After nearly six years on staff with Friends United Meeting, Sylvia Graves retired at the end of 2011 her position as general secretary. Sylvia’s untiring dedication to FUM has been invaluable — from her regular visits to our project partners around the world, speaking at local meetings, creating PowerPoint presentations to keep you informed between her visits and so many “behind the scenes” operations. Staff members in the Richmond office can also attest to her skill in the kitchen and behind a camera!
Sylvia has also shared with Quaker Life readers her “Sacred Moments” in this column since May 2006. In her first column she shared that she’d been retired from serving as a school principal for six months when God called her to help FUM in this way. Since then she has shared with us the lessons she has received from so many Friends and mentors on her life’s journey, her experience of the Spirit’s presence as our general board members have examined and explored and wrestled with God’s plan for FUM, suggestions for how we can be the Light and the channel through which others participate in life’s sacred moments, Bible lessons, stories from her visits to our project partners and her privilege at being able to serve Friends in this capacity.
One trip that Sylvia never had the chance to make while serving as FUM general secretary was to visit Friends in Cuba. And so her first plan for retirement will be to participate on the Cuba work team at the end of January!
We have been blessed by Sylvia’s faithfulness and wish her all the best in the next chapter that God has planned for her life.