By Jennifer Bing
Published: June 19, 2014

Note: This post is one of a series of reflections from ten AFSC staff who went on a delegation to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory in May, 2014. AFSC began its work in Gaza in 1948 supporting refugees. Since 1950 we've built kindergartens, trained teachers, and carried out agriculture and restoration projects there.  Now AFSC’s work is focused on supporting youth cohesion and efforts to end the occupation of Palestinian territory.  All of us who went to Gaza were moved by the people we met and the conditions we witnessed. It left a huge impression and...

By John & Gail Fletcher
Published: June 12, 2014

I’m sure you’ve heard the expression before—organizing Quakers is like “herding cats,” an impossibly frustrating task, often leading to an overabundance of structures created to quell the insecurities of so many strong-minded individuals.  But that doesn’t stop us from trying to work together, motivated by a deep, Spiritually grounded commitment to justice. This spring, I witnessed one Yearly Meeting employ a variety of methods—both spiritual and intellectual—to bring together one Quaker body for deep, impactful social change work grounded in Love.

I was invited...

By Shirien
Published: June 5, 2014

Note: In early May I was one of ten AFSC staff that traveled to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories to learn about AFSC’s work, meet partners and learn about the current context and situation there. AFSC youth organizer Shirien was another of the people on the delegation. Though she was detained for four and a half hours at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, she was admitted into the country.  During the trip she was able to visit the destroyed villages of her parents’ families, Calonia and Majdal Yaba. Only a few of us went with her to Calonia, but the whole delegation...

By Madeline Schaefer
Published: June 4, 2014

In February of this year (2014), torrential rainfall in the East African country of Burundi led to devastating floods and the death of over 60 people, destroying properties and leaving 12,000 people homeless.  The Burundi government came to the aid of the victims by calling together various relief organizations to provide support, including the American Friends Service Committee, Healing and Rebuilding Our Communities (HROC) and other Quaker organizations in Burundi.  Together, these organizations developed an Action Plan to respond to the needs of the thousands of homeless and...

By Lucy Duncan
Published: May 22, 2014

“How good it is, how pleasant for God’s people to live in unity.” – Psalm 133:1

The first time I experienced a gathered meeting was at Mid-Year Meeting of Iowa Yearly Meeting Conservative. We were in an old meeting house up on a hill that overlooked the prairie.  It was a windy day. As we sat in meeting for worship, the wind whipped around us.  The silence was deep and rich. As the wind swirled, stirring up dust and bringing a breeze into the meeting house, I could sense the Spirit also moving in the room. I felt as though we were one body, coming together.