Stories

Viv Hawkins

Since 2005, I have carried a minute of religious service, from Central Philadelphia (Pa.) Monthly Meeting and endorsed by its quarterly and yearly meetings, to inspire, encourage, and empower people, individually and corporately, to live into our greatest sacredness in harmony with creation. The support I receive from these meetings and my neighborhood worship group is a true blessing to me and through me to others. The ministry has taken the form of teaching, plenaries, organizing, and eldering.

Vonn New

Before I was a Friend, I was an improvising musician. The experience of playing spontaneous, unprogrammed music brought me in touch with some transcendent power. Improvising in an ensemble, there were moments when we became one body, in union with some infinite realm of music and beauty. I lost my atheism and craved more experiences like that and a language to describe the spiritual awakening I was feeling. Seeking a community that practiced listening spirituality, I found Friends and immediately understood that what I had experienced in musical improvisation was the same thing that Friends call the unprogrammed gathered meeting. This realization evolved into a ministry called “Sounding the Divine” as I was led to share the practice and experience of entering worship through the doorway of inspired creative expression.

Don Badgley

Don Badgley portraitDon Badgley, member of Poughkeepsie Friends Meeting (New York Yearly Meeting), travels among Friends with a minute approved by his monthly meeting and endorsed by New York Yearly Meeting. This summer, Don has been traveling among NYYM and New England Yearly Meeting Friends. He writes,

“My Minute of Travel arose in a call to help meetings refocus on and re-energize their Ground of Being.  For too long Friends have been more reliant on our proud history and the ‘Quaker brand’ than on the Source that inspires and enables the good works for which Friends are known.  In the past, that Divine Source allowed Friends to reach out to seekers even as they gently challenged those who contend that the only right way to God is through adherence to creedal, scriptural, and hierarchical authority. 

Math Corps Philly and David Shen, Nneka Kirkland, and Chalon Downs

Math Corps Philly students“We all rise together.” That quote represents Math Corps Philly for David Shen, member of Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting (PhYM). David with Nneka Kirkland and Chalon Downs co-founded Math Corps Philadelphia, a math tutoring/mentoring program for middle and secondary students who attend Philadelphia schools. 

Thanks to funding from donors and foundation/ corporate grants, tuition is free for campers. But they’re not the only ones who benefit from Math Corps. Staff, who immerse themselves in a culture of love and compassion, come from similar neighborhoods and benefit in many ways from their employment. Teaching assistants are 9th – 12th graders who teach and mentor 6th and 7th graders.  Undergraduate or graduate students lead and mentor the teaching assistants. They “all rise together.”

Supporting Individual Calls to Ministry

Flyer for Oct 1 Pulling Back the Curtain eventThe Supporting Individual Calls to Ministry Collaborative of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting invites you to join us as we "pull back the curtain" on individual ministries: what are they, what support is needed, and what next steps we may be called to take.

On October 1, we will play with themes from the Wizard of Oz, The Wiz, and maybe even Wicked as we explore how following a leading requires heart, brains, courage, and a place to call home.

Who:

  • Anyone who suspects they have a leading
  • Anyone who wishes to support others in following a leading

When:

  • October 1, 9:30am-3pm

Where:

  • Friends Center
    Rufus Jones Room
    1515 Cherry St
    Philadelphia, PA 19119

What:

Pablo Stanfield

PabloStanfieldIn May 2016, Pablo Stanfield returned from a 10-day tour of Friends in southwest Oregon, as a pilot visitation for the new North Pacific Yearly Meeting (NPYM) project "Knitting Us Together."

Pablo explained the context of his travel in the ministry. “In the first half of the 20th century, Howard and Ana Brinton were instrumental in encouraging unaffiliated, unprogrammed Quakers in the West [of the U.S.] by traveling among them and helping establish Pacific Yearly Meeting.  Their legacy included the ‘Brinton Visitors’ who travelled among Intermountain, Pacific, and North Pacific Yearly Meetings for many years.  This initiative is intended to bring such shared concerns and ministry to the Pacific northwest again.”

Paula Palmer

Friends school photo of teachers and studentsby Paula Palmer
With spiritual support and and Intermountain Yearly Meeting, I have been traveling around the country offering workshops called, "Roots of Injustice, Seeds of Change: Toward Right Relationship with Native Peoples." In these workshops, as Friends and Native people together consider what “right relationship” would look like, participants realize we need to start with truth-telling. Knowing and acknowledging the truth of our shared history is the first essential step in building right relationship.

Avis Wanda McClinton and others

Honoring Those Known Only to God memorialHonoring Those Known Only to God

Was your Quaker meeting involved in the Underground Railroad?
Does your Quaker meeting maintain a graveyard?
What does it take to identify Quaker burial sites of long-forgotten African American fugitives who traveled to freedom along the Underground Railroad?

Meet other Friends who carry a concern for honoring and restoring the dignity of these men, women, and children.

Learn how to involve your Quaker meeting!

VIDEO April 13, 2016 event

Tom and Liz Gates

MALAWI PRAYER REQUESTMalawi children
When Tom and Liz Gates spoke with me of their call to return to Africa, I asked if Releasing Ministry Alliance might help in any way. Tom said, “We can always use prayer.”

FUM's Africa Ministries Office

FUM Africa Ministries OfficeFriends United Meeting continues to seek a full-time North American programme officer for their Africa Ministries Office (AMO). A slide show of the AMO tells what has been accomplished since AMO was founded in 2005, where is it headed next, and 13 points related to why it exists. Are you called to join in this work?

For more information or to submit a resume and cover letter, contact: Eden Grace, Director of Global Ministries, Friends United Meeting, 101 Quaker Hill Drive, Richmond IN 47374  edeng@fum.org 765-962-7573

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