Quakers (members of the Religious Society of Friends) across Canada express great sorrow and dismay over recent acts of hostility against people whom the attackers have regarded as different and therefore to be hated and destroyed. Two years ago, six worshippers were killed and many more injured at a mosque in Quebec City. Less than a year and a half ago, eleven were killed at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. And most recently, on March 15th, an attacker shot and killed 50 of the faithful and injured almost as many more at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. Such terrible acts are a violent affront to everything Quakers believe.
A central testimony of our faith is the upholding of peace, which is destroyed by these acts. We believe also in equality, and intolerance flies in the face of this testimony. The blessed community of all people is rent and ruined by such crimes. As Quakers, we affirm “that of God” – some element of the Divine – in every human being, and we grieve over the snuffing out of the many lives that held that spark.
Our hearts go out to the families and others who loved the victims. We offer our caring and support to members of all faith communities that worship in love and truth. We condemn the ideologies of racism, xenophobia, and white supremacy that contribute to the conditions which breed violence. We pray for the perpetrators of such violence, that they may be brought into greater understanding, tolerance, acceptance, and Light.
The 2019 spring gathering of Western Half-Yearly Meeting will take place on the May long weekend (May 17-20) at the Sorrento Centre east of Kamloops. We invite all Friends and friends of Friends to join us in this vibrant gathering of Western Friends.
Registration is at whym-registration.ca, along with more information available there about costs, accommodation, etc.
Please note that the deadline to register is May 1.
This year’s gathering will have a theme of rising up in difficult times and will include an interactive workshop, led by Meredith Egan on Saturday evening, on “Taking Care of Creation: Self-Care in these Savage Times.”
The usual items will all be included in the Half-Yearly Meeting schedule – worship-sharing groups, special interest groups, Meetings for Worship including business Meetings, and the phenomenal Family Night sharing of talents and fun. There will also be the traditional “retreat day” on the Friday of the long weekend, for those who are able to arrive early.
To see the schedule, agenda, and welcome letter for Western Half-Yearly Meeting, please visit the Spring WHYM 2019 page on the business side of our site. (Note that you will be prompted to login into the business section of our website, or create an account, to see that page).