Thank You and Farewell – 4 November 2018

Dear Friends,

We have just finished our amazing eight-week FWCC AWPS Quaker journey among you and want to tell you how enriched we have been by the whole experience.

It all started in Hong Kong where 35 Friends from throughout the Asia West Pacific countries gathered for a week of Quaker kinship and nurture.  We left Hong Kong on September 22 buoyed by the profound spiritual enrichment and deep Quaker bonding experienced there.  We’ve been carrying the love of those Friends with us for the seven weeks we have traveled through Australia and New Zealand.  Our love goes out to all of you.

Throughout this journey we have been hosted, accompanied, nurtured, supported and called into deep ministry as we shared with Friends about the work of FWCC-AWPS and offered spiritual workshops to those who requested them.  We visited 23 Quaker groups and presented 33 workshops and FWCC presentations.  In addition, we have had innumerable opportunities for “kitchen table ministry,” where individual Friends shared freely about their life journeys.  In total more than 300 Friends attended the presentations in these past eight weeks. Thank you to all! YOU have made this an extraordinary experience.

Some of the learnings and observations we are taking home with us include:

  • Friends valued learning more about FWCC and the experiences of Quakers in other parts of your region.  Friends were keen to hear how much Quaker isolation and loneliness is real in parts of your region and how much joy is generated by being with other Quakers.  We can’t overstate the value of strengthening the Quaker family.
  • There was clear spiritual hunger exhibited widely among you and an appreciation for opportunities to share deep spiritual experiences with each other.
  • We heard stories of profound encounters with “that which is eternal” and your desires to have this kind of sharing more regularly in your Quaker lives and communities.
  • We see the great value in the spiritual nurture programs that are ongoing in both Australia and New Zealand Yearly Meetings and have encouraged Friends to participate.
  • We have seen and felt your deep love of your countries’ landscapes and your recognition of the sacredness that indigenous peoples hold for your lands.  Your Quaker work and commitment to seeing indigenous rights increased is much stronger in your countries than it is in our homeland.  We are humbled by your caring.
  • We have attached a link to some photos taken during our journey among you.  It is only a small selection from our many visits.

Please know that we are taking your love with us and hope you will keep our love with you too.  Most importantly we hope you continue to do the deep spiritual work that is so necessary in our Quaker meetings today and that the continued growth of the Asia West Pacific Section will help connect and strengthen Friends throughout the region.

In Friendship,

Michael and Alison