Retired Earlham College professor Paul Lacey became a Quaker as he started college.   Although planning to be a civil liberties lawyer, the love of literature overcame that intention and led to his teaching career. Paul says, “That change was hard. Lawyering would do practical good for people, but teaching literature wasn’t so clear cut.  I knew that I wanted to help increase the happiness in the world, to lessen the suffering; to help liberate people from ignorance, prejudice, injustice, to live joyfully and help others to the same. I found a balance between the aesthetic, spiritual pleasures that literature gave me by engaging in social witness and service. I know each choice has enriched and strengthened the other.”

Being associated with AFSC was a natural extension of Paul’s faith.  His first Quaker mentors worked for the AFSC as staff or volunteers and their lives manifested exactly that balance he sought. In Paul’s assessment, “They increased the conditions for happiness in the world: peace-building, advocating just institutions and societies, giving humanitarian aid to people in need. That is the work AFSC did then.”

Having recently served as Clerk of the AFSC Board of Directors, Paul is intimately acquainted with current programs and notes, “More than ninety years later, the Service Committee continues its historical and prophetic work.  It’s been an honor to be associated with such an impressive, useful, life-changing organization.”

Taking the long view, Paul and wife Margie have included the Service Committee in their will.  Ultimately, their bequest will be used for the worldwide programs they care about for future generations.  

Learn more about leaving a legacy through AFSC in our planned giving section.