SA Quaker News — September 2023

The latest edition of the SA Quaker News is available on the Publications page, or it can be downloaded here:

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Namibia Quaker Community Statement on Same-Sex Marriages

Media statement

No embargo 

Enquiries: email

We, the Namibian Quaker Community, feel it is important to raise our stance on the rights of the LGBT+ community, in the wake of recent Supreme Court decisions, and statements in Parliament and on social media.

The Quakers, also known as the Society of Friends, is a spiritual group rooted in Christianity. We are devoted to the principles of peace and justice. 

Some of our concerns are:

  • As a religious society we support the human rights and inherent dignity of everyone, including LGBT+ people, as it is our belief that there is ‘that of God in everyone’. We believe this is also in line with the principles of Ubuntu.
  • The Quakers have often viewed the Bible as a document to be interpreted anew by each generation bearing in mind its deeper meaning and the social context in which it was written and the different translations available. We acknowledge that respect for heterosexual marriage is important and do not wish to devalue marriages between men and women. We merely would invite faith leaders to consider a more open-minded interpretation of the Christian Scriptures than is often quoted in judgment against those in same-sex relationships.
  • In any secular state, a decision by government to recognize civil marriages does not compel any religious institution to bless same sex marriages among its members, and we accept that each church and faith community will have to make its own decisions in this regard, should same-sex marriage ever be legalized in Namibia.
  • We are saddened by the hate speech that has been uttered at some recent public gatherings and protests in Namibia, on social media, and in Parliament, and would urge our leaders to reconsider these statements. 
  • The language that has been used by some politicians and public figures, for example comparing human homosexual relations to those of animals, or falsely accusing LGBT+ Namibians of spreading HIV or ‘grooming’ children, is especially concerning to us.
  • We do not support the criminalizing of homosexual behavior, and we do not agree with so-called ‘conversion therapy’, which has been shown to be harmful.

Going forward, we acknowledge that communities of faith will have difficult discussions on same sex relationships. Such discussions are a process, similar to those around mixed-race relationships in Namibia’s not too distant past. Hence, these discussions should be conducted with regard for the dignity and safety of everyone, especially of LGBT+ people, and while listening to LGBT+ people within our congregations, families and communities with the intention to genuinely understand and seek ways forward together.

Justin Ellis, Clerk of the Namibia Quaker Community, 10 August 2023

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Quakers urge government to implement a universal basic income or face ‘dire consequences’

This article by the YM Co-Clerks, Gregory Mthembu-Salter and Benonia Nyakuwanikwa, was published in the Daily Maverick at the following link:

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SA Quaker News, April 2023, is out

Download the latest edition of SAQN (Issue 252) from the Publications page.

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Discussion documents on a Universal Basic Income Grant

Below are two PDF files on UBIG. They can be viewed either by scrolling in the block where you see the text, or they can be downloaded by clicking the “Download” button beneath each. If you struggle to access them, please contact Heath and she will email you the PDF files directly.

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SA Quaker News, November 2022, now available

The latest SA Quaker News, Number 251, published in October 2022 is now available from the link below.

SA Quaker News — November 2022

The issue starts with a focus on World Quaker Day 2022 celebrations at the Meetings in SAYM.

The contents are as follows:

Editorial — by the new editor, Bronwen Ellis

Bulawayo celebrations — Sipho Nsimbi
Eastern Cape Quakers — John Blair
Quaker Community of the Western Cape — Photos by Bronwen Ellis and Graham Thomas
Namibia and Blue Idol meeting — Helen Vale and Enid Ellis

Creating a stairway to Heaven – Jennifer Bowler
The Circle of Life – Doreen Bekker Natural money – Rory Short
The Anonymity of Money – Rory Short

The FAU in South Africa, Part 3 — Anthony Barlow

Leafline is Life Line — Bronwen Ellis

Countdown — Alan Weisman — by Helen Holleman, Eastern Cape Quakers
The Battle for God — Karen Armstrong — by Wouter Holleman, Eastern Cape Quakers
How the World really works — Vaclav Smil — by George Ellis, Quaker Community of the Western Cape

Afterword – Closing the Gap — Wouter Holleman

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SA Quaker News, September 2022, now available

The latest SA Quaker News, Number 250, published in September 2022 is now available from the link below.

SA Quaker News — September 2022

The issue has a large focus on Ubuntu, the theme for the SAYM Yearly Meeting coming up in January 2023, including photographs from Susan Winters’ 30-years of capturing images of a Southern African phenomenon for which she did not previously have a word.

The contents are as follows:

Southern Africa’s Gift to the World — Gregory Mthembu-Salter

Testimony: Sheldon Weeks


Caring for Creation — Amanda Gibberd

Blessed be the Fruit — Bronwen Ellis

Poverty in Zimbabwe — Phillemon Chirimambowa

Confession of a reluctant Quaker — Michael Sperger 


River Rescue, Part 2 — Helen Holleman

Young Friends AVP workshop — Kopane Moteane & Ruvimbo Kadungura

The FAU in South Africa, Part 2 — Anthony Barlow

Easter Egg hunt — Cecilia Nkesi & Khosi Sekoere

The Yvonne Pickering Kindergarten — Enid Ellis


Flock to Marion Island — Justine Limpitlaw

More images of Ubuntu — Susan Winters

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Yearly Meeting 2023

The upcoming YM 2023 of the Southern Africa Yearly Meeting will be taking place from 3-8 January 2023 at Good Shepherd Retreat Centre in Hartbeespoort. Please check the Events page for details and to download registration forms.

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SAQN 249 — May 2022 now available

Go the the Publications page to read or download the latest edition of SA Quaker News.

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Minutes from the March 2022 Representative Meeting

The Minutes are accessible via the SAYM page or by clicking here. The document is behind the password. Please contact your Clerk for the password.

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