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Epistle from Western Half-Yearly Meeting

Epistle from Western Half-Yearly Meeting

Here is message from the Quakers who attended Western Half-Yearly Meeting (WHYM), a twice-yearly gathering for Quakers in Western Canada.

October 12–14, 2019
To Friends everywhere:

We were blessed with beautiful crisp, sunny weather to gather at Shekinah Retreat Centre near Waldheim, Saskatchewan. People arrived individually and in small groups Friday and Saturday. Including three children, one Young Friend, and a few visitors, we welcomed 28 people.

The strength of our Quaker gatherings is in spiritual renewal and building community for all of us, and especially for those of us who are not affiliated with a regular Monthly Meeting. For many Friends, Western Half-Yearly Meeting is the one place they can receive support for how they live their Quaker values.

During two of the Special Interest Groups we grappled with some difficult issues. One dealt with Quaker revitalization and the vital role of Young Friends in that renewal. The absence of a Monthly Meeting in Regina is sorely missed. A new role for Prairie Monthly Meeting is being explored. A second Special Interest Group explored how we as a larger society can start the important and sometimes difficult conversations about reconciliation.

The weekend was not all seriousness, however. We enjoyed many joyful and lighthearted moments doing team-building games in the woods, participating in workshops on English Country Dancing, Quaker Chanting, and Family Night, as well as laughter and fellowship.

JoLee Sasakamoose enticed us with copious amounts of art supplies throughout the weekend and encouraged deep healing with a guided meditation and grounding exercise on Saturday evening.

(photos by JoLee Sasakamoose)

We were energized by the home cooked meals, especially the homemade cranberry sauce made from high-bush cranberries picked by the children and their helpers in honour of Tom Findlay’s practice.

Our Quaker process is a journey. Our gatherings provide spiritual nourishment and fellowship. This sustains us in our daily lives until the next gathering. For this we are truly blessed.

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Yonge Street Half-Yearly Meeting

Yonge Street Half-Yearly Meeting

Yonge Street Half-Yearly Meeting will take place on Saturday, October 5 from 9 am to 5 pm. Please join us at Friends House, 60 Lowther Avenue, Toronto.

At 2 pm, Maggie Knight will lead an exciting session on the topic “How Young Friends are promoting their spiritual growth in a secular society in 2019.” Maggie is a dynamic Young Friend from Vancouver Island Monthly Meeting who has been inspiring Friends for some years.

In 2016, Maggie presented the Sunderland P. Gardner Lecture at Canadian Yearly Meeting Session, which you can watch here:

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CYM Archives and Library Temporarily Suspends Operations

CYM Archives and Library Temporarily Suspends Operations

The Canadian Quaker Archives and Library have suspended operations for at least six months, until April 2020 at the earliest.

For anyone seeking information regarding our library or vault holdings, inventory lists can be found at quaker.ca/archives/our-collection. For those requesting genealogical information, we recommend a visit to www.ancestry.ca (there is free access at many public libraries) as our earliest records are available there.

Many transcriptions of those early records, historic journals, and much more are also available on the Canadian Friends Historical Association website.

 

 

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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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Stories & Reflections from Yearly Meeting in Winnipeg

Stories & Reflections from Yearly Meeting in Winnipeg

To get a feel for for how Yearly Meeting in Winnipeg went, please visit our blog page of Stories & Reflections from Yearly Meeting 2019, which covers all sorts of interesting facets of the gathering.

What is Yearly Meeting? It is a gathering for Canadian Quakers, which was  held this year in Winnipeg from August 2-10. The Business Meetings at the gathering are the main decision-making body of Quakers in Canada. There was also lots of time for fun and games, socializing, music, and sessions focusing on spiritual development, social justice, and Quaker history.

That blogroll from Yearly Meeting has a reflection from each day of the gathering, but still only captures a small portion of each day’s scheduled events. With so much going on, even those who attended might learn new things about what Friends were up to at the Gathering by reading it.

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