During these days of uncertainty, we draw inspiration from the words of Jesus when he calls the apostles to go and make disciples of all nations. He offers them this promise, “And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). For centuries these words have offered Jesus’ disciples inner strength to respond to crises with faith, hope, and courage.
Friends United Meeting is holding these words of assurance as we embody our mission in this age. While the coronavirus is disrupting our normal routines, the FUM staff is working remotely to provide uninterrupted service to our members and ministry partners. Most significantly, we are continuing our commitment to connect the global family of Friends during this crisis and we are increasing our support for our most vulnerable communities.
Friends United Meeting cannot do this vital work without the assurance of both Christ’s abiding presence and your financial support. In a normal year, this is the season when we send out multiple funding appeals for both FUM’s general operations and global ministries. Additionally, this is the time when FUM’s field staff are traveling to our Meetings and Churches to raise funds to support their ministries.
This year, FUM will not be doing that. Instead, we are mailing one earnest appeal to you. You can download the PDF version of the appeal here, to read and share. And in the following five videos, we go into greater depth through interviews between staff at our projects and members of the FUM Board.
Is your Meeting/Church worshiping online these days? The Meeting that FUM Global Ministries Director Eden Grace attends—West Richmond Friends Meeting—has so far held five Zoom meetings for worship, and each one has had a larger attendance than the last. One of the delightful and unexpected blessings of this strange time is that members who currently live far from Richmond are able to join them in worship, and even to serve on their virtual facing bench!
West Richmond had been eagerly anticipating having Nikki Holland bring the message in early May while she was in Indiana for her graduation from ESR. When that trip got canceled, Friends at West Richmond felt disappointed that she wouldn't be able to be with them. And then they realized that, in fact, she can still be with them! She can still bring the message during worship on Zoom, and distance is no obstacle!
Many members of our Global Ministries staff are willing to "visit" your meeting during its online worship,either to bring the main message, or to offer a short message of encouragement and connection from the field and to let Friends know how they can be praying. If you would be interested in having a field staff member join your worship, please send General Secretary Kelly Kellum an email. Kelly is also available to speak for online worship or other online gatherings.