RoseMarie Cipryk sent along these photos and the caption from Representative Meeting held November 11-13 in Ottawa, Ontario.
Representative Meeting discerns way forward on some challenging matters. Overheard to a Friend, new to Representative Meeting, “This was an unusual Rep Mtg. We usually play games all day long. Today we mostly attended to business.” Thanks to Katrina for lightening our day with the Intergenerational Toolkit “Build It” which she helped produce through Friends General Council Youth Ministries. (Watch for it coming soon to a clerk near you.)
HMAC and the Publications and Communications Committee (P & C) met on the same days and in the same location – Friends House, Toronto Monthly Meeting – the first weekend in November. I was grateful to be able to attend and work with the dedicated Friends who were there. It was great to welcome Marilyn Manzer as clerk of HMAC. I have been grateful, too, for Ellen Helmuth’s significant, caring and careful work as interim clerk (though there was some discussion as to whether the best term was ‘acting’ or ‘interim’). It was also good to welcome new members, Marc Forget, Jeannette Amdur and Wendy Macpherson.
Anne-Marie Zilliacus attended for a couple of hours and provided valuable support for our budgeting process – Thanks, Anne-Marie.
Friday evening, HMAC, P&C Committee, Anne-Marie and Bruce Dienes spent some time exploring together thoughts about Canadian Yearly Meeting’s web presence and possibilities for using the internet as a means for developing and sustaining our small, wide-spread community.
One of my favourite activities at Friends House is visiting the library. There were a few familiar folk hanging out there after Meeting for Worship on Sunday
For any interested in CYM history in Canada, there are bound issues of the Canadian Friend (almost to the beginning, I think) in one of the glass cases in the library. I find it fascinating to read about happenings from the 1960s and 1970s as they were being reported then, and to see some of the photographs from that time period too.
If you prefer action, or learning sessions, Toronto Friends can usually let you know what’s current in Toronto, and as always the resident Friends, Judy and Ben, are helpful and cheerful.
I’ve asked Friends who have had the opportunity to experience different Quaker Institutions, events or activities to share about their experiences of them. If you have an experience to share, please don’t hesitate to contact me. -KM
Peter Stevenson about his experience with Earlham College
When I was in high school and visiting colleges, there were two things that impressed me about Earlham. The first was that I felt able and comfortable discussing spiritual discernment with the admissions staff. This was important to me because I knew that I would be basing my choice of colleges on Leading. The second thing that impressed me was that there seemed to be more of a sense of peace than the other colleges that I visited.
I ended up attending Earlham College for two years. During that time, I was really able to immerse myself in Quakerism. Richmond, IN is the home of three Friends meetings (two programmed, one unprogrammed), the headquarters of Friends United Meeting, Earlham College, and Earlham School of Religion. Earlham College also has one of the most comprehensive Quaker libraries in the world. This experience helped me to deepen my connection to Quakerism at both an intellectual and a spiritual level.
However, I left Earlham College because it was no longer working for me. Perhaps the biggest challenge of Earlham is integrating its identity as a Quaker institution and its identity as a liberal arts college. Often what happens is that its Quaker values become compromised as it tries to make sure that it is up to par with its “peer colleges”. Earlham, and other American liberal arts colleges, are set up to help young people transition from living at home and going to high school to living independently and having a middle-class job. I was in a situation where the independence that I was needing, living off-campus with my then-girlfriend, Jesse, was not available to me. I was also feeling that the workload that was expected of us was not compatible with my needs for simplicity, and I was not able to attend Earlham part-time.
There is a lot more that I could say; if anyone has any specific questions, I would be happy to answer them.