Full refund within 30 days if you're not completely satisfied.
the Friend INDEPENDENT QUAKER JOURNALISM SINCE 1843
CONTENTS VOL 170 NO 17
3 Thought for the Week:
Letter from Kenya Trish Carn 4-5 World Conference of Friends 6-7 News 8 Quilted greetings Elinor Smallman 9 ‘Being Salt and Light’ 10 What makes a Quaker community? Alison Leonard 11 The Bible: Cracking stories John Anderson 12-15 Quakers in the World: Africa
Unity in diversity Ian Kirk-Smith and Trish Carn 16-17 Keeping an open mind Don Mason 18-19 Letters 20 q-eye: a look at the Quaker world 21 Poem: A bird meditation Michael Searle 22 Friends & Meetings
A market in Nakuru town, Kenya. Photo: Trish Carn
World Conference of Friends 2012
Cover image: Pelicans in Nakuru, Kenya. Photo: Ai@ce / flickr CC. See pages 3-5
The Friend Subscriptions UK £76 per year by all payment types including annual direct debit;
monthly payment by direct debit £6.50; online only £48 per year.
For details of other rates, contact Penny Dunn on 020 7663 1178 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Advertising Advertisement manager:
Tel/fax: 01535 630230
Editor: Ian Kirk-Smith Articles, images, correspondence should be emailed to email@example.com or sent to the address below.
the Friend 173 Euston Road, London NW1 2BJ Tel: 020 7663 1010 Fax: 020 7663 1182 www.thefriend.org Editor: Ian Kirk-Smith firstname.lastname@example.org • Sub-editor: Trish Carn email@example.com • Production editor: Elinor Smallman production@ thefriend.org • News reporter: Symon Hill firstname.lastname@example.org • Arts editor: Rowena Loverance email@example.com • Environment editor: Laurie Michaelis firstname.lastname@example.org • Subscriptions officer: Penny Dunn email@example.com Tel: 020 7663 1178 • Advertisement manager: George Penaluna, Ad department, 54a Main Street, Cononley, Keighley BD20 8LL Tel: 01535 630230 firstname.lastname@example.org • Clerk of the trustees: Janet Scott • ISSN: 0016-1268 The Friend Publications Limited is a registered charity, number 211649 • Printed by Headley Bros Ltd, Queens Road, Ashford, Kent TN24 8HH
the Friend, 27 April 2012 Thought for the Week
Letter from Kenya
Our reception in Kenya was very warm. Kenyan Quakers waited all day at the airport to welcome us and then got us organized. A beautifully lush, but sometimes sparse, red dirt landscape greeted me as we left Nairobi for Nakuru. The roads teemed with market stalls of all descriptions – mainly consisting of ramshackle wooden poles supporting a ragged canvas top.
The sixth world conference of Friends is being held on the campus of Kabarak University. I have never been in such a friendly group as I have found at Kabarak. Smiles and good mornings greet you, every day, on the fifteen-minute walk to the main campus and at breakfast.
There is an amazing diversity of people and cultures at the gathering. You can hear it and see it everywhere. The dining-hall is full of the din of Friends greeting one another and talking in a myriad of languages. There is simultaneous translation for French, Spanish and Kiswahili in the sessions – but at meals communication sometimes amounts to showing each other our name badges, with big smiles!
There is also such colour. Bright flowers enhance the pathways and women catch the eye everywhere in their beautifully coloured dresses. Some wear headscarves to match – tied in a variety of ways. The Bolivian women dress more soberly but lighten the look with their distinctive bowler hats.
I have heard some moving and sad tales here. A Bolivian Friend talked about how, in 2011, she was in a restaurant and, suddenly, a group of men dressed in black, with high calibre guns and ski masks, came in shooting. She saw two men falling down to the floor, spilling blood, and slipped underneath the table covered with a table cloth to hide her. She saw the men killing people. They killed the hotel’s owner, her daughter and a medical visitor who was a guest. Then, they came back to shoot, again, two men who were lying down close to her to make sure that they were not alive. She said that God made them blind and saved her life. After her testimony she sang a haunting song about God taking care of you.
An African woman talked about how she was taken and raped during the troubles in her country and became pregnant. After eight months she was freed and then reunited with her husband. They have taken in several orphans and raised them. Her brother was missing for years and when he returned he had HIV which he passed to his wife, who later died. She has had to leave the conference today as her brother is dying. He will leave three small children. You become close to people’s stories here.
The world conference is a very exciting place to be. It is wonderful to meet so many members of the worldwide Quaker family. The talks and discussions have been really stimulating but some are also very challenging – particularly about different approaches to our beloved Quakerism.
Trish Carn the Friend, 27 April 2012