The end of the calendar year is approaching, and you might be starting to reflect on what the last year has brought. Canadian Yearly Meeting certainly is! It’s been a busy year, filled with pandemic disruptions and CYM business, and we hope that you have felt supported and connected to Friends across Canada.
Please consider financially supporting CYM, now and throughout the year. As we all seek to stay connected, your year-end gift can work towards Canadian Yearly Meeting’s spiritual renewal – for both ourselves and the larger society.
Letter from the incoming Clerk of CYM
Here is a letter from the Clerk of Yearly Meeting, summarizing CYM’s work this year, looking to future opportunities, and explaining how to support it all. You can also read and print a PDF version of the letter.
Dear Friends in Canadian Yearly Meeting,
With this letter, I send my greetings along with a few highlights from Canadian Yearly Meeting (CYM) activities this year and our plans for next spring and summer. As a member or attender of a Monthly Meeting or Worship Group in Canada, you are welcome to participate in the activities of Canadian Yearly Meeting. If you are a newcomer, we are glad to have you with us!
The work of CYM is supported in large part by donations from Monthly Meetings and individuals, and the volunteer work done by members of various CYM Committees. Donations help us to offer most Yearly Meeting activities either free or at reduced cost.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, Canadian Yearly Meeting has faced both challenges and new opportunities. Our most significant challenge has been the cancellation of our in-person Yearly Meeting gatherings in 2020 and 2021 and our recent decision to cancel the 2022 gathering due to continuing uncertainty about the pandemic and possibilities for travel. In-person CYM Committee meetings and sessions of Representative Meeting have also been discontinued.
Our opportunities present a brighter picture. Young Friends have been having regular online meetings, and we hope to sponsor in-person gatherings for Young Friends in 2022. The Education & Outreach Committee had no in-person CYM programs to support but they offered online courses and have also sponsored Young Friends to attend online courses run by other organizations. The work of Archives Committee – seriously limited by lack of access to Pickering College in Newmarket (where the CYM Archives are housed) – moved forward last summer when a committee member spent several weeks assessing the current state of the collection. They have identified immediate, medium, and long-term tasks to enable re-opening the Archives, and are about to hire a full-time archivist.
Publications & Communications Committee has expanded their work in response to increasing demands for increased traffic on the website and online communication. Many Friends who are unable to travel are now able to participate in online CYM events. The Summer and Fall 2021 editions of The Canadian Friend were combined due to workload and pandemic-related delays, but three issues are planned for 2022. This Committee also produces a monthly electronic newsletter that we know will keep Friends connected, even when in-person gatherings become normal again. The Canadian Quaker Learning Series is on track to produce two pamphlets in 2022. Advices and Queries: Discerning Peace and Social Concerns, will be published in collaboration with the Canadian Friends Service Committee. The second pamphlet is the written form Sunderland P. Gardner Lecture, given by Monica Walters-Field in August 2021.
The online CYM session in August 2021 was well-attended and much appreciated. Plans for 2022 sessions include funding for increased communications support for video editing and remote community-building platforms. The important and highly respected work of CYM Representatives on larger ecumenical and interfaith bodies such as KAIROS and the Canadian Council of Churches also continues online.
As the end of the year approaches, I ask that you hold in the Light and discern a right amountto contribute in 2021 to support the work of Canadian Yearly Meeting. CYM asks that you send only what is reasonable for you, in light of your needs and financial concerns. No donation is too small. An increase in the number of Friends across Canada who contribute even modest amounts would make a significant difference, and with the support of the Friends behind those donations the total would be greater than its parts.
If you already contribute, you might discern whether you could increase the amount you are able send, or perhaps become a monthly/sustaining donor. Regular monthly donations help us to plan projects and expenses.
And finally, please include Canadian Yearly Meeting, its Monthly Meetings, and its work, in your prayers! This, too, is an important contribution to CYM as we maintain links with Friends and Meetings across Canada.
Now we settle into winter. The days are short and the lengthening nights frosty. I send my greetings to all of you, knowing that spring will follow.
CYM Incoming Clerk