While many exciting things are scheduled for CYM2020 (full schedule here), there will be 5 special presentations during CYM2020. Here are their descriptions. You can now watch video replays of three of these presentations on the CYM 2020 Videos page.

Canadian Yearly Meeting: Change and Sustainable Transformation

with Celia Cheatley (Argenta MM) and Marilyn Manzer (Annapolis Valley MM) of CAST (the Change and Sustainable Transformation Working Group)
Tuesday, August 11, 3 pm eastern time

Video recording of the talk

In recent years CYM has recognized that we face challenges of sustainability as an organization and as a planet. It is 65 years since CYM formed as a united meeting and there have been many changes in the world in which we exist.  CAST was formed earlier this year to consider how we can transform our organization to suit today’s realities.

In this session we will introduce the work of CAST, and explore one idea of how Yearly Meeting in-session could be done in three sessions annually, hosted by 3 regions.


Two Row on the Grand: A Learning Journey

with Daniel Allen (Kitchener Area MM)
Tuesday, August 11, 3 pm eastern time

Video recording of the talk

A highlight of Daniel Allen’s Truth and Reconciliation journey has been his involvement in “Two Row on the Grand.” This is a symbolic renewal of the Two Row Wampum treaty made more than 400 years ago between the Mohawks and the Dutch. It stated that both nations would paddle down the “river of life” on parallel paths, as friends close enough to help each other, but not so close as to disrupt each other’s path.

Over the last four years, participants—both Indigenous and non-Indigenous—have canoeed and kayaked together, taking nine days to paddle the Grand River from Cambridge, Ontario to Port Maitland on Lake Erie. Each day included planned teachings, such as land-based teachings at an Attawandron village site, on-site camping at Kana:ta Village cultural center in Brantford, and paddling into a Pow Wow on Six Nations Reserve.

Daniel will share images and stories. He will speak about the relationships that have developed and deepened over these four years. A focus will be on the spiritual fruits of these relationships and how they ripple onward in his life.


Defunding Criminal Justice: Transforming, Abolishing, and What Comes Next?

with Joy Morris (Lethbridge WG, Calgary MM), Dick Cotterill (Truro WG, Halifax MM), John Samson Fellows (Winnipeg MM)
Wednesday, August 12, 3 pm eastern time

Due to technical difficulties, the posting of this recording has been delayed

The Black Lives Matter movement has focused public awareness on the systemic racism and broad harms that are built into our existing criminal “justice” systems. “Defund the police!” has become a slogan. The criminal justice system has long been an area of concern for Friends, and this public dialogue presents an exciting opportunity to make real changes.

Members of CFSC’s criminal justice program committee (Quakers Fostering Justice) will present a brief history of Canadian Quaker concerns with the “justice” system, along with some of the alternative models that have been used or are currently being explored. There will be opportunities for smaller-group discussion and for sharing local initiatives and experiences. We will also introduce a forthcoming webinar series currently being planned by CFSC around these issues.


Quaker Leadings and our Calling in these Times

with Alastair McIntosh (Glasgow Meeting)
Wednesday, August 12, 5:30 pm eastern time. (NOTE EARLY START TIME)

Due to technical difficulties, the posting of this recording has been delayed

The Coronavirus has been a wake up crisis of our time, “a basic call to consciousness”, to borrow an expression from the Haudenosaunee “Address to the Western World” of 1977. It sits enfolded in a wider constellation of crises, or turning points, that include democracy, race relations and indigeneity, and coming on relentlessly, climate change. What can Quakers do and be? Should we merely add our weight to the voices of non-religious organisations that carry these interconnected concerns? Or might our tradition give us particular insights and experience that the wider world might value to be shared? Are we fit for purpose for the purposes to which the Spirit might call us in this century? What roots can we draw from, and what branches might bear fruit?

Alastair McIntosh will be known to some Canadian Friends for his delivery of the Sunderland P. Gardner lecture on PEI in 2015, entitled, Decolonising Land and Soul: a Quaker Testimony. A Scottish activist best known for work with land reform, he is an honorary professor at the University of Glasgow and the author of books including Soil and Soul: People versus Corporate Power, Poacher’s Pilgrimage: an Island Journey, and to be launched in the UK the day after he delivers this lecture, Riders on the Storm: The Climate Crisis and The Survival of Being.


Online Sing

with Tim Kitz (Ottawa Monthly Meeting) and Chrissy Steinbock
Wednesday, August 12, 8:00 pm eastern time

For about an hour, we’ll sing and play our way through a set of songs – and you can access the lyrics and chords in this google drive folder to sing and play along. (Unfortunately, you’ll have to mute yourself due to the limitations of latency and physics, but we do hope you’ll participate where you are, to the degree possible – including chatting with us and each other in between songs.) Some of songs come from the Rise Up Singing songbook or will be familiar to Friends who have been to recent Yearly Meetings.

After that, we’ll open the session up so anyone can share or song, or request a song from us from this songbook. A little like afterhours music-making at Yearly Meeting. If you want to provide advance notice you’d like to share a song, you can email . If you just want to wing it, just speak up during the Zoom call.

We play music together under the name Wychwood, so if you want a rough preview of how we’ll sound, you can visit our bandcamp or youtube channel. (Against our usual proclivities, we promise no murder-ballads, though.) Also, if you’re feeling nostalgic, check out these rough cellphone recordings of some Young Adult Friends singing together during CYM 2020.