Tenth Month is shaping up to be quite an exciting month. I will learn if I am offered my first job as a librarian, participate in my first 24 hour read-a-thon, and participate in the 40 Days of Prayer. These are all exciting events and moments in my life, but at this precise moment I am most excited about the 40 Days of Prayer for the Future of Friends which begins tomorrow.
Our hope for this 40 Days of Prayer for the Future of Friends is that God will, indeed, use this time to gather us and reshape us. As our current FUM Triennial theme declares, we are: A Great People to Be Gathered — in Christ, in Community, for Mission. May we go even deeper in and further on in this season of intentional prayer and listening to Christ together.
As we continue to move faithfully into the 21st century, we are more clearly envisioning FUM as a global association of orthodox Christian Quakers being gathered by Christ into a life of deep and transforming spiritual intimacy, beloved community, and faithful witness and ministry. We are:
• Gathered in Christ — As individual members and as a whole community, we seek to be transformed by the real presence of the risen Christ in our gatherings for worship and through the disciplined nurture of our communion with God. Through our intentional and faithful listening to Christ, we experience his leadership and the power that transforms us into God’s image and enables us to do God’s will. As a great people being gathered, FUM commits to know, love, and obey the One who speaks to our condition.
• Gathered in Community — In a world often marked by division, violence, and injustice, FUM seeks to make visible an alternative — the beloved community of Christ where love, forgiveness, truth, and compassion are nurtured and practiced. Through our diverse local meetings/churches, yearly meetings, and wider association, we partner together in ways that demonstrate the reconciling power of Christ and unite us in a common purpose. As a great people being gathered, FUM strives to live out Jesus’ prayer for his followers “…that they may be one as we are one” (John 17:11).
• Gathered for Mission — As one expression of the body of Christ, we are called to continue Jesus’ ministry here on earth. As a community of ministers, we partner together across the world to heal, reconcile, work for justice and peace, evangelize and disciple, care for the earth, and gather people into fellowships where “Jesus Christ is known, loved, and obeyed as Teacher and Lord.” By equipping and resourcing individuals and groups, FUM seeks to faithfully respond to Jesus’ invitation and command to “go into all the world” in his name (Mark 16:15).
From 40 Days of Prayer for the Future of Friends: Introduction by Colin Saxton