community

Together

Dear Editor: The other day I was driving home from dropping my children off at school, my toddler humming in his car-seat behind me. I was listening to a discussion on NPR about the 156 women who testified against Larry Nassar, a doctor who gained the trust of children and their families, and then used that trust to sexually abuse countless children.

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Celebration of Garbage (corrected)

I sing and celebrate garbage,
the rejected, the refugee,
The “wretched refuse yearning to breathe free.”
I lift up in the Light those treated like trash,
Those living in the junk yards of history.

Out of blackened wood from a bombed out church,
A black Southern artist made a mobile that took my breath away
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We Complete Each Other

Dear Editor: Thanks to Friend Searl for helpfully reminding us that there need be no schism between Friends led to inward devotion and Friends led to outward activism (“The Illusion of a Split,” May/June 2016). Quakers like Thomas Kelly have long noted that inwardness and outwardness interdepend like roots and fruits.

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The Need to Express Care

Dear Friends: I hear a lot of discussion about how to increase membership in Friends communities around my state, where we have a few birthright Friends who were instrumental in the foundation of Friends meetings here. They have had a major influence on how things are done here, including the injunction against “chasing” people who attend or join our meetings.

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On Beginning

“This isn’t working. We need to start over.” Virtually nobody ever wants to hear that. Our natural tendency is to protect our accomplishments and hang onto what we’ve got, even if that might not be good for us. Our brains are not designed to assess risk accurately. We underrate the risks of the mundane (cars, bathrooms) and overrate the risks of the dramatic (airplanes, tornadoes).

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A New Intimacy

I have always longed to be part of a community. But it has become clear to me lately that “belonging” depends on being accountable. I do not mean this in a quid pro quo sense, like an accountant balancing the books. I mean this in the sense of family members being accountable to each other, where they care for each other, and they all contribute as much as they are able.

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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.

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