Meet the Eva Koch Scholars

 The 2021 Eva Koch Scholars share their topic and why it’s important to Quakers today.

Meet the Eva Koch Scholars Woodbrooke
Photos (from left to right) of Alfred, Jasmine, Rosemary & Till.

Alfred Wasike

What are you exploring in your Eva Koch scholarship?

I am exploring ways of how the Friends Church can promote the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals to help raise giving in the Church in Africa. I am very grateful to the Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre for this God sent opportunity.

What made you want to pick this area?

I was born in the Quaker Church in Kampala, Uganda and my growing up experience in Africa has showed that many leaders of the African Friends Church still wait for “donor support” from Europe [UK] & North America to support the activities. They do not encourage Quakers in the Local Meetings to raise money for their activities.

What are you most looking forward too?

I am most looking forward to speaking to as wide a spectrum of African Friends Church leaders & Members in my research with a view that the interviews will raise awareness to promote giving in the Church. I am also praying that my EKS research findings can be disseminated as widely as possible to help raise awareness among our Friends in Africa & beyond.

You can listen to Alfred talking about his research on 20 January 2022.

Jasmine Piercy

What are you exploring in your Eva Koch scholarship?

I am exploring the theme, ‘Our Friends and Other Animals’: how we might extend our Quaker testimony to all species.

What made you want to pick this area?

The environmental emergency, with its impact on animals, together with the far reaching impact of animal agriculture, has prompted me to grapple with this challenging issue.

What are you most looking forward too?

I am hoping to engage Friends in considering our relationship with animals from a variety of angles including companionship and commodification. I’m excited to be using the online museum I’ve created, as an interactive tool for my research: www.mazingstuff.org

You can listen to Jasmine talking about her research on 27 January 2022.

Rosemary Field

What are you exploring in your Eva Koch scholarship?

I’m exploring what Centering Prayer, a method for prayerful meditation, has to offer Friends as personal spiritual practice.

What made you want to pick this area?

I have explored various meditation techniques in the past but found that none of them had the ‘heart’ I was looking for, and I could not connect any with my Quaker faith and its rootedness in Christianity. Then I discovered Centering Prayer and have practised it for nearly four years now.  I wanted to find out whether other Quakers were practising the method and finding it helpful, and, if so, whether it would be good to make it more widely known among Friends.

What are you most looking forward too?

Opportunity to explore the topic through reading and conversations with Friends. And I hope that we can foster a sense of community amongst our small zoom group of Eva Koch scholars and tutors.

You can listen to Rosemary talking about her research on 20 January 2022.

Till Geiger

What are you exploring in your Eva Koch scholarship?

Might the past witness of Friends help us respond as Quakers today to an existential threat to humanity and the planet.

What made you want to pick this area?

The chance discovery of the insights of Friends about the emerging cold war led me on a journey of discovery of now largely forgotten Quaker witness against nuclear weapons and for world peace.

What are you most looking forward too?

Sharing the fruits of my research with the wider community of Friends.

You can listen to Till talking about his research on 27 January 2022.

Biographies

Alfred Wasike is an award-winning professional Journalist in Africa. He is the General Secretary of the Friends Church Uganda Yearly Meeting, the FWCC Africa Publicity Chairperson, a Member of the FUM-Africa Board, and Communication Director at the FTC Kaimosi Kenya where he is studying for a Bachelor’s degree in Theology. He went to schools in Uganda including the prestigious Uganda Management Institute in Kampala. He won a UNESCO scholarship to study Journalism/International Relations/Russian language at Varonezh State University (1985) in Russia (then Soviet Union). He is a Senior Member of Professional Media Organisations in Africa.

Alfred was born in a Quaker home in Kampala, the capital city of Uganda on January 7, 1965. His late parents worked in Uganda and Kenya, and were senior Quaker leaders.


Jasmine Piercy
has been a Friend for over 25 years, serving as an elder, trustee and Meeting House warden. She lived at the Bamford Quaker Community until moving to Slovenia seven years ago, where she shares her home with several cats, ladybirds and other creature friends.

She has had a strong affinity with animals since childhood, was a keen practical conservationist through her twenties and later went on to organise and facilitate sustainability events for Quaker Voluntary Action and the Living Witness Project. But it is only relatively recently that she got her significant lightbulb moment when it dawned on her how critical our human attitudes and actions are in determining the survival and well-being of so many other species.

With a background in teaching, retreat facilitation and creative arts, she aims to weave these strands into her research, and with the outcomes of her enquiry, be more ready to support Friends in this evolving ministry.

Rosemary Field see herself as being Quaker all her adult life, coming into membership in the 1990s. The Equipping for Ministry course 2015-17 provided a great opportunity to learn and experience more about the breadth and depth of the Quaker way. It was through EFM that I discovered a meditation method known as Centering Prayer and quickly realised that this would lie at the heart of my Quaker faith and its rootedness in Christianity.

Till Geiger is a member of Disley Meeting (East Cheshire Area Meeting) and he currently and rather scarily serves as an Elder. For the last ten years, he has helped to organise the ECAM Young Quakers Camp at Yealand and currently serves as AM representative on Northern Friends Peace Board. He has served on BYM Library Committee and is currently one of the co-clerks of the QPSW Peace Education, Campaigning and Networking Sub-Committee. Before early retiring, he taught international history of the cold war at the University of Manchester.

 

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