The Spiritual Challenge of Facebook

A big theme in my writing is living with trust because I don’t think it is good for our souls to go through the world with our guard up all the time. I’m not against smoke detectors and seat belts, simple ways we can make ourselves and our loved ones safer. I’m not against security [...]

2019-01-29T17:55:48+00:00April 8th, 2010|Spirituality|

Minutes of Religious Service

It’s been two years since my meeting granted me a minute of religious service, and since my anchor committee is meeting tomorrow night, it seems like a good time to reflect on what having a minute has meant. First, for the non-Quakers—or for those Friends whose meetings don’t engage in this practice—let me explain a [...]

2019-01-29T17:55:48+00:00February 14th, 2010|Spirituality|

Life’s Fragility

Yesterday, after running into a woman whose husband is in remission from brain cancer, I realized how many reminders I’ve been getting lately of life’s fragility. A member of our meeting has entered hospice after many months of treatment for brain cancer. Another member’s ALS has progressed to the point where, for the first time [...]

2019-01-29T17:55:48+00:00February 4th, 2010|Climate Change, Spirituality|

New Discernment Question

Speaking of fear… I’ve been given my own opportunity to work through some. As some of you know, I teach a class on South African history at University of the Arts, which I really enjoy. The course uses the art, music, and literature of South Africa to study the apartheid era. This is the fifth [...]

2015-03-10T21:59:05+00:00January 27th, 2010|Spirituality|

Merry Multiculturalism

It’s that time of the year again. There are “tiny tots with their eyes all aglow, folks dressed up like Eskimos,” and messages in meeting betraying the mixed feelings Quakers have about Christmas. Two weeks ago several messages focused on consumerism, the role a material gift can play in expressing love, and the fact that [...]

2019-01-29T17:55:49+00:00December 10th, 2009|Spirituality|

Identity Theft

Marshall Massey (author of the Earth Witness blog) posted on Facebook this morning a reference to Matthew 18: 23-35, a passage about forgiveness in the face of being owed money. Interesting timing since I am trying to sort out my feelings about an unsettling experience yesterday. I had an appointment with my podiatrist, whose office building gives a [...]

2019-01-29T17:55:54+00:00May 15th, 2009|Spirituality|


It’s been so long since I’ve blogged, it’s hard to know where to start. I could write about my spiritual journey with the snow days—one more lesson in accepting the things I cannot change—or the great time I had in New York a few weeks ago to watch my friend Stephanie Smallwood get a prestigious [...]

2019-01-29T17:55:54+00:00March 4th, 2009|Nonviolent Direct Action, Spirituality|

Fit for Freedom

When I was in my twenties, looking for a spiritual home, one of the things that attracted me to the Religious Society of Friends was its history of peace and social justice work. Quakers advocated the abolition of slavery, worked on the Underground Railroad, and supported women’s right to vote. Coming from secular activists circles, [...]

2015-03-12T14:04:44+00:00February 14th, 2009|Racism, Spirituality, Writing|


As someone who writes about spirituality, I often find myself telling a story that involves someone else, either because they did or said something illustrative or because my own experience was shaped by them. There are times when I choose not to tell stories that would be funny or interesting because I think to do [...]

2019-01-29T17:55:57+00:00June 13th, 2008|Spirituality, Writing|

Light and Dark

Most often on this blog, I say what I think, and sometimes people post comments. But this week I am hoping to start an actual conversation, with differences of opinion and everything. Here are my queries: When are religious metaphors using light and dark appropriate? When are they racist? Should Quakers be talking about this? [...]

2019-01-29T17:56:13+00:00March 15th, 2007|Racism, Spirituality|
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