Yonge Street Half-Yearly Meeting will take place on Saturday, October 5 from 9 am to 5 pm. Please join us at Friends House, 60 Lowther Avenue, Toronto.
At 2 pm, Maggie Knight will lead an exciting session on the topic “How Young Friends are promoting their spiritual growth in a secular society in 2019.” Maggie is a dynamic Young Friend from Vancouver Island Monthly Meeting who has been inspiring Friends for some years.
In 2016, Maggie presented the Sunderland P. Gardner Lecture at Canadian Yearly Meeting Session, which you can watch here:
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:
The gathered Friends will investigate the possibility of a Young Friends pre-CYM gathering at Camp NeeKauNis in 2018.
With this epistle, the gathered Young Friends send Lilia Fick, David Summerhays, and Daniel Von Schulmann to Representatives Meeting hosted by Ottawa Monthly Meeting this fall as representatives of Young Friends.
As part of establishing more efficient, effective, and meaningful communication within the Canadian Young Friends community, and between Canadian Young Friends and Canadian Yearly Meeting, the following regional contacts were established.
West Coast – Daniel von Schulmanno
Prairies and the North – Zaley Warkentino
Ontario – Wesley Weimao
Québec – David Summerhayso
Atlantic – To Be Determined (If you are a Young Friend living in the Atlantic, interested in being the Atlantic contact, please e-mail Daniel von Schulmann at email@example.com)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
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 email@example.com with the title “E&O Online Course Contractor” in the subject line.