July e-news: Greetings from Around the Section

July 2017
Grateful for time to share

I am grateful to be addressing you at this opportunity, to share the blessings, experiences and spiritual rejoicing that we, Friends in Central America (Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras) were able to enjoy, with the visit of hermanos Ken Comfort and Benigno Sánchez Eppler. Their visit took place between June 22 and July 3. We were able to strengthen ties between the Friends of the Yearly Meetings of the region, affiliates and non-affiliates. We could feel the support and guidance of God at all times and in every moment.
Nearly 270 men, women, and young people gathered from various Yearly Meetings to visit and speak with Benigno and Ken. Approximately 160 were able to participate in a workshop on The Diary of John Woolman, whose example of humility and dedication to God teaches us to this day. The participants showed enthusiasm and an enormous desire to continue exploring the foundational texts of Friends, taking advantage of the legacy that the early Quakers have left us, along with the translators of the texts. In addition, Central American brothers and sisters had a training on the structure of FWCC Section of the Americas. The training explored the purpose, mission and vision of FWCC, the plans being developed and the new projects.
God has been faithful throughout this marvelous experience. We can say: The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy! (Psalm 126:3 NIV)

In friendship,

Karen Gregorio de Calderon

Traveling Ministry Corps – Chuck Schobert at West Richmond Monthly Meeting

by Anne Hutchinson

Indiana is something of a Quaker hotbed, as it is second only to Pennsylvania in the population of Quakers in the United States. Historically, Indiana was the destination of many Southern Quakers who opposed slavery. Currently, there are dozens of Quaker meetings across the theological spectrum in Indiana. Richmond, Indiana is of particular interest because it was the site of the signing of the Richmond Declaration in 1887 and the Five Years Meeting in 1902, later to become Friends United Meeting in 1963.
All the more fitting, then, that one of the first visits by a member of the Traveling Ministry Corps took place in Richmond, Indiana. Chuck Schobert of Madison (Wisconsin) Monthly Meeting and Northern Yearly Meeting delivered a message at West Richmond Friends Meeting on June 11, accompanied by his elder. The meeting was well-attended, and among the attendees was Margaret Fraser, former Secretary of the FWCC Section of the Americas.
Chuck’s message, entitled “Your Heart Knows What to Do,” began with a reference to Acts 12:24, “But the word of the Lord went on increasing.” Chuck’s spiritual journey and ministry reflect the meaning of this verse, which is situated in the struggles of early Christians.  Chuck described the way that “the word of the Lord” germinated and developed in him. In his message, Chuck talked about his vocation as a veterinarian and the joys it gave him. He went on to relate how he came out of retirement to work in a clinic which cared for the pets of homeless persons. Chuck described the powerful impact of animals in accompanying, supporting and, sometimes, rescuing their owners in surprising and unexpected ways.
Chuck described how his head and his heart work together in him to honor God’s will in two ways: caring for animals and traveling in ministry, crossing boundaries between the different branches of Quakerism. He told of the long discernment and seasoning of about traveling in ministry as he searched his mind and heart about it. He described his experience of seeing the word of the Lord increasing in his life and in the life of Quakers throughout the world through his participation in FWCC.
After giving the message, Chuck led a worship sharing group with members of the Meeting. The queries invited Friends to examine how they experienced God in their lives and invited them to share about their experiences. Friends engaged in sensitive listening and sharing.
Chuck’s message reminds that Quakers have many different views of the meaning and experience of God, yet can be united in mutual love, understanding, and concern. Visitation through the Traveling Ministry can be an instrument in transforming lives.
Stewardship Giving
by Gayle Matson
Stewardship is the wise and responsible management of resources entrusted to us. The concept of stewardship recognizes that we are not the owners, but rather are grateful trustees of the blessings we have received-our gifts and talents, financial resources, time, even Creation-for the sake of God’s purposes in the world.  For many Friends, discerning how best to allocate resources to provide for our families, meet immediate local needs, sustain our faith communities, care for the earth and uphold our most cherished values in a consumerist society is an ongoing challenge.
FWCC offers a Stewardship Ministry service to help Friends discern what is near and dear to their own hearts with regard to family and charitable legacies. The ministry is staffed by volunteers experienced in financial and charitable planning who offer unbiased guidance about the most creative and tax efficient ways for you to align your estate planning goals with your Quaker values. Stewardship Ministry volunteers partner with Everence, a Mennonite financial organization, for help with complex estate planning vehicles. Although the service is offered under FWCC’s umbrella, it is separate and confidential from FWCC’s general fundraising program. The Stewardship Ministry objective is to help Friends with charitable intentions support the Friends organizations-including schools, camps, churches, missions and the “alphabet” organizations-with a gift that will help secure the organization’s future.  FWCC charges no fee for this service to individuals, and a minimal fee to Meetings or Churches for a Stewardship Workshop.
The Stewardship Ministry service is not about asking for money;  the mission of this Ministry is to support you in identifying your charitable inclinations and expressing those in your planned giving or estate planning.  If you would like to know more about this new service, call the FWCC office at (215) 241-7250 and ask for a phone appointment with a FWCC Stewardship Ministry planner.


Looking Ahead – World Quaker Day on October 1
by Dorothy Grannell
You are invited to join in a Friends Meeting or Church on the first Sunday in October in celebration of World Quaker Day.  Around 500,000 people around the world call themselves Quakers and are members of the Religious Society of Friends.  If you have ever been curious about Quakers and how we worship, this would be a good Sunday to come and worship with Friends.  Click here to find a meeting near you. Friends worship in many way including the traditional form of silence. Friends follow no creeds but follow a few main testimonies or values: peace, simplicity, community, equality and stewardship for the earth. All are welcome. For more information and ideas about how to celebrate, follow the link below!

World Quaker Day

Greetings from FGC!

A Friend examines materials describing FWCC’s new program, the Traveling Ministry Corps.  Invite a minister to your church or meeting!

Traveling Ministry