Quaker Blog

Workshop on Diversity & Inclusion

Registration is now open for “Diversity & Inclusion in Quaker Practice” a 3-part spirit-led workshop series that will run on April 30, May 7, and May 14.  The workshop is offered by Canadian Yearly Meeting’s Education & Outreach Committee and facilitated by Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre in the United Kingdom.

The workshop’s facilitators will support participants in having important and challenging conversations, with the goal of transforming our Quaker Meetings into truly welcoming spaces. We will reflect upon and learn from some of the times when Quakers have failed to be fully inclusive. Participants will be encouraged to explore the power that we do and don’t have, and learn about ‘intersectionality’ (i.e., how different forms of oppression interweave, and cannot be untangled from each other). We will discuss how differences can make us feel uncomfortable, and why it is important to address that discomfort rather than avoid it. Finally, we will reflect on  next steps you can take to make your Meeting more inclusive.

The cost is $50, with some financial assistance available.

To register and for more information, see the workshop’s Registration Form.

Reminder: “Hope as a Practice” Workshop

A reminder that registration for this “Hope as a Practice” workshop closes March 12!

Can hope be more powerful than simple optimism? What does it mean to ‘practice hope’? How do we maintain hope when things seem to be getting worse rather than better?

In two “Hope as a Practice” online workshops, held on March 19 and April 2, we’ll explore different perspectives on hope and think about how they speak to us as Quakers. Participants will also have the opportunity to try out practices that can strengthen hope. We’ll reflect together on how to generate and renew hope to strengthen our collective capacity to bear witness in the world.

Registration for ‘Hope as a Practice’ is now open.

“Hope as a Practice” has been taught across the United Kingdom by Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre tutor Tracey Martin. It is for individuals wanting to strengthen their relationship to hope in a world filled with challenges, or to explore hopes for our Quaker community. It is brought to you by CYM’s Education & Outreach Committee, who are focussing on offering restorative Quaker practices in 2022.

Times & Details

“Hope as a Practice” will take place over two Zoom meetings on March 19 and April 2, 2022.

Given that Tracey Martin is based in UK time zone, that workshop will start at:

  • 9 am Pacific
  • 10 am Mountain
  • 11 am Central
  • noon Eastern
  • 1 pm Atlantic
  • 1:30 pm Newfoundland & Labrador
  • 5 pm British Time

Each session is two hours long, for a total of 4 hours, and will offer loads of experiential contact.

There is a cost for this workshop, as Woodbrooke Quaker Learning charges for tutor facilitation. Full and half bursaries are also available. For details, see the registration form.

To join the two-part workshop, Register for ‘Hope as a Practice’. Registration will close on March 12.

Welcoming our new General Secretary-Treasurer

Canadian Yearly Meeting is pleased to announce that Tasmin Rajotte will be our new General Secretary-Treasurer, a new position for our Quaker organization, beginning 23 February 2022.

Tasmin is well-known to Canadian Friends. She is a member of Ottawa Monthly Meeting and currently attends Peterborough Monthly Meeting. She has previously served in several roles for the Canadian Friends Service Committee, including representative for the Quaker International Affairs Programme (which was laid down in 2011). She has over 24 years of experience working in the not-for-profit sector, including leadership for projects, teams, and organizational change. She brings a wealth of experience from strategic planning, budgeting and human resources management to fundraising.

We are delighted to have her assist us with our changes and sustainable transformation.

Reminder: Online Quaker Conversation Circle

On Saturday, February 12 there will be a 90-minute online workshop that introduces Quaker Conversation Circles from the Quaker Religious Education Collaborative. Come and learn about this exciting new way to hold deeper conversations about topics that matter to you and your group or Quaker Meeting. All are welcome – including those new to Quaker ways.

Members of CYM Education & Outreach will join with the Quaker Religious Education Collaborative (QREC, a non-affiliated group of Quakers in the U.S.) to provide mutual guidance during this session.

More on Quaker Conversation Circles

Starting in 2014, a group of dedicated American Friends at QREC began to develop online practices that make Quaker meetings come alive together, individually and corporately. The Conversation Circle tool they developed is a Quaker practice with a bit more structure and preparation than regular worship-sharing. It is an online tool that will benefit Canadian Quakers who are spread across this land, often in small- or medium-sized communities. We hope to offer you a way to build connection where you are. Conversation Circles can be used for national conversations, local Meeting, or in small groups.

Our queries are: What is a Quaker? How do we walk in the world as Friends?

Times and how to join

This first online Conversation Circle (again, on Saturday, February 12, 2022) will start at:

  • 10:30 AM PST
  • 11:30 AM MST
  • 12:30 PM CST
  • 1:30 PM EST
  • 2:30 AST
  • 3:00 NST

The workshop is 90 minutes long and there is no cost. To register, contact the clerk of E&O, Catherine Harding ().

Please join us on February 12!

Other upcoming events from Education & Outreach

This is the first session in a series. The Education & Outreach Committee has decided to focus on offering restorative Quaker practices in 2022.

For the next event, on 19 March & 2 April 2022, we are bringing Tracey Martin back online to guide us in Hope as a Practice. There is a cost for this workshop, as Woodbrooke Quaker Learning charges for tutor facilitation. 

Given that Tracey Martin is based in UK time zone, that workshop will start at 9:00 AM PST / 10:00 AM MST/ 11:00 AM CST/ 12:00 PM EST/ 1:00 PM AST/ 1:30 PM NST. The 2-part workshop runs for 2 hours each time and offers loads of experiential contact.

For more information and to join, please fill out the Hope as Practice registration form before March 12.

Also coming Spring 2022, we are working with Woodbrooke Learning Team to offer workshops practices on Diversity and Inclusion in Quaker Meetings. The dates and times are still being determined, but there will be 3 consecutive sessions of 2 hours each.

And finally, even when our events are fee-charging, we believe in barrier-free entrance to all of our offerings. For further information, contact the clerk of E&O, Catherine Harding ().

Welcoming a new archivist

The Canadian Yearly Meeting Archives Committee would like to welcome our new archivist Michelle Tolley! Michelle comes with experience of having worked as a library technician at Pickering College, which hosts the CYM Library and Archives. It was while she was working for Pickering College that she was offered the opportunity to do some processing for the Canadian Yearly Meeting Archives. This experience made her excited about working in archives and she pursued a masters’ degree to become an archivist. One particular aspect of archives that excites Michelle, is that the “archives provide an unbiased history in the original form as the document can be viewed before writers have added their interpretation.”

Michelle was introduced to Quakers while working at Pickering College. She appreciated that Pickering College was run according to Quaker values and would attend Meeting for Worship at Pickering College. Michelle found the Quaker approach to worship a refreshing experience, appreciating how Friends worshiped in silence and spoke informally out of this silence. Through worship and working in the archives, Michelle also learned how Quakers focused on social justice issues.

Working in the Canadian Yearly Meeting Archives Michelle came to appreciate that social justice and environmental issues are not a new value for Quakers in the 21st century, as she has come recognize these values as an integral part of Quaker values in 1700 and 1800’s. Michelle discovered that the Quakers have been working with Indigenous people and on truth and reconciliation prior to any other faith community. She could also identify that Quakers are very accepting of people from different cultures and the LGBTQ community.

As Michelle explores the Canadian Yearly Meeting Archives, she is excited to see the treasures that are to be found in the vault and the Dorland Library. She recognizes the challenges that many Friends and researchers have in accessing the Canadian Yearly Meeting Archives. Having the Canadian Yearly Meeting Archives in Newmarket, Ontario, at Pickering College makes it a challenge for some to access the archives in person. She wants to work to make the archives more accessible by developing a searchable on-line index. Then when you make an appointment to visit the Canadian Yearly Meeting Archives in person, your information can be easily retrieved and ready for you. Michelle advises that as information becomes available on-line, the Canadian Yearly Meeting Archives website will be updated – so stay tuned to the website!