Quakers in the Field

Minga on the Edge

Go and come back. Go forward and see. Pray and listen. Come home and share. Breathe it in and breathe it out. Love through hate. Hope in darkness.

Quaker troubadour in Nepal

In March I will live for a few weeks near refugees, and hear their stories in the hot sidewalks of Tijuana/San Deigo. On quick appraisal, traveling to the Mexico border is foolish. My spouse asks if I'm going to the border or to the edge? Is this sojourn on the Mexican border ministry? Reflect with me reasons to leave a comfortable home and go to the epicenter of dislocation.Read more


Sunset

Learning AVP When Enemies Are Everywhere

How are prisons violent? Humans learn to reciprocate love and leverage power with each other. Like lumbering bears, we grow every day. Prisons stunt growth. A herd of humans can become a stampede that tramples each other. Humans howl—when threatened we snap our teeth. Violence is taught—sometimes on Main Street. I can assure you—violence is taught in prison. Ahhh, but, violence can be unlearned, in prison and anywhere.
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Tijuana Border Wall

Darkness and Borderlands

Before the longest nights of 2018, I heard about the exodus of Latinx had reached the Mexican northern border. During the dark of the moon I was obsessed with the drama and the heroism. I saw the poetry in streams of people fleeing in groups of 80 or of 45 or of 15. Central Americans banding together for safety, to share the load, to give tips on what to expect, to keep warm during the night, and to pray with at sunrise. Short or lean; well-dressed or thread bare; boots or flipflops; parents leaving children behind or children in tow. Two stories shook me up. I shivered when I first heard them.Read more


Mary Dyer

Mary Dyer at the Poor People's Campaign

June 14, 2018

Quakers have joined in the Poor People’s Campaign (PPC) for these last two months. Every Monday for 5 weeks, we have gathered near Boston Common. Yes, Friends were ruffled and hot. Yes, Friends raised their voices against the liars and gluttons in our tattered democracy. Moreover, Friends burnished divine power to heal oppression. Our cry echoed MLK’s PPC.** The Poor People's moral compass points to Repairing the Breach. Yes, Friends illegally crossed into the streets. People took risks by forming a string of human pearls between the poor and the thrones of power. On different Mondays, Friends joined 15 others who shut down streets around the statehouse.Read more


Angelic Drops of Water

Angelic Troublemakers

Quaker Worship  Feb 25, 2018 — Spoken Ministry

I asked the Holy One for water, and I was given ice.
I asked the Holy One for warmth, and I was given the embers of a dying fire.
I asked the Holy One for truth, and I was given an ancient poem.
In my confusion, I asked the Living Spirit to show me the path,
and I was given this roomful of people to guide my feet.

Quakers scramble up the rocky hill, our thin sneakers barely gaining traction. In a moment of polarization between Billy Graham and Rev Barber; between the NRA and the survivors of Parkland High School; between republicans in Washington whining to build a wall, and catholics putting jugs of water in the Sonora desert for families crossing the border. Where is the moral ground?Read more


Sanctuary from Persecution

Guido and child

“Part of understanding Justice is to recognize the disproportions among which we live..."

it takes an awful lot of living with the powerless to begin to understand what it is like to be powerless, to have your voice, thoughts, ideas and concerns count for very little. We, who have been given much, whose voices can be heard, have a great responsibility to make our voices heard with absolute integrity for those who are powerless.”  John O'DonohueRead more


Peace Stakes among Rural Friends

First AVP workshop with Nepal Quakers
First AVP workshop with Nepal Quakers

We facilitated an AVP workshop in Ramecchap Nepal for 18 Evangelical Friends. These Friends are not used to workshops on peace, social issues or self-esteem. The church has no running water nor chairs. But these Quakers were very savvy about social justice. They survived an earthquake; they heard about the generous world-wide donations after this disaster, and they knew that this money wasn't distributed fairly.

Older sister (maybe 7 years) helps babysit
Older sister (maybe 7 years) helps babysit

These friends are not scholars, but they are wise in the ways of structural violence. They are fishermen and farmers living where the rivers run more and more turbid and the soil is too rocky to support crops. They live on steep mountainsides with frequent landslides. Nepal government released $150 for any earthquake family victim. Now the monsoon season has begun and the government's many promises to disperse the international aid has not occured. Fifty years ago people in Ramecchap lived with milk and honey, their land a jewel. Now, what are they?--the salt of the rumbling earth.Read more