that it was not Shakespeare. Not only is there no play into which that speech would fit, but the key words – patriotic, patriotism, and citizenry – are words he never used anywhere, as reference to a concordance makes quickly clear.

On Time (March 2014)

Not Assuming Dear Editor: In the published version of my letter in your March/April 2021 issue, there was something you edited out that I consider essential.

On Tricks (May 2021)

Be Not Afraid Dear Friends: When an angel, according to biblical records, encounters a living human being, the first thing the angel says is. “Fear not!” or “Be not afraid!” or words to that effect.

On Beginning (March 2016)

Play + Work = Plork The double doors open to the sun-dappled yard and a breeze stirs the smaller pieces atop the huge mound of fabric scraps. Four young people bend over their white cotton panels, carefully applying colorful shapes of fabric to their designs. A camp counselor at the sewing machine attaches completed panels to the large curtain quilt.

On Play (September 2015)

Not So Fast Dear Editor: I want to thank Kat Northrup for her article, “Race and Quakerism,” in May/June 2018 Western Friend. She has articulated very well my own observations and concerns. I was struck by this comment: “[The] uncomfortable feeling of disingenuous tokenism . . . is a hard feeling to avoid, unless one is already familiar with how highly the Quaker community values honesty.” I think in this case, Northrup is letting Quakers off the hook too easily. Valuing honesty is not the same as being honest. My range of Quaker experience is limited, but I have observed many who are quick to find the mote in another’s eye and maybe slower to examine their own (sometimes unconscious) biases and motivations. I wonder sometimes if, when we speak of “diversity,” we mean we want to be with people just like us, only with different color skins. Those of us who have found a spiritual home in a Quaker faith community want to share it. But can we share it with those who do not have the same social and political concerns that we have? Can those of us who identify as Christians, as followers of the teachings of Jesus, feel comfortable talking about our relationship with God and Scripture?

On Children (September 2018)