Sunderland P. Gardener Lecture & Workshops by Alastair McIntosh- “Decolonizing Land and Soul: A Quaker Testimony.”

August 16-20, 2015, UPEI.

This year’s The Sunderland P. Gardener Lecture, named after a historic figure in Canadian Quaker history, will be delivered by Alastair McIntosh. McIntosh is a noted Scottish, scholar, speaker and author of many books including Soil and Soul: People versus Corporate Power and Hell and High Water: Climate Change, Hope, and the Human Condition. Alastair will be lecturing and facilitating workshops from August 16th to the 20th, 2015, as part of the annual gathering of Canadian Yearly Meeting 2015 at the University of Prince Edward Island.

Alastair McIntosh- “(C) Médiathèque Lafarge – Alain Le Breton”.

A member of the Religious Society of Friends in Scotland, McIntosh has built an international career as a scholar and public speaker, teaching and lecturing at a variety of universities, and as a frontline activist on behalf of environmental integrity and healthy, resilient human communities. He is especially known for the way he has combined scholarship in theology, poetics, anthropology, and human ecology with the organization of citizen based campaigns to save valued landscapes and human communities from industrial degradation.

All events are open to the public

Decolonizing Land and Soul: A Quaker Testimony
Sunday August 16th, 2015, 7:00 pm

Room 242, Alexander H. MacKinnon Auditorium (McDougall Hall)
Open admission

In this lecture Alastair will share his unique experience that spans the Maritime provinces of Canada, Scotland and France. He has titled the lecture

“Decolonising Land and Soul: a Quaker Testimony.” He will explore the imperatives of Quaker witness for today and will touch on spiritual experience and the Cross as the supreme symbol of nonviolence in our times.

Like Quakerism in Canada, McIntosh is broadly universal in his approach to understanding theology. He sees that deep rootedness in the land and attachment to place provide human communities with the best realization of their spiritual potential. An affinity with the traditional spirituality of First Nation peoples is evident in this understanding.

Monday August 17th to Thursday August 20th, 2015, 3:30 to 5:30 pm (Location to be determined)
More details to come! Stay tuned.


Posted in: CYM, CYM 2015, News, Quaker Blog

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Register now for CYM 2015 in PEI this Summer!

Dear Friends, the Yearly Meeting Session 2015 is just around the corner. This year’s event will be held at the University of Prince Edward Island in Charlottetown (PEI) from August 14 to 22. The updated schedule is available here.

For more information download the information package (WORD or PDF). For the registration form please click here (Excel,* PDF or Word).

If you are flying, please do not forget to make your travel arrangements as soon as possible.

Also, please take the time to check some of the available offers for PEI visitors.


*This form can be viewed on an iPad, but cannot be completed unless Excel is properly installed in the device.


Posted in: CYM, CYM 2015, News, Quaker Blog

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Attending the Canadian Yearly Meeting 2015? Book Fast!

Dear Friends, if you are considering attending the Canadian Yearly Meeting 2015, please be aware that there are a limited number of flights going to Charlottetown, PEI.

Thus, we recommend you book your flight as soon as possible. Keep in mind that only Air Canada and West Jet offer regular flights to the Charlottetown Airport.

Air Canada Deals of the Week

West Jet Deals



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Apply by April 1! Youth and Militarism Conference – April 24-26th, 2015

group1Education and Outreach Committee of CYM is hosting a conference entitled Youth and Militarism from April 24-26, 2015, for youth aged 15-35. The conference will be held concurrently in two locations: in Peterborough, ON, hosted by Peterborough Friends Meeting, and in Shawnigan Lake, BC, at OUR Ecovillage on Vancouver Island. The two conferences will share information, discussions, updates through social media. Some lectures will be broadcast live from one conference to the other.

For more information please visit Quakers Youth.


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Our past can help shape our future: The Canadian Friends Historical Association

Quakers have often been ambiguous about honouring historical figures.  Plain language made sure that no honour was paid to leaders in the community; everyone got the informal ‘thee’ or ‘thou.’  There was no tangible honour paid to a dead leader in the community.  The gravestone of an important man or woman was exactly like the gravestone of the humblest member of the community. No inspiration was taken from historical records of great leaders.  Pre-Fox Church leaders had largely gotten it wrong, so their record was not worth looking at. Not even leaders in the Bible were noted as examples meant to inspire us.   To the extent that history is often the record of battles fought and battles won, there was little interest in keeping these records in the Society of Friends.  One’s inspiration was to come from the Inner Light, not the dark past.

On the other hand, the Quaker life is not merely an inner experience.  If the Inner Light is given its proper place in the life of a Quaker, it will show through in the testimonies.   These testimonies will shape the life of the Friend, and shape the place where he/she lives, works and plays. Looking into the history of Quakers as individuals and as communities will reveal the cultural impact of their testimonies, and give us examples today of how we can apply the testimonies to make this world a better place, and bring it  closer to the Kingdom of Peace.spart quaker plaque

We all know about the impact of the Quakers on the slave trade, but there are many other examples of how the Quaker ideals shaped local realities, and the knowledge of them is worth preserving. For example, Fair Trade is a popular expression today of the testimonies of integrity and stewardship, amongst others. Did you know that a Quaker teacher named Elias Hicks was preaching Fair Trade in the 1820’s?  Even as he lay dying, he resisted the use of a cotton sheet to keep him warm because the cotton industry was tainted by slavery.  Maybe you knew that the first women’s rights convention in North America was convened in 1848 by five women, four of whom were Quaker.  A number of Canadian settlements were founded by Quakers. In Ontario alone, there are the examples of Lloydtown, Newmarket, Norwich, Pelham, Pickering, Schomberg and Whitchurch. Nicholas Austin founded Austin, Quebec. When the Quakers came to existing settlements, their sense of conviction and purpose often mobilized the earlier settlers to build the first local school house, meeting house, and saw mill. Timothy Rogers founded both Newmarket and Pickering and his descendants founded Rogers Telecommunications Inc. The first woman principal of a public school in Ontario who went on to become Canada’s first woman doctor, Emily Stowe, was a Quaker.  Crop scientist Charles Zavitz developed a strain of barley that dominated Canadian agriculture for 38 years but he refused any public accolades from the Canadian brewing industry.  Quakers have enhanced many aspects of Canadian life.

In Canada, there is a group of Friends and friends who have been active since 1972 in collecting and publishing the historical impact of Quakers. The Canadian Friends Historical Association (CFHA) is responsible for two publications, a monthly newsletter and an annual journal,  and one annual conference in September.  On top of that, it has three projects on the go.  The oldest project is the Built Heritage Register. The purpose of this register is to document, recognize and, if possible, preserve Quaker-built heritage in Canada. Another project is the Family History Project. According to the CFHA website  “the Canadian Quaker Family History Project seeks to document the lives and experiences of the thousands of descendants of Quaker settlers from the 18th century onwards.  A more recent project has been the Transcription of Minute books and Registers of the Nine Partners Meeting in Millbrook, New York which contain many references to Canadian Friends. Another project being discussed might take the form of a Quakerpedia and be made up of an open directory to collect in one, easily accessible place a list of Quakers in Canada who have made a difference in their communities by their faithfulness to living out the Quaker testimonies.


If this blog entry has sparked an interest in you to help with maintain the historic Quaker testimony in Canada, please contact the CFHA through

cfha logo


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