AGM 2017: Notes on our members’ forum

We hope that Friends who were unable to attend the AGM on 20th of May will find the below report from Committee Member Julie Hinman of interest…

Description on QCA website:  An active group aiming to add a Quakerly voice to the animal advocacy movement, Quaker Concern for Animals witnesses to the divine in all creation and works for the protection of animals and the promotion of their rights.

The question of “What Made You Join QCA”?  introduced the discussion. It was confirmed that although people may have been interested in animal issues before joining Friends, the Quaker approach gives us a guide in how we act, being love based and grounded in practical action.

There was usual discussion as to how we could encourage more attendance at AGM. With 150 members, where are all these Quaker animal advocates and what are they doing? Suggestions were made about introducing more variety, alternate AGM and gathering meetings, different location eg  Birmingham or at Vegan Fair or other similar venues which may provide added interest.

QCA covers a wide geographical area and one can sometimes feel isolated in a world where others do not have the same awareness about animal exploitation etc. Meeting up can bring connection and mutual support within the context of Quaker values.

Members are doing so much for animals in various ways. Although some feel they don’t want to brag about it, sharing information about what we are doing, encourages each other and also demonstrates to the Friends organisation what we can all do for animals, however little, in our daily lives. Members were invited to send in items for the newsletter.

It was stated that we ourselves can be an active testimony to compassion for animals solely in the way we lead our lives.

Specific Suggestions

  1. One member sent an email  suggesting:

a). Comments be sent to the Book of Discipline Revision Preparation Group concerning the addition of more quotes on animal issues in Faith and Practice  (if members wish to do this, there is a survey on the Reading Faith and Practice section on Friends website.)

  1. Challenge meetings by mention of animals in MfW and Afterwards.

It was offered that we all as QCA members need to produce more material to make a wider pool for inclusion in Faith and Practice  Whether there be a separate animals section or not, was also discussed.

  1. Could we add reference to animal concerns to be added on the yellow card   “What Do Quakers Say”?

The discussion could have gone on, but by the end, there was a feeling from some people that more cohesiveness in QCA would facilitate a voice for animals within Society of Friends. However, QCA can work for everyone in whatever way they wish.  It may be that some members prefer not to engage with QCA as such, but to continue their good work for animals as individuals, and give support with subscriptions.

Let us offer prayers and thanks to each other in the work each of us does for animals, in whatever way is appropriate to our situation.

Julie Hinman

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