Friends International Center in Ramallah (FICR)|
Kathy Bergen in garden of Ramallah Friends Meetinghouse|
To read bio of Kathy Bergen [ Click Here ]
As a result of a Quaker consultation including Ramallah Friends, the Steering Committee, Friends from Europe and other Friends living in the area, the Friends International Center in Ramallah (FICR) was launched as a ministry of the Ramallah Friends Meeting in partnership with Philadelphia and Baltimore Yearly Meetings in March, 2005. This has now come to involve concerned Friends and others from around the world.
Our Founding Vision Is…
To unite in one place :
a space for sacred worship after the manner of Friends to which all are welcome;
a safe and supportive environment in which residents in Ramallah can come together to work towards a better future in an atmosphere of faith and hope;
a vehicle through which Friends and other people of good will can connect with and provide support to those in the region who are striving to build a future of peace and justice.
To these ends, the Center offers a ministry of hospitality; creates an atmosphere of care and respect in which positive, civic, and civil discourse can be pursued; and is a witness to hope and reconciliation in a region where despair and violence have too often reigned. In all this we seek to express the deepest values and highest aspirations of the Quaker faith.
The Quaker Consultation Identified Three Areas for FICR Work To…
Lift up and nurture a Quaker presence in Ramallah;
Find ways to enrich and support the local community;
Hold up and further peace and justice issues in the community.
Because the Center is supported as a ministry of the Ramallah Friends Meeting, all FICR work and programs are carried out within the framework of Quaker theology, values, and principles.
Who Oversees the Work of the Friends Center?
After the Steering Committee raised the funds for the restoration of the Ramallah Friends Meetinghouse, Annex, and grounds, they began to raise funds in order to bring a full-time staffperson to live in the Annex and work closely with Jean Zaru, the Presiding Clerk of the Ramallah Friends Meeting, and other members of the Meeting to develop the work of the Friends International Center in Ramallah.
Members of the Steering Committee who oversee the work are:
- James Fine – Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, Clerk of Steering Committee
- Jean Zaru – Presiding Clerk of Ramallah Friends Meeting
- Tony Bing – Southeast Mountain Yearly Meeting and Association
- Jane Carter – North Carolina Yearly Meeting (FUM)
- Max L. Carter – North Carolina Yearly Meeting (FUM)
- Deborah Fine – Philadelphia Yearly Meeting
- Thom Jeavons – Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, Recording Clerk of Steering Committee
- China Jessup – Baltimore Yearly Meeting
- Marisa Johnson – Executive Secretary, Friends World Committee for Consultation –
Europe & Middle East Section (FWCC-EMES), Observer
- Arlene Kelly – Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, Treasurer of Steering Committee
- John P. Salzberg – Baltimore Yearly Meeting
- Marla Schrader – Central Atlantic Conference, United Church of Christ
- Program Coordinator in Ramallah: Kathy Bergen