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Quaker Life – May/June 2014

Gathered for Mission: Equipping to Serve

One of the things I love about Friends is our radical assertion that we’re all called to ministry and all given access to God’s wisdom and power. The Spirit empowers us to move gracefully in the water of life even when we are in way over our heads. I believe and rely on this because I experience it regularly.

Learning to live in that Life and Power, then, as well as teaching and training others to do the same ought to take our best time and energy. Though we may have some natural instincts that incline us to know and follow Christ, most of us need to learn how. This is what discipleship is all about — being a student of Christ. It is essential that we share with one another what we know about how to listen attentively, walk wisely and minister gracefully. Expecting each of us to figure it out on our own, an unfortunate tendency among Friends, hinders us and undermines the central place of this in our life together.

Along with nurturing our spiritual depth, however, comes the opportunity and responsibility to train one another in the work of service and leadership. Instead of expecting our clerks, our pastors, our treasurers, our elders, our youth workers, our committee and board members to learn by trial and error — what if we resolved to mentor, teach and equip them to serve faithfully and effectively? What if we intentionally invested in their training for their sake and the importance of the work?

The thought of a spiritually energized and thoroughly equipped cadre of servant leaders and empowered ministers, ones who knew what on earth they were supposed to be doing and how best to do it, is not beyond the realm of possibility. It is, in fact, part of FUM’s hope for the future of Friends. A renewed commitment to this might just cause us to experience something akin to a baptism — a new and deeper immersion into God’s will and ways in our time.

Colin Saxton – General Secretary, Friends United Meeting

Christ’s Call to Mission: The Journey Outward – By Dorlan Bales

“The scriptures are far from neutral on economic questions. Income disparity between the top 1% and others was as great in ancient times as it is in today’s world. Prophets admonished the powerful not to just practice superficial piety; but, to deal justly and show mercy.”

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Equipping To Serve: Through Work Teams – By Nancy McCormick & Linda Garrison

“In order for our yearly meetings to support work teams, we need to believe in them. We need to support them financially and we need to support them spiritually.”

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Equipping to Serve: Through the Work of a Missionary – By Henry Sabatia

“I told them ‘in my Kenyan culture, you cannot sit as other people are working. Either I stand, or I join you in working.'”

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Equipping to Serve: Through Caring

“Two ministries located in different parts of the world: one in the Kibera Slum in Nairobi and the other in the Amari Refugee Camp in Palestine, serve the children of the poorest of the poor.”

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Equipping to Serve: Through Training – By Eden Grace

“Ramallah Friends School is poised to equip the entire Palestinian educational system to serve children with disabilities, and by extension all children, as precious sons and daughters of the living God.”

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Equipping to Serve: Through Education – By Robert J. Wafula

“Friends, now that I am going back to FTC please join me in celebrating my recent appointment as principal. I feel honored to represent global Quakers in this position.”
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Serving from Our Times of Worship – By Steve Olshewsky

“Our places of worship equip us to go out and preach the good news in other places thereby extending our community.”
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Grassroots Ministry: Energizing and Equipping in Uganda and Tanzania – By Marian Baker

“Reconciliation, rejuvenation, new members, completion of a meetinghouse, wow! The conferences are energizing to all of us.”

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Other Articles In This Issue:

Staff Columns

Out of My Mind – Colin Saxton
Amazing Grace – Eden Grace

Other Articles

A New People To Be Gathered – David Jaimes
Ask Tom: When did standing committees become so pervasive? – Thomas Hamm
Passages: Quaker Obituaries