Articles & News
Just this morning, the first rays of light found their way into the new classrooms in the Belize City Friends Center. In the image, workers are cutting windows into the walls.
This construction is part of the ongoing Big Year For Belize, which includes the purchase of a new building for the Belize Friends School and expanding ministries, renovating said building, and sending Oscar Mmbali (a graduate of Friends Theological College in Kenya) to serve as the Pastoral Minister in Belize City. Friends all around the world are getting involved in the work that God is calling us to do on the Southside of Belize City.
If you would like to make a financial contribution to the work, you can do so through our online store. Please continue to keep the work in Belize in your prayers.
Download/view the presentation (Google slides)
Download/view the presentation (Google slides)
Ala Balata (18) looks at the photos of the members of his family who were killed in an Israeli attack, Jabaliya refugee camp, September 20, 2014. Ala is the only survivor of his family.Photo: Anne Paq/Anne Paq
After several years of work, and months of negotiations on final language with the mayor's office, the police, the city solicitor and the city council, there is final language for the Providence City Ordinance that will be considered by the city council. There will be a public hearing on the ordinance April 10th at 5:30pm in the council chambers (third floor) of city hall. Here is the final language.
We summarize last week’s activities; share next week’s upcoming events; and comment on the proposed Ohio budget (including opposing a sales tax increase and supporting public transportation funding), the federal health care bill, Neil Gorsuch’s gory expansion of corporate personhood, and a newly discovered — but several year old — report describing the nexus between economic and political inequality (and proposed solutions). [Length: 39:59]
New England Yearly Meeting is seeking a Child-Care Coordinator for their upcoming Yearly Meeting sessions. Karen Sánchez-Eppler, Clerk of the Youth Ministries Committee, writes that “There is no more important work for building the future of Quakerism in New England, and really few happier ways to spend these August days. I have been a member of the childcare staff most summers in recent years, and it is a truly joyous place to be and thing to do. There are many dedicated staff happy to return to this work, quality toys and equipment, and a well-organized archive of materials and procedures to build on. But we need to find the right person to take on this work of loving community.”
It isn’t very often that a new network of meetings emerges because someone stumbles upon Friends on the internet. And it’s even more unusual when this happens in a rural part of Africa where few homes have access to electricity! But that’s how the Friends movement in Kyela, Tanzania was born.
In 2007, a young man named Barnabas contacted Friends World Committee for Consultation, saying that he’d found Friends on the internet and wanted to know how he could become one. The Executive Secretary of the FWCC Africa Section at that time, Moses Musonga, invited John Muhanji, FUM’s Africa Ministries Director, to accompany him on a visit to Kyela to learn more. Since FWCC isn’t directly involved in church planting work, Moses asked FUM to take the lead in shepherding this new community.
When John and Moses first visited they found two Friends churches, both with sizeable membership. John arranged for three of the new Friends (two men and one woman) to attend Friends Theological College for a one-year certificate program, to be better equipped to disciple the new community in Friends faith and practice. The next time John visited, there were four churches.
Kyela is a mid-size town in Mbeya Region in southern Tanzania. It sits at the northern tip of Lake Malawi, and is just a few miles from the border between Tanzania and Malawi. The border with Zambia is also a short distance away. The land along the lake is swampy and flood-prone, and the people are mostly engaged in subsistence farming and production of rice and cocoa for export.
Since 2013, Iowa Yearly Meeting has been partnering with Kyela Friends. Together they have purchased three motorcycles for use by evangelists, have constructed a new church building in Kyela town, and are distributing Bibles to those who’ve never heard the gospel. Today, this ten-year-old Quaker community has planted churches across the borders in Malawi and Zambia, as well and Dar es Salaam (the capital of Tanzania), over 400 miles away.
Meeting with your lawyerPhoto: AFSC/
QUESTIONS FOR THE IMMIGRATION LAWYER:
1) What are the possible options for legalization for me? What different ways can we fight my case?
2) What percentage of cases that you work on are like mine?
3) What percentage of cases like mine do you win or what do you think the odds of success are?
4) If I sign for voluntary return what happens? Are there any bars to re-entry? What are the wait times? What are the chances I’d be approved?
6) How much will you charge in my case? When will payments be due? What do the payments cover? What do they not cover?
Sunday School Fellowship Day is an annual event in Jamaica Yearly Meeting on Ash Wednesday, which is a public holiday in Jamaica. The event is held at the Swift Purscell Multi Use Facility in Highgate. Fun activities include a Bible Quiz for school age children, questions on Friends history and beliefs, and games and races for all ages. The celebration concludes with a concert, which includes a musical offering by representatives from all 13 Friends’ churches in Jamaica.
David Goode, pastor of Worthington Friends Church, shares that “Jamaica has very strong Catholic roots from the Spaniards, then Anglican roots” tracing from when the British forces defeated the Spanish forces in the region. Many traditional churches have ash services at noon on Ash Wednesday, in keeping with that heritage. Friends in Jamaica decided to do something more celebratory with their time off, choosing to come together for fun and games and fellowship.The Sunday School Fellowship Day has become one of the main times for Friends in Jamaica to gather and enjoy each others’ company and share together in worship at a yearly event. Not all of their events are repeated yearly, though. They have a youth retreat scheduled in April, and are setting aside time in May for a Convocation to focus on spiritual growth. May God continue to bless Friends in Jamaica with peace and wisdom and love, and may their gatherings together always be marked by joy!
General Secretary of New York Yearly Meeting (NYYM) of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
This is a full-time position headquartered in New York City, serving the needs of more than 60 monthly meetings spread through New York State and parts of Connecticut and New Jersey.
The ideal candidate is a servant leader with strong spiritual grounding, abilities in both administration and ministry, good understanding of Quaker process, and demonstrated skills in• Translating vision into action • Management • Collaboration • Releasing and nurturing others’ gifts in ministry • Communication • Building effective teams of volunteers • Development, grant writing, budgeting
Although each General Secretary brings a personal vision, typical activities of the position include visiting throughout the Yearly Meeting, leading workshops for spiritual growth, writing press releases on urgent events, and consulting with committees and meetings in crisis. The General Secretary leads and supervises a small staff that has grown in size and scope, coordinating their efforts with groups of volunteers. Eventual membership in a monthly meeting of NYYM is expected.
For a link to the job description and more information about NYYM see nyym.org.
Deadline for applications: April 1, 2017
The Quaker United Nations Office is releasing a new briefing paper to help Friends better understand migrant and refugee issues. The paper is titled ‘Protecting refugees and migrants under the New York Declaration: challenges and opportunities at the UN level,’ and you can download it as a PDF here: QUNO_Briefing_for_Friends_Refugees_and_Migrants_FINAL.pdf
About this paper, they write, “On September 19th 2016, the UN set a new agenda under the ‘New York Declaration’ for responding to large movements of people crossing borders. Our briefing aimsPhoto: contributing to the tree of current actions Friends are taking on refugee and migrant issues.
to inform Friends about the Declaration and the developments it initiates for improving global governance on refugees and migrants. It also describes how QUNO is engaging in these opportunities, as well as ways that Quakers around the world can link up with, and benefit from, UN level initiatives.”
QUNO presented this paper in February at the Quaker Asylum and Refugee Network conference on February 5th at Woodbrooke Study Centre in Birmingham, UK. Out the following discussion, this minute was written. It begins with this:
We came as individuals across the water, by road and rail, from countries across Europe, and cities, towns and villages in UK to focus our energy around forced migration and how Quakers can respond. We are all at different places on our journey, for some this is new, others bring years of commitment to supporting people seeking sanctuary and refugees, or of trying to change the system, and we share strong Quakerly commitment to peace, justice and equality that has guided us through the weekend together, and to healing the brokenness of our own societies.