March 14, 2017

Kids with Quaker parents suffer all sorts of small embarrassments. Their parents wear political tee shirts … everywhere. Their box lunches are full of organic, vegetarian food that no one wants to trade for in the cafeteria. When the kids get together, they roll their eyes and make jokes about their urban farms, eating granola their whole lives, and when they first attended a peace rally.  And of course, they never got guns as toys, although bows and arrows were… Read more

March 9, 2017

For some time, I was willing to consider some of these people as one Voice for Christianity. I regretted the slant that they were often perceived as the only voice, but I was willing to accept them as A Voice. But this year, I am not just angry, but find the hypocrisy to be overwhelming and the message to be a betrayal of Christian values. In this last year and a half, the white Republican Evangelical Christians have lost any moral high ground they might have possessed in the past. Read more

March 4, 2017

That someone’s mother would forbid their daughter to read book seemed unbelievable to my son. That the speaker was nearing her 30s and still hadn’t read the book blew my mind. And then there was the fact that neither woman seemed to think this prohibition was worthy of questioning. Read more

February 24, 2017

John Stafford was a poet, a Quaker, a pacifist and much more.  Every War Has Two Losers, edited by his son Kim Stafford,  brings together previously unpublished poems, journal entries and prose pieces that speak to me across the decades. “Poetry” does the job a good poem always does of helping me see the world differently, and in this case, respond differently. Please enjoy this poem, and see if at the end you can eat that bread. Poetry by John Stafford… Read more

February 22, 2017

Quakers work, learn and worship together. The full and formal name for our faith is the Religious Society of Friends. The name Quaker came about as a derogatory description of early Quaker preachers who spoke in public squares and interrupted church services; they literally quaked as they spoke. As Friends, we emphasize that everyone can receive Divine guidance, and we also provide methods for discerning that guidance. Remembering this fact, keeps me out of trouble, and it might have helped… Read more

February 17, 2017

Last week, Friends Central School in Philadelphia suddenly cancelled a speaking engagement arranged by a student group. The problems with this decision are legion, but I am going to stick with examining Quaker process and the testimony of integrity. Sa’ed Atshan,  a well-respected professor of Peace and Conflict Studies from Swarthmore College who is a Quaker and a Palestinian, was invited by the Peace and Equality in Palestine club, a student group, to speak at Friends Central.  Shortly before he… Read more

February 15, 2017

I have been on a news diet for about a month, and I have gained at least one hour of sleep a night. On this diet, I am less angry and frustrated, and I will stand ready to call shenanigans for as long as it takes. Read more

February 2, 2017

Quakers have been arrested for practicing their faith from the very beginning in the 1650s. Friends today follow their faith to jail, too. A British Friend, Sam Walton, risked jail just last week as he tried to disable a fighter jet bound for Saudi Arabia where it would be used to bomb Yemenis. Read more

January 12, 2017

With the Trump presidency, I am daring to ask for guidance in my prayer. And I ask directly. I don’t think I need to outline for you how offensive and scary the man’s words and actions are. What I need is some help knowing the best way to be true to my Quaker values when I am shocked with outrage daily. Read more

January 3, 2017

For the purposes of speaking in Meeting for Worship, these questions are clarifying. For the purposes of speaking in general, they are equally helpful. These times require that we speak up, not letting injustices and false stories flourish. Read more

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