Among Friends: A Brand New Bag

First things first. If you are a print subscriber, you probably were surprised to see this issue of Friends Journal arrive in your mailbox in a plastic bag. For a long time, and more frequently in the last few years, some Friends Journal subscribers have complained that the magazine arrives torn, wet, mangled, or damaged. For some of you, it arrives less than intact almost every month. We’ve also heard from our postal partners that layoffs and changes in the U.S. Postal Service’s operations have caused disruptions, delays, and reductions in service.

Placing the magazine in a polybag before mailing is a cost-effective way to protect the magazine and speed it to our beloved subscribers each month. The plastic bag we use is recyclable at drop-off locations such as grocery stores. To find a location near you that accepts this material for recycling, please visit Most recycled plastic bags are used to produce composite lumber, so today’s bag may be tomorrow’s new recycled-plastic deck or park bench. If you have questions or comments about the bag, please let us know.

Inside the Bag

This past January, I joined eight other Quaker organizational leaders for a small symposium focused on a critical but surprisingly little-understood topic: what do our organizations need from one another? What surfaced when we met was a broadly shared sense that we are all partners doing God’s work in the Quaker community and the wider world. We are all part of an ecosystem that is healthier and more innovative than we sometimes give it credit for. Getting the chance to hear what my colleagues were excited and challenged by in their work, I realized that Friends Journal can and should be playing a more proactive role in sharing the successes of Quaker process and Quaker ministry as carried out by the organizations that make up our ecosystem. The idea for our new semiannual feature, “Quaker Works” (pp. 44–49) was born. I hope you enjoy it.

The theme for this issue is Friends and Other Faiths. In a time when many of us claim overlapping and intersecting identities of faith, culture, place, and tribe, it’s fascinating to read how the Friends who contributed pieces for this issue speak of Quakerism’s place in their world and worldview. A wide swath of intersecting faiths is represented: Catholicism, Judaism, Islam, Eastern spirituality, and Paganism. I’m especially pleased that our authors shared what Friends might learn from other faiths, as well as what Friends may have that is of real value to those who follow other spiritual paths.

Thanks for reading and joining us on this path of knowledge.

Yours in peace,

Gabriel Ehri
Executive Director

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