News

A new issue of The Canadian Friend is available!

Dear Friends, a new issue of The Canadian Friend is available here. The Canadian Friend is the magazine of Canadian Yearly Meeting and is currently published twice year to further the work and witness of the Religious Society of Friends in Canada.

Current and back issues are also available for download here.

For more information and enquiries concerning submissions, advertising rates and details, contact the editor at cf-editor@quaker.ca.

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Epistle from CYM 2015

EPISTLE 2015, August 22, 2015

Loving Greetings to Friends everywhere,
Canadian Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends met for the 182nd annual gathering of Quakers in Canada, our 60th as a united Meeting, for the first time on the beautiful campus of the University of Prince Edward Island in Charlottetown. We came knowing that we had many challenging discussions to have and decisions to make.
The pre-gathering retreat, Nurturing Joy in our Meetings, was led by Lesley Read of New Brunswick Monthly Meeting and grew out of silence. Participants moved into small group work and consideration of joy in all facets of our lives.
On Saturday Friends gathered from all across Canada and celebrated community together in the evening. We were welcomed to the traditional Mi’kmaq territory of Abegweit by Indigenous Elder Judy Clark.
On Sunday afternoon, we celebrated the lives of those who died in the last year. That evening we heard the Sunderland P. Gardner lecture, titled Decolonizing Land and Soul: A Quaker Testimony, presented by Alastair McIntosh, Scottish Quaker and activist of Glasgow Area Meeting of Britain Yearly Meeting, whose words were challenging, humorous and thought-provoking. He continued his themes with workshops during the week. The lecture was followed by the traditional ‘cakenight’ in celebration of our beloved Archivist, Jane Zavitz-Bond, who is moving toward release from her long service.
Deborah Fisch of Friends General Conference and Iowa Yearly Meeting (Conservative) led us in Quaker Study titled The Joy of Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business, with depth and humour. We began our regular week of activities, with Meetings for Worship with Attention to Business, as our Quaker Studies leader has reminded us to call it. An important session took the form of an extended Meeting for Worship with attention to the future of Quakerism in Canada, and the future of our Canadian Yearly Meeting’s functions. We proposed major changes to our structure. We are anticipating a fallow year in 2017 during which we will not meet as Canadian Yearly Meeting in session. We were tested, being unable to reach unity in this matter about which many felt deeply. We remain committed to seeking the spiritually rich and financially-sustainable Yearly Meeting we desire. We learned with sadness of the laying-down of Simcoe-Muskoka Monthly Meeting in Orillia, Ontario, and welcomed with joy the birth of Cowichan Valley Monthly Meeting on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Afternoon programs consisted of worship groups, followed by a wide selection of Special Interest Groups. One afternoon, we took part in community service projects proposed by our hosts, Prince Edward Island Worship Group: labouring in a nearby community garden and tree planting in a river watershed. Funds saved by a simple supper were donated to the university food bank. The week continued hot and humid, and many Friends enjoyed the glory of God’s Creation in salt water on nearby beaches.
Our evenings were filled with interesting activities. “The Experience of the Spirit in my Life”, an annual opportunity for Friends to share spiritual journeys was moving, with Friends sharing sometimes unusual experiences. There was a Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgendered-Queer (LGBTQ) sponsored film presentation, entitled My Prairie Home, and discussion. Another evening, we were led in considering communication and outreach in times of changing technology, finances and demographics.
Our youth numbers were small but Young Friends particularly loved the sun and activities of Canada’s smallest Province situated on an island in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Because the group consisted almost entirely of Young Adult Friends, youth joined in on much of the adult programming, including attending Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business meetings, Quaker study, worship groups, Special Interest Groups, and evening activities. Youth-specific activities involved Canadian Young Friends Yearly Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business, excursions to beaches, late-night brownie baking, a dance, to which we joyfully welcomed older Friends as well, and drawing games. Some Young Friends and Young Adult Friends also enjoyed volunteering with the Children’s Program.
On our last evening together we enjoyed the various gifts and talents of many Friends young and old during our annual family night. The ministries of music, dance, and laughter nourishes us as we prepare to leave this blessed community.
We are grateful for the setting here but recall the unusually severe wildfires in western Canada and the dangers these pose to Western Friends and to Mother Nature. We urge Friends to work ceaselessly, including with faith-based groups around the world, to mitigate and adapt to the challenges posed by changes to Earth’s climate.
Although it was a week spent in serious work and in considering and making decisions, it was also a week during which Joy was a recurrent theme. We approach the coming year spiritually refreshed and full of hope and expectation.
Elaine Bishop
Presiding Clerk

Epistle CYM 2015

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World Quaker Day

Friends World Committee for Consultation is calling Quakers from every branch and all over the globe to celebrate World Quaker Day on Sunday, October 4th, 2015. World Quaker Day is a time for Quaker Churches and Meetings to remember our shared history and traditions and unite in prayer and thanksgiving for the wider Society of Friends.

As World Quaker Day quickly approaches, we encourage Churches and Meetings to plan their World Quaker Day activities with the 2016 FWCC World Plenary Meeting’s theme in mind: Living the transformation: Creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God (Romans 8:19). For creative ideas on incorporating this theme into your celebration, as well as for additional resources on World Quaker Day, you can check out worldquakerday.org.
We would also like to encourage Friends to share what their community did to celebrate World Quaker Day, whether it be a brief description, a poem written for the occasion, any photos or videos taken that day, or anything that can be shared to show others what your Meeting or Church did. These submissions will be posted on the website. You can submit these by emailing us, posting them to the FWCC World Office Facebook page, or tweeting at us. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #wqd on all social media!

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2015 Fall Course: “Introduction to Quakers and Friends’ Ways”

Dear Friends:

The Canadian Yearly Meeting Education & Outreach Committee would like to announce its upcoming online workshop “Introduction to Quakers and Friends’ Ways”. The course will be facilitated by Eric Kristensen (Vancouver Monthly Meeting).

The Introduction to Quakers and Friends’ Ways will address the early history of Friends, the history of Friends in Canada, the experiential nature of Quaker faith, the role of the Meeting in Quaker life, Quaker testimonies and their origin, and how our Quaker community nurtures how we live, work, worship, and transact business.

For further information about the workshops and how to register please consult the attached PDF document.

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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.

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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.

Share our Facebook event.

 

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