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Category: Regional Gatherings

Western Half-Yearly Meeting is happening on-line!

Western Half-Yearly Meeting is happening on-line!

This spring’s Western Half-Yearly Meeting will still take place – on-line, through Zoom, from May 15-17.

Western Half-Yearly Meeting (WHYM) is a much-loved, twice-yearly gathering for Quakers in Western Canada. We warmly invite new and seasoned people to join us for this experiment in gathering online.

Planned activities include worship sharing, an on-line Family Night (AKA talent night or open mic), and a chance to hear about and get involved with Canadian Quaker social justice work for Indigenous Rights, Peace, and Criminal Justice. The full schedule is below.

To receive the Zoom meeting ID and password, please check viquakers.ca/whym or the  Facebook group for Western Half-Yearly Meeting.

Organizers for this virtual gathering were inspired by this (slightly adapted) reading:

Quakers speak of their worship times as Meeting: we do not say we are going to church, or service, or communion, but are going to, or being in Meeting. Quakers in a Meeting for Worship, large or small, short or long [virtual or in person] are first of all meeting each other – members of our community, visitors, and new people. Then friends turn inwards to meet ourselves – our thoughts, feelings, prayers, hopes, and concerns. And in the silence, each of us tries to open ourselves to meeting God, the Light, the Promptings of Love and Truth.
— Mary Walton (1997) as quoted in: A Self Study Pamphlet on Canadian Faith and Practice by Marjory Reitsma-Street (2017).

Schedule for Western Half-Yearly Meeting

(Details for each event below)

Friday May 15th

7:30-9:30 MDT
Intergenerational activity followed by Family Night gathering

Saturday May 16th

9:00-10:00 MDT
Worship Sharing Groups

10:30-12:15 MDT
Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business

1:00-2:00 MDT
Memorial Meeting

2:00-3:30 MDT
Special Interest Groups (to be confirmed)
4:00-6:00 MDT
Meeting of Ministry & Counsel (including Monthly Meeting M&C members)

7:30-9:00 MDT
Gathering: Canadian Friends Service Committee (Keira Mann, CFSC)

Sunday May 17th

9:00-10:00 MDT
Worship Sharing Groups

10:30-11:30 MDT
Meeting for Worship (with children present)

2:00-3:30 MDT
Special Interest Groups (to be confirmed)

Event Details for Western Half-Yearly Meeting

 
Intergenerational/Family Night Gathering
  • Date: Fri, May 15th  
  • Time: 1 – 2 hrs, 6:30 PDT, 7:30 MDT/CST, 8:30 CDT
  • Immediately following the intergenerational activity, there will be a family night event where Friends who wish to may share a song, skit, or poem etc. for everyone to enjoy.  Acts may be submitted as a pre-recorded video or presented live. In order to sign up to perform and for more details, please email Whym-clerk@quaker.ca.
 
Worship Sharing Groups
  • Date: Sat, May 16 and Sunday May 17
  • Time: 1 hour, 8 PDT, 9 MDT/CST, 10 CDT
  • Small groups will gather together (virtually) to sit in Worship and for deep sharing for 1 hour. Each group will have a facilitator and there may be a suggested focus. Anyone wishing to participate must register in advance by emailing Whym-clerk@quaker.ca, by May 11 so that groups can be planned. 
 
Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business
  • Date: Sat, May 16
  • Time: 2 hours, 9:30 PDT, 10:30 MDT/CST, 11:30 CDT
  • Please join us as we conduct our business in the manner of Friends. We have limited the agenda so that we can complete the business in one meeting.
 
Memorial Meeting
  • Date: Sat  May 16
  • Time: 1 hour, 12 PDT, 1 MDT/CST, 2 CDT
  • As is our practice, the lives of those whose names have been brought forward to be remembered, will be celebrated.  Please let the clerk (whym-clerk@quaker.ca) know of those in your Meeting who have died in the past year and any of those who you would like to be included in the WHYM memorial.  So far we know of Michael Phillips, who passed away Dec 25, 2019 and who for many years was an ardent participant at Western Half Yearly Meeting, and Dottie Ross, long active in Argenta.
 
Special Interest Groups
  • Date: Sat, May 16 and Sun, May 17
  • Time: 1 hour, 1 PDT, 2 MDT/CST, 3 CDT
  • These will only occur if people with a topic in mind, who are willing to lead such groups, come forward (email the clerk at whym-clerk@quaker.ca). 
 
Open Ministry & Council Meeting
  • Date: Sat  May 16
  • Time: 2 hours, 3 PDT, 4 MDT/CST, 5 CDT
  • This is open to all Monthly Meeting Ministry & Council members. The agenda will be discerned by those present.
 
Gathering: Canadian Friends Service Committee – Keira Mann
  • Date: Sat  May 16
  • Time: 1.5 hours, 6:30 PDT, 7:30 MDT/CST, 8:30 CDT
  • Join Canadian Friends Service Committee’s assistant coordinator, Keira Mann, to learn more about CFSC. Keira will also be introducing some videos of CFSC’s three program coordinators giving updates on their work, what’s coming next, and how Friends can get involved. Jennifer Preston, Matthew Legge, and Nancy Russell will tell you all about their respective work in Indigenous Rights, Peace, and Criminal Justice.
 
Meeting for Worship
  • Date: Sunday May 17
  • 9:15 PDT, 10:15 MDT/CST, 11:15 CDT – Gathering and settling into silent worship – all mikes will be muted. 
  • 9:30/10:30/11:30 – Meeting for Worship.  As is our practice, all are welcome, including children and babies.  Details around muting and unmuting of mikes are still being discerned.
  • 10:30/11:30/12:30  – After-thoughts in the manner of worship sharing, for those who wish to stay.
  • 11/12/1 (15 minutes) –  Fellowship/chatting (another online experiment) for those who wish to stay. 

Posted in: News, Quaker Blog, Regional Gatherings, WHYM

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Atlantic Friends Gathering (May 17-20)

Atlantic Friends Gathering (May 17-20)

The Atlantic Friends Gathering is an annual get together for Quakers in the Atlantic Provinces – and for anyone who would like to join us.

We meet by the ocean at Camp Geddie over the May long weekend, from Friday, May 17 to Monday noon, May 20th. There are lots of workshops and fun activities.

Please check it out at atlantic.quaker.ca/afg to find out about the program for AFG 2019. You can register on-line and get a reduced rate before May 10th.

The theme this year is “That of God in Everyone and Every Thing: A Call to Quakers for Environmental Action”.Atlantic Friends Gathering Poster 2019

We have 5 guest speakers, as well as our own local leaders.

The guest speakers are:

  • Cameron Fraser, Canadian Yearly Meeting Secretary
  • Judy Loo, International Biodiversity scientist
  • Verena Tan, Canadian Friends Service Committee staff
  • Joanna Bull & Meghan McMorris, Ecology Action Centre staff
  • Plus Atlantic Canada Friends with much to share on the environment

Posted in: Events, News, Quaker Blog, Regional Gatherings

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REGISTRATION NOW OPEN: Fall Western Half-Yearly Meeting Gathering

The 2017 Fall gathering of Western Half-Yearly Meeting will take place on Thanksgiving weekend (October 6-9) at the Shekinah Retreat Centre north of Saskatoon. We invite all Friends and friends of Friends to join us in this warm, intimate gathering.

The usual items will all be included in the Half-Yearly Meeting schedule (worship-sharing groups, special interest groups, Meetings for Worship including Business Meetings, and the phenomenal Family Night sharing of talents and fun). Shekinah also offers us the chance to ride the fabulous “Flying Fox” zipline that has excited Young Friends of all ages (from about 4 to about 80) over the years.

This year’s gathering will have a theme of Truth and Reconciliation, and will include the interactive Kairos Blanket Exercise on Indigenous history on Saturday evening, led by Elder Josephine Worm and Dale Dewar. Jolee Sasakamoose, an Indigenous professor at the University of Regina, will lead Meetings for Healing on both Saturday and Sunday. We particularly encourage Meetings who have been working on the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action to send representation so that we can discuss how to continue and deepen our work together.

Friends usually try to arrive on Friday evening (and late into the night), with activities all day Saturday and Sunday, and depart after a short closing Meeting for Worship on Thanksgiving Monday.

Saskatoon Meeting typically provides soups and breads that registrants can eat for dinner on Friday night. Meals on Saturday and Sunday (and Monday breakfast) are cooked by Shekinah staff and shared in close fellowship. Accommodations are bunk-room style (with various numbers of occupants per room) in a lodge, or alternatively there are campsites available. Pillows, linens, sleeping bags/blankets, and towels are not provided.

Driving directions are available here; it may be possible to arrange rides or shared transportation.

We hope that you will join us in Shekinah for Thanksgiving 2017!

In Friendship,
Joy Morris (Clerk)

Registration Information

  • Please be aware that WHYM’s bank account is almost dry. We encourage Friends to approach their meetings for assistance in attending the gathering at Shekinah. We have also added a donation line to the registration form. If you are able to give more, it will help us with the subsidy we are providing for Young Friends to attend.
  • Note that if you are camping, you will also need to pay the day registration rate.
  • All children under 4 will not be charged for registration or accommodation.
  • We greatly encourage meetings to print and share the info and pdf registration with Friends who are not online. Please enable these forms to be scanned and emailed or Beth is happy to fill out forms for folks over the phone (306-540-2384). Forms can also be mailed to Beth at Box 909 Wynyard SK S0A 4T0.
  • Please direct any questions to Beth at bassish@gmail.com.

Link to Registration Form (excel)
Link to Registration Form for Printing (pdf)

Draft Schedule (pdf)
Info Sheet (pdf)

Posted in: Events, News, Quaker Blog, Regional Gatherings

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Atlantic Friends Gathering – May 19-22

Atlantic Friends Gathering is an annual event linking members and attenders of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) from across Atlantic Canada.

Theme: Moving from Faith to Action through Creative Arts

AFG 2016 attendersWe gather at Camp Geddie, a Presbyterian Church camp on Nova Scotia’s North Shore. The spacious grounds, with nature trails and a spectacular beach on the Northumberland Strait provide a natural setting for renewal of our individual and group spirit.

As with previous AFG’s there are no compulsory activities. The healing atmosphere of being in a welcome nature retreat offers an opportunity to open ourselves up to whatever we feel leads us, and to make this a weekend of renewal of our individual and our group spirit.

This is a weekend for fun and enjoyment for individuals of all ages.

For information about AFG, click here.

To see the programme, click here.

For detailed information about Special Interest Groups, click here.

To register for AFG 2017, click here.

Camp Geddie main lodge

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Pelham and Yonge St. Half Yearly Meeting – Spring 2012 – Neekaunis – Some Queries

Friends were invited to respond, over the weekend, to some queries posted in the dining room.  Here are the responses:

1.  How would you describe your Quaker Community?

  • International
  • Nurturing
  • A safe place to practice being who I want to be
  • Inspiring
  • Challenging
  • Rejuvenating
  • Stimulating
  • Sometimes frustrating
  • Wide-spread
  • Beloved
  • Deeply connected
  • Small
  • Rewarding
  • My spiritual home

2.  How do you experience the responsibilities of Membership?

  • Affirming, exciting, satisfying to be of service, to build together
  • Learning to withhold judgement and comment
  • Feeling that I am contributing
  • An active community
  • 20 hour work weeks

3.  What does it mean to you to belong?

  • Being fully human
  • Hard work
  • Joyous
  • Engenders gratitude
  • Having meaningful relationships with others in the group
  • not being alone

4.  What’s it like to be part of this combined Half Yearly Meeting?

  • Delightful
  • Thrilling
  • Exciting
  • Fun
  • Renews connections
  • Happy to see so many F/friends I love
  • Loud, but wonderful
  • I love seeing all ya and heck PHY can sing!!!
  • Absolutely topping!  Let’s do it again!  And again!…

Posted in: Peham Half Yearly Meeting, Regional Gatherings, Yonge St. Half Yearly Meeting

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