June 13, 2023,
Chester Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends,
To Friends of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting
In this time of pandemic, Chester Friends Meeting has held blended worship, and in these years we have been blessed with visitors. One, Karl Malchut from Evanston, IL, has become a regular attender. He has been zoom visiting with concerns for transgender and gender minority youth and has actively been supporting a faith community, the Talented Youth Community Fellowship of Uganda.
As that community has been facing increasingly punitive threats due to persecution unto death from the highest levels of government, Karl was moved to bring a minute to the meeting. It was shared by us broadly to our meeting community, and on Sunday, June 11, we heard it and united. We committed to sharing it widely, not knowing what response would be but knowing that out of love we had to do something.
Minute of Love for the Ugandan LGBTQAI Community
Given continued persecution, and the recent formalizing of such to the point of execution by the Ugandan government, as Friends we would like to affirm our love for members of the Ugandan LGBTQAI Community whose lives speak boldly to us. As individuals, support them as you may feel led. May they feel our abounding love as we hold their witness in the light.
As Friends consider how we can help this witness be known and felt, we hold in additional prayer an elder, Maama Annet, a transgender activist who is the pastor of Talented Youth Community Fellowship of Uganda, an LGBTQAI Ministry in Uganda. Friend Annet was taken into custody on June 12. We have also learned that the Methodist ministry on the ground is connecting to the situation, but have no updates as yet.
We have experienced the blessings and the challenges of this new method of community – outside original boundaries of geography – and it has given us more to be aware of – and the need to speak up, to learn what more we may be called to.
We invite Friends to unite with this concern and lift up the Talented Youth Community Fellowship of Uganda as they face draconian persecution simply for living their lives.
In solidarity and friendship, Friends of Chester Monthly Meeting