Articles & News

What Trumpcare Means for West Virginia

American Friends Service Committee - Wed, 05/17/2017 - 8:44am
WV Public Radio logo Photo: AFSC/ News Source: West Virginia Public Radio
Categories: Articles & News

JOB OPENING: Young Adult Field Secretary for New York Yearly Meeting

Friends United Meeting - Tue, 05/16/2017 - 8:55pm
JOB OPENING: Young Adult Field Secretary for New York Yearly Meeting The Young Adult Field Secretary works with and supports the young adults in New York Yearly Meeting, serving as a locus for networking and disseminating information; assisting in multi-generational community development; doing mentoring, pastoral care, coordinating, and outreach; and helping young adult Friends to develop their gifts and to find a home in the Religious Society of Friends. In addition, the position will support young adult Friends’ retreats and activities and opportunities for religious education and will serve as a support and focal point for college outreach efforts. This is a half-time position that requires ongoing ministry and considerable travel, including many weekend commitments, around the NYYM area. Please see the job announcement here:…/default/files/YAFS-JobAnnouncement.pdf And the full job description here:…/default/files/YAFSJobDescription.pdf APPLY NOW: applications are being accepted until June 15. Position starts July 15th.
Categories: Articles & News

A Quaker on a Commune

Friends Journal - Mon, 05/15/2017 - 7:00am

By Rashaun via Wikipedia

I am living the good life. I am well rested, nourished by tasty food, and content to have found the sweet spot of living in right relationship. I am warm and cozy by the woodstove after a few hours of outdoor work in the crisp sunshine of a Virginia winter. My housemates and I talk of possible plans for the evening: playing a board game, building a bonfire, working a few more hours, or attending a practice session on communications skills.

We are enjoying the many resources of 450 acres of wooded and farmed land in central Virginia with 100 other people who call this place, Twin Oaks Community, their home. They are all living comfortably, but also very differently from almost everyone else in the United States. Together they have created one of the most egalitarian, communal, and stable intentional communities in this country.

I am at Twin Oaks as part of the community’s three-week visitor program. As a Quaker, I yearned to be surrounded by people who were living and breathing the testimonies of simplicity, nonviolence, community, and equality. Though not a religious community, Twin Oaks has been a leader in alternative living and values in action since 1967. I had to see for myself.

Alongside seven other visitors from around the country, I experienced being a part of this strong intentional community. As visitors, we committed to not spend more than the member’s monthly allowance of about $100 and to embrace simplicity and communality. Twin Oaks members commit to radical sharing. They freeze their assets from their previous endeavors and share housing, meals, and supplies.

The average American consumes five times what our planet can sustain. The average Twin Oaker consumes to support just one healthy planet. They organically grow much of their own food, but not everything. They have solar panels and shared cars. They balance a commitment to values with practicality. And “scarcity” is not a word I have heard since arriving. While members refer to budget restraints and frugality, there are ample resources. The community provides for all basic needs.

The community’s bedrock is a commitment to egalitarianism through a complicated but liberating labor system. Each member works 42 hours a week. This is broadly defined; it includes childcare, cleaning, and cooking, covers most of the needed elements to sustain its population. I joyfully haven’t washed a dish since I arrived. But I have planted in the garden, raked leaves, cooked dinner, bagged tempeh, and helped make a hammock. Twin Oaks has a few successful collectively owned businesses that financially support the community while creating opportunities to support their deepest values. A professor and high school graduate work side by side in the tofu factory. There is an assumption and a culture that everyone is going to do good work and contribute positively in diverse ways. The combination of equal responsibility and simplicity leads to a high quality of life, and one very different from the mainstream.

I am impressed by this and by the seeming ease with which this community provides for itself. So many of us around the country spend our lives “making a living” so we squeeze what we really care about into evenings and weekends, exhausted but determined to make a difference. Our faith is bookended by appointments and errands. We are in the car a lot. We are stressed. Here at Twin Oaks I find myself with ample free time. I linger over conversations and take walks. I read. The long-term members make art, spend time with their friends and children, and participate in “movement-building” by volunteering locally and traveling to relevant protests and demonstrations. They spend time figuring out how Twin Oaks can do better. I went to a lunchtime chat about the implications of having online movie streaming for their community, which has a “no TV” rule. The orientation pamphlet title is “Not Utopia Yet.”

Reminiscent of my experiences in Quaker communities, not everyone likes each other here. People gossip. While there is a growing interest in direct communication and conflict resolution, a culture of conflict-avoidance permeates here too. Also like a community of Friends, most members are invested in and committed to the community, and consider it worthy of their time and energy. And if they don’t, they can try to make changes or leave. In both communities, members share decision making.

Unlike Friends, there is no group worship at Twin Oaks. There is no guiding Spirit. Twin Oakers don’t hold hands before a meal or share a 400-year-old culture of alternative values and struggle. Still, in many ways, I see people here at Twin Oaks living our values more completely than most of us do as a Religious Society.

Friends, let’s find inspiration here!

One long-time member reflected that Twin Oaks, which will celebrate its fiftieth anniversary next year, is “no longer an experiment but a model.” They have figured out a lot. A serious commitment to values is possible when there is a supportive social structure that sits on a foundation of shared economies. I’d like us to learn together how we could do more of this as Friends, to find inspiration together for how to live creative, value-driven lives. Here is a peek into right livelihood—and it is joyous and possible. Not all of us are going to live in an intentional community, but we can take lessons from our peers and move forward as a Society toward lives of better sharing, simplicity and equality.

The post A Quaker on a Commune appeared first on Friends Journal.

Categories: Articles & News

Wilmington Yearly Meeting seeks Interim Office Administrator

Friends United Meeting - Thu, 05/11/2017 - 8:12am

Wilmington Yearly Meeting is seeking an Interim Office Administrator: 

“After much thought, and prayerful consideration, the Executive Committee has approved the hiring of an Interim Office Administrator while a search for a new Executive Secretary is conducted. This position will be part-time for a period of at least 6 months. It is the hope of the Executive Committee to have this person in place by July 1.

Below is the job description. If you or someone you know is interested in applying, please send a resume to the Yearly Meeting Office at 1870 Quaker Way, Pyle Box 1194, Wilmington, Ohio 45177 by May 29. Your resume should include the following: work history, at least 1 reference, and your name, address, phone number, and email address. Also, a paragraph explaining why you are interested in the position.

We ask that you include the committee and this process in your prayers.”

The full job description and application information are available on their website.

Categories: Articles & News

Living Letters: a Friendly Approach to Visitation Ministry

Friends United Meeting - Sat, 05/06/2017 - 11:35am

You are a living letter of Christ, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on human hearts.

-2 Corinthians 3:3

Think, for a moment, about the excitement you feel when you receive a letter in the mail. Not a bill, not an advertisement: a real honest-to-goodness letter containing news about a friend and wishes for your well-being.

There’s a sense of anticipation, right? There’s gratitude at having been remembered, and curiosity about what’s inside.

When members of the church visit one another, we meet with that same sense of holy anticipation. There’s a sharing, a communion between Friends who lead geographically separated lives but are one in the body of Christ.

From the earliest days of the Quaker movement, Friends have been visiting each other. We send and receive travelers as Living Letters, with the same sense of joy and thankfulness that accompanies receiving a letter in the mail. Ordinary Friends, as traveling ministers, become epistles in human form- bringing messages of encouragement and assistance, and carrying news of Friends abroad to Friends at home.

Friends visit in order to affirm our oneness as the body of Christ, meeting each other in times of need and in times of joy. We learn from each other and know each other in that which is eternal. Through encountering each other in worship and in service, we are knit together in love. And through the sometimes-surprising encounter with Christ in the “other,” both hosts and guests are profoundly changed.

The Living Letters program of Friends United Meeting facilitates a wide variety of travel in the ministry: for service, for prayer, for learning, for solidarity, for teaching, for discernment, for encouragement, for witness and more. Organized opportunities are published through FUM media channels such as our website, Facebook page, and Connections publication, but most Living Letters begin with a nudge in the heart and the testing of the local community. Contact Lisa Scarpelli at or call 765-962-7573 to learn more.

Categories: Articles & News

Cuban Quaker Peace Institute: 2017 Report

Friends United Meeting - Sat, 05/06/2017 - 11:06am

The Cuban Quaker Institute of Peace (Instituto Cuáquero Cubano de Paz or ICCP) is a program in the care of Cuba Yearly Meeting that promotes the development of a culture of peace within Latin America. ICCP provides programming and courses for conflict transformation training for community leaders and others. The institute also seeks to strengthen Quaker peacebuilding and service through a deeper understanding of Quaker history, theology, and testimonies.

Recently, the ICCP has celebrated the first cycle of training mediators, fourteen in their January 2015 session, and also the first graduation on May 30, 2015 of twelve students in peacebuilding and Quaker studies. In 2016, courses continued in Holguin and Puerto Padre, and also began in Havana in July.

ICCP is looking ahead and reaching out to interested individuals in Latin America who would like to take courses at the institute. The three current groups in courses are planned to have their graduations in their respective Monthly Meetings with the hope and goal to encourage new people to also participate in the courses. Presently, ICCP is also considering providing classes for Latin American Quakers directly where they are located as well as for Miami Meeting and other Latino groups in North America. The Cuban Quaker Institute for Peace hopes to be present around different Yearly Meetings, rather than only specific locations, in order to make their work and vision more accessible to Friends led to this learning and leadership.


“Let us try, then, what love can do” (W. Penn) when we gather together in Spirit and in Truth.

In this year 2016, we continued with the courses in the offices of Holguin and Puerto Padre where 6 subjects were taught: Quaker History and Literature III by Ramón González Longoria E.; Quaker Processes by Benigno Sanchez-Eppler, Quaker Diversity by Betsy Cazden; Conflict in communities by Pablo Stanfield; The Quakers and the Bible by María Yi R. (in Holguín) and Jorge L Peña R (in Puerto Padre) and Quaker Women by María Antonia Bofill P. The enrollments in both locations vary between 10 students and in some cases more, the product of those brothers and sisters who from the course of 2013 to 2015 are finishing the subjects that are they’re missing. As you can see we have been using Cuban teachers and some foreigners.

On July 1 and 2, 2016 we opened the Havana location with an initial enrollment of 30 people but the fixed group is 20 brothers and sisters. For this we buy dishes and glasses and have used the facilities and utensils provided by Havana Meeting. We gave two courses: the inaugural one with Pablo Stanfield, Conflicts in Communities; and, the second, Introduction to Conflict Transformation by Kirenia Criado Pérez.

As you know I had an accident in July but we continued to lead the Institute with the diligent cooperation of the secretary, Ramón González Longoria Concepción, who was in charge of the carrying out of and the logistics of each meeting. His work has been very efficient in keeping our files up to date and, having more students (around 40) has increased the printing work; Sometimes about 1500 pages have been printed for a single meeting so that all students have the materials for each course. This has increased our spending on printing materials. At the end of each course we collect the materials we used to be saved for another current or future group.

We have decided that when these three groups complete all the courses, the graduation will be done in their respective Monthly Meetings. The seat of Havana is likely to end later. We hope in this way to encourage new brothers and sisters to join our courses.

Since it has not been possible to bring a group of Latin American Quakers to our headquarters because of the cost of travel, we are considering going to these places using foreign and Cuban teachers. We are also considering the Miami Meeting and other Latino groups in North America. In all these occasions we will try to link the courses with trips for other reasons to reduce the costs of travel. For this, we’ll contact the CMCA, COAL, Yearly Meetings and Monthly Meetings.

We want to thank the Monthly Meetings that have provided us with the facilities for the meetings and the sisters and brothers who help us in the preparation of food and snacks.

Ramón González Longoria Escalona



“Probemos, pues, lo que el amor puede lograr” (W. Penn) cuando nos congregamos unidos en Espíritu y en Verdad.

En este año 2016 continuamos con los cursos en las sedes de Holguín y Puerto Padre donde se impartieron 6 asignaturas: Historia y Literatura Cuáquera III por Ramón González Longoria E.; Procesos cuáqueros por Benigno Sanchez-Eppler, Diversidad Cuáquera por Betsy Cazden; Conflictos en las comunidades por Pablo Stanfield; Los Cuáqueros y la Biblia por María Yi R. (en Holguín) y Jorge L Peña R (en Puerto Padre) y Mujeres Cuáqueras por María Antonia Bofill P. Las matriculas en ambas sedes oscila en 10 estudiantes y en algunos casos más, producto de aquellos hermanos y hermanas que del curso del 2013 al 2015 están terminando las asignaturas que le faltan. Como pueden ver hemos estado usando profesores cubanos y algunos extranjeros.

En julio 1 y 2 del 2016 abrimos la sede en la Habana con una matrícula inicial de 30 hermanos pero el grupo fijo es de 20 hermanos y hermanas. Para ello compramos platos y vasos y hemos usado las facilidades y utensilios facilitados por la Junta de la Habana. Dimos dos cursos: el inaugural con Pablo Stanfield, Conflictos en las Comunidades; y, el segundo, Introducción a la transformación de conflictos por Kirenia Criado Pérez.

Como saben tuve un accidente en julio pero seguimos dirigiendo el Instituto con la cooperación diligente del secretario, Ramón González Longoria Concepción, quien se encargó de la realización y logística de cada encuentro. Su labor ha sido muy eficiente en mantener nuestros archivos al día y, al tener más estudiantes (alrededor de 40) ha aumentado el trabajo de impresión; en ocasiones se han impreso alrededor de 1500 páginas para un solo encuentro para que todos los estudiantes tengan los materiales de cada curso. Esto ha aumentado nuestros gastos en materiales de impresión. Al terminar cada curso recogemos los materiales que nos sirven para otro grupo actual o futuro los que están debidamente guardados.

Hemos decidido que cuando estos tres grupos finalicen todos los cursos, la graduación se haga en sus respectivas Juntas Mensuales. La sede de la Habana es probable que termine más tarde. Esperamos de esta forma estimular a nuevos hermanos y hermanas a que se incorporen a nuestros cursos.

En vista de que no ha sido posible traer a un grupo de cuáqueros latinoamericanos a nuestra sede por el costo de los viajes, estamos considerando la posibilidad de ir a esos lugares usando profesores extranjeros y cubanos. Lo mismo estamos considerando con relación a la Junta de Miami y otros grupos latinos en Norteamérica. En todas estas ocasiones trataremos de vincular los cursos con viajes por otros motivos para disminuir los costos de pasaje. Para ello contactaremos al CMCA, COAL, Juntas Anuales y Juntas Mensuales.

Queremos darles las gracias a las Juntas Mensuales que nos han prestado las facilidades para los encuentros tenidos y a las hermanas y hermanos que nos ayudan en la elaboración de los alimentos y meriendas.

Ramón González Longoria Escalona


Categories: Articles & News

Colin Saxton Enters Year of Transition

Friends United Meeting - Fri, 05/05/2017 - 2:03pm
To all Friends everywhere,   For the last several years, I have been privileged to serve as general secretary of Friends United Meeting. FUM is an amazing fellowship—a global community joined together in common work and witness and learning to live into our shared fellowship in Christ. I have come to love this community and believe more strongly than ever that a vibrant and growing FUM is both necessary for the future of Friends and is a much needed gift to the world.   In discerning with the FUM General Board around the continuation of my call to service, we agreed that I will conclude this ministry within the next year (by June 30, 2018). My wife and I feel a strong leading to return home to Oregon to be nearer our children and their families. The FUM Executive Board and I explored the possibility of me working remotely from the West Coast, but we sensed this would not be a great long-term solution and a likely hardship on the Richmond staff. My wife and I also believe there are other ways we are being led to serve among Friends. In my own case, I am particularly interested in exploring new opportunities to strengthen community among Quakers, nurture emerging leaders and deepen my own spiritual life and faithfulness.   I am eager to work with the General Board in this coming year of transition, support our excellent global staff and travel among all of you. I am also excited to see who God raises up to step into this wonderful work. Thanks to all of you—the members of the FUM community—for the joy you have brought to my life. Your example, passion for service and kind generosity is a great inspiration to me.   Colin Saxton   From the Board:   Colin has brought enormous gifts to FUM. His vision, his passion, his love of Christ, his ability to hold all parts of the very wide spectrum that is FUM, and above all his servant-leadership, have all been transforming and life-giving to this organization.   This transition has evoked feelings of loss and anxiety among many of us. We grow attached to our spiritual leaders, and sometimes it seems impossible that we could ever find someone else whose gifts are so well suited to our needs.   But we are called not to live in fear, but to faithfully live out the will of God in our lives, encouraging and upbuilding each other so we each may do the same. It has become clear that it is the will of God in Colin’s life that he be released from this ministry, and therefore we ask all of you to rejoice and give thanks with us: for Colin’s years of faithful service, for his continued obedience to God, and for the new directions which his ministry might take.   We are children of an abundant God. We are beginning the search for a new General Secretary, not with fear, but with a sense of hope and excitement for what the future may hold. We ask for your prayers: for Colin, for the newly forming search committee, and for all of us. May we all be as faithful as Colin has been. May we let go of our anxieties and instead step out in faith, trusting that God is leading us in new ways.   In Christ, The FUM General Board, NA/C


Categories: Articles & News

Quaker Summers: May Full Issue Access

Friends Journal - Mon, 05/01/2017 - 4:00am
Members can download the full PDF or read any article online (see links below). Student Voices: The fourth annual Student Voices Project asked students to write a letter to the next president of the United States suggesting what they think he should focus on during his first year. We’re publishing 27 personal letters addressed to President Donald Trump from middle and high school students. None of the student letter writers are old enough to vote🔒 Friends Journal Member? Sign in here!
Not an FJ member? To read this piece, please join us today! For $28, you'll get:
  • A year of Friends Journal delivered to your mailbox (11 issues) and email
  • Full, instant access to the world’s largest online library of Quaker information: every Friends Journal ever published, going back to 1955
  • Membership in a community that believes in the power of Quaker experience
Click here to join us! Already a member? Welcome back. Please use the Login box to sign in. If you would like to order by phone or have any questions, we’re here to help. Call toll-free: (800)471-6863 or contact us by email.

The post Quaker Summers: May Full Issue Access appeared first on Friends Journal.

Categories: Articles & News

Among Friends: A Piece of the Answer

Friends Journal - Mon, 05/01/2017 - 3:10am

By the time you’re reading this issue, the White House (attn: President Donald Trump) should have received the stack of complimentary copies we sent him, along with a cover letter prompting him to look inside for the 27 personal letters addressed to him from middle and high school students. The 16-page feature and accompanying online content is the result of our fourth annual Student Voices Project, which invites students at Friends schools and Quaker students in other educational venues to submit their writing to the pages of Friends Journal.

When we announced the project’s theme last October, the U.S. presidential election had been a leading story in the news and within many Quaker circles for well over a year. Both of the top candidates represented historic firsts, challenging traditional convention in politics: a former First Lady with over 30 years of political experience and a billionaire reality TV star businessman with hundreds of ventures in a variety of markets. Whatever the outcome on November 8, it was sure to get people talking, marching, blogging, and engaging in cross-party dialogue.

One week later, submissions for the project started pouring in, and the flow continued through the following three months, resulting in nearly 300 “Dear Mr. President” letters from young individuals representing dozens of schools, meetings, and communities around the world (the project saw its first international participation this year with submissions from Monteverde Friends School in Costa Rica and Ramallah Friends School in Palestine). None of these student letter writers is old enough to vote, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t paying attention. SVP honoree Gillian Murray says it best: “We are young, but we have opened our eyes and see what’s going on in the world. We want to have our ideas heard.”

Being heard requires someone who is listening. I think Quaker youth programs build this kind of relationship very well. A recent QuakerSpeak video (see p. 55) highlights how members of New England Yearly Meeting work to support children’s spirituality. Among those interviewed, one answer stood out to me the most: they offer “a space where the adults trust that youth have a piece of the answer.” When we’re looking for answers, do our actions reflect this trust? How are we giving space and listening to our youth?

Also in this issue, we celebrate being Quaker in the summertime and all the exciting opportunities that come with it. From summer camps to summer gatherings, we have stories and experiences for Friends of all ages. Pete Dybdahl remembers the awkward yet love-filled moments between teenage counselors. Dyresha Harris shares outreach and inclusion tips from Baltimore Yearly Meeting’s camping program. Lastly, John Andrew Gallery is back with part two of his spiritual learnings from attending Quaker Spring in Ohio last summer. (And don’t miss this month’s online feature by tenth-grader Kyle Weinman whose lively piece about his favorite “Sweet Ol’ Camp Tune” will make you want to sing out loud.)

I grew up attending a summer camp program run by my quarterly meeting in Pennsylvania. It was at Quaker camp where I learned all the words to the George Fox song, where I first stood up during meeting for worship, and where I felt the most loved, seen, and accepted by those around me. It was where I could let my little light shine bright. Youth are always a piece of the answer. Let’s not forget that.


The post Among Friends: A Piece of the Answer appeared first on Friends Journal.

Categories: Articles & News

Forum May 2017

Friends Journal - Mon, 05/01/2017 - 3:05am
Unexpected tutor As a freshman at Haverford College who was struggling in the academic year of 1963–64, the administration in its wisdom chose to assign me a kindly older gentleman for study help. He helped me get through my almost disastrous freshman year, although I ultimately took ten years to get through and receive my degree. As a headstrong 17-year-old not well versed in Quaker history, I did not realize the attention I was getting, for the person assisting me was Henry Joel Cadbury (“Henry Cadbury, AFSC, and Haverford College” by David Harrington Watt and James Krippner🔒 Friends Journal Member? Sign in here!
Not an FJ member? To read this piece, please join us today! For $28, you'll get:
  • A year of Friends Journal delivered to your mailbox (11 issues) and email
  • Full, instant access to the world’s largest online library of Quaker information: every Friends Journal ever published, going back to 1955
  • Membership in a community that believes in the power of Quaker experience
Click here to join us! Already a member? Welcome back. Please use the Login box to sign in. If you would like to order by phone or have any questions, we’re here to help. Call toll-free: (800)471-6863 or contact us by email.

The post Forum May 2017 appeared first on Friends Journal.

Categories: Articles & News

Quakers, Restrooms, and the Learning Curve

Friends Journal - Mon, 05/01/2017 - 3:00am
A restroom sign at Friends Meeting of Washington (D.C.). Photo courtesy of Debby Churchman. Quakers tend to follow the leading to be in the world but not of it, although last summer gave us ample reason to not want to be in it much. Holy moly. Still, in our own small way, Friends Meeting of Washington (D.C.) is meeting the world as it is and working toward a better one. The summer of 2016🔒 Friends Journal Member? Sign in here!
Not an FJ member? To read this piece, please join us today! For $28, you'll get:
  • A year of Friends Journal delivered to your mailbox (11 issues) and email
  • Full, instant access to the world’s largest online library of Quaker information: every Friends Journal ever published, going back to 1955
  • Membership in a community that believes in the power of Quaker experience
Click here to join us! Already a member? Welcome back. Please use the Login box to sign in. If you would like to order by phone or have any questions, we’re here to help. Call toll-free: (800)471-6863 or contact us by email.

The post Quakers, Restrooms, and the Learning Curve appeared first on Friends Journal.

Categories: Articles & News

4th Annual Student Voices Project

Friends Journal - Mon, 05/01/2017 - 2:55am

This year we asked students to write a letter to the next president of the United States suggesting what they think he should focus on during his first year.

The post 4th Annual Student Voices Project appeared first on Friends Journal.

Categories: Articles & News

For a religious group known for its silent worship, we’re a pretty outspoken bunch

Friends Journal - Mon, 05/01/2017 - 2:50am

Dear Mr. Trump,

Congratulations on being elected president. The teens of Friends Meeting of Washington welcome you to Washington, D.C.

We’re Quakers. For a religious group known for its silent worship, we’re a pretty outspoken bunch. We advocate, we organize, we vote, we speak the truth, and when necessary, we protest. We may worship in silence, but we live our values loudly. We want to share with you our hopes and fears for your presidency:

  • We’re fearful that you will widen the wealth gap, making decisions that favor the one percent and hurt everyone else.
  • We’re fearful that you’ll target certain ethnic and religious groups with unfair detainment and deportation.
  • We’re fearful that you’ll destabilize our relations with other countries.
  • We hope that you’ll keep the lives of citizens and immigrants in mind as you govern.
  • We hope that you’ll treat all socioeconomic classes equally.
  • We hope that you’ll work for the good of America and not just for your personal gain.

As you take on your new role as president, we will hold you in the Light and hope that, as president, you will recognize that of God in everyone.


Greyson Acquaviva, Grade 11, The Howard Gardner School;

Anna Avanesyan, Grade 10, Sidwell Friends School;

Charlie Melchior-Fisher, Grade 9, School Without Walls;

and Preston Melchior-Fisher, Grade 9, School Without Walls

The post For a religious group known for its silent worship, we’re a pretty outspoken bunch appeared first on Friends Journal.

Categories: Articles & News

I think it says something about our country that even the smallest of voices were recognized

Friends Journal - Mon, 05/01/2017 - 2:45am

Dear President of the United States,

Incredibly, this is not the first letter I have written to a president. In the first grade my entire class was given the task to write a letter to the President of the United States. I don’t remember what I wrote in that letter; all I remember is how amazed I was that we actually got a letter back! The fact that the person elected to the highest office would send a letter back to a bunch of first graders at a small Quaker school in Pennsylvania was astonishing to me. I think it says something about our country that even the smallest of voices were recognized. That is something I would like for you to address. I believe that every voice should be heard, but some are silenced by society. As the next president, you should help to give everyone, rich or poor, a chance to voice their opinions.

To tell you a little bit about myself, I am a first-generation American whose parents come from Venezuela. I know many people who felt deeply silenced and offended by many of the comments you made during your campaign. You cannot continue to silence minorities and women because that is not what this great country stands for. I am also a student who has attended a Quaker school for ten years and the most important value I have learned from this school is to see the Light in everyone. Basically, this means that you should try to see the best parts of all people, instead of just seeing their worst. Not every immigrant or Muslim is bad. The vast majority of them have the Light of God within them; you should strive to see that. I would hope that as president you would help others to see that of God in other people too. That is what a good president would look like to me.

Best of luck,

Daniela Uribe, Grade 9, Westtown School

The post I think it says something about our country that even the smallest of voices were recognized appeared first on Friends Journal.

Categories: Articles & News

Every person deserves a chance and the right to have that chance

Friends Journal - Mon, 05/01/2017 - 2:40am

Dear Mr. Trump,

The America I envision is an America where all people are treated equally. It is an America where no matter how you look or how you identify, you will be accepted. It is an America that is respected and valued as a country. I am afraid that the America you want to create is not the country that the American people want. For centuries, people have fought for their rights, and now more than ever, we need a president that will provide rights and equality for every group. I am worried that all of the progress we have made will come plummeting back on us. But I believe that you can change this. From your campaign, many hate groups have popped up, and the country is scared for the future. If you and your staff change your views about groups of people like Muslims and women and the LGBTQ community, we can move closer to having a world where all people are treated equally and with respect. All of these groups make up an important part of America, and we need to fight for their rights, not ignore them and their needs. Every person deserves a chance and the right to have that chance. Entire groups should not be judged by the horrible actions of a few.

Sincerely, your fellow American,

Kyle Witter, Grade 6, Westtown School

The post Every person deserves a chance and the right to have that chance appeared first on Friends Journal.

Categories: Articles & News
Syndicate content