Touring former Kamloops Residential School

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.