Here you will find news items of interest about FGC. We will also feature news items from other Quaker Organizations in the United States and Canada at their request.
Women have been ministers of Quaker faith and practice since it began in the 17th century. March is Women's History Month, and in this month's issue of Vital Friends, FGC is highlighting women in ministry who have contributed (and continue to contribute) so much to the life of our community. Meet a few of the many Friends who fill our community with Light, Love, and Inspiration
The Institutional Assessment Task Force continues to lay the groundwork for gathering evidence of the gap between our perception and our reality of systemic racism within Friends General Conference. Using the knowledge and tools learned from Crossroads at the November 2017 workshop, each of the three Task Force subgroups (The Continuum, Power Matrix, and Survey teams) have developed potential questions to be used in a survey of the FGC constituencies, stakeholders and governance members.
Judy Williams delivered the statements below as a message during worship at New England Yearly Meeting’s Annual Sessions in August 2017. The text of her message below has been edited for clarity and grammar.
Our faith as Friends calls us to respect and nurture that of God in everyone. That includes advocating for an end to white supremacy and racism. This year, FGC is lifting up three ways Friends can live into beloved community by challenging racism in their Quaker meetings:
Once again, we are pleased to offer an FGC Institutional Assessment on Racism update, as requested by petition at the 2016 Gathering. In 2017 FGC retained Crossroads, a nonprofit organization that works with faith communities to facilitate working toward anti-racist transformation. Crossroads has contracted with us to train and work with FGC over the next year to conduct our Institutional Assessment.
What a year it has been, filled with opportunities to go deeper in our spiritual journeys and discern our place in a world that is rapidly changing. See how the world of Friends has changed over the past year by taking a look at our past issues of Vital Friends, our monthly organizational eNewsletter, and BookMusings, which shares new titles and engaging articles from the staff of QuakerBooks.
The format of this year's Central Committee sessions was entirely new - with a focus on small group sharing, a panel discussion, concise committee reports, an introductory video for newcomers to Central Committee - all designed to enhance opportunities for the exchange of ideas among Monthly and Yearly meetings, both large and small. The energy released was exciting and, for many, exhausting. The significant changes in format, the unrelenting focus on FGC’s future direction, the anxiety of a budget that has improved over the past few years and is still not yet unsustainable, all funneled into intense discussions and worship until, finally, the body arrived at unity around direction for the way forward.