On Visitation

Some of you will have had the pleasure, as I did, of attending Mark Burch’s Quaker Study sessions at CYM in August (available to watch in the Video section of our Resources page). Mark talked about simplicity, and what it means to us and to others when we choose to live a more simple life. If you were inspired by Mark’s lectures, if you enjoyed his gentle and friendly presentation style, you may be delighted to know that Mark is one of the Friends available to come and visit your Meeting through the CYM Visitation Program! How cool is that! 

Maybe simple living isn’t what your Meeting needs to hear about right now. Maybe you’re struggling, as many of our Meetings are, with what eldering means, and how to develop the gifts of eldership. If so, you could have Ellen Helmuth, Margaret Slavin, Laurel Beyer, or one of our other seasoned Friends come for a visit.

What about help with managing conflict in your Meeting? Unless you’re that mythical Meeting that never has conflict, you might be interested in inviting Bruce Dienes, Lesley Read, or Elizabeth Azmier Stewart – just some of our Visitors with excellent skills in conflict management. Whether it’s resolving a conflict or learning how to live with conflict in better ways, we can help!

Quaker process? We’ve got all the heavies: Marilyn Manzer, Dana Mullen, Anne Marie Zilliacus, Elaine Bishop, Jane Orion Smith, Dan Cooperstock, and many more.

Why would a Meeting invite someone from another Meeting, when many of us have these resources right at home? Well, we know that people accord more respect to people they don’t know as well – the ‘prophet in his own town’ syndrome. A Friend who has been invited to speak on a particular subject may draw more people, and be listened to more closely, than a member of the home Meeting. Also, bringing in someone from another Meeting means that everyone in your Meeting can participate in the discussion or event. Having a visitor can revitalize and engage your Meeting.


Here’s what Friends had to say after having Visitors at their Meetings:

.      I always find our retreats nurturing. This one especially as we were so much more focused and a thread ran through the weekend making it feel like a whole. 

.      It brought the meeting together in a focus on the origins of Quaker Faith and Practice and will serve as a base for us moving forward as a meeting.

.      I hope it made us familiar with Quaker process and will help the Meeting be more aware of the discernment process and Friends’ reasons behind the testimonies.

.      I feel a stronger connection to meeting members who were present. I think the experience probably fostered the feeling of community among all of us.

.      I think our meeting benefited from learning together, from better grounding in the early roots of Quakerism, and from meeting spiritually grounded Friends from other meetings.

.     This has been a rich and spiritually enhancing experience.  

.      … it was nice to relax into being strictly a participant, not a facilitator or process designer.

.      Having a week long visit made certain kinds of nurture possible that wouldn’t have been otherwise.

.      [Having visitors] helped some people feel supported by the unity of the body of Canadian Yearly Meeting.

.      … we may have the beginning of a process we can continue, for nurturing and transforming relationships.

.      Let’s keep this valuable process going. Quakers come from diverse religious backgrounds and our two travelers gave us a lot of interesting Quaker history and allowed us to share our diverse belief in a respectful and tactful way.

.      This is great and I highly recommend other Meetings take advantage.

.      Having fresh eyes is especially helpful in seeing beyond the limits of ourselves

.      Do it!!

My own Meeting recently had visitors from Friends General Conference, and it was a delight to get together for food and learning, and to see 50-60 Friends in the room instead of the usual 20-30. That’s what having visitors does.

So what are you waiting for? What would Friends in your Meeting most like to learn? What might strengthen or improve the health of your Meeting as a whole? Where are the gaps in knowledge or experience? There are all kinds of topics available to choose from, and all flavours of Quakers available to come visit. If you don’t see what you need, just ask. Remember too that the ability to afford a visitor shouldn’t be a barrier. If you need help, we’ll find it.  Just ask.

 Stephanie Deakin

CYM Visitation Program Coordinator


CYM Gathering 2014

August 8th-16th, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Welcome to Winnipeg!

Dear Friends,

Welcome to Canadian Yearly Meeting 2014, which will be held once again on the friendly and accessible campus of Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Yearly Meeting is the one opportunity in the year for Quakers from across Canada to come together for fellowship, worship, decision-making, learning and fun. Last summer, as a result of the Youth Challenge, 45 Young and Young Adult Friends attended Yearly Meeting and went away with renewed enthusiasm. Let’s do all that we can to support their continued and growing involvement in the Yearly Meeting.

Our program this year promises wonderful opportunities! Programme Committee continues to progressively improve the flow of the week’s activities, incorporating the most successful components of last summer’s schedule, and modifying others. Food Coop is back this year, offering opportunities to bond over the cutting boards as well as to consider whether and how to continue it in future years.

Consider arriving early to join leader Erika Koenig-Sheridan in a mostly-silent retreat focussed on how we as Friends relate to one another in difficult times. In the Sunderland P. Gardner lecture, entitled Making the Diagnosis; Changing the Prognosis, Dale Dewar and Bill Curry of Prairie Monthly Meeting will bring their scientific and philosophical wisdom to bear on the global malaise of people and the environment, exploring what we can do to work toward a more just, balanced and sustainable world. For Quaker Study, Mark Burch of Winnipeg Monthly Meeting will discuss our testimony of simplicity – its biblical origins and its relevance to our care for the Earth and for one another.

Every Yearly Meeting session is a new adventure, with new offerings and new challenges. Please join us in this year’s opportunity to be with Friends, to attend to the business of our Yearly Meeting and to grow in Spirit.

Susan Stevenson
Presiding Clerk


Gathering Information

Detailed information about the Gathering (pdf format)

Detailed information about the Gathering (docx/word format)

CYM Updated Schedule for the week  (pdf format)

CYM Schedule for the week  (doc/word format)

Registration Form (fillable form) that you can print and mail to the CYM office with your cheque.

Download the fillable spreadsheet that carries out calculations and enables you to pay your deposit or full amount through PAYPAL, whether you yourself have a PAYPAL account or not. Save your completed spreadsheet to your computer and email it to the CYM Office.

(Don’t have MS Excel? Download Open Office at http://www.openoffice.org/, and after installing, proceed.)

Questions or problems with the form: 

Questions about CYM itself: 

Clerking Workshop for Canadian Yearly Meeting- October 31, November 1, 2014

The Education & Outreach Committee of CYM (E&O) offered a workshop by Arthur Larrabee on clerking Quaker meetings for worship for business.

Arthur Larrabee is a life long Friend and member of Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting, of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. He has led many workshops on clerking. He has served as clerk of his monthly meeting and has served 7 years as General Secretary of PHLYM. He comes with enthusiasm, experience, wit and humour to the task of providing servant leadership for Friends.

The course was titled: “Serving the Community with Joy and Confidence. and was well-attended.

Job Opportunity!- Friends Relations Associate

The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) is looking for a Friends Relations Associate!

The AFSC is a Quaker organization devoted to service, development, and peace programs throughout the world. Its work is based on the belief in the worth of every person and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice. This job will be located in Philadelphia, PA (USA). AFSC invites interested candidates to apply by September 21, 2014 (5 PM EST).

For more information visit the AFSC Career Center.


World Quaker Day

World Quaker Day

Friend World Committee for Consultation (FWCC) invites every Quaker meeting and church from around the world to celebrate WORLD QUAKER DAY  on October 5,2014. As the sun rises in each area of the world, we want to remember that Quakers are worshiping through every time zone, celebrating our deep connections across cultures and Quaker traditions.

Find links to many resources on the WORLDQUAKER DAY websiteYou may want to incorporate the Kabarak Call for Ecojustice into worship, for example, or use it as the basis for sharing or discussion surrounding worship.

In planning for WORLD QUAKER DAY, consider options that work in your church or meeting, bringing the theme into your planning for the day. You may want to incorporate the Kabarak Call into worship or use it as the basis for sharing or discussion surrounding worship. Perhaps it prompts a person or persons to speak on how they “let their lives speak” in daily life. Perhaps there is opportunity for children to lead the meeting or church in an activity or conduct a multi-generational activity about God’s creation. The theme may open us to consider how we are part of a world family of Friends and the encouragement this gives us.

Whatever you do as a worshiping community, we hope you will share this with others through FWCC. It can be very simple — a description, a poem, a short video from a mobile phone, a few photos — we will post them on the WQD web site so that you can see what other churches and meetings were doing on the same day. Email items to us or post them to the FWCC World Office Facebook page, or Twitter, hashtag #wqd.


For more information visit FWCC World Office.