Africa – Asia-West Pacific – Europe and Middle East – Americas
See how the Africa Section celebrated World Quaker Day 2019.
Members of Hill House Meeting at Achimota, Ghana have been talking and planning how to carry out activities individually and as groups to give meaning to the theme of 2019 World Quaker Day, “organized activities to mark World Quaker Day. Observing the day last year, members tended plants at Hill House Meeting. Sustainability: planting seeds of renewal for the world we love.”
Hill House Meeting has in the past
Since the inception of Quaker day observation, Hill House has always come out to participate and organized activities to mark the day which has included clean-up of the neighborhood of Hill House meeting, planting of trees and discussion sessions.
This year the meeting organized a discussion on the suggested theme. The discussions were guided by the following questions:
- What is sustainability?
- Why sustainability?
- How does sustainability run through Quaker testimonies mnemonically referred to as STEPS and SPICES? STEPS standing for Simplicity, Truth, Equality, Peace and Sustainability. SPICES for Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, Equality and Stewardship.
- What do you like or not like about our world?
- How do we as Quakers plant seeds of renewal for the world we love?
- What can you do individually bring about the type of world we want in our communities?
- What can we do as Quakers?
- What can we do in our communities?
The leader of the discussion, Kumah Drah asked members what they understood by the word ‘sustainability’ to set the tone for discussion. Some of the words or phrases that came up were
- Long term
- Watering and watching growth
- Relying on oneself to keep communities
- Thinking of future generation.
Members were referred to Chapter 25 of the Quaker Faith & Practice which is titled “Unity of Creation.” The opening verse written by John Woolman in 1772 aptly addresses the need to use ‘resources in ways not to jeopardize the future of generations unborn’.
Some problem areas that members identified which had to be looked at critically were food and energy production, proper use of land and waste management. Members were of the view that whatever development that is undertaken by present generation in the identified problem areas should have both also the future generation in mind.
Kwame Nkrumah, First President of Ghana, in 1959 was said to have given his definition of Ecology as quoted below.
‘……….and by ecology I understand the study of the reciprocal relations of all forms of life, one with the other, and with their environments- is not for the scientific agriculturalist alone; its light must guide the path of the farmer, administrator, and the statesman.’ This was suggested to mean that sustainability will be how to make this relationship as described last long enough for the future generation.
Planting seeds of renewal was interpreted at nurturing ideas that will outlive us and favour the future as an expression of love. This is expressed in a Ghanaian proverb that says ‘dea wodua na wobu’ – meaning you reap what you sow. So if you plant good seeds (good ideas) you will have good results (expression of love and care) for the future.
Good governance was also identified as an important ingredient for Sustainability and show of love to humanity. There was a reference to the first chapter of the bible where God, the creator after creating the perfect environment ‘saw that it was good’. Our aim is to make the effort of going back to what it was.
Members were of the view that Quakers over the past 350 years have viewed life with sustainability in everything they adhere to. In considering the testimonies, we are called to truthfulness. Is what we churning out the truth? Is the statement sustainable?
Do you have integrity and acting according to what you are called to be? The bible admonishes us to ‘let our light so shine before men that they may see our good works……’ Mathew 5:16 If we do as Quakers others will be curious and follow us.
The discussions went beyond the grim global environmental challenges being caused largely by human activities to how to create a better world we love with Quaker testimonies individually and collectively. These members could do by leading lives that do not or cause minimal damage to the environment, fellow humans and other living things.
Views were sought about how Quakers at Hill House could practically give meaning to these proposals. The discussions came up with suggestions like avoiding as much as possible the use and litter of plastic bags.
It was also suggested that members could promote the production and use of environmentally friendly shopping bags with customized messages. Feasibility of this suggestion was to be discussed further at next Business Meeting.
Members reaffirmed their commitment to maintain Hill House as an environmentally friendly place, to continue to plant more trees, nurture them and individually live by Quaker testimonies of simplicity, truth, equality, peace and sustainability.
Kitale monthly meeting (Elgon East Friends church) celebrates world quaker day In Style. Trees were planted on the church compound.
-The History of FWCC and the celebrations of the world quaker day was given by Bro. Edward Nyongesa and the sermon delivered by Bro Cherwenyi Kennedy.
-There were presentations climaxed by quakermen choir.
-Thereafter, there was tree planting and lunch for all as part of the celebrations.
The World Quaker Day (6th October, 2019), was celebrated across the globe and Nairobi Yearly Meeting was not left behind to join in the celebrations.
The day was celebrated across the yearly meeting with various churches engaged in several activities to mark the day.
The Leadership of the Yearly Meeting was present at Friends Church Quakers Njiru, where they marked the day in style. It was of great honour for this year in Nairobi Yearly Meeting, since the day was marked with the official opening of the 23rd Monthly Meeting of the NYM, namely MAILI SABA MONTHLY MEETING.
Emeritus Clerks of NYM; the current Executive member of the FUM Board Churchil Kibisu and Bro. Simon Angote were also present to commemorate the day at Friends Church Njiru. They all planted trees at the church compound in commemoration of the WQD and the official opening of the Monthly Meeting.
The presiding Clerk, Stephen Magwilu, called upon the faithfuls to embrace this year’s WQD theme, SUSTAINABILITY: and ensure that in whatever they do, they should always project the sustainability aspect. He called upon the newly inaugurated monthly meeting to ensure its sustainable existence is guaranteed and to always work tirelessly in ensuring growth is attained. Injili No. 44 REHEMA YA BABA YANGU was sung in commemoration of the day.
The function was attended by over 600 congregants.
Africa Section led by Clerk Bainto Khayongo celebrated world Quaker day by planting trees at FTC Lugari Yearly Meeting.
Young Friends in Bulawayo