Pelham and Yonge St. Half Yearly Meeting – Spring 2012 – Neekaunis – Some Queries

Friends were invited to respond, over the weekend, to some queries posted in the dining room.  Here are the responses:

1.  How would you describe your Quaker Community?

  • International
  • Nurturing
  • A safe place to practice being who I want to be
  • Inspiring
  • Challenging
  • Rejuvenating
  • Stimulating
  • Sometimes frustrating
  • Wide-spread
  • Beloved
  • Deeply connected
  • Small
  • Rewarding
  • My spiritual home

2.  How do you experience the responsibilities of Membership?

  • Affirming, exciting, satisfying to be of service, to build together
  • Learning to withhold judgement and comment
  • Feeling that I am contributing
  • An active community
  • 20 hour work weeks

3.  What does it mean to you to belong?

  • Being fully human
  • Hard work
  • Joyous
  • Engenders gratitude
  • Having meaningful relationships with others in the group
  • not being alone

4.  What’s it like to be part of this combined Half Yearly Meeting?

  • Delightful
  • Thrilling
  • Exciting
  • Fun
  • Renews connections
  • Happy to see so many F/friends I love
  • Loud, but wonderful
  • I love seeing all ya and heck PHY can sing!!!
  • Absolutely topping!  Let’s do it again!  And again!…

Pelham and Yonge St. Half Yearly Meeting – Spring 2012 – Neekaunis – Some Queries

Friends were invited to respond, over the weekend, to some queries posted in the dining room.  Here are the responses:

1.  How would you describe your Quaker Community?

  • International
  • Nurturing
  • A safe place to practice being who I want to be
  • Inspiring
  • Challenging
  • Rejuvenating
  • Stimulating
  • Sometimes frustrating
  • Wide-spread
  • Beloved
  • Deeply connected
  • Small
  • Rewarding
  • My spiritual home

2.  How do you experience the responsibilities of Membership?

  • Affirming, exciting, satisfying to be of service, to build together
  • Learning to withhold judgement and comment
  • Feeling that I am contributing
  • An active community
  • 20 hour work weeks

3.  What does it mean to you to belong?

  • Being fully human
  • Hard work
  • Joyous
  • Engenders gratitude
  • Having meaningful relationships with others in the group
  • not being alone

4.  What’s it like to be part of this combined Half Yearly Meeting?

  • Delightful
  • Thrilling
  • Exciting
  • Fun
  • Renews connections
  • Happy to see so many F/friends I love
  • Loud, but wonderful
  • I love seeing all ya and heck PHY can sing!!!
  • Absolutely topping!  Let’s do it again!  And again!…

Pelham and Yonge Street HYM – June 2012 – Neekaunis – Saturday

We gathered again Saturday morning for Breakfast.  Someone commented that while Friends are good at silence/stillness, when we’re not silent, we can be pretty chatty.

YAFs at Breakfast

AFs at Breakfast

Friends have been meeting at Camp Neekaunis for over 75 years, and it was very moving to see three generations feeling so at home here.  Yonge Street Half Yearly Meeting has been holding their spring HYM at camp for a number of years, but for friends from Pelham HYM, it was a long time since some had been at camp…and some had never experienced this beautiful location. 

Roger Davies, Halifax Monthly Meeting, offered a presentation on “Countering the Militarization of Youth”.  Small group discussion gave us time for exploration of this topic.  There were some Young Friends participating, and I would like to have heard more from their perspective.  Three Young Friends are currently attending War Resistors International Conference on Youth and Militarization!  One of them, Matthew Webb, was part of our discussion group, and spoke very passionately about his interest in the Conference.  I’m looking forward to hearing about the experience of those who attend.

Roger Davies, Halifax MM - Militarization of Youth

Friends Listening

In early afternoon, in Meeting for Worship, a Friend from each Monthly Meeting read the MM’s State of Society Report.  This was something I had not experienced before, and I was grateful to hear of the life of the Monthly Meetings.  I was particularly touched by those Meetings who were open about some of their challenges over the past year, and whose Report was held with tender witness by those present.

The two Half Yearly Meetings held separate Meetings for Worship with Attention to Business.  Each of the Clerks let me know the Meetings had approved minutes relating to transitional membership.  When I receive these, I’ll be posting them on these pages.

The evening program, an informal one, encouraged Friends to connect in small groups in whatever activities they found engaging.  Apparently board games (and other quiet games) are favorites, and there were plenty available for Friends to choose from.

Quaker Community

Enjoying the Company

Some Enjoyed Each Other's Stories

Some were seen (and heard) to "Rise up Singing"

Pelham and Yonge Street HYM – June 2012 – Neekaunis

About 100 Friends met at Camp Neekaunis from Friday evening, June 1 to Sunday Afternoon, June 3. This was the first time Pelham Half Yearly and Yonge Street Half Yearly had held a joint meeting, and there was in the air, joyful anticipation…and a little trepidation about numbers.  In the end, we counted 12 Young Adult Friends and 12 Young Friends…and there were definitely a few 70+, a mix of ages over 3 generations. The ambiance was beautifully green, wet, and a little cool. This view is from the Meeting Room looking out over the lake.

 

Friends were grateful to gather in Nelson Hall (Dining Hall), and the Meeting Room with its huge stone fireplace.

Gathering in the Dining Hall

Meeting Room

 The registrars were active from 3:00 Friday on, and Friends found time to re-connect while making sure the toilets/outhouses were equipped, unpacking, and wiping down the tables in preparation for dinner.

Who’s on the list?

Is there a resemblance here?

Reconnecting

Self-Care and Shared Responsibilities – qualities of camp life

Unpacking

 

 

Table Prep

After supper, we gathered in the Meeting Room for a listening session on Membership.  We began with a semi-rousing game of  ‘A Big Wind Blows’ (too many people to stand in a circle, so Katrina McQuail, Youth Secretary improvised and moderated).  Then we invited Friends to self-organize into groups where they would imagine themselves in a particular role and we encouraged them to find a group with a role where they might be less comfortable.  We asked the groups to consider the following queries about Young Friends holding transitional membership in a Half Yearly Meeting or at Camp Neekaunis.  We encouraged them to IMAGINE, to think of this not as discernment, nor even as threshing, but as scattering wildflower seeds and seeing what might come of it.

QUERIES:

  1. What might be the gifts of such a relationship?
  2. What might be the responsibilities of the Half Yearly Meeting or Camp to the Member?
  3. What might be the responsibilities of the member to the Half Yearly Meeting or to Camp?

If you click on each of the roles below, you will be able to view the responses of each group

Young Friend (teen), Young Adult Friend (early stages – university or wandering), Young Adult Friend (later stages – settling or perhaps starting a family), Monthly Meeting, Camp Neekaunis, Half Yearly Meeting, CYM, Ministry and Counsel and Friends General Conference.

 The Groups shared what was most important to them from their conversations, and we closed with worship.