I appreciated the January/February 2013 issue concerning the Friend’s testimony on equality, though it seemed to me the elephant in the room was left unmentioned marriage equality for gays and lesbians.
In my vocation as a Quaker pastor, writer, and speaker, I’ve witnessed many denominations in the United States and Canada undertake the hard work of dialogue on this topic. While their discussions don’t always end in agreement, most persons involved appreciate the experience of conversation and community. I wonder why Methodists, American Baptists, Lutherans, Episcopalians and others can talk frankly, maturely, and lovingly about this matter and we cannot? Is our fear of dissension and division so great and our trust in one another so meager, we cannot discuss one of the more pressing moral issues of our day? It is long past time we sat down and talked. That is what healthy families do. Will minds be changed? Some will, some won’t. Some will leave, others will come. That has always been so.
Several years ago, Quaker Life stated it would no longer cover this topic on its editorial pages. This silence became a habit, so that now one might think the matter doesn’t concern us at all. I urge Quaker Life, and Friends everywhere, to lovingly take up this issue, to bring Light, not heat, to the subject of marriage equality, and to seek together God’s good word on this and other crucial matters.
Fairfield Friends Meeting
The Indiana Yearly Meeting Peace and Christian Social Concerns Committee has been partnering over the last few months with the IYM United Society of Friends Women (IN-USFW) to raise $5,000. This money will be used to help print peace curriculum for 240 Friends Church High Schools and 1,200 Friends Primary Schools in Kenya. We did this to match the $5,000 that USFW International has pledged for the peace curriculum project. The $10,000 aimed at teaching peacemaking skills to students is especially needed right now since elections in Kenya are scheduled for March. In 2007 after Kenyan national elections, the country erupted in shocking violence.
Here is what Colin Saxton said about this partnership initiative in a recent email:
Regarding your efforts to raise funds for the peace curriculum . . . thank you!!! I am in Kenya now and the need for this work continues to be pressing. With our new FUM education secretary, Zadock Malesi, on staff, it feels like we are building the personnel and infrastructure here to make sure the curriculum is well implemented. I am really excited about what will occur through the expansion of this ministry.
And here is the great news . . . IYM & IN-USFW exceeded the $5,000 goal! IN-USFW has received and sent to USFWI $2,742.14 for the project. Additionally, IYM Meetings have sent over $4,200 directly to FUM. It is truly a blessing to work together here in the US, in Kenya, and around the world as we uphold Christ’s message of love, peace and reconciliation. Heartfelt thanks go to each individual, meeting and organization that contributed to this wonderful, cooperative effort.
Noell Krughoff, clerk
IYM Peace and Christian Social