Monday, April 3 5:30 PM Potluck & Meeting
with Marilyn Manzer of CYM
I have served as a clerk of Canadian Yearly Meeting (CYM) since August 2019, and my term will end at our Yearly Meeting sessions in July 2023. During my time as Clerk, the only face-to-face meeting in my CYM work was in February 2020. Nevertheless we have made substantial changes to the CYM structure and our business procedures.
I have a deep concern for the future of Quakerism in Canada, and I have a leading and a desire to travel under this concern. I want to meet with all the Meetings in CYM to share thoughts regarding the sustainability of our Yearly Meeting and to hear Friends’ insights about how we can best work together.
On Monday, April 2, Marilyn Manzer, Canada Yearly Meeting (CYM) Mentoring Clerk from Nova Scotia, and Kwame Barko, CYM trustee from Toronto, joined us at the Coldstream Meeting House for a conversation about CYM and Coldstream. We began with a potluck meal and informal conversation, followed by a broad ranging discussion led by Marilyn Manzer. Ten of us attended in person, with two attenders via Zoom.
Marilyn requested that her draft notes be forwarded to Friends in our Meeting whether or not they were present at the meeting with her. These are uncorrected notes at this point and have been sent out to Coldstream community as requested.
Marilyn would like to receive corrections and additional thoughts at <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
Sixteen individuals participated in-person in the retreat on April 2nd with several others joining for part of the day on Zoom.
The purpose of the retreat was twofold:
1. Reconnecting, rebuilding, and providing spiritual nourishment for our meeting/community
2. A journey of reflection and consideration for the life and direction of our meeting for the future.
A half hour worship was followed by a land/relationship acknowledgement and an opening activity that saw everyone share an item that represented what nourished them spiritually outside of our Coldstream Quaker community. This was followed by a lovely lunch provided by the Social Committee. In the afternoon, small groups each drew a tree and considered each aspect of the tree as a metaphor for our community – The Tree of Life of Our Coldstream Quaker Community. Roots represented what nourished us, the trunk the structures that support us now and the branches our reaching outward and inward. There were post-it-notes bugs for what ‘bugs’ us, fruit for what we love, and blue sky post-its for our wishes. We finished with a review to draw out common themes.
Here is an overview of common themes:
Roots: history, legacy, teachings and ancestry of Friends; Meeting House – grounds, cemetery, windows; sense of community – consistency and friendships; the testimonies – kindness, love, respect, care; variety of perspectives; George Fox; dissenters; other meetings; CYM.
Trunk: Social events and groups (i.e., Friendly Friday book club, coffee morning); Meeting for Worship; listening, simplicity, silence; being in community together; committees; our retreat-like meeting house and space; sense of history. What would strengthen us -young friends.
Branches: Our connections and work with: Interfaith/refugees, Kairos, environment, peacemaking, Indigenous communities, CFSC, CYM, archives. We provide a beautiful space for the full spectrum of celebrations of life.
Ministry and Counsel is reviewing the rich results and planning for our next steps in the near future. Stay tuned!
12TH NIGHT January 2023
By Margaret S
After a delicious pot luck supper we had a delightful evening of entertainment shared by 20+ people on Zoom and at the Meetinghouse.
Our MC, Christopher P, kept things rolling as folks presented wonderful family and snowstorm stories which warmed our hearts.
We had a trio choir, rock ’n’ roll quartet, poetry, humour, jokes and
singing in French, Italian and English. Thanks to the Social Committee and volunteers for setting up a most welcoming and festive Meetinghouse – the luminaries outside added a special touch!
Coldstream Friends Meeting Annual Picnic – September 4th
In spite of uncertain weather, a wonderful time was had by all.
The Interfaith Refugee Group Garden Party on June 11 was an opportunity to meet the newest arrivals. Ron and Jenny Nauta provided entertainment.
The Interfaith Refugee Committee (which includes Benedict Labre Community, Coldstream Quaker Meeting, members and supporters) held a Garden Party on June 11 to meet some of the newcomers to Canada and learn more about upcoming sponsorships. There was great music and light refreshments.
The Interfaith Refugee Sponsorship Committee is grateful to all their supporters for their encouragement, practical support and donations. They acknowledged and welcomed members of the Medical Imaging Committee, through whose generous financial contribution they were able to bring a Kurdish family to Canada.
The committee receives many requests to help refugees come to Canada. If you feel led to make a financial contribution or wish to get involved in the settlement process, please let them know.
If you wish to support the sponsorships, cheques can be brought to the Meeting House or mailed to:
Carl Thomas, 303 Quaker Lane, Ilderton, ON N0M2A0
Please make cheques payable to: Coldstream Monthly Meeting and write Refugees on the memo line. Charitable receipts will be available.
E transfers are also available: email@example.com
Pelham Half Yearly Meeting
May 1, 2022 by Zoom
Creating a safe and brave space in our Meetings.
A safe space is a place where one can be and express oneself freely without fear of negative repercussions, but a safe place still might be a place where being brave is not without some discomfort.
There was a short video to introduce us to the topic and a couple of questions provided to lead us into our small discussion groups.
- What makes it difficult to have a safe space in our Meetings?
- What can I do to make our Meetings a safe and brave place for all?
Brave spaces do not always mean there is a common agreement but does provide a place for open expression. Courage to be true to oneself is still needed.
The element of trust and being brave in our own person encourages others to be brave also.
12th Night Celebration – Saturday, January 8, 2022
Eleven friends enjoyed lots of laughs, great poems, stories and singing.
Work Bee – May 2021
“One often overlooked communal opportunity for fellowship, bonding and sharing about our faith and aspirations are the work days that meetings have appointed to maintain the meeting’s physical property.” ~ Listening Spirituality, Patricia Loring
Photos courtesy of Marilyn T.
“In A Time of Transition: Seeds of Change, Roots of Strength” From Yonge Street Monthly Meeting May 2021 Newsletter, adapted from article by Bruce Feiler.
On May 1, 2021, Yonge Street Half Yearly Meeting met online to spend the day with Guest Speaker:
Wess Daniels, William R. Rogers Director of Friends Center & Quaker Studies at Guilford College.
“The change brought on by this pandemic will lead to years of transition. … Thinking of it this way will helps us understand what it takes for us to come out the other side.” YSMM Newsletter May 2021_Special HYM Edition 2
‘It is important to distinguish between the idea of Change and Transition.
Change marks an event — usually with a start and an end time. What follows from that change is the Transition’— “Transition…is psychological; it is a three-phase process that people go through as they internalize and come to terms with the details of the new situation that the change brings about.” William and Susan Bridges, Managing Transitions
The 3 Phases of Change and Transition:
1. Ending of one thing = change
2. Neutral Zone = no person’s land between old reality and new unknown era; limbo; grappling with old identity
3. New Beginning = out of transition; a new era has begun
There is no ‘right’ timing shifting between these different phases — we could be in a process for a long time before moving on. YSMM Newsletter_ May 2021_Special HYM Edition 3
“It isn’t the changes that will do you in; it’s the transitions” ~ William and Susan Bridges, Managing Transitions
“Yearning for a new way will not produce it. Only ending the old way can do that. You cannot hold onto the old all the while declaring that you want something new. The old will defy the new; the old will deny the new; the old will decry the new. There is only one way to bring in the new. You must make room for it.” ~ Neale Donald Walsch
Key Concept: ‘Transition is uncomfortable and disruptive work.’
1. Breathe, Listen, Observe, Take in. — gather information & listen to the edges and the center too
2. Check yourself. Go deeper into the story. — are you as grounded and as deep into your own tradition as possible?; are you doing what you need to do to stay healthy?
3. Keep moving. Help others keep moving too. —we don’t want to get stuck in the middle of transition, the goal is to move through the transition so a new thing can be born
4. Remember this is important work. — this is spiritual work; disruptions are to be expected in life; disruptions test our outer and inner safety; offer an opportunity for growing and changing
5. Enlarge the circle. — grow your community; build new community
Key concepts and quotes taken from Wess Daniel’s talk, May 1, 2021.
By Bruce Feiler
“The Only Way Forward” with Nancy Russell – February 28
1. Overview of The Only Way Forward Project. This includes the notion of “Defunding”, sometimes called “detasking” the police. Nancy will highlight salient points that hold particular interest for Coldstream meeting.
2. Showing part of CAHOOTs program. This is a crisis response program that has been successfully running for over 30 years.
3. Q & A discussion.
Communication Challenges with Matt Legge – January 31, 2021
Matt is the Peace Program coordinator, Canadian Friends Service Committee and author of “Are We Done Fighting Yet?”
Matt presented research into communication challenges and what goes wrong in difficult conversations and then had a participant, Carol W, try to respond to his acting as someone with strong contrary views.
If you were unable to attend you can access a similar presentation by Matt here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ke0M4oIrt6A
The Canadian Friends Service Committee’s site regarding peace and Are We Done Fighting Yet? is here: https://quakerservice.ca/our-work/peace/
You can also read Matt’s blog in Psychology Today here:
12th Night – January 9, 2021
While we missed sharing a pot luck meal, we did thoroughly enjoy one another’s company if only via Zoom. And while some prefer not to, or are unable to ‘Zoom’, others were only able to attend 12th Night because we did Zoom.
As always, the offerings were remarkable. Beautiful poetry, stories including a funny, funny tale from Willie that we won’t soon forget, a Quaker quiz, two opportunities to join in song, participation in Qigong, a lovely duet of The White Cliffs of Dover, what the gifts of ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ might signify, some lively fiddle pieces, a game that got the body and the brain cells moving (won by Stephen), and an intriguing rendition of “T’was the Night Before Christmas,” pandemic version. All in all a fun evening in great company.