Quaker Blog

Gathering in Winnipeg

Gathering and coming together as a community has always been important to many Quakers. We hope to achieve this sense of community as we experiment with our first-ever blended Yearly Meeting.

At the Gathering this year, many exciting activities are taking place, from Quaker studies with Brent Bill, through various Special Interest Groups to the Sunderland P. Gardener Lecture. This year, the Lecture is by Richard ‘Dick’ Preston, who is reflecting on stories from a lifetime of building relationships and friendships with Cree people in the communities along the shores of James Bay in northern Ontario and Quebec. As usual, it is open to everyone, even if you are not registered for Canadian Yearly Meeting 2023. We invite you to register yourself via this link: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMsfu6grzspH9RNk3lrrvlkuPgIosfyj75W

You will then receive the link to attend the Lecture shortly beforehand. Therefore, please take the time to register well before the session is scheduled to start.

Michelle Tolley, Canadian Yearly Meeting’s Archivist, has brought along some fascinating historical pieces from the Archives for everyone to peruse. Below is a picture of the beautiful book of drawings and letters from German children, sent to the Canadian Friends Service Committee as a thank-you gift for food and support that they sent to Germany during the Second World War. The care and detail in these letters and drawings are wonderful to see.

An example from the book from the Archives of letters from German children sent to CFSC in 1949.

Intergenerational wet felting joint artwork from CYM in session 2023

Felting joint artwork from CYM in session 2023

 

 

The Children and Youth program is at the heart and soul of this year’s Gathering. With 17 children and teenagers, the Children’s program is a great success. Last night, children and adults came together for a wet felting workshop to create beautiful fibre art. Today, Monday, they are off on a field trip to Winnipeg to swim.

 

Igniting Quaker Spirituality: 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. Design wizardry: Let your creativity shine through as you edit, design, and produce three captivating issues of The Canadian Friend. You’ll need to utilize communication software like Adobe Creative Suite, Canva, and Affinity Publisher.
  3. 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.
  4. Quaker fluency: Immerse yourself in the world of Quakerism, understanding the unique terminology and tone that resonates with our community.
  5. Collaborative spirit: Communicate effectively with CYM staff, volunteer committees, and Quakers from diverse backgrounds, fostering a sense of unity and shared vision.
  6. 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 July 15. Submit your proposal as a single PDF to by September 1. Don’t forget to include “RFP Canadian Friend” in the subject line, and provide 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: June 22nd
  • Deadline for questions: July 15th
  • Answers to questions: July 30th
  • RFP submissions close: September 1st
  • Shortlisted vendors notified: September 8th
  • Vendor presentations: Week of September 18th
  • Vendor selection: September 29th

 

 

Less than a month until Yearly Gathering 2023!

Yearly Meeting is less than a month away, and we have lots of exciting activities and developments to report on!
 
News from the Children & Youth Program
The Children & Youth Program will be a crowd! We have 17 youths registered, ranging from 2 to 17 years old, and we have a core leadership group of four adult caregivers. Nathalie Brunet has been previously introduced as C&Y Program Coordinator. Kamila Nasr (Annapolis Valley MM) and Kathryn Wiersma (Hamilton MM) will be our full-time Group Leaders, with the assistance of Beverly Plett (Winnipeg MM) for the afternoon sessions. We will be joined at different times by beloved older Friends for companionship and special activities such as art and sports.
 
The schedule of outside activities is not finalized yet, but up for our consideration and excitement are swimming expeditions, visits to the nearby Fort Whyte Alive nature education centre, and age-appropriate tours at the Canadian Museum of Human Rights.
 
Get a load of the SIGs
The Special interest groups (SIGs) are also formed for this year’s Gathering, and there’s something for everyone! Some groups will be blended, combining online and in-person activities, while others will be exclusively online or in-person. Don’t miss out on these incredible opportunities to connect, learn, and contribute. Register today for the Gathering and secure your spot in person before June 26, or online before July 4.
 
Check out some of what will be discussed this year:
  • How does justice come here? Join CFSC’s Indigenous Rights Committee in a SIG that builds on the themes of Dick Preston’s SPG Lecture by exploring the Committees’ own stories of relationship and reconciliation.
  • What does the Quaker peace testimony mean in a time of war? Explore how Quakers can support the peace process in Ukraine and elsewhere with the CFSC’s Quaker Peace Committee
  • Bible Study the Quaker Way! In the Friendly Bible Study session learn (then practice!) an approach to scripture that lifts up personal experience as a central part of our spiritual lives.
The Gathering promises to be an unforgettable experience, filled with moments of growth and community-building. Register today for the Gathering and secure your spot in person before June 26, or online before July 4.
 
See you there!

Registration is open for CYM Annual Gathering 2023!

Registration for the Annual Gathering opens today, May 1st!

Friends, we’re over the moon excited to announce that registration for our first blended annual gathering – our first in-person gathering in three years – is open. This year, the gathering will include Quaker study sessions, worship, the Sunderland P. Gardner keynote lecture, programming for children and youth, and special interest group workshops.

Find information and links to the online and in-person registration on two different platforms, so please double check you are applying for the right one: forms here.

We invite you to register as soon as possible, particularly if you are planning to attend in person. The more quickly we have a sense of how many are coming, the better we can prepare.

Speaking of which: we could use some help!

Please look over the volunteer opportunities at the gathering this year and consider which one or two suits you most. We need you whether you’re a people-person, technology-person, or a picking-up-SPG-Lecture-cake person. We need you whether you plan to come in person or online.

An FAQ page is available to answer your questions! 

Key Dates for the Annual Gathering

  • May 1: Online and in-person registration opens
  • May 25:  Closing date to apply to the Education and Outreach Committee for a grant to assist with the costs of attending the gathering
  • May 31: Closing date to register young ones for a guaranteed spot in the Children and Youth Program
  • June 26: Closing date for In-person registration; we need this time if we are to ensure your meal and lodging choices

Planning for 2023’s Yearly Meeting – July 8-13

Canadian Yearly Meeting 2023 will take place July 8-13 online and at the Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg. An overview of the schedule is now available on the Yearly Meeting in Session site. Registration is not yet open, but it will soon be added, with lots more information, to that site.

Canadian Yearly Meeting (CYM, also known as Yearly Meeting in Session) is a blended gathering once a year for all Canadian Quakers and those interested in or new to Quakers. Its Business Meetings are the main decision-making body of Quakers in Canada. There’s also lots of time for fun and games, music, socializing, and sessions focusing on spiritual development, social justice, and Quaker history. This year, the gathering will include Quaker study sessions, worship, the Sunderland P. Gardner keynote lecture, programming for children and youth, and special interest group workshops.