Something Special This Year at CYM!
This year, those who attend Canadian Yearly Meeting in session will have the opportunity to participate in a Quaker process of discernment about matters pertinent to our very existence. I’m hoping that many of you will be at Yearly Meeting to bring your wisdom and ideas to this important work.
As you know, CYM is both the face of Quakers in Canada and the body that connects Meetings and Worship Groups, offers opportunities such as online courses and scholarships for Quaker study, publishes The Canadian Friend, supports representatives to wider Quaker bodies and other organizations, and in general does so much to ground Canadian Friends in our faith and make our viewpoints known to the wider world.
But we’re in trouble. For some years now, our expenses have exceeded the amount of contributions from Meetings and individual Friends. One doesn’t have to be a financial wizard (as I certainly am not!) to know that this situation is unsustainable. If it continues as it is now, in a few years we will have to lay CYM down. I don’t know about you, but I find this idea unacceptable! Here’s where the discernment process mentioned in the first paragraph comes in.
The Ad Hoc Committee on Financial Sustainability (AHCFS), formed at Representative Meeting last November, has been working hard to get a clear and detailed picture of CYM’s financial situation and to think of ways to change it. That group proposes a creative way to allow all Friends at Yearly Meeting to be part of the solution. Three of the morning business sessions at Yearly Meeting will include an hour and a quarter for special breakout sessions. Three topics will be covered in three separate sessions each of the days, so that all Friends can attend all three.
These are the topics to be considered:
- Session 1: Internal Organization Operations – who we are and who we want to be.
- Session 2: Relationships with Outside Bodies – costs and benefits of Quaker spiritual engagement
- Session 3: Guided by Spirit and Sustainability – what can we lose to save what we have.
The Committee of Clerks of CYM has approved this plan. These sessions will make the course of our business through the week a little different from the usual, but it’s not just important to include them – it’s necessary. Friends at CYM in Winnipeg will help to shape the future of Canadian Yearly Meeting. I hope you’ll be there – please register before July 15.
In the Light,
Presiding Clerk, Canadian Yearly Meeting