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News January 2014

Friends school students meet with USUN

A group of ten students and two faculty members from Delaware Valley Friends School in Paoli, Pa., traveled to New York City on November 19, 2013, to meet with officials at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations (USUN), which is the group responsible for carrying out the United States’s participation in the world body. The students, led by teachers Ken Sinapius and Elizabeth Kriynovich, are planning an educational, service-oriented trip to India during their spring break in April 2014. The UN meeting was a first step in presenting the school’s goals for the project, as well as an opportunity to learn about work being done in the region by other groups, nonprofits, and non-governmental organizations. They met with dignitaries and UN officials, including former Governor of Ohio Ted Strickland, who is awaiting congressional confirmation as delegate to the UN; Dr. S. Rama Rao of the UN World Intellectual Property Association (WIPO); Peggy Kerry, NGO liaison to the USUN; and Pamela Kraft, executive director of the Tribal Link Foundation.

The students are participating in the school’s ABLE (Adventure Based Learning Experiences) program, which tailors educational and service experience for students to build self-esteem, learn teamwork, and develop leadership skills.

Learn more about Delaware Valley Friends School and the ABLE program at Dvfs​.org.

Two Quaker funds announced

Friends Fiduciary Corporation (FFC), which manages over $285 million for over 300 Friends meetings, churches, schools, and organizations across the country, will begin offering two new funds on January 1, 2014.

Quaker Green Fund is a new, balanced, diversified, and fossil-fuel-free fund. New and existing organizational investors may invest in this fund which excludes fossil fuel investments consistent with 350.org’s divestment goals (Carbon Tracker Initiative’s Top 200 Fossil Fuel Companies). The fund adheres to FFC’s Quaker values investing guidelines. Active shareholder advocacy work will include the companies in this fund, as well as those in the existing Consolidated Fund. In addition to being fossil-fuel-free, Quaker Green Fund aims to invest in alternative and sustainable energy producers. Quaker Green Fund, like the existing Consolidated Fund, will include a mix of stocks and bonds and have a semi-annual income distribution. The investment returns, income distribution, and fees will vary from those of the Consolidated Fund.

Quaker Index Fund is the second new offering by FFC. This equity- (stock-) only fund is based on the S&P 500, exclusive of those companies winnowed out by FFC’s Quaker values screens to 367 holdings. This socially responsible Quaker index fund is geared toward larger investor organizations, including Quaker schools, churches, meetings, retirement communities, foundations, colleges, and universities. The minimum investment is $250,000.

For more information, contact FFC at 215–241-7272 or go to Friendsfiduciary​.org.

New songbook from Rise Up Singing creators

After at least 15 years of discussion and work, Annie Patterson and Peter Blood, the creators of the popular Rise Up Singing songbook, have announced that production work is in full swing on a new songbook, Rise Again. It will contain the words and chords for 1,200 songs and is currently scheduled for release in the spring of 2015 (published by Hal Leonard Corporation). The format will be the same as Rise Up Singing, but all the songs are new.

Annie and Peter are members of Mount Toby Meeting in Leverett, Mass. They have traveled widely among Friends leading singalong concerts at hundreds of meetings throughout North America, England, and New Zealand. Many Friends hold monthly singalong groups using Rise Up Singing and the book is also used for daily sings at the Friends General Conference Gathering each summer.

You can support their work by ordering advance copies, making a donation, or volunteering your time to the project at Quakersong​.org.

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