Friends are active all around the world in education, environmental justice, peace-making, community-building, spiritual enrichment, and even planned giving. These Quaker Organizations are actively working to bring people together to have a positive impact on the world. Each year at the Gathering Friends have the opportunity to hear from many different Quaker Organizations. This year we sought a virtual way for Quaker groups to have a chance to share with Gathering participants the highlights and important activities of the past year.
Please enjoy the reports below from the many active Quaker Organizations!
American Friends Service Committee
The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) promotes a world free of violence, inequality, and oppression. Guided by the Quaker belief in the divine light within each person, we nurture the seeds of change and the respect for human life to fundamentally transform our societies and institutions. We work with people and partners worldwide, of all faiths and backgrounds, to meet urgent community needs, challenge injustice, and build peace. We invite all Friends and allies to engage with us in a conversation about Our North Star: A vision for community safety beyond prisons and policing.
Bolivian Quaker Education Fund
Bolivian Quaker Education Fund (BQEF) is celebrating 20 years of supporting education assistance to Young Adult Friends in Bolivia. More than 200 young Friends in Bolivia have graduated from universities and technical schools with this assistance and gone on to effect positive change in their communities, in diverse fields including education, engineering, medicine, social work, business, the arts, and more. Please join us in our Virtual Quaker Study Tour this month (download flyer below). Come connect with Friends in Bolivia and hear their challenges and dreams.
Earlham School of Religion
As a graduate theological school with a mission-focused upon ministry and service, Earlham School of Religion bears the dual responsibility of accurately conveying the materials and movements that shape the Christian and Quaker religious heritages and of creating a learning environment in which students are formed for ministry that is relevant to the current era. Consequently, the academic programs at ESR intend to combine academic rigor with spiritual formation and value the inner transformation of the student as much as the outer preparation of the minister.
View our Virtual Information Session
Earth Quaker Action Team
Earth Quaker Action Team (EQAT, pronounced “equate”) is a Quaker-founded group that uses nonviolent direct action to work for a just and sustainable economy. EQAT’s current campaign focuses on Vanguard, one of the biggest asset managers in the world and one of the biggest investors in fossil fuel companies and other forms of environmental and climate destruction. We recently completed a five-day walk from the industrial banks of the Delaware River to Vanguard’s headquarters in an affluent suburb of Philadelphia, concluding with a powerful civil disobedience action. Our walk route includes sites of environmental racism and climate destruction directly tied to Vanguard investments. Friends can learn more on our website, including why we are not asking them to move their money out of Vanguard (yet).
Here is a recent Friends Journal article about the EQAT campaign and approach to collective action.
Friends Couple Enrichment: A Ministry to Deepen and Enhance Relationships
Formed over 50 years ago, Friends Couple Enrichment offers workshops and retreats for couples in well-grounded relationships. It is enrichment, not therapy, with a focus on “listening another’s soul into a condition of disclosure and discovery” so that the relationship deepens and may become a beacon of love and peace to others. Grounded in the faith, testimonies, and practices of Friends, FCE events are open to all couples in committed relationships, regardless of sexual orientation, marital status, gender identity or spiritual affiliation. By hosting an FCE workshop in your meeting or area, you are making tangible a meeting’s commitment to take relationships under its care. We also offer workshops online and at various sites around the country, including at Quaker Center (CA) and Pendle Hill (PA). Our events can be structured to meet your needs. We would love to be in conversation with you about making FCE a reality in your area. Please email us if interested.
Friends Committee on National Legislation
The Friends Committee on National Legislation lobbies Congress and the administration to advance peace, justice, opportunity, and environmental stewardship. Founded in 1943 by members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), FCNL fields an expert team of lobbyists on Capitol Hill and works with a grassroots network of tens of thousands of people across the country to advance policies and priorities established by our governing General Committee. FCNL is a nonpartisan organization that seeks to live our values of integrity, simplicity, and peace as we build relationships across political divides to move policies forward. For an update on FCNL’s recent work, read the FCNL 2022 Report to Yearly Meetings and learn more about FCNL’s impact.
Friends Council on Education: Celebrating 90 Years of Networking Quaker Educators
Friends Council on Education is the national association of 76 Friends schools in 21 states, and provides leadership in drawing Friends schools together in unity of spirit and cooperative endeavors. Friends Council’s work nurtures the Quaker life of schools, strengthens the network of support across schools, promotes Friends education through consultations, programs, and publications, and assists in the establishment of new Friends schools. Friends Council helps Friends schools maintain their Quaker identity and ethos, and their relationship with the Religious Society of Friends. Friends Council promotes professional growth for trustees, heads, administrators, and faculty to further the goals of Quaker education, and serves as a voice for Friends schools in the national dialogue on education.
Read the article “Grounded in Matters of the Spirit: Schooling through the Pandemic” as published by Friends Journal.
Friends Place on Capitol Hill
Friends Place on Capitol Hill is a Quaker guest house and learning center. We provide group opportunities for civic education and engagement. With our two event spaces, numerous guest rooms, and proximity to the Capitol building, Friends Place is an ideal location for youth, school, or church groups visiting Washington D.C. With questions or reservation inquiries: visit our website or contact our director, Sarah Johnson.
Read about the re-opening of Friends Place in Friends Journal (Nov 2021)
As an independent, member-supported nonprofit, Friends Publishing Corporation creates media that strives to deepen the lives of all spiritual seekers by communicating Quaker experience and faith as an offering of comfort, inspiration, and connection. We publish Friends Journal as a monthly print magazine and a website, including online-first features and freely accessible archives stretching back 65 years, and QuakerSpeak, a series of video interviews with contemporary Friends that has received more than 4.5 million views. (Here are some of our favorites!) We also produce Quaker.org, a one-stop resource for information about the Religious Society of Friends online.
Prisoner Visitation and Support
Prisoner Visitation and Support (PVS)a Quaker organization, provides monthly visits to Federal Prisoners nationwide. PVS needs more visitors. Visitors meet monthly with several prisoners for about an hour/prisoner. Many prisoners, incarcerated for decades, have never had a visit.
Quaker House serves as an ongoing manifestation of the Peace Testimony. We are located in Fayetteville, North Carolina which is the home of Fort Bragg. The base is one of the largest military bases in the world and the headquarters of the Army Airborne and Special Forces commands. Quaker House provides counseling and support to service members who are questioning their role in the military; educates them, their families, and the public about military issues; and advocates for a more peaceful world. Quaker House supports the GI Rights Hotline which provides support to service people worldwide. Quaker House’s counseling services focusing on domestic violence, sexual assault, and moral injury are provided at no cost to anyone who has been part of the military life including active-duty members and their families.
Resources: Discover videos, books, presentations, and other resources from Quaker House
Quaker Religious Education Collaborative
The Quaker Religious Education Collaborative (QREC) is fully engaged in this time of change and challenge. We bring fresh insights to planning for Sunday mornings and look beyond the traditional Sunday School model of one hour/once a week. (See Melinda Wenner Bradley’s presentation to QREC 2021.)We meet this moment with monthly Conversation Circles at the growing edges of our practice and new shapes for Quaker faith formation including All Ages formats, resources for the Quaker home, support for hybrid worship, Nadine Hoover’s Walking in the World as a Friend: Essential Quaker Practices, and a soon-to-be released curriculum, Human Relationships and Sexuality: The Spiritual Work of Adolescence from Durham (NC) Friends. We welcome you into connection with our 600+ Friend community of practice. Join us for our hybrid QREC 2022 Annual Conference, Finding Our Footing on the Path Ahead, August 12-14. The conference will be held in Hickory, NC. Stay tuned for pre-conference workshops.
Quaker Voluntary Service
Quaker Voluntary Service serves as an incubator for social justice activists grounded in Spirit. In each of the five program cities, QVS brings 6-8 young adults together in intentional community and places them in professional positions at service and change organizations. QVS Fellows work helps to expand the capacity of community-based non-profits. QVS partners with 17 Quaker meetings and churches that hold the local QVS houses under their care.
Read the Summer 2022 QVS Report
Right Sharing of World Resources
Right Sharing of World Resources (RSWR) works to redistribute resources from the United States to women’s groups in India, Kenya, and Sierra Leone to fund individual micro-enterprise projects. This work is grounded in a sense of stewardship for the world’s material, human, and spiritual resources.
The School of the Spirit Ministry
The School of the Spirit Ministry (SotS) is dedicated to helping all who wish to be more faithful listeners and responders to the inward work of Christ. School of the Spirit asks Friends: What do you long for in your Friends community? Our new program, Faithful Meetings, will provide meetings with opportunities to explore this and other questions about what it means to be a community of Friends today. Over the course of nine months, gathered in the meetinghouse and through online engagements, Friends meetings will be given openings to examine many aspects of Quaker faith and practices. In this intimate space Friends will learn to trust themselves, trust one another, and most importantly, trust the Divine to know and guide them. Curious to learn more? Join Faithful Meetings facilitator Mary Linda McKinney for an information session – you can register on our website!