Newsletter Items–Early January 2013

President’s Message

I hope that everyone has had a joyous Holiday Season. I wish you a great New Year. As many of you know I have been with Friendship Force since 1979 and am thoroughly committed to the FF motto: “A world of friends is a world of peace.” I believe that we all accomplish this by making and maintaining relationships around the world. I have experienced this many times and I know that you have all experienced this. However, I believe that FF is one of best kept secrets around and our Board has decided to try something different this year to help spread the word about FF. We believe that word of mouth and personal stories are the best way to generate interest in FF. This is why we want a good turn out for our January 27 Pot luck Lunch – so each of us can share our own FF experiences with potential new members. We also want our members to have a chance to share their experiences with other members who were not able to participate in recent exchanges.

The following notice is being published to invite members of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Rockville:
“The local Friendship Force Club invites members of UUCR to a lunch and program on Sunday, January 27, 2013 from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Lunch is provided by Friendship Force Club members. Program is moderated by Dorothy Wicker. Hear about and potentially join the local FF club for homestays in Moscow, Russia and Baku, Azerbaijan in 2013. Hear from club members who recently returned from La Serena, Chile and club members who recently hosted visitors from New Zealand. Friendship Force is an organization that is dedicated to an idea: a commitment to world peace through the understanding of people and cultures throughout the world. The goal is to bring understanding of each other to the citizens of the world. Through the powerful tool of home hospitality, the Friendship Force introduces people at the personal level. Living under one roof for a few days, sharing meals, exchanging ideas, people become friends. Check out the organization at: ”

In addition, Barbara Macken, FF Regional Field Representative, and I have put together a brief presentation to introduce FF and have given it once. We are anxious to present this program to any group that you think might have members who might be interested in FF. Please contact us with ideas.

We have already submitted FFNCA’s choices for outbound exchanges for 2014, but we have not yet received a response from Friendship Force International.

I look forward to hearing from you in the New Year. I welcome your comments and suggestions. I believe we all have the same goals in mind.

Dorothy Wicker
FFNCA President

New Officers on Board

As of January 1, FFNCA’s 2013 Board of Directors is in place. The current officers are:

  • Dorothy Wicker, President
  • Paul Gesalman, Vice President
  • Barbara Williams, Secretary
  • Mary Tobin, Treasurer
  • Donald and Ruth Sasscer — Member at large
  • David Fishman — Member at large
  • Tom Williams — Member at large
  • Claire Gesalman — Past President

The first board meeting of the new year will be January 13 at 2:00. Anyone who is interested in attending should email FFNCA at our club email address [ffnca “at” yahoo “dot” com].

Outbound Exchange to Baku, Azerbaijan and Moscow Russia

Our outbound exchange director, Paul Gesalman, is waiting for your application. We are posting the exchange in the FFI catalog this month, so if you are interested, it is time to get your application in–see below.

You can email it back or send it in the mail. If you email the form, type your name where signatures are indicated. By doing so, you will indicate your agreement with the specified conditions. Regardless, you will need to mail a check for $200.00 as a deposit to Paul Gesalman, 7404 Walton Lane, Annandale, VA 22003. I will then review all the applications, contact you if I have more questions, and let you know when you are accepted as an ambassador. Please do not buy non-refundable airline tickets until you are accepted as an ambassador. The email address is “ffnca” at “” (Delete the quotation marks and replace “at” with @.)

Dues Reminder

Members should have received a membership form in December. Please pay your dues as soon as possible. The membership year is from January to December, regardless of when you pay your dues.

Brunch and recruitment meeting

On January 27, we will be meeting for brunch at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Rockville. The brunch will also be open to members of the congregation, and we will be providing some displays and discussion to introduce the members to Friendship Force. More details will be provided on email soon.

Mid-Atlantic Friendship Force Conference — Everyone Invited

April 5- 7, 2013
Hosted by the Long Island, New York Friendship Force Club

Agenda topics:
“ Friends are Strangers We’ve Yet To Meet”

  • As a Friendship Force Member, What are your Expectations?
  • As a member of Friendship Force International, What is expected of us as a club officer and a member?

“We Are Ambassadors of Good Will”

  • What does it mean to be an ambassador?

 “How to be Good Host”

  • What is expected of a Friendship Force Host?

 “Travel Tips, Travel Health and Insurance”

  • Why worry?

 To Grow Club Membership

  • What are your expectations?

Conference package: $340, includes 2 nights accommodation, double occupancy, five meals, entertainment, speakers, conference sessions

Conference only: $240, includes five meals, entertainment, speakers, conference sessions

Sheraton Long Island, Hauppauge, N Y

2013 Conference Registration
2013 Conference Flyer

2012 Wrapup

2012 is over and we are looking forward to 2013, but now is a good time to think back to what we accomplished last year.

  • Winter dinner
  • Participated in Mid-Atlantic Conference in Connecticut
  • Hosted a group from New Zealand (sweltered with them in July’s heat)
  • Assisted a group from Belgium with their plans and hosted a dinner with them
  • Spring picnic in Rock Creek Park
  • Informal gathering at the Spa World in Centreville
  • Hosted an Open World “Rule of Law” group from Russia
  • Fall Brunch and annual meeting
  • One member participated in FFI annual conference
  • Outbound exchange to Chile
  • Assisted a scientist associated with the Budapest club with after-conference hosting and airport transportation while he was here for a NASA conference

We had good turnouts for all these events. We also gained some new members last year, and we welcome them. We thank you for your participation in the planning of the various events as well as your participation in them.