Kenya Landcape, BY SA Bobbie
Our Programme Officer, Paul Parrish, is attending the Quaker Friends World Conference in Kenya over the next nine days. Paul will be sharing his experiences with us over his time there.
“Attending a World Conference is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The previous Quaker World Conference occurred in 1991, simultaneously in Honduras, the Netherlands and Kenya. This year’s World Conference, once again, but exclusively, in Kenya, rivals the World Conference before last, in 1967, with the largest gathering of Quakers from around the world in one place.
We have gathered to consider the conference theme: Being Salt and Light - Friends living in the Kingdom of God, in a Broken World. And if that wasn’t challenging enough, the different Quaker traditions – pastoral, conservative, liberal and evangelical – are forced to rub shoulders alongside our diverse cultural experiences: near (Zimbabwe and Ghana) and far (Japan and Guatemala).
It’s ambitious stuff. And just the sort of thing for the many young Friends here to embrace.
That is, assuming the leadings are recognised. At the last World Conference, a Dutch Friend told me that, upon arriving in Nairobi in 1991, he was immediately greeted with, ‘are you washed in the blood of the lamb?’ To which his immediate response was, ‘evidently no.’ It took him less than a week, and the end of the World Conference, to agree, ‘well, actually yes, my life has been transformed by faith.’
For this generation of Friends, we only have the next nine days to discern how we, as a global family of Quakers, faithfully respond to being both Salt and Light, in a transformed world.”