“Friends Woven Together in God’s Love” Weaving Tapestry, Colossians 2:2
March 12–15, 2015
COAL: March 9–11, 2015
Friends from 31 yearly meetings across five branches were woven together at the Meeting of FWCC’s Americas Section. The Section Meeting was held at a retreat center in the town of Atizapan de Zaragoza in the State of Mexico, just northwest of Mexico City. Friends worshiped in multiple styles, shared experiences and prayer in small, diverse home groups, heard reports on FWCC work in the last two years, and approved sweeping programmatic changes during bilingual business to prepare FWCC for the years ahead, in accordance with the new strategic plan for 2015-2020: Weaving the Tapestry.
Benigno Sánchez-Eppler addressed the theme, “Friends Woven Together in God’s Love.” His keynote address on Friday night inspired and challenged us all.
A member of New England Yearly Meeting, he has traveled in the ministry among Friends in Costa Rica, Cuba, Peru, Bolivia, and the United States. He led the Bible Half-hours at NEYM Sessions in 2007, and at the FGC Gathering in 2008. Benigno teaches at Amherst College and at the Cuban Quaker Peace Institute. His decades of work as interpreter and translator for FWCC led him to serve as Co-Clerk of the Quaker Youth Pilgrimage for the last three years. Benigno is a founding co-editor and translator of raicescuaqueras.org. He was approved as the new clerk of the Americas Section later during the meeting.
Friends prepared for the event by studying “Spiritual Preparation for the 2015 Section Meeting: Advices, Queries and Prayer Suggestions.” We invite you to use and share these materials with Friends.
Welcome to the New Association!
Friends approved the request of the New Association of Friends to affiliate with FWCC. Affiliation enables the New Association to appoint representatives to FWCC and participate in FWCC business. If your yearly meeting is not currently affiliated with FWCC, we encourage you to consider this opportunity for spiritual connection and fellowship with Friends.
In Fall 2014, FWCC’s Executive Committee approved “Weaving the Tapestry 2015-2020,” a strategic plan designed to better align FWCC’s work with the needs facing Friends today. The Strategic Plan highlighted three areas of work: Visitation, Connections, and Funding Innovation. A Structural Plan proposed changes in FWCC’s programs and governance structure to bring them in line with these three work priorities. Friends approved all these changes at the Section Meeting.
One significant change was the creation of the Traveling Ministry Corps. FWCC will recruit, train, and deploy a corps of Friends from diverse yearly meetings to travel in the ministry with a message of connection. More information will be available as this program is developed.
Another significant change involved the Wider Quaker Fellowship. From the minutes:
“As we realign our work to make the wisest use of the gifts God has given us, we lay down the name of the Wider Quaker Fellowship. We honor the long history of the Wider Quaker Fellowship and the many Friends who have been connected with this work. The members of the Wider Quaker Fellowship Program Group will work with the Executive Committee and staff of the Section to communicate this transition to current subscribers and other interested Friends between now and the end of 2015. Much of the work of the Wider Quaker Fellowship will be continued by the Communications and Correspondence Program Groups.”
Other changes included reorganizing our Regional Coordinators to build engagement among Representatives, consolidating planning groups for yearly events, and charging a group to examine the Quaker Youth Pilgrimage and discern how FWCC can best offer spiritual leadership opportunities for young Friends.
Additional Documents and Reports
Updated reports will continue to posted here and on the representatives page.
- Work Plan 2016-2017 [draft]
- Approved Nominations, Revised 3/23/15
- Approved Budget for Fiscal Years 2016 & 2017
- Development Working Group
- Living Water Consultations Working Group
- Quaker Youth Pilgrimage Program Group
- Wider Quaker Fellowship Program Group
- Travel in the Ministry Scholarships Resource Group
- Friends Committee on Scouting
- Executive Committee
- Finance Committee