With change in the air these days, I find myself reassessing my commitments of time and energy—and I sense that many others, perhaps even across the globe, are doing the same. Our perceptions seem to be shifting about what is needed: what matters most, for ourselves and for the well-being of our planet. Simply put: there seems to be more interest in community, and (at least in our aspirations) less self-centeredness.
For me, the articles in this issue offer some evidence from the world of Friends:
- In "Crossing the Border" (p. 6), Heidi Blocher experiences a sudden transformation at the U.S.-Mexican border when she connects emotionally with a stranger.
- In "Listening to Lincoln" (p. 9), Burton Housman is called to heightened awareness, sensitivity, and involvement with veterans who, in increasing numbers, are surviving war with severe wounds.
- In "A Peace Education Sabbatical" (p. 14), Susan Gelber Cannon, during a school year of travel, learns rich lessons on how to be an active peacebuilder.
- In "My Spiritual Journey" (p. 17), Mary Margaret McAdoo, whose meeting asked her to present her spiritual life story, writes of how the presence of acceptance and of forgiveness—which she found in a 12-step program, and which she sees as elements of peace—have empowered her. (Many meetings are asking their members to present their spiritual journeys; more such accounts will appear in future issues.)
- And in "Happy Birthday, Mercer Street Friends" (p. 19), Andrea Lehman tells how 50 years of Friends service to Trenton (N.J.) Meeting’s surrounding population has changed lives.
From January 13 to 17, I attended an ecumenical Peace Gathering at Arch Street Meetinghouse in Philadelphia, and I experienced a similar sense of shifting and growing engagement in the work of community. Friends Journal plans to present some highlights of that gathering in our May issue.
In a letter sent to our subscribers last November, we told you we needed to raise $48,186 by December 31 from individuals and meetings, in order to stay on budget. We are delighted to report that we received a very heartening response to that message and we are, in fact, still on budget for this year. We thank everyone who has given us gifts above the price of their subscriptions. The benefits of the generosity of our donors accrue to all the people touched by this magazine—our readers, their families, meeting members, seekers who come across friendsjournal.org on the web. Subscription and advertising income alone cannot support our work and the ministry it performs. We are very grateful for the generosity of our donors, who make it possible for us to bring you this magazine. Thank you!