Posts From the monthly archives: "August 2016"

Blinding oneness

  I live for those fleeting and rare moments of commUNION, when everything is joined, including me. They are so alive, so vibrant, so red and burning. I never know when to expect them. They just come as a gift, which I graciously accept.     Cathy Barney is a writer, storyteller, artist, non-profit…(Read More)

Like a child

Gage, one of the Philadelphia Quaker Voluntary Service Fellows from the 2015-16 year, has a special gift. He sees the world with child-like wonder. I watched all year as a sensibility fostered in the majestic beauty of the Pacific Northwest struggled to find the glory of God in the cracks of Philly’s…(Read More)

God winks

  “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” –John 14:18 My husband Randy first mentioned moving to Mexico to volunteer full-time at a children’s home a little over two years ago. I had long since wanted to volunteer at an orphanage, but the idea of actually doing…(Read More)

Integrity is one of the primary Friends testimonies. For years, I have understood that testimony of integrity to essentially mean, “Let your walk match your talk.” That certainly is a worthy and noble goal. Great damage is done to our witness when we live lives that are duplicitous. But the nature of that definition makes…(Read More)

Lessons from the garden

  This growing season celebrates the 15th Anniversary of the Compassion Garden at our Meetinghouse. This garden project will not last forever at Winchester Friends, but I am thankful for the years I’ve had and the lessons I’ve learned from urban gardening in the middle of Winchester, Indiana. This summer during my hours…(Read More)

Ask Tom: on leadership

How have Quaker ideas about leadership changed over time? Do Quakers have leaders? Do Quakers want leaders? As long as I have been aware of Quaker affairs and concerns, those questions have been prominent. They hint at a tension that has been present since the rise of Quakerism 360 years ago. The first generation of…(Read More)

Along the Way

    For the fourth of July, my son and I took a short road trip to Mounds State Park in Anderson, IN. We had put this trip off for far too long. The rainclouds followed us to the park, and we both decided we didn’t care—the rain was warm and the thick…(Read More)

Messy heart

Coming home after a long day of running errands, during which I felt like a captive spectator of the Rudeness Parade, I breathed a sigh of relief. Here there would be no disgruntled post office patron huff-puffing about the queue, no crazed driver nearly t-boning me in the street, nobody screaming profanities at…(Read More)

My wife and I are both city people, used to navigating the urban environment by right and left turns, which usually map reliably enough to north and south, east and west. We lived for many years in Chicago, which is one of the most regular cities in the nation. Laid out on a mostly featureless…(Read More)

The borer

I am sad. Outside my office window lie the remains of a tree that is at least one hundred years old. It was cut down in the prime of its life. Branches are everywhere. Its leaves have already dried up and look brown. Why did this tree have to die? My office-mates tell me…(Read More)