World Quaker Day - FWCC

World Quaker Day 2014 in the Africa Section

Asia-West Pacific        Europe and Middle East        Section of the Americas

Bohol Worship Group, Philippines

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bohol   bohol   bohol

Epistle from Bohol

Unprogrammed Quakers in the Philippines

4 October 2015

We began our day with a Meeting for Worship at the sprawling Mercedarian Retreat House in the town of Dauis in Panglao Island. The hustle of leaves and the whispers of the sea breeze were broken by a vocal ministry about unceasingly asking the question, “How is it to be a Quaker”. After the Silence, the group checked in with each other as to what was on top of our minds.

The task of summarizing the day’s thoughts and insights was taken on by a committee of volunteers. We then proceeded to the activity of Concentric Circles to reflect and share personal thoughts on the following questions: What are our dreams for the Religious Society of Friends in the Philippines for the next 3 to 5 years? What do we hope to contribute to the realization of these dreams? How do we see Evangelical Friends? And how do we go about publicly coming out as Quakers?

Our dreams include the flourishing of the Unprogrammed Quakers in the Philippines as an emerging moral force rooted in the collective history and culture of the Philippines; that people universally will value silence as a way of connecting with God; regularity of silent worship; meditating on the gospel of John; and our growth as individuals and as a group. We expressed hope to contribute concrete actions, like starting with one’s self; living out the gospel of John as a guide in Quaker life; continuing with projects and injecting them with Quakers ways; presence; and fostering consistency of Quaker Meetings.

In describing our attitudes toward Evangelical Friends, we quote, “Those who are not against us are with us.” Another insight that came up was, “Why insist that they are Quakers”. We likewise agreed to embrace any group, Evangelical or not, Christian or not, on the basis of shared sacred silence, and the living testimonies of simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality, and solidarity with creation.

About publicly coming out as Quakers, we recognize and respect the complexity of coming out as Quakers in a strongly Catholic culture. At the moment, some of us affirm our membership only when asked. Others prefer to live out a Quaker way without public declarations. We trust that our public social identity as Quakers in the Philippines will emerge in time.

During the plenary, the group discussed some concerns and challenges. One concern was about the process of becoming a Member for attenders who wish to become Members; another was the vision to promote the practice of shared quiet time in our workplaces; how to support Filipino Friends in challenging positions; and the positive contributions of clearness meetings. In order to respond to queries about joining Quakers, the invitation will be to experience the Silent Worship Meetings first and minimize intellectual discussion at the outset.

While enjoying our hearty lunch punctuated with durian fruit, we were happy to exchange pleasantries with Canberra Friends online through Skype.

And we cannot afford to fail to mention our appreciation for our progressive and gracious hosts, the Mercedarian Sisters, who so kindly shared with us their place, healthy meals and refreshments, as well as the wonderful stories about their own journeys of faith, plus the helpfulness of their employees and working scholars.

We look forward to our next Meeting in Davao in June 2016, which will be open to any and all interested Unprogrammed Friends in AWPS.

To all of you, we say, “Come and see”.

We remain,

Your Friends in the Philippines:

Tina Montiel (Thinking Tina)

Rose Gaid (Rejoicing Rose)

Raffy Gaid (Reaping Raffy)

Marjorie Angalot (Memorable Marj)

Ludwig Bon Quirog (Lively Ludwig)

Boni Quirog (Better Boni)

Brisbane Meeting, Australia

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On World Quaker Day 2015 Friends and visitors to Brisbane Local Meeting in Australia heard a talk about the worldwide family of Friends, and the work that FWCC and QUNO undertake on our behalf. Friends originally from Burundi and visiting Friends from Kenya and Britain added to the international flavor of regular ‘first Sunday of the month’ events at the Brisbane Meeting House—Meeting for Worship and Children’s Meeting, followed by the monthly Regional Meeting for Worship for Business.

Canberra Meeting, Australia

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Canberra  Canberra  CanberraCanberra

Canberra Quakers gathered late in the afternoon to make contact with Friends in other places. We used Skype, FaceTime, Google hangouts, Facebook and email to make contact with Quakers in Queensland, Tasmania, the Philippines, Sweden and London. It was indeed a happy World Quaker Day and much enjoyment (and a little hilarity as we tried to make the technology work) was had as we chatted with distant cousins in this big Quaker family. .

Ronis Chapman

Dunedin MM, Aotearoa/NZ


Loving greetings to Friends everywhere from the far south area of the Asia West Pacific Section.  The Yearly Meeting of Aotearoa New Zealand is the nearest to the International Date Line, so we are at the beginning of the chain of worship which flows around the world. 

Dunedin Monthly Meeting, the furthest south, hosted public presentations of the 2015 Quaker Lecture in Dunedin on 3 October and in Invercargill on 4 October.  The lecture was given by a  documentary maker, Bryan Bruce, who spoke on inequality and child poverty, matters of strong concern to Friends here.   At Meeting for Worship in Dunedin on Sunday there was a display table showing the worldwide life of Friends, and a brief talk about our connections with Friends elsewhere.

May all Friends share the love expressed in a 1683 Epistle from Philadelphia:  “And though the Lord has been pleased to remove us far away from you, as to the other end of the earth, yet are we present with you; your exercises are ours; our hearts are dissolved in the remembrance of you, dear brethren and sisters in this heavenly love.”

[Reference:  Christian Faith and Practice, London (now Britain) Yearly Meeting, 1960, 677]

Elizabeth Duke

Hobart Meeting, Australia


Hobart meeting in Tasmania, Australia, on world Quaker Day.

Melbourne, Australia


This is a photo of the new Friends Centre building in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Seoul Meeting, Korea

Korea   Korea  Korea

Wairoa, Aotearoa/NZ


Some friends and I celebrated World Quaker Day at Wairoa, Gisborne, the first place
in NZ to see the sun - ushered in with music and laughter.
Thomas Owen

Wellington Meeting, Aotearoa/NZ


Wellington Meeting supports World Quaker Day. Here in NZ we are the first in the world to celebrate!

Elizabeth Plumridge

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