Beadenkopf at World Quaker Conference
Published 11:06 pm Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Brenda Walker Beadenkopf of Edwardsburg/Niles will be traveling in less than two weeks to Kenya for about a month, as a delegate and workshop leader to a Quaker World Conference at Kabarak University near Nakuru, in the northwest.
The Friends (official name for Quakers) World Committee for Consultation (FWCC) is sponsoring a Conference of Quaker delegations from all over the world to meet from July 17-25.
She is to sing in the World Choir, stay with Kenyan families, take pre-and post-conference tours and go on a one-day safari mid-week.
Quaker Yearly Meetings all over the world are sending 1,500 delegates to this conference, which is a “family reunion” of all types of Quakers. That is why it is called the “World Conference.”
Beadenkopf is going as a delegate from Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, but Indiana Yearly Meeting is strongly supporting her as well. An unusual Quaker, she is a member of both Yearly Meetings, as she belongs to both Penn Friends Community Church in Cassopolis and Concord Friends Meeting near Philadelphia.
Concord Meeting is where Beadenkopf spent her childhood and teen years, raised in the “unprogrammed” Quaker tradition in the silent meetings with no minister, waiting on the spirit of God to speak through the people in attendance. Penn is in the “programmed” tradition, which employs a minister and offers a “blended” service which includes a traditional hymn with its contemporary service.
Because she is writing a biography about her father, Quaker activist and expert in nonviolence Charlie Walker, who worked in the civil rights movement with Dr. Martin Luther King and others, Beadenkopf has received grant monies for research which have provided travel fairly often to Philadelphia. This blessing has enabled her to be active at both Penn and at Concord.
Additionally, Beadenkopf is a member of the Underground Railroad Society of Cass County, the Minority Coalition of Cass County and the Niles NAACP.
In the past few years, she has been speaking and giving workshops in southwest Michigan at local churches, Black History events, diversity luncheons and the Niles NAACP on the subject of “Charlie Walker and the Spiritual Basis of the Civil Rights Movement.”
Additionally, she has held this workshop at several Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Summer Sessions, Friends General Conference in Iowa and will be conducting it again at this FWCC Conference, teaching Friends all over the world how American Quakers worked to help keep the American Civil Rights Movement nonviolent.
After returning from Africa, Brenda expects to take on the challenge of speaking and writing about her experiences. She will leave from South Bend airport April 10 for Philadelphia, then be leaving from Philadelphia airport the next day for Nairobi, April 11, returning May 7.