Quaker Blog

Canadian Quaker Religious Education Conversation Circles

Canadian Yearly Meeting is launching a Canadian Quaker Religious Education Collaborative Network that aims to bring people together and facilitate the sharing of ideas on a range of topics. These include creating community within our Meetings, working with Quaker parents, children, and families, supporting newcomers in Quaker meetings, and Quaker outreach to the wider world. We are following the excellent model of the Quaker Religious Education Collaborative set up in the United States. 

Come join us for a Quaker Conversation Circle to share ideas and resources. And if there is a topic that you feel we should discuss, send suggestions to:

WHEN: Wednesday nights, time zone range

1 hour starting at 8 PM AST/ 7 PM EST/ 6 PM CST/ 5 PM MST / 4 PM PST

1 hour ending at 9 PM AST/ 8 PM EST/ 7 PM CST / 6 PM MST/ 5 PM PST

TOPICS:

February 21 Let’s talk about Religious Education

March 20 Let’s talk about Outreach

April 24 Let’s talk about: to be decided

May 22 Let’s talk about: to be decided

Sign up to be on the email list for the Conversation Circles by emailing Catherine at !

The Quaker Basics course is back in April!

The Quaker Basics course is an educational course about Quakerism offered by Canadian Yearly Meeting and Jackie Bonner, which has had several successful previous iterations. 

This is a Friendly (pun intended) course for people interested in learning about Quakers and the ways of Canadian Friends. The course is meant to be an experience, more so than an academic course. There is no testing or examination! The facilitator will meet with participants once a week for six weeks, for approximately one and a half hours, to worship, discuss, and reflect on various topics. Topics include but are not limited to: Introductions and the Basics of Quakers, Experiencing Spirit, Early Friends, Testimonies, Meetings, Business Meetings, and Living in the Spiritual Community. Students will receive an email from the Facilitator with a small reading along with thoughts, tasks, and questions to reflect on throughout the week. Oh, and don’t worry… the silence is included.

Cost: $100

* Participants are encouraged to contact their local meeting for financial assistance.

Dates & Time: April 6 – May 11, Saturdays – 1 pm Atlantic time

(April 6, 13, 20, 27 and May 4, 11)

Registration deadline: March 26, 2024

Sessions: 6

Style: Video Conferencing/ Phone, Email

Course Plan:

  1. Introduction(s)
  2. Experiencing the Spirit – Worship and Ministry in our Community
  3. Early Friends—History (including Canadian)—What are our roots?
  4. Testimonies – Faith in Action*
  5. The Meeting Community – Business*
  6. The Meeting Community – Being part of a Spiritual Community*

Emphasis on Canadian Friend’s action and ways

Apply by filling out the form here: https://shorturl.at/bpyFJ 

Facilitator: Jackie Bonner

Jackie FacilitatorJackie Bonner has been part of the Quaker Community since 2017. She simply started going to Quaker Meetings and never stopped. She has taught in the public school system for over ten years and has recently completed her Master’s in counseling psychology. She has a deep love for nature, the mountains, and reading. She is excited to have the opportunity to spend time with people and explore Quakerism, maybe even throw in a Quaker joke or two. Jackie resides in Sydney, Nova Scotia, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq People. She lives with her daughter, partner, and plants.

Accountability Report – How CYM Served the Community in 2023

How CYM Served the Community in 2023

CYM provides services that help to Spiritually Nurture our beloved community. CYM does this by providing a range of activities and programs that help to unite and support Friends and their constituent Monthly Meetings in understanding and living Quaker faith and practice.

In February of 2023, it was wonderful to see Young Adult Friends with Canadian Young Friends Yearly Meeting gather in Toronto for the first time since the onset of the pandemic.

Courses were offered on Quaker Basics for Canadian Quakers for newcomers and seekers and a joint CYM – Woodbrooke Centre course on Renewing Quaker Community. Online events were held for Monthly Meetings to share their news and to explore issues arising in the State of Society Reports.

For the first time in several years, grants were given for:

  • Educational Opportunities
  • Participation at the Gathering
  • Travelling in the Ministry

A number of families and young friends were able to participate in the Gathering because of the grants.

This past summer, you may have met the former CYM presiding clerk, Marilyn Manzer. She used a grant for Travelling in the Ministry to visit every single Monthly Meeting across Canada. This helped to build connections among Friends in Canada.

Winnipeg Monthly Meeting received a grant for equipment to facilitate hybrid meetings. More grant requests for Meeting House capital improvements were received and approved for 2024. Many of these requests are helping Monthly Meetings adapt to the new and rapidly changing circumstances of an online and in-person community.

In July, CYM successfully held the first-ever blended in-person and online Gathering at the Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg. With the leadership of the Program Committee and the Youth program coordinator, there was a vibrant children and youth program at the Gathering. Program Committee is now in the thick of organizing the 2024 Gathering that will be held at Camp NeeKauNis. A report of the 2023 Gathering and updates on the planning and happenings for 2024 can be found here.

CYM Representatives to other bodies attended online or in-person meetings of the World Council of Churches, Friends World Committee for Consultation, the Canadian Council of Churches, Quaker Earthcare Witness, and KAIROS. There is no representative for Friends United Meeting (FUM), but CYM’s General Secretary-Treasurer has developed a connection with them.

CYM continued to provide annual contributions to other Quaker and ecumenical bodies. These partners produce useful resources and do important service work on the ground. For example, ecumenical bodies have been addressing issues related to racism and reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples. Peace churches at the World Council of Churches brokered an agreement (at the Central Committee meeting that preceded the Assembly) on a statement on the Ukrainian war that allowed the Russian delegates to sign on.

CYM is pleased to announce that two young Friends have been selected as delegates to represent Canadian Friends at the Friends World Committee for Consultation – World Plenary in South Africa in 2024.

There have been some challenges with the magazine The Canadian Friend, but one issue got out along with a joint CFSC-CYM pamphlet on Reconciliation Queries for Friends. Canadian Friends Service Committee (CFSC) has been actively exploring truth and reconciliation work with many Monthly Meetings, Worship Groups, and Half Yearly Meetings. In response to a concern raised at Yearly Meeting, CFSC prepared Queries for Canadian Friends on Reconciliation that was approved in 2021 to be included in our traditional Advices and Queries. You can view it online here. If you would like print copies of the joint CFSC-CYM pamphlet, please contact CFSC. 

A pamphlet for The Sunderland P Gardner Lecture presented at the 2023 Gathering on Truth and Reconciliation: a personal view from 60 years of learning Cree culture by Richard “Dick” Preston is currently at the printers and will be shipped shortly. Also in development is a pamphlet for the Bible Study presented at the 2022 online Gathering on The Transforming Power of Mercy by Colin Saxton.

CYM now offers a monthly E-newsletter. If you would like to receive the newsletter and stay up to date on news such as this, please sign up here: https://quaker.ca/news-events/newsletter/

The Canadian Quaker Library and Archives, Camp NeeKauNis, and cemeteries carried out significant work recently. Yonge Street Friends Burial Ground has been busy repairing monuments and had to get major arborist work done after a severe windstorm knocked over trees. After being shut down by the pandemic, Camp NeeKauNis is in renewal mode with the return of programs along with assessing and repairing camp infrastructure. The new archivist commenced work on digitizing the archives so they can be more accessible for future use.

CYM continues its work on restructuring and simplification. CYM’s programming and administrative committees continue to explore new ways of planning and coordinating their work.  

The restructuring and simplification are beginning to show fruit. Various things have been laid down, such as the Personnel Management Group, the Epistle Summarizing Committee, and the Contributions Committee. There is now a wonderful part-time communications coordinator, Holly Spencer, in place, and it feels like yesterday that our part-time office coordinator, Eva Lacelle, joined us.

The new staff are tasked with putting new infrastructure in place and supporting the delivery of CYM services. Staff are working on a new database, accounting system and processes, filing and storage systems, communications systems, and many other operational processes.

Much of this work is in process, and it will take time, but the new systems will enable CYM to function more effectively in providing services that support the community. For example, the spiralling number of funds and account numbers made accounting an administrative nightmare. This contributed to confusion about CYM’s finances, increased accounting costs, and took precious time and resources away from service work. The new financial system being put in place has already reduced costs and is helping Friends better discern how best to allocate resources to serve the community better.

We live in a liminal time of many complex challenges and possibilities. As the way opens to collaborate in new ways, test things or release and lay things down, a sacred space is created for the emergence of new possibilities. CYM looks forward to seeing what new possibilities emerge for 2024 in how Friends connect to our faith and community.

This work would not be possible without the countless hours of many Friends serving CYM on many fronts, the generous financial contributions from Monthly Meetings and Friends, grants from the Samuel Rogers Memorial Trust Fund, and the in-kind support of Ottawa Monthly Meeting for supporting the CYM office space and Pickering College for supporting the Canadian Quaker Library and Archives. To all of you, a heartfelt thank you!

Only so much can be captured in a summary. For more details on all the work, please see the compilation of CYM Reports from various committees and bodies received for the 2023 Gathering on CYM’s business side of the website. A revised compilation will be available sometime in 2024.

 

How CYM Funds Were Spent in 2022

Pie chart of 2022 expenses
 

Note: Expenses for each category include office and governance support.

 

The Canadian Friend is looking for an editor!

Calling all creative minds and editing enthusiasts! Canadian Yearly Meeting (CYM) is embarking on an exciting journey to redefine The Canadian Friend, our cherished publication. We are searching for an Editor who can infuse it with a vibrant and profound spiritual essence. If you’re passionate about nurturing faith communities and eager to contribute to Quaker life in Canada, this is the opportunity for you!

Read and download the Request for Proposal here.

To be part of this project, you must meet the following criteria:

  1. Editing expertise: Bring your experience in editing publications, planning content, and providing editorial guidance. Familiarity with working alongside volunteer authors is a plus!
  2. Master of logistics: Take charge of the production and distribution process. Liaise with printers and mailing houses, ensuring smooth coordination and up-to-date subscriber lists.
  3. Quaker fluency: Immerse yourself in the world of Quakerism, understanding the unique terminology and tone that resonates with our community.
  4. Collaborative spirit: Communicate effectively with CYM staff, volunteer committees, and Quakers from diverse backgrounds, fostering a sense of unity and shared vision.
  5. Portfolio and references: Impress us with three samples of your past work and provide references for similar projects you’ve undertaken.

We want to hear your vision and plans for The Canadian Friend.

Send your questions to by December 15th. You must submit proposals in one PDF form to by January 15th. Include “RFP Canadian Friend” in the subject line and include your business name and contact information in the body of the message.

We very much look forward to hearing from you.

RFP Timeline:

  • RFP distribution: November 15th, 2023
  • Deadlines for questions: December 15th, 2023
  • Answers to questions: January 8th, 2024
  • RFP submissions close: January 15th, 2024
  • Notification to shortlisted vendors: February 2nd, 2024
  • Vendor presentations: Week commencing February 5th, 2024
  • Vendor selection: Selection by February 16th, 2024