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Category: Western Half Yearly Meeting

Come to Western Half-Yearly Meeting (October 11-14)

Come to Western Half-Yearly Meeting (October 11-14)

The 2019 Fall gathering of Western Half-Yearly Meeting will take place on Thanksgiving weekend (October 11-14) at Camp Shekinah north of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

We invite all Friends and friends of Friends to join us in this warm, intimate gathering. Please note the registration deadline of September 18!

Practical Details

Driving directions and much more information on programming, accomodation, meals, and cost are available in the pdf information file:
Infopack on Fall Western Half Yearly Meeting (PDF) – right-click or command-click to save to your computer.

Meanwhile, here are a few info highlights:

  • 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). At Shekinah, we also have the opportunity to ride the Flying Fox zipline one afternoon – fun for all ages!A happy camper riding the Shekinah zipline
  • The theme for the Saturday evening gathering and the weekend are still being discerned. More information will be provided as this is finalized.
  • The site opens at 4 p.m. on Friday, and Friends usually try to arrive on Friday late afternoon or 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.
  • Accommodations are bunk-room style (with various numbers of occupants per room) in a lodge, or alternatively there are camp sites for tents. Pillows, linens, sleeping bags/blankets, and towels are not provided; bring your own, or ask someone local to bring some for you.
  • The meals do not include snacks or a Friday evening meal; participants who can do so easily are asked to bring snacks to share, and those who are able are asked to help with a pot-luck meal for Friday evening.

Again, for more details, look at the Infopack on Fall Western Half Yearly Meeting. Feel free to contact registrar Elizabeth Curry (whymregistrar@gmail.com) with any questions.

Cost & Registration

The dining hall at ShekinahSite/accommodation fees are $300/adult for the entire weekend; this covers all meals. (Most dietary needs can be accommodated if advance notification is given).

Fees are collected on-site, but please fill out the registration form and send it to Registrar Elizabeth Curry at whymregistrar@gmail.com as soon as you can, or by the deadline of September 18 at the latest. This enables us to plan appropriately and to provide the site with the advance notice they require.

Registration Forms:
Fall 2019 WHYM Registration Form (EXCEL) – Use this to register purely electronically. Filling in each category should auto-populate the costs.
Fall 2019 WHYM Registration Form (PDF for printing) – If needed, print and fill out this version. You may need to right-click (Microsoft) or command-click (Mac) to save these files to your computer first.

Please send your completed registration form to Registrar Elizabeth Curry at whymregistrar@gmail.com.

We hope that you will join us at Camp Shekinah for Thanksgiving 2019!

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Epistle from Western Half Yearly Meeting (Spring 2019)

Epistle from Western Half Yearly Meeting (Spring 2019)

To Friends everywhere:

We gathered for the forty-fifth Western Half Yearly Meeting (WHYM) at the Sorrento Centre in BC. It is our beautiful home for the spring gathering, located on the shores of Shuswap Lake on the traditional unceded territories of the Secwepemc people.

Our intergenerational gathering was gracefully facilitated by a young adult Friend. We were invited to find commonalities, first in pairs, then pairs of pairs, and in groups of eight. This unhurried sharing brought forth recurring feelings of acceptance among family and friends. It led to a gathered Meeting for Worship, with a silence so deep many were reluctant to give it up, lingering after the meeting had closed.

The children’s program was bursting with children this year. Of the 79 people attending WHYM, 21 were 18 and under, and 37 were under 37. Remote and isolated Friends joined us, expressing appreciation to be sharing in the wider spiritual community of Friends.

We missed some WHYM elders who could not make it this year and expect that they would have rejoiced at seeing the renewal and ongoing vitality of the gathering.
Looking up at the forest-fire scarred hills around the Sorrento Centre, we could see the weekend’s rain as a blessing.

On Saturday evening, Meredith Egan, formerly of Canadian Friends Service Committee and now an author, led us through an interactive program of sharing and guided reflection on self-care in these savage times. Conversations continued on the theme of curiosity and self-care throughout the weekend. As Quakers, we often engage with difficult global challenges, including the climate crisis, and may wish to consider how we can introduce queries and advices related to self-care.

The nine Special Interest Groups offered this year ranged from the personal spiritual expression through CYM concerns to activist engagement. They were: Walking Meditation, Sacred Round and Chants, Spiritual Vaccine Against Cults, The Value of Committees of Care, CYM Visitation Program, CYM Funding Balancing Needs, Fairness and Equity, Indigenous Rights and Relationships, Climate Change and the Oil Sands, and a SIG which practiced a Young Friend’s play entitled “What was Nature?” Waterside at WHYM

A memorial meeting was held to remember Friends who have died.

WHYM Ministry and Counsel provided a thoughtful report that expressed how we encourage children throughout the Sunday Meeting for Worship. We continued the experiment of extending Meeting for Worship by beginning 20 minutes earlier. This allows for a settled beginning to meeting for worship, uninterrupted by latecomers or restlessness before the larger body of Friends, including children, join for the following hour-long meeting.

The schedule facilitated many opportunities for social connection between friends and between generations. Campfires, balancing, song circles, shared rides, worship fellowship groups, shared meals and cabanas, walking together, volunteering, childminding, and preparing together for family night are all ways Friends connect with each other.
The rhythms and traditions of Spring WHYM sustain many friendships and connections across Western Canada.

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Epistle from Western Half-Yearly Meeting

Epistle from Western Half-Yearly Meeting

(May 2018 Sorrento, BC)

To Friends Everywhere…

From May 18 to 20, 2018, Western Half Yearly Meeting gathered for our spring meeting at the Sorrento Centre on the unceded land and water of the Secwepemc people.

Our gathering began with a Friday visit to the Tk’emlups Museum and Heritage Park to learn more about Secwepemc culture and traditions and visit the building that housed the Kamloops Indian Residential School until 1977.

  • Friends also gathered on Friday for balancing, a beautiful tradition of playing together and exploring balance, trust and support that was started by Helen Stevenson;
  • On Saturday evening, Canadian Friends Service Committee (CFSC) representative Matthew Legge offered an informative presentation on CFSC’s current programs;
  • Special Interest Groups held on Saturday and Sunday offered Friends the opportunity to explore the inner spiritual life with topics on self-awareness, emotional expression and authentic relationships; other SIGs were on membership, Quaker activism, technology, Right Relations, Truth and Healing with Indigenous Peoples, and the No Way to Treat a Child Campaign;
  • Children were guided in a creative program on the theme of “Impressions”, with many opportunities to explore, gather and create with art supplies and natural materials;
  • Young Friends spent time together in a work project for the Sorrento Centre and sharing time in games and songs by the fire;
  • In keeping with tradition, we hosted a Family Night on Sunday evening to celebrate and enjoy the many talents and gifts within our community.

As we gathered this year, we remembered the many Friends who could not join us this year, or who have passed on but remain close to our hearts. We felt very blessed to share this time to deepen our relationships and put in practice the values that make us a caring and nourishing community.

As we prepare our hearts to take home this light and love, we wish that you may be so blessed and enriched. As we return to our daily lives, we aspire to share the blessing of these Quaker ways we have practiced in our homes and communities.

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2015 Fall Half-Yearly Meeting: October 9-11, 2015- Shekinah Retreat Centre.

Fall Half-Yearly Meeting will be held in Saskatchewan  on October 9th – 11th, 2015.

Hello Friends!

The 2015 Fall WHYM form is here!

All you have to do is input your numbers and it will add up your total – fancy, right? Just send it on back to me with your info and with any questions you might have. If the link does not work for you, let me know and I can send this in a different format for you.

***

A view of the Timber Lodge at Shekinah Retreat Centre. Photo Credit: David Cheatley.

A view of the Timber Lodge at Shekinah Retreat                Centre. Photo Credit: David Cheatley.

Shekinah Retreat Centre is in the North Saskatchewan River valley and thus is chalk full of opportunities for gorgeous walks, outdoor silence, autumn smells and incredible prairie skies (who remembers that year that the northern lights filled the sky?). In addition to the geographical certainty of beauty, we will gather in fun, silence, business and food – sometimes all at the same time!

Saskatoon Meeting has generously offered to provide sandwich fixings for the Friday night arrival meal and will be leading an intergenerational activity that night to get things shakin’ (quakin’?!). We are honoured to welcome visiting friend Parfaite Ntahuba from Friends Women’s Association in Burundi who is involved with the project “Caring for HIV Positive People.” She will be giving us a presentation on Saturday night.

Though it is now very short notice, please consider joining Friends for a wonderful gathering of gratitude on Thanksgiving weekend.

Please let me know if you have any questions,

Beth
bassish@gmail.com
306-540-2384

PS. If you have Friends in your meeting who are not online and would like details or who are planning on coming, they are welcome to phone me with their information.

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