Message from the Pastoral Care and Eldership Team (PaCET) for Sunday Meeting 2nd April 2023
Dear Friends, “In Africa there is a concept known as ‘ubuntu’ – the profound sense that we are human only through the humanity of others; that if we are to … Message from the Pastoral Care and Eldership Team (PaCET) for Sunday Meeting 2nd April 2023
“In Africa there is a concept known as ‘ubuntu’ – the profound sense that we are human only through the humanity of others; that if we are to accomplish anything in this world it will in equal measure be due to the work and achievement of others.” Nelson Mandela
I have recently returned from a visit to friends in Kenya. Throughout my travels I carried a sense of connectedness to many individuals and various communities: Friends in Lewes, the Green Olive Foundation in Kenya, the Green Olive Trust in the UK, and indeed the wider world family of Friends. I mused on the African concept of Ubuntu – “I am because we are, your pain is my pain, my wealth is your wealth and your salvation is my salvation” and met people who are clearly practising ubuntu in their own lives. For example the mother of one of the university students we are currently supporting who had trained as a social worker but had never managed to get work in her professional field who provided generous help and advice to other women in her local community, or the group of young jobless people who came together at the beginning of Covid to form an organisation they called “Ubuntu”, they raised modest funds from contacts overseas to provide people with masks and washing stations (water and soap) in all the local village markets, and even managed to get a local radio slot in order to spread the word on how to practice good hygiene and avoid the spread of disease.
Then last Saturday I was fortunate enough to be at Regional Meeting at Brighton Meeting House. The speaker was Tim Gee, general secretary of Friends World Committee for Consultation. He told us that the theme for World Quaker Day on 1st October 2023, and for the World Plenary Conference due to be held in 2024 in person in Johannesburg, South Africa and on line, will be
“Living the spirit of Ubuntu: Responding with hope to God’s call to cherish creation – and one another”
I hope we in Lewes meeting will be able to connect with others for these events.
On behalf of the Pastoral Care and Eldership Team (David Hitchin, Chris Lawson, Tim Pitt-Payne, Theresa Samms, Nancy Wall)