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FUM News In Brief

College Prep Students at Ramallah Friends School Make 300 Points of Growth on SAT Scores

By Michael Madormo, RFS English Teacher

Over 130 students learned how to improve their SAT scores, how to apply for colleges and explore their goals and dreams for the future during the past two summers in the “I Know I Can” College Prep Academy.

Students scores grew an average of 300 points overall in that time frame — no small accom­ plishment given the difficulty of the SAT test. The better scores have improved students’ chances of attending the university of their dreams.

This program has been successful for many reasons. First, students at Ramallah Friends School are deeply motivated and committed to improving their English and math skills scores. They work tremendously hard to excel. Students voluntarily stay after school to meet with teach­ ers, work hard on daily homework assignments, participate actively in games and competitions in class and generally show a positive attitude toward the learning.

Second, most of our teachers come from the “Teach for America” program and have learned powerful lessons while getting to know the life, the environment and the community of Ramallah. The teachers have built strong relationships with the students, act as mentors for them and are motivated to ensure each student achieves success.

Third, our program is committed to develop the whole person, body, soul and mind, by encouraging the student to be aware of the impact their actions have in a community and the world. Our program emphasizes the importance of being a responsible member of the community and teaches them to act as such. Through motivational guest speakers from the community such as, Sam Bahour, Sa’ed Atshan, Fadi Quran and Laila Atshan, our students have been inspired to become leaders for change in our community.

In the upcoming year we are planning to add an English course to develop the reading and writing skills of students in the Lower School. Stay tuned in for more in the future!

40 Days of Prayer Update

Thousands of Quakers all over the world gathered on November 18, 2012 to participate in the Day of Discernment, culminating the 40 Days of Prayer for the Future of Friends devotional program. Many of the responses of the day have been received by both the Richmond and Kisumu offices of FUM and more continue to be sent.

The responses collected have begun the process of knowing a clearer sense of re-examination and leading. The Restructuring Committee wishes to thank everyone who participated in the process of listening, prayer and discernment. Their report will be published in an upcoming Quaker Life.

A New Friends Association is Forming

A new association of Friends is being formed.

A meeting will be held at 4 p.m on, January 27, 2013 at First Friends in Richmond for Friends who will no longer be part of IYM due to reconfiguration. The association welcomes diversity among Christian Quakers, upholds Friends testimonies and aims to live out the gospel of Jesus Christ through minis­ try; service; fellowship; outreach; education; sharing wisdom, resources and advice; and spiritual development. Soups and drinks will be provided. Please bring a side dish or dessert. For more information contact Grant Reeves or Catherine Griffith at and/or cagriffith@yahoo. com/765-520-1703.

WYM/IYM Fall Impact Retreat

By Pat Byers

With God, there is a past, there is a present and there is a future. This is what we were reminded of by speaker, Brandon Eaton (Youth Pastor at Wabash Friends), at the joint WYM/ IYM Fall Impact Retreat at Quaker Haven. Brandon spoke about how God met his people in the past, even when they turned away. He told us how in our present, faith is essential and we cannot do it alone. Lastly, Brandon helped us see how people can line up our futures with God’s future, a future where he makes things right and his will comes through. When one puts all these together, an impact can be made for his kingdom!

During the weekend, we were blessed by Anderson Kursonis (from Indiana Wesleyan University) and his band in worship. For a couple of their sets, they broke down to acoustic guitars, simple percussion, mallets and a trumpet! We also had the opportunity to attend the Michael Card concert Quaker Haven put on that Saturday night. It was a laid back, easy-going evening of Michael’s signa­ ture finger-picking guitar and soothing piano playing. We also played some great games (Glow-In-The-Dark-Finger-Rocket- Dodgeball . . . need I say more?), had nightly camp-fires, spent some time serving and giving back to camp and ate in the wonderful QHC dinning hall.

In all there were 53 par­ ticipants in the retreat this year, including students and adult chaperones. This was the first time WYM and IYM combined for this retreat. We hope to continue to pool resources to make bigger and better events!

What works for you?

Do you have programs, activities or resources that have worked for your meeting/church? Share them with us! Your ideas, programs, activities and resources will be featured in our “That Works!” column. It is our hope your ideas will spark enthusiasm and creativity for those who are searching how best to minister to the congregational needs of a Friends Meeting.

Send what has worked in your meeting via email to Annie Glen. We ask that your article be no longer than 250 words. Don’t forget to include pictures! Send all photos or artwork as a separate attachment in a jpeg or tiff format.

We look forward to seeing what worked for you!

From Bangor Liberty Friends Church

Union, Iowa

The DEEPER program at our church is unlike any other midweek program I’ve seen. All of the normal components are there but the intentionality to create and cultivate genuine community really shines through. The people that choose to participate in the program on Wednesday nights are coming for more than a lesson or discussion (although those are part of what we do).They are enjoying the deep relational ministry that takes place during our time together. I would say that the biggest reason that DEEPER works in our church is because we believe in community, which is the way the church was meant to be represented in our world. By the way, the word, DEEPER is an acronym for: Discovering God’s truth, Encouraging one another, Enduring together, Praying together, Exemplifying Christ, and Recruiting others to Christ. — Manny Garcia, Pastor

University Friends Church

Wichita, Kansas

University Friends Church in Wichita, KS has been utiliz­ing Faith & Play ( a form of Godly Play) once a month with elementary children. Although we have a Christian Education curriculum that works well, we miss the Quaker education component. Faith & Play covers this area, in a nurturing way drawing children’s attention to the stories. The program is simple and utilizes no bells and whistles. We find our children appear to find solace in the quiet space provided in each les­son. This resource can be found at faithandplay/ — Liz Wine

That Works!

From Iowa Yearly Meeting Christian Education Committee:

The “Live Love” project helps members tangibly share Love with neighbors all around us. Through a calendar of ideas each meeting is encouraged to participate in weekly challenges together. Below are some of the activities and challenges for January and February 2013.

• Write a note of appreciation to someone at least once a week.
• Buy a calendar with funny photos to share laughs with a friend all year long.
• Send flowers to a teacher who has dedicated their life to educating children.
• Put sticky notes with positive messages (“You look gorgeous!”) on a restroom mirror.
• Pay for the order of the person behind you in the drive-thru line. Leave a card saying that you are shar­ ing God’s love with them in a practical way today.
• Distribute hand warmers, socks, or home emergency care kits to the homeless.

“We cannot all do great things, but we can do small things with great love.” — Mother Theresa

• Write a note to management sharing about someone who has treated you nice while doing their job (waiter, clerk, sales person . . . etc.)
• Send cards to friends who are snow birds to let them know you miss them.
• Make valentines for residents of an elder care facility.
• Drop off a new or lightly used toy or game at a hospital or shelter for the abused.
• Send your spouse a text or email just to say that you appreciate them.
• Hide chocolate hugs & kisses around the house or office to remind your family members and co-workers that they are loved.

“Those who make compassion an essential part of their lives find the joy of life.” — Robert J. Furey, Author

Other ideas:
• Parents’ Night Out: Adults and youth volunteer to keep children at church while parents go out for an evening. This not only benefits parents but allows others to get to know children of the church better. Provide pizza, crafts, board games and a G-rated video.
• For Random Acts, Create a card: “While you were gone we fed your parking meter to show you God’s love in a practical way. If there is more that we can help you with, please call us at ______(your church name & phone number)”. Or change it to read that you left quarters in the grocery carts, change in the phone, or vender machine, etc.
• Super Bowl Party: Host a community party at church on February 3rd that is both kid and adult friendly. Ask everyone to bring cans of soup for your local food box or shelter and take a few minutes during half time for a representative to share about that ministry.
• Reach Out and Touch: Choose a month and those who want to participate submit their names. People are matched up secretly. Weekly during the month they anonymously connect with their secret pal. It could be as simple as a card and as extravagant as a delivered meal, restaurant gift card, or a ‘movie-pack’ (microwave popcorn, M & M’s, and a DVD). At the end of the month all is revealed.
• Game night for all ages: Be sure to include multigen­ erational games. There is nothing like the younger ones getting together for fun with the older generation. A blessing to both. Provide drinks and have everyone bring their favorite snack to share.