Being 'Of the World'

This month Friends Journal brings you a selection of articles that deal with engagement in the world. Some authors may be familiar to you, and others are new to these pages. Margaret Hope Bacon, who has written for us often, shares a message of hope to her grandchildren (p. 6). Signe Wilkinson, whose poignant, humorous commentary and illustrations have appeared before, applies her pen like a scalpel to Quaker outreach (p. 9). Rob Callard, a new author for us, looks at what Friends can do when someone, perhaps unfamiliar with Friends, disrupts meeting for worship (p. 12). Patricia Williams, who recently appeared in our December issue with her theological study, "Jesus as a Friend," is back with a look at how our era affects our theological perceptions (p. 14).

There are two more feature articles in this issue, both by authors new to us, and together they deal with how people engage with, confront, and offer advice to other people. Shari Dinkins looks at these questions from a contemporary and very personal perspective (p. 17), while Gretchen Haynes examines collective action in a historical setting (p. 19). These articles complement each other and offer much to ponder about as individuals and groups consider how to respond to small and large injustices.
In this issue, we welcome the second installment of a new department that is closely associated with the "Books" department: "Quaker Writings" (p. 31). This column looks at the writings of some inspirational Friends, one at a time. In December the first one in this series featured the writings of James Nayler. This month, the focus is on Douglas Steere. Brian Drayton, who wrote both columns, is the author of several recent penetrating book reviews and a recorded minister in New England Yearly Meeting.

This year brings another round of engagement and decision making about the future, especially in the United States where citizens will participate in presidential and Congressional elections. As always, we invite you, our readers, to take time to record your experiences and reflections, and to share your inspiration with others by sending them to us. Our guidelines for submissions are posted on our website,, or you may contact us to receive them.

We keep hearing from many that Friends Journal is deeply important to you. As our 50th anniversary next year approaches, we reaffirm out commitment to do our best to serve you, our readers and writers, and our Religious Society. Have we told you recently how stimulating and fulfilling for us it is to do this work?