February 2018 E-News: Traveling Ministry Corps Gather in Bolivia

February 2018
Starting on our next adventure
GrayDear Robin,

Have you ever left home for an adventure you couldn’t really picture? With people you’d never met before, in a country thousands of miles from home?

And then when it was almost over, you really didn’t want it to end?

That is one way to describe the training of the FWCC Traveling Ministry Corps last month in Bolivia. The ten Spanish-speaking members of the 2018 TMC are from Mexico, Cuba, Guatemala, El Salvador and Bolivia. I was blessed to be with them as one of the facilitators of the training, along with Ruben Maydana (INELA Bolivia) and Noah Merrill (New England YM.)

The training included practice in public speaking and in deep listening. We were graced by a fabulous presentation by Nancy and Harold Thomas (Northwest YM) on the theory, personal experience, and best practices for coping with culture shock and the gap between expectations and reality. While we were there, the ministers were invited to speak at Sunday morning worship and at midweek youth gatherings – in all four affiliated yearly meetings in South America. I am so proud to say they will be representing FWCC in the coming years. The English language training will be at the end of February at Pendle Hill in the U.S. (More info below!)

The sense of being gathered, equipped and sent forth by the Holy Spirit was so real, such a joy, that we – they – are ready for the next steps. Invite them to visit your meeting or church!

In friendship,
Robin Mohr signature

Robin Mohr
Executive Secretary

Join Us – February 24th at Pendle Hill: Weaving the Tapestry
Join members of the Traveling Ministry Corps at Pendle Hill on February 24th for a panel discussion called “Weaving the Tapestry.” The panel, hosted by Robin Mohr (Executive Secretary, FWCC Americas) will explore questions like, How can local Quaker meetings and churches support the Friends called to ministry among them? How can the Religious Society of Friends transcend our internal differences to seek broader unity?
Six FWCC Traveling Ministers will share stories, hopes and advice for individuals and meetings/churches.
The event is free and open to the public without pre-registration. It will be live-streamed as well, and you can get the link by registering. Click here to register. For more information, please click the link below, or go to our Facebook page.

Event Information

Traveling Ministers Training in Bolivia

The ten Latin American members of the FWCC Traveling Ministry Corps traveled together to  La Paz, Bolivia, in January. The seven new ministers from Central and South America joined the three Spanish-speaking members of the 2017 cohort for a week of training and fellowship before embarking on their service. We asked the trainers and trainees to share some of their thoughts on this experience with our e-news readers, and this is what they told us:
“My time in Bolivia reaffirmed my faith, and challenged me to see our work in New England with a new and broader perspective. I renewed old friendships-and forged new ones-with rising Quaker leaders from across our hemisphere, Friends who like us are participating in the renewal of our spiritual tradition in the 21st century. We shared our joys, our sorrows and our dreams. And we sang together in harmony-in Spanish, in Aymara, and in English.”
“Friends, it is a joy to be able to express my deepest gratitude because it was a great blessing to experience being part of a very large church in different countries and to see the passion with which many different yearly meetings work. Thank you my brothers and sisters. Our days in the training were a help to our spiritual life, with love, fear, and service to our Lord. Thank You and God bless you.”
Maria Virginia Jalire, Amigos Central, Bolivia
“One of the best experiences of my life. Despite the altitude and the culture shock that I experienced in 8 days in Bolivia, I carry with me a memory that I will never forget. The power of living with people (Quakers) with whom I never imagined I would live. To worship with them was a moment that I would like to repeat, to learn their way of worshipping and to know that I was part of them too. I really liked it, I learned from everyone and I carry them all in my heart. As I said, one of the best experiences, since the Spirit was with us from the beginning to the end. I thank God for allowing me to be part of this. I know that God in His great mercy allowed everything and I know that there is much more to come. To God be the honor and glory.”
Oscar Rodriguez, El Salvador

Traveling Ministry Corps

Weave a Legacy with a Bequest

Have you considered including the Friends World Committee in your will? Your gift to FWCC changes lives by nurturing connections and understanding among Friends across the Americas. A donation through your will or trust may reduce your taxes while supporting the important work of FWCC for the future.

A bequest is a gift made through your will, and is one of the easiest ways to make a difference to an organization you care about. You may include a bequest to FWCC when you have a new will prepared, or add a codicil to your existing will. Find examples of bequests, and sample bequest language for including FWCC in your estate here.

There are various ways to include FWCC in your estate plan, whether as a percentage or a residual of your estate. Find out more in the link to our website below.

Bogert Memorial Fund for the Study and Practice of Christian Mysticism – Deadline Approaching 3/1/18
Elizabeth Ann Bogert grew up in an affluent but troubled home in the days before the Second World War. Although raised in a nominally Christian family, her interest in religion remained at a fairly general level until one evening, while reading some classic accounts of religious experience, she herself underwent a profound and moving religious experience which deeply affected her life. The focus of her life shifted, away from self-centeredness and toward a genuine and caring concern for others. She enrolled in a theological seminary, preparing herself for ministry, and was ordained as a Congregationalist pastor, eventually serving several church communities. She also took up painting, which was another venue in which she could express her religious feelings. One of her seminary professors with whom she shared her religious life once described her as the most remarkable woman he had ever known, and when she died of cancer he took the initiative to establish a memorial fund in her name, The Elizabeth Ann Bogert Memorial Fund for the Study and Practice of Christian Mysticism.
Appreciating greatly the approach to religious mysticism found in the writings of such twentieth century Quakers as Rufus Jones and Douglas Steere, the professor approached the Section of the Americas to administer the fund. Each year this Bogert Committee is able to make a few grants of up to $1,000 for projects that relate to the topic of Christian mysticism. Some of these grants have gone to scholars for Ph.D. research or the preparation of books and manuscripts. Others have gone to centers like Pendle Hill and Woolman Hill to help with the costs of programs they are sponsoring. Keeping in mind the interest of Elizabeth Ann Bogert in the arts, some grants have gone for proposals in this area as well, such as a grant toward sculpture for a meditation garden.
Funding proposals are due by March 1 each year. Usually there are more requests than the committee can fulfill, but all proposals are prayerfully read and considered. Those interested in learning more about the fund and how to apply are welcome to contact the clerk via email (kenneth.henke@ptsem.edu) or regular mail: Kenneth Woodrow Henke, Special Collections, Princeton Theological Seminary Library, P.O. Box 821, Princeton, NJ 08542. Guidelines can also be found on the FWCC Americas website.

Travel in the Ministry Assistance

Job Opening at FWCC
The Section of the Americas office in Philadelphia is seeking a full-time Operations Manager! This person will join the Executive Secretary in managing the wide-ranging activities the Friends World Committee in North, Central and South America. This is an exciting opportunity to serve Quakers and help FWCC fulfill its mission.
For more information on the role and how to apply, click the link below.

Operations Manager Job Posting