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Updated: 2 weeks 5 days ago

Welcome to Wichita!

Sun, 07/09/2017 - 8:37pm

If you’re traveling to Wichita, Kansas, for the 2017 Triennial—good news! Several of the Meetings and Churches hosting the Triennial have prepared an e-booklet lovingly introducing you to their home. Complete with coffee shops, ice cream, restaurants, and a description of Friday’s Wichita service projects, you can view it online here, or download it and carry it with you when you’re able to explore Wichita.

Categories: Articles & News

“Bigger Than Us” Project at Worthington Friends Church

Mon, 07/03/2017 - 12:35pm
Churches in Jamaica often find that they cannot meet their operating needs without income beyond tithes and offerings from the congregation. Many churches use other fundraising options, such as hosting fish fries or chicken bar-be-ques or running pledge drives. Friends’ Meetings and Churches are not exempt from this need to explore creative means of fundraising. Worthington Friends Church, in the capital city of Jamaica, has come up with a new plan. They hope to capitalize on their location in the heart of the financial and corporate center of Jamaica, New Kingston, by renovating some of their space to provide reasonably priced, quality accommodations to the Friends community as well as to the national and international business community. There has been talk for many years about a “refurbishing project ” of their Annex – a one room board with four bunk beds and a bathroom. There have been dreams, plans, discussions, etc.  Earlier this year, they decided to approach the idea again from a fresh perspective. The church is replacing the one room board Annex with two “mini-suites”. Each will have two twin beds and a private bath. In a later phase, a small kitchenette will be added to each. The church hopes to use income from renting the spaces to travelers to supplement their budget. The project is being funded from a number of sources including Worthington’s members at home and abroad, friends and family, and from project funds from two short-term mission teams who also volunteer their labor towards the project. They have made great progress so far and phases one and two are nearly complete! Phase three is removing the board structure and completing the roof. Remaining phases will include plumbing, electrical, interior and exterior finishes and finally furnishings and equipment. Friends at Worthington would welcome any and all assistance, whether in cash or kind. Prayers for this “bigger than us” project are also appreciated. Any plumbers, carpenters or electricians interested in some work in Jamaica? Pastor David is sure that at least one day at the beach could be arranged for workers! For more information, please contact Pastor David Goode at goode.dave@gmail.com or by local US phone call to (330)283-9832.
Categories: Articles & News

FUM Triennial Workshop Options

Thu, 06/29/2017 - 3:43pm

FUM Triennial Workshop Options

You will have an opportunity to sign-up for workshops during the onsite registration process. The locations for each of the workshops will be available at that time.

Thursday—1:15pm – 2:30pm

A Necessary Good – Peace, Diplomacy and Development not War: After years of research and development, the U.S. government has new, non-military options to prevent violent conflict. But now these tools, structures, and resources face devastating cuts as the Trump administration solidifies its military-first foreign policy. The U.S. government needs tools outside of the military to address complex crises that the military should not and cannot solve. Presenter: Theo Sitther, FCNL’s Legislative Secretary for Peacebuilding Policy

Flourishing Pathways: Inviting Local Meetings into a Journey of Flourishing and Thriving: What does it look like for your local meeting to flourish? What does it mean to flourish? How can you keep from getting stuck in maintenance mode?  This workshop will explore these questions as well as four pathways to flourishing that can be adapted to your local meeting. Presenter, Scott Wagoner, NCYM pastor and clerk of FUM North American Ministries Committee

Maximizing Your Generosity: Farm commodities, antique cars, a cabin the mountains…What do these things have in common? They can all become wonderful gifts to your favorite charity. When individuals consider a gift to their favorite charity or local meeting/church they often only consider the cash they have available. Come to this seminar to learn about gifting of special assets, creative ways to remember your favorite charities in your estate plan, and gifts that can create an income stream. Join us to hear how Everence can help you maximize your generosity. Presenter: Mitch Stutzman, Everence Stewardship Consultant

Living Letters: What does it mean to be “a letter from Christ …, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God” (2 Corinthians 3:3)? How does it change our behavior and attitudes when we think about inter–visitation, travel in the ministry, and short-term mission trips from this perspective? Presenters, Eden Grace—FUM Global Ministries Director and Lisa Scarpelli, FUM Global Ministries Assistant

The Power of Enough: How can we balance our use of time, energy, and “things,” to free us for action to do God’s work and to contribute to right order in our world? Using queries, worship sharing and discussion we will listen and learn together. Presenter, Jacqueline Stillwell, General Secretary of RSWR

Mentoring—Discovering that of God in Everyone: A commitment to energize and equip one another into a community where Jesus Christ is known, loved, and obeyed as Teacher and Lord requires intentional relationships. In this workshop, participants will be introduced to God’s design for mentoring and practical ways to walk it out with others. Presenter,  Adrian Halverstadt—Chancellor of Barclay College

Queries from Young People: Throughout the history of the Friends movement, Quakers have asked questions or queries. These questions have the purpose of probing into what it means to be Quaker, both from a corporate perspective, as well as a personal perspective. As the leadership for the Triennial Teen and Young Adult programs, we would like to explore some of our own queries, and allow them to create discussion about who Friends are as a movement, where we might like to go into the future, and what we may want to see accomplished in the world. We will discuss queries the young people offer. Anyone, regardless of age, is welcome to join the Teens and Young Adults during these times.

Thursday—2:45pm – 4:00pm

Soul Care in an Age of Compassion Fatigue: Inspired by the life and ministry of the prophet Elijah, this workshop focuses on the importance of giving adequate attention to our own personal growth and development (self-care) as we are serving others in order to avoid burnout and sustain effective ministry for the long haul. Presenter, Dave Williams, General Superintendent EFC-MAYM

Benefits with Quaker Values: Retirement and health plan options from Friends employers, meetings and churches: Friends employers have employee benefit programs available for employees, including staff and pastors that incorporate and subscribe to Quaker values. Learn more about these exciting Friends programs for your organization, church and meeting. Presenter: Bill Hartman, Everence Vice President of Organizational Services

I Could Be Wrong: Conflict Resolution, Eldering, and Decision-making Among Friends: Examining together some structural sources of conflict in meetings, roles and strategies for addressing it, and turning the ideas into exercises. Friends seem not to have overcome our historical proclivity for disagreement among ourselves. Can we deal with each other in a more Christ-like way if we share some of the sources of conflict and examine strategies to address it? Can understanding my role within the meeting make me more like a peace-maker? Let’s look at these and related issues together. Presenter, Bill Eagles (NCYM) and FUM General Board member

Living Letters in Kenya: A visit to Friends Lugulu Mission Hospital: Friends Lugulu Mission Hospital in western Kenya has offered a ministry of medical treatment for over a century. Come hear about the 100-bed hospital’s work, including responses to changing local health care needs and challenges. Let’s exchange ideas about how we can help our Quaker brethren in Kenya to continue to provide compassionate and efficient Christian health care services. Presenters, Kevin and Candida Quinn—FUM Living Letters volunteers, members of North Pacific Yearly Meeting

Right Sharing of World Resources: God calls us to the right sharing of world resources, from the burdens of materialism and poverty into the abundance of God’s love, to work for equity through partnership with our sisters and brothers throughout the world”. Learn about RSWR work in Kenya, Sierra Leone and southern India through slides and stories. Presenter, Jacqueline Stillwell, General Secretary RSWR

Queries from Young People: Throughout the history of the Friends movement, Quakers have asked questions or queries. These questions have the purpose of probing into what it means to be Quaker, both from a corporate perspective, as well as a personal perspective. As the leadership for the Triennial Teen and Young Adult programs, we would like to explore some of our own queries, and allow them to create discussion about who Friends are as a movement, where we might like to go into the future, and what we may want to see accomplished in the world. We will discuss queries the young people offer. Anyone, regardless of age, is welcome to join the Teens and Young Adults during these times.

Quaker Lobbying: Powerful, Pragmatic, and Effective: Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) has been engaged in connecting the rich inner life of the spirit with the life of service and political change since 1943. These times call for Friends to bring faith in to practice and action. We will discuss the various methods and best practices Friends can use to build long-lasting relationships with congressional officials using various methods.  FCNL has many tools and structures in place, just ready for your advocacy work! Presenter, Christine Ashley, Quaker Field Secretary, Friends Committee on National Legislation

Saturday—1:15pm – 2:30pm

Open Hearts, Open Hands: A Call to Stewardship: This workshop looks at spiritual affections and the biblical call to generosity and stewardship. We will unpack the unique Quaker testimony of stewardship as it relates to our care of the environment as well as the investments of time, talents, energies, and financial resources. Presenters: Kelly Kellum and Mitch Stutzman, Everence Stewardship Consultants

Queries from Young People: Throughout the history of the Friends movement, Quakers have asked questions or queries. These questions have the purpose of probing into what it means to be Quaker, both from a corporate perspective, as well as a personal perspective. As the leadership for the Triennial Teen and Young Adult programs, we would like to explore some of our own queries, and allow them to create discussion about who Friends are as a movement, where we might like to go into the future, and what we may want to see accomplished in the world. We will discuss queries the young people offer. Anyone, regardless of age, is welcome to join the Teens and Young Adults during these times.

Loving One Other (Workshop continues in the 2:45pm – 4pm time): In times as divisive as these, it may seem extremely hard to live out this fundamental command of Jesus.  Following it faithfully demands a radical reordering of our lives, from the inside out.  It begs the questions “How am I to live my life in this community?” and “How am I to live in the world?” In this workshop, we will explore the challenge of keeping our hearts open when confronted with the other—the parts of ourselves we would rather not acknowledge, or the aspects of others which might elicit fear, avoidance, distrust, and anger.  We will look at how keeping our hearts open to the other allows us to better live out loving one another, not theoretically, but in this very community.  We will also explore how this work is inextricably tied to the quality of our worship together. Presenter, Christopher Sammond, NYYM General Secretary

Big Things in Belize: Come hear about the expansion of Friends ministries in Belize. Presenters, Belize Team—Oscar Mmbali, Frank and Maggie Tench, Candi Young, Athina Major and Dale Graves

Water Matters! Why do Christians care about access to clean safe water for the world’s most vulnerable people? What can we do about it? What if we could promote self-sustaining small business development as a solution to water problems Presenters, Del and Suzanne Livingston, coordinators of FUM’s biosand water filter project

Inside the Wall, or On the Wall?: Making pictures for Newsletters and Websites: This workshop will give you some ideas for making successful pictures for your Meeting/Church. In particular, we will discuss how the place you want to use your pictures should guide you in the pictures that you make. Presenter, Dan Kasztelan, FUM Communications Director

Why Does Esther need an Education: Why do Friends focus on girl-child education among the nomadic people groups of Turkana and Samburu, in the deserts of Kenya? What happens when a girl gets a chance to learn? What happens in her life? What happens in the life of her community? Presenters, John Moru—Director Turkana Friends Mission and Sammy Letoole—Director Samburu Friends Mission

Saturday—2:45pm – 4:00pm

A Shared Tomorrow: The Ways We Serve: Friends will learn about the history and mission of Everence. Following the Stewardship Vine, this workshop will trace the various ways Everence serves individuals and local meetings/churches. The Vine illustrates how we integrate our faith and finances by discovering God’s plan, living responsibly, preparing for the future, and giving generously. In addition, we will highlight how local advocates connect congregations with Everence’s resources and services. Presenters: Kelly Kellum and Mitch Stutzman, Everence Stewardship Consultants

Shifting the Paradigm of Missions in the 21st Century: Building on the theme of The Living Flame, this workshop will cover ways we can serve God’s people both locally and globally.  Using the guiding principles of cultural humility, the presenters will offer specific ideas for those desiring a fresh approach to missions and community initiatives in this 21st Century.  Presenters, Eloise Hockett, NWYM/George Fox University and John Muhanji, FUM Director African Ministries Office

Queries from Young People: Throughout the history of the Friends movement, Quakers have asked questions or queries. These questions have the purpose of probing into what it means to be Quaker, both from a corporate perspective, as well as a personal perspective. As the leadership for the Triennial Teen and Young Adult programs, we would like to explore some of our own queries, and allow them to create discussion about who Friends are as a movement, where we might like to go into the future, and what we may want to see accomplished in the world. We will discuss queries the young people offer. Anyone, regardless of age, is welcome to join the Teens and Young Adults during these times.

Preventing Election Related Violence in Kenya: Friends Church Peace Team was formed in the violent aftermath of a contested national election in 2007. The next national election, in 2013, was largely peaceful, and there is evidence that Quaker peacemaking made a difference. Kenyans go to the polls again on August 8th, just a few weeks from now. Come hear how Friends are helping ensure the election is peaceful and fair. Presenter, Getry Agizah, Coordinator Friends Church Peace Team

Yikes! God may be Calling me to Cross-Cultural Ministry: Now what?? Discerning and following a call to cross-cultural ministry can be a daunting and exhilarating process. Come to this interactive workshop, no matter where you are on that journey. Presenter, Eden Grace, FUM Global Ministries Director

Loving One Other II (Continuation from the 1:15pm – 2:30pm time): In times as divisive as these, it may seem extremely hard to live out this fundamental command of Jesus.  Following it faithfully demands a radical reordering of our lives, from the inside out.  It begs the questions “How am I to live my life in this community?” and “How am I to live in the world?” In this workshop, we will explore the challenge of keeping our hearts open when confronted with the other—the parts of ourselves we would rather not acknowledge, or the aspects of others which might elicit fear, avoidance, distrust, and anger.  We will look at how keeping our hearts open to the other allows us to better live out loving one another, not theoretically, but in this very community.  We will also explore how this work is inextricably tied to the quality of our worship together. Presenter, Christopher Sammond, NYYM General Secretary

Introduction to Social Media: Confused by the changing social media landscape? This workshop will walk through the basics of establishing a social media presence for your Meeting or Church. Presenter, Julie Rudd, FUM E-commerce and Web Assistant

Categories: Articles & News

A Big Year for Belize – Frequently Asked Questions

Thu, 06/29/2017 - 2:27pm
How much is all of this costing?

It’s a big project! Some of the major cost items are (in US dollars):

  • $173,753 for the purchase and closing costs on the new property on Central American Boulevard.
  • $21,389 to install exterior stairs and rooftop railings in order to convert the warehouse into a safe school building with multiple means of egress from each room.
  • $18,530 to cut openings in the concrete and install windows and doors with security grilles in the classrooms, offices, and multipurpose hall.
  • $13,555 spent so far on electrical work, plumbing repair, new bathrooms, roofing repair, painting, partitioning the classrooms, and other miscellaneous repairs/renovations (including removing a massive honeybee hive!).

Perhaps another $30,000 is yet to be spent in order to complete the renovation of the entire property. It’s hard to know exactly what we’ll find when we start work on the Director’s apartment!

Where is the money coming from?

So far, the money has come from the following sources:

$29,706 was already on hand in FUM, because we’ve been saving for several years in hopes that we would find the right building to buy.

$100,000 was raised in December and January through a matching grant issued by two anonymous families and generously matched by 22 donors.

$31,742 has been received so far from the sale of other properties owned by FUM in Belize (undeveloped land north of the city, and the former school building on Allenby Street). We still have one more parcel of land to sell, which should bring another $20,000.

Since the beginning of February, $33,156 has been donated toward renovation of the new building—by individuals, Meetings, and Yearly Meetings (not including the money that has started to come in for the Summer Mission Project).

$25,000 is our goal for the 2017 Summer Mission Project – “A Big Year for Belize.” Thanks for participating in the Big Goal and helping get our Big New Building in shape for God’s Big Plans for Belize Friends Ministries!

Can I come down to Belize to help?

We love this question! Yes, you may come down to Belize to help with the renovation and/or to volunteer in the school (and, once Oscar gets his feet under him, there will also be volunteer opportunities in the community). Dale Graves will be supervising renovation volunteers during the following dates: August 8 to September 5, from October 10 to November 20, and again January through March. Volunteers are housed in the new facility and can choose between bed-and-breakfast for $25/day or full board for $45/day. There are hot showers, laundry, and internet on site—and did we mention the roof deck with ocean views? If you’re interested in volunteering with the renovation, contact Eden Grace for more information. And even if you can’t go to Belize, you can follow the renovation progress on Dale’s blog: fuminbelize.org.

Do you need additional staff?

We’re still hiring for the position of Director of Belize Friends Ministries. This person will lead the staff team; oversee the building project; raise funds from individuals, churches, and grant-making organizations; and administer the expanding programs. It’s a role that’s crucial to the success of the big ministry plan. Click here to find out more about the position.

Could you be called to this work? Or do you know someone you could encourage to pray about it? Contact Eden Grace for more information.

Categories: Articles & News

Stoking the Fire 2017: Claiming Spiritual Power for Transformative Action Workshop Schedule

Sat, 06/24/2017 - 11:42am

We are offering a range of workshops on Monday and Tuesday afternoons from 3 to 5 PM. We hope these will provide opportunities for us to reflect on past experience, learn and practice new skills, and prayerfully seek new avenues of transformation in Christ. Please note that some sessions are one-day only, while others offer a session on both days.

 

Two-day sessions:

Spirit-based Community as Foundation for Prophetic Ministry with Dorlan Bales (two sessions meant to build on each other): What is a prophetic call? What sort of support is required to respond faithfully to such a call? How did prophets stoke the fire in Israel, in the early church, and since then? Was the first Quaker generation prophetic, and if so, how? What prophets in modern times do we admire, and why? Are you prepared to respond to a prophetic calling? Could that response mean finding or helping create a supportive community?

Dorlan Bales (Heartland Friends, Great Plains YM) is a graduate of Earlham School of Religion and the Univ. of Chicago Divinity School, served meetings as a pastor in four Yearly Meetings, was part of the Friends of Jesus Community, worked for Sunflower Community Action, and is team leader for FCNL’s new Wichita Advocacy Team.

Discernment for Spirit-Led Action with Patricia Thomas (two sessions meant to build on each other, but that can be taken separately): In the first, we will explore the assumptions which underlie the gift of discernment, a foundation of our corporate Quaker faith and practice, as we share Scriptural and personal experience. The second, entitled “A Quaker Twist: What Canst Thou Say?” will delve into leadings and the role of clearness committees. Journaling and meditation will be part of both sessions. Please bring a Bible, pen and paper.

Patricia Thomas (Campus Meeting, Wilmington YM) is a life-long Friend from the unprogrammed tradition, and a graduate of Earlham School of Religion. The use of clearness committees and the reality of ‘leadings and being led’ are dear to her heart.

 

Monday afternoon, 3 – 5 PM:

Being Grounded in Spiritual Practice with Kathryn Damiano: This session will present an integrative and holistic approach to the many calls and demands of our lives, emphasizing self-care and care of others.

Dr. Kathryn Damiano (Heartland Friends, Great Plains YM) is a founder, with Fran Taber and Sandra Cronk, of the “On Being a Spiritual Nurturer” program; she is also an ecumenical spiritual director with a variety of faith traditions, grounded and working out of Friends’ spiritual practices.

 

The Third Way—Nonviolent Resistance and Civil Disobedience with Leslie Manning: Drawing from the teachings of Jesus and the writings of Dr. King, Walter Wink and Jean Zaru of Ramallah Friends Meeting, this workshop will involve reading, reflection and writing on selected prompts from these leaders.

Leslie Manning (Durham Friends, New England YM) is an activist and advocate, the legislative coordinator for Friends Committee on Maine Public Policy, and the former president of the Maine Council of Churches.

 

Tuesday afternoon, 3 – 5 PM:

Quaker Social Change Ministry—Reclaiming Spirit-Guided Social Change with Lucy Duncan: Are you wanting to enliven your faith with work to transform the world? Are you interested in reclaiming spiritual practice in your work for justice? This workshop will introduce Quaker social change ministry and lead participants through a process to consider how to center the voices and experiences of people of color or those most impacted by injustice in our work for just peace. This will be an interactive exercise which invites participants to reconsider how to bring mystics and activists together to work for social justice while practicing the spiritual discipline of accompaniment. To read more in advance, see www.afsc.org/qscm.

Lucy Duncan (Green Street Meeting, Philadelphia YM), has served the American Friends Service Committee as Director of Friends Relations since 2011.

 

Music as a Grounding for Action with Kathy Luethje & Leslie Manning: The tradition of the song circle helps us to recognize that voice from God in everyone. Kathy and Leslie have chosen some songs for all to sing together that have been an inspiration for various social justice movements. Stringed instrument players are welcome to bring instruments and jam—and we hope everyone will join us in song!

Kathy Luethje (Bloomingdale Friends, Western YM) is a graduate of Earlham School of Religion currently serving as a pastor, and formerly as a hospital chaplain. Kathy has been part of song circles and choral clubs in many places, is an avid collector of songs, writes musical plays, and is interested in music for healing. Leslie Manning (Durham Friends, New England YM) is an activist and advocate, the legislative coordinator for Friends Committee on Maine Public Policy, and the former president of the Maine Council of Churches.

Categories: Articles & News

Friends Fight Blindness in Africa

Mon, 06/19/2017 - 8:55am

(Thanks to Alfred Wasike of Friends Theological College for this report and for the pictures!)

More than 500 clients or patients have converged on Kaptama Hospital, along the slopes of Mt Elgon for the much needed general medical & eye camp. A team of Friends from George Fox University School of Nursing, Wabash Friends Church (USA), Friends Sabatia Eye Hospital have been here since Monday, June 5th. This is one of the biggest medical camps ever organised by the Kaptama Hospital Board and the Africa Ministries Office (AMO), John Muhanji, AMO Director says.

The team leaders include Dr. Amos Kibisu (Kakamega County Hospital), Elizabeth Roark (Assistant Professor of Nursing at George Fox University), and Dr. Eric Dale (Wabash Friends Meeting). Friends Theological College (FTC) Kaimosi Students are helping in the Medical Camp as part of our Hospital Ministry. Dr. Robert J. Wafula, the Principal of the prestigious hub of top quality Quaker-backed education in Africa is among the people who came for an eye check.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), blindness prevalence rates vary widely but the evidence suggests that approximately 1% of Africans are blind. The major cause is cataracts; trachoma and glaucoma are also important causes of blindness. The bulk of blindness is preventable or curable. Efforts should focus on eye problems which are universally present and for which there are cost effective remedies, such as cataract and refractive problems and on those problems which occur focally and can be prevented by primary healthcare measures, such as trachoma, onchocerciasis, and vitamin A deficiency. Major development of staffing levels, infrastructure, and community programmes will be necessary to achieve Vision 2020 goals.

Africa, especially the sub-Saharan Africa is home to approximately 7.1 of the world’s 38 million blind (WHO/PBL/97.61 Rev 2). The shortage of staff to provide eye care in Africa is legendary. According to the British Journal of Ophthalmology, the barriers that prevent people from presenting for cataract surgery or trichiasis surgery in Africa include:

• Cost: This includes not only the cost of the actual operation, but less obvious costs such as transportation to the hospital, loss of work, and living expenses while in hospital as well. Additional costs will exist for a caregiver or guardian who is usually required to accompany a patient.
• Accessibility of services: Since most Africans are rural and the eye care services are in the cities, a journey, often a major one, is necessary to reach the service. However, while high quality cataract surgery generally requires a fixed facility, trichiasis surgery can be done in rural villages.
• Knowledge of services: Lack of awareness that cataract or trichiasis can be cured by surgery prevents many from seeking treatment. Lack of understanding of what will be entailed (time, money, pain) is another a barrier.
• Trust in outcome: Patients often fear the outcome of surgery, with justification. While there has been no assessment of outcome of routine cataract surgery in Africa, some outcomes are less than desirable. A few bad outcomes can discourage a whole community.
• Cultural and social barriers: Cataract occurs more frequently in females, yet a population-based study in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, demonstrated that females underwent cataract surgery at only three-fifths the rate of males. This may be due to less education, social support, and control of time and money among females compared with males.

VISION 2020 AND AFRICA

The Vision 2020 initiative refers to goals and priorities (described in the WHO/PBL/97.61 global initiative for the elimination of avoidable blindness) that are being adopted by many individuals, non-government development organisations, the WHO, government agencies, and ministries of health that work in the field of prevention of blindness. Its aim is to decrease the current projection of 75 million blind by the year 2020 to 25 million. The major causes of blindness in poor countries can be divided into three groups: (1) those which occur universally and for which there are successful cost-effective treatments, including cataract and refractive errors; (2) those which occur among specific populations and which can be prevented by inexpensive medicines, including vitamin A deficiency, trachoma, and onchocerciasis; and (3) major blinding diseases that are less well defined and for which cost-effective screening and treatment for poor people do not currently exist, including diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma. For Africa, it is important to put high priority on the first two of these groups. In order to do so there will have to be tremendous developments in staffing, infrastructure, and organisational capacity.

Categories: Articles & News

Adrian Moody Appointed as Head of the Ramallah Friends School

Thu, 06/15/2017 - 8:29am

Friends United Meeting is delighted to announce the appointment of Adrian Moody to the position of Head of Ramallah Friends School (rfs.edu.ps), effective August 2017. Adrian will succeed Joyce Ajlouny, who has served for thirteen years and who will be taking up the post of General Secretary of the American Friends Service Committee.

Adrian comes to the Friends School with an extensive background in international education, having served in school leadership positions in Australia, New Zealand, Tanzania, Thailand, Kazakhstan, Vietnam and India. His depth of experience with the International Baccalaureate and his masters-level specialization in teacher assessment will allow him to shepherd the implementation of the RFS Board’s new strategic plan which focuses on strengthening the academic programs. His professional expertise in the management of large multi-campus schools will facilitate a thorough analysis of long-term financial and physical needs and the development of strategies for sustainability.

A committed Roman Catholic with a master’s degree in theology, Adrian feels deeply called to the particular witness of a Friends School under occupation. As he shared with the school when he visited: “I am drawn to RFS for so many reasons. It has a long history of shared communities. It has a strong academic program and is able to offer its students wonderful opportunities. But RFS is not just a school – it is much more than that. I look at RFS and I see that the grace of God is working within your community. I see God carrying us all on a journey, together through moments of success and challenges which strengthens our lives and our bonds with each other and God.”

Adrian, an Australian national, and his wife Gillian, a New Zealander, will take up residence in Ramallah at the beginning of August while their teenage daughter continues in boarding school in New Zealand.

Adrian will serve as a member of the FUM Field Staff, with his salary, benefits, and expenses covered through designated donations to FUM. In order to prevent a gap in leadership and to facilitate a smooth hand-over as Joyce leaves the school, a generous FUM supporter has provided transitional funding to allow Adrian to begin without delay. As FUM and Adrian work together to build his support community, these funds will be repaid.

FUM invites all Friends to pray for Adrian and his family during this transition and to give thanks that God has called him to witness to the transformational presence of Christ amid the Friends community in Ramallah at this time.

For more information, contact Eden Grace, Director of Global Ministries, at edeng@fum.org.

Categories: Articles & News

The Deadline is Approaching…Register Now to Join the Cuba Living Letters Trip in November 2017! (11-21 November 2017)

Fri, 06/09/2017 - 2:07pm

JUNE 14, 2017 is the deadline for the upcoming Cuba Living Letters trip! 

Register here today!

Every year in November, Cuba Yearly Meeting celebrates the arrival of the first Friends missionaries to the island. The trip includes celebrating this anniversary and intervisitation with Cuba Yearly Meeting Friends.

Here are just a few highlights from last year’s November 2016 trip…

  • Meeting in Miami and visiting with Miami Friends Church
  • Celebration and performances for the Cuban Quakerism anniversary
  • Visiting Quaker meetings and engaging with Cuban Friends
  • Exploring Cuban history in the city of Holguin
  • Learning about Cuban Quaker history around the city of Gibara

Click here to learn more or contact lisas@fum.org. Click here to register today!

Categories: Articles & News

Stoking the Fire Schedule Released

Tue, 06/06/2017 - 1:50pm

The schedule for Stoking the Fire: Claiming Spiritual Power for Transformative Action has been set! Here’s the plan:

Sunday, July 9th

Friends will arrive between 3:00 and 5:00 pm. Dinner will run from 5:30 to 7:00 pm, and then Kelly Kellum will lead the opening session.

Monday, July 10th

Morning worship will be led by Nancy McCormick from 7:00 to 8:00 am, with breakfast to follow. Jan Wood will lead the morning Plenary Session, and blocks are set aside for both meeting with Home Groups and unstructured time.

Afternoon workshops will include Being Grounded in Spiritual Practice (led by Kathryn Damiano), The Third Way: Nonviolent Resistance and Civil Disobedience (led by Leslie Manning), Prophetic Witness I (led by Dorlan Bales), and Discernment for Spirit-led Action I (led by Patricia Thomas).

After a break and dinner, Friends will re-gather for Experimental Semi-programmed Worship with Eden Grace.

Tuesday, July 11th

Morning worship will be led by Nancy McCormick from 7:00 to 8:00 am, with breakfast to follow. Jan Wood will lead the morning Plenary Session, and blocks are set aside for both meeting with Home Groups and unstructured time.

Afternoon workshops will include Quaker Social Change Ministry (led by Lucy Duncan), Music as a Grounding for Action (led by Leslie Manning and Kathy Luethje), Prophetic Witness II (led by Dorlan Bales), and Discernment for Spirit Led Action II (led by Patricia Thomas).

Wednesday, July 12th

Morning worship will be led by Nancy McCormick from 7:00 to 8:00 am, with breakfast to follow. Home Groups will meet, and then following a break the Closing Session will be led by Scott Wagoner and Kelly Kellum.

You can download the schedule as a PDF here: Stoking the Fire 2017 conference timetable 6June2017. More information, including details about childcare and scholarship assistance for Young Adult Friends, is available on our Stoking the Fire site.

 

Categories: Articles & News

West Richmond Friends Meeting Seeks Leadership in Pastoral Ministry and/or Religious Education

Fri, 06/02/2017 - 10:38am

West Richmond Friends Meeting (Richmond, Indiana) requests proposals from individuals who wish to explore a calling to full-time or part-time leadership in Pastoral Ministry and/or Religious Education. We will accept proposals immediately until the opening is filled. We hope to fill the opening by July 1, 2017. For more details, see http://www.westrichmondfriends.org/opening

Categories: Articles & News

FUM Triennial: Application Deadline Extended!

Tue, 05/30/2017 - 6:25pm

We’re preparing for our Triennial gathering in Wichita, Kansas, USA, and we hope that someone from your Meeting or Church (maybe even YOU!) will be planning to attend. We have a great line-up of speakers: Miriam Khamadi Were, C. Wess Daniels, Jan Wood, and our own Colin Saxton! We’re working on some excellent workshops – more about that later – and we’re cultivating Young Adult Friend involvement through our Stewards program.

May 31st was our initial deadline for regular-price registration for Triennial, but in order to make our event more accessible, we’re moving that deadline up to June 15th! Now through June 15th, registration is only $210. You can read more about and register by heading over to our registration site.

Hope to see you in Wichita in July!

Categories: Articles & News

North American Ministries Outreach Grant of $200,000

Thu, 05/25/2017 - 2:37pm

With roughly 45 days remaining in the Energize, Equip and Connect Campaign we are now within $175,000 of our $3,000,000 goal! Thanks to all of you who helped get us this far!

For others, please make your gift or pledge today and join the rest of us in strengthening and sustaining the work of FUM all around the world.

Our primary focus, as we conclude the Campaign, is matching the $200,000 North American Ministries (NAM) outreach grant we have received. With up to $50,000 committed for each of the next four years, we have an opportunity to begin several new initiatives if we can match this amount. So far, Friends like you have committed $75,000 for each of the next four years. This means we are at 37.5% of our match goal with plenty of time to meet or beat it!

A four-year Campaign pledge for the NAM match, beyond what you normally give to FUM, doubles your investment in our shared work and witness. Please click on the link (NAM Match Pledge Form) to print out a pledge form and make your gift today! On behalf of the global community of FUM—thank you!

Categories: Articles & News

Stewards Program Application for the 2017 Triennial

Thu, 05/25/2017 - 11:29am

Young Adult Friends (aged 18–27) who are interested in the Friends movement and in developing their leadership experience could gain significant benefit from participating in the Stewards Program offered during the Triennial. The program will be facilitated by Pat Byers, Assistant Superintendent, Indiana Yearly Meeting, and will include significant time working alongside those leading the Youth/ YAF Program, at the Triennial.

Program focus

At this Triennial gathering the Stewards Program will have three main areas of focus:

1. Education/introduction to the Friends movement.

2. Leadership experience working with Young Friends and other Young Adults at the Triennial. Also, there will be focused time getting to know and working with leaders from different Yearly Meetings.

3. Opportunity to rub shoulders with and learn from some ‘seasoned’ leaders of the Friends movement.

Why choose to be an FUM Steward at Triennial this summer?

1. Get to know Friends. Perhaps you have a LOT of knowledge of the Friends movement, or perhaps you are brand new to it. No matter where you land on that spectrum, we feel you will come away with more.

2. Be challenged in leadership. Whether you have had a lot of leadership experience, or are just getting started, the Stewards Program will provide a wonderful opportunity. You will be challenged by Friends leaders, and you will be challenged by those you will have an opportunity be alongside in leadership. There is also value in getting to know and coming alongside fellow young leaders from other Yearly Meetings in other parts of the country. We feel this will provide a well-rounded experience that will spur young leaders to new levels.

3. Take advantage. We are in a unique moment within both the Friends movement and the wider culture. Friends are thinking hard about where they fit and how they can affect the future of the Church and of society. In addition, businesses, non-profit organizations, and Churches are all emphasizing the importance of leadership qualities. We hope to take advantage of this moment.

4. Share what YOU are learning. Since many who will attend as Stewards will be products of previous leadership programs, we would love for those attending this program to bring books, ideas, and/or names of authors or people who have been inspirational when it comes to leadership. Those shepherding this program do not claim to have “the corner” on what it takes to be a good leader. We ask that Stewards come prepared to share how God has already shaped them in aspects of leadership.

More information and program application available here: 2017 FUM Triennial stewards form extended.

Categories: Articles & News

FUM’s 2017 “Living Letters” service-learning delegation to Ramallah

Wed, 05/17/2017 - 9:59pm

On June 20, the annual Living Letters service-learning trip to the Ramallah Friends School departs for an experience of just over two weeks. The interfaith and intergenerational group will first visit the Galilee on its way to Ramallah. There they will stay at the Melkite school of Abuna Elias Chacour, learning about the lives of Palestinian Arabs in Israel, before touring the Sea of Galilee area and visiting an Israeli kibbutz on the Lebanon/Syria border.

The trip to Ramallah will take the group through the Jordan Valley to Jericho and the Dead Sea Scrolls community of Qumran before ascending the Palestinian highlands into Ramallah. Staying at the Ramallah Friends Upper School campus, the group will do service projects at the Friends Meetinghouse and at the two campuses of the Lower and Upper Schools.

Along with service, the learning part will include meetings with Israelis and Palestinians engaged in peace and justice work, evenings with families whose children have attended Quaker colleges in the U.S., worshiping with the Quaker community, and attending Friday prayers at a local mosque. Time in Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Hebron, and area villages will further add to the group’s experience of the rich religious, political, and cultural history of the area.

Max and Jane Carter of North Carolina Yearly Meeting have led this annual FUM-sponsored trip for decades, and have indicated that they will only be available for a few more years before they retire from this particular ministry. Friends who wish to be informed when the 2018 registration opens can send their contact details to Lisa Scarpelli at lisas@fum.org.

 

Categories: Articles & News

New Stoking the Fire Registration Date: May 31st

Wed, 05/17/2017 - 9:01pm

Good news: the deadline for registration for Stoking the Fire has been extended until May 31! Late registration fees won’t be charged until June 1.

If you aren’t excited yet about this spiritual experience, check out some of the information available on our Stoking the Fire website. Here are comments made by Friends who attended last year’s Stoking the Fire:

This was my very first gathering sponsored by FUM. I was eager to meet the people and get a sense of the community. I had/have the clear sense that this is, indeed, the Body of Christ and therefore I am woven and knitted into the core of God’s Heart, which binds us all together. The generosity of spirit seemed to me to be a clear sign of Christ’s presence among us. I was also very encouraged by every story I heard about people’s involvement in their home communities and Yearly Meetings. While that wasn’t central to our work together, it happened among the edges, naturally, and it further convinced me that this particular group of people is truly the leaven in the loaf. Praise God!

There was a commonality of seeking the Holy Spirit to dwell among us that weekend. . . I was made more mindful.

I was tremendously blessed by the giftedness of a number of younger people whom God is clearly forming in ministry in really significant ways.

The words that come to mind are intimate, mindful, centered, focused, intentional, and grounded. It was a weekend filled with metaphors and visual images that helped us make meaning and remember our time together.

We pray that this year’s Stoking the Fire will provide interested Friends with the same experience of joy and blessing. You can register for Stoking the Fire here.

Categories: Articles & News

JOB OPENING: Young Adult Field Secretary for New York Yearly Meeting

Tue, 05/16/2017 - 8:55pm
JOB OPENING: Young Adult Field Secretary for New York Yearly Meeting The Young Adult Field Secretary works with and supports the young adults in New York Yearly Meeting, serving as a locus for networking and disseminating information; assisting in multi-generational community development; doing mentoring, pastoral care, coordinating, and outreach; and helping young adult Friends to develop their gifts and to find a home in the Religious Society of Friends. In addition, the position will support young adult Friends’ retreats and activities and opportunities for religious education and will serve as a support and focal point for college outreach efforts. This is a half-time position that requires ongoing ministry and considerable travel, including many weekend commitments, around the NYYM area. Please see the job announcement here:
http://www.nyym.org/…/default/files/YAFS-JobAnnouncement.pdf And the full job description here:
http://www.nyym.org/si…/default/files/YAFSJobDescription.pdf APPLY NOW: applications are being accepted until June 15. Position starts July 15th.
Categories: Articles & News