About

This site is for epistles from Quaker Meetings, groups and bodies around the world.

This blog creates a free-to-access space for them.

Jez Smith is publisher of Nayler.org and a member of Britain Yearly Meeting, the national body of Quakers in Britain. He is posting epistles onto this blog (hence his name on the posts) but is not editing them and he is not responsible for their content.

One Response to “About”

  1. Rorie Nazareth Says:

    Epistle for Switzerland Yearly Meeting, Charmey, May, 2010
    Greetings to Friends everywhere from Switzerland Yearly Meeting, 2010.
    63 of us, including 11 children, have gathered again as Quakers from all parts of the country to meet in Charmey, a charming village in the French-speaking part of the canton of Fribourg. This was a change from our former venue in the German-speaking canton of Bern. Our meeting place this year has been the Swiss Reformed Centre where we have been warmly welcomed by the pastor who told us she remembers Quakers from her earlier years in communist Czechoslovakia. We were also privileged to have visiting Friends from Britain, France and Germany Yearly Meetings.
    Our theme this year has been “The Quaker Peace Testimony Today”. We have explored this in several ways. Marisa Johnson, Executive secretary of the European and Middle East Section (EMES) of the Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC), spoke to us movingly about Quaker presence and witness in Israel and the West Bank where she has worked with the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme of the World Council of Churches. Related to this, we are supporting the work of the Quaker Centre on European Affairs (QCEA) on Palestine/Israel by completing their survey of what Quaker projects in the area we are assisting, and by preparing a letter to the Swiss Foreign Minister and the Israeli Ambassador to Switzerland urging the repeal of the current Israel Defense Force Orders enabling deportation from the West Bank of many Palestinians and international workers.
    We were told about the life of Pierre Cérésole (1879 – 1945), the Swiss founder of Service Civil International who became a Quaker and contributed greatly to the work for non-violence and resistance to war in the last century. Among those listening was a group of our children who enjoyed the lively and original way that the talk was presented – with them in mind – by the speaker, Michel Mégard (from Geneva). Although his time preceded today’s environmental crisis, Pierre Cérésole lived close to nature and saw and respected the divine life in all creation.
    Bringing the theme of peace into our daily lives, we profited from two workshops on Non-Violent Communication (NVC). We also listened to Jalka, a Viennese psychoanalyst and clerk of Germany Yearly Meeting. She advocated a positive, pro-active attitude to peace and described the many projects for peace that she has initiated (as part of her non profit organization konfliktkultur) and/or is engaged in as part of her role as a university lecturer. These include workshops, seminars and networks as well as an innovative computer game for young girls. We also heard from Ed Dommen, of Geneva Monthly Meeting, who spoke about the 1660 Quaker Peace Testimony and a 1703 French peace testimony.
    Our children were joyfully present amongst us throughout and participated in a lively social evening on our last full day.
    Arrangements were discussed and are underway for the 2011 FWCC-EMES meeting which Swiss Quakers will host at the Herzberg Centre next Easter. We have also been reminded that Quakers are starting to prepare for the 2012 World Conference of Friends in Kenya.
    We have been conscious throughout our time together of the need to make our historic Quaker witness for peace relevant in its widest sense to today’s world, with its many challenges and dangers – including environmental and economic ones. It may go without saying that the world of England in 1660 differs greatly from the global scene of 2010. Switzerland is a land in the heart of Europe where different cultures meet and interact. We seek to be open to new perspectives but in our discussions and worship together this year we have been aware that we also need to nurture our inner light in order to witness fully for peace in the difficult times ahead.

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