Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Evening Session - Sylvia Graves, John Porter, Brent McKinney and a High Point Friends Welcome.

First Evening Session - Closed Captioning Notes.

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Live captioning services are provided by CSDHH – Communication Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Greensboro, NC. Your captionist today is Vicki Pinson.

(Brent McKinney)
Friends good evening welcome to 2008 triennial sessions. This is a day we have long awaited. Good to see meeting house filled. All of you have traveled some from far away but all gathered today here as friends. It’s been 3 years. Lot of effort into preparations for this meeting. This is a great day and a beautiful crowd. My pleasure to welcome you to this session. Welcome to city of High Point and High Point friends meeting. Hope your travels have gone well. Some had some glitches along the way. I know how much to travel by taxi from JFK to Newark airport. … Greensboro airport to High Point friends. Other than a few glitches like that hope all have traveled well and come to expect and enjoy a good time. In next few days we will gather for worship in the morning. Few business sessions, speakers, tours, meals. And fellowship so enjoy this gathering. If we could have our hope fulfilled then as we depart and go separate ways we would tell those we encounter about the strength of friends as we look to future. Future needs to hear message that friends have, simplicity, peace, integrity, living in community and emphasis on equality for all.

Mary if you will lead us in song.

Mary: Thank you. Good evening friends. There are some hymnals scattered among the room. Not many so words will be presented up here for you to read. Will you please stand and sing with us how great thou art. Page 147.

How great thou art.

(music)

O lord my god when I in awesome wonder consider all the worlds thy hands have made
I see the stars I hear the rolling thunder thy power throughout the universe displayed.
Then sings my soul my savior god to thee. How great thou art. How great thou art. Then sings my soul my savior god to thee. How great thou art. How great thou art.
When through the woods and forest glades I wander and hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees. When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur and hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze. Then sings my soul my savior god to thee. How great thou art. How great thou art. Then sings my soul my savior god to thee. How great thou art how great thou art.
And when I think that god, his son, not sparing sent him to die I scarce can take it in.
That on the cross my burden gladly bearing he bled and died to take away my sin.

Then sings my soul my savior god to thee
How great thou art
How great thou art
Then sings my soul my savior god to thee
How great thou art
How great thou art

When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation and take me home what joy shall fill my heart

Then I shall bow in humble adoration and there proclaim my god how great thou art.
Then sings my soul my savior god to thee
How great thou art
How great thou art
Then sings my soul my savior god to thee
How great thou art
How great thou art.


Mary: Be seated.

Thank you Mary. In case you are wondering who is on the … our staff. Ramallah in Africa and other places… so we are so glad to have just about 100% of our field staff here. A few folks minding farm in… give them a round of applause.

(applause)

Brent:
Like you we appreciate their good work so much. At this time I want to ask a few folks to bring words of greeting.

We’ll have head of High Point friends school David as well as pastor of High Point friends meeting Kelly Kellum.

Kelly Kellum: Welcome to campus. We are delighted you are here. I’m speaking on behalf of clerk and members of meeting. We are delighted to open doors to friends here in High Point. We want to provide good place where good work can be accomplished in God’s name. as you meet people you might see people with name tags meeting host. This designates some as we are simply here to be friendly presence as well as if you have question about campus or community we want to be of service to you. Welcome.

David: On behalf of High Point friends school I want to welcome you here. Pleased you will use school facilities for some sessions.

Couple of announcements there is library there with 10 computers you can do email. Quiet spots over there and the classrooms will be used. Restrooms are more commodious than in meeting house. We ask you not to pray too long in the stalls.

We regret that our new Kingrey Center which was supposed to have been finished before this meeting and would have served for meals and also gathering spot for youth ran behind schedule and not completed.

There are some temporary stairs in front of it. You can walk there and look at facility. There is a balcony there you can access from the wooden stairs and you will have idea of what this facility will add to school campus.

High Point friends school began 1963 and we began adding grades in 2001. We will add 8th grade this year. Welcome to campus. If anyone in school can assist you please don’t hesitate to ask.

(applause)

Brent: Thank you for those words. Campus looks beautiful. For further words greeting and welcome. John.

John: This indeed has been a day we have anticipated for shall I say many months.
A few years. We have been looking forward tot his for a long time. We have been working hard.
Give thanks on behalf of hundreds of volunteers helped put this tog. Many have contributed resources. Vans, drivers, food, planning, great effort.

I spoke briefly with staff yesterday and reminded them if not for high quality of staff we have it would have been much greater challenge for us to put this together so I appreciate them.
Recognize Viola Britt and hard work she has done. Stand up Viola.

(applause)

Also want to recognize some of the other folks we have. They work and get paid for working doing this double time. We have other jobs we do as well. Some you have seen around in the balcony or somewhere, Paul Routh our information technician person…. Darrin, come on stand up. People need to know who you are.

(applause)

Some you haven’t seen yet Darlene Pittman director program ministry, …

… Corey and Jennifer York are probably around here. Certainly people who have worked hardest and been in contact for most of you if you sent registrations in. office staff Stacy stand up. She is new here. I told her this was the hardest event …

And one that has … has put this together with her expertise Janice Dalton … office manager.

(applause)

This would not have happened without these folks. … she is collecting money and will disperse it at appropriate time. As we began thinking of this where to hold it. We traveled around. All over state, Raleigh, Charlotte, Winston-Salem Greensboro. Got quotes on rooms for rooms to stay in and conference rooms. Best way was to help highlight wonderful gifts we have in NC.
We looked for large meeting house and settled on High Point friends. It has proven to be over and over again a wonderful decision. Appreciative for all those at High Point friends as well. Given us opportunity as you travel, some will go to camp, tours or ….
We have a lot of blessings here. I told staff yesterday one thing we learned through this process is expect the unexpected and know you won’t be disappointed. We also realize we aren’t doing this for NC yearly meeting. Not for staff but for glory of god. We offer as our gift. In this triennial 2008.

Thank you.

(applause)

Brent: Thank you John. Appreciate all the hard work of staff. We appreciate what you have done as well.
I’d like to make our Kenyan friends feel at home and welcome. Jambo …

Amen.

That’s it.

It’s my pleasure to introduce next person to bring welcome from city of High Point. Mayor Becky Smothers. She has served on town council as member and as mayor for several terms.

(applause)

Becky: It is indeed pleasure for me to be here. I heard this was being planned some months ago. Been to see David at school I want you to know reason that is not finished has nothing to do with the city.

(laughter)

In fact when we went in the gym that day and looked I said you want to use this when. He said oh it will be ready. I said un-huh I told him to get guardrail around balcony. Wonderful to have you here in High Point. I extend my welcome to you. Many of you live around here.
It was delightful to see friends as I came in. certainly our history in High Point sounds like … we will be 150 years old net year.
As we celebrate that birthday we are particularly aware of strong Quaker heritage we have in this area. Truly through their perseverance their devotion to god helping mankind that community got so strong. So delighted you brought rain. We needed that too. Disturbed about program agenda. Normally when I welcome groups to town I encourage them to go spend money. I don’t think you will have time to do that so promise you will come back.

Wish you the best and safe trip.

(applause)

Brent: Do we have ushers or pages to come forward at this time.

Let’s pause for prayer.

Heavenly father it’s amazing how you bless us beyond measure. Our cups run over. Thank you for beauty around us.
Thank you for so many ways you bless us. Your answer our prayers give us hope. Fill lives with opportunities for fellowship. The list goes on and on. Many needs we lift up to you but tonight we praise you lift up your name. thank you for gifts and promises. Ask in the name of Jesus. Amen.

(music)

Two announcements.
All Kenyans are asked to meet with JOHN AND Eden Grace at the chapel in east wing tomorrow at 1 pm.

Keith Jones has information for us.

Keith: Just one quick announcements. For friends traveling to local hotels tonight. Just a word if you have valuables make sure you take out of cars, put in trunk or put in room with you. There are some break-ins at hotels. Make sure nothing is in sight to make them want to break into car. Keep everything inside.

Thank you Keith. We live in a real world. Thank you Keith. He is heading up security while we gather for these sessions.

Theme for conference comes from Jeremiah 28:11 for I know the thoughts I think towards you thoughts of peace and not evil to give you expected end.

Our speaker tonight. After silence and special music. Sylvia Graves grew up in heartland of America outside Indianapolis.

She comes from multigeneration of friends. Has relatives who have served on mission field. Her career has always been in field of education. Graduate of William Penn College and Butler.. university beginning as classroom teacher and ending as principal. She has participated in Quaker studies programs. Always as youth growing up, in schools, never left church. Always been present and been involved. She has been on pilgrimages in England. All before involvement with Friends United Meeting. I first met her 14th day 3rd month.
We met in Washington DC outside foreign aid office. We met at the office for aid to schools and hospitals abroad. We need to check on status of some grant projects and applications we had. Sylvia has a lot of passion as general secretary for Friends United Meeting. She travels widely among friends if you do not know she has visited near you you just missed it.
Lady with a lot of passion for her work, faithful, devoted to serve God however that might be. So thankful to have her as general secretary. Sylvia will speak out of the silence following time of special music.

Group Men's Choir: Good evening. Welcome to High Point. All of you from out of town. I live less than 1 mile from here.
We are known as the over the hill gang. Because we are 3 Quaker ministers two of which are retired and other has taken part time job.

We sing once a year normally maybe twice this year because of singing at Friends United Meeting sessions. Reason we sing only once a year we have to plan rehearsal times around doctor’s appointments.

(laughter)

Speak for yourself John.

In late 1960s I was on staff of Friends United Meeting so that says something about how old I am.

Beginning at my extreme right and your left is first tenor singer for trio Wayne Johnson. Next to me is Ben Hurley Ben sings the lead even though he sings same as me most of the time when he is not in trio. I’m Charlie Adams I sing baritone. We have gracious help of Ginger Osborne playing piano who covers all our mistakes.

(music)

I found a friend who is all to me. His love is ever true I love to tell how he lifted me and what his grace can do for you.

Saved by his power divine. Saved … my joy is complete for I’m saved, saved, saved.

When poor and needy and all alone in love he said to me come unto me and I’ll lead you home to live with me eternally.

Saved by his power divine, saved to new life sublime life now is sweet and my joy is complete for I’m saved, saved, saved.

His name is wonderful… his name is wonderful, his name is wonderful, his name is wonderful, Jesus my Lord.
He is the mighty king, master of everything, his name is wonderful, Jesus my Lord.
He’s the great shepherd the rock of all ages.
Almighty God is he.
Bow down before him
Love and adore him
His name is wonderful
Jesus my Lord.

Bow down before him
Love and adore him
His name is wonderful
Jesus my Lord.

The marketplace is empty
No more traffic in the street
All the builders tools are silent
No more time to harvest wheat
Busy housewives cease their labors in the courtroom no debate work on earth is all suspended as the king comes through the gate

Oh the king is coming
The king is coming
I just heard the trumpets sounding and now his face I see
Oh the king is coming
The king is coming
Praise God he’s coming for me.

I can hear the chariots rumble I can see the marching throng.
And the flurry of God’s trumpet spells the end of sin and wrong.
… are now unfolding heaven’s grandstand’s now in place
Heaven’s choir is now assembled start to sing amazing grace.
Oh the king is coming
The king is coming
I just heard the trumpets sounding
And now his face I see
Oh the king is coming
The king is coming
Praise God he’s coming for me
Praise God he’s coming for me.

(applause)


Sylvia Graves: Thank you you gentleman that kinds of music just sooths our soul. I’m curious how many of you are here for first time. Stand please. First triennial ever. Oh wow. (applause)

Thank you. Wonderful.

How many of you have served on Friends United Meeting board?

Including presently.
Oh yeah. Wow. Wonderful.
(applause)

How many of you have served overseas on some areas of ministry. How many have been there even for short time. Even as volunteer.

(applause)
And I would like to ask how many have served on Friends United Meeting staff.

Ok. That makes me feel…(applause)

Makes me pretty nervous that so many of you know more about Friends United Meeting than I do. I want to spend this evening giving current status review. State of society report.

I think it’s important to know who we are and what we’re doing before the rest of the sessions this week. I will review where we are. Hope some of the names are familiar, hope some are new, hope you get sense of profound work being done on your behalf. You leave with vision of all of us as members of Friends United Meeting becoming more effective in channeling gifts of ministry to those in need of it.

Purpose statement friends united meeting commits itself to equip and energize friends to gather people into fellowship where Jesus Christ is known loved and obeyed as teacher and lord. This statement has been around since I think 1991.

It has been endorsed by many boards since then including current board.

I’d like to use illustrations that may not be welcome very this is not it yet may not be welcome comparison to the Iowans and Indiana people sick of rain but I want all to think of image …

That she drew image friends united meeting has opportunity to be channel of living water based on story of John 4 where we know Jesus came to well and told women that he would bring her eternal life through living water.
If you use image that each of you sitting here has drop of water as member of your local meeting you have tasted that water have drunk of water and sustained by living water provided by God as taught to us by Jesus and as individuals seek communities we worship and learn and support each other.
Dot that in local meetings. Put drops tog and make local meeting. Then seek wider fellowship and collaborate efforts to carry out ministry not able to do alone. We call those yearly meetings. Many have formed yearly meetings recently and some long ago. Western yearly meeting. We are celebrating 150th anniversary.

We are likely to welcome a new yearly meeting this week. .in past 2 years I found valuable to attend many different yearly meeting sessions and learn about uniqueness of each meeting. Each possess different geographical challenge.

Demonstrate different degrees of conviction. We are together as Friends United Meeting to join efforts responding to God’s call to be his people and to answer Jesus’ great commission to make disciples of all nations. Take message of repentance to all people and feed sheep. Friends United Meeting addresses most of its business in meeting of general board who you see here. Made of each yearly meeting in USA and once a year in Kenya. This picture was taken February of 2007 only time so far that representatives from Africa and north American met together. General board appoints general secretary and other positions. No other executive positions yet.

Few years ago board selected priorities for organization work. Evangelism. Global partnerships, leadership development and communication. We had … we still work in those areas but to stay within financial boundaries some left to yearly meeting. Six years ago I was counting minutes of 2002 6 years ago 21 people worked at Richmond office. Now we have 10. Includes John Muhanji paid from general fund.

John Muhanji, Eden Grace Judith and … general fund money supports John Judith and but not Eden. She is expected to raise her own financial support. We have had tough decisions in past years to align expenses with income. We want to acknowledge that people on board take responsibility seriously. As members rotate on and off there are times they work well together and sometimes not so well together. They have to represent yearly meeting interests but seek common ground as well. There has been good trust between board members.
We have grown to appreciate each other. Many have fulfilled appointment time on board and starting in October new group. Not criticism how we work. Just how it is.

Present strategic plan calls for orientation in fall so we can become trusting of each other earlier. Brent will complete his term as of these sessions. We will talk more about that later.

I also want to acknowledge some board members are appointed by their position. Not by calling. Not that they don’t want to be part of board but not priority for them. Busy with own ministries. Can’t give time beyond other work. Sometimes there is real tension on board.
Just as there is wherever people invest time and commitment. We don’t all see eye to eye how things should be done. Sometimes difference in theology or priorities of knowledge of topic. As you know Quaker process is grounded in discerning will of God. Takes more than 3 days at times.
People come from different experiences. So do we seek to do business efficiently or do we give more time to process so results are clearly will of God. That has always been challenge for the board.

Another challenge board is experience is defining global partnerships. Last time was first time ever all yearly representatives met in same place with same agenda. Fact that North American Board and African board have common business. Some business not common. What does global partnership look like. How often can we afford to have meeting with all together. I believe it was very valuable for North American friends to visit in Uganda. We build relationships. Our meetings in Africa are growing. Most recent board meeting in “April when … board formed committees to plan and oversee 5 areas of ministry they see as priorities. Eager to do work of church but not eager to argue about issues.

They empower their people by educating them and seeing that healthcare is available.

One comment last year Kenyan said during discussion … while we church leaders are in here arguing our people are out there perishing. What does that say about way we do work as god’s people.

In fall of 2006 board began process to develop strategic plans to guide Friends United Meeting for next 5-6 years. Started by defining 4 areas of concern. Administration, evangelism, communication, and identity. Wrote goals and strategies to address those areas.

Biggest struggle we trying to define who we are as organization. Not for profit with mission emphasis. Are we denominational headquarters. Do we need common theological ground. They labored for hours into night and agreed to bring proposal. … at general board meeting in Kenya our relationships in beginning development. Many approved Richmond … but some did not. It was not make requirement for membership. Tension still exists and we must find way to deal with it. Another tension many know general board approved hiring policy 19 years ago and it certainly adds to tension in organization because of underlying issues. What has been in place states that employees of Friends United Meeting are not to have sexual relations outside of marriage being understood as between a man and woman.

Many believe that to be biblical truth and that homosexuality is god given trait discriminated against. As dialogue opens tensions are so tight that threat of splitting up has scared us into avoidance. We have been unable to come to unity about it. There may be a few who don’t care how it turns out but many onions and feelings are strong. Board members are trying to represent your feelings. But many communications haven’t come to unity on this issue. Therefore unlikely that Friends United Meeting will come to unity in near future one way or the other. How do we handle that. As God’s people, as peacemakers. What are we called to do. Some take our frustrations by writing letters to staff. Some withhold support from general fund.

Some do not participate at all. I can’t say some former executive staff members say that is one reason they had to leave. Stressful part of their job. Speaking of staff. More positive I want to commend our staff. Our Richmond staff how many we are, stand up please. People who work in Richmond. These are just a few of them, missing Kim and Frank and Yvonne and those are the people working in Richmond Indiana.

(applause)

We had 10 last week. We had Paul Smith but said farewells to him he retired after 7 years as director of finances.

At February general board meeting we did appreciation to Paul for his part putting Friends United Meeting on solid financial ground. Stand up Barbara Smith she is now manger of finances.
Last week we had going away part for Paul we gave him top 10 reasons glad he was leaving one was we don’t have to explain anymore that Barbara and Paul Smith are not married. … she knows how to do many things no one else knows how to do, super in giving attention to important details. I believe general board will agree staff is made of people industrious creative and resourceful. Have a heard for ministries we support. 100% of staff participate in payroll deduction.

They believe in the work believe in the people and the purpose of Friends United Meeting.
I didn’t officially ask them to make wish list. They hope shortage of staff is temporary situation. Even though we function well as team and share workload often put heads together there are many on staff who are only ones who know how to do essential parts of office operation. Really skeleton staff. Some don’t look like it. Don’t have secretary and file clerks or back up people to do work in emergency. And possibility of burnout heavy workload for so few.

With larger staff to carry load I don’t think anyone would slack off.

Our wish list would include more participation from some yearly meeting and some local meeting and many individuals.

In travels last year I learned large range of knowledge about Friends United Meeting. Many meeting have Friends United Meeting mindset. You seem to know god calls meeting to reach out globally to share love of god. Share from your wealth through channels set up for over 100 years. Some meetings have no clue that by virtue of membership at meeting they have this open to them. They don’t know what Friends United Meeting represents.

Michael Cain talked to someone here who said Belize where is Belize at this meeting. We miss some people in faithful memberships. We are not sure what people do with mail we send them
Too many people don’t get message that Friends United Meeting is there ministry. Staff tries to find ways to reconnect with those who drifted away.
Last fall our staff called 600 plus local meetings we send mail to to see if we had right contact information. We get information from yearly meeting. We know you are discouraged sometimes too.
Just for your information in past 3 years finance committee studied sources of funds. You know there are 2 funds. There is general fund that pays not there yet…we have 2 funds general fund pays for basic office operation, salaries, supplies, heating and cooling building, maintenance. That is general fund. We operate office as you do with general fund to keep you together. Restricted funds designated by certain named ministries. Currently we have about 120 restricted funds we manage. In that study last 3 years when finance committee put that together all giving by North American yearly meeting was divided by # of people according to yearly records. Some goals are stated… financial assessment based on members. Some left up to individuals. Range is from $2 per member to $82 per member in another yearly meeting. Average about $26.

Certainly challenge to become financial strong organization with such wide interpretation about responsibilities you accept. One step named is appoint task group to study meeting and obligations of Friends United Meeting and they met earlier today for a couple of hours. May be in beginning stages of addressing situation. Two thirds of general funds come from yearly meetings and individuals. These are funds monthly meeting send outside of what you channel through yearly meeting.
Some have projects or events to raise money. One third comes from individuals who want to support Friends United Meeting even more than monthly meeting or yearly meeting. Significant amt of staff time creates and sending appeals out to people on mailing list to meet budget of just over $900,000.

Kim Newland from Indiana she is newly hired development officer. Kim has hit ground running and plans to visit yearly meeting this summer. Plans to grow in skills and knowledge.

Work we are doing, primarily work we do is overseas ministry. People frequently ask me what is happening in Belize. Or Kenya. Just this week a woman called to ask for update on Ramallah friends school she gets newsletters and wanted to know latest after newsletter.

Brief updated information. As we are here things change.

First before we get into work we do I want o introduce you to key person that makes this work happen. Many make it happen with prayer and financial support but Terry Johns. She knows about global connections. Good keeping in touch with field staff. Good about seeing they feel supported. Definitely key person linking your support to field staff.

(applause)

Now in field,

Africa first.

Africa ministries office was setup just over 3 years ago in Kaimosi, John Muhanji is Friends United Meeting coordinator but hardly in Kaimosi office because he is out coordinating. He says there are about 2000 monthly meeting in Africa. Compared to 1560 in North American. He is working on taking census of members. More difficult there than here not just participate in church. John do you estimate Friends United Meeting membership is 130,000-150k,000 wow 500,000 Quaker in Kenya.

That is rest of world put tog and more. He works with leaders in Kenya to assist them in such areas training treasurers and strengthening curriculum of friends schools. To teach Quaker values.

Obviously john has big job to do when he accepted call to move into ministry from bankers’ position he didn’t know what he was getting into.

John should have app, she should have appointed mentor to John. I don’t think mentor could keep up with him. He travels a lot and has hands in many pots. He is loyal to family and community. House next to mother and he sees her often. More than his wife I think. John has built incredible trust not just among African friends but government. Please stand up John so we can hold you in the light.

(applause)

Hopefully you will find time to hear more about peace teams. Since post election violence in late December. Because of this work communities have said we have seen your work and want you to establish … in …

Tomorrow you will … you might recognize his name as clerk of yearly meeting. Has served as chairman of efforts of Peace Teams in Kenya. Joseph we do ask you to extend please extend to your (applause) your committee very much appreciation and admiration for your work spreading word of god and peace pleased to be associated with you.
Now let’s take look at role of Eden Grace Eden will you and Gene stand up. Like I mentioned earlier Eden is field staff member. Way things are setup she is responsible to raise hew own financial support. She serves as assistant to John Muhanji.

Nearly 4 years ago Eden and James were both appointed to share field staff position to help setup and manage African ministries office. Past years roles changed. James is released to work outside Friends United Meeting and Eden is full time staff members we all know takes supportive family and especially spouse to do what Eden can do. Eden is bundle of energy and talent. Master of multitasking. She gives at least 200% of her effort to responsibilities she has. Handles every penny channeled to African office.

We just named friends peace team as one that’s recent. We know Eden has given considerable time past year to ASHA grant at … hospital to oversight of financial matters at Kaimosi Hospital we know you are overwhelmed but she is so good.

(applause)

I know Eden would want me to publically recognize volunteers Judy Davis …

Contributed to Kaimosi hospital significantly.

Thanks to Lisa Stewart from southeast meeting. She has stories to tell just returned.

Been assisting Eden traveling with John and relieve their time and stress just help them out. What a great pair you two are. Also want to recognize Pat Schrock, past year changed scenery and served in Bolivia for 3 months.

Now for the other six partner projects. .we call them that because Friends United Meeting plays part implementing ministries though there is large difference how we sponsor.

3 initiatives of Kenyans themselves. We just channel funds from you to support these efforts. Work in …. Managed by team including nurses and … has 6-8 worship groups. Have primary school and have dispensaries. And mission area. Kenyans have said they will go to help those people and share good news with people. Our goal at Friends United Meeting is send to them to facilities ministry $2000 a month. We have fallen short of that goal past couple of years. Hope to remedy that. Both areas need vehicle. They are worn our not functioning. Each mission needs our help. They really we need to pay attention to needs in those areas. Because the funds are not there to make it healthy without our help. Lindi friends school was initiated by Kenyan Quaker. Businessmen called AQUAVIS. Sampson Ababu is also… (applause)
Are there other members of team here. Take time to visit with Sampson. Lindi friends school as you may know established in … largest slum in world has been managed by AQUAVIS with minimal contributions from us. Need to improve financial backing so teachers can be paid adequately. School expanded and include library and office.

Lugulu Hospital managed by … religious society of friends.

Edith Ratcliff has been supported. Money sent to pay for patients who can’t otherwise afford treatment. We have supported drilling well there. Edith gave us update on that during general board session 4 years ago grand from USA government ASHA American schools and hospitals abroad grant was received … grant was altered to fund purchase of hospital equipment. If Eden Grace has been working hard to complete purchase of $450,000 of hospital furnishings and computer system. We were privileged to be there to dedicate equipment at Lugulu Hospital.

Two projects part of original mission compound purchased in 1905 included during 1950s and 60s included teacher training college, primary school, secondary school, industrial plant. Only part we are involved with Kaimosi Hospital and friends theological college. When Kenya gained independent around 1964 that as turned over to … since then divided to many smaller yearly meetings. Deed for that 1158 acres remained with Kaimosi. Friends United Meeting owns property but continues to look to Friends United Meeting to manage college and hospital. Friends United Meeting and east Africa yearly meeting signed agreement. Placing responsibility … American general board appointed task force to be better informed this memo of understanding was … post election violence prevented us from working on agreement.

Strategic plan for improvements designed by government and proposal to submit understanding agreement for support of hospital. We are still in discussion if our support of hospital is wanted or welcome. Little over $80,000 has been collected and sent to Kaimosi Hospital for replacing roof, paying salaries and other operations costs.

Hospital is needed in this community business had gone down hospital could not pay for bills. Would likely close down.. we were invited to help. Thanks to your support Kaimosi hospital undergoing …

Board of governors making significant strides planning steps for improvement seeing that business of hospital is picking up. Much left to do but those needs met partly and business is growing so fast part we renovated is not large enough and need to do more. Want to thank Friend Bob … has roots in yearly meeting.

Now resides in Nairobi heart big enough to serve on board. David … where are you, he is also serving on that board. Any other board members. Doing wonderful job. We are very glad to see renovations and progress being made.

Friends theological college undergoing real growth spurt. Remember part about Kenya and Uganda having 2000 monthly meetings. Most want pastors and they are experiencing great shortage. Look to college to supply need.

10 years ago # students was about 10. Last year 74 and this year 120. .next year enrolled now 147 students.

Press seeking government accreditation. Midst of challenge Ben Richmond agreed to serve as interim principal. They packed up, he told me he was re-tired.

(applause)

So they packed up to leave to go for a year and oh my what a godsend this has turned out to be. Ben said most demanding job of his life. Has undergone building program and teaching at same time. Jody has taught too and participated fully in peace teams training others to do counseling. Thank you so much for work you do on our behalf.

(applause)

Just a word about construction on campus, in past year teaching staff has done without offices because offices were used for dormitory space. Groundbreaking in April for new office space. Can’t get anything that fast can you.

Hope they will be complete before classes in fall. Because dollar devalued and increased cost because of violence. We have started something we may not finish without help. Ben Richmond’s family has committed up to $30,000 matching grants includes library, existing administration into dorm. Appeal sent to those who have supported in the past but you are all welcome to contribute.

Evangelism, global partnership, communication and leadership development. Friends Theological College open to have visiting teachers. One year or semester basis. Ben and Jody have just produced a DVD they can had to you if you want o take to own meeting. And share story about friends theological college.
Is breath taken away of all work piled on John Muhanji and Eden Grace. As you listened you have said to person next to you how can such a small staff do all that. I would be unfair to them and you if I didn’t mention they dream to expand. They want minister of health.
And they would like minister of education to guide efforts to develop network among friends schools. John and Eden could then work with churches and yearly meetings full time.

Belize. Mike and Kay Cain given 13 years of time. Sadie started continuation school for girls and now boys second change for education beyond 8th grade. They are fulfilled in this work but ready to step aside. We want to express our admiration and appreciation for your work. So many years in Belize on our behalf. Thank you.

(applause)

In May Terri Johns, … spent a few days in Belize. Dale and Ron served on Belize support tem to advocate for work and work with our office to support Cains and look for what might be next.
We believe opportunity for ministry wide open in Belize. There will be more extensive presentation and review during one of plenary sessions. Just quickly we don’t have field staff in Cuba or Jamaica. In Cuba friends united meeting still limited. We have work team annual and have connections there. New England has adopted sister yearly meetings there.

*yeah.

NC has done amazing work in Jamaica. Otherwise Friends United Meeting has been ambiguous there. Eugene and Fran … retired over year ago. Eugene asked me for Friends United Meeting to send pastor to take his place. I told him Jamaica yearly meeting should make that request. Sometime later they made that request for us to send pastor. My response was support team being formed to review needs in Jamaica and define role that Friends United Meeting should take on. As Wendell home for girls and … home for boys we need to meet with representative before sending field staff person to Jamaica. This week we are having such a meeting. Then general board will need to consider recommendation from this group. We heed your prayers how we can minister in Jamaica.

Palestine friends have been working since 1869. Ramallah girls school and boys school there are notebooks on display.

In summary there are wonderful things happening in both school. Construction at girls school being funded by grants and donors outside Friends United Meeting. Many are alumni of Ramallah friends school.
At boys school many renovations and construction projects currently. Thanks to Joyce’s persistence. In applying for and getting grants. Let me explain about ASHA for those who might not know what I’m saying. ASHA stands for American schools and hospital abroad. 2 cents from every tax dollar goes to us foreign aid. Small portion of that goes to ASHA to make grants to nonprofit organization such as us to assist in improvements to establish American best practices in schools and hospitals.
In past 11 years Ramallah boys school has benefitted from several of those grants they have resulted in improvement like library, science building, computer lab, many improvements wiring and plumbing. Now Ramallah friends school more able to offer which has resulted in rigorous curriculum that nearly 100% of graduates go to college. Some accepted in American Boston college, … this years graduates were 92. Joyce Ajlouny has been directing long distance while doing graduate studies living in Maryland. They will return in next few weeks. We are proud of you and your success in Ramallah schools. We want to welcome Joyce’s husband … as he received USA citizenship 7/3/2008.

(applause)

Joyce will tell you all not easy though. They have experienced great success. One challenge last year is devaluation of US dollar and school into debt trying to keep promises to staff. We send us money and it doesn’t add up as much when it gets there.

So at … much of job is to tell you stories of work we just reviewed. Telling story is job of communication department. They manage friends united press Quaker life magazine. And other organization field staff newsletters. Various brochures. Whole communication staff please stand.

(applause)

Katie Terrell is new communication editor. Katie shares management tasks, they have to mange each other. With communication designer Sherry Veach. Sherry and Katie thank you for incredible gifts you bring.

(applause)

In packets you will find list of themes for 2009 issues of Quaker life and you will see they will tackle difficult issues. They were selected by Quaker life advisory committee. If you know of writers that might contribute to these issues, pass names to Katie and have her contact them.

Significant amt of time goes to fundraising. Communication plays key role in informative and inspiring materials.

Some of materials in past year prompted people to support who have never participated before. Thank you for all brainstorming work.

Finance committee has worked hard past couple of years. We have made great progress. We all wanted to announce that Friends United Meeting is totally debt free we still have to pay for debt from bookstore. Board agreed from sale of property in Maine but that deal has not gone through that I know of. We are close. Slow time of year to get everyone’s contributions. We are doing better. To conclude presentation I want to share with you thoughts about what I see Friends United Meeting doing in future. What do I think needs to happen for organization to thrive. First we have to get more own members to own this avenue of ministry. In next 3 years we need to double # of monthly meeting. More effective at yearly meeting level. E
Encourage you at yearly meeting to be involved and participate in Friends United Meeting work.
As core work of this organization is overseas ministries we need to financially back our projects. Can’t succeed without your support. We must broaden base of those who know and care about this work.
2 to start task getting this … before you leave for home. We need names of people to contact. We need your help for example. Both Kaimosi Hospitals and Lugulu Hospitals need morgue. They serve same function as funeral home. Both could benefit from this facility. On this paper I asked you to name any Quaker mortician you know. And possible principal for friends theological college. Please fill out green sheet and give your contact information. Another idea is yearly meeting programming could include more presentations about Friends United Meeting.
As I travel to yearly meeting I’m amazed nothing is on agenda or workshop that Friends United Meeting can present. This is your ministry.
One goal is we are working toward well I’m finished with that part let’s go on.
One suggestion I have hard in NC but not explored is idea of putting Friends United Meeting branch offices in monthly meeting. We have branch offices at yearly meeting. There is opportunity for perhaps part time pastor to work part time for Friends United Meeting locally. The more people working for Friends United Meeting in local areas.
Another potential area is developing programs for youth.

He has presented six situations where young people are involved. He has been applauded by young people because they liked that story. I directed camp a few weeks ago. Campers watched the slides I showed them about the work in Kenya peacemaking efforts in Kenya showed them homes burns, people displaced. Showed friends peace people doing something about it. Two campers participated in pennies for peace. They were thrilled to see real pictures of John Muhanji and the peace team at work.

Our young people need to know these stories. I think in US culture so many addicted to video games and sports. Many are looking for real things real people to make a difference.

Another thought to consider if ministries of Friends United Meeting are important avenue in your ministry why not important in someone else’s ministry. How can you involve another person, just one. What could office supply you that would equip you for doing that. What will you go home saying about this gathering who might be interested in participating in this work.

I had a phone call where a man met 3 men and asked for 3 more copies of Ramallah friends newsletter. If each person brought one we would have amazing growth.

Last thing I hope organization can find is unity in work we do even if we can’t find unity on everything.

One professor paid me surprise visit some time ago, came to office. Friends United Meeting needs to do its work based on integrity of love more than the purity of doctrine.

Somehow I think Jesus Christ would like that.

One more thought. I’m not a big fan of country music. I consider it better choice than some other options. I heard a song. It stuck with me or a line of song.
Made of 2 questions.
What if we don’t have what it takes. What if we do.
So as god calls us to do this work he promises he has plan for us includes hope and a future. Some of us may ask what if we don’t have what it takes to follow that plan. Seems as people of hope and people of god we should be asking what if we do. We will end evening gathering not in manner of friends. I don’t think you usually end like this. Seems fitting to me that we should step out of usual custom and take note of marvelous ways god is working among us and through us celebrate that there are many things going well many among us walking in light of the Lord. I have asked staff or some young people to deliver to you a balloon. I said not in manner of friends. I invite you to allow this balloon where are they, where did they go…

I invite you to allow balloon to represent some part of Friends United Meeting that brings joy to you. You are directly in line with god’s will is when you feel real joy. This may be reminder of when Jesus told parables of talents. Not blessed by hanging onto gifts but to share. After you identify for yourself some joy you want to multiply we invite you to bring joy to front and share by attaching to one of these Friends United Meeting ministries. There are slits in sides of boxes to slip ribbon into edge of box. Staff will help you if needed. You might think you can’t choose. Some project you think someone else should support. However you are moved ok. All answers are ok. This may take a while. Bring balloon and attach it. Then sit down for awhile. We will close with prayer. As you do this. If you see someone you want to greet and meet enjoy but come back to order when I say so.

Let’s wrap it up in about one minute.

You may stand right where you are.

(music)

Friends I invite you to stand right where you are. Boys and girls If you can hear my voice clap 3 times.

Thank you. If you will please you may stand right where you are for closing prayer. Wonderful encouragement to all of us.

Heavenly father you have reminded us this evening how great thou art. Lord we have come from different locations but all come to be renewed. Energized and equipped. Thank you for being our guide our comfort. Thank you for letting your light shine upon us. That great things might be done to glorify you. As we close program we ask for strength that we might in our effort lift up and glorify your kingdom. Thank you for display of strength shown tonight. We show we come together that we can lift up these projects. Who knows how much impact what difference we can make. We thank you bless you and praise you. Give us good night’s rest. Father we thank you. Jesus name amen.

(music)

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1 comment:

Mamie said...

This is very cool - thank you for sharing!
Mamie McKinney Sutphin