In May, FWCC Europe and Middle East Section (EMES) held its annual meeting. Originally scheduled for Paris, France, the meeting was moved entirely online due to COVID-19 restrictions. Seventy people participated in the meetings for worship for business. Clerks worked together from Belgium, the Netherlands, and Britain. The main speakers and facilitators all concentrated on issues related to sustainability and climate change. Lindsey Fielder Cook, from Quaker United Nations Office in Geneva, reminded participants that they can be compassionate and courageous while living sustainably. Maud Grainger, from Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre, led a guided meditation and invited participants to create art for the Living Earth Project. Faith Biddle, from FWCC World Office, presented ongoing work on sustainability and highlighted a new worldwide network of young Friends working together on climate change, peace, and justice.
EMES created a resource document that provides guidance for clerks on holding online meetings for worship for business, and participated in a panel discussion hosted by FWCC Section of the Americas about clerking business sessions online.
EMES is experienced in connecting with and supporting Friends and meetings geographically isolated across the section. During the coronavirus period EMES has used its Digital Equality Fund to support Quakers in the section to overcome technological isolation.
Fond farewells were said to Marisa Johnson, former executive secretary; and Julia Ryberg, former ministry and outreach coordinator.