The Friends United Meeting General Board/North America met for their winter gathering earlier this month in Richmond, Indiana. During our executive committee meeting, we discussed the Indiana Yearly Meeting reconfiguration process. Several matters were considered, including FUM’s hope and active interest to have IYM and any new association/Yearly Meeting continue to be committed and vital partners within our global community of Friends.
We recognize careful planning and discernment remains to be done by all members of IYM as you move toward finalizing the reconfiguration process during this summer’s Yearly Meeting session. As a new association is launched, we will be eager to work with the group to determine the most appropriate steps in formalizing a relationship with FUM. We also understand there may be individual churches who elect to remain independent from either IYM or the new association. As FUM general secretary, I am interested in connecting with any such churches to know how we can best encourage your work and witness and how we might explore ways for you to remain related to FUM into the future.
Over the years, Indiana Yearly Meeting has been an integral partner within FUM. Your influence, support and prayers have helped FUM be faithful and fruitful. The numerous FUM employees, field staff and volunteers you have nurtured and deployed for service through this organization is remarkable and appreciated. We are so glad and hopeful that IYM and those emerging from of it will continue to participate in the world-wide work Christ is seeking to do through us.
I also wish to share with you a minute written by the FUM General Board as it met in Richmond. It arose from our sense of fellowship with you and prayers for you as you continue in this reconfiguration process. The minute reads:
The General Board of Friends United Meeting acknowledges the challenges facing Friends of Indiana Yearly Meeting as they undergo reconfiguration. We acknowledge some Indiana Yearly Meeting Friends are experiencing the loss of historical connections and community. The General Board of Friends United Meeting holds all Indiana Friends in prayer, encouraging ongoing civility and love as Friends make difficult decisions and as new associations are formed.
If there is a way I or FUM can be of support to any of you, please do not hesitate to contact me or the FUM office.
Blessing and peace,