Friends World Committee for Consultation - Europe & Middle East Section

News

Quaker Youth Pilgrimage 2014 - Epistle

Read the Epistle of the 2014 Quaker Youth Pilgrimage, which took place in Peru & Bolivia. Seven European Pilgrims took part – from Britain, Ireland, Germany and Hungary.

Also in Spanish.

News of Quaker-sponsored Kindergartens in Gaza

Updates from Gaza partners of Quaker Service Norway
7 August 2014: PECEP (Palestinian Early Childhood Education Project) which runs 13 Kindergartens in Gaza.

Muhos, June 2014

Finland Quaker Summer Gathering 2014

Finland Quakers Summer Gathering was held in June at a small Lutheran Conference Centre situated in a forest on a lake near Muhos in Central Finland.

Among Friends Issue 130

The Summer 2014 Issue of Among Friends is now available. Read reports of our Annual Meeting in Strasbourg, the epistle from the Spring Gathering of Europe and Middle East Young Friends, and interesting articles from Church and Peace, QUNO Geneva and Woodbrooke.

EMES Annual Meeting 2014

The Epistle from the EMES Annual Meeting, which took place in Strasbourg from 1st to 4th May 2014.

EMES Annual Report 2013

Annual Report 2013

Young Adult Leadership Programme at Woodbrooke

Applications for the 2014-15 Young Adult Leadership Programme at Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre are now open. The programme is for 19-28 year olds and is now in its third year of running.

A statement by Friends in Moscow on the crisis in Ukraine

Moscow Monthly Meeting of Friends asks you, dear Friends, to pray and work with us for peace in Ukraine. We propose the following principles to guide our prayers and our advocacy:

Among Friends Issue 129

The new issue of Among Friends has just gone to the printers. You don’t have to wait for the printed version though to enjoy it! Here is Issue 129 Spring 2014

Quaker Voluntary Action Programme 2014

Please see QVA Prog 2014

Quakers in Central and Southern Africa Yearly Meeting remember Nelson Mandela

A Statement by the Central and Southern Africa Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)

Kathy Bergen Recognised for three decades of work in the Middle East

Kathy Bergen, until recently the Co-ordinator of the Friends International Center in Ramallah, received two awards in October 2013 for her work on peace and justice for the past 30 years.

Among Friends Issue 128

The new Issue 128 Autumn 2013 of Among Friends is now ready for download.

Experiment with Light Newsletter - Issue No. 8

Available through this link

Julia Ryberg's Public Lecture at Ireland Yearly Meeting 2013

The text of the public lecture Reclaiming the Christian Message given by Julia Ryberg at Ireland Yearly Meeting in Cork in July 2013 is available from Ireland Yearly Meeting’s website

PRESS RELEASE: QUNO recognised in armed violence reduction poll

The Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO) has been named one of the 100 most influential global actors in armed violence reduction.

Among Friends Issue 127

Among Friends Issue 127 Summer 2013 is now available for download on the About EMES page.

The file can also be made available for download to e-readers (Kobo, iPad etc) and Kindle on request.

Epistle of Central European Gathering 2013

The Epistle of Friends who met for the Central European gathering in May 2013.

From EMES Annual Meeting 2013

The Epistle from this year’s gathering of Friends in Europe and Middle East Section of FWCC

Post Yugoslav Peace Link Newsletter

Post Yugoslav Peace Link Newsletter April 2013

UN to hold panel on children of parents sentenced to death

The United Nations will for the first time discuss the issue of children with a parent on death row in September. Also, Job Opportunities at QUNO in Geneva.

EMES Annual Report 2012

emes-annual-report-2012.pdf is now available for download from the EMES page of this site.

Among Friends Issue 126

Issue 126 Spring 2013 is now available for download on the About EMES page.

The file can also be made available for download to e-readers (Kobo, iPad etc) and Kindle on request.

Quaker Voluntary Action Programme 2013

Quaker Voluntary Action has published its Programme for 2013.

EMES Peace and Service Consultation 2012

We met once again at Kortenberg, in Belgium. 19 organisations were represented. We explored the theme Being the change we want to see in the world (Gandhi) and practiced how we can come to speak truth with power.

Among Friends Issue 125

Among Friends Issue 125 is now available for download.

Quaker to head Church and Peace

Church and Peace, the European Ecumenical peace church network, has announced that Davorka Lovreković, a member of German Yearly Meeting, is to be their new General Secretary.

Eurosatory Vigil Veteran Yvonne Kressmann has died

Veteran protester at Eurosatory arms’ trade fair, Yvonne Kressmann, of France Yearly Meeting, has died at the beginning of September 2012. Yvonne maintained a passionate and faithful witness against the arms’ trade for many years, and was an inspiration to Friends around Europe, particularly young Friends.

Appeal from FWCC-Asia West Pacific Section for Filipino Friends

Dear Friends around the world, in 2009, catastrophic flooding took the lives of many Filipinos, especially in Manila, destroyed homes, and the Pasig Friends Church had to be largely rebuilt and it and the pastor’s home was swamped with walls of mud. Your generosity then was magnificent. The flooding this time is less severe, lessons having been learnt from 2009. Pastor Cris de la Cruz has sent photos and a description of the damage this time to Pasig Church.

Issue 124 of Among Friends

Issue 124 of Among Friends
is now ready for download.

After Kabarak

How are Friends in Europe and the Middle East responding to the Epistle from the 6th World Conference of Friends and the Kabarak Call for Peace and Eco-Justice?

All Change! at the Quaker Council for European Affairs

After a decade of representing Quakers in Brussels, Liz Scurfield and Martina Weitsch are handing over the reins. Over the past 33 years, successive Representatives have acted as the voice of Quakers at European institutions. After ten years of hard work in Brussels, Liz and Martina are the longest serving Representatives in the history of QCEA. However, from October 2012, the Quaker voice in Brussels will have two new faces.

Central European Gathering of Friends in Niwki, Poland, May 2012

The Epistle from this year’s gathering of Friends in Central Europe, which took place in Niwki, Poland, in May 2012.

The Quakers of Belgium and Luxembourg express dismay at Eurosatory arms fair

From 11 to 15 June 2012, Paris hosts more than a thousand producers and users of the latest means to kill. At the last exhibition in 2010, buyers from Ghaddafi’s Libya were amongst the official guests. Others came from countries that have turned weapons against civilian populations, such as Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain and Israel.
Spokespersons for Belgium and Luxembourg Quakers called for this Eurosatory to be the last.

Quaker Voluntary Action News

Quaker Voluntary Action – QVA has launched an appeal jointly with Friends International Center in Ramallah – see QVA FICR Appeal Leaflet

Forthcoming Woodbrooke Courses

Opportunities for learning open to all Friends in Europe and the Middle East

Epistle from 6th World Conference of Friends

Read the Epistle from the 6th World Conference of Friends, and the Call for Peace and Eco-justice.

QCEA Programme Assistants Recruitment 2012

Issue 123 of Among Friends

Among Friends Issue 123 is now available for download.

EMES Annual Report 2011

We have published our Annual Report 2011.

Geneva Quakers speak out against economic injustice

A press release by Geneva Monthly Meeting of the Society of Friends (Switzerland Yearly Meeting). English text below. Also available in French

Friends Gathering in Ukraine 21-23 October 2011

Natasha Zhuravenkova, a staff member of Friends House Moscow writes about this recent gathering where Russian was the main language used to communicate.

Report of Peace and Service Consultation 2011

Once again, 23 representatives from several Quaker organisations and committees based or active in Europe and the Middle East gathered at Kortenberg for the annual Peace and Service Consultation.

New Quaker Meeting established in Malta

Linda Hoy tells of Quaker history past – and in the making.

Issue 122 of Among Friends

Issue 122 of Among Friends is now available for download.

Is everything divine? Northwest Border Meeting September 2011

A report from a gathering of Friends from the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and France held in Sittard, Netherlands, in September 2011. The theme was an exploration of the thought of Baruch Spinoza, and his possible connections with Quakers.

Julia Ryberg's Cary Lecture

Julia Ryberg, Co-ordinator of EMES Ministry and Outreach Programme, gave the Cary Lecture at German Yearly Meeting in October 2011. The lecture was entitled Wahrhaftig leben:Ent-täuscht und erhellt werden (English translation Becoming authentic:Disillusionment and Enlightenment).

Late Fees for World Conference of Friends waived till 15th November!!!

Open places are still available for the Sixth World Conference of Friends, but hurry!!! This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity – don’t miss it!

General Secretary for FWCC - Deadline for Application Approaching!

The recruitment of a new General Secretary for FWCC is now underway. Deadline for application is 31st October 2011.

Friends to join the great Ekta Parishad Walk in India

Kate de la Mare, outgoing Clerk of France Yearly Meeting, and her husband Sébastien are to join the year-long preparatory march starting on 2nd October 2011 which will culminate in a great walk towards Delhi gathering about 100,000 walkers by October 2012. The walk is organised by Ekta Parishad.

Ramallah Meeting House - Centennial Celebrations

Marisa Johnson, Secretary to FWCC-EMES, shares her experience of travelling to Ramallah to be with Friends there as they celebrated 100 years of worship from their beautiful Meeting House.

Listening to Local Voices - Friends International Center in Ramallah

Following the Centennial Celebrations in early March 2010, the Friends International Center in Ramallah held a three-day consultation event to evaluate his work for the past 5 years, and to identify any changes in direction for the Center.

Changing the Way we Live to Sustain the World We Live in

A message from Britain Yearly Meeting Gathering, Canterbury 2011

Issue 121 of Among Friends

Issue 121 of Among Friends now available for download.

Issue 120 of Among Friends

Among Friends Issue 120 now available for download.

Am'ari Play Centre Appeal

Can you help some 5 year-old children living as refugees in the West Bank to a better start in life?

Reports of historic International Ecumenical Peace Convocation in Kingston, Jamaica

The International Ecumenical Peace Convocation in Kingston, Jamaica, represented a significant step along the journey of rejection of Just War theories, and reclaiming the Just Peace message at the heart of Christianity.

Job Opportunity: World Conference Coordinator

The World Office of Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC) is looking for a World Conference Coordinator.

A Message from Quaker United Nations Office

The Directors of Quaker United Nation Offices in Geneva and New York write to Friends everywhere.

Epistle of 2011 Central European Gathering of Friends

Read the Epistle from the 14th Central European Gathering of Friends.

Reflections on Church and Peace Conference May 2011

Marisa Johnson, Secretary of FWCC-EMES, reports from the Conference of Church and Peace held at L’Arche St. Antoine, France, from 19th to 22nd May 2011.

Epistle of the Experiment with Light conference

A group of Friends gathered at Glenthorne from 13 to 16 May 2011 to explore the future of Experiment with Light.

Response Group al fresco!

Epistle from the Joint Gathering of FWCC-EMES and EMEYF, Herzberg 2011

The Epistle from the joint gathering of Friends in Europe and the Middle East, which this year was joined by the Central Executive Committee of FWCC, bringing Friends from all over the world.

QCEA Programme Assistants Recruitment 2011

QCEA is looking for individuals to work as Programme Assistants from October/November 2011 for up to 8 months.

Cary Lecture 2010

An inspiring lecture given during German Yearly Meeting 2010 by Heidi Blocher.

Help for Friends in Japan

A message from Tokyo Monthly Meeting. We hold our Friends in the Light, and pray for deliverance for them from further danger.

Issue 119 of Among Friends

Among Friends Issue 119 now available for download.

A New Clerk for EMES

EMES has a new Clerk, Rachel Bewley-Bateman of Ireland Yearly Meeting, who has taken over from Marit Kromberg of Norway Yearly Meeting, whose term of service has come to an end.

Commemorating 350 years since the Peace Declaration

Quakers in Europe and the Middle East have been commemorating the 350th anniversary of the Declaration from the Harmless and Innocent People of God, called Quakers to King Charles II: Our principle is, and our practices have always been, to seek peace, and ensue it, and to follow after righteousness, and the knowledge of God and Well-fare, and doing that which tends to the peace of All.

A Christmas Message

Christopher Hatton, of German Yearly Meeting, currently serving with the Christian Peacemakers Team in At-Tuwani in Palestine, writes:

Peace and Service Consultation 2010

Friends engaged in Peace and Service in Europe and the Middle East met together in Kortenberg, Belgium, in November.

A New Director for QUNO Geneva

The Quaker United Nations Committee (Geneva) is delighted to announce that they have appointed a new Director for QUNO Geneva, to take up the post in June 2011, when David Atwood, the present Director, retires.

Quaker Voice in Estonia on UN International Day of Peace

Friends in Tallinn broadcast a message.

Recent QCEA Activity

The Quaker Council for European Affairs (QCEA) held a conference on Working for Peace in the Middle East on 29-31 October.

2010 Border Meeting encompasses the universe

A mild evening in early autumn. We gather in the peaceful grounds of an old monastery, staring in wonder at a starry sky. A prominent Quaker astrophysicist stands among us. Patiently and expertly, she helps us to identify the planets, stars and constellations we are seeing. We ooh and aah. We point and ponder. Science meets religion and they reach a mutual understanding: Awe.

Exhibition of pictures by Richard Kilbey in Eparchial Museum of Church History, Samara

Richard Kilby was part of an American and British Team of Quakers who were engaged in relief work in the Buzuluk region in the period from 1917 to 1931; during the famines that followed World War 1 and the Civil War and the period of reconstruction in the 1920s. On September 6th 2010 Archbishop Sergius opened an exhibition of his pictures in Eparchial Museum of Church History, Samara, Russia.

Epistle of Quaker Youth Pilgrimage 2010

The 2010 Pilgrims share their reflections at the end of their journey.

Meeting for Learning - June 2010

Friends met in June to explore Quaker ways of ministry and community building.

Quaker Vigil outside largest Arms Fair in Europe

Friends young and old bring a message of peace to the largest arms fair in Europe

Jean Zaru receives the Anna Lindh Memorial Prize in Stockholm

Jean Zaru, Clerk of Ramallah Monthly Meeting and author of Occupied with Nonviolence, a Palestinian Woman speaks, has been awarded the Anna Lindh Memorial Prize, which will be presented to her in a ceremony in Stockholm on 10 June 2010.

Director for the Quaker United Nations Office in Geneva

Quaker United Nations Office in Geneva needs a new Director from June 2011. Could this be you? If interested, follow the link.

My Peace Testimony - by Jalka

Jalka’s address at this year’s Switzerland Yearly Meeting.

Epistle from Europe and Middle East Young Friends' Spring Gathering 2010

Read, sing or listen the message from the Europe and Middle East Young Friends' Spring Gathering, which took place in Moyallon, Co. Armagh, Northern Ireland, from 2nd to 9th April 2010.

Reclaiming Eldership - EMES Annual Meeting 2010

EMES Annual Meeting in Haus Venusberg, Bonn, Germany, took as its theme an exploration of eldership in our Meetings today.

Launch of the Olga Dolgina Memorial Fund

The Olga Dolgina Memorial Fund was set up in February 2010 to continue the outreach work Olga was engaged in of making Quaker materials available to Russian speakers in their own language.

Building lives after torture

“The Galloping Stone” by Gillan Allnutt, an Attender at Durham Quaker Meeting, is a collection of writings and poems written and collected during a six months residency with a project in the North East of England helping victims of torture.

Change of Email Address

It has been necessary to change our email address. You will no longer be able to contact us through emes@fwcc.quaker.org. Please use Email

Cash or Old Cell Phones for Burundi

The Quaker Election Violence Prevention Programme in Burundi needs cash or old cell phones to set up an Early Warning System. Can you help?

Czech Friends become a Recognised Meeting

Friends worshipping in the Czech Republic have gained Recognised Meeting status. But what does this mean?

EMES Annual Report for 2009 Published

Read about the life and witness of our Quaker Community in Europe and the Middle East in our Annual Report for 2009.

Appeal for a mental health Project in Russia

Friends House Moscow
Appeal for a mental health project in Russia

Friends House Moscow is an initiative of Friends worldwide which seeks to encourage spiritual growth and the development of civil society based on mutual trust and community co-operation, in the countries of the former Soviet Union.

Quaker Voluntary Action unveils 2010 Programme

An exciting programme of Working Retreats on the them of “Exploring our Peace Testimony” has been unveiled by Quaker Voluntary Action.

Quakers and the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit

Read about the Quaker experience of the Copenhagen Summit.

Publication of Among Friends Issue No. 117 - Winter 2009/10

The latest issue of Among Friends has gone to press.

Young Quaker to document the lives of women victims of war in South Sudan

A Young Friend’s quest to discover the truth of women’s lives affected by war.

Quaker United Nations Office in Geneva - Opportunities

The Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO) in Geneva will hold a Summer School in July 2010, and is seeking to appoint two programme assistants for the period 1 September 2010 to 31 August 2011 after a 2-week preparation period in the UK from 16 to 27 August 2010.

Responsibility to Protect and "Towards a Declaration on Just Peace" - some Responses to the World Council of Churches

Friends in Europe consider responses to the concept of Responsibilty to Protect and the WCC document “Towards a Declaration on Just Peace”.

Biblical Analysis of Lev. 18:22 by Renato Lings, PhD

Dr. Renato Lings, of Denmark Yearly Meeting, has published an article in Theology & Sexuality, Dec. 2009 on: The “Lyings” of a Woman: Male–Male Incest in Lev. 18:22?

Georgian Friends rent a space to hold their Meetings for Worship

Friends in Tblisi have a new place to worship in. With donations from individual Friends locally and Meetings abroad, and with the support of New York Yearly Meeting, they have been able to rent a flat for seven months.

Friends Church Manila

Friends in Manila say "thank you"

The Philippine Yearly Meeting is very grateful to all Quakers around the world who supported them during the tragedy. In response to this enormous and generous support, Friends have created a video as a gesture of their appreciation for the help they received.

Congo Emergency Appeal

Alarming news is reaching us from Congo that fighting has broken out again in the area where Friends from Communauté des Églises Évangéliques des Amis au Congo or CEEACO live.

by Pavel Marusinec

Global Change Coordinator Sought

FWCC World Office is seeking to fill a fixed term position of part-time coordinator:

Building a Quaker-inspired retreat Centre in Portugal

Lizzie Collman describes a life-changing move to Portugal and an ambitious project to create an environmentally-sensitive development underpinned by Quaker values.

Autumn 2009 Issue of Among Friends

Hot off the press! This autumn’s edition of Among Friends

Photo: Peter Dyson

Quaker groups meet in Kortenberg

From 6th to 8th November 23 Friends representing 20 different Quaker organisations and groups active in Peace and Service across Europe and beyond, met in the lovely old abbey at Kortenberg to share news and concerns, to reflect on their work and its challenges, to support each other, and to look for ways of working together in the future.

Ausstieg aus der Wehrpflicht - German Friends speak on Conscription

German Yearly Meeting in session from 15th to 18th October, decided to write to members of the German Parliament to support moves by the new Government to abolish compulsory conscription into the army. (German with English Translation- auf Deutsch mit Englishe Übersetzung).

Coming from the Silence

Just published:
Coming from the Silence: Quaker Peacebuilding Initiatives in Northern Ireland 1969–2007
Edited by Ann Le Mare and Felicity McCartney

Help with translating Quaker texts

Translating Quaker concepts and ideas from English into other languages can be quite a challenge. Yet it is important people anywhere should be able to discover and explore what Friends have treasured for over 350 years. Now an experienced translator and interpreter, Danish Friend K Renato Lings, has produced a set of guidelines for translators.

Summer 09 Issue of Among Friends

The latest issue of Among Friends went to press this week. Catch up with news of Friends, and take up the challenge posed in Johan Maurer’s article about the future of the Society of Friends in Europe.

Meeting for Worship in Fuengirola

Meetings for Worship in Fuengirola during October 2009

Australian Quaker Centre

Visiting Australia between September and the end of the year? Take a week off from visiting family and/or friends, or just exploring, and spend some time visiting this exciting new Australian Quaker Centre.
An Australian Directory for Travelling Friends has also been published.

by Pavel Marusinec

Central European Friends Gathering 2009

Friends from Central European countries (and a few from further afield) gathered in Vienna at the end of May to consider the ‘Challenges and Blessings of Small Meetings’.

Read their epistle.

Spring 2009 Issue of Among Friends

The Spring 2009 Issue of Among Friends, No. 114 is now available as a pdf download. Read about our Annual Meeting in Moyallon, and gatherings of Young Friends in Damascus, Clerks at Woodbrooke, and Friends at Lindenberg. Learn why the European elections should matter to Friends, and lots more.

Annual Meeting 2009

45 Friends from 17 countries came together at the Moyallon Centre, by one of the oldest Meeting Houses in Northern Ireland. In the words of Libby Perkins, Representative of France Yearly Meeting: “The whole weekend went with a “buzz” which translates best as un bourdonnement – i.e. a steady purposeful business with plenty of flashes of Light”. Read the epistle (see attached) and look at our pictures – with thanks to Björn Rhode-Liebenau of German Yearly Meeting and Kerstin Backman of Sweden Yearly Meeting.

2008 FWCC EMES Annual Report

We’ve published our annual report for 2008, available as a pdf download

Quaker Youth Pilgrimage 18th July – 15th August 2008

This summer the biennial Quaker Youth Pilgrimage took place in the British Isles. The theme was “A Journey through Conflict to Peace”. Organised by the Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC), the month long journey brought together young friends from across the world and from a variety of traditions of Quakerism.

Opening to change

In January Philip Austin was one of three Friends from Britain YM to attend a peace gathering in Philadelphia entitled ‘Heeding God’s Call’.

Crisis in Gaza – Statement by the Executive Committee of EMES - December 2008

Friends in Europe and the Middle East reach out in grief and solidarity to all Friends caught up in the appalling violence that is once again being visited upon the inhabitants of Gaza.

Visiting Friends in the Baltic Region

Julia Ryberg, EMES Ministry and Outreach Co-ordinator, reflects on a visit to Friends in Countries around the Baltic which she undertook with Marisa Johnson at the end of last summer.

5 days with Georgian Friends

Michael Eccles of Britain Yearly Meetings writes about a visit to Georgia

QVA in Europe

Jasmine Piercy writes about plans for the coming year.

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