Atlantic Friends Gathering: Spring 2012

One of the many joys of the Youth Secretary position is that I am released to travel in the ministry among Canadian Friends and am occasionally specifically invited to events or gatherings.

This long weekend, while personally marking the first year of the Youth Secretary position, I am out near New Glasgow, NS at Camp Geddie for Atlantic Friends Gathering.

Carol B. picked me up at the Halifax airport this morning and we had a lovely drive, both scenically and conversationally. She took us off the highway and I was delighted by fields of dandelions in full bloom, tidal rivers and small farms.

Our arrival at Camp Geddie was earlier than most, so I was able to get a feel for the place, help bring things in from the car and take a long walk along the beach. I even managed to sneak a nap before dinner!

The crew here is small and wonderful. Everyone is energetic, interested and friendly. Dinner was delicious and was followed by an opportunity to connect and share our joys and excitement at being here or to lift up what we are letting go of or leaving behind.

After everyone fretting that there might not be (m)any Younger Friends, I am very excited to have the opportunity to meet and connect with those that are here. Lucy, Issac, Ashton, Helen, Kristal, Catina and Illiana thus far (sorry for misspellings)!


Dear Friends,

I wanted to draw your attention to two items of interest.

First, CFSC is present at the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues which meets for two weeks in New York in May. Jennifer Preston (staff), Monica Walters-Field (former CFSC board member), and Don Alexander (current CFSC board member) are there over this time period. They are producing posts that are being posted on the website. You can get them by visiting the main page – There are also a couple of videos posted on our Canadian Friends Service Committee Facebook page that are worth watching.

Second, today, May 15th, is International Conscientious Objectors Day – below is an action request from the War Resisters Support Campaign for your attention. In addition, we are anticipating a broader statement of support for the US war resisters – an announcement will be on the main page of the website tomorrow after 9 am. Visit to find out who and what was said.

Warm regards and Friendship,

Orion Jane Orion Smith

General Secretary, Canadian Friends Service Committee (Quakers)



Celebrate International Day for Conscientious Objection by calling on the government to rescind Operational Bulletin 202 Actions for all Canadian supporters – please see below!

Dear supporters of U.S. war resisters in Canada, Tuesday, May 15 is the International Day for Conscientious Objection. On that day, we will call for the elimination of Immigration Minister Kenney’s Operational Bulletin 202. OB202 directs immigration officers to refer the cases of all U.S. war resisters to their superior officers, and it has stopped the progress of war resisters’ cases, even when the courts have ruled in their favour.

*** Supporters all over Canada:

  • on May 15, please email Immigration Minister Jason Kenney and your own Member of Parliament.Click on this link to do this in one step! Your email will also be sent to the relevant Opposition leaders and critics. You may edit and personalize the letter if you wish.

*** Supporters in the Toronto area:

  • Please join us for an evening of letter-writing at the United Steelworkers Hall on Tuesday, May 15, 7:00 p.m. We will write, email, fax, and tweet Jason Kenney. We’ll have a campaign update and light refreshments will be served.

*** Everyone:

  • please spread the word to your own networks! May 15: International Day for Conscientious Objection: Rescind OB202! Thank you for all you do on behalf of U.S. war resisters and on behalf of peace. War Resisters Support Campaign


of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
P.O. Box 8091, Halifax NS B3K 5L8
 (902) 429-2904

                     Quaker Young Adult Participation in Countering the Militarization of Youth Conference

May 1, 2012

The Peace and Social Action Committee gratefully acknowledge the commitment to working for a better world Christel LeBlanc, Matthew Webb, and Sheehan Moore are showing by representing Canadian Quakers at the Countering the Militarisation of Youth Conference in Darmstadt Germany, June 8 -10.

The conference provides a unique opportunity for them to develop an understanding of the reach and consequences of the normalization of large permanent militaries and the worldviews and policies
that promote military violent action as the only realistic option for attempting to resolve conflict.
They will also learn about techniques for helping youth to develop and maintain a culture of peace
and hope, that will be of great use in our work here in Canada.

The conference will have participants from Britain, Chile, Germany, Sweden, Netherlands, Israel, Finland, Spain, South Africa, Venezuela, Colombia, USA, Canada, and a range of other countries.
The three Young Adults will bring our Quaker perspective to the dialogues and discussions, which I am sure will benefit the conference as a whole.  A draft outline of the conference agenda is available here.

Their interest and commitment to this Concern makes me think of Muriel Duckworth.  Her lifelong commitment to peace and justice is an inspiration to us all, and I think that she would be so pleased to know that they are following in her footsteps for peace, by making their way to this important peace conference.

Although there has been a pledge by Friends to cover the cost of the third Quaker to attend the conference, and although we have had pledges from Monthly Meetings and individuals, we welcome additional support from Quakers.  However, Halifax Monthly Meeting is committed to underwriting the project.  Today, May 1st, the airline tickets were purchased.

Here is the contact e-mail addresses for the three participants:

Christel LeBlanc
Matthew Webb
Sheehan Moore

Feel free to contact them with your well-wishes, questions, and suggestions.  Christel has agreed to be the “blog meister” for the group, so you may wish to contact her directly if you wish to receive their blog from the conference.

During this month, we will be doing a collaborative learning project, to bring us up to speed with the issue.  All suggestions for this learning project are most welcome.

We wish them all the best, and Godspeed.

In Friendship,


Roger Davies
clerk, Peace and Social Action Committee
Treasurer, HMM

Go Palestine Summer Camp

[From the Friends United Meeting newsletter]

Go Palestine — Go Palestine is a summer camp hosted by the Ramallah Friends School, July 1-21. A few spots are reserved for American teenagers, ages 14-17. Go Palestine will include: community service in refugee camps, rebuilding Palestinian homes, olive tree planting, arts/music/dance, field trips, and much more!