Category: News

A day of splendour

Post from Steve, January 22

Today was excursion day, and I chose the Sacred Valley. We headed north from Pisac, at one end of the valley, in the direction of Machu Picchu, which is at the lower end of the valley in the cloud forest area closer to the Amazon. We visited three different sites of Inca ruins. I could write pages about the wonders we saw; a day later I am still feeling a bit stunned. However, I will simply intersperse the images throughout this posting without comment. welcoming-africans

The arrival of a large group of Africans has been delayed by visa problems. Many of them arrived yesterday, just before we headed out on our various excursions, to the great joy of everyone. Later in the day, while most of us were away, a large group of Bolivians and Peruvians arrived to join us for the weekend.

As in previous gatherings, I find that spending time with Quakers from other theological orientations does not necessarily move me closer to their particular beliefs. In fact, I find that my own beliefs are often clarified and confirmed, and I grow deeper in my place in my own tradition and theological family. But I definitely grow closer in love to Quakers whose beliefs are very different from mine. I am making wonderful connections, having numerous heartfelt conversations both with new friends and friends I know from pervious gatherings. I know I will return home deeply changed and enriched. moray_1

I had a long conversation with an American Friend last night about how times of deep wounding can crack us open to be vulnerable to the Spirit, leading to a depth of Spiritual growth that would not have been possible otherwise. And he renewed in me a desire to let my life be more Spirit-led—listening to the still, small voice in all the moments of my life, engaging in an ongoing form of waiting worship.

I spoke to the British Friend with whom I co-led a home group at the world conference in Kenya. She is a theologian and talked about how although Quakers do not talk about the Trinity, in fact most of us do relate in some way to three different aspects of the Divine—the Divine as Creator, the Divine as revealed in the life and teachings of Jesus, and the Divine as indwelling spirit—in other words, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Almost all of us have some relation to God as Creator. The primary relationship of certain branches of Quakerism, such as Evangelical Quakers, is with Jesus. And for many Liberal Quakers, their primary relationship is with the Indwelling Spirit. I found this perspective very helpful in thinking about the diversity of our theologies.

I cannot say how much gratitude I feel towards Canadian Friends for helping me to attend this conference. To say I am being enriched by the experience is a huge understatement.ruins-5










Posted in: FWCC World Plenary, News

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Join Christina Tellez and Steve Fick at the FWCC World Plenary in Pisac, Peru.

Pisac-from-highway-downOn behalf of Christina Tellez and myself, Steve Fick, I would like to invite Canadian Friends to join us at the FWCC World Plenary in Pisac, Peru, by way of our blog on the CYM website, which can be found here FWCC World Plenary.

The conference runs from January 19 to 27 and will take place in the beautiful Sacred Valley, running from Pisac toward Machu Picchu.

This gathering is similar to the World Conference that happened in Kenya in 2012, except that it is smaller and most of the participants are representatives of their respective home bodies, with fewer open spaces. Friends Peru and Bolivia are hosting Quakers from around the world, from all the various Quaker traditions, who have again come together to build connections of love and understanding, and celebrate our diversity.

sacred-valley-from-cusco-highwayThe first image below is a view of Pisac from the road that winds down into the valley from Cusco, the ancient Inca capital and the connecting point for most visitors to the area. The second image is looking north through the Sacred Valley.

Please hold Christine and me in the Light as we prepare ourselves for the conference. And visit our blog here on the CYM website at FWCC World Plenary.

Posted in: FWCC World Plenary, News, Quaker Blog

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Decolonizing Land and Soul: A Quaker Testimony: Now available on video

Dear Friends:

A video of Alastair McIntosh’s Sunderland P Gardner presentation, Decolonizing Land and Soul: A Quaker Testimony, is now available in our Audio & Video section through Vimeo. Or use this direct link.

While he was with us in Charlottetown, Alastair also offered to share the PDF version of his book Island Spirituality, which you can download here.

*This document has been approved for publication at by the publisher and the author. Please follow the link to the book  



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Education and Outreach Committee (E&O) is requesting proposals for the development of on-line courses.

November 5, 2015.


E&O has been offering the two courses designed by our former Quaker Education Program Co-ordinator – Introduction to Quakers and Friends’ Ways and Being Peace, Being Quaker. Participants have been suggesting topics for new courses such as: the Quaker testimonies, the mystical foundations of Quakerism, exploring Quaker journals, spiritual resources in Faith and Practice, Christ-centred Quakers, spiritual discernment, Bible passages that form the foundation of Friends’ faith. Perhaps you have another idea! We are asking Canadian Friends to make us a proposal for a course you will develop.

What title will you give your course?

How would you “advertise” it? i.e. Give a short description of the content.

What qualifications do you have for designing it?

How many sessions will your course take at 1.5 to 2 hours per session (we suggest not more than six)?

How many hours will it take for you to design it?

Are you willing to design it for $35 per hour?

When can you do the work? (E&O would like to have it completed between January and March 2016, but can consider later times if necessary.)

Send your proposals to by December 1, 2015.

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Quakers Appalled by Islamophobia

October 20, 2015

Quakers are appalled at the bigotry and discrimination we see targeting the diverse members of the Muslim faith in Canada. We call on all Canadians to stand against this.

We cannot help but think that deeply divisive and harmful political rhetoric is one of the drivers of this growing hostility. We are witnesses to scapegoating of Muslims, which distracts from the many significant issues this country faces. We ask our politicians and news media to take firm stands against Islamophobia, hate, racism, division and inequity.

To retain and strengthen its multicultural identity, Canada needs to increase educational and intercultural dialogue initiatives that will foster understanding and share accurate information about our diverse communities. Like Christians and Jews, most Muslims live by the creeds of the Abrahmic Traditions, which honour peace, love, commitment to God and to creation. These Abrahmic faiths share history, and some fundamental moral and spiritual beliefs.

We support the right of individuals to choose to wear the clothing that they feel is appropriate to them, including the hijab, burka or niqab. Human rights, such as the right to religious expression, are of critical importance. When human rights are taken away for any Canadians, rights are effectively made vulnerable for all. We recognize that the niqab has been worn by some Muslim women in Canada for decades and it is neither new nor a threat. We encourage those who are afraid of the clothing or customs of their Muslim neighbours to remain calm and to examine the real sources of their discomfort.

A truly tiny number of individuals claiming to be motivated by Islam have acted or planned to act violently in this country. The same can be said of individuals claiming to be motivated by Christianity, Judaism, Sikhism, and so on. We unequivocally condemn all expressions of violence, whether arising from religious or secular motives.

We equally condemn the conditions of exclusion, injustice and inequality which too often lie at the roots of violence. Services including adequate housing, employment opportunities, and culturally safe mental and other health services, promote feelings of belonging. Quakers support such initiatives for all Canadians, noting that these are among the conditions that result in healthy and peaceful communities.

We acknowledge the responsibilities of the State to ensure security for all who live in Canada.  However, we join with others in profoundly questioning measures taken by Canada which appear to have disproportionately impacted Muslims, Indigenous peoples and people of colour. These have included increasing surveillance, extrajudicial renditions, security certificates, and closing the space for legitimate forms of dissent. As recent and interrelated examples, we are deeply concerned by the flawed “Anti-Terrorism Act” Bill C-51 and changes to Canadian citizenship which has become increasingly restricted through Bill C-24.

We know that there are countless people of all faiths and of no particular faith who seek thoughtful and caring responses to ignorance and violence wherever they appear. We acknowledge with thanks all those who persevere tirelessly for justice and peace and against the marginalization of Muslims or other Canadians. Quakers remain committed to working together with these groups and individuals to put our faith into action.

With hope and in Friendship,


Lana Robinson

Clerk, Canadian Friends Service Committee


Elaine Bishop

Presiding Clerk, Canadian Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)


*A Word copy of this letter is available here.




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