Week 2 — Sunday, March 30, 12:30 to 2pm

The Various Quaker Branches

We will be discussing the branching of Quakerism in the development of (click the links on the acronyms to read about the organizations that represent the three major Quaker branches)…

Reference Material

  • Friends General Conference (FGC) — the liberal group, mostly unprogrammed form of worship. Friends Meeting at Cambridge (FMC) through New England Yearly Meeting joined FGC in 1959. Most groups belonging to FGC are located in the United States and Canada.
  • Friends United Meeting (FUM) — the middle group, mostly programmed form of worship with paid pastoral leadership. FMC, through New England Yearly Meeting, was a founding member of FUM (then called “Five Years Meeting”) in 1902. Groups belonging to FUM are in East Africa, North America, the Caribbean, and Ramallah, Palestine/Israel. FUM publishes the magazine Quaker Life.
  • Evangelical Friends Church International (EFCI) — the evangelical group, all programmed/pastoral meetings/churches. Groups belonging to EFCI are in the Americas, Africa, and Asia.
  • We will also explore the development of the Quaker movement in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Other Reading

  • The American Friends Service Committee’s (AFSC) pamphlet, “Speak Truth to Power,” moving the AFSC from being primarily about service to becoming more an advocacy organization. One of the authors, Bayard Rustin (a Quaker and an organizer of the 1963 civil rights march on Washington, DC), was controversially removed from the list of authors in the original 1955 publication because he was a gay man. In 2010 the AFSC board restored his name in the list of authors. See note from the last page of the PDF below:


An addendum on last page of the PDF version of “Speak Truth to Power.”

In September, 2010, the Board of Directors of the American Friends Service Committee approved a minute restoring the name of Bayard Rustin as one of the principal authors of “Speak Truth to Power.”

Following objections to the inclusion of Bayard Rustin’s name in the list of authors of Speak Truth to Power, his name was deleted from the document. The concerns raised were in the context of his arrest and jail time the previous year on a “morals charge.” He was openly gay at a time when the atmosphere regarding homosexuality was oppressive. In the wider world, Bayard had been harassed for his race, his politics, and his pacifism. Bayard had supporters within AFSC and the Quaker community. His “final and considered judgment” to have his name removed for “largely personal” reasons was accepted. Regretfully, Speak Truth to Power was distributed without listing Bayard Rustin as one of the authors, until the AFSC board restored his name to its rightful place.

Bayard’s life included service and commitment to AFSC, to Quakerism, and to the Quaker Testimonies. In 2012, during the 100th anniversary of his birth and the annual meeting of the AFSC Corporation, we acknowledge Bayard’s life as an inspiration for us to speak truth today.

For those wishing to learn more about Bayard Rustin, please go to http://rustin.org

March 2012