Introduction to Issue #22

This issue is the largest we have ever published. It wasn’t planned that way: good stuff just kept coming in. And it covers a wide range of topics and concerns, from Quaker peace work in Kenya, to the theological character of a recent award-winning novel about a Quaker who becomes a slaveowner. There is also an account of finding a vocation in illuminating some of the ways music has been part of violence; plus an excerpt from, and discussion of a landmark new biography of two of the most significant figures in 20th century American Quakerism; and a sketch of an irreverent but revealing “map” of North American Quaker history.

    That much would be plenty. But there’s more: since our last report, the ongoing schism in Indiana Yearly Meeting, which we have been covering in detail since Issue #18, has passed a decisive point, and the split is now an all-but accomplished fact.

    So besides a general update by our Associate Editor Stephen Angell, we are including three recent documents that shed light on key currents of the struggle: the final proposal from the “task force” recommending the division; a letter from the Indiana Yearly Meeting Superintendent to the churches remaining in Indiana Yearly Meeting; and a heartfelt sermon-reflection by a member of the Meeting which was the principal target of the purge. If you have been following this process, or want to know its status as of late Second Month 2013, you will want to read all of these.

    Altogether, these reports and essays make for a volume that richly merits a place at the bedside, to be dipped into, savored, and reflected on. And a place in your Meeting’s library as well.

    Which brings me to a note about subscriptions and mail: Your editor has moved, and the journal has followed. Our new postal address and new email are on the copyright page. Let us hear from you.

                                                                            – Chuck Fager

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