New Ways of Passing the Hat: Re-visioning of Canadian Yearly Meeting

Revitalization… So many “re” words! On Wednesday, the business meeting addressed another “re” word, referring to the Contributions[1] Committee: “reactivation.” Or it could equally well be “revive.”

A ripple of laughter went through the floor when our Clerk asked whether we wished the Contributions Committee to continue its functions. Isn’t that a given? Perhaps this was her ingenious way of focusing our attention on a matter many Friends try their best to avoid: filthy lucre, mammon or, in plain English, money. Yet, it’s simple: we can only do as much as our funds allow.

Two hundred and thirty four people donate to CYM regularly. That means that 80% of Canadian Quakers do not donate to CYM. For several years now, our Treasurer and our finance people have been hammering home to us that the current level of donations to Canadian Yearly Meeting is insufficient to sustain its present level of activity. We have tinkered with our activities. In the view of some, and much to their grief, we have even tampered with them drastically( e.g., by switching to online documents and publications). We are on the way to a spiritually rich and financially sustainable Yearly Meeting, but we are not there yet.

Thus, the question is, how can we convey the benefits of CYM to Friends across the country? Communications are key, and the fact that our Clerk is now sending regular letters to Monthly Meetings and that CYM is sending personalized thank you notes to donors is to be welcomed. In order to get the contributions process rolling again, the Clerks are to call the next Contributions Committee meeting, and the nominating Committee is to seek two more Friends to serve on it. For all who feel inclined to dismiss the call to serve on Contributions Committee, please note that its members do not knock on doors or even necessarily make soliciting phone calls. Much of their work involves devising effective methods for reaching out to Friends, in other words, communications are key.

Hence, this is an invitation to revitalize the Contributions Committee, which is so central to the work that we do on a daily basis. As Friends contributing to this committee whether it is financially or through service is essential for the sustainability of CYM. Pass on the word to your Monthly Meeting or Worship Group!
Sheila Havard

Coldstream MM


[1] “Contributions”is a polite word for donations, as in donations to CYM

CYM 2014 Quaker Study Series on Simplicity and Sunderland P. Gardner Lecture now Available!

The CYM 2014 Quaker Study Series on Simplicity and the Sunderland P. Gardner Lecture are now available in the Resources Section under “Video” .

Friends can also download the slides for the presentation Come All Ye Who Are Heavily Cumbered… by Mark A. Burch, from here.


New Quaker religious education community of practice (QREC)

Dear Friends in Canada Yearly Meeting,

Last summer, four Friends with deep ties to Quaker Religious Education were moved to invite others to join them in a Quaker religious education community of practice.  We are calling it a Quaker RE Collaborative (QREC).  We invite Friends who hold a sense of stewardship for the faith formation of Quaker children to join with us. This includes: First Day School teachers, Religious Education Coordinators, RE Committee members, Quaker parents and grandparents, and others. Our welcome and our reach are broad and international in scope.  QREC is open to Quakers across the traditional branches of Friends’ organizations.  We reached out to Friends in Canada YM last summer, and some have already joined our contact list.

At this time, we would like to share a press release from our first gathering, held in August 2014.  We hope you might be able to share this document, as we seek to reach others who hold this same concern and are interested in the Collaborative.

We submitted the attached press release to The Canadian Friend in early October, and again yesterday, but the next issue is full and Sherryll suggested we inquire about posting on the CYM website. 

Please let me know if I can answer any questions.

In faith and friendship,
Melinda Wenner Bradley

QREC Steering Group

Press Release August 2014 (PDF).

CYM Publication- Canadian Friend

Dear Friends, the Canadian Friend latest publication is available now.

Clerking Workshop for Canadian Yearly Meeting- October 31, November 1, 2014

The Education & Outreach Committee of CYM (E&O) offered a workshop by Arthur Larrabee on clerking Quaker meetings for worship for business.

Arthur Larrabee is a life long Friend and member of Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting, of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. He has led many workshops on clerking. He has served as clerk of his monthly meeting and has served 7 years as General Secretary of PHLYM. He comes with enthusiasm, experience, wit and humour to the task of providing servant leadership for Friends.

The course was titled: “Serving the Community with Joy and Confidence. and was well-attended.