In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the FUM community is invited to gather in the following ways:
Gather in Prayer
One of the most dynamic ways for the FUM community to gather during this global crisis is through prayer. Certainly, this is a moment when Friends must be gathered and centered in the peace, wisdom, and healing grace of God. These days of self-isolation provide new opportunities for Friends to reflect, meditate and pray. There is power in prayer. The Quaker author Douglas V. Steere makes this bold claim: “When God answers prayer, things happen, miracles take place, and we live in a dynamic universe where prayer is a factor in effecting change.” As countries are in chaos, as the virus spreads, as communities are dealing with significant disruptions, the FUM community is invited to effect change through prayer.
Chain of Prayer
Ron Bryan, FUM’s Presiding Clerk, and Richard Sitati, FUM’s Assistant Presiding Clerk, will be working with the General and Executive Secretaries of FUM’s 38 Yearly Meetings and Associations to establish a global continuous chain of prayer. Each Yearly Meeting is asked to identify members who have gifts of intercession and the desire to pray. The entire FUM community is invited to share prayer concerns through FUM’s Facebook, Whatsapp groups, or by sending us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Share with us how the coronavirus is impacting your community. Let us know how the global community of Friends can pray for you, your family, your Church or Meeting, or your community.
International Prayer Gathering
Additionally, we are inviting the FUM community to participate in an online gathering for prayer. This gathering will take place on Monday, March 23, at the following time:
- 9:00 am Pacific (US)
- 10:00 am Belize
- 11:00 am Jamaica and Central (US)
- 12:00 pm Cuba & Eastern (US)
- 6:00 pm Palestine
- 7:00 pm East Africa
We plan to use Zoom Meetings for this gathering:
- Join by tablet/computer by clicking - https://zoom.us/j/564608592
- Join by phone by calling - +1 929 205 6099, Meeting ID: 564 608 592
We are working with the AMO for a better way for African Friends to participate in this prayer gathering. Please join us in effecting global change through prayer.
Gather in Worship
Many Meetings and Churches are already hosting online meetings for worship, or using livestreaming or teleconferencing in their regular worship services. If you're part of a congregation that is offering worship online, and you wouldn't mind visitors, please share that with us! Here's a list of online meetings for worship from Friends World Committee for Consultation.
Emily Provance is hosting Quaker Family Devotionals on Zoom. Click here for more information and to sign up. Barclay Press is offering daily contemplative devotionals on their website. Kathleen Wooten has a masterpost of resources for being the church online.
We have two new posts on our Journal: one by a woman who returned from her volunteer service at Ramallah Friends School because the school was closed, and one with tips for caring for self and others in difficult times. Readers may also be interested in purchasing a copy of the most recent edition of Quaker Life, which is all about hope.
Gather to Encourage One Another
The Quaker Religious Education Collaborative has started a new Facebook group: Valiant Together: RE Support During COVID-19. Join to connect with religious educators and share ideas!
Scott Wagoner (Deep River Friends Meeting/North Carolina Fellowship of Friends) is following a leading to offer a space for a conversation around how to offer pastoral ministry through this time of disruption and chaos. Scott says, "Certainly, most of our meetings have already take some kind of action but the future continues to remain uncertain. It might be good to share ideas, encouragement, and thoughts around how we intend to show up as pastoral ministers as well as guide our Meetings through this time."
Scott is offering a conference call this Wednesday, March 18, at 11AM EDT, for one hour.
The Call-in Information is as follows:
Participants Code: 789334
*Please note that the Call-In number is not Toll Free so use your cell phone if possible.
Gather in Service
We encourage Friends to find creative ways to provide service to your communities, and we want to know how you are doing that. Lisa Graustein, of New England Yearly Meeting, is leading an effort to make sure that children are fed while the schools are closed; you can read about it here in the Boston Globe. If you or someone from your meeting is involved in a similar project, let us know! It's helpful to read about how other Friends are being creative.
As we move into social distancing, our homebound members will continue to feel more isolated. Phone calls and emails are also an important form of service that we can offer each other.
We will be continuing to collect and publicize resources like these, so if you have one, please share!