My name is Merryl Titus. I have a concern as to how Young Friends in India are connected with Friends activities in the world and most important thing that there is lack of communication between Young Friends of other parts of the world. I want Young Friends to share with each other their concerns around the world. And there is also a need for Quaker teachings in Young Friends of India.
I was born in a Quaker family and grew up in a Friends Church in Bhopal, India. In India we are first Christians and then Quakers. There are around 2,000 Quakers in India. Here in India it is very challenging being a Quaker and sharing our testimonies among non Quakers and non Christians. Christians are a minority in India.
I am grateful to participate in the FWCC World Conference in peru in 2016 which helped me to meet friends all over the world and to know Quaker concerns. I am really moved by Quaker living, testimonies and the faith which keep us alive.
Generally, we have a programmed worship but every 1st Sunday we have unprogrammed worship. We don’t have a large group of friends in our meeting. Our meeting has a small group of Young Friends. We like to do social work in our society. On World Quaker Day last year we went to a slum area among small children and there we distributed Bible story books, shared a song and a Bible message. The children were overwhelmed and enjoyed our company, they too presented songs.
During Christmas we YF’s went to an orphanage of children which is run by an NGO. There we distributed cakes, story books and presented an action song including a message. In last winter the warm clothes were collected from our YM’s members and sent to distribute among tribals living in interior places in the jungle near Hoshangabad.
Recently we Young Friends celebrated Father’s Day in Friends Church Bhopal. The collection was done by YF funds. We used to collect monthly some amount and save it for future events and needs.
I feel happy to be a part of the Quaker family and will always try to serve society as possible as I can.
In July 2017 I had the opportunity to be a part of Britain Yearly Meeting Gathering. I am very thankful for the British Friends, QWRC Secretary and Clerk who hosted me during my stay in Britain and looked after me affectionately.
Attending BYM was a wonderful learning experience for me . In the beginning I was little nervous and there was a feeling as how I will adjust myself participating in the meeting in different atmosphere but it made me very comfortable and confident within short time by talking , sharing and mixing with the people present there.
Many events took place during the Gathering “Swarthmore lecture of Catherine West” focused on inequality, tackling poverty and promoting social justice was a challenge to every one as to how Friends try to put their faith into action in our daily lives. Interestingly Catherine is a Member of Parliament and being a Quaker very committed to work on these issues.
I was one of the four international visitors and was given an opportunity to share our thoughts with the British Friends during the work shop of Quaker World Relation Committee. Program worship meeting led by Gretchen Castle was a new spiritual experience for me. I also attended Quaker South East Asia’s workshop led by Stuart Morton which is Ekta Parishad a movement on India’s land reforms issues. I was given time to host a session on Social action projects in India including Sustainability, Provision of Education and Food parcels and clothing. My visit to Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre, Bamford Quaker Community group and local Meetings was fruitful and every where it was a time for me to see how Friends work for better and peaceful world. It gave me a new look for finding a way how I can be part of it in my own country.
Thank you so much!