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FUM Friends Celebrate the Holidays

Forty people attended the annual family “carve-in” at First Friends Church of Whittier, California, in October, transforming pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns, enjoying homemade goodies, entertaining one another with improvised dramas and building a 300-piece jigsaw puzzle.

Sam and Becky Barber treated students at the Belize Friends School to a Thanksgiving dinner. They were joined by a work team from Iowa who painted the downstairs classroom while Sam and Becky and Miss Candi were administering end-of-term tests to the students.

Friends Memorial Church has its own food pantry for the people of Muncie, Indiana, but during the holidays they like to do something extra for their clients. At Thanksgiving the women of the meeting came together and baked over 300 loaves of pumpkin bread in the church’s kitchen, and at Christmas each family that came to the pantry received a dozen cookies.

John Muhanji visited Eloise Hockett and family at her home in Oregon for the Thanksgiving holiday. John and Eloise have collaborated on the peace curriculum for secondary schools in Kenya. Eloise introduced John to such North American customs as making snow angels, driving along the coast, a traditional Thanksgiving meal and rising early for Black Friday shopping.

Joyce Ajlouny, students and staff at the Ramallah Friends Schools also celebrated with a traditional American Thanksgiving feast, though they had to “improvise” on the stuffing.

A bounteous Thanksgiving feast followed worship at Hominy Friends, Oklahoma, on November 13. The children barely fit on the edge of the stage as they sat with Friends minister, David Nagle, as he shared a children’s sermon. The singing of “Happy Birthday” in Osage to several members, and the closing song “Blessed Be the Tie that Binds” also in Osage, contributed a special flavor to the worship. The meal followed and Friends lingered, enjoying the opportunity to visit with one another. The beautiful weather was icing on the cake!

Adirondack Friends Meeting, New York, supported their community by collecting hats, mittens and gloves to be distributed by the local community center.

Little Blue River Friends, Indiana, collected 146 shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child, as well as $7 for each box to ship them!

First Friends Meeting, Greensboro, North Carolina, celebrated New Year’s Eve by holding their 10th annual “24 Hours of Prayer for Peace” from 12 noon, December 31, through 12 noon, January 1. The intention of the 24 Hours of Prayer for Peace is to be open and inviting to all people in search of peace, without prejudice to their particular path, and to provide a time and a place where peace seekers may come together in prayer and worship, including times of waiting worship, Scripture reading, music, prepared messages and time for prayer.