CYFYM Report 2019

Canadian Young Friends Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends 2019 Report

Thank you for blessing us to share with you.

We, as Canadian Young Friends Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, continue to find joy, hope, and community in the new life of our Yearly Meeting. Our new structure continues to serve our community well. Thank you for your support in this journey.

For the upcoming year, we have asked Zaley Warkentin and Wesley Weima to continue as CYFYM Representatives with the addition of Stephen Ginley (Peterborough MM). We thank Alex Wickenheiser for his service as a Representative over the past year.

We ask our Regional Contacts to continue in their roles from the previous year. They are Daniel Von Schulmann, Rebecca Wolfe-Gage, Rose Coutts, and David Summerhays, with the addition of Alex Wickenheiser (subject to consent).

Our Pre-Gathering this year brought both joys and challenges. It was felt to be both invaluable and transformative. We wish to hold another pre-gathering in 2020, and have identified the following Friends to serve in that capacity. Evelyne Russell (Toronto MM), Stephen Ginley (Peterborough MM), Caileigh Morrison (Winnipeg MM), Harmony Morris (Lethbridge WG; subject to consent) and Caroline Martindale (Hamilton MM; subject to consent) to liaise with Program Committee in her role on said committee. Stephen Ginley will liaise with fellow CYFYM Representatives.

Canadian Young Friends Yearly Meeting chose to name the following Young Friends to CYM committees.[1]

We name Caroline Martindale to serve as a CYFYM representative to CYM Program Committee for a term of two years.

We name Rebecca Ivanoff (Yonge Street MM) to serve on the Organisation and Procedure Subcommittee. Although Rebecca recently aged out, she is a (slightly) Older Adult Friend under the care of CYFYM, to whom we have given freedom of the meeting and feel led to have her represent us in this important work.

Cameron Fraser in his role as CYM Secretary, has been invaluable in supporting the CYFYM Representatives and the Gathering Committee. Many Friends expressed thanks for his mentorship and advocacy on behalf of Young Friends and Young Adult Friends. We feel that the support of a staff person such as the CYM Secretary is crucial to CYFYM being able to hold retreats and to function in general.

CYFYM acknowledges CYM is undergoing a process of transition. Change is hard, but there is joy in transformation and in resurrection. As Young Friends we want and need CYM to be here, because we need it to survive out there. We recognize and deeply appreciate that CYM does its best to meet our needs as we bring them forward. How do we meet the needs of CYM in its process of transformation? Changing is hard. We need to be brave. We need to be brave together.

A call to monthly meetings: we want to be at home in you. Education and mentorship should start in monthly meetings. If we want to uphold everyone and lift up spiritual and non-spiritual gifts, Friends need training. There is much intergenerational learning to be had.

After much discernment we bring forward the following requests to Yearly Meeting.

  • We ask Program Committee to prioritize CYM In Session workshops on clerking, recording clerking, vocal ministry, nonviolent communication, self-empowerment and digital literacy, on a reasonable timeline.
  • We ask Delegates to take this call for Quaker education back to their monthly meetings for discernment. What area of Friends Faith and Practice does your Meeting need to foster?
  • We ask Delegates to ask their monthly meetings to consider mentored positions so Friends of all ages can develop and practice skills in these areas.
  • We ask the CYM Clerk to distribute this minute to monthly meetings on our behalf. The relevant minutes will be forwarded.

We bring these requests as starting points. We feel there are many more opportunities to be explored in the future, and we encourage Canadian Yearly Meeting to seek way forward in this direction. The kind of change Canadian Yearly Meeting needs requires both laying down and lifting up. This will be difficult and at times even painful, but we believe The Spirit will strengthen us. We believe we can be brave together.

Canadian Young Friends Yearly Meeting names you to the Committee of Hope. We don’t feel like we’re dying out. Be brave with us.

[1] CYFYM laid down the practice of asking for reserved slots on CYM committees. As we are led and able, we may send Young Friends serve on CYM committees, and we ask for understanding of the sporadic nature of these namings.

CYFYM Discernment Session Report 2018

 CYFYM Discernment Session Report 2018

Young Friends and Young Adult Friends gathered for a two night Pre-Canadian Yearly Meeting Retreat at Camp NeeKauNis, and held a threshing session to discuss the work of the Regional Contacts over the past year, and how Young Friends were led to continue forward. We considered the query, “What do we get here that we don’t get anywhere else?” We met again Tuesday night for six hours of discernment, with three elders present to hold space for us.

After a two-year Canadian Young Friends Yearly Meeting hiatus, we feel a budding sense of new energy. Like a flower slowly emerging from the earth in the spring, we need time and a cooperative climate to grow. We feel clear that we should not overburden ourselves in ways that may stunt this fresh growth. We must not place rocks on top of the emerging shoots we hope will blossom.

As such, we have approved a structure that we feel will help us nurture this budding energy, to focus on fellowship and nurturing our spiritual community. We are aware that this means careful discernment as to what we take on, and that we will likely be asking members of the CYM community to hear “no”, at least as often as “yes”, if they approach us with requests for collaboration or input. We welcome ongoing questions and communication.

The structure we have approved is a committee of CYFYM representatives for 2018-2019 which focuses on facilitating fellowship and nourishing Spirit, and that can provide some ongoing structure between gatherings. We plan to discern whether this structure will continue to serve our needs at CYM 2019. We recognize that we are in a time of fostering new growth; our structures must support rather than impede us, and may grow or shrink with us as we discern ways forward in coming years.

We also felt a strong leading to gather again for a pre-CYM retreat in 2019, and have named a committee to organize it.

The following outlines the responsibilities of these CYFYM Representatives:

 

CYFYM Representatives – Roles and Responsibilities

  1. Publicizing and encouraging Young Friends (YFs, generally 13-19) and Young Adult Friends (YAFs, generally 19-35) to attend gatherings and other Quaker events and opportunities. This includes raising awareness of how to access funding or other supports.
  2. Celebrating and supporting, although not necessarily organizing, regional activities and fellowship; cultivating connection, excitement, and momentum.
  3. Collectively act in a role similar to that of the CYM Clerks’ Committee, in being able to respond to events, opportunities, etc. that arise between annual gatherings. The Representatives may wish to consult with the community of YF/YAFs mid-year (e.g. by electronic survey, videocall, etc) for significant decisions. The Representatives are asked to report on their activities at annual gatherings.
  4. Provide input to Canadian Yearly Meeting by:
    1. Maintaining connection to the CYM Secretary
    2. Ensuring at least one Representative is present at Representative Meeting (November 23-24, 2018 in Victoria, BC)
    3. When capacity allows, provide input to CYM bodies and Friends serving CYM when they request input from YF/YAFs. (While we welcome questions, there may be times when Representatives do not have capacity to respond, particularly in more complex requests. We ask all CYM bodies and Friends to respect and nurture our capacity to focus on the core of nurturing our spiritual community, and not to become over-busy in ways that may detract from that nurturing.)
  5. Maintain contact lists for YF/YAFs across Canada (drawing on support from CYM staff and committees as available and helpful).
  6. Receive and respond to correspondence from outside bodies (e.g. other Yearly Meetings, groups of YF/YAFs around the world, etc).
  7. Name a session clerk for CYFYM in Session (held during CYM in Session).

It is currently anticipated that Representatives will need to commit to a minimum of 5-10 hours per month to this service and to a 1-hour phone call or videoconference each month. Additionally, at least one face to face meeting will be required during the year. 

We approved the following Friends to serve as CYFYM Representatives for 2018-2019:

  • Zaley Warkentin (Winnipeg MM)
  • Wesley Weima (Thousand Islands MM)
  • Alex Wickenheiser (Edmonton MM) 

Representatives are encouraged to identify additional YF/YAFs to act as contact people, particularly in regions where the approved Representatives have fewer connections. We have already identified the following Friends as potential contact people: David Summerhays (Montreal MM); Rebecca Wolf Gage (Vancouver Island MM); Daniel von Schulmann (Vancouver Island MM); Rosie Coutts (Toronto MM / Manitoulin WG). We continue to hope that Friends will suggest names of potential contact people in the Atlantic provinces, where YF/YAFs gathered this week have fewer current connections. We hope that the creation of Atlantic Half-Yearly Meeting may bear fruit in the form of more engagement of Young Friends and Young Adult Friends in the region.

Pre-CYM YF/YAF Gathering 2019

We have identified an organizing committee of Jackie Bonner (Calgary MM), Zaley Warkentin (Winnipeg MM), Evelyne Russell (Toronto MM), Harmony Morris (Lethbridge WG / Calgary MM), and Greg Allan (Winnipeg MM; STC) to arrange a three-day gathering for YFs and YAFs prior to CYM in Winnipeg, 2019. Megan Shaw (Toronto MM) is also able to assist for the month of July 2019. The organizers will work with Program Committee to foster a smooth and welcoming transition between Pre-CYM YF/YAF Gathering and CYM. We ask that if the organizers require assistance beyond the capacity of the CYM Secretary, that they ask CYM Education & Outreach Committee and the CYM Secretary to work with them to hire paid capacity to assist in carrying forward that work. We suggest that any such paid capacity be supported by, and report to, the CYM Secretary, with significant collaboration and direction from the Pre-CYM Gathering organizing committee.

Ministry of Starting Small

In seeking not to over-burden ourselves, we discerned excitement for fostering and celebrating small acts of fellowship and nurturing our spiritual community. We want to share the joy of times when two or more Young Friends / Young Adult Friends are gathered together – be that for worship sharing, board games, camping trips, potlucks, or visitation when our lives take us on the road. We celebrate the deeply gathered Spirit that comes when we nurture fellowship. We know that these small activities help us welcome Spirit into our midst.

Funding and Support 

We ask that CYM support Young Friends and Young Adult Friends in 2018 through existing, approved Education & Outreach funds. We also ask that support be given through future additional funds, so that:

1) There is travel funding available to support the attendance of CYFYM Representative(s) at Representative Meeting 2018 and to have one face-to-face meeting of the three CYFYM Representative(s);

2) There is funding to host and organize a pre-CYM 2019 YF/YAF Gathering in Winnipeg and travel funding to assist YF/YAFs to attend;

3) If discerned necessary by the organizing committee, in consultation with the CYM Secretary, that there is funding for additional paid capacity to assist with logistics and coordination for the pre-CYM YF/YAF Gathering.

We ask that the CYM Secretary be tasked with working with the CYFYM Representatives and the Pre-CYM YF/YAF Gathering Committee to access and apply for necessary funds.

Regional Contact Report from Representative Meeting, Spring 2018

Dear Young Friends,


We, the Young Friends Regional Contacts, met twice this winter in Ottawa. Over the course of these weekends we engaged in conversations to clarify our roles as contacts, developed a communication strategy for the immediate future, and laid the groundwork for Young Friends events in 2018.

As contacts, our roles for the time being are the following:

  • Keeping channels of communication open between Young Friends and CYM
  • Facilitating an open conversation regarding how Young Friends want to function as a body and within CYM at CYM 2018 in Barrie
  • Reporting back on our business to Canadian Young Friends and the wider CYM community
  • Receiving and disseminating information relevant to Young Friends

Much of our role involves keeping Young Friends informed with the greater goings on of the CYM community, and receiving, considering, and acting on concerns of Young Friends. As such, our communications strategy is an essential part of our work. We have determined the following channels of communication:

  • Creating a contact list of Young Friends
  • Renewing the yf.quaker.ca page
  • Posting to the various Young Friend facebook groups

We recognize that electronic correspondence only gets us so far and encourage all Young Friends to connect and help keep each other informed.

Planning has begun for another Young Friends gathering at Camp NeeKauNis from the 2nd to the 4th of August to coincide with the beginning of CYM 2018. Young Friends from the age of 13 to 35 are encouraged to come out and enjoy a couple days together before heading as a group to CYM in Barrie. The planning committee for the gathering is Angelica Dixon, Daniel von Schulmann, and Rebecca Ivanoff. Anyone feeling led to help with the planning for the gathering should contact a member of the committee.

Young Friends Contacts have felt led to offer our support to the CYM Teen Program facilitator to foster the inclusion of teenage Young Friends in the conversations and empower them to participate in the greater body of CYM. Other Young Adult Friends are encouraged to be a part of this initiative if they feel so led.

With the closing of Quaker Book Service, Young Friends Contacts felt led to take on the care and distribution of the remaining 50 copies of Christian faith and practice in the experience of the Society of Friends published by London Yearly Meeting in 1960, last reprinted in 1988.  If anyone is interested in a copy of this Friends’ classic, or has suggestions as to how this resource should be managed, please e-mail email hidden; JavaScript is required.

This has been a season full of joys and hard work. The Contacts would like to thank; David Raymond and Lillia Fick for their hospitality and thoughtful contributions over the course of the weekend; Angelica Dixon and Rebecca Ivanoff, for their continuing work on the 2018 Pre-CYM Gathering; Education and Outreach, for their unwavering support both spiritually and financially; and Cameron Fraser, who’s facilitation and support has been invaluable to us in our work and discernment as Youth Contacts.

We look forward to continuing work from our many regions, and hope to see many of you this summer.

If you would like to stay in touch, please sign up for our e-mailing list here.

Best Regards,

Young Friends Regional Contacts:

Daniel von Schulmann: British Columbia

David Summerhays: Quebec

Wesley Weima: Ontario

Zaley Warkentin: Prairies and the North