Part 1 – making Friendly Connections was published in the April2019 Newsletter

When Friends in the Asia-West Pacific Section spend time together
– in person and online –
how do we maintain and strengthen those friendships?

1. We organise and attend events that support and encourage each other:

When I was asked to write about how I have been affected by FWCC related activities I was puzzled….Yet it soon struck me that my horizons have been greatly broadened and I have been enriched by a number of FWCC contacts.

I served as a ‘visitor’ (by Skype) for someone from seeking international membership. This introduced me to Singapore Quakers in addition to the pleasure of getting to know the person seeking membership.

Canberra Meeting has had a number of Quaker Day annual events, including Skyping with Friends from Singapore, Philippines, Cambodia, Japan and India.

Our Meeting held a study group (also by Skype) with our companion meeting in Hong Kong. We studied a Pendle Hill pamphlet and shared our thoughts.

Lorraine Thomson (Canberra Regional Meeting, Australia)

2. We are open to invitations to visit each other:

After a year as Resident Friends at the Quaker Centre in Auckland we let it be known that we would respond happily to invitations to share either our own spiritual journeys or to facilitate a conversation on a topic of interest …[as we headed home]. And so it was that the dear Friends of Singapore invited us to lead a session on discernment in November 2018…

Mike and Marsha Green (Durham North Carolina Meeting, USA)

3. We see our diversity as an opportunity to be embraced:

From the Epistle of the September 2018 AWPS Gathering in Hong Kong:

…thirty-five Friends from the Section of the Asia West Pacific Region gathered on Cheung Chau Island, Hong Kong…

The group came together as a community, mindful of the great diversity of the Section and keen to explore what it means to be a Quaker in this part of the world (the theme of the gathering). The gathered group heard warm messages from Quakers across the region and beyond as these absent Friends expressed goodwill for the upcoming days of discussion and fellowship…

We arrived as a disparate group and very quickly developed a kindred spirit and felt the love deep down and all around.

Ronald Titus, AWPS Clerk (Hoshangabad, Mid-India Yearly Meeting)

Compiled by Virginia Jealous