CYFYM Report 2019

Canadian Young Friends Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends 2019 Report

Thank you for blessing us to share with you.

We, as Canadian Young Friends Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, continue to find joy, hope, and community in the new life of our Yearly Meeting. Our new structure continues to serve our community well. Thank you for your support in this journey.

For the upcoming year, we have asked Zaley Warkentin and Wesley Weima to continue as CYFYM Representatives with the addition of Stephen Ginley (Peterborough MM). We thank Alex Wickenheiser for his service as a Representative over the past year.

We ask our Regional Contacts to continue in their roles from the previous year. They are Daniel Von Schulmann, Rebecca Wolfe-Gage, Rose Coutts, and David Summerhays, with the addition of Alex Wickenheiser (subject to consent).

Our Pre-Gathering this year brought both joys and challenges. It was felt to be both invaluable and transformative. We wish to hold another pre-gathering in 2020, and have identified the following Friends to serve in that capacity. Evelyne Russell (Toronto MM), Stephen Ginley (Peterborough MM), Caileigh Morrison (Winnipeg MM), Harmony Morris (Lethbridge WG; subject to consent) and Caroline Martindale (Hamilton MM; subject to consent) to liaise with Program Committee in her role on said committee. Stephen Ginley will liaise with fellow CYFYM Representatives.

Canadian Young Friends Yearly Meeting chose to name the following Young Friends to CYM committees.[1]

We name Caroline Martindale to serve as a CYFYM representative to CYM Program Committee for a term of two years.

We name Rebecca Ivanoff (Yonge Street MM) to serve on the Organisation and Procedure Subcommittee. Although Rebecca recently aged out, she is a (slightly) Older Adult Friend under the care of CYFYM, to whom we have given freedom of the meeting and feel led to have her represent us in this important work.

Cameron Fraser in his role as CYM Secretary, has been invaluable in supporting the CYFYM Representatives and the Gathering Committee. Many Friends expressed thanks for his mentorship and advocacy on behalf of Young Friends and Young Adult Friends. We feel that the support of a staff person such as the CYM Secretary is crucial to CYFYM being able to hold retreats and to function in general.

CYFYM acknowledges CYM is undergoing a process of transition. Change is hard, but there is joy in transformation and in resurrection. As Young Friends we want and need CYM to be here, because we need it to survive out there. We recognize and deeply appreciate that CYM does its best to meet our needs as we bring them forward. How do we meet the needs of CYM in its process of transformation? Changing is hard. We need to be brave. We need to be brave together.

A call to monthly meetings: we want to be at home in you. Education and mentorship should start in monthly meetings. If we want to uphold everyone and lift up spiritual and non-spiritual gifts, Friends need training. There is much intergenerational learning to be had.

After much discernment we bring forward the following requests to Yearly Meeting.

  • We ask Program Committee to prioritize CYM In Session workshops on clerking, recording clerking, vocal ministry, nonviolent communication, self-empowerment and digital literacy, on a reasonable timeline.
  • We ask Delegates to take this call for Quaker education back to their monthly meetings for discernment. What area of Friends Faith and Practice does your Meeting need to foster?
  • We ask Delegates to ask their monthly meetings to consider mentored positions so Friends of all ages can develop and practice skills in these areas.
  • We ask the CYM Clerk to distribute this minute to monthly meetings on our behalf. The relevant minutes will be forwarded.

We bring these requests as starting points. We feel there are many more opportunities to be explored in the future, and we encourage Canadian Yearly Meeting to seek way forward in this direction. The kind of change Canadian Yearly Meeting needs requires both laying down and lifting up. This will be difficult and at times even painful, but we believe The Spirit will strengthen us. We believe we can be brave together.

Canadian Young Friends Yearly Meeting names you to the Committee of Hope. We don’t feel like we’re dying out. Be brave with us.

[1] CYFYM laid down the practice of asking for reserved slots on CYM committees. As we are led and able, we may send Young Friends serve on CYM committees, and we ask for understanding of the sporadic nature of these namings.