Quakers in Russia have continued to meet in March/April, under the Quarantine regulations, by going online.
Moscow Monthly Meeting (the main weekend Meeting for Worship, usually held on a Saturday) are now meeting by Skype. They also met like this with Michael Eccles who planned to visit Moscow on behalf of EMES (FWCC Europe and Middle East section), but who was prevented because of the border closure.
The second worship group, who meet twice a month on Wednesdays, are meeting online via Zoom. They have started a wider Meeting for Worship every second Sunday, which can be joined by participants from the Quaker groups in Facebook and vKontakte. Going online has even widened the number of participants. People from faraway regions – Barnaul and Samara – as well as France, the USA, etc., are able to join in.
The “Meditation of Friends” group (which is modelled on Experiment with Light) hold online meditative meetings on Zoom every two weeks. Between the meetings they communicate in their Whatsapp group.
News of the Friends House Moscow office
Sergei and Natasha are both working from home. Sergei communicates on Zoom, Skype and Facebook Messenger with Friends who wish to participate in online activities and need technical support.
Once a week Sergei visits the office, mainly to water the plants. At the moment he is editing and formatting Quaker books. Currently he is working on No Extraordinary Power by Helen Steven.
Sergei and his family have produced a charming short music video about life in the lockdown. You can watch it here.
Natasha participated in the Planning Committee of the Annual Conference of QUIP (Quakers Uniting in Publications). She co-clerked the QUIP meeting for business on Zoom, on Saturday 25 April. She keeps in contact with project coordinators at the Refugee Centre and Big Change about their news, quarantine adjustments, photos, reports, applications, etc. She has also heard from the coordinator in Dzerzhinsk where we have funded many projects.
Natasha has just completed editing The Presence in the Midst by Peter Eccles. She says it was the most challenging and interesting editing work she has ever done, because it included getting consultations from the scientists (who just praised the book!).