News from the FUM General Board Meeting

The General Board of Friends United Meeting met in Richmond and by Zoom on March 2–4. The gathering opened with worship on Thursday evening as Karla Jay, Global Ministries Coordinator, referenced Acts 2 as she reflected on her experiences attending the recent Asbury revival. Kelly Kellum presented his report, highlighting several significant staffing transitions, including the current search for the Social Media and Web Specialist and Director of Advancement positions. He informed the board that the search for the Coordinator for North American Ministries is on hold until after the Triennial.On Friday, the board received reports from FUM’s field staff, the Director of North American Ministries, and the Director of African Ministries. The Communications Director described the progress that is being made in updating Quaker Life subscription tracking, as well as in creating a digital version of Quaker Life which will be available for both digital-only and digital-plus-print subscriptions. Oscar Mmbali presented the Belize Strategic Initiative Project, which is a proposed collaboration between the International Police Symposium, the US Embassy, the Belizean government, and local agencies working on the south side of Belize City. This significant project to address gang violence in Belize would be managed by the Friends Center.

Shari Veach during her farewell celebration

On Friday the board had an opportunity to express appreciation to Shari Veach, who is leaving our staff team after twenty-three years of service for FUM. In the afternoon session, the board approved the Fiscal Year 2024 budget, received a report from the Sustainability Committee about the Ambware Farm Project, and learned of Trustee activities to renovate and update the Richmond office building.On Saturday morning, the board approved a minute of appreciation for the service and leadership of Ron Bryan, who will be completing his term of service as FUM’s presiding clerk at the rise of the 2023 Triennial, having served since 2017. Sussie Ndanyi, Program Coordinator, made an updated report about the 2023 Triennial and addressed questions of the board.We were blessed with a unified spirit during these sessions.