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Archive for Quaker Life Magazine – Page 4

Everence and Praxis Mutual Funds revamp environmental screening policy

Changes expand on fund family’s concerns regarding climate risk

GOSHEN, Ind.– Following an intensive eight-month process, Everence and Praxis Mutual Funds have announced the expansion of their environmental screening policy.

“Over the years, attention has grown around the impact climate change has on our planet, vulnerable populations and growing businesses,” said Chad Horning, Everence Chief Investment Officer. “It’s a situation that demands attention, and the time has come to incorporate these considerations more clearly into our screening policies at Everence and Praxis Mutual Funds.”
While many investors focus solely on avoiding carbon intensive industries (such as oil, coal and utilities) to send a signal to corporate and political leaders, Everence and Praxis have chosen a different path.

“Turning our backs on every carbon intensive company accomplishes very little,” explained Mark Regier, Director of Stewardship Investing for Everence and Praxis. “We believe it is important to make a difference, not just a statement. In order to make progress, we must actively engage with companies that are both leading the way and lagging behind when it comes to climate change.”

The new environmental screen does not avoid carbon intensive industries as a whole, but comprehensively assesses the environmental impact of all companies. Everence and Praxis will examine past environmental practices, current carbon emissions and proven ability to track and manage the climate risks faced by the companies.

To help implement the new environmental screening policy, Everence and Praxis are working with the Intangible Value Assessment system built by MSCI ESG Research, the world’s largest provider of sustainable investment research.

“This system is used by hundreds of large institutional investors around the world,” said Regier. “It will help us assess a company’s prospects for meeting the range of environmental, social and governance challenges and opportunities we face.”

The revised environmental screen adds approximately 160 new companies to the international and domestic restricted lists used by Everence and Praxis in internally managed investment portfolios. Everence and Praxis regularly assess over 8,000 companies globally across the developed and emerging markets, as part of a stewardship investing philosophy that embraces a wide range of social concerns.

“In formulating this new screen, we gave careful consideration to the potential financial impact it might have,” said Horning. “While it’s far too early to draw any conclusions, we are pleased that the new screen appears to be delivering a strengthened environmental commitment with minimal impact on the management of the funds.”

“As trusted fiduciaries for a diverse pool of individual and institutional clients, we have always believed it is our responsibility to manage portfolios based on the economy we have, not the one we wish we had,” added Regier. “Transitions, particularly in core economic structures like energy, will take a long time and the active involvement of many parties. We have an important role to play as engaged investors.”

About Praxis Mutual Funds and Everence

Praxis Mutual Funds, advised by Everence Capital Management, is a leading faith-based, socially responsible family of mutual funds designed to help people and groups integrate their finances with faith values. To learn more, visit
Everence helps individuals, organizations and congregations integrate finances with faith through a national team of advisors and representatives. Everence offers banking, insurance and financial services with community benefits and stewardship education. To learn more, visit or call (800) 348-7468.

We Are All In This Together

By Noel Krughoff – FUM representative to FCNL

As the Religious Society of Friends, Quakers act in faith to create a world free from war, with equity and justice for all, where every person’s potential may be fulfilled, and where we live in right relationship with the earth. We do not expect such a world to emerge easily, but we are convinced by our faith and experience that building a more peaceful, just, and sustainable global community is possible. Following the advice of William Penn, we seek to “try what love can do” to advance such a world. From the Introduction to Shared Security, Reimagining U.S. Foreign Policy: A Working Paper of the American Friends Service Committee and Friends Committee on National Legislation, April 2013.

Through organizations like the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) and Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), and collaborative projects such as the Shared Security initiative, time-honored Quaker values continue to offer answers for today’s global challenges. For Christ to be credible to those of other faiths or no faith at all, people must see in action our stated conviction that everyone is valuable in God’s eyes — not just those who think like us, look like us and live where we live.

The Shared Security Working Paper offers U.S. policy makers concrete, common sense attitudes and strategies in line with Quaker values, ideas that are being offered to as options for addressing current global issues. Below is a brief description of some of the ideas. To read the entire Working Paper, visit the website:

Human security: Instead of focusing primarily on the safety of nation-states, those who study peace and conflict issues urge the adoption of a new human security model. This puts the safety and well-being of individuals and their communities as a top priority. It requires starting the problem-solving at the local level and recognizes that stress can come from environmental degradation, economic injustice and public health crises. Effort is aimed at building well-functioning communities rather than destroying perceived enemies.

Global security: Replace the importance of state sovereignty with the broader view of global security. U.S. foreign policy should be directed toward building cooperative and effective international institutions, which serve to strengthen international law rather than narrowly pursue national interests.

Shared security: Our world is inextricably bound together even while it is constantly changing. Both global and local solutions are key to solving today’s problems. None of us are safe unless all are safe.

Motives matter. Isaiah 58 makes it abundantly clear. God is not impressed with religious acts that are self-serving, but rather delights in his people when we “Break the chains of injustice, get rid of exploitation in the workplace, free the oppressed, cancel debts.” (Isaiah 58:6 Message Bible) If I hope to speak Christ to the world, my actions for peace must translate into good for others, not just for me.

Faith matters, too. I recently enjoyed reading The Heart of Christianity by Marcus Borg. As he digs deeply into the concept of faith, Borg says historically at the core of Christianity there are four meanings of faith. Most will recognize the familiar definition of faith as belief, but faith also means trust, commitment, and a “way of seeing.” If we see the world as hostile or threatening, our natural reaction is defensiveness. We’ll be too fearful to seek global security when our own hide seems in peril. However, if we see creation as life-giving and nourishing, as a gift to us from a loving God, anxiety subsides. There is room for all, plenty for all, and safety for all, if we work toward that goal.

Noell Krughoff and her husband Tom are newly appointed FUM representatives to Friends Committee on National Legislation. They attend First Friends Meeting in Indianapolis and live in rural Shelby County, Indiana.

Passages: Quaker Obituaries – March/April 2014

BEAVERS Felecia Andrew Beavers, 78, of Siler City, North Carolina, died Saturday, November 30, 2013 in Asheboro, North Carolina. Mrs. Beavers was born in Chatham County on March 24, 1935, the daughter of the late Burton Albert and Eula (Whitehead) Andrew from the Rocky River Friends community. A graduate of Silk Hope School, she was a homemaker and in her earlier years she worked at A. J. Schneierson and Sons. Felecia was a member of Edward Hill Friends Meeting, where she taught Sunday school for 25 years, was a former elder, held several offices and served on several committees. She served refreshments for VBS, loved gardening, cooking and sewing. Felecia was a dedicated mother and loving wife. She is survived by her husband of 60 years: Cecil L. Beavers; two sons, Leon Beavers and wife, Annette, of Sanford, Lynn Beavers and wife, Becky, of Garner; three daughters: Cheryl B. Hilliard of Bear Creek, North Carolina, Janelle Beavers of Siler City and Julia B. Kidd and husband, Dennis of High Falls, North Carolina; one brother, Earle Ben Andrew and wife, Bessie of Robbins, North Carolina; grandchildren, Michael, Christopher and Daniel Beavers, John Hilliard, Jr. and wife, Hannah, Jana H. Hernandez; Kayla and Olivia Kidd; six great-grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews.

CAIN Nellie Ruth Cain died on Thursday, July 25, 2013. Ruth was born January 16, 1928, in Corryton, Tennessee, daughter of the late John Newell and Elsie Blanch Anderson. After spending the first half of her life in New Market, Tennessee, she moved to Knoxville, Tennessee, and became a devoted member of Knoxville First Friends Church, after moving her membership from Lost Creek Friends Meeting. She retired from Lakeshore Mental Health Institute where she served as a social worker for 27 years, after receiving her Bachelors and Master’s degrees from the University of Tennessee. While at Lakeshore, she was instrumental in the founding of the National Re-motivation Therapy Organization, serving as an officer for many years, and receiving national awards for her work. After her retirement, Ruth continued to make an impact in the Knoxville community as a busy volunteer at Lakeshore Mental Health Institute and St. Mary’s Hospital, a board member of Volunteer Ministries, and in various capacities with other organizations. She was honored with the Silver Volunteer Award for her contributions to Knox County, Tennessee. She also loved to travel around the United States, reaching her goal of visiting all 48 contiguous states and Alaska in 2009. Most importantly, Ruth’s goal was to do God’s work for as long as she could, spreading His love to each person she encountered. She took every opportunity to publicly thank the Lord for all He had done for her, for sending Jesus to be her Savior and to ask His help in doing His work. She exhibited her Christian faith through her generous spirit and always sought ways to help and encourage others. She remained actively involved in the Quaker Church, both nationally and through local missionary work. Through the years, Ruth held positions as president, secretary, and treasurer of the United Society of Friends Women of the Knoxville Meeting, as well as serving as chairman of the Board on Christian Concerns for Peace and Society in both the Knoxville Monthly and Friendsville Quarterly Meetings. She could always be depended on to serve as hostess for USFW or the monthly peace meetings, or to provide transportation to others. As she served her Lord by serving others, she was faithful to visit the sick and those in need and was a big supporter of missions. Ruth was preceded in death by her parents and her brothers, Horace “Jack” Anderson and Hugh Anderson. She is survived by her daughters and sons-in-law, Claudia and Barry Ritchie, and Terri and Jim Myers, all of Knoxville; much loved grandchildren, Courtney (Rich) Hilliard of Cherryville, North Carolina, Eric (Amy) Myers of Nashville, Tennessee, and Darcey (Charlie) Morris of Baltimore, Maryland; great grandchildren, Trey and Madeline Hilliard; special friend of over 40 years, John Hondulas of Knoxville; several nieces, nephews, and many dear friends.

COLTRANE Margaret Kirkman Coltrane, 92, of Pleasant Garden, North Carolina passed away on Sunday, December 8, 2013. Margaret was born in Randolph County, North Carolina, on May 17, 1921. She was a member of Centre Friends, where she sang in the choir and was an avid Bible reader. Margaret and her husband, Roy, were instrumental in forming the Vereen Bible Class. She worked at Burlington Mills and then left to help feed baby calves on the family farm. She was a homemaker and enjoyed sewing, cooking, traveling with family and gardening. She was preceded in death by her husband of 72 years, Roy Monroe Coltrane, her parents, Charles Webster and Lillias Hockett Kirkman, and seven siblings. Left to cherish her memory are her son, Branson Coltrane and wife, Kay of
Pleasant Garden, grandchildren, David Coltrane and wife Amy, Sylvia Davis and husband Aaron; great grandchildren, Cole, Sydney, Will, Lemuel and Joseph; and sister, Betty Hinshaw.

HATCHER Ellen Linsley Hatcher was born on June 7, 1916 and passed away, December 1, 2013. She was born in Redlands, California, graduated from UCLA, married Gordon Hatcher in 1941. She and Gordon lived in Bolivia, Peru, Honduras and Cambodia as well as her native California. Ellen taught English as a second language in those counties as well as to Vietnamese who came here as refugees. Her skills as an English major served well in other areas as well working for Heifer International, volunteering for American Friends Service Committee and various PTAs. One of her greatest passions was making 1200 dresses for refugees girls, beginning in Bosnia, over a 10 year period. She is survived by daughters Mary Kate Carter and Margaret Hatcher; a granddaughter Becky Schriber, two great grandchildren, Abby and Isaac Schriber.

HINSHAW Beulah Stone “Boots” Hinshaw, 92, of Siler City, North Carolina, died Thursday, December 5, 2013. Mrs. Hinshaw was born in Chatham County on November 16, 1921 the daughter of Willie Harrison and Elizabeth (Campbell) Stone. She was a graduate of the Burlington Business School. Mrs. Hinshaw was a homemaker and member of Plainfield Friends Meeting, where she was a life member of the USFW, served as Clerk of the Meeting and Sunday School teacher. She was a life member of the Silk Hope Home Demonstration Club. Beulah was preceded in death by her husband, Willard Hinshaw. She is survived by one son: Noble W. Hinshaw and wife, Kay; grandson, Roger Hinshaw and wife, Judy; granddaughter, Deborah Hinshaw Rickman and husband, Freddie all of Siler City, North Carolina; great-grandchildren, Brooks and Joy Hinshaw, Corey, Cassie and Carson Rickman; step-grandchildren, Nikki Edmonds and husband, Travis of Cary, NC, Kim Beane and husband, Don of Siler City, North Carolina; step-great-grandchildren, Katelan, Chey and Jillian Beane; and sister, Turlie Lievers of Golconda, Illinois and several nieces and nephews.

HOLLAND Mary D. Eason Holland, 74, passed away November 19, 2013. She was born on October 31,1939, in Chowan County, North Carolina, the daughter of the late Otis M. and Martha P. Eason. She was predeceased by her husband, Hugh K. “Pete” Holland and brother, Carl R. Eason. Mary retired as a nursing assistant for Commonwealth Health Care. She was a member of Somerton Friends Meeting, where she faithfully mailed cards to members and friends and family for numerous years. Mary is survived by her daughters, Mary Ann H. Price, Iris H. Carter, and Tina M. Holland; grandchildren and spouses, Daniel James “D.J.” Carter (Becky), Samuel F. Carter (Marian), Daphne L. Carter, and David Kevin Price, Jr. (Amy); great grandchildren, Keri, Sydney, and Caitlyn Carter; brothers, George M. Eason, John T. Eason, and M. Donald Eason; and numerous nieces and nephews.

MILES Frank Vernon Miles, 90, died on December 25th, 2013, in Hanover, New Hampshire. Frank was born in Salem, Oregon on September 16, 1923, the middle son of Ross and Laura Miles. He spent most of his early years in Hazel Green, a small rural community outside of Salem, then entered the Engineering School at Oregon State University. When the U.S. entered World War II Frank sought an opportunity to be of service in a way that was more aligned with his faith than the military and enrolled in a program at Guilford College, North Carolina, to train young men to work in international relief and reconstruction. Within months this training was discontinued as congressional legislation cancelled the right of conscientious objectors to go overseas. Frank was then drafted as a conscientious objector into the Civilian Public Service (CPS) and, for three years, cut trails in the Smoky Mountains National Park, served as a medical “guinea pig” for jaundice experiments at the University of Pennsylvania, and worked as an attendant in both the State Mental Hospital in Trenton, New Jersey, and in the psychiatric clinic of Duke University Medical School. Within three weeks of being released from CPS at the age of 22, Frank was on his way to China to begin an assignment with the Friends Ambulance/Friends Service Unit, which ultimately lasted four years. In 1946, he assisted in rebuilding Zhengzhou, Weiwei and Anyang Hospitals, which had been badly damaged during the Sino-Japanese War. Then in 1947, as medical mechanic, he joined Medical Team 19 (MT-19) at the International Peace Hospital in Yenan, during a truce established in the civil war between the Chinese Nationalists and Communists. Shortly after MT-19’s arrival, hostilities resumed and Yenan was attacked by the Nationalists. Along with the entire hospital the team evacuated on foot, often under the cover of night to avoid air attacks, for the next 14 months — moving from village to village to reestablish mobile hospitals treating both civilian and military casualties (15 main moves, with stays in 44 villages). In 1948, along with a government guide, Frank walked across North China to the port city of Tianjin so that a teammate could return to the United States. Next, he looked after a machine shop, garage, and a small fleet of trucks in Chung Mou — a period during which the village changed hands between Nationalists and Communists several times. In October 1948, Frank was named chairperson for all Friends Service Unit groups working in China. Following his term it took him eight months to secure the requisite permission to leave China because of the U.S. Navy blockade of the port of Shanghai. Frank entered Haverford College in the fall of 1950 and earned a B.A. in Economics and Sociology and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Villanova University. He and Patricia Beatty were married in 1951. After the devastating loss of their firstborn, Douglas, to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, Frank and Pat welcomed four healthy children into their lives. Pursuing employment that would support the family and allow continued exploration of other parts of the world, Frank worked as Chief Engineer at Lee Tire and Rubber in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, in anticipation of their opening a plant in the Philippines. When the company was acquired and liquidated, he joined the International division of the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company, serving as Chief Engineer for plants in Valencia, Venezuela; Bethune, France and then as Plant Manager in Menzel Bourguiba, Tunisia; Joliette, Quebec; and Hamilton, Ontario. In 1978 Frank became Manufacturing Manager for Firestone Canada. After retiring from Firestone at the age of 60, Frank served as General Secretary/Treasurer for Canadian Yearly Meeting, the national body of Canadian Friends (Quakers) in Toronto, Ontario (’83-’89). A second retirement took Frank and Pat to the small village of Kaslo, British Columbia where they relished a decade of living next door to son Dan and his family, contributing to several community service groups, hiking up to old mines in the mountains and swimming in the cold waters of Kootenay Lake. In 2000, after 38 years of living outside the United States, Frank and Pat relocated to New Hampshire so as to be closer to medical support in working with Pat’s advancing Alzheimer’s. They lived for 2 ½ years with daughter Cathy and her family in Piermont, New Hampshire. There, in addition to engaging fully with family life and projects, Frank volunteered at the Piermont Library, came to know intimately the early spring ephemeral wildflowers, and explored the surrounding hills by bicycle and on foot. Later, from a new home base at Kendal in Hanover (’03-’13), Frank sang with the Bach Study Group and the Kendal Chorale. Throughout his time at Kendal he gave generously of himself in supporting those whom advancing years had robbed of independence — and grew with grace into his own time of increased dependence on the help of others. Frank’s roots and contributions to the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) ran deep. During his childhood his family participated in the Pacific Coast Association of Friends, a group of meetings that was re-establishing worship on the basis of silence. Witness to the peaceful resolution of conflict was an essential part of their life. Frank’s father had been a conscientious objector in World War I, working with the American Friends Service Committee to build orphanages for children who had lost their parents in the war. Frank’s brother Ward also served as conscientious objector during World War II. Frank and Pat were active in Radnor Monthly Meeting, Hamilton Monthly Meeting, Argenta Friends Meeting, and Hanover Friends Meeting. More recently, Frank was a regular presence with the Kendal Worship Group. Frank carried himself in a beautifully unassuming way that didn’t broadcast his lifetime of rich experience in Quakerism, and his international work and service. Nevertheless he was known by many as a source of light and wisdom with a ready ear for listening, a sense of perspective, and a warm smile and chuckle. Frank Miles is predeceased by his wife, Patricia Beatty Miles. He is survived by his brothers Ward Miles of Lacey, Washington and Rodney Miles of Portland, Oregon. Frank is lovingly remembered by his children and their families: Stephen and Ingrid Miles of Ipswich, Massachusetts, and their sons: Garth Landers and Stephen Miles, Jr.; Rebecca Miles and Ward Broderson of Tallahassee, Florida and her children, Jessamyn Doan and Daniel Doan; Dan Miles and Shelley Stickel Miles of Kaslo, British Columbia and their daughters Sarah and Hélène Miles; and Catherine Miles Grant and Charles Grant of Saint Johnsbury, Vermont and their sons Brendan and Julian Grant.

PERRY Carlene Williams Perry, 89, of Siler City, North Carolina, passed away on Sunday, December 29, 2013. Carlene was preceded in death by her parents, Walter Clyde and Bertha Hackett Williams; and was also preceded in death by her husband, Paul Staley Perry; sisters, Ailene W. Wright and Ann Albright; brother, Robert “Bob” Williams. Surviving is her daughter, Camela Beane Crutchfield (Alfred) of Liberty; grandchildren, Donald L Beane, Jr. (Kim) of Siler City, Perry E. Beane (Lindsey) of (Lenior); great-grandchildren, Cheyenne Beane, Jillian Beane, Sandra Lewis Beane, Colby Dulles Beane and Aiden Elizabeth Beane; sister, Josephine W. Nixon; sister-in-law, Ada Williams.

ROGERS Catherine Thomas Rogers, 101, passed away Saturday, December 21, 2013 at her residence. Catherine was born December 17, 1912 in Winchester, Virginia, to the late William and Carrie Leonard Thomas. She was a member of Concord Friends Meeting. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Ira Earl Rogers and several brothers and sisters. Survivors include her daughter, Janet Coltrane (Fred) of Greensboro; 3 grandchildren, Fred Coltrane, Jr. (Judy) of Atlanta, Georgia, Cathy Coltrane Allen and Kristie Coltrane both of Greensboro; six great grandchildren, Sarah Coltrane, Kyle Coltrane, Scotty Allen, Haley May, Hannah May and Carrie Allen; and a brother, Paul Thomas of Greensboro.

SPRUILL Cassie Winslow Spruill, 87, of Hertford, North Carolina, died Tuesday, November 26, 2013. Mrs. Spruill was born in Perquimans County and was the daughter of the late Velum and Emma Perry Winslow. A retired home health nurse’s assistant, she later spent countless hours as a volunteer at Hertford Grammar School. She was a life-long member of Piney Woods Friends Meeting. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Harry Lee Spruill, an infant daughter, Diane Spruill, brothers, Oras and Otha Winslow, and infant brother, Valentine Winslow. Surviving are her daughter, Linda Godfrey and husband Terry of Belvidere, North Carolina; a son, Dick Spruill of Hertford; and two grandsons, Benjamin Godfrey and wife Dare of Raleigh and Brandon Godfrey and wife Mary Allen of Asheboro, North Carolina.

THOMAS Clarence Ray Thomas, 95, of Climax, North Carolina, passed away Monday evening, December 30, 2013, at Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital. Born September 16, 1918, in Randolph County, he was the son of George Newton Thomas and Dora Freeman Thomas. In his early years, Ray and brother Cliff operated service stations in Asheboro, but in the early 1950s, he moved to the country where he farmed the remainder of his working years. He was a member of Asheboro Friends Meeting, where he sang in the choir and was a committed member of Quaker Men. He was also able to help rebuild homes on several trips with the N.C. Friends Disaster Service. In his community he was an early member of the Climax Volunteer Fire Department and the Red Cross Civitans. Ray and his wife Pauline shared a love of camping, spending many weekends with the Randolph Ramblers at Ramblers Roost; later, upon retirement, they traveled in their camper throughout the United States. In addition to his parents, Ray was preceded in death by five brothers: Clyde, Clifton, Carlton, Floyd, and Linney Thomas and two sisters, Jewell Johnson and Alberta Allen, as well as his daughter, Janet Thomas Morris and great-granddaughter, Leah Elizabeth Way. He is survived by his wife of 76 years, Pauline Steed Thomas; one son, Neal Thomas and wife Susie; granddaughter; Martha Way, and grandson; Doug Thomas and wife Lorraine. He is also survived by six great-grandchildren; Will, Cam and Mailey Way and Anna, Luke and Andrew Thomas; several nieces and nephews; special family friends, Evan and Pam Griffin.

Quaker Life – January/February 2014

Gathered in Christ: Disciple Making

Jesus saw just what measure of evil God’s love was up against and how much sacrifice and devotion to God it would take by himself and those who would follow, if the light was to ever overcome the darkness.

Light would not prevail, however, by people being unwillingly led to their deaths. Rather, it would come by people voluntarily laying down their lives to take up a life of obedience to the will of God, no matter the cost. When Jesus called and continues to call his followers to take up their crosses — he was/is under no illusions as to what that would mean for him or us.

This, Friends, is the gospel at its most terse and dangerous. The cross is not a magic symbol or a fashionable decoration. It’s a symbol of a risky, alternative lifestyle. It is a symbol that makes normative claims about who God is, about who we are and about the shape and direction of our life together. It is a symbol for how God and God’s people exercise redemptive love that has and will eventually transform the world.

“Follow me.”

Colin Saxton – General Secretary, Friends United Meeting

Gathered in Christ: Disciple Making - By Dorlan Bales

“How and why do people become followers of Jesus Christ?” Learn more about Scripture’s witness in this, the first of a six-part Bible Study by Dorlan Bales.

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The Importance of Discipleship - By John Muhanji

“A great people gathers as they energize and equip others for reaching out for Christ to the whole world.”

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The Journey of a Disciple – By Manny Garcia

“Intentionality is one area where the Church falls short today. There just aren’t enough Christ followers purposely engaging in the discipleship of others.”

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Discipleship 101 – By Megan Anderson

“Congregations that foster a culture of discipleship stand to benefit as much as the individual disciplers and disciples.”

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It Cannot Be Completed Alone – By Susann Estle-Cronau

“May we continue to flourish like the grass upon the earth and cover the land with our sacrifice and service as disciples of God.”
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Discipleship: Relational Connections - By Matt Chesnes

“All mission statements connected to the local church must render disciple making as the central focus.”

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Other Articles In This Issue:

Staff Columns

Out of My Mind – Colin Saxton
Meanderings & Musings – Annie Glen
Grace Always – Eden Grace
Spreading the Word – Micah Bales

FUM News and Updates

FUM News in Brief

Other Content

Metamorphosis – David O. Williams
Meeting Christ in Prison – Lonnie Valentine
Football Nation – Barbara DeMille
Ask Tom: How have Quaker views on tombstones changed over time? – Thomas Hamm
Book Reviews
Passages: Quaker Obituaries

Friends Theological College Appoints New Principal

The Friends Theological College Board of Governors, together with Friends United Meeting, is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Robert J. Wafula to serve as Principal of Friends Theological College in Kaimosi, Kenya, beginning in mid-2014. He will be replacing Dr. Ann Riggs, who has served as principal for the last five years.

Wafula is a Friends pastor, a Christian leader, a scholar of religion, a social scientist and an educator. He is an alumnus of Friends Theological College, St Paul’s United Theological College in Limuru, Kenya, Earlham School of Religion and Ohio University. His PhD was earned in the field of Cultural Studies in Education, with his research focusing on the intersection of
indigenous cultural practices and Christian faith among the Bukusu community of western Kenya. He holds two master’s degrees — in International Affairs and in Religious Studies — and has published in the fields of cultural studies, development studies, Quakerism and comparative religion. Currently, he teaches comparative religion, anthropology, cultural diversity and comparative literature at Columbus State College and at Central Ohio Technical College in Ohio.

After growing up in Bungoma County in western Kenya, Wafula has studied and worked in the United States for the last 17 years. The newly appointed FTC principal is a member of Orange Friends Church and serves as a Trustee of Malone University, a Quaker institution in Canton, Ohio. Wafula states that he is greatly looking forward to returning to Kenya to give back to the community through this important leadership role in support of the mission of FTC to “equip pastoral ministers who will be thoughtful listeners, effective evangelists, dynamic preachers, informed educators and models of integrity.” He intends to strengthen the role of alumni in supporting and promoting the college, to build stronger links between FTC and the yearly meetings in East Africa, and to enhance the functioning of the Board of Governors.

The FTC Board of Governors and the FUM General Secretary have made this joint appointment in anticipation that Dr. Wafula will lead the college through the process of accreditation with the Accrediting Council for Theological Education in Africa (ACTEA) and will build on Dr. Riggs’ legacy to further strengthen the academic and financial profile of the college. Robert and his wife Nancy, a recently-qualified nurse, have a grown daughter and two grandchildren.

Quaker Life – November/December 2013

Bearing One Another’s Burdens

In Galatians 6, the Apostle Paul urges people to carry their own load. We have a burden or a bundle of human responsibility that is ours to manage. We are responsible for it and as best as we are able, we ought to shoulder it on our own rather than expecting others to be responsible for us.

In the same passage, however, Paul recognizes a wholly other instance when a burden may become more than we can bear. He doesn’t distinguish how this burden came to be — either by our own doing, through life-circumstances or by the hand of another. Instead, he only recognizes this reality and commands the community to handle these people and situations with skill and compassion, rather than by ignoring the problem or standing in judgment. The community is to be an instrument of God’s healing in the life of an individual who is entangled in sin, suffering in hurt or feeling crushed by the weight of a life they no longer feel able to bear alone.

How well-equipped are our communities to adequately and authentically bear one another’s burdens in a way that fulfills the law of Christ and ushers in the deep healing many need? Do we allow room for people to honestly expose their wounds? Are we assembling and mobilizing skilled and mature elders or care teams with the courage and wisdom to accurately assess and diagnose problems and pain, coupled with the wisdom and compassion to handle it gently and appropriately within a larger community?

How ready is your community to respond when a young or old Friend asks you to bear a burden they can no longer carry alone? How might you be called to serve in this way?

Colin Saxton – General Secretary, Friends United Meeting

Bear One Another’s Burdens - By Helene Pollock

“The hard work we are engaged in together is possible because the long-haul staying power comes from none other than the risen Christ!”

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John Whitehead: Bearing the Weight of Others – By Steve Martin

“Only three Civil War chaplains received the nation’s highest honor for military bravery. One of them was Wayne County’s Reverend John Milton Whitehead.”

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A Faithful Responsibility – By Dave Kingrey

“Bearing one another’s burdens is central to the Christian community and becomes a joyful responsibility when strengthened by the resources of the living Christ.”

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No Pearls Before Swine – By William H. Mueller

“In the gospel of John “pearls before swine” is expressed — like almost everything in that gospel — as a dramatic image of Jesus addressing the burden of the outcast.”

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Learning to Be a Circle of Care - By Patricia C. Thomas

“When we share the burden of caring for one another, we give witness to God’s all-encompassing compassion as the great Curegiver, and we go forth with the promise that Christ companions us each step of the way.”

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Relentless Love - By Sabrina Falls

“We must yield our actions, thoughts and hearts to God, putting our trust and faith in Jesus Christ… who alone can save us by the relentless love of God.”

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Christmas, 1847 - By Rob Collard

“The soft whoosh of runners gliding through deep snow and the gentle, yet joyful jingle of the bells of the horse-drawn sleigh bearing Elizabeth Scattergood…”

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Other Articles In This Issue:

Staff Columns

Out of My Mind – Colin Saxton
Grace Always – Eden Grace
Spreading the Word – Micah Bales

FUM News and Updates

FUM News in Brief
My Trip to the US – Judy Ngoya

Other Content

Carry One Another’s Burdens – Michael Jay
Lifting the Burden – Eden Grace
Ask Tom: How did early Friends take care of each other? – Thomas Hamm
Book Reviews
Passages: Quaker Obituaries

The Journey of a Disciple

By Manny Garcia

Can we grab a Dr. Pepper sometime this week and talk about what happened today?” This question opened the door for me to begin growing as a disciple of Jesus Christ. I have been a lead pastor for two years and have seen some great things happen in the lives of the people around me, but I continue to be overwhelmed by the growth that takes place within my own life when I submit to the spiritual leadership of someone farther along in the journey than I am. A good friend once told me that we should each have a “Paul”, a “Barnabas” and a “Timothy”. In other words, a mentor, a peer and someone we are mentoring. As I have much more experience receiving discipleship than I do at offering it to others, I am writing of my experiences as a Timothy.

Several years ago I stood up after kneeling at the front of the sanctuary at Hutchinson Friends Church in Kansas. I had been attending meeting for many months and as a result of the Bible based teaching, the unconditional love from those around me and a lot of prayer, I felt the Holy Spirit beckon me forward my intention to live my life for Jesus from that day forward. After I had finished praying, and after many of the people who I’m sure had been praying for me had left, Jeff came up. He gave me a hug and asked the question that began this article. Jeff knew something that I hadn’t yet figured out. He knew that in order for lasting transformation to take place, I was going to need someone willing to pour themself into my life. I was going to need someone to teach me about grace, mercy, love and other elements of a growing walk with Jesus: one that can’t be forced, earned or achieved by just gritting one’s teeth. Jeff had chosen to invest in me. He had chosen to disciple me.

I believe that intentionality is one area in which the Church has fallen short today. There just aren’t enough Christ followers purposely engaging in the discipleship of others. When I read the gospels and looked at the way Jesus entered into relationship with his disciples, I realized it wasn’t “organic” — it didn’t happen naturally. Jesus was very intentional and to the point. He must have said, “Drop what you’re doing there, I have something better for you.” For some reason many have accepted the idea that discipleship has to come from an established friendship or relationship. This can be a very good foundation for disciple making, but as I read scripture, I find that it is certainly not a prerequisite.

As I continued my journey with Jesus, being led by my “guide,” Jeff, I began to realize another truth: this wasn’t going to be easy. Following Jesus is hard. Jeff didn’t pull any punches or try to convince me that it was a smooth and easy path. He explained the kind of life Christ wanted for me. John 10:10 talks about “life to the full” and Matthew 11 offers an easy yoke, but these are not guarantees of earthly comfort, they are promises of spiritual peace in the midst of the storm. No, being a disciple from an earthly perspective looks a little bit crazy. Jesus says trouble is a certainty for his disciples (John 16: 33), and the sacrifices that are required of them are great: giving up the things that the flesh and culture tell them to cherish. Jesus says, ”If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters — yes, even their own life — such a person cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26). Another teaching from the book of Matthew shows a group of people who desired to follow Jesus after they had seen him heal. He told them, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head. Another disciple said to him, ‘Lord, first let me go and bury my father.’ But Jesus told him, ‘Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead’” (Matthew 8:18-22).

To be a disciple of Jesus is to live life in a new and strange way. Followers of Jesus are called to be “peculiar” (1 Peter 2:9). Discipleship isn’t about teaching someone to avoid suffering, it’s about teaching them to endure it with God’s grace. I recently had a friend pray that God would grant me “grace to suffer well” and while I don’t’ like that prayer very much, I understand that sometimes that is a part of the journey. What better way to grow our relationship with the one who endured all for us, than to suffer a little ourselves? It is an essential piece of the disciple’s journey.

Had the truth of this suffering been withheld from me early in my walk with Christ, I would not have grasped the reality of God’s grace, which has carried me through many of the trials I’ve faced. I would not be the man I am today. This lesson wasn’t about “cleaning up my act”; it was first and most significantly about eternity. Every choice I make, every thought that crosses my mind, every action I take needs to gravitate toward the impact it will have on eternity. This lesson was the greatest gift Jeff gave to me. He allowed me to be myself until I no longer could. As he taught me about God’s love, grace and His desire for me, transformation took place. My choices were not about being better for God; they were about being better because of God. What a huge difference that makes.

My journey continues to be a learning experience. As God blesses me with other loving and wise mentors, I continue to “work out my salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12). This certainly isn’t a blueprint for discipleship; this is simply a snapshot into my journey. What I do know, however, is this: Jesus intentionally sought out his disciples. Jesus promised joy and hope, but also trouble and sacrifice. Jesus did not simply “clean his catch”: he inspired transformation through his great love and grace. As a result, Jesus’ church still impacts lives today. Jeff was obedient to follow Jesus’ model, and I am thankful to him for that. I am doing my best, with the grace of God, to continue that process, both in my own life as I continue to seek out godly leaders, and in the lives of those I serve as I encourage them on their own journey with Jesus.

Manny lives in Union, Iowa, where he serves as the pastor of Bangor Liberty Friends Church. He is a 2009 graduate of Barclay College and currently attends Barclay College’s School of Graduate Studies in pursuit of an MA in Transformational Leadership with an emphasis in Spiritual Formation.

Grace Always – January/February 2014

By Eden Grace – Global Ministries Director

“Mission is finding out where the Spirit is at work, and joining in.”

This statement (which has been variously attributed to a range of missiologists — so it must be true!) echoes what I have always felt to be at the very heart of our Quaker mission work. God is already working in the world, changing lives and transforming communities. There is no place on earth that is “unreached” by God. There is no culture that can not offer us a glimpse of the Holy Spirit. There is no person who does not already bear the image of God.

Our job, then, is to discern what God is up to, in each place, among each community, at each moment in time. Stop, look and listen. Find out what’s already going on,before taking any action. Look especially for who is marginalized and silenced, for you will see Jesus in their midst. Find those who are transgressing social boundaries and discrimination for the sake of radical inclusion, and there you will find God. Take note of where joy is bubbling up, healing is taking place, love is spreading and conflicts are being reconciled, as these are signs of the Holy Spirit’s presence.

Discern — and then join in. Put our energies in the service of God’s purpose. Join those already on the journey and walk alongside them.

Perhaps we can say that the task of “making disciples” is simply this; to inspire ourselves and others to put all our energies in the service of God’s purpose, to find out where the Holy Spirit is at work and join in.

Spreading the Word – January/February 2014

By Micah Bales – Web & Communications Specialist

The friends of Jesus must have been in shock: He died in misery and shame, yet Jesus was back again — alive and present in an entirely new way. Not only had he returned, but he was actively guiding them. Jesus had come back to be their teacher, friend and leader.

One of the final instructions that came from him was what the church now refers to as the Great Commission. In the Book of Matthew, Jesus is quoted:

All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age. (Matthew 28:18-20)

If the words of the great commission are of any relevance, one of the central elements of a new life in Jesus is the commission to make disciples, proactively inviting others into the same relationship of love and forgiveness that — thanks to the faithful disciple-making of others – we have experienced.

But what does it really mean, in practical terms, to make disciples?

All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me…

The work of making disciples has nothing to do with our own personal goodness, spiritual maturity or merit; instead, it’s all about the living authority of Jesus working through us. Any ideas we have about making disciples that stoke our own pride rather than giving God the glory, is almost certainly not real discipleship. Given our weakness and need for Christ, the process of making disciples should be a deeply humbling one.

Go therefore and make disciples…

It’s no coincidence that Jesus told his first disciples that they were to go. While many of us are never called to leave home in a literal, geographical sense, all of us are called to surrender our tendency to value comfort over challenge. As we begin to live into the great commission, we are called out of our usual routines and safe social circles. Walking with Jesus, brings us into relationship with people and communities that we never would have chosen for ourselves. Most amazing of all, we find that the Holy Spirit has gone ahead of us, preparing the way.

Baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…

Whether or not we literally wash people in water, the spiritual cleansing that the Holy Spirit brings is at the heart of what it means to make disciples. We cannot cause anyone to be baptized in this sense, of course; that’s up to God. Yet Jesus offers us the opportunity to cooperate with the work of the Holy Spirit. When his life fills and changes us, we can help bring about transformation in the lives of others. Our spirit-filled lives can become a doorway through which the Father of lights enters the lives of others.

And teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you…

The early communities of believers gave us the Bible as a guide, and subsequent generations — the early Quaker movement, for example — have left their example and writings to teach us about what it means to follow Jesus’ radical teachings and experience his Holy Spirit as the present-day body of Christ. To continue this process of teaching is an incredible charge given to is. In cooperation with the Holy Spirit, drawing on the example and writings of earlier generations, Jesus commissions us to teach others how to live as his friends.

I am with you always…

It should be clear that this work of going, baptizing and teaching is far too much for any of us to carry under our own strength. Thank God, Jesus is faithful in his promise to always be with us. We don’t have to live as his friends — much less invite others into friendship with him — in his absence! As we seek to live into this great commission of disciple-making, we can rest in the knowledge that our role is to direct others to Jesus himself. He goes with us into those strange and challenging places. He baptizes all of us in his Holy Spirit. With the authority that the Father has given him, he unites us into a loving family, welcoming all who seek the truth.

Meanderings and Musings – January/February 2014

By Annie Glen – Communications Editor

A long time ago I was friends with a young lady named Heather. There was something about her that made me want to spend time with her. Whenever we were together, Heather seemed to be more genuinely caring about my welfare than had anyone else. She was quiet, calm and peaceful – qualities that I struggle to possess.

As our relationship grew, we began to discuss events and problems that had occurred in our respective lives. Heather always seemed to find answers within the pages of the Bible. She would show me a verse that meant a great deal to her, and occasionally that verse would also speak directly to my condition. I asked her how she could find so much wisdom from a book that had been written so long
ago, and she told me that Jesus and the Holy Spirit led her to find assurances in scripture, that Jesus was her friend and that she hoped he would one day be mine. As her relationship with Jesus developed, with each problem that came her way, she could become a stronger person.

Quite honestly, I initially thought that she might be a bit delusional. However, though she did not again speak of this, her actions spoke for her. She lived what she believed. She accepted me just as I was, in all my mess. She never told me to do anything other than to be her friend. Her manner was one of calmness and peace; it emanated from her soul. One could not help but be touched by her being. She saw God moving in me.

As I reflect upon the impact she had in my life, I realize that she gave me the space to wrestle with theological difficulties without fear of condemnation. She provided an atmosphere in which I felt safe to ask questions of faith. I received only support and encouragement from this gentle soul.

One evening, as we were walking together to Bible study, I heard the college church bells ringing. It seemed to me that in that moment time had stopped. I felt a peace that I had never before experienced and I knew that Christ had come to me. From that moment I desired to know him as well as anyone could. In that moment my life changed. By her example, Heather had taught me to rely on the Teacher who had restored my soul; she had led me to a relationship that continues to grow.

I wish I could be just like Heather, but that is not who God has intended me to be. The gift Heather gave to me during that time was the privilege of experiencing Christ for myself, and I hope that I have assisted — and continue to assist — others, as she did me, to meet Christ. Heather was a disciple of Christ who made more disciples. One of them was me.