2018 Gathering

We look forward to welcoming as many of you as possible to our 2018 networking event on Saturday 3 February 2018 at the Priory Rooms, Birmingham.  10 for 10.30 start, finish promptly at 4. 

Our agenda (below)

This has been shaped by the evaluation from the past couple of years. The format seems to work: updates from Friends World Committee for Consultation, from Quaker Peace and Social Witness and from Quaker World Relations Committee followed by some focused introductions to work that individuals/groups are involved in. Networking at lunch then leads into discussion groups in the afternoon.

We want to use our time together well, so exchanging information in advance seems important.

In 2018, we propose to take up the theme suggested last year: ‘How do we present ourselves/come across as British Quakers meeting and working with Africans (Quakers or not)’. We will be asking our speakers to address this as they talk about their work.

Please have a look at the minute from the FWCC Central Executive Committee (Rwanda, March 2017) (also below).

Do you have something you would like to contribute from your own experience/work? We have some room for this in the morning, and more opportunity in the discussion groups in the afternoon.

Is there something critical to you/your group that you would welcome discussing with others in the Interest group? We could include this as one of the afternoon discussion topics.

QAIG has previously minuted its intention to apply to be a Quaker Recognised Body.  We will need the group’s approval for the application form – more to follow on this.

It would be helpful to know if you plan to come by 21 December by return email to qaig.uk@gmail.com.

The outline programme is attached as .doc and .docx versions. Please select the format that’s best for you.

We’ll send out a more detailed programme in January.

From Colin, QAIG Administrator 

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Minute from Friends World Committee for Consultation Central Executive Committee, March 2017

CEC 17-19. Issues of privilege and historical injustice

We have taken up a concern raised by several Friends for how FWCC’s work in every part of the globe is affected by a history of colonialism and inequality, and by media distortions that influence perceptions of people in other parts of the world. Too often, Friends in wealthier countries only see images of people elsewhere in situations of poverty, misery, and need, while Friends in poorer countries see media images as if all people in wealthier countries were prosperous and successful. We too often hurt each other by assumptions we make, stories we tell, misunderstandings, favouritism, and superficial relationships. Even as we commit to forgiveness, it is difficult to forget or undo long-standing injustices and slights. 

We recognize that a key part of FWCC’s work is to overcome these historical patterns, and to foster and model authentic relationships of equality and mutuality. That requires a willingness to name destructive patterns as they occur, to recognize when we have made mistakes, and to ask for and offer genuine forgiveness. When we know each other more fully, in our homes, families, and meetings, we can better understand the full person, not just the cosmetics or stereotypes. Much work has been done in this regard over the past decades, but more remains to be done.

We thank the Friends who brought these concerns forward, and thank the clerking team for making the time for these important conversations. We thank God for challenging us, and allowing us to see our failings. We pray for guidance as we move forward, with the intention of building a world Quaker community that is loving and equal.

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Quaker Africa Interest Group (QAIG)

Priory Rooms, Birmingham, 3 February 2018

Agenda

09.30 Arrivals and coffee

10.15 Welcome from Ann Floyd; worship

10.30 Brief introductions (max 1 min each!) from all those there – name, LM and AM, connections with Quaker work in Africa

(do bring information to be laid out on a table for those interested, which can be looked at during the lunch period)

11.00 FWCC and BYM – updates and links to the theme

  • Addressing the theme: Gretchen Castle, General Secretary, FWCC

  • Video voices from Esther Mombo and Thuli Mbete (tbc) on the theme

  • QPSW work in East Africa: Tobi Wellner, QPSW

  • An update on Quaker World Relations Committee work, including the involvement of two Friends from Africa Section at YMG 2017: Ann Floyd

12.00 Two project presentations

Each will speak for about 10 minutes. There will be time for questions.

13.00 Lunch – opportunity to network and look at information

14.00 Discussion topics in two groups

  1. Quaker charities working in Africa: common threads? challenges? opportunities for collaboration? 

b) the possibilities for more inter-visitation between British and African Friends

15.00 Brief reports from discussion groups

15.30 Application to be a Quaker Recognised Body: does the Meeting agree?

15.40 Next steps, including location and timing of next meeting

15.50 Evaluation

16.00 Tea and depart

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