Quaker outreach is not proselytising, but letting people know who we are and what we believe in. FHM promotes outreach in the Russian-speaking world through publications, websites and social media.
Our Russian language website, www.quakers.ru/, hosts an e-book library of texts we have translated into Russian. A blog section carries a growing collection of short text pieces about Quakers. We also translate material for the Russian version of Wikipedia, which now has more than 100 articles about Quakers, 34 of them translated by FHM. More than 30 Friends Journal videos on YouTube have been translated into Russian.
Texts published in 2018
- Reflections from a Long Marriage, 2006 Swarthmore Lecture, by Roger Sawtell, Susan Sawtell, e-book.
- Friends for 300 Years by Howard Brinton, e-book.
- Walking with Wolf by Kay Chornook and Wolf Guindon, e-book.
- Truth of the Heart by Rex Ambler, e-book and paper. (Translation funded by donations in memory of Olga Dolgina; paper publication funded by JRCT).
- The Retreat by Samuel Tuke, e-book and paper (funded by The Retreat Benevolent Fund).
- Meditation of Friends, a brochure by Sergei Grushko and Natasha Zhuravenkova, to accompany the “Meditation of Friends” project (see below).
- A Light that is Shining by Harvey Gillman was an existing book but stocks had run out, and The Amazing Fact of Quaker Worship by George Gorman was an e-book. An Orthodox priest who attends Meeting for Worship has funded print runs of each of them as he thinks they should be available.
Work in progress:
- Quakers in Russia by Richenda Scott, funded by the Elizabeth Holmgard Bequest. The translation is complete, and it is currently being edited.
- Fox’s Journal, in part (one-fifth), e-book. Ready for editing and publication in 2019.
- Fruits of Solitude by William Penn, funded by the Bogert Memorial Fund.
We manage a group in Facebook and there is also a group in the Russian social network VKontakte. Both groups provide a forum for people to find out about Quakers and engage in discussion about topics of interest.
The most recent statistics for participation in the Russian Facebook group are 291, up from 231 last year, and in the VKontakte group 214, up from 194 last year.
The Meditation of Friends project
For several years, an experimental outreach project has been running in Moscow called “Meditation of Friends”. It introduces people to spiritual meditation using materials in accordance with Quaker values and practice. It is not advertised or run as a religious or Quaker group, but enquirers ask about Quakers if they are interested. Visitors to sessions report a deep feeling of connectedness among the participants. The project has a website here. We are grateful to EMES (European and Middle Eastern section of FWCC, www.fwccemes.org) for support towards the running costs of this project.