SOUTH BELFAST QUAKERS

That of God in everyone

Posters For World Quaker Day

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Our younger members and attenders created posters to mark World Quaker Day 2022

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M&O Sept 22 Update

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Update from the September meeting of the Ministry & Oversight Team:

• As we continue to adapt to living alongside Covid, we reviewed the current situation at the Meeting House and have agreed that we will continue to keep the chairs spaced apart. Sanitising spray and paper rolls will also continue to be available in the foyer.

• After Meeting Conversations will start again on the third Sunday of the month. The next Conversation on Sunday 16th October at 12noon will continue the conversation about ‘Quaker Conventions’ and ‘unwritten rules’. On 20th November we hope to explore the Peace testimony and then on 15th January we hope to explore the IYM public lecture and revisit our sustainability plan.

• We also are planning to continue the discussions around Quaker thinking which we started in the spring with QuakerQuest. We are going to experiment with a discussion group looking at modern Quaker writers. The first one will be “The Guided Life” by Craig Barnett, one of the excellent Quaker Quicks series of short books, and we will be announcing dates soon and asking if you want us to get you a copy before the first meeting.

• On 2nd October South Belfast Meeting is one of the Meetings hosting World Quaker Day. World Quaker Day is an annual event where we celebrate the diversity of Quakerism around the world and build connections to make our community stronger. This year, every Friends Church and Quaker Meeting is encouraged to send or receive visitors to or from another Quaker group, to bring greetings, build relationships and share ideas.

The Ministry and Oversight team - Felicity, Jonathan, Ian, Kerry, Marie, Michael, Sylvia and Will

Cancelation of Hillsborough Meeting Open Day

Due to the increased traffic expected tomorrow at Hillsborough, following the passing of the Queen, a decision has been made by the Hillsborough Committee to cancel our planned participation in European Heritage Day. The Meeting House will therefore not be open to the public as had been scheduled.

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Exciting World Quaker Day News

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South Belfast Quaker Meeting will be the European & Middle East Section host on World Quaker Day, the 2nd of October 2022

The link to join us via Zoom for Meeting for Worship will be sent out to anyone registering at the FWCC website for the event


World Quaker Day is an annual event where we celebrate the diversity of Quakerism around the world and build connections to make our community stronger.

This year, every Friends Church or Meeting is encouraged to send or receive visitors to or from another Quaker group, to bring greetings, build relationships and share ideas.

Intervisitation today is the easiest it has ever been, with many Quakers meeting online or in hybrid form.

More details and sign up
HERE

Two New Factfiles Added

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Two new "Notable Quakers in Ireland's History" Factfiles have been added to the collection on our website. One is about Anne-Marie Fisher, a Quaker campaigner for social reform and women's rights and one is on Dorothy Turtle a school teacher at Friend's School Lisburn who successfully lobbied Stormont for the release of a wrongfully accused prisoner. You can read both along with quite a few others on the likes of Victor Bewley, Forster Green and Esther Mary Davis at our Quaker Quizzer Page

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M&O June 22 Update

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As we slowly make the transition to living alongside covid, the Ministry & Oversight team reviewed the current restrictions in place at the Meeting House and have agreed that masks can be optional in the Meeting House from now on, but we will continue to keep the chairs spaced apart. Also, those who want to shake hands at the end of meeting can now do this but please be aware that not everyone may feel ready to shake hands with others yet. We will continue to keep disinfectant spray at the front entrance.

We are exploring ways to have some sort of a Quaker presence at Queens University Belfast and are in the process of assembling a group to take this forward. We are starting with small beginnings and hope to have some sort of presence at Freshers Fair in the Autumn.

We have been looking at our unwritten Quaker conventions and practices as well as Quaker Jargon. We hope to produce a leaflet with explanations as to how they came about or why they are practiced.

We are also starting work on planning a series of ‘After Meeting Conversations’ for the autumn using the feedback from the survey carried out last year to provide our themes.

The Ministry and Oversight team - Felicity, Jonathan, Ian, Kerry, Marie, Michael, Sylvia and Will

SPRING PLANT SALE FOR QUAKER SERVICE

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On Saturday, 28 May we held our annual plant sale, selling the seedlings and plants from across our gardens, enjoying coffee and buns together, and in the process raising funds for Quaker Service.

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Friends from South Belfast were joined by Friends from Frederick Street, Lurgan, Moyallon and Hillsborough, and we were also delighted that many of our neighbours from Marlborough Park, on their way to the shops, also dropped in and bought plants. To date over £740 has been raised. 

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M&O May 22 Update

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Last week, 40 Friends from the Europe and Middle East Section Annual Meeting 2022 meet in Paris while 40 other Friends joined online. It was first annual meeting together in person since the start of the pandemic and also our first blended annual meeting. The blending seemed to work very well, while for those in Paris it was a great joy to be physically together for eating, walking and talking after two long years of restrictions. As the meeting noted “cultivating joyful relationships enables us to do our work. If we are to sow and nurture the seeds of peace, we need fertile soil. We became a gathered community.” We now look forward to Ireland Yearly Meeting at Stranmillis, from 11-14 August, and the gathering that will bring among Friends, including the Meeting for Worship at South Belfast after which the Yearly Meeting concludes.

The theme of the Paris meeting was “From Crisis to Connection: working creatively to heal our fractured world”. It was of course very conscious of the long shadow of the war in Ukraine which has fallen over Europe and the rest of the world, yet recognising the on-going suffering in other parts of the world which could be forgotten at this time. On Sunday morning it joined in a very moving Meeting for Worship with Quakers in Kiev, and it heard first hand accounts of the fantastic work being done by Friends across Europe to support those affected by the war, notably in Georgia, Estonia, Czechia and Poland. (If you would like to financially support them, you can by going to
https://cafdonate.cafonline.org/20251#!/DonationDetails


This discussion parallels one that we have been having informally at South Belfast, and in M&O, as we all try to work out what our Peace testimony means at this time of war. It is an issue that we will need to return to over the coming months, perhaps in after Meeting Conversations.

It is an issue where Friends across Europe and the Middle East are seeking discernment. This is very difficult and challenging, and one where we, sitting far from the immediate conflict on the Atlantic rim, have to realise the privilege of our comparative security.

As was said in Paris, “Our prayers are with all those involved. We uphold the Quaker organisations who are working both through social activism and methods of quiet diplomacy to help end conflict and support those affected. We were inspired and challenged by our speakers to create peace on earth, to dare to dream of turning weapons into spades, and to challenge the mistaken notion that the military option is the only option.”

(For Epistle of EMES meeting go to
EMES Annual Meeting 2022 Epistle | FWCC-EMES

The Ministry and Oversight team - Felicity, Jonathan, Ian, Kerry, Marie, Michael, Sylvia and Will