World Quaker Day – 1 October 2023 – will be an opportunity to learn, reflect and act, as we prepare to come together as a global family of Friends at next year’s World Plenary Meeting in South Africa and online, themed Living the Spirit of Ubuntu: Responding with Hope to God’s Call to Cherish Creation and One Another.
The word ubuntu emphasises shared humanity, deep connection, and care for creation and one another. It is sometimes translated as ‘I am because you are’ or ‘we are because you are’. It refers to the deeply held belief, morality and custom that every person is worthy of being recognised, respected and heard, and that we as human beings are all interdependent. It is centrally important to the faith and practice of Quakers in Southern Africa.
Show the new video about ubuntu in your Quaker Meeting or Friends Church.
Ubuntu is not just a word; it is a way of living. It resonates strongly with Quaker values of simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality and peace and the Biblical emphasis on loving God, cherishing creation, and treating others as we would wish to be treated.
Consider the below queries, through personal contemplation or together with others:
- How would you express the concept of ubuntu in the language or culture you are most familiar with?
- What would the effects be if our global Quaker community were to follow the precepts of ubuntu more closely, and how can we go about this?
- How can churches and communities work for changes in the governments, economic and political structures to embrace the principle of ubuntu?
- As the climate crisis accelerates, what could the application of the principles and practices of ubuntu mean for us?
- From where does hope come?
Send your reflections to [email protected]
Quaker bodies all around the world send nominees to the World Plenary Meeting. Doing this in a way in which participation is inclusive means subsidising nominees from the Global South by around 90%, with a further fund set aside for addressing the ‘digital divide’ between Friends in richer and less rich countries.
Could you or your Quaker group act on the spirit of ubuntu by sending a greeting and a donation for the World Plenary Meeting, to support the event to take place fairly? Send your greeting (50 words max) to [email protected] and we’ll reply with some ways you can donate.
For a list of World Quaker Day events that can be joined online, click here.