Friends General Conference

Together we nurture the spiritual vitality of Friends

Vital Friends: November 2019 Report from the Institutional Assessment Implementation Group

By Caryolyn Lejuste, Co-Clerk of the Implementation Group | 10/18/19

“We, the Institutional Assessment Implementation Group operate under the premise that racial justice work is spiritual work. Our testimonies of community, equality and integrity demand that we examine our faithfulness in seeing that of God in everyone and creating beloved community.”  -From the Report to Central Committee, October 2019

The Institutional Assessment Implementation Group recently gathered at Pendle Hill for our first annual face-to-face meeting. The Committee of ten Friends with the Ministry on Racism Program Fellow, Olivia Pandolfi, successfully established trust and built a community. 

We discussed the report and recommendations, the successes and challenges of pursuing anti-racism in the Religious Society of Friends and the resistance to the self-examination of the language and culture of Friends.  We challenged each other and recognized nothing changes without working through conflict. Reviewing the recommendations, we sorted tasks that are both short term, long term and routine.

In fulfilling our task of assuring implementation of the report recommendations we are bringing to Central Committee two minutes:

  1.  an extension of the minute passed last year resolving that in all FGC decision-making processes each body shall answer the following query with respect to each decision, “How does this decision support FGC in its goal to transform into an actively anti-racist faith community?”
  2.  a minute to collect demographic information regarding race and age of Friends in FGC affiliated Yearly and Monthly Meetings.

The work of moving FGC to be an anti-racist faith community is the work of all of us. In the months ahead, we will be communicating with FGC committees to encourage, support, and resolve challenges that confront us in implementing report recommendations. We invite Friends everywhere to join in our commitment to prayer and action for the year in front of us.