Does God Need Friends? What For?

This site is a place where Friends (and others) may disagree agreeably.

It does not speak for any Meeting within The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers.) Therefore it can go beyond what we've agreed on between ourselves; we hope people can talk freely here about the world, our place in it, what good we might be for ourselves and others.

What you see here will include some material from our Faith and Practice, some by regulars at our two local Meetings. Comments may be from any sincere well-meaning person.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

American Friends Service Committee

The American Friends Service Committee (commonly called AFSC) is not directly part of any Quaker religious body, but was founded by Quakers and continues to do humanitarian work in accord with essential Quaker principles.

It began in World War I as an effort to help young conscientious objectors find ways to serve without joining the military or taking lives.  They drove ambulances, ministered to the wounded, and stayed on in Europe after the armistice to rebuild war-ravaged communities
Following that modest beginning, AFSC has responded in numerous ways to human suffering such as:
  • Feeding thousands of children in Germany and Austria after World War I,
  • Helping distressed Appalachian mining communities find alternative means to make a living in the 1930s,
  • Negotiating with the Gestapo in Germany to aid Jewish refugees,
  • After World War II, sending aid teams to India, China, and Japan,
  • Giving aid to civilians on both sides of the Vietnam War and providing draft counseling to thousands of young men,
  • Sponsoring conferences for young diplomats in emerging African democracies,
  • Establishing economic development programs in Asia, Africa, and Latin America from the 1970s to the present,
  • Providing extensive support to the modern U.S. civil rights movement and public school desegregation,
  • Working with numerous communities such as Native Americans, immigrants, migrant workers, prisoners, and low-income families on education and justice issues,
  • Building peaceful communities all over the world.
In 1947, along with British Quakers, the American Friends Service Committee received the Nobel Peace Prize which recognized our work “…from the nameless to the nameless….”

This information is from their website at

Their work in San Diego is focused on the San Diego U.S.-Mexico Border Program
 which since its founding in 1977 (then led by Roberto Martinez) has diligently been documenting and working here to mitigate the impact of unjust public policies on migrants and border communities.

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