Other global umbrella bodies

As well as FWCC which aims to unite all the world’s Quakers into one body, there are three umbrella bodies originally formed in the USA which seek to serve a smaller set of Quakers – Friends General Conference (FGC), Friends United Meeting (FUM), and Evangelical Friends International (EFI). FGC is the body which most liberal unprogrammed meetings in the USA affiliate to, FUM is the body for programmed mainstream Christian meetings, and EFI draws its membership from particularly ‘hard-line’ evangelical Christian meetings. Both FUM and EFI have members in South America, Africa, and Asia largely as a result of mission work by North American meetings. Quite a number of meetings affiliate simultaneously to both FUM and FGC, and a small number of meetings such as Northwest Yearly Meeting in Oregon affiliate to FUM and EFI. There are also a few yearly meetings in the USA which brand themselves as Conservative – that is to say they try to follow the earliest Friends as best they can exhibiting the silent unprogrammed way of worship together with a strongly Christian basis in faith.

Although the various umbrella bodies from the USA originally formed as a result of splits to do with theology, some of which at the time were highly acrimonious, these days there is again much more of an atmosphere of tolerance and understanding, and most Quakers in the world are happy to consider their brothers and sisters of different beliefs and styles of worship as equally valid as Quakers as themselves.

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