Friends United Meeting

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Updated: 5 days 4 hours ago

Accreditation for Friends Theological College!

Thu, 08/30/2018 - 2:48pm

Friends Theological College received notice earlier this month that it has been granted full accreditation with the Association for Christian Theological Education in Africa (ACTEA). FTC is now one of just 14 accredited post-secondary theological colleges in Africa. This process has taken many years, and involved intensive self-study and improvement by the entire college community. Principal Robert Wafula remarked, “We have worked so hard on this process and are filled with joy at this news.” In celebration of this significant achievement, the college named the next calf to be born to the dairy herd “ACTEA”!

This new international recognition gives the college confidence in the quality of its educational offerings, and allows FTC students to continue on to graduate level work with a solid and reputable preparation. From FTC’s website, “The hundreds of men and women who have graduated from FTC’s certificate, diploma, and degree programmes are serving in a variety of ministries, including pastoral ministry, church leadership, missions, chaplaincy, social work, counseling, development, education, civil service, government, and business. Some FTC graduates, including the current FTC principal, Robert Wafula, have gone on from FTC to complete masters and doctoral degrees, qualifying them for teaching and administration at the college and university level.”

We could not be more proud of Robert Wafula’s faithfulness and wisdom in leading this work. He has been present throughout this process organizing and encouraging Friends. Please help us keep him in the field, serving God and the beloved community of Friends! You can support his ministry by choosing from the drop-down list on our donation page.

Categories: Articles & News

2018 Living Letters Trip to Israel/Palestine

Mon, 08/06/2018 - 8:03pm

From Max and Jane Carter:

Fourteen participants formed the 2018 Friends United Meeting “Living Letters” service-learning group in Palestine and Israel from the 22nd of Sixth Month to the 10th of Seventh Month. Led by Max and Jane Carter of New Garden Friends Meeting (North Carolina Fellowship of Friends), the group spent the first week painting at the upper school campus of the Ramallah Friends School and cleaning and gardening at the Friends meetinghouse. Funds from a $750 grant from NCFF were used to purchase paint and cleaning supplies and provide housing for group numbers that exceeded the capacity of the School to offer. A $500 grant from New Garden Friends’ social concerns committee enabled us to meet with members of an organization that brings together Israeli and Palestinian parents whose children have been killed in the violence. Other generous donations by Friends helped make the trip affordable for those with lesser means.

After the week of work, the group traveled through Palestinian villages, learning about their nonviolent resistance to the encroachment of Israeli settlements on their land; journeyed into Israel to meet with Jewish and Arab Israelis to learn about challenges to coexistence and a just peace; and visited Bethlehem and Hebron, again to meet with and learn from both Jews and Palestinian Muslims and Christians about efforts to use “beautiful resistance” in efforts to end the military occupation and bring a lasting and just peace to the region.

The group had the opportunity to worship with Ramallah Friends on three First-days, and we met with staff of the Friends School to learn about Quaker education in Palestine. Time encountering the religious aspect of the region included a day in Jerusalem, a day in the Galilee, a visit to the Dead Sea Scrolls community of Qumran, and Sixth-day prayers at a mosque. Speakers who met with the group included leading political, business, religious, and civic leaders in Palestine and settlers, kibbutzniks, bereaved parents, former soldiers, educators, and religious leaders in Israel. A highlight was almost nightly meals hosted for the group by families of students who have studied at Guilford College.

We are grateful for the support and encouragement given us through local Friends organizations and individuals and welcome participation on our next FUM “Living Letters” delegation in the summer of 2019, tentatively scheduled for Sixth Month, 21 – Seventh Month, 9 (June 21st—July 9th). If you would be interested to know when registration opens for the next trip, please send your contact information to Ben Snyder at bens@fum.org.

Categories: Articles & News

African Project Partners Retreat

Tue, 07/31/2018 - 6:13am

Kibera is the most densely populated urban slum in Africa. Some sources estimate that 1.2 million people live in this 2.5 square kilometer area of Nairobi.

A few weeks ago, I visited Lindi Friends School, located in the heart of Kibera. There is no easy way to get to the school. My hosts from Nairobi Yearly Meeting drove part- way, then set out on foot. They guided me through a labyrinth of narrow trash-littered alleyways, with an open sewer running down the middle. Upon arriving at the school, I was greeted by the sounds of 300 vibrant school children laughing and playing, and amazing teachers who were proud to show off their students and classrooms.

Lindi Friends school is a place of hope and contrast amid the impoverished urban sprawl. Standing on the upper level of the schoolhouse, overlooking the rusty tin roofs of slum dwellings, I was reminded that FUM exists to establish communities and safe places where the peace, joy, and love of Christ is known and experienced. This is happening in Kibera at the Lindi Friends School.

It is also happening through FUM’s other project partners in East Africa. Recently, I participated in a retreat at the home of Shawn and Katrina McConaughey. They invited FUM’s partner leaders to talk about their ministry goals and concerns:

• Francis Makete talked about the healing ministry of Lugulu Friends Hospital.

• Sammy Letoole gave thanks for the new churches being planted by the Samburu Friends Mission.

• Getry Agizah shared about the Friends Church Peace Teams’ work towards establishing sustainable peace in the Mt. Elgon region.

• Robert Wafula gave an exciting report about Friends Theological College’s six new satellite campuses to equip church leaders and pastors.

• John Moru talked about hopes of the Turkana Friends Mission to establish a mobile clinic to better serve the Turkanan people.

• Seth Kibisu shared that every student at Lindi School passed their national exams and how they have secured scholarships for 14 students to continue their education.

It was a blessing for me to hear how the mission of FUM is being lived out through our project partners. Please visit our website to learn more about some of these leaders and support their great ministries.

Grace and Peace,

Kelly Kellum

Categories: Articles & News