Hello Friends in CYM,
This post is to inform you of the work of the Change and Sustainable Transformation Working Group (CAST) of Canadian Yearly Meeting and to bring our initial recommendations to you.
CAST was established in March 2020 with a mandate from Representative Meeting in February, as follows.
- Identify commonalities and themes from the national consultation of the Ad Hoc Committee on Financial Sustainability and draw on other resources to draft:
- a description of the purpose of CYM;
- a list of CYM’s needs and priorities;
- a list of associated programs and services; and
- proposed next steps for possible adjustments based on the above.
- Plan and engage in a process to bring forward the above drafts for documents in advance for 2020 CYM in Session to move this work forward after 2020 CYM in Session.
- After CYM in Session:
- correlate the identified priorities, programs, and services with costs and our financial reality;
- communicate the financial limitations to pertinent CYM committees;
- present recommendations to Finance Committee; and
- report and present matters to Representatives Meeting in November 2020.
- Support ongoing communication flow regarding the progress of the work, especially with CYM and Monthly Meetings.
- Continue to support ongoing organizational transformation and the sustainability of CYM grounded in Quaker faith, practice, and process.
Draft Statement of CYM Purpose
A draft statement of CYM purpose was sent to Monthly Meetings in late May with a request for feedback. We have received suggestions and we would like discussion at Representative Meeting on the draft statement. We ask you to consider it and send any more responses to email@example.com and have your representative prepared to speak to it at the next on-line Representative Meeting on July 4.
CYM draft ‘statement of purpose’ from the Change and Sustainable Transformation Working Group (CAST):
Canadian Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) unites its constituent Meetings to uphold faith and practice in the manner of Friends, seeking to be open to new Light as we collectively discern how we are led to witness in the world.
Draft Priorities for Canadian Yearly Meeting
In early June we sent to Monthly Meetings a draft statement of priorities for CYM to be discussed at Representative Meeting on July 4. It is as follows:
Priorities for Canadian Yearly Meeting, in no particular order, as drafted by CAST on June 4, 2020:)
- To support Friends in Canada with resources and connections that nurture the spiritual communities nationally, regionally and locally.
- To sustain a collective voice.
- To provide opportunities to learn about Friends’ ways and affirm our Quaker identity.
- To ensure our use of resources is sustainable in terms of volunteer energy, finances and environmental impacts.
- To support youth involvement within the Quaker community including provision of finances, staff resources, and assistance to pursue leadings and hold gatherings.
- To carry out the business of the yearly meeting in a worshipful manner, demonstrating
- our discernment process as a spiritual practice.
- To enable seekers to find and connect with Canadian Quakers
- To support the Canadian Friends Service Committee with peace and justice initiatives.
We are discussing ideas for restructuring how we do Yearly Meeting business. We believe that in 2021 we will need to have a national CYM in Session (in Winnipeg as planned), as it would not be good process to make substantial changes in our structure and format without a full face-to-face meeting. However, we suggest that our 2021 session can be modified from past practice to respond to some of the suggestions made during the Ad Hoc Committee on Financial Sustainability consultations.
We ask Representative Meeting to discuss the following recommendations:
- We recommend that CYM move more of its business to Representative Meeting. For example, Yearly Meeting in Session would be responsible for significant changes to our organization and our witness to the wider world. Representative Meeting would be responsible for all other decisions. Representative Meeting would need to meet twice a year and some decisions could be made by on-line conferencing.
- Over the years it has been mentioned that more CYM business could be done by Regional and Half-Yearly meetings. As the capability and willingness of these meetings to do Yearly Meeting business is not apparent, we recommend that CYM not delegate CYM business to regional meetings.
- We recommend that Clerks’ Committee be authorized to do CYM business that is of a practical and procedural nature. Some of the work can be done in joint meetings with CYM committees.
- We recommend that CYM in Session 2021 be held in Winnipeg as planned. However, we recommend that it be a five-day Yearly Meeting instead of eight and that CYM in Session have much shorter business sessions and focus mainly on spiritual renewal, peace and service, and Quaker education.
We are looking at a possible different structure for CYM in Session in the future to address travel and climate issues and to make CYM in Session accessible to more Friends.
CAST will also be addressing:
- supporting and engaging Quaker Youth
- CYM staffing
- sustainability from an environmental perspective, and
- financial sustainability
We look forward to input from all parts of our Canadian Yearly Meeting. Send replies to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Change and Sustainable Transformation Working Group (CAST): Marilyn Manzer (clerk), Virginia Dawson, Zaley Warkentin, Pete Cross, Celia Cheatley, Wesley Weima