Below is the complete text of two epistles issued by East Africa Yearly Meeting — North.
I note that the 2007 Epistle comments on the statements at the FUM General Board session in Kenya, as well as responding to some reaction to them from a Yearly Meeting in North America.
From this 2007 Epistle, it appears to me that it would be a mistake to consider this matter in any way “resolved.”
Update: Note the reply from an FUM staffer included after the Epistles.
Readers may also want to look over the earlier post, “Wrestling With a Roomful of Elephants,” and the response to it from Patrick Nugent.
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East Africa Yearly Meeting – North (Quakers)
30th August 2006
To Friends Everywhere
Receive gracious greetings from East Africa Yearly Meeting of Friends North (Quakers)
This Yearly Meeting converged at A.C. Butonge Secondary School, at the slopes of Mt. Elgon in Sirisia/Chwele approximately 25 km north west of Bungoma town, Bungoma District, Western Kenya to begin its business on 16th August 2006.
A jovial congregation of 454 delegates sparked off at 3:45 M with opening remarks from the presiding clerk that were encouraging and that formed the basis of our way forward during this gathering of the 19th Annual General Conference.
Part from statutory business of the Conference, time was allowed for presentations and discussions on some areas of importance to the church and our day-to-day life style, including stress management, poverty eradication and the introduction of Gay Culture among others.
The latter “Gay” was condemned wholesomely since it does not come to us as an error made by God. God created man and out of him. He made a woman for man and it was good and without error.
Gay is contrary to the scriptures and nature. Even the tiniest crawling creatures observe strictly God’s command and formation of nature. Mark 10: 7-9.
This yearly Meeting shall not team up with any group that proclaims this immoral conduct.
Our meeting enjoyed interludes and was flanked by representatives from Uganda Yearly Meeting and FWCC Africa Section.
Prayers in oneness and with a lot of religiosity dictated by high morals shall be the shield of our defence from misinterpretation of the Holy Scriptures.
The conference theme derived from II Chr. 7:14 and explored by E.V. Opicha had high inspiration to be passed on.
James Mugalavai, general secretary
Yours in Christ’s Service
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Note: The Biblical texts cited above are as follows:
Mark 10: 7-9: “7 ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, 8 and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one. 9 Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”
II Chronicles 7:14: If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
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East Africa Yearly Meeting of Friends – North (Quakers)
(Religious Society of Friends)
Telephone Kitale 0721322384 / 0735309318
P.O. Box 544
To friends everywhere,
We greet you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
This message comes from East Africa Yearly Meeting of friends North (Quakers) Conference held from 22nd to 26th August 2007 at Friends secondary school Sipala 5 km north of Webuye town, Western Kenya whose inhabitants are mixed farmers in a hot and wet climate.
Our 20th Annual conference attended by 585 registered delegates drawn from all parts of the Yearly Meeting sparked off at 3:55 pm nourished by the Clerk John Walukhu through dedicated Christian expectations in his opening remarks.
Being a meeting for worship for Business, our these, derived from Exodus 14:15, “Tell the Israelites to go ahead . . .” explored by Area Superintendent Pastor Japheth Pepela stimulated spiritual harvest among delegates. Along with the stated motivation were other teachings through topics like, Discipleship, teamwork, Church growth, Civic education on public funds, alternatives to Violence and Rural Service Programme – all led by integrated local facilitators.
Business as one of the components was covere through approval of Financial report and administrative formalities. Various dignitaries from many parts of Kenya joined us at this conference. Other friends from all over the World came to us through epistles meant to be of high morals to emulate. Thanks a lot to Meetings that adhere to morals of great value before God.
This yearly Meeting got absolutely disgusted with some FUM member yearly Meetings; (Canada, Baltimore, New England, North Pacific and New York) if not some monthly Meetings within the yearly Meetings, that write to us pages and pages of Epistles containing no spiritual information to pass on to our members BUT ONLY their immoral sexual mannerisms of Gay and Lesbianism.
One example is, an epistle from Canada Yearly Meeting that quotes a Friend from Uganda yearly Meeting to have read Romans 1:8-32 during FUM General Board Meeting held in Feb. 2007 as having offended them. Why should they be offended?
That is what the Bible says. That behaviour is unnatural; unheard of even in wild life and blasfamous [sic].
“I will build my church . . . . . . . . . . .Matthew 16:18
In the 19th century we respected and honoured whites (Europeans / Americans) for opening up the word of God and hence light to Africa. The same whites in the 21st century are now deviating us from the very word of God into darkness toward hell.
The second last paragraph in the same epistle from Canada Yearly Meeting announces a decision to only send funds to FUM for 2008 on designated and special projects rather than the general fund. Are they bargaining for Evil?
Even with this affluential influence they want to impose on God fearing people, as indicated in the proceeding paragraph, let them be guided that further dialogue about Biblical interpretation is NOT warranted on EVIL matters as such.
I earnestly ask God fearing yearly meetings to repeatedly preach the Gospel to our lost friends.
God bless and lead us the divine way.
Yours at struggle,
James I. Mugalaval
E.A.Y.M.F. North Y.M.
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Here is the Biblical passage referred to above:
Romans 1:8-32: First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. 1:9 God, whom I serve with my whole heart in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you 1:10 in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you.
1:11 I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong– 1:12 that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. 1:13 I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles.
1:14 I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. 1:15 That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are at Rome. 1:16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 1:17 For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”
1:18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 1:20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. 1:21
For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 1:22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 1:23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.
1:24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 1:25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator–who is forever praised. Amen.
1:26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 1:27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. 1:28 Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.
1:29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 1:30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 1:31
they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless.
1:32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.
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A Reponse & Update:
Writing from Kenya, FUM staffer Eden Grace says:
<< Dear Chuck,
Just so you have an accurate record, in response to your question “what has the FUM board done in response to these effusions, if anything? Will the reps from the various targeted YMs have anything to say? And is silence an appropriate response?”
At its very next meeting after the incident in Kakamega, the FUM General Board approved the following minute, which was sent to all its member YMs:
Allegations the Friends United Meeting (FUM) is hostile to homosexuals and their allies, and that FUM condones physical or emotional violnece against homosexuals and their allies, have been circulated among /Friends and on the internet.
The General Board of FUM/Richmond, in session this 13th day of 10th month, 2007, is clear that God loves all persons, and that hostility toward rhinocort any person is not consistent with the Christian Gospel. In particular, this GB condemns the threat of physical or emotional violence against any person.
If you are going to circulate negative information about other Friends, please at least make sure you have complete information.
Comment: Credit where it is due: thanks to the General Board for at least by implication rejecting some of the EAYM-N epistles’ statements. I can’t help but note, however, that the homophobic policies of FUM remain in place.