Yonge St. Half Yearly Meeting Minutes (PDF)

Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, held virtually via Zoom

We acknowledge that we meet on the traditional territories of the Haudenosaunee, the Huron-Wendat, and most recently, the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. Toronto remains the home of many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island. May we work together for justice and reconciliation. [Land acknowledgement was read out at beginning of the morning session of Yonge St. Half-Yearly Meeting.]

Present: Lyn Adamson TMM, Judith Amundsen TMM, Anne Christie TMM, Sheldon Clarke YSMM, Virginia Dawson YSMM, Judy Gilbert TMM, Sylvia Grady TMM, Chris Hitchcock HMM, Barbara Horvath YSMM, George Ivanoff YSMM, Richard Lathwell TMM, Rosemary Meier TMM, Lynn Robinson TMM, Bev Shepard HMM, Evelyn Smitz-Hertzberg YSMM, Leigh Turina TMM (recording clerk), Kathryn Wiersma HMM, Wendee Wood TMM, Jane MacKay Wright HMM (clerk), Juno Zavitz TMM.

Regrets: Gini Smith; Ruth Pincoe, Keith Maddock

The meeting opened with silent worship and the clerk read from Canadian Faith and Practice, 4.71 and welcomed Friends.

The produce of the earth is a gift from our gracious Creator to the inhabitants, and to impoverish the earth now to support outward greatness appears to be an injury to the succeeding age. John Woolman, 1761.

YSHYM Delegates. The clerk welcomed the Yonge St. Half-Yearly Meeting (YSHYM) delegates from the Monthly Meetings. They were: Bev Shepard, Hamilton Monthly Meeting; Virginia Dawson and Barbara Horvath, Yonge St. Monthly Meeting (YSMM); Rosemary Meier and Leigh Turina, Toronto Monthly Meeting (TMM).

Recording Clerk. We approve Leigh Turina as recording clerk for this Half Yearly Meeting.

Reporter for The Canadian Friend. We approve Rosemary Meier as the reporter to The Canadian Friend. She will write a small description of this meeting and send it to: as well as the YSHYM clerk.

Agenda Review. The agenda was accepted as distributed.

2021.10.1 Minutes. Minutes of the Meeting held on October 3, 2020, were considered correct as circulated. In future the clerk will investigate making documents more available online.

Business Arising from the Minutes:

2021.10.2 Concern from TMM Sexual Abuse and Harassment Committee (2019.5.20) This matter is continuing.

2021.10.3 Friends Needed to Serve Half-Yearly Meeting (2019.5.7)

Friends needed are: Recording Clerk; Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer; Representative to Canadian Yearly Meeting (CYM) Representative Meeting; Clerk of YSHYM. We approve setting up a nominating committee to present a slate of new names for Spring YSHYM and ask George Ivanoff, Chris Hitchcock, and Sylvia Grady to serve on this committee.

2021.10.4 Report from Canadian Yearly Meeting Liaison (2020.10.4)

The clerk has been serving as acting liaison. She reported that a number of issues and concerns have been presented since the last report; the new report will be attached to these minutes (Appendix A). Of note, is that CYM 2022 will be held online and not in person. Chris Hitchcock, Clerk of CYM Program Committee, noted that they are looking for suggestions of names for Sunderland P. Gardner lecture and Bible/Quaker study speakers. Program Committee would appreciate Friends sending names to: program- .

2021.10.5 Report from Half-Yearly Meeting Program Committee (2020.10.8). Barbara Horvath read the report from YSHYM Program Committee. Current members are Barbara Horvath from YSMM, Rosemary Meier from TMM, Alice Preston from HMM. We will attach the report to the minutes (Appendix B).

We received their report and approved their recommendations, including laying down the current program committee. The present members are willing to continue to serve the last two years of their terms and will do so as the YSHYM Liaison Committee. Their recommendations included:

  • Re-name the Program Committee as the Half-Yearly Meeting

Liaison Committee.

Mandate: To offer consultation and input about the issues and interests of each of the monthly meetings, in order to help the host meeting identify and develop the program for the upcoming session of Half- Yearly Meeting.

Membership: Each of the monthly meetings appoints its representative to the Committee for a three-year term.

2021.10.6 CYM Change and Sustainable Transformation (CAST) Working Group Proposal for Holding Yearly Meeting in Regional Sessions (2020.10.9) – CAST has asked for this issue to be taken off the agenda due to feedback from Friends across Yearly Meeting. This item is laid down.

New Business:

2021.10.7 Regional Gathering in Central Canada (2021.10.6) We will discuss the issue of a regional gathering in Central Canada at the Spring 2022 YSHYM. We approve Chris Hitchcock and George Ivanoff preparing this issue for discussion at that meeting.

2021.10.8 Report from Half-Yearly Meeting Treasurer, including CFSC contribution

Anne Christie, YSHYM Treasurer, presented the Treasurer’s report for 30 Sept. 2020 – 01 Oct.2021, which will be attached to these minutes (Appendix C). We received this report with thanks. The treasurer reported receiving a request from the Clerk of Canadian Friends Service Committee (CFSC) as an appeal sent to Monthly Meetings for donations on behalf of the 90th anniversary of CFSC’s service. We approve sending $500 to CFSC who coordinated today’s program.

Friends also discussed whether we offer honoraria to speakers. We approve offering June Etta Chenard $500 for her Oct. 2020 presentation.

As noted in the minute (2020.10.7), “We approve maintaining at least one year’s programming expenses in our accountsÖ” for future program expenses or honoraria.

Appreciations: We thank TMM for organizing this Fall 2021 YSHYM program; we thank Matt Legge, Trevor Chandler, and Christina Telluz for their workshop. The next meeting (Spring 2022) will be hosted by Hamilton Monthly Meeting with the date to be determined.

The Meeting closed with silent worship.

Attachments included below:

  • Appendix A: Report from the YSHYM Liaison to CYM
  • Appendix B: Report from the YSHYM Program Committee

Attached Separately:

  • Appendix C: YSHYM Treasurer’s Report (30 Sept. 2020 – 01 Oct.2021). This report is attached as a separate document.

Appendix A: Report from the YSHYM Liaison to CYMSummary report from acting Canadian Yearly Meeting Liaison October 16, 2021

CYM and Representative Meeting items considered in the past year:

Discipline Review Committee has been working to update the CYM

Organization and Procedure. They are working on changes to O&P including Trustees and Finance Committee responsibilities.

It was decided to continue with only a digital version of O&P, not to print hard copies. Meetings are encouraged to set up an O&P loose-leaf binder and add O&P updates.

Archives Committee is looking to hire a professional Archivist to help re- open the CYM Archives located at Pickering College, Newmarket. The Archives have been renamed the Arthur Garrett Dorland Reference Library. CYM has agreed to provide top-up funding if necessary to add to funds that Archives Committee has already received from Samuel Rogers Trust and other sources.

Reporting and Clearness Sessions: Archives Committee, Finance Committee, Publications and Communications Committee, Continuing Meeting of Ministry and Counsel, Multi-faith Work (laid down).

Working Groups set up: Finance System WG, Personnel/Finance WG. Cameron Fraser who has served well as CYM Secretary has submitted his resignation.

The Change and Sustainable Transformation Group continues its work. They have set out CYM priorities as: Community, Learning, Sustainability, and Youth and have proposed changes to CYM structure for Friends’ consideration.

Cowichan Valley has brought a concern to CYM in support of same-sex marriages. They are looking for a Minute of Record on the subject.

Representative Meeting confirmed nominations to various CYM Committees and WGs. It was brought to the attention of Friends that Canadian Council of Churches has various subcommittees that Friends can take part in. CYM Nominating Committee appoints a representative to the CCC Governing Body. It also discerns and submits for approval but does not look for representatives to the CCC subcommittees.

CYM is working on a Land Acknowledgement to be used at CYM gatherings and Monthly Meetings.

CYM 2022 will be held online. Jane MacKay Wright

Appendix B: Report from the YSHYM Program Committee

Report from Half-Yearly Meeting Program Committee Date:  October 16, 2021

From:  Barbara Horvath, Rosemary Meier, Alice Preston


Yonge Street Half-Yearly Meeting established the Program Committee in 2017 with a mandate to research topics, themes and speakers for the planning of programs at Half Yearly Meeting.  This was created with the intention of designing programs that would have some continuity, building on a theme. The initial theme was life course issues, beginning with the October 2020 program June Etta Chenard delivered about End of Life Planning.

The pandemic has made long term planning less viable and made current issues and concerns more urgent. The program for the spring 2021 Half- Yearly Meeting, “In a Time of Transition: Seeds of Change, Roots of Strength,” was shaped by the impact of the pandemic on Friends.

For this reason, the Committee feels its original mandate would benefit from a reorientation.  The value of the Committee is to encourage more collaboration and establish stronger links among the monthly meetings.


  • Re-name the Program Committee the Half-Yearly Meeting Liaison Committee.
  • Mandate:  to offer consultation and input about the issues and interests of each of the monthly meetings, in order to help the host meeting identify and develop the program for the upcoming session of Half-Yearly Meeting.
  • Membership: each of the monthly meetings appoints its representative to the Committee for a three-year term.  The present members are willing to continue to serve.

Appendix C: YSHYM Treasurer’s Report (30 Sept. 2020 – 01 Oct. 2021)

Yonge Street Half Yearly Meeting Treasurers’ Report, October 16, 2021 (30 September 2020 – 01 October 2021)
This report is attached as a separate document.


Yonge Street Half-Yearly Meeting virtual Meeting for Worship for Business

October 3, 2020 Minutes (PDF)

Opening Worship and Clerkʼs Reading: Meeting began with worship during which the Clerk read the following from Faith and Practice, Canadian Yearly Meeting (including historical language):

4.43 Life from the Center is a life of unhurried peace and power. It is simple. It is serene. It is amazing. It is triumphant. It is radiant. It takes no time, but it occupies all our time. And it makes our life programs new and overcoming. We need not get frantic. He is at the helm. And

when our little day is done we lie down quietly in peace, for all is well. Thomas Kelly, 1941

Welcome to Friends

Present: Anne Christie – Toronto Monthly Meeting, Virginia Dawson – Yonge Street Monthly Meeting, Sylvia Grady – TMM, Chris Hitchcock – Hamilton Monthly Meeting, Barbara Horvath – YSMM, Glenna Janzen – HMM, Ebby Madera – TMM, Jane MacKay Wright – HMM (Clerk), Rosemary Meier – TMM,

Robin Matheson – YSMM, Anne Mitchell – TMM, Ruth Pincoe – TMM, Betty Preston – HMM, Alice

Preston – HMM, Lynn Robinson – TMM, Shirley Schellenberg – HMM, Gini Smith – YSMM,  Beverly Shepard – HMM, Leigh Turina – TMM, Ginny Walsh – TMM, Carol Leigh Wehking – HMM (Recording Clerk)

Delegates: Barbara Horvath – YSMM, Virginia Dawson – YSMM, Robin Matheson – YSMM, Gini Smith – YSMM; Beverly Shepard – HMM; Anne Mitchell – TMM

Regrets: Ruth Jeffrey-MacLean – TMM

Approval of Recording Clerk: Carol Leigh Wehking is approved as Recording Clerk for this Meeting

Reporter for The Canadian Friend: Rosemary Meier approved

Agenda Review: approved


2020.10.1       Minutes of the Meeting held on October 5, 2019. Approved as distributed.

Business Arising from the Minutes

2020.10.2       Concern from Toronto Monthly Meeting Sexual Abuse and Harassment
(2019.5.2):  Yonge Street Monthly Meeting has approved their version of their Safe Nurture Policy. Implementation waits upon COVID. Attached. Barbara Horvath is interested to receive the thoughts of others (). She remarks that YSMM is much smaller than TMM, with three families, one with a toddler too young for First Day School who requires childcare, and other families who will not attend Meeting until the pandemic is over. This matter is continuing.

2020.10.3        Friends Needed to Serve Half-Yearly Meeting (2019.5.7): Names are to be discerned by their Monthly Meetings, sent to the Clerk of Half Yearly Meeting (Jane MacKay Wright <>), who sends them to HYM Continuing Meeting of Ministry and Counsel for their discernment. Names are presented for approval at the following Half Yearly Meeting. Needed are Recording Clerk (immediately) and Representative to CYM / RM for spring 2021.

Program Committee: all three present members are completing their terms at the same time; therefore, three names are needed, one from each constituent MM, to begin serving after spring HYM 2021.  New members could begin their service sooner than 2021 if possible. This committee has been experimental; an evaluation was proposed. Program Committee will create a questionnaire to be distributed to MMs asking for feedback. There will be some self-evaluation as well, as in the Program Committee report (distributed with the minutes and agenda for this meeting). We hope that there can be some staggering of terms, by not having the same length terms for this next iteration, so that continuity is possible in future. The Program Committee Report will be attached to the questionnaire. Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer are needed to begin after October 2021.
Continuing Meeting of Ministry and Counsel: MMs appoint and set the terms for their members of

HYM Continuing Meeting of Ministry & Counsel; the names are discerned by the Monthly Meeting’s Ministry & Counsel.

2020.10.4       Report from Canadian Yearly Meeting Liaison: This matter is continuing.

2020.10.5       Statement on Social Justice from Toronto Monthly Meeting (2019.5.8).  No report at this time. We lay this down, since COVID has disrupted the pursuing of these issues. We thank TMM for bringing these issues to our attention, and recognize that new ways of service can be developed as way opens.

2020.10.6       Charitable Status for Half-Yearly Meeting (2019.5.9). The Canada Revenue Agency needs to know that any organization with charitable status is using its funds in accordance with its own charitable purposes. MMs giving money to non-registered charities is potentially an issue. Contributions from MMs to HYM should be considered as expenses to pay for the costs of HYM programs, not donations. Since the present system is working, and pursuing charitable status would be complicated and possibly costly, we agree not to pursue this. This matter is laid down.

New Business We extended the time of our meeting to accommodate the consideration of these items

2020.10.7       Half-Yearly Meeting Treasurerʼs Report including Meeting Contributions: This report was distributed with the agenda. We thank Anne Christie, Treasurer, for this report and for her service. We considered the Contributions report. Some MMs are not up to date with their annual contributions, but since present expenses are on hold due to COVID, the treasurer is not pursuing this, and has not deposited the one-time double cheque from HMM. TMM and YSMM have approved minutes redressing their contributions. Anne emphasized the need for maintaining a sizeable balance so that programming expenses can be paid in a timely manner, and not wait upon contributions from MMs. (The grant from CYM Education and Outreach in 2017 was for the extraordinarily expensive HYM in fall 2017 hosted by YMM, because that was the fallow year for CYM.) The large balance at year end after that year has been drawn down. We approve maintaining at least one year’s programming expenses in our accounts, considering also more ambitious programming possibilities.

2020.10.8       Report from Half-Yearly Meeting Program Committee:  Some parts of this report were considered in minute 2020.10.3. This report is attached. This matter is laid over to the next Meeting.

2020.10.9       CYM Change and Sustainable Transformation (CAST) Working Group Proposal for Holding Yearly Meeting in Regional Sessions: this item is laid over, pending consultation with other regional groups and feedback from MMs. Virginia Dawson, Ruth Pincoe, Beverly Shepard, and Chris Hitchcock have agreed to undertake this consultation.

Appreciations: We thank HMM for organizing this Meeting and those who have arranged the technology that makes it possible to meet remotely.

We thank Jane MacKay Wright for clerking this Meeting in our new and unfamiliar format, with its

particular challenges.

October 4, 2020 is World Quaker Day. The theme for this yearʼs World Quaker Day is “What does it mean to be a Quaker today? Living a faithful life in a changing world.” We hope that anything being done in consideration of this will be shared.

Closing Worship: We concluded the Meeting for Worship for Business at 12:50 with worship. The meeting for the program will welcome Friends at 1:00 as scheduled, but convene at 1:30 so that Friends can eat a quick lunch.


Yonge Street Monthly Meeting’s  Safe Nurture Policy Report from Half-Yearly Meeting Program Committee

HYM Treasurer Report  03Oct2020

HYM Contributions Quotas Report 03Oct2020

CAST Regional and Online Idea Summary September 19

Distributed with the Minutes

State of Society Reports 2020

Testimonies to the Grace of God in the Lives of Friends

Notice of the re-release of Caroline Parryʼs book Eleanora’s Diary


State of Society Reports for Yonge Street Half-Yearly Meeting


2019 has been a year of contrasts. We have experienced both joy and sorrow. We have been refreshed by our worship and drained by the unexpected. We have been sustained through all the ups and downs by the depth of our community together while upholding each other in The Light.

A small group of untiringly dedicated Friends worked hard to settle our newcomers from Syria into their new home in Canada. We rejoiced with the newcomers when their daughter and granddaughter arrived from Turkey in May, after much advocacy by Hamilton Monthly Meeting (HMM) on their behalf. The safe arrival of a new granddaughter to the newcomers was a time of celebration for us. Unexpected health issues and unexpected emotional issues have extended our expected commitment to the settling-in process. While Friends have steadfastly provided the extra support that has been needed there is a certain tiredness, as a result, in the fabric of our energy.

A source of delight has been our First Day School (FDS). There were 5 in the 11-14 group. A fresh crop of little ones started attending FDS in April. The 4 new, younger children have a separate program from the older group with both groups coming together to work on the Christmas presentation. Their creative take on the story of Scrooge was a highlight and an inspiration to us all. We thank the Friend who wrote the play and the Friend who worked with her to coach the children. We are always interested to hear about our FDS alumni and how they are exploring new horizons grounded in their FDS experience.

We held a one day retreat at Cedar Haven in May. F/friends took time to consider “More Than Talkin’: The Truth About Quaker Ministry” while enjoying fellowship together in a restful country setting.

Potlucks followed by presentations and discussion have challenged and nourished us both individually and as a community. We shared poetry, learnt about a Friend’s work with the Cree of James Bay, and heard of the current work of CFSC as presented to us by Matt Legge, speaking of his new book for CFSC, Are We Done Fighting?.

In response to the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, HMM took a decision this fall to become more educated regarding challenges facing the Indigenous Community. To that end a potluck and discussion event was organized by the newly- formed Truth and Reconciliation ad hoc committee. The focus of the event was a segment of the video series, “Hear our Voices”, followed by discussion. The discussion was led by Judith Murray who had directed the series for the United Church of Canada. Further segments of the video will be viewed and discussed in the new year.

At the centre of our life together at HMM is the regular opportunity to worship on Sunday. Vocal ministry and silent worship work together to energize us as we go out into our daily lives as bearers of The Light that has refreshed us in worship. Our average attendance is 18 with a larger gathering present when there is First Day School or a potluck. The Cambridge Worship Group continued to plan worship once a month, taking a break in the summer months. The average attendance was five, although an astonishing 11 attended one month! F/friends living in Cambridge are grateful of the opportunity to worship locally.

Friends are getting older and some have health issues to contend with as well. The Nominating Committee was stretched to fill positions while being grateful for the dedicated, joyful work of those able to serve on HMM’s various committees and as representatives of HMM on committees in Hamilton. Eight Friends served Canadian Yearly Meeting in various capacities. We hosted a meeting of CYM’s Discipline Review Committee. After many years of inspiring thought and discussion, the Peace Think Tank had run its course and was laid down. A beloved friend died in December, a few months after a joyous 99th birthday celebration. His gentle demeanor and passion for peace inspired us. He is dearly missed.

There are signs of new growth. Two attenders have applied for and been accepted into membership, and another has transferred her membership to HMM. New families have started worshipping with us and that gives us hope for the future. A more welcoming space has been created at the Meeting house by having a carpenter divide some of the long wooden benches in half and finishing them to match the original ones. The shorter benches are easier to move and can be arranged to suit the occasion. Another small room on the main floor has been made into a space with comfortable chairs and a welcoming aspect for small meetings or informal chats. Although we are small in number we remember that very little yeast makes a big difference to the quality of a loaf of bread. So, in our small way, we focus on what is at hand, and that is, as our FDS learned in their class this year, to be Candles in the Dark. We are grateful for each other at HMM as we bear witness to The Light together.



The Meeting Community is that place where each of us is supported in the life of the Spirit. More than a place or a group of people, it is a state of possibility and an experience of community that underlies our religious life together. 1

There were more younger members and attenders than usual at our worship-sharing session on the State of Society. The liveliness and thoughtfulness of their contributions clarified our knowledge of the vital need to share Quaker values across generations. All spoke to the importance of our shared spiritual life, and the crying need for spiritual values in an increasingly secular wider world. One Young Friend spoke of Friends House as the pillar of her life. The importance of our meeting community in fostering these values came through loud and clear in every aspect of our discussions.

Discussion of the nuts and bolts structure of our Monthly Meeting focussed on the importance of Young Friends and Friends House in maintaining a place where our spiritual lives are supported and encouraged. A TMM Committee Fair invited

participation in the work of our committees. Toronto Meeting has a strong foundation in the hard work done by its standing committees, the trustees, and the members of our staff. The reality of current legal requirements and the work of the Sexual Abuse and Harassment Committee have led us to undertake legal preparations for incorporation. Advances in communication have led to an effort to improve technology and processes for TMM, and the use of Twitter to improve intergenerational communication.

Such work might not be seen as spiritual, but within Friends House our spiritual values find a base for its physical existence that allows the spirit to flourish in our Meeting and in the wider community. Moreover, such work is performed as service that supports our deep recognition of the Light within us all. We benefit from the loving maintenance of
the beautiful Meeting Room and the building itself. We    are striving to develop a meaningful acknowledgement of the land on which Friends House stands and the nations who lived here before us.

An increase in spiritual sharing could help us all, but is especially important for younger members who seek spiritual support. In today’s society many young people have little time, and they lack the ongoing employment and sustained support that previous generations could rely upon. In our meeting community they might hope to learn about strongly held spiritual values as they come to know older Friends. More intergenerational opportunities for learning from each other will help the spiritual growth of us all.

Suggestions include mentoring positions for Young Friends on our committees, and we might organize spiritually-oriented talks after Meeting for Worship. A recent meeting about silence, facilitated by a younger member, contributed to the greater wellbeing of all. At a time when many of us are aging, younger members seek a closer mentoring relationship with older Friends. We need to learn what they wish for and discover how it can be provided.

The Community Nights, held once a month with a potluck supper, cooperative board games, and other activities, have enlarged our intergenerational community. Our Children’s Program, which meets on Sunday mornings, is supported by the Young Friends Program Committee and a paid staff member, allowing parents to attend Meeting for Worship. We share our delight when the children join our shared worship for the last few minutes. Even younger members are learning Quaker values and traditions, and we enjoy shaking hands with each other!

Expanding the Visiting Committee might help us to extend our sense of community, individual to individual. The size of the city and the busyness of our members often distracts us from sharing time with one another, as we focus much of our attention on committee work and minute writing. Could we lay down some committees and procedures to make time for the pleasure of company we are often too busy to share.

Attendance at Sunday Meeting for Worship has recently increased, yet many of these Seekers fail to return. Why? Undoubtedly our silence does not appeal to all, even among Friends. We could consider other ways to draw in newcomers. New attenders may be seeking spiritual companionship, and while a spiritual way of life can be found through committee work, this is certainly not obvious at first glance. Perhaps we should post a notice on the Meeting Room door reading “Caution! Being here may change you.”

While numbers are only one of our concerns, our continuation as a Monthly Meeting requires support from many. The importance of spirituality in our lives is reflected by the use of Friends House for a wide variety of community groups and activities. Do the people who come to events at the House realise why we support them? Could we find a new way to help them, some of whom are young, to understand.,

Friends values and testimonies? Canadian Quakers no longer proselytise as they did in Fox’s day, but there are ways of linking the secular and spiritual that we have failed to share. A highly successful Quaker Quest meeting some years ago had no follow-up.

We are aware of our lack of diversity. Our history of openness to gender diversity should lead to increased participation by the LGBTQ+ community, but we remain largely white in a city of increasing racial diversity. How can we change this? We need to expand our community, but it seems we are not good at offering spiritual sharing to each other and to the wider community of Toronto.


1 “Introduction” to chapter 3, “The Meeting Community, p. 70, in Canadian Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice



Suggestions include mentoring positions for Young Friends on our committees, and we might organize spiritually-oriented talks after Meeting for Worship. A recent meeting about silence, facilitated by a younger member, contributed to the greater wellbeing of all. At a time when many of us are aging, younger members seek a closer mentoring relationship with older Friends. We need to learn what they wish for and discover how it can be provided.

The Community Nights, held once a month with a potluck supper, cooperative board games, and other activities, have enlarged our intergenerational community. Our Children’s Program, which meets on Sunday mornings, is supported by the Young Friends Program Committee and a paid staff member, allowing parents to attend Meeting for Worship. We share our delight when the children join our shared worship for the last few minutes. Even younger members are learning Quaker values and traditions, and we enjoy shaking hands with each other!

Expanding the Visiting Committee might help us to extend our sense of community, individual to individual. The size of the city and the busyness of our members often distracts us from sharing time with one another, as we focus much of our attention on committee work and minute writing. Could we lay down some committees and procedures to make time for the pleasure of company we are often too busy to share.

Attendance at Sunday Meeting for Worship has recently increased, yet many of these Seekers fail to return. Why? Undoubtedly our silence does not appeal to all, even among Friends. We could consider other ways to draw in newcomers. New attenders may be seeking spiritual companionship, and while a spiritual way of life can be found through committee work, this is certainly not obvious at first glance. Perhaps we should post a notice on the Meeting Room door reading “Caution! Being here may change you.”

While numbers are only one of our concerns, our continuation as a Monthly Meeting requires support from many. The importance of spirituality in our lives is reflected by the use of Friends House for a wide variety of community groups and activities. Do the people who come to events at the House realise why we support them? Could we find a new way to help them, some of whom are young, to understand.,

Friends values and testimonies? Canadian Quakers no longer proselytise as they did in Fox’s day, but there are ways of linking the secular and spiritual that we have failed to share. A highly successful Quaker Quest meeting some years ago had no follow-up.

We are aware of our lack of diversity. Our history of openness to gender diversity should lead to increased participation by the LGBTQ+ community, but we remain largely white in a city of increasing racial diversity. How can we change this? We need to expand our community, but it seems we are not good at offering spiritual sharing to each other and to the wider community of Toronto.

TMM has joined the Coalition of Queering Christian Voices.2 There is also a Bible study group, and monthly meetings for singing. Further sessions on Quaker practice will supplement those already underway on Quaker history. Those seeking inner and outer peace share concerns about poverty, homelessness, and peace.

We have temporarily laid down the Peace and Social Action Committee, but individual friends continue many of these activities. Our Statement on Social Justice requires meaningful follow-up, but we have welcomed our third sponsored refugee family. Friends and attenders are involved in global issues. TMM participated in Climate Action Week and Friends were involved in other climate-related events that drew young people to meetings held at Friends House. The Kitchen Table Climate Conversation project has also brought Seekers, enhancing outreach to a wider church community through KAIROS.

Midweek Meeting for Worship is held at Friends House on Wednesday evenings. A period of about 45 minutes of silent worship is followed by a sharing of “afterthoughts” amongst some four to eleven attenders, answering to varying pronouns, whose increasing mutual trust is leading to a shared ownership of the Meeting. There is a lot of love there. This small and less formal gathering is a good introduction to our Sunday Meeting for Worship, which some also now attend.

The Downtown Worship Group has met sporadically on the second Wednesday of the month at 2:00 pm in Friends House. Because the group is aging, ill health continues to cause cancellations. Although only three regular members of the original larger group remain, our meetings have provided important spiritual support that has been an ongoing source of comfort and sustenance to us all, and we wish to continue. We value the time we are able to spend together in shared worship, discussion, and tender concern for one another.

The West End Worship Group meets in members’ homes on the first Sunday of the month. Meetings are often silent, with time afterwards sharing events of the past month – joys and sorrows. Social time over light refreshments allows us to deepen friendships and to discuss Quakerly concerns.


Death is but crossing the world, as Friends do the seas; they live in one another stillÖThis is the comfort of Friends, that though they may be said to die, yet their friendship and society are, in the best sense, ever present, because immortal. 3

For Yonge Street Meeting, 2019 was a year of great loss, as four dear members of the meeting died. The memorial meetings enabled us to be drawn together spiritually. As the Penn quotation describes, we were comforted and enriched by the stories about these Friends, as we joined to celebrate their lives.

They were models for us on how to approach death with grace. Their contributions to the life of the meeting continue to be felt.

As the Meeting House is adjacent to the Yonge Street Friends Burial Ground, we were privileged to participate in the Meetings for Burial for Friends from Toronto Meeting and share in the hospitality that followed.

While we learn much that was previously unknown about departed Friends in these Meetings for Worship, we are strongly reminded of the importance of knowing one another more deeply while we are together. During 2019, Yonge Street Friends used QuakerSpeak in a number of post-meeting discussions as a stimulus for sharing. As noted in one report, “We have been buoyed up by the opportunity to talk, learn and grow together as individuals in fellowship with one another. Opportunities like these break down the barriers to experience love and the joy of being part of a faith community.”

We rejoice in the presence of three families with children, who participate regularly in our First Day School. A Friend has volunteered as the FDS Coordinator and regular child care is provided during meeting for worship and business meeting. Ministry and Counsel is grateful that the parents are now overseeing this scheduling. The Trustees have developed a Safe Nurture policy, tailored to the needs of a smaller meeting. This will be implemented in 2020. It is available to any monthly meetings interested in considering a policy of their own.

We were delighted to welcome David and Marion Newlands’ family to the Meeting House when they celebrated the 50th anniversary of their wedding at Yonge Street. The gathering was a joyous event that had many of the elements that are present at memorial meetings – friends, photographs, memorabilia, good food and laughter – but with the addition of the promise of more fellowship still to come in the future.

The House and Premises Committee for this old meetinghouse is very busy. In addition to regular cleaning and maintenance, projects in 2019 included repairing the roof and doors, interior painting, installing a baby change table, grading the driveway and parking lot and organizing gardening and seasonal clean ups. Friends are willing to volunteer to help, but the oversight rests on this small committee, whose efforts are deeply appreciated. To our relief, the lengthy re-construction of Yonge Street is complete, with only landscaping to be done.

Our Peace, Environment and Social Action Committee continues to minister to vulnerable persons who are discharged from the court in Newmarket, while also providing purses filled with toiletries for women discharged through the College Park Court in Toronto. This program is managed by the Elizabeth Fry Society and seems to echo how Elizabeth Fry herself visited the women convicts and children, before they left for Botany Bay. “Each woman was given a bag of useful things.”

Yonge Street Meeting hosted Half-Yearly Meeting in May, featuring a program entitled “Strengthening our Quaker Community,” presented by Steve Fick and Signy Fridriksson. Their strategies for more effective communication, creative use of conflict and building/rebuilding connections were very relevant to our experiences as a faith community. The day was well-attended and provided ample opportunities for much socializing and worship for Friends who joined us from Hamilton and Toronto Meetings.

Some of our members attended Canadian Yearly meeting in Winnipeg in August and enjoyed the fellowship with the wider family of Canadian Friends. In addition to attending CYM in session, 11 members from Yonge Street serve on CYM committees and bring back to our meeting the experiences of working and worshipping with Friends from across Canada.

Though we have been blessed by the attendance of younger individuals and families, we continue to ponder the ways to reach out to others who may be seeking a spiritual community. We are also looking for ways to develop leadership in our meetings to foster the spirit in others to take on responsibilities towards the Religious Society of Friends.

As Arthur Larrabee says in a QuakerSpeak video. “Our understanding and experience of God is nurtured and enlarged in community. When we come together in community, each of us brings our own manifestation of the divine energy. When we come together in community, we experience and embrace our diversity; we experience a much larger understanding and vision of God.”

3 William Penn, 1693

Little Britain Worship Group

Little Britain Quakers continued to meet weekly throughout 2019 under the care of Yonge Street Monthly Meeting. Our worship group consists of one family year-round, plus a couple (also from Yonge Street) who live in the area seasonally. We have not yet had any success attracting our friends, neighbours, and extended family. We remain


ADAMSON, JAMES (JIM) HAMILTON 16 October 1918 – 18 February 2020

Jim Adamson was born at home in Pickering Township near Cherrywood, Ontario. In considerable contrast to the educated, cultured, musical home of his paternal grandparents, Jim’s parents had chosen the rustic simplicity and hard labour of farm life in Pickering and later near Hampton, north of Bowmanville. These values shaped Jim’s life.

He learned to drive at age 16 and chauffeured neighbours to school in a Model T Ford. It became a lifelong habit. Jim continued to chauffeur friends, including driving from Pickering into downtown Toronto to attend Meeting for Worship at Friends House, until, at age 98, he gave up his car.

By the early years of the Depression Jim was in high school. He left before finishing his final year to take a well-paying job in the accounting department of Goodyear Tire Company, enabling him to contribute to family finances, but he continued his education through evening courses and passed the departmental examinations.

When the Second World War broke out, Jim joined the Non-Permanent Active Militia, but realized that he did not want to serve in active combat. Trained as a radio and radar technician, he served as an airplane technician in England, Egypt, and Italy. When he returned to Canada at the end of the war, the RCAF discharge options included free university entrance. Jim was finally able to fulfil his dream to study engineering and physics at the University of Toronto.

During the postwar years Jim was introduced to Bobby (Bobi) Callum, his sister’s school friend. Bobi and Jim married in 1949 and settled into a tiny cottage in Pickering. Over the years, they renovated it themselves, building additions to accommodate their growing family of five daughters, and they maintained a huge vegetable and flower garden, putting into practice the testimonies of simplicity and care of the earth long before they encountered Quakers.

Jim chose not to move when his engineering employment relocated their offices, and instead answered the acute need for teachers in the baby boom years. He taught math and computer science at the local Dunbarton high school. He retired from teaching at age 61, enabling a younger teacher to be spared a layoff.

Jim wrote that he and Bobi “felt that children should learn about religion at an early age.” The local churches were not a good match so they began to explore, and Bobi’s mother thought Quakerism might suit them best. In 1962 an advertisement in the Globe and Mail led them to Friends House and Toronto Monthly Meeting (TMM). For a time they were also part of the Willowdale Allowed Meeting where they met families involved in Camp NeeKauNis and forged deep and lasting friendships.

Self-described introverts, Bobi and Jim wanted to study for themselves the meaning of Christianity and Quakerism. They read widely and also attended the Quaker study groups held nearby at the home of Fritz and Kathleen Hertzberg, and at Friends House in Toronto. The silent Meeting for Worship and the search for the “still small voice” matched their temperaments, as did the Quaker way of simplicity. Convinced Friends, they became members of Toronto Monthly Meeting in 1970.

The “do-it-yourself” aspect of Quakerism also suited them. Jim, always practical, was involved in a number of TMM committees, including House and Premises and Finance, but it was Camp NeeKauNis, a Quaker camp on Georgian Bay, that provided Bobi, Jim and their children their deepest connection to Friends. The family began attending Camp in 1962, and NeeKauNis became the avenue through which Jim most generously shared his beautiful spirit. As a school teacher his summers were free to dedicate to Camp. In 1970, together with Bobi, Jim became Program Director, and he served for the next sixteen years. Throughout these years Jim ensured that the intent of NeeKauNis to nurture the Quaker way was always uppermost in Camp activities and traditions.

Jim was not a Friend who gave vocal ministry in Meeting for Worship. His contribution was quiet and practical, but under his direction, each day of a Camp program began with a Quaker reading at breakfast. Campers gathered for worship each morning in the Meeting Centre or outside on the hill, which was, for Jim, a “favoured location” in this world. He gently made it clear, by example, that work was a service to Camp and thus to the beloved community that Camp served. Under Jim’s guidance, NeeKauNis campers learned about being grateful, cherishing and preserving the natural environment, caring for each other, and serving God by serving the community. Jim appreciated the simplicity of the camp facilities, the dedication that volunteers could bring to the creation of a loving Quaker community, and the practical contribution that he was able to make.

Jim directed all the Camp programs, from Junior Camp for children aged 8 to 10, to Community and Family Camps, which welcomed campers of all ages. From 1999 to 2009 he served as co-director of Carry on Discovering (COD), a camp for “seasoned Friends” over 55. (He was then aged 81–91!) Gradually Jim handed over the various programs to new volunteers, who held his service as an inspiring and educational example.

When his beloved Bobi developed cancer, Jim nursed her at home through her last months, wanting to share this final time together. He had the grace-filled ability to care lovingly for the terminally ill. Bobi died in 1996.

Rita Hilder, part of his camp community and a member of the Toronto Meeting, needed computer help for writing her memoir. Jim eventually moved to Toronto in 2002, and they enjoyed a short period of companionship before her death later that year.

Kathleen Hertzberg, Jim’s long-time neighbour in Pickering and a member of TMM, was now living on her own. She and Jim spent many hours together working on various projects including memoirs, and he drove Kathleen to Meeting for Worship at Friends House almost every Sunday until she went into a care home in 2016.

For more than 35 years Jim served as clerk for the Committee overseeing the historic Mill Street Friends Burial Ground in Pickering Village. He took the lead in grounds care and maintenance. He also stabilized the finances, established a Canadian Yearly Meeting fund, and arranged for the transfer of the cemetery ownership to Yearly Meeting. Bobi’s ashes were the first to be scattered in the scattering garden that Jim helped to establish in the cemetery.

Jim’s memoir, entitled One Plus One Makes Seven: The Uncharted Journey of Two Do-It- Yourselfers (2016) is a wonderful source of stories of his life. The title expresses succinctly who Jim was and what was important to him in his life. Jim died peacefully at his daughter’s home in his 102nd year, gently cared for by his family, just as he had cared for others. As noted in Jim’s obituary, “Each and every role in his 101 years he shouldered with characteristic cheerfulness, thoughtfulness, and dedication providing an inspiring example of a life well lived.”


30 November 1941 – 28 July 2019

Sherita Clark (nee Flack) was born November 30, 1941 in Cleveland, Ohio. Brought up in the evangelical tradition, she attended Erieside Baptist Church from 1964 to 1968. She had attended the Billy Graham University, University of Northwestern St Paul, though she did not find that it spoke to her spiritual needs. She enjoyed singing in the choir in the Baptist church. Sherita trained to be a dental hygienist and it was while working as a dental hygienist in Cleveland she met Sheldon Clark. Sheldon was a Quaker. This was the time of the Vietnam War and Sheldon had done his alternative service with AFSC in India as a conscientious objector. His description of his experiences spoke to her. They were married in Cleveland and moved to Toronto in 1968 where Sheldon did post-graduate work. They attended Toronto meeting and participated in a Quaker religious study group. Sheldon was offered a job at Pickering College in Newmarket in 1972 and eventually became the headmaster until 1995. Their daughter Amber was born 1976. Sherita as a parent helped guide Amber to be an independent person, a critical thinker, a survivor, one who could encounter the sometimes unkind world in positive ways, and a capable adult able to meet whatever life threw her with a measure of equanimity. Sherita continued working as a dental hygienist until September 2018.

Sherita applied in 1973 for membership in the Society of Friends at Yonge Street Monthly Meeting. She stated she felt “clear in my unity with the views and practices of Friends in their sincere seeking and striving for the Truth. The desire for membership is an outward commitment to this union.” This commitment was the core of Sherita’s contribution to Yonge Street Meeting and the wider body of Friends. Sherita was a faithful Friend and participated closely in all aspects of the meeting, spiritual and practical. She facilitated a program called Quaker 101 several times. She also organized an ongoing adult study group for many years reading mainly Quaker material. She was very active in First Day School beginning from her time at Toronto meeting. She participated in the New Foundation seminars that were held at Camp NeeKauNis. She was well versed in Organization and

Procedure and used this as a guide for the Meeting for Worship for attention to business. She was a trustee of Yonge Street Monthly Meeting and also was on Finance committee and House and Premises. She clerked Yonge Street Half Yearly Meeting and CYM Program committee. She had an amazing institutional memory. Her place of work was just across the road from the meeting house and so she was available whenever practical work needed doing. She loved flowers and would organize events contributing floral decorations and helped plan the garden in front of the meeting house. She organized sale of Fair Trade products as a leading to support farmers in Palestine and Central America. She was instrumental in organizing the bicentennial event at the meeting house, open houses as part of Doors Open, Newmarket, and the installation of an accessibility lift. Sherita loved to tell stories about Quakers and their history especially from the point of view of the individuals who were involved. She welcomed newcomers and mentored them. In 2013 she attended a conference at Pendle Hill on the topic Heaven on Earth, Friends and the Second Coming with Ben Pink Dandelion and Douglas Gwyn. It gave her hope for the future of Quakerism.

Sherita was working on her spiritual legacy near the end of her life. She wanted to put in writing her stories, values and wisdom, feeling that this is an important spiritual exercise for an individual to share with family and one’s spiritual/religious community. Some of the thoughts she wanted to share are that an individual needs to be open and willing to follow the leadings of the Spirit. This means thinking deeply about what one says and one’s actions. She spoke of the importance of religious education for children and adults. This involves reading with spiritual discernment and with the aid of elders in the spiritual community who are willing to mentor. One has to listen to the spiritual legacy and stories of others. She felt the necessity of knowing at least the nuggets of Scripture: the Minor Prophets especially Micah, the Beatitudes, and the Sermon on the Mount. Vocal ministry should be appropriate and not coming from a place of ego or ambition.

Sherita was very aware of suffering that we may experience in life. She suffered from deforming rheumatoid arthritis beginning in her twenties. She felt she had a distant and difficult relationship with her family and after her divorce in 1986 her living and financial circumstances were precarious. Life could be lonely. Sherita found solace and friendship in the Quaker community. She was however very concerned about the future of Quakerism. Sherita saw this as a serious business, but one should not take oneself too seriously! She always had a witty sense of humour. During her whole life Sherita was a “good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:23).


12 February 1942 – 28 January 2020

(South East Scotland Area Meeting) From December 2018 through to January 2020, Central Fife Local Meeting was very pleased to have Trevor Cobain regularly worshiping with it. This was once he had settled into the Kirkcaldy Abbeyfield care home where he was living due to having a long-term health condition. He had a heart warming impact on the Meeting over the period. Many tributes to him have been expressed by Friends in the meeting, including:

  • a real character and a big miss to the meeting;
  • a lovely soul who cared;
  • he was an inspiration, laughing when life was difficult for him; and
  • his cheery disposition and spirit will be missed in the meeting.

Trevor was brought up with two brothers in East Belfast, moved to Britain for a time, but then settled in Canada in his twenties. He eventually went to university there, later becoming a professor of English literature in Toronto for many years. There he met his Quaker partner, George Sanders, an artist.

The Niagara Meeting wrote:

“Niagara Quakers became Trevor Cobain’s last Canadian Quaker home when he and George Sanders retired to Port Colborne in Ontario’s Niagara Region. They came to us from Toronto Meeting, where they had long been active.

“For years he and George hosted a summer picnic for us at their lakeshore cottage. They actively engaged in our gatherings, both business and social, if they were in the country. They did travel extensively.

“When both fell ill, they were separated for the first time in many years. They made diligent efforts to reunite and eventually succeeded in gaining admission to the same long-term care home. . . . . During this period our Meeting occasionally convened in the nursing home. Trevor also generously hosted several restaurant gatherings of their mutual friends to enjoy their company.”

Central Fife Friends have very fond memories of Trevor’s lively and warm company and his contributions to the Meeting. They are just sad that the period of involvement was cut short so unexpectedly.

6 August 1920 – 9 December 2019

Ray Cunnington, born in 1920, was the youngest of three children. His father, Alfred, was a professor of biology at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical School, in London, England. Ray’s mother, Beatrice, died when Ray was only 12.

Ray was certainly influenced by the religious education he experienced with his parents, non-conformists who devoted much time and energy to doing good works in Clapham. Unfortunately, following the death of his mother, he was sent away to a British boarding school, an institution he always spoke of, in later life, with antipathy.

At the age of 18 he had been accepted to Cambridge University, but his father became ill, and the family felt that there would not be enough money for university. He decided to go on the stage. He studied acting in London, did some performing on tour, and in 1940 was offered a position with the renowned Abbey Theatre in Dublin, but in May of that year Germany invaded Western Europe. War became the dominant issue for Britain, and Ray’s career was cut short.

Perhaps influenced by his religious upbringing, Ray was even then a pacifist. He always said that he was willing to die for his country, but he wasn’t willing to kill for his country. However, it was clear that he was going to be required to take part in the war, so he volunteered for the Royal Air Force and served five years in India and Burma, first as a medical orderly, but later, because of his acting experience, hosting a radio show in Calcutta for the troops.

After the war Ray worked for a large London-based film production company where, among others, he met the teenaged Julie Andrews and Elizabeth Taylor. He married Joanne in 1947, and they had two children, John and Francina. In the early 1950s the UK was a grim and depressing place, and the economy was not encouraging. In view of this, and looking for a new start, Ray and Joanne decided to immigrate to Canada.

Ray started in Canada by washing cars, and then dishes in a restaurant, but after a time he obtained a job in Montreal with a big-screen newsreel company and relocated from Toronto to Montreal. However, not long after he started the job, the company went out of business, largely as a result of the advent of television.

Ray worked for a time as a radio and television actor, a teacher of acting, a director, and th

managing director of an English-language repertory theatre in Montreal. All these efforts, however, could not produce much of an income; by 1960 it was clear that he needed a more reliable income for his family. He went into an advertising firm, where he ultimately became the Creative Director. Though Ray was successful in advertising, his heart wasn’t in it, and in his spare time he read extensively and thought deeply about social issues. He consolidated his thoughts about the nature of societal structure in a book which he wrote, entitled The Invasion of the Mind.

Once his children had graduated from high school Ray felt that he could leave advertising and the suburban life. The FLQ crisis in Quebec prompted him and Joanne to move in 1968 to Bloomfield in Prince Edward County, Ontario, where he got a job teaching communication at Loyalist College in Belleville. He eventually became the chairman of the department. As he looked towards retirement Ray took courses in counselling and social work, and from age 65 to 72 he worked as a private and group counsellor. With a lifelong interest in the problem of violence against women, and in the hope of targeting the root of the problem, Ray developed programs aimed at helping men deal with their anger and violent responses, one of which ran in the prison at Kingston. After a few years in Winnipeg, Ray and Joanne moved to Hamilton, Ontario, where, twenty years ago, he found and began attending Hamilton Quaker Meeting, to our great benefit. He was welcomed and cherished by Hamilton Friends, and, although he never formally became a member, he was considered one of us, and an influence for peace and justice as Quakers all hope to be.

All his life Ray was a pacifist, and in retirement in Hamilton Ray was able to pursue his interest in peace studies. He was a founding member of Culture of Peace, Hamilton, and of the Peace Think Tank, a group that met regularly at Hamilton Meeting House to explore ways of promoting and securing peace in our time. He also established a UN Culture of Peace Fund with the Hamilton Community Foundation. He was instrumental in establishing Hamilton’s annual commemoration of Gandhi’s birthday with the Gandhi Peace Festival. His work in the community for the causes of peace and non-violence was widely appreciated and formally recognized: both the YMCA and the City of Hamilton awarded him medals for his service to peace and the community. His ideas about humanity’s struggle to end warfare are contained in a small book he wrote toward the end of his life entitled: Towards Less Adversarial Cultures.

Ray worshipped at Hamilton Meeting faithfully and participated enthusiastically in our events, such as presentations and discussions, which furthered Quaker testimonies. He kept Hamilton Friends informed of various activities in the community which aligned with our beliefs. He exemplified, in an inspiring way, the admonitions to “Let your lives speak” and “Be patterns, be examples.”

However, as Ray neared the end of his life, his physical challenges – which never diminished his mental powers – caused him to greatly reduce his attendance in meeting. When he was well enough to attend meeting, which he was able to do once more just before his final illness, his presence was dearly valued and generated a felt sense of gratitude among us all. A number of us enthusiastically attended a joyous 99th birthday celebration for Ray on August 6, 2019. On the night of the 8th-9th of December, Ray quietly left this life. Although he was ready to go, we could never really be ready to lose him, and Hamilton Friends miss Ray Cunnington sorely.


15 February 1932 – 23 May 2019

Flora Ann (Singleton) Paterson was born in Toronto on 15 February 1932, the only child of Marion Wakefield and Dr. Arthur Singleton. Toronto remained her geographical home for much of her life. She was educated at Bishop Strachan School for primary and secondary years and went on to earn a degree in Physio and Occupational Therapy from the University of Toronto. She was raised in a community of faith within the Anglican Church of Canada. Prior to attending Yonge Street Meeting Flora Ann was an active member at Deer Park United Church.

Flora Ann’s childhood carried more than the usual strains of growing up. Her father was a Radiologist of international distinction and Head of Radiology at the University of Toronto’s medical school. Her mother lived with alcohol addiction. Flora Ann had loving but somewhat divided attention and was plunged into navigating on her own.

Flora Ann married Jim Paterson and together they had four children. She worked

sporadically as a physio therapist while raising her family but never felt called to that work. Her true passion lay with the creative arts and particularly needlework. Her daughter recalled a large loom occupying space in the home and all the siblings being taught to weave. Flora Ann made clothes, smocked dresses, created needlepoint wall hangings, hooked rugs and always had a knitting project on the needles. She was accomplished in drawing, water colour and oils.

Flora Ann was a voracious reader in a variety of genres. She worked on a number of Library committees including Yonge Street Monthly Meeting’s. From a curiosity about Braille, Flora Ann taught herself to read the language and was responsible for translating a couple of university level text books to facilitate education for people whose vision was impaired.

When her children were raised Flora Ann took time to further develop her creative expression. She earned a degree in Material Art and Design from the Ontario College of Art and Design. In later years she and Jim separated. Flora Ann chose to live year-round in the family cottage at Jackson’s Point on Lake Simcoe. Flora Ann was compelled to seek deeply. She experienced peace living by the lake. In solitude she began to understand the link between her creative expression and her faith. She traveled extensively on her spiritual quest.


Flora Ann discovered The Religious Society of Friends when the local newspaper featured an article about the 200th anniversary of Yonge Street Meeting. She attended meeting and was drawn to the silence which cradled promptings from the Divine. Yonge Street was enriched by Flora Ann coming into membership. She served on several committees including the Meeting for Ministry and Counsel and Nominating Committee. She is remembered for her quiet presence, easy laughter, and her love of colour.

Flora Ann gave of herself in an earnest reaching to know people “in that which is eternal”. All four children spoke at her memorial service and the reflections of their mother were unique to each one. They knew that they were seen and took comfort in realizing that she did her best to mother to their individual needs. She had the gift of being able to dig below the surface.

Flora Ann was not able to get to meeting in the last few years. Arthritis took its toll and restricted her mobility. She viewed her confinement as a blessing. Her time in solitude drew her in to a greater recognition of her gifts and her purpose. She expressed gratitude for a Friend who, in her words, “recognized her eremitic call”.

In a New Year greeting (2019) to another Friend she wrote:

“I was very touched to receive a card from the Meeting. Even though I am unable to attend I feel a very close connection and you are all much in my thoughts and prayers. I have very belatedly come to realize that I feel called to the life of a solitary.”


27 February 1927 – 17 July 17 2019

Stuart was born in 1927, the youngest of Elmer and Elma Starr’s five children. He spent the first 53 years of his life on the family farm just outside of Newmarket, where he attended elementary school at the one-room schoolhouse in Bogarttown, and then completed the Commercial Program at Newmarket High School. He spent his last 39 years on a farm near Brechin, Ontario, where the family moved in an effort to find an area that wasn’t experiencing the urbanization that was happening around Newmarket.

Stuart was a birthright member of Yonge Street Monthly Meeting and attended with his family for much of the 50 years he lived in the Newmarket area. His recollections of Quaker life and the meetinghouse before its modernizations were always of interest to Friends today. One story he recalled from his early childhood was being out with his mother when they encountered a neighbour who said, “Merry Christmas, Mrs. Starr.” Stuart asked his mother what Christmas was and who is “Mrs. Starr.” Stuart’s faithfulness as a Board member of the Pine Orchard Cemetery continued almost to the end of his life, when a family member would bring him to worship at Yonge Street before going on to the annual Cemetery Board meeting.

Stuart loved farming and never wanted to do anything else for a living. However, the income from a small family farm being what it was, and with the necessity of supporting his wife and children, he supplemented the farming income by driving school buses for several years, and then working as a letter carrier for Canada Post for 12 years, while also being a full-time farmer.

Another love of Stuart’s was travel, and he managed to find ways to combine farming and travel on several occasions in the years before he was married. One year, he and his friend Walt made their way to the Canadian prairies where they helped harvest wheat before moving on to California to smudge orange groves. On two occasions he did trips working on cattle boats to Central and South America. He liked to refer to himself as a wandering cowboy, and said that he’d always been a cattleman; that he may not have been born into it, but that he loved cattle farming.

He also found a way to combine his love for being a Quaker with his love for travel. Stuart and other young Quakers joined the Mennonite project taking cattle to Europe for relief after the war. Thus he was able to attend the 1952 Young Friends Conference in London, England. He extended that trip and went on to Germany, where he met and made friends with a couple whom he would later sponsor when they emigrated from Germany to Canada.

He met his future wife Caroline in Ohio at the home of his sister and Caroline’s uncle, who were married to each other. He then stopped in to visit her while she was visiting family in Monteverde, Costa Rica, on his way home from one of his cattle boat trips. He used to say that they “met in Ohio, courted in Monteverde, married in Iowa, and lived in Ontario.” Stuart and Carol went on to have four children, two grandchildren, and two great- granchildren.

Stuart was quiet and good, living his faith in a changing world, adapting to keep his way of life. Stuart will be remembered by Yonge Street Friends as a faithful Friend and a link to the years when the Meeting and its historic building were sustained largely through the efforts of a single family.



20 April 1922 – 22 February 2019

Jo Vellacott was born on 20 April 1922 in Plymouth, England, to Harold Vellacott, a surgeon, and Josephine (nee Semphill), a head nurse at a hospital. Jo had two older
brothers: Douglas the eldest, and George, Jo’s closest friend as she was growing up. Jo had a remarkable memory, and could recall a time before words. She learned to read at an early age, and was taught at home, first by a beloved Nanny and then by a not-so-loved string of governesses. Later she attended a private day school and in 1935 was sent to Downe House, a private boarding school. Jo loved the years at Downe House. During her time there she had her first exposure to Quakerism through Jean Rowntree, a well-known Friend and an inspiring history teacher.

In the summer of 1939 it became clear that war would break out. Jo was acutely aware of the war: Plymouth was badly bombed, both her brothers had enlisted, and her close friend’s boyfriend was killed. She began her undergraduate studies in 1940 at Somerville College, Oxford, and earned a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters degree. By the time she graduated in 1943, she had decided to join the war effort. Her her early exposure to Quaker teachings through Jean Rowntree, however, had left her conflicted. She later wrote, “I never did kid myself that I was not killing people when I made anti-tank mines or serviced training planes. Nor was I able to depersonalize the enemy I helped to kill. I knew they were people, and the cheering when a German plane and crew were shot down chilled me.”

In 1947 Jo was hired as to teach English in a girls’ school in Johannesburg. Here she met Peter Newberry, a young medical student. They married in 1949 and their first two children – Douglas and Mary – were born in South Africa. Not wanting to raise their family under the apartheid regime, they immigrated to the United Kingdom in 1953, living in London and later in Cornwall, where their daughter Soo was born.

With a lack of medical opportunities in Britain, Peter, who had been a pilot during the war, joined the Royal Canadian Air Force as a doctor, and in 1955 the family moved to Canada. Living in various communities in Alberta and the Yukon and moving frequently, Jo felt very alone in a new raw country and in her marriage. She found these years hugely challenging, but there were also great adventures as they embraced the outdoors, and Jo worked as a supply teacher in Namao, Alberta.

When the family moved east to Ontario, Jo began to attend Meeting for Worship in Toronto. Soon the family was part of the Meeting community. Jo became a member of the Religious Society of Friends in 196__. She played an active role in the Meeting, and was strongly committed to peace and social justice. Those who were Young Friends at the time still remember her support, understanding, and mentorship. In the mid-1970s, when the Quaker Committee for Native Concerns turned its attention to mercury pollution in First Nations communities, Jo briefly joined Peter and her daughter Soo in their efforts to assess the affects suffered by people in Grassy Narrows.

The decade of her 50s was exciting and tumultuous. Able to renew her education, Jo earned a masters in history from the University of Toronto and began work on a doctorate at McMaster University. In 1976 she separated from Peter. At McMaster Jo had access to the Bertrand Russell Archives just as this important collection was beginning to take shape. She completed her PhD in 1978, and her doctoral thesis – an examination of Bertrand Russell’s work with the No Conscription Fellowship – was published in 1980 under the title Bertrand Russell and the Pacifists.

Jo received a full-time faculty appointment in 1982 at the Simone de Beauvoir Institute,
Concordia University, and taught women’s studies from 1982 to 1987.  “At that time,”
she writes, “it was possible to hope that feminist process could be modelled on something close to Quaker process. This was a major direction of my work.” Jo loved her work as a teacher and a scholar, and comments from former students are a testament to her success, but to her endless regret, she did not gain a permanent teaching position. “I resigned on principle from the only job I ever had that would have led to a permanent position and a
pension. A tendency to speak out when wrong appears has held me back in other
positions. But I don’t find speaking out easy and have not always done it when I should.”

An independent historian and a pioneer in the study of women’s history, Jo’s broader research centred on the history of democratic suffragists and pacifism. She published two more books and many articles on women and peace. In 2017 she travelled to England where she hosted a gathering of scholars, who came to discuss her work on Catherine Marshall.1 Her final publication, a memoir of the first twenty-five years of her life, was published in 2018. During her 60s and 70s, Jo lived in Montreal, where she was able to spend time with her son, Douglas. She also spent many years in Kingston, where she grew close to her younger daughter Soo and her children. These were happy productive times for her.

1 Thanks to Jo’s scholarship, Catherine Marshall’s name and picture appears (along with 58 other women’s suffrage supporters) on the plinth of the statue of Millicent Fawcett in Parliament Square, London.


Quakers and Quaker practice became increasingly important to Jo and Jo also wrote many pamphlets and articles on Quaker subjects. She had a deep knowledge and understanding of Quaker process, and was respected for her discernment and wisdom. She was an active Friend in Montreal and Kingston, serving on committees and on Ministry and Counsel. Jo was also a “Yearly Meeting Friend.” She attended when she could, and she served on CYM Committees, on Continuing Meeting of Ministry and Counsel, and as a recording clerk. She frequently attended Representative Meeting, representing Thousand Islands and later Toronto Monthly Meetings.

Around 2010 Jo moved from Kingston to Toronto. Her daughter Mary writes, “Jo and I got to know and love each other. She jumped into her life here, making friends at her residence and getting involved in the activities of the neighbourhood where Rory Gus and I live Ö She was a constant presence at holiday events and around the dining room table for dinners big and small. Jo was grateful for the love and support of this extended family and community. She was also active at her sewing machine, creating beautiful brightly coloured bags and pouches of all sizes, and selling them to raise money for Quaker concerns and other charities.

Toronto Monthly Meeting was also a huge source of joy and strength in her last years. She played an active role, attending Meeting for Worship and Monthly Meeting when she was able. She served on Ministry and Counsel, and was always willing to talk with Friends who were troubled or in need of a Committee of Care. Jo had a deep friendship with Ursula Franklin, and their long discussions continued into the last years of their lives.

In late 2018 Jo’s health began to fail. She accepted increasing discomfort with regret, but spoke of her approaching death with calm acceptance. Mary writes, I will always treasure the last six weeks of her life, shared in my house with my partner Rory Gus. Each night I would go in to wish her a good sleep. The smile she gave me was happy and clear. She could not stop smiling Ö this was something new to her. As a child and throughout life, she tended to sadness, showing this on her face. Her clear smile was a gift of her last years.

Jo Vellacott died peacefully in the morning of Friday 22 February 2019.

Yonge Street Monthly Meeting

Policy on Safety and Nurture of

Children, Youth and other Vulnerable Persons

in our Care

(The Safe Nurture Policy)

Approved March 1, 2020

  1. Vision and Policy Statement 2
  2. Child Care Coordinator 2
  3. Child Care Providers and Assistants



Approval 2

  1. Responsibilities of Child Care Coordinator and

Child Care Providers and Assistants


  1. Safety and Protection Procedures 4
  2. Incident Reporting 5
  3. Approval of Policy 5


  1. Definitions 6
  2. Responsibilities 7
  3. Record Keeping 8
  4. Age of Majority, Consent,

Confidentiality 9

  1. Agreement of Care 10
  2. Information Form for each child 11
  3. General Incident Report Form 12


Vision:  We rejoice in the presence of children and young people in our meeting and
recognize the gifts they bring.  Together, we are creating a community in which there are opportunities for genuine inter-generational relationships full of warmth, trust, curiosity,
reflection and joy.

The meeting as a whole shares the responsibility for these relationships and for spiritual
growth.  Consequently, Yonge Street Monthly Meeting (YSMM) commits itself to do everything possible to create clear boundaries and expectations for its activities in which children, youth and other vulnerable persons are nurtured, and abuse is prevented.

  1. Policy Statement

A belief in the equality of all persons has been a foundation of our faith and practice since the beginnings of the Religious Society of Friends. All persons are to be treated equally, and with respect, love and care, regardless of age, race, gender, or ability.

This policy is intended to guide all of us in understanding and carrying out our responsibilities to provide a safe environment for children, youth and vulnerable persons and to protect volunteers and other members of the community from situations that could result in injury, harm or abuse.

This policy applies to those times that children are in programming organized by YSMM (including worship groups): specifically, First Day School during Meeting for Worship, Meeting for Business and other specified hours at YSMM events, including Half Yearly Meeting when it is held in Newmarket.

Parents or guardians are responsible for their own children’s safety during all other hours, even when at the Meetinghouse.

  1. Child Care Coordinator

The Meeting appoints a Child Care Coordinator with responsibility for implementation of this policy.

  1. Child Care Providers and Assistants

A person over 18 is an approved Child Care Provider. A person under 18 is an approved Child
Care Assistant.  Approval of Providers and Assistants is minuted once the Child Care
Coordinator has completed the following three steps each person.  Child Care Providers and Assistants can serve as volunteers or receive payment.


3.1.1. Individuals who serve in the Child Care Program should have been active at Yonge Street

Meeting and known by the community (or a community member) for at least six months. We believe that strong relationships among the individuals in contact with children at YSMM is the most effective tool we have for ensuring the quality care for children and vulnerable persons.


Other attributes for approval as a Child Care Provider or Assistant include:

   Being physically able to respond to the needs of the children

   Having previous experience with children

   Agreement with the values and principles articulated in the Safe Nurture policy

   It is an additional asset  to have First Aid Training and/or a Vulnerable Sector Police Check

3.1.2. Intermittent volunteers

A volunteer wishing to present a special program, or to assist with the children’s program intermittently must be in the presence of an approved Child Care Provider or Assistant.

3.2. Training
3.2.1. Initial training

All Child Care Providers and Assistants must complete YSMM’s training program on the elements of this policy and sign the Agreement of Care (Appendix E)

3.2.2. Renewal of training

Completion of the training program must be renewed every three years for those who remain in the position.

3.3. Approval of Child Care Providers and Assistants

3.3.1 The Child Care Coordinator oversees the screening and training program and brings the names of prospective Child Care Providers and Assistants to the Meeting for Business for approval.

  1. Responsibilities of Child Care Coordinator and Child Care Providers and


4.1 The Child Care Coordinator is responsible for:

  Recruitment of Child Care Providers and Assistants

  Development and delivery of training on the elements and intent of this Policy
  Recommendation to the Meeting for approval of Child Care Providers and Assistants
  Oversight of the delivery of the Child Care Program
  Posting a “Safe Nurture” statement in prominent places in the Meetinghouse

  Ensuring volunteers in intermittent events are aware of and following this policy and that at least one approved Child Care Provider is present.

  Record keeping

4.2 The Child Care Coordinator and Child Care Providers and Assistants should ensure that



they maintain a safe and positive environment for the children and youth in the care of the program

  this policy is followed

  1. Safety and Protection Procedures

5.1Preventive procedures for the Child Care Program

These preventative procedures are for everyone participating in gatherings at YSMM involving

children, youth and vulnerable persons, including First Day School, or other events such as Half Yearly Meeting.

5.1.1. Collect information from parents about their children:

Parents will be asked to complete a form (Appendix F) that provides contact information, bathroom instructions, allergies and other information that will be helpful in providing

appropriate care for each child in the program.

5.1.2 Do not engage in these behaviours:

As a loving community, YSMM does not accept behaviours which are destructive to the building

of positive relationships.  Examples of these kinds of unacceptable behaviours include:

  singling out an individual for highly favoured or unduly harsh treatment

  ridiculing, scape-goating, rejecting, or threatening an individual

  bullying or put-downs

  making racially provocative comments or remarks based on appearance

  physically contacting an individual when it is unwanted, unless necessary for the safety of the individual or those around them

  making sexually suggestive comments

  corporal punishment

  invading the privacy of an individual when toileting or dressing unless they need help

  sexually interacting with an individual*

  physically hurting an individual*

*When such behaviour is against a child under 16, these are reportable offences

5.2. Avoid being alone with children

As far as possible, two Child Care Providers or Assistants should always be with any group

of children in the care of YSMM.  While this is preferable, it is not mandatory.

5.2.1. Recruiting two Child Care Providers or Assistants for classes that are sometimes as

small as one or two children is not always practical.

5.2.2. When there is only one approved Child Care Provider available, the classroom

door must remain open.

5.2.3. If an emergency requires the second Child Care Provider or Assistant to leave the

group of children for a period of time, that person should ask another Friend to serve as a temporary Child Care Provider.

5.3. Avoid acts that could lead to allegations

These could include:

       individual photography of children

       unsupervised internet access

5.4 Preventive procedures for Half-Yearly Meeting

When Half-Yearly Meeting is held at Yonge Street Meetinghouse

  ensure at least one approved Child Care Provider   is supervising the event, even if volunteers from other Meetings are present

  collect Parent Information Forms for each child

  for groups of more than 6, institute a check-in/check-out procedure

  ensure that this policy is followed during the children’s program

  always follow the 2-person and open-door procedures

  note: Half-Yearly Meetings that take place at Camp NeeKauNis or in other meetings will be covered by the protocols applicable in those locations

  1. Incident Reporting

Accidental Injury to a child, youth or vulnerable person

In the event that a child, youth or vulnerable person is injured while in the care of YSMM, the following steps are to be followed:

6.1. For minor injuries, scrapes, and bruises, Child Care Providers or Assistants will provide First Aid (Band-Aids, etc.) as appropriate and will notify the person’s parent/guardian/sponsor of the injury at the time the individual is picked up from YSMM care. No pain medication is to be administered except by parents/guardians of that individual.

6.2. For injuries requiring medical treatment beyond simple First Aid the response will be
appropriate to the severity of the injury.   A decision to call 911 will be made by the

parent/guardian and the Child Care Provider. The Child Care Provider must protect themself and

all others from all bodily fluids resulting from the injury.

6.3 Once the child or vulnerable person has received appropriate medical attention for an injury requiring medical treatment, a written incident report will be completed by the Child Care Provider and signed by the parent/guardian. (See Appendix G). It is optional to record reports regarding minor injuries described in 6.1.

Incident report forms are confidential and must be filed and stored by the Child Care Coordinator in case they are needed for future reference (see Appendix C).

  1. Approval of Policy

This policy was approved by YSMM March 1, 2020

(Clerk`s Signature)_______________________

This policy is to be reviewed by the YSMM Trustees on a bi-annual basis. Any needed revisions are to be presented to the monthly meeting for approval.


APPENDIX A Definitions

  1. Vulnerable person: a person who, because of age, a disability or other circumstance whether temporary or permanent, is in a position of dependence on others, or is otherwise at

a greater risk than the general population of being harmed by persons in positions of authority or trust relative to him/her. This includes:

1.1 Child –has the meaning given in the relevant Provinces’ child protection legislation. 1.2 Youth – has the meaning given in the relevant Provinces’ child protection legislation.

  1. The YSMM Trustees are the legal entity responsible for ensuring implementation of this policy.
  2. Abuse includes a wide range of acts of omission and commission.

3.1 Physical Abuse – Physical Abuse occurs when a person intentionally injures or

threatens to injure a vulnerable person. This may take the form of, but is not limited to, slapping, punching, shaking, kicking, burning, shoving or grabbing. The injury may take the form of bruises, cuts, burns, or fractures.

3.2 Sexual Abuse – Sexual abuse occurs when any sexual activity between a vulnerable

person and an adult or between a vulnerable person and another vulnerable person at least four years older than the victim takes place. This includes activities such as fondling, exhibitionism, intercourse, incest or pornography.

Sexual abuse may appear consensual but the validity of consent is negated by the power

and age differential between adult and vulnerable person. (See Appendix D, Age of Majority, Age of Consent)

3.3 Emotional Abuse – Emotional Abuse is a persistent attack on a vulnerable person’s self-esteem. It can take the form of name-calling, threatening, ridiculing, intimidating, bullying or isolating a vulnerable person.

3.4 Neglect – Neglect is the failure to provide a child with the basic necessities of life,

such as food, clothing, shelter or supervision, to the extent that the vulnerable person’s health and/or development are placed at risk.

  1. Approved Child Care Providers and Assistants

Any person (paid or unpaid) who has been screened, trained and approved (section 2) and

is responsible for the care and safety of children, youth and vulnerable persons in a recognized activity of Yonge Street Monthly Meeting.

  1. Activity – an organized activity that is authorized by Yonge Street Monthly Meeting.
  2. Sponsor – an adult who has been designated by the parent/guardian of a vulnerable person, (usually a youth), to serve in loco parentis during an event.


Appendix B


  1. Responsibilities of the Monthly Meeting Clerk(s)

Clerk(s) should review and have a general understanding of this policy. While the Clerk has no responsibility to oversee this policy, an understanding

of its contents may assist, from time to time, in the business of the Meeting. The

  1. Responsibilities of the YSMM Trustees

The YSDMM Trustees should review and have a general understanding of this policy.

It is the responsibility of the YSMM Trustees to confirm that this policy is properly implemented and maintained.

Annually, when the insurance is renewed, the Trustees will ensure that the following steps are taken:

  appropriate insurance coverage is in place (the Meeting does not carry coverage for abuse);

  legislative changes are monitored to determine if changes are needed to the procedures, and see that the changes are made and approved;

  Child Care Coordinator has been appointed and is trained in relevant sections of the Child, Youth and Family Services Act and the Ontario Human Rights Code;

  the “Safe Nurture Statement”  is posted in appropriate locations;

  further action is taken if any committees, employees, volunteers or participants do not adhere to this policy or undertake the measures outlined.

If an incident is reported, the Trustees shall, with the Child Care Coordinator, respond to and coordinate oversight of any reported incidents.

If any claim is made against the Meeting for an incident, the Trustees will inform the insurance company as soon as possible, and carry out other duties as outlined in the insurance policy.

  1. Responsibilities of the Child Care Coordinator:

  Recruitment of Child Care Providers and Assistants

  Development and delivery of training on the elements and intent of this Policy

  Recommendation to the Meeting for approval of Child Care Providers and Assistants
  Oversight of the delivery of the Child Care Program during any events hosted by YSMM
  Deal with any reported incidents, with the Trustees

  Post a “Safe Nurture Policy Statement”  in prominent places in the Meetinghouse

       Maintain records

Appendix C Record Keeping

  1. Policy storage:

Master copies of this policy package are filed on the Clerk of Trustee’s computer.

The Policy is posted on the YSMM website.

Hard copies of the protocols and forms are available on request. Copies are stored in the filing

cabinet in the locked basement store room.

  1. Approval of Child Care Providers and Assistants

The names of approved Child Care Providers and Assistants will be in the minutes of Meeting

for Worship for Business.

  1. Completed Form Storage:

Incident reports will be kept in locked files in the meetinghouse:

  1. Confidentiality:

All information in the files will be held in strictest confidence

  1. Duration:

Files will be kept indefinitely.

  1. Access

Access to the locked files will be limited to:

  Trustees

  Child Care Coordinator

  1. Property of:

These files are the property of Yonge Street Monthly Meeting



Age of Majority, Age of Consent, Confidentiality

  1. Age of Majority in Ontario – 18

The age of majority in Canada is the age at which a person is considered by law to be an adult. A person younger than the age of majority is considered a “minor child.”

The age of majority in Canada is determined by each province and territory in Canada. Since these laws periodically change, it is useful to confirm the ages for the province in question.

Source: http://canadaonline.about.com/od/canadianlaw/g/ageofmajority.htm

  1. Age of Consent

In 2008, changes to the Criminal Code of Canada increased the age of consent for non-exploitive

sexual activity to 16 years from 14.

The age of consent for exploitive activity (prostitution, pornography or relationship of trust,

authority or dependency) is 18 years.

The amendments to the age of consent are not intended to prohibit consensual sexual activity

between young persons. For this activity, the law permits the following:

  Youth of 14 or 15 can consent to sexual activity with a person no more than five years older. For example, a youth of 14-years-of-age may consent to having sexual activity with a 19-year-old, but are deemed incapable of consenting to the same activity with a 20-year-old.

  Youth of 12 or 13 may engage in consensual sexual activity with a peer who is no more than two years older. For instance, a 13-year-old may consent to sexual activity with a 15-year-old; however, they are deemed incapable of consenting to sexual activity with a 16-year-old.

  Children younger than 12 are still judged incapable of consenting to any sexual activity with any person, regardless of the person’s age.

All sexual activity without valid consent constitutes a sexual assault, regardless of age.

  1. Duty to report

Ontario’s Child, Youth and Family Services Act, 2017 (CYFSA) recognizes that each of us has

a responsibility for the welfare of children.   It imposes a duty on responsible adults to report to a

child protection agency if there are reasonable grounds to believe that a child is in need of protection (which includes sexual abuse). Details of the Duty to Report are included in YSMM’s training program.

  1. Confidentiality

Situations sometimes arise in which a child, youth or vulnerable person is about to disclose an

experience of abuse but asks the listener to “promise not to tell anyone.” The listener needs to carefully convey the fact that if the disclosure reveals that the child, youth or vulnerable person is at risk of further harm, or the accused abuser may be a harm to others, that the listener is obliged to intervene appropriately.



Agreement of Care

The Agreement of Care for Yonge Street Monthly Meeting

I have read and understand YSMM’s Safety and Nurture of Children, Youth and other Vulnerable Persons in our Care policy.

To complete this training and serve as a Child Care Provider or Assistant, I agree:

  to follow appropriate action in all my relationships with children, youth and vulnerable adults, as defined by my training;

  to use only the physical contact that is deemed appropriate by this Policy;
  to use appropriate language;

  to show no bias based on gender, gender identity, ethnic background, skin colour, faith, intelligence, age, religion, sexual orientation or socio-economic status;

  to not harass or bully others;

  to respect confidentiality and privacy, unless a child, youth or vulnerable adult is in
danger.  In that situation, I will consult with the Child Care Coordinator or a YSMM Trustee regarding my duty to report.

I have read and agree with this Agreement of Care.

Signature: ________________________________ Date: ________________________

Witness: __________________________________ Date: _________________________


Appendix F

Information Form for Each Child/Youth

participating in programs at Yonge Street Monthly Meeting

Child/Youth Name      __________________________/Prefers to be called_______________

Date of Birth               ______________________________________

Parent/Guardian Name _______________________________________________

Phone Number  __________________ Cel Number___________________

Email address _________________________________________________

Street Address _______________________________________________________
Town/City                   Postal Code

Parent/Guardian Name _______________________________________________

Phone Number  __________________ Cel Number___________________

Email address _________________________________________________

Street Address (if different from above)

Town/City                   Postal Code

Other emergency contact?

Name __________________________ Relationship __________________

Phone/cel _____________________________________________________

Does the child have allergies? No Yes (if yes, specify)

Please describe any special needs, medical conditions or information that could be helpful to the
Child Care Provider.  (No medication will be administered by the Child Care Provider)

Provide direction regarding assistance for a young child’s toileting.

ParentGuardian Signature ____________________________________________________________



General Incident Report Form



Yonge Street Monthly Meeting

Report date/time___________________________

Full Name of vulnerable person ___________________________________________

Date/time and location of incident:_________________________________________

Description of incident: __________________________________________________

Description of injuries: __________________________________________________

Description of action taken: ______________________________________________

Additional information you think is relevant (e.g. direct comments shared by vulnerable person, names and contact of others present)

________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________

I herby confirm that the information provided in this report is accurate to the best of my knowledge.

Name and position of person making report (please print): ______________________________

Signature of Person making report: ____________________________Date: ________________

Name of Parent/Guardian (for child/youth) or caregiver (for adult):

_______________________________________Phone Number_________________________


Date: _________________________________________________________________

Note: If this is an allegation of abuse, there is a duty to report to Children’s Aid Society or police.



ADDENDA Yonge Street Half Yearly Meeting Treasurers’ Report, October 03, 2020 (PDF)

Report of Programming Committee

Yonge Street Half Yearly Meeting [YSHYM]

17 September 2020 [10:00 – 11:17]/Zoom Meeting

Committee Members (all in attendance):

Chris Hitchcock (HMM), Rosemary Meier (TMM), D. Richard Kamus (YSMM, Clerk)

  1. YSHMY 2020 and 2021

The Spring 2020 YSHYM was canceled because of covid19 concerns. However, HMM organized an online Zoom meeting which took place on 2 May within which there was worship, worship sharing and
a discussion about the effects of the pandemic on individuals and the Friends’ community. There was no business meeting.

HMM is hosting the October 3rd YSHYM (using Zoom).  The presentation being given by June Etta Chenard is entitled: Death Preparation as Spiritual Practice.

The Spring 2021 YSHYM is being hosted by Yonge Street. Presently, the theme is Leadership to hopefully be given by Wes Daniels from Guilford College, North Carolina on either the 1st or 8th of May. Chris is contacting Pelham to determine when their HYM takes place so as be clear on a date
which may accommodate both YSHYM and Pelham.  Richard has back-up possibilities if Wes Daniels
is unable to be part of YSHYM.  At the end of October 2020, Yonge Street Meeting for Business will
discuss whether to recommend an in-person or virtual YSHYM in Spring2021.

Also, one suggestion was to ask Wes Daniels if he could reframe his leadership presentation to include the topic of leadership and communication with respect to online media, and to address how knowledge and skills contribute to meetings.

Possible dates for YSHYM in 2022: Spring = May 1st or 8th;   Fall = October 2nd or 9th

  1. Future of YSHYM

The Committee explored several questions/concerns.

(a)        Recommendation that YSHYM evaluate the new approach to HYMs within the last three years.

(b)       We also explored the following question: Do we need two HYMs? If No, which session do we choose as default, Spring or Summer, or do we alternate? In the latter case, do we elongate the single

HYM session? If Yes to two HYMs, we could perhaps reconsider returning the Spring HYM to NeeKauNis.

It would also be interesting to explore having a retreat at one of the HYMs, as well as including considerably more social time with the HY meetings themselves. Or, is it possible that the youth could organize one of the HYMs within the next three year terms?

(c)        There remains also the possibility of exploring a Regional HYM as at least one of the two HYMs. Importantly, this means that more youth could be included as integral to our HYMs.

3. Succession Planning

The three-year terms of all three members of the Programming Committee end in June 2020. No one of these Members is seeking a second term on the Programming Committee.
Programming Committee suggests the following recommendations.

(a)        That the Clerk of YSHYM emphasize that the three constituent Meetings begin immediately the nomination process for replacement Members of the Programming Committee.

(b)       That at least one of the new Members be a Youth member. Rosemary will emphasize nomination of a youth member from TMM.

(c)        That new members take part in meetings of Programming Committee before the next HYM in May 2021.

(d)  That YSHYM explore possibility of one current Member remaining a ‘contact’ as an expression of continuity.

Chris Hitchcock (Hamilton Monthly Meeting) Rosemary Meier (Toronto Monthly Meeting)
D. Richard Kamus (Yonge Street Monthly Meeting)



September 19, 2020

Regional and On-line CYM Idea Summary

Based on the positive feedback from the Canadian Yearly Meeting events held online August 2020,

and feedback from Friends about the previous idea of spreading CYM-In-Session over three regions, the following idea has emerged:

Replace the August in-person week-long CYM-In-Session with:

  • Three regional in-person events. Rotate the following, one event per region each year:
  1. Quaker Skills workshop (leader chosen by Education and Outreach)
  2. Meeting for Business and an Evening with Continuing Meeting of Ministry and Counsel (attended by CYM Secretary, CYM Clerks, Recording Clerk, and Continuing

Meeting of Ministry and Counsel)

  1. Spiritual Retreat (leader chosen by Continuing Meeting of Ministry and Counsel)

e.g. A Quaker Skills workshop (like Clerking, recording, etc.)  would be held in a region once every three years.

Hosted by Regional Gatherings:

  • Atlantic: Add a CYM day to the May long-weekend
  • Central: Create a new CYM day in Central Canada, possibly in May as well
  • Western: Add a CYM day on Friday of Spring Western Half-Yearly Meeting
  • Two On-Line multi-day events:
  • Quaker Life Worship, Worship Sharing, Special Interest Groups, Meeting for Healing,

Yearly Meeting Ministry and Counsel, LGBTQ+ evening, Sunderland P. Gardner Lecture Possibly held in February

  • Quaker Learning Worship, Quaker/Bible Study, Worship Sharing, Business Meeting,

Memorial Meeting, Experience of the Spirit/Promptings of the Spirit Sharing Possibly held in August

  • Multiple Representative Meetings
  • Plan for multiple on-line and possibly one in-person Meeting.