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Updated: 3 days 21 hours ago

World Quaker Day in Nairobi, Highgate, and Belize City

Tue, 10/10/2017 - 6:59pm

Every year, Friends World Committee for Consultation hosts World Quaker Day! This year, it was held on 01 October, with the theme of “Gathering in Worship Around the World.”

Quakers throughout the beloved community of Friends United Meeting joined together with our fellow Friends around the world in celebrating this day. Here are a few examples:

The Nairobi Young Adults of Friends Program (NYAFP) Missioners is a group of young adults under the Nairobi Yearly Meeting of Friends Church Quakers who are determined to carry on the great commission as enshrined in Mathew 28:19.

This year, they decided to celebrate World Quaker Day  by visiting the Children’s Garden Home in the Kawangware area of Nairobi, which falls under the Kawangware Monthly Meeting jurisdiction. The home was started in 2001, and at present they serve over 200 children ranging from 0 months to 25 years.

The home has its own school, and a high school that caters to children in need. Students from the school who qualify for college after their O level education usually come back to teach at the school as a form of assisting their brothers and sisters, and also as a way of giving back to the community.

Our World Quaker Day at the Children’s Garden Home was very successful. We prepared food for the children, cleaned their stuff, and had a church service with them which was led by our Pastor Jane Mutoro, who shared on “The Lord being our shepherd,” drawn from Psalm 23:1.

After the sermon and meals, we had a talent show where the children showcased their talent in modeling, rapping, dancing, poetry, and plaiting.

At the end of the day, we gave items donated by our youth to the Children’s Home which included sanitary towels, a bundle of wheat flour, a bundle of corn flour, clothes, tissue papers, shoes, washing soap, and juice.

The management thanked the team for visiting and promised us that any other time we would be free to visit them.

We agreed that we will plan to buy them plates and paint the residential areas where they live.

We give God all the glory for the well-spent Quaker World Day.

From Highgate Monthly Meeting in Jamaica:

Today in our gathering for worship we focused on those whom God has prepared ahead of time to be receptive to Friends as messengers bringing the Gospel—the Good News of Jesus Christ—to their communities. Many individuals identify by us, welcome us as messengers that God sends their way, and they try to serve and assist us in our outreach efforts as we spread the message to children in particular. Some are not yet believers, young people amongst them, but they all have great potential to be used in furthering the mission of Quakers and ultimately God’s kingdom on earth. We thank God for the good qualities we see in them. They are well-known people in their communities, they are willing to connect us to others and they are receptive to us as messengers.  We likened these individuals to Bible characters like: 1. The woman at the well 2. Cornelius 3. Rahab 4. The Philippian Jailer, etc.

As we look around us in the world today such a community of Persons of Peace seems far distant from actual realization. However, here in Highgate, Jamaica, we are determined to try everything possible within our means, to make such community a reality. Pictures showing Persons of Peace working with us in community outreach projects such as Vocational Bible School and school holiday youth camps were displayed on this day.

We thank God for prayers and donations from Friends as we continue to search for Persons of Peace to strengthen our mission here. We seek resources and guidance to teach others about Persons of Peace. We seek help to train the young Persons of Peace we are now working with, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with friends, family, and neighbours.

Edwin (Bobby) Coleman
Presiding Clerk
Highgate Monthly Meeting

From Belize:

Last Sunday was World Quaker Day, but here in Belize we don’t mind being a little late to things so we celebrated it today.

We have begun an inter-generational Sunday (First Day) School. Miriam Loh, on the right, led the class in an art activity centered on Psalm 119:89-90:

Forever, O LORD, your word
is firmly fixed in the heavens.
Your faithfulness endures to all generations;
you have established the earth, and it stands fast.

>> read more

 

Categories: Articles & News

Spiceland Friends Meeting Seeks Youth Minister

Mon, 10/09/2017 - 8:12pm

Director of Student Ministry (Youth Minister) Opening

Spiceland Friends Meeting is searching for a part-time Director of Student Ministry (Youth Minister).  Anyone interested in the position that would like a copy of the job description or more information, please contact Cathy Harris, and send a resume to Cathy (see below). The salary will be commensurate with experience ($10,000-12,000 annually). Cathy Harris Spiceland Friends Meeting/Church P.O. Box 27 Spiceland, IN 47385 Phone:  765-465-0994 Email:  cathy.spicelandfriends@gmail.com
Categories: Articles & News

FUM Board to Meet In October

Mon, 10/09/2017 - 6:48pm
Members of the FUM General Board—Africa meeting in February, 2016.

Every three years, the 34 member Yearly Meetings and Associations of Friends United Meeting name representatives to serve on the General Board. Together, these Friends work in partnership to provide essential governance for our global fellowship. Like every good board, they help set direction, make policies, and provide accountability for the staff, as FUM ministers in many places and in varied ways.

With the new 2017 – 2020 Triennium now underway, new members of the General Board have been receiving past minutes, finance reports, and other orientation materials to prepare them to serve effectively and faithfully. A first meeting of the North American-Caribbean Region of the Board will be held in Richmond in late October. The Africa Region will meet in early February in Kenya. An Executive Board, comprised of 14 members who represent the entire global community, meet regularly with the FUM General Secretary by conference call.

At the 2017 Triennial gathering in Wichita, Kansas, new officers were approved for the next three years. Ron Bryan (Iowa Yearly Meeting) is the new Presiding Clerk. Sara Lookabill (Western Yearly Meeting) and Richard Sitari (Nairobi Yearly Meeting) are Assistant Presiding Clerks. Hellen Kulundi (Chebuyusi Yearly Meeting) and Rosemary Zimmerman (New England Yearly Meeting) are Recording Clerks. Jim Crew (Western Yearly Meeting) continues to serve as Treasurer for FUM.

The new Board will continue exploring how to expand the work of FUM in a sustainable way. Colin Saxton, outgoing General Secretary, states that “a more robust North American ministry remains a very high priority.” He also celebrates potential areas of expansion among Friends in East Africa, and says that FUM “continues to recieve requests from Quakers in other parts of the world to join FUM.”

Part of the Board’s work in this Triennium will be figuring how, with God’s guidance, to build healthy, mutually-supportive connections across our beloved community and out into a world in need of love.

On a more short-term basis, the Board is focused on finding a new General Secretary, helping to sharpen the focus and direction of our relaunched Friends United Press, and discerning how to support Yearly Meetings that are in conflict, as well as how best to collaborate with and assist Yearly Meetings that may be struggling.

From his own experience, Colin writes: “It has been a great joy to work with the FUM General Board the past six years. The members are thoughtful and discerning. Their willingness to stay engaged with one another—even around controversial or difficult issues—is tremendously helpful for FUM, the organization, and a great example for FUM, the community. It has been especially gratifying to see the Board make huge strides toward becoming and functioning as a global partnership. I think one of the great gifts of FUM is connecting Quakers around this world in fellowship, service, and mutual support—and it begins by having a Board that embraces this vision.”

Categories: Articles & News

Doing This Great Work Together

Fri, 10/06/2017 - 12:56pm

Dear Friends,

Your partnership in the work and witness of Friends United Meeting is making an important difference in the lives of many Quakers around the world and in the communities they serve.

• In Belize: an expanded school, array of new ministries and a church planting effort is making inroads into a needy community. Our recently acquired Belize City Friends Center gives us a stable base to work from and a great site for Friends to visit!

• In Ramallah: our new Field Staff, Adrian Moody, is just settling into his role alongside the dedicated staff and board of Ramallah Friends School. With a new strategic plan in place and with plans to add a Quaker Life Coordinator in the coming year, we look forward to a more clearly focused ministry within the school and in the surrounding community.

• In East Africa: peacemakers are at work in response to election turmoil in Kenya; church planters and evangelists are doing effective outreach in new places and among different countries; Friends Theological College is thriving—training record numbers of pastors and other leaders for a growing church; thousands of eager children are receiving education in Quaker schools; women and men are being inspired, empowered, and equipped for service and leadership; and the FUM African Ministries staff is tirelessly supporting and sustaining the heart of the Quaker movement in this 21st century.

• In North America and throughout the Caribbean: programs aimed at strengthening local Churches and Meetings are rebuilding vital fellowships. Especially in places where Yearly Meetings struggle to provide adequate support, FUM is collaborating through leadership training, stewardship education, Friendly resources and programming, and staff visitation.

• In print and digital communication: FUM keeps you updated on news, activities, and resources that energize, equip, and connect you for a growing life with God and others in this beloved fellowship. Connections, Quaker Life, the weekly e-newsletter, Facebook, Instagram, and our website (undergoing expansion and re-design as I write) put you in touch with all that is happening today. Our soon-to-be released FUM Bookstore Catalogue gives you access to past and present writings aimed at helping you be faithful for the future.

There is so much more FUM is doing and seeks to do. None of it, however, is possible without you. Today—I ask you to make a gift to FUM so that we can continue to do this great work together—tomorrow and for many years to come. Your gift to the General Fund provides the support needed to make all of our global work possible. Please, make a generous gift today

With great gratitude,

Colin Saxton
FUM General Secretary

Categories: Articles & News

Discipleship Classes at Katapokori Friends Church

Fri, 10/06/2017 - 10:54am

Since 1970, Friends have been building community with the pastoralist Turkana people in northwestern Kenya. Nineteen Quaker churches meet for worship in the Turkana region under the care of the Turkana Friends Mission. The Director of the Mission is John Moru, the first Turkanan to hold this position.

At one of the Turkanan Friends churches, in Katapokori, members have been studying discipleship. The members of Katapokori Friends Church, located one full day’s walk from the nearest town, are all new Christians. Before Turkana Friends Mission began working in this area about ten years ago, the community had never heard the gospel.

Today, these Friends are equipped to share the good news with others in this sparsely-populated region of northern Kenya!

John Moru reports that 39 members of the church, both men and women, most of them under 30 years old, have completed a discipleship program and will be graduating on October 8, 2017. The curriculum consisted of teachings in Christian doctrine and spirituality; Quaker faith, practice and history; and methods of evangelism. As Quakerism spreads rapidly in Turkana, these young and energized members are ready to share with their neighbors and gather people into fellowships where Jesus Christ is known, loved, and obeyed, as Teacher and Lord.

Categories: Articles & News

Campaign Goal Exceeded: Over $3 Million Raised!

Tue, 10/03/2017 - 9:46am

FUM’s first major campaign in nearly thirty years was a success! We set out to raise $3,000,000, and thanks to your generosity and your prayers, we’ve raised all of that and a little bit extra.

One of the images that emerged from our fundraising work was that of a Place at the Table for everyone. We imagined our global fellowship as a banqueting table with food and room enough to invite everyone to the feast— everyone contributing, everyone receiving, all of us growing together.

Colin Saxton shares a story about being at an FUM board meeting in Africa, where all board members were invited to participate in the campaign. He was touched by the response of the representative from Turkana, who said, “I absolutely want to be a part of this because FUM is my mother.” The representative then donated 1,000 Kenyan shillings: an enormous gift on his part which is approximately the equivalent of $10.00 USD. Colin said that the Friend from Turkana’s gift “demonstrated the spirit of sacrifice and investment in community.”

Friends from around the world, from Kitale to Kingston, from Havana to Greensboro, invested in the ongoing work of FUM through this campaign. Colin said that this is “a sign of moving to a place of global partnership— growing into our commitment to sharing the work together.”

Categories: Articles & News

McConaugheys appointed to serve in East Africa

Mon, 10/02/2017 - 3:02pm

With gratitude for God’s provision, Friends United Meeting announces the appointment of Shawn and Katrina McConaughey to share the field staff position of Africa Ministries Programme Officer in the Kisumu, Kenya, office.

Shawn and Katrina are both life-long Friends from the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. They have served together in pastoral ministry in Idaho and Oregon, and Shawn has just completed a term of service as Associate Superintendent for Global Outreach and Pastoral Care with Northwest Yearly Meeting.

Nearly thirty years ago, on a hilltop in Kaimosi, Kenya, Shawn and Katrina pledged their lives to each other and to serving God in ministry together. Now “we have come full circle and can hardly believe we are heading back to Kenya where we started!” (Read more of their story here: )

As Programme Officers, Katrina and Shawn will join the Africa Ministries staff team, headed by John Muhanji, Africa Ministries Director. They will be responsible for facilitating global and cross-cultural relationships, accompanying ministry partners in project implementation, lifting up African voices and experiences in FUM’s communications, and hosting mission visitors. When asked why the Kisumu-based staff team would benefit from having North American members, John Muhanji remarked:

“Ever since the Africa Ministries Office (AMO) was established, it has been working under the four priorities of Evangelism, Leadership Development, Communication, and Global Partnership. The presence of North Americans in the AMO is very key and strategic in reflecting the unity of Quakers, in demonstrating how we are one across the world, and helping the Quaker church in Africa feel connected to others through the priority of Global Partnership. I have had an opportunity to interact with Shawn and Katrina and have witnessed how deeply they are connected to the power of Jesus Christ. How I wish they were here from yesterday to stand with me as we plough in this region with overwhelming responsibilities.”

As field staff, the McConaugheys will be supported entirely by pledges and donations from Friends. Before they can take up their new ministry in Kenya, they need to secure pledges equal to a full three years of the cost of their service. We invite you to share this opportunity with your meeting, and to pray about whether you are called to partner with Katrina and Shawn as they walk faithfully on the path that God has laid before them.

To make a one-time or recurrent credit card transaction, go to fum.org, click on “Donate”, and select “Field Staff: Shawn & Katrina McConaughey” from the drop-down list. This will also enroll you in the McConaugheys prayer letter.

To indicate your pledge of support, without needing to give a credit card number at this time, or to enroll in their prayer letter without making a financial pledge at this time, go here.

Categories: Articles & News

Volunteer Opportunity at Ramallah Friends School

Wed, 09/27/2017 - 1:38pm

Are you a nurse — active or recently retired? Do you love working with older children and teens? Would you like to serve Friends internationally for a short-term placement?

FUM announces an immediate opening for a volunteer to establish a new school nursing program at the Upper School campus of Ramallah Friends School, in Ramallah Palestine.

  • A complete job description is attached
  • Minimum 6-month commitment
  • Housing is provided on the campus of Ramallah Friends School
  • As a “Living Letters” volunteer, you would work together with FUM staff to raise your airfare and living expenses

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

Categories: Articles & News

Position Open: Youth Ministries and Education Coordinator

Fri, 09/22/2017 - 9:42am

Friends Meeting at Cambridge (FMC) seeks a full-time Coordinator to start January 2, 2018. We seek a dynamic, spiritual, thoughtful, engaging, fun person who loves working with youth (from infants to high schoolers) and families in a Quaker setting.

Reporting to FMC’s Resident Friend (supervisor of principal staff) and working closely with the First Day (Sunday) School Committee (FDSC), the Youth Programs Committee, and other FMC committees and members, the Coordinator is responsible for coordinating and facilitating the religious education of young people. The Coordinator plays a central role in co-creating a vision of FMC as a welcoming and supportive spiritual home for youth and families; integrating youth and families into the meeting, as well as integrating the meeting community into the lives, joys, and concerns of youth and families; articulating priorities that will help the community work towards a blessed multigenerational community; and coordinating events, programs and projects in alignment with those priorities. Additionally, the position coordinates education about and implementation of the meeting’s Child Safety policies and procedures.

The position requires working Sunday mornings, as well as some additional evening and weekend hours.

You can read the full job description here: Youth Ministries & Education Coordinator at FMC

Categories: Articles & News

Kenyan Quaker Leaders Make National News

Mon, 09/18/2017 - 2:20pm

The recent statement issued by Kenyan Quaker leaders—calling into question the hostile rhetoric being used by both of Kenya’s national leaders and asking for restraint in politicking and language—was featured in Kenya’s national news. You can see an excerpt here, read the statement here, sign the petition here.

 

Categories: Articles & News

Kenyan Quakers Appeal for Restraint

Wed, 09/13/2017 - 2:44pm

The leaders of all of the Kenyan Quaker yearly meetings met for a retreat in Nakuru to discern about the future of the Quaker movement in our region. During their meeting, they felt strongly led by the Holy Spirit to speak to their political leaders with a Scriptural word of warning about the threat to national unity and peace contained in their rhetoric in the lead-up to the 17 October presidential election. Here is their statement:

 

TO: HIS EXCELLECNCY THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA, HON. UHURU KENYATTA AND HON. RAILA ODINGA

September 14th 2017

We the leaders of Friends Church (Quakers) in Kenya, having attended a retreat on 12th September to 15th September 2017 at St. Mary’s Pastoral Centre in Nakuru, Kenya looking at the theme “Rewiring the Church for the 21st Century”, wish to express our grave concern about the rapidly deteriorating and poisoned political climate created by the two of you.

This is a major threat to Peace and National Unity.

It is increasingly becoming evident that power must be procured at any cost without regard to the lives of Kenyans and other people in the country.

Your political grandstanding, war mongering and hostile rhetoric, all in defiance of the Constitution, is not only highly dangerous to the peace of our sovereign nation but also undermines our national unity. As the Friends Church in Kenya we view this as extremely reckless and irresponsible from our leaders.

We refer to Matthew 5:9: “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God”, which is in line with the Quaker peace testimony: “We utterly deny all outward wars and strife and fighting with outward weapons, for any end or under any pretence whatsoever. And this is our testimony to the whole world.”

We also remind you that in Proverbs 21:7 we learn that violence harbored in one’s heart is infectious. Violence is first a thought, then a spoken word which becomes an action and finally bloodshed. As a church that loves and promotes peace we feel called and instructed by the Lord to ask and plead with you to exercise restraint and reverse your approach. This is with the realization that as mortal men you are fallible. Please be reminded that only God exalts a man.

As Quakers we feel the dangerous effect of the reckless utterances and our prayer is that God will intervene and touch and cause you to desist from the trend which may lead to imminent bloodshed. We believe that only God has the final say in appointing leaders.

We strongly advise that the independence of constitutional bodies like the Judiciary and the IEBC should be left free to execute their duties without interference.

And to you our fellow Citizens, this is a hard time for us, let us not be carried away by the emotions of the moment, we appeal to you to exercise restraint, sobriety and promote peace.

The best Kenya is a peaceful country.
God bless our country.

Signed by:

Friends Church in Kenya
Friends United Meeting
Friends World Committee for Consultation Africa Section

 

They invite all Kenyan Friends to join us in this prophetic message by adding their names to this statement.

Categories: Articles & News

FUM Opens Search for next General Secretary

Mon, 09/04/2017 - 9:02pm
Impromptu choir at the FUM Triennial in July.

The General Board of Friends United Meeting (FUM) has announced the opening of its search for the position of FUM General Secretary.

In accordance with the decision reached at the April 2017 FUM Board Meeting to enter into a year of transition as Colin Saxton ends his call as General Secretary and the Board searches for a new executive, the Board has released a series of documents describing both FUM and preferred qualifications for its next leader. Application deadline is November 30, 2017. The position will be filled by July 1, 2018.

“Friends United Meeting has grown in several ways in recent years. We have worked to strengthen our sense of community throughout the world; we have made progress in global partnership; we are placing renewed emphasis on evangelism; we maintain many programs that promote peace and justice; and we are developing programs to strengthen local meetings.

“The General Secretary is a key point person for the FUM family, providing inspiration and leadership for our work, and deeply involved in discerning priorities for the future.

“We trust the Lord will call the right person for this position, and we ask for everyone’s prayers. We also ask all friends to think of those persons who might be a great fit for FUM and to talk to potential candidates personally, or send suggested names to the search committee.”

More information about the position can be found here. Members of the Search Committee can be reached via search@friendsunitedmeeting.org.

Friends United Meeting (FUM) is a global fellowship of 34 Yearly Meetings (autonomous regional affiliations) and groups of the Religious Society of Friends located in Canada, Cuba, Jamaica, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and the United States. As part of the body of Christ we carry out faith-based work in East Africa, the Caribbean, North and Central America, and Palestine.

Search Committee Members:

Ron Bryan (Iowa Yearly Meeting)

Margaret Fraser (New Association of Friends)

Greg Hinshaw (Indiana Yearly Meeting)

Joy Kelemba (Nairobi Yearly Meeting)

Cliff Loesch (Great Plains Yearly Meeting)

Frederick Martin (New England Yearly Meeting)

Judy Ritter (North Carolina Yearly Meeting)

More information about the position can be found here.
Categories: Articles & News

New York Yearly Meeting: Quaker Education and Discourse

Fri, 08/18/2017 - 3:12pm

Friends in New York Yearly Meeting are experimenting with a new form of sharing stories and ministries, called Quaker Education and Discourse. Here is how they describe the plan:

Each month in 2017, there will be one Saturday QuED event, each hosted by a monthly meeting in a different part of New York Yearly Meeting. The morning will include breakfast, worship, and several twenty-minute talks given by invited speakers. The afternoon will include lunch, very lightly structured conversation opportunities, and sometimes other things—workshops, spiritual direction, games, music, and so forth. The morning talks will be streamed live on Facebook live when wifi is available and recorded for later posting online.

Their most recent meeting, in July, was held at Adirondack Friends Meeting. The theme was telling stories about the experience of being called into ministry, and the three speakers were Shirley Way, Emily Provance, and Nancy Shippen. The speakers were all broadcast on Facebook Live, and the video of the conversation can be found on the QuED Facebook page.  

The next QuED event will be at Manhasset Friends Meeting on August 19th.

 

 

 

Categories: Articles & News

William Penn House seeks Program Coordinator

Fri, 08/18/2017 - 1:44pm
William Penn House is seeking a Program Coordinator for their Service-Learning and Social Justice Education programs. William Penn House is a Quaker center for witness, education, service, and hospitality, centrally located in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, DC.  Since 1966, they have supported peace and justice activism through hospitality, experiential social justice education programs, and public events. The program coordinator is responsible for the design, management, and facilitation of William Penn House’s social justice education and service-learning programs.  These programs engage youth (middle-school through college-aged) with social justice issues through hands-on, experiential activities and opportunities to build relationships with activists, community leaders, policy makers, and members of marginalized communities. For more information, see the full job description here.
Categories: Articles & News