UPDATE – CLOSED: Call for Facilitators for CYM Online Courses

Canadian Yearly Meeting (CYM) Education & Outreach Committee is Seeking Experienced/Qualified Online Course Facilitators for Contractual Work.

Education and Outreach Committee (E&O) is seeking expressions of interest for a subcontracting facilitator to act as a backup when E&O is able to offer more than one course, or as need arises. We warmly encourage anyone interested in this opportunity to apply.

E&O has one online course facilitator, who can currently teach one course (with one or two sessions) per term. We would like to start offering two or more courses per term in the future; therefore another facilitator may be needed. The utilization of an additional contractor is dependent upon a number of factors, mainly course registrations.

E&O online courses usually run for seven or eight weeks. This includes a technology troubleshooting session and six classes. Classes take place once a week, and last 1.5 to 2 hours.  Facilitators can expect to work between 45-60 hours per 7-8 week period, on an as-needed basis.

Contractors are expected to work independently to advertise, promote, schedule and facilitate courses. Facilitators will, however, be supported by the clerk of Education and Outreach Committee and the Online Course Subcommittee as needed.

Interested persons are invited to send a:
• cover letter,
• resume, and
• current references
to E&O Online Course Subcommittee care of the CYM Secretary at with the title “Online Course Contractor” in the subject line.

Applicants should highlight their:
• reasons for being interested in this Quaker facilitation work,
• experience with online learning platforms, and
• teaching/facilitation experience.

You can review the current courses being offered through Education and Outreach Committee on the Quaker.ca website.

The contract price will be negotiated based on qualifications and experience.

Applications will be accepted until 11:59pm PST on Sunday October 1. Candidates will only be contacted if they are chosen for an interview.

Epistle from Young Friends & Young Adult Friends Gathering, Camp NeeKauNis 2017 

Young Friends and Young Adult Friends (13-35 age range) gathered this summer at Camp NeeKauNis for a weekend of fellowship and fun. The following is their epistle.

The gathered Young Friends ask this epistle be read during announcements after Meeting For Worship.

Loving Greetings to Friends Everywhere:

From 29th Sixth Month to 2nd Seventh Month 2017, around 30 Young Friends from across the country gathered at Camp NeeKauNis in Waubaushene, Ontario for a Canadian Young Friends Gathering.

This gathering was organized to bring together a critical mass of Young Friends and Young Adult Friends in order to energize and strengthen our community and rejoice in our time together in worship, play, and good conversation. This gathering was planned in part so that Canadian Young Friends and Young Adult Friends had an occasion to gather while the wider Canadian Yearly Meeting sessions were holding a fallow year, and also as a pre-retreat for the Friends General Conference Gathering happening in Niagara Falls, New York.

Along with meals together, work around the camp, and daily meeting for worship, the organizers left space for Friends to offer self-directed programs as they desired. These smaller sessions sprung from the amazing diversity of gifts Friends wanted to share, from the gentle art of cat’s cradle to discussions of the role of Christ in our lives and in Quakerism; from canoeing at sunset, to the plenary workshop on the surprisingly recent history of Christian homophobia and transphobia.

Several Friends noted this year’s gathering at Camp NeeKauNis was the largest gathering of Canadian Young Friends in some years. This is with great thanks to the committee (Rachel Urban-Shipley, Jonah Egan-Pimblett, Misia Robins, David Summerhays, Jessica Klaassen-Wright and Christina Tellez) who organised and promoted the gathering, especially the leadership of Jessica and Christina before and during the event.

Photos by Ahren Klaassen-Wright

We are also deeply grateful for the support of Education and Outreach for assisting with funding for the gathering, particularly as travel costs are often a barrier for Young Friends who wish to attend. In the midst of this gathering, Friends also felt led to discuss the future of Canadian Young Friends Yearly Meeting and its relationship with Canadian Yearly Meeting.

Those of us at the Canadian Young Friends Gathering discerned a need and have a strong desire to focus on building our whole community of Young Friends (13-35) especially as the official body of Canadian Young Friends Yearly Meeting is on hiatus. The current hiatus was chosen because of the a small number of Young Friends attending Yearly Meeting sessions and the difficulty of filling official roles.

We are excited about re-kindling the enthusiasm and spirit in Young Friends by growing our connections with each other, both through media and regular gatherings. The gathered Young Friends recognise the role effective communication provides in building and maintaining community.

Both Reykia Fick, The Canadian Friend Editor, and Cameron Fraser, now the Canadian Yearly Meeting Secretary, were present at the gathering, and several discussions took place regarding possible ways Canadian Yearly Meeting paid staff and contractors may be able to assist Canadian Young Friends in connecting, communicating, and gathering.

Gatherings are a crucial component in maintaining and strengthening the dispersed community of Canadian Young Friends. Those of us present felt a desire to maintain and increase these gatherings. Recognising this, we encourage all Young Friends who are able to attend Canadian Yearly Meeting in Barrie in 2018.

Moving toward Canadian Yearly Meeting in session 2018 in Barrie, we discerned the following steps should be taken over the next year to strengthen the national community of Young Friends and to engage more meaningfully with the wider body of Friends in Canada:

These contacts will work with Canadian Yearly Meeting staff to facilitate this initiative.

Canadian Yearly Meeting Secretary, Cameron Fraser, has invited Young Friends into a discussion to assist in creating goals as to how he can best help Young Friends in Canada. This is an open invitation to all Canadian Young Friends who wish to be involved. The regional contacts committed to involvement in this process of goal setting. Any interested Young Friends may contact Cameron Fraser at for more information.

As we build our community, including through further gatherings, we request the continued support of Yearly Meeting’s Education and Outreach Committee. The challenges of holding gatherings are amplified for Young Friends. We are grateful for the support of all those in Canadian Yearly Meeting in dealing with those challenges and in helping us strengthen our common community.

In the Light,
Canadian Young Friends gathered at Camp NeeKauNis, 1st Seventh Month 2017

Click here for the pdf version.

Canadian Yearly Meeting Online Courses: ‘Quaker Faith and Practice’ & ‘Introduction to Quakers and Friends’ Ways’

Canadian Yearly Meeting Education & Outreach Committee Announces its Online Courses for Fall 2017 and Spring 2018: ‘Quaker Faith and Practice’ and ‘Introduction to Quakers and Friends’ Ways.’

Facilitator(s): David Summerhays (Montreal Monthly Meeting) and potentially a new facilitator* if registrations warrant!

Friends across Canada are invited to participate in online courses that will begin September 2017 and January 2018. Both courses are tentatively scheduled to take place in September and January, but are dependent upon interest (registrations) and the availability of instructors. Registrants are asked to choose their ideal dates and course(s) of preference when registering, which will assist Education and Outreach Committee with scheduling the courses.

Introduction to Quakers and Friend’s Ways

The course will address the early history of Friends, the history of Friends in Canada, the experiential nature of Quaker faith, the role of the Meeting in Quaker life, Quaker testimonies and their origin, and how our Quaker community nurtures how we live, work, worship, and transact business. This course was previously offered in 2012, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Although created to meet the needs of more recent attenders seeking to learn more about Quakerism, we believe that even longstanding members could benefit from this course. We welcome inquiries from anyone who would like to learn more about Quaker ways, with priority given to Canadian Yearly Meeting Members and Attenders.

Quaker Faith and Practice

This course explores the experiential understanding of Quaker faith and practice, as presented in the foundational book Faith and Practice of the Canadian Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, first published in 2011.

David Summerhays of Montreal Monthly Meeting, adapted the original course into an online course in collaboration with the authors. The course was originally prepared by Marjory Reitsma-Street, with assistance of Gale Wills and Catherine Novak, all Friends living in Victoria, B.C.

Marjory and Gale have doctorates from the University of Toronto, and are retired Professors in Social Work. Gale has served as clerk in local and national Quaker committees, while Marjory has concentrated on music and other service close to home. Catherine recently completed a Masters in Interdisciplinary Studies, works in digital marketing and communications (in addition to being a mother), and is currently serving on the Canadian Yearly Meeting Publications and Communications Committee.

The ‘how’ of online courses

Participants will meet once a week for six weeks using either video conferencing or audio conferencing technology. If you are unfamiliar with conferencing technology, don’t worry, the facilitator and the Education and Outreach Committee are committed to making participation in the course as easy as possible for everyone.

Participants will be asked to do a short reading before each of the sessions. These readings can be viewed anytime at the Quaker.ca Education Page under ‘Introduction to Quaker and Friends’ Ways’ and ‘Quaker Faith and Practice’. The course will include worship, active exercises, reflections from readings, and the application to one’s own life of what is learned.

How to Sign Up

The course is free of charge. To indicate your interest: please click here to register. The registration process (including a availability poll) will assist us with determining the course times.

CYM warmly welcomes any donations you are able to give. Canadian Yearly Meeting, 91A Fourth Ave, Ottawa ON K1S 2L1. To donate by credit card, call the CYM office at 1-888-296-3222.

What previous course participants are saying about the online course experience

The course “was very meaningful to me. I have been circling the Quakers for a few years now and it helped me decide that it’s right for me.”

“The real thing that made this course meaningful was the connection I made with other friends.”

“I had an opportunity to communicate with Friends I did not know and that was worthwhile. A younger Friend seemed to appreciate my knowledge.”

“As someone who is new to Quakerism, I found the outline very informative. I appreciated the conversation with others, as it prompted a wider perspective of the topic under discussion and also allowed me to see some of the variety of the Quaker culture beyond the meeting I have been attending. My meeting was interested in my experience of the course.”

“The big Ah-Ha’s for me were around understanding what waiting in the light means for me, and what that sense of being connected to God means for me.”

“I encountered different ways of thinking about what was discussed that lead to different possible answers.”

What previous course participants are saying about our current facilitator

“I think David has a real gift. He started and ended on time. He was able to move us along, without me feeling hurried. He asked open-ended questions, which moved the discussion to the most interesting places.”

“He kept the flow going without impeding discussion. David was also very conscious of assisting those having technical/language difficulties.”

“He has a welcoming and non-threatening approach and was very clear that he thought of himself as a participant eager to learn as much as everyone else from the experience.”

“David did a great job making the space safe and promoting discussion. I didn’t feel overly academic which was just fine by me.”

*E&O is currently seeking and reviewing applications for people interested in facilitating these already well-seasoned courses. Interested persons are welcome to send a cover letter and resume to with the title “E&O Online Course Contractor” in the subject line.

REGISTRATION OPEN: Quaker Study Weekend in Ottawa: ‘Palestine-Israel, Nonviolence, and F/friends’

Registration is now open for Friends wishing to attend this year’s annual ‘Quaker Study’ session hosted by Ottawa Monthly Meeting on October 13-15. This year’s workshop, ‘Palestine-Israel, Nonviolence, and F/friends,’ is facilitated by Maxine Kaufman-Lacusta.

All Friends are invited to attend a weekend-long Quaker Study workshop hosted at the Ottawa Meetinghouse.

The workshop will explore historical and ongoing Palestinian nonviolent/ popular resistance, and support/ involvement by Israelis and by Quaker, Jewish, and other international organizations.

“The weekend will focus on experiences – ours and those of Palestinian, Israeli, and International activists – through film, unpublished interview excerpts, and personal sharing… and explore our own responses to the query, ‘Friend, what cans’t thou do?’” explains Maxine.

“I hope that F/friends will come away with a heightened sense of our power – as internationals with a commitment to nonviolence – to contribute to a just resolution in Israel-Palestine through actions in support of existing nonviolent Palestinian-led and Israeli initiatives, as we feel led.”

Workshop costs are covered by Education and Outreach Committee and there will be billeting available for Friends to attend. Quaker Study is normally held at Canadian Yearly Meeting gathering and is this year being hosted by Ottawa Monthly Meeting.

Monthly Meetings and Worship Groups are asked to please share information about the workshop with members and attenders.

The deadline for registration is September 30th.

The event poster includes is a detailed workshop schedule.

Registration forms are available here. (Please include a note for the workshop organizer regarding any experience in Israel and/or Palestine, whether you’ve attended any of her book-related presentations (2010 – 2016) and/or have read Refusing to be Enemies.)

Call for Submissions for The Canadian Friend Fall Issue: ‘Reflections on the Fallow Year’

Calling all Canadian Quakers to submit your artwork, articles, poetry, reflections, photography and news for the next edition of The Canadian Friend! The fall issue’s theme is ‘Reflections on the Fallow Year’.

Canadian Yearly Meeting (CYM) will not meet all together as a gathered community in 2017, choosing instead to have a “fallow year” from the annual CYM Gathering (CYM-in-session).

The decision was initially considered for financial reasons, but quickly took on deeper meaning: to take the opportunity for rest and renewal, to focus on nurturing community in its different forms, to explore new opportunities for Spiritual growth, to gain fresh perspective on our practices and ways of doing business:

“A fallow year does not mean an infertile or moribund one, but instead connotes rest and renewal. We can consider 2017 as a ‘sabbatical.’ From biblical times the idea of Sabbath, the seventh day, was a day set aside for the nurture of the soul, when the people were called from their own work to do God’s work on God’s day, which belongs to God. In working the land, the people were under obligation to obey this call in the same way for the fallow year – usually every seven years – which was also seen as a Divine message that the land should rest, ploughed and harrowed, but not planted.” (CYM Continuing Meeting of Ministry and Council)

The Fall 2017 issue of The Canadian Friend invites you to share your reflections on the fallow year, and the spiritual practice of taking time set aside for rest and reconnection:

  • What can we as the Canadian Yearly Meeting community of faith learn from our fallow year?
  • Have you ever taken an intentional period of time set aside from daily life for the purpose of renewal – a sabbatical, retreat, or break due to burn-out? What was your experience, and what new insights did you gain?
  • What is your experience of community among Canadian Quakers, and what has this meant to you? Have you had a new or particular experience of community during this past year?
  • What can the Biblical practice of taking time for Sabbath, for sabbatical, or to lay fallow teach us today?
  • Have you had a new experience or discerned new awareness as a result of CYM’s fallow year?

Deadline for submissions is September 25th (note the revised deadline).

All submissions are welcome. (Don’t forget visual content!) Send your contribution to: .