Quaker Practice at Canadian Yearly Meeting 2022

“How can we make the meeting a community in which each person is accepted and nurtured, and strangers welcome? Seek to know one another in the things which are eternal, bear the burden of each other’s failings and pray for one another. As we enter with tender sympathy into the joys and sorrows of each other’s lives, ready to give help and receive it, our meeting can be a channel for God’s love and forgiveness.”

Advices & Queries #18

As a Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, Canadian Yearly Meeting is more than community.

“Meeting” is richer word than “community”, and richer experience… Being a Quaker Meeting carries a sense of belonging, of belonging to one another, and of having a sense of our ultimate belonging to spirit.

— Deborah E. Haight (Meeting, Canadian Quaker Pamphlets Vol. 26, Argenta Friends Press, 1987)

Yearly Meeting in Session is the annual gathering of Canadian Yearly Meeting, which includes all members and attenders of Monthly and Half-Yearly Meetings in Canada. We meet, among other purposes, to maintain the faith, love, unity, life, and practice of Friends. This is our privilege and responsibility.

In joining us this week, this is your privilege and responsibility.

The move to online meeting does not diminish our call to be a Meeting – our sense of belonging, belonging to one another, and of our ultimate belonging to spirit.

We are each asked to reflect on our individual and collective call to be a Meeting, and to commit to those practices that create and maintain a safe and loving community.

Throughout all sessions – social and business – during Yearly Meeting in Session:

  • Respect the diversity among us in our lives, relationships, experiences, opinions.
  • Listen patiently and seek the truth which other people’s opinions may contain for you.
  • Allow silence before and after each person speaks, so that there is time for the speaking, the listening, and the spirit.
  • Use inclusive language.
  • As much as possible, speak from your own experience. Speak on your own behalf. Avoid presenting your own view if called upon to speak on behalf of others.
  • Respect, cooperate with, and uphold the processes and ordering of Yearly Meeting in Session. Discern right words and right timing when raising concerns. Remember that organizers and servants of Meeting-in-Session have given of themselves generously and with best intention.

During Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business:

  • If you are led to speak, ask the clerk to recognize you by raising your hand. Acquaint yourself with the procedure in Zoom prior to the beginning of the meeting.
  • Allow silence before and after each person speaks.
  • To affirm something someone has said, simply nod or use the phrase “This Friend speaks my mind.” Please do not ask to be recognized so that you may express the same thought in different words.
  • When recognized by the clerk, say your name and home meeting if you have one. Keep your comments plain and to the point.
  • Expect to speak no more than once during consideration of a given item.
  • When a person speaks in Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business, receive the words as you receive vocal ministry in Meeting for Worship – with an open heart and a calm mind.

Each of us has a responsibility to support one another in community during our online gathering, whether in Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business, other formal programming, or in informal social times.

  • If you have questions or suggestions about the text of this agreement, contact Program Committee.
  • Canadian Yearly Meeting has a policy to address the safe nurture of children and vulnerable people in our care.
  • We take sexual harassment and abuse seriously. To arrange to talk confidentially with someone about your experience in community, please contact Continuing Meeting of Ministry & Counsel.