Is it time to get rid of Yearly Meetings?

In the preparations for our annual CYM gathering, a Friend sent me this link to a thought-provoking piece.

The author writes,

One of the most regular and consistent laments that I’ve heard from Quaker leaders is that the rank and file in their congregations don’t see the purpose of the yearly meeting structures. They say things like this:

“We can’t figure out how to help our people understand how important the Yearly Meeting really is. People ask us, What does the Yearly Meeting do for me?, but they’re missing the entire point! The Yearly Meeting is about being a body. It’s not about what the Yearly Meeting provides for the local churches; it’s how we’re called together as a people, the shared experience we have of God when we’re together. After all, how are we supposed to do the work of the church if we don’t gather and support one another?”

I’ve heard words like these so many times I’ve lost count. What’s more, I’ve said words like these on numerous occasions. As a person so dedicated to institutional Quakerism, the idea that many of our members no longer find the Yearly Meeting necessary was really threatening to me. After all, what is the Quaker community without our wider fellowship? How can we even exist without the Yearly Meeting?”

Image via Micah Bales

Image via Micah Bales

As a small (in numbers) yearly meeting that covers a vast geography, we are challenged to find ways to do the work of CYM with the resources (both volunteer labour and finances) we have.

This seems like an interesting blog to read in that context.

Enjoy the reading of this piece!


Chris Hitchcock

Hamilton MM

Save the Date: Moral Action for Climate Justice, September 24, 2015.

August 1, 2015

Greetings ,

On the day that Pope Francis addresses Congress, we hope many of you will be there, at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., to show our support for immediate and long-term action on climate change. Quaker Earthcare Witness is pleased to endorse the September 24 event that is sponsored by an interfaith coalition including Interfaith Moral Action for Climate and the Franciscan Action Network. Details of the event are still being formulated and we will be sending out monthly updates.

We are sending this early information now so you can save the date!

Week of Moral Action for Climate Justice

Week of Moral Action for Climate Justice September 21-25, 2015.


Let us know if you also want to be included in specific updates so we can coordinate our Quaker presence at the event. Please send us information to share with others if you are organizing local participation in your Meeting and beyond.

To get additional information about the march, see the event posting on our website.

Please download the flyer by clicking here.


Thanks, Friends! We’ll see you in Washington in September!


Shelley Tanenbaum


General Secretary

Quaker earthcare

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.