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Category: Regional Gatherings

Western Half Yearly – Saturday October 8 – Afternoon Activities

Saturday was an afternoon for choices – Many were moved to attend Meeting for Worship for Flying Fox Zipline

Alex, Sam & Isaac

Some just watched –

Heidi and Finn

Kitty and Alina

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some Zipped and Flew

 

Chester

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ahren

 

 

 

Alina

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some chose quiet reading

Patty

 

 

Some spent time jamming


And some opted for the traditional balancing, introducing first-timer, Shawn, who was heard to comment…”Other churches do bake sales;  Quakers do circus.”

 

 More in the next post about Saturday afternoon and evening learning, reflection and play

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Western Half Yearly – Saturday, October 8 – Morning


At breakfast, Saturday Morning – so great to see Friends that had arrived late the night before…and some as recently as 6:00 in the morning (Keith and Shawn of Winnipeg).

 

Shawn, his first time at a Quaker gathering, took time to browse the book display from Quaker Book Service (managed with care and good humour by Frank and Peter).

I spoke with Shawn a little later in the weekend and asked him about his experience of the weekend.  What had most surprised him was how welcome and included he felt.  He talked about the kindness, about the connection among generations, about the whole community caring for the children, the stories around creating change in the world.  He said it gave him hope.  I was reminded of how many times I’ve heard such descriptions from those who have just come into contact with Friends and wonder how we can continue to support and welcome in such seekers.

Worship Sharing

Gathering in small groups, most adults spent an hour reflecting & speaking from the silence about where and how we found ourselves in that time and place/space.  One group was invited to consider over the rest of the day (with a sort of mental photograph) the moments  and individuals that brought them joy.  As I sat in the silence, I was taken with how strongly drawn I am to the place I now call home, how intentional I find I need to be when traveling to be present to myself and those who are with me.  I have travelled much this year, and though being with Friends across the country delights me, challenges and supports me, still when I pause without distraction or engagement, I am called to be home again.

Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business

When we gathered, after some silence, the Clerk read a prayer beginning, 

When the roll was called, we noted Friends were present from Prairie, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Vernon, Saskatoon, Vancouver and Vancouver Island Monthly Meetings.  We were, in total, 36 plus 3 who came for part of one day.  There were 4 teens, 2 children and 2 infants.  We noted that we missed Tom Findley when we thought of the tradition of picking high bush cranberries each fall, and some Friends declared they would carry this tradition. Friends took up the various responsibilities that would help us move smoothly through the weekend. We closed early, with silence, and gratitude for the lunch to come

Young Friends had their own activities and creative interests during this time.  Many adults were eager to spend time with babes and children, so joy was widely spread.


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Being at Shekinah

As I prepare for our Western Half Yearly Gathering at the Shekinah Retreat Center, I’m pondering the Mission Statement of our Mennonite hosts,

“Shekinah is to be a setting where all who come, have opportunity to experience the presence and glory of God through discovery, reflection, interaction, community and nature.

In a practical sense this means we seek to facilitate the meaningful interaction of people with the Creator, the wholesome interaction of people with creation and the interaction of people in community.”

I find myself wondering and imagining what joyful, reflective and sacred ways we will find to be together in this space.  

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