≡ Menu

Posted on behalf of clerk Carol Bradley

Dear Friends of Annapolis Valley Monthly Meeting,

What first interested you about Quakers? What do you receive from your involvement with local Quakers?

These questions came up for me in about 1990 when I moved to Wolfville. I noticed that the folks who were doing interesting and important things in the community were often also Quakers, and that drew me to attend my first meetings. I became deeply interested in the inclusive and caring approach that these folks took, and the history of Quakerism over 350 years.

I discovered Quakers weren’t too quiet: they had resisted wars, cared for displaced people, spoken to government about abuse of power – and were still doing these things locally, nationally and internationally. I found new friends, new processes and new clarity in my spiritual quest.

I became a member in 1994 and have supported Quakers with my ‘time, treasure, and talents’ since.

The Annapolis Valley Quaker meeting supports inter-church work, the Food Bank, and refugees, and plays a major role in the work of Canadian Yearly Meeting. We created a banner and hosted ‘Meet the Quakers’ at Acadia on October 2 as part of a renewed focus on outreach. We ask for your assistance in meeting our budget so we can continue our work.

Can you donate $20 this once? Every month? Every three months? $50?

Our annual budget is only $3500 but our numbers are few, and we could do more if we received more.  We are less than half way to meeting that budget for 2016. We are happy to accept cash or cheques, to Co-treasurer, Penni Burrell (please contact us for mailing details or to arrange for pickup of your donation).  Also you can find us on CanadaHelps which accepts credit cards and Paypal accounts.

We thank you for your consideration! You can keep track of our events at annapolisvalley.quaker.ca, and we are also present on Facebook.

In Friendship,

Carol Bradley, Clerk.

{ 0 comments }
Meet the Quakers poster

Click for print-quality version of poster

On World Quaker Day 2016, Annapolis Valley Quaker Meeting invites you to join us for an introduction to the faith and practice of the Religious Society of Friends.

Details

  • October 2, 2016, 3pm – 5pm
  • Manning Memorial Chapel, Acadia University Campus, 45 Acadia St., Wolfville, NS

What’s Happening?

3PM — 4PM: Introduction to unprogrammed Meeting for Worship “in the manner of Friends

4PM — 5PM: Tea, coffee and snacks; time for conversation and questions

Why Go?

Would you like to know more about how Quakers can have a service with no appointed minister? Or what it’s like to be part of a spiritual community that has a 350-year tradition of gender equality, is queer and trans positive, and works to end war, colonialism, and climate change?

Join us to talk about the role of spiritual community, and ask all those questions about religion you’ve never asked — or never gotten a satisfactory answer to. We may not have the answers, but we welcome inquiring spirits to ask those questions together.

Resource people will be available to speak on various topics of concern to Quakers, in keeping with our traditional testimonies:

  • Simplicity
  • Peace
  • Integrity
  • Community
  • Equality
  • Sustainability

You’re welcome to come for either part if you can’t stay for both. Bring snacks to share, or just bring yourself.

If transportation or childcare would be helpful, please contact us to make arrangements.

See or share the event on Facebook

{ 0 comments }
Mylene standing at the Annapolis Valley Quaker Meeting's table during the Club Extravaganza

Mylene standing at the Annapolis Valley Quaker Meeting’s table during the Club Extravaganza

Bruce Dienes and Mylene DiPenta set up a table at Acadia Student Union’s Club Extravaganza last Wednesday night. The event was well attended, and a number of people stopped by our table to chat. Our new banner was finished in time for the event — you can see it in the photos (photo credits are to Bruce, naturally…). We also have a fresh batch of information packages for new attenders. If you’re a member of attender and would like to have some on hand to give away, contact the email hidden; JavaScript is required. If you’re a seeker or newcomer and you’d like one for yourself… well, contact the email hidden; JavaScript is required!

Our display table, complete with brand new banner.

Our display table, complete with brand new banner… and snacks.

{ 0 comments }
160502_221915_1

In the Quaker Education session of May 2016, Friend Bruce Dienes created a workshop called “Roots and Fruits of our Quaker Faith.”  We started by creating individual statements of faith, inspired by John Woolman’s statement about his belief.  According to Woolman,

“There is a Principle which is pure, placed in the human Mind, which in different Places and Ages hath had different Names; it is, however, pure, and proceeds from God. It is deep, and inward, confined to no Forms of Religion, nor excluded from any, where the Heart stands in perfect Sincerity. In whomsoever this takes Root and grows, of what Nation soever, they become Brethren.”

We considered a number of other inspirational sources too — from Descartes to Nellie McClung.

Bruce asked us to consider if there was a root of our faith — the bottom line, the origin of other beliefs, the most basic idea we stand on. He then invited us to consider what nourishes that root, and what springs forth from it — in other words, what parts of our lives grow out of that principle.  He also provided a variety of supplies we were invited to use to manifest our own “plant” in the Quaker “garden.”  From blank paper and words and colouring pages and pipe cleaners, the components of our spiritual “ecosystem” became visible.

160502_222024_2 160502_222024_4  160502_222000_1 160502_222024_1

 

 

 

{ 0 comments }

Save the dates of the May long weekend — Friends from the Atlantic provinces and beyond will meet once again for a weekend of shared company and spiritual renewal.

Where?

Atlantic Friends Gathering is an annual event linking members and attenders of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) from across Atlantic Canada.  We gather at Camp Geddie, a Presbyterian Church camp on Nova Scotia’s North Shore. The spacious grounds, with nature trails and a spectacular beach on the Northumberland Strait provide a natural setting for renewal of our individual and group spirit. 

What?

This year the themes include “Sharing the Spirit in Our Lives” and “Actions to Assist Healing Between First Nations and Settlers.”  The programme is not finalized yet, but previous years have included film screenings, nature walks, discussions on spiritual and social justice topics, games, storytelling, dancing, and of course Meeting for Worship. As in previous years, there are no compulsory activities — and there may be kayaks and canoes available to borrow. The healing atmosphere of being in a welcome nature retreat offers an opportunity to open ourselves up to whatever we feel lead us.

 

Top 5 Reasons You Should Attend Atlantic Friends Gathering

  1. There are activities and events for people of all ages.  “Just Being” is also an activity.
  2. You can propose your own discussion or action group, about faith, action, service, or other topics
  3. You can stay for an afternoon or the whole weekend
  4. This event is especially well-suited for those who are new to Quakers; there are lots of opportunities to ask questions, learn from experienced Friends, participate in Meeting for Worship, or just enjoy the spirit and the place. 
  5. This event is especially well-suited for those who are experienced with Quakers: co-create the programme by bringing your knowledge to a discussion, meet others who share your concerns, and maybe even be the person a newcomer is looking for.

More Info

Contact email hidden; JavaScript is required for more info or to propose a Special Interest Group.  You can also check last year’s AFG website to see example activities and registration details.  Signup for email notification (at right) to get this year’s info as soon as it’s published.

Announcements Coming Soon About…

  • Registration
  • Cost (but a sliding scale will be available)
{ 0 comments }

Our letter to the Chronicle Herald was published last week.  Full text is below:

Quakers are appalled at the bigotry and discrimination targeting Muslims in Canada. Canadians must stand against the deeply divisive and harmful political rhetoric driving growing hostility. We ask our politicians and news media to take firm stands against Islamophobia, hate, racism, division and inequity.

Like Christians and Jews, most Muslims live by creeds that honour peace, love and commitment to God and to creation. We support their right to wear clothing they feel is appropriate, including the hijab, burka or nijab. When human rights, such as the right to religious expression, are denied for any Canadians, rights are made vulnerable for all.

A truly tiny number of individuals claiming to be motivated by Islam have acted or planned to act violently in this country. Individuals acting violently have also claimed Christianity, Judaism and Sikhism to be motives. We condemn all expressions of violence, as well as its roots in exclusion, injustice and inequality. Quakers support services for all Canadians, such as adequate housing, employment opportunities and culturally safe mental and other health services. Such services foster healthy and peaceful communities.

While the state must ensure our security, we join with others in profoundly questioning Canadian actions that appear to disproportionately impact Muislims, indigenous people and people of colour. These include increasing surveillance, extrajudicial renditions, security certificates and closing the space for legitimate forms of dissent. We are deeply concerned by the flawed “Anti-Terrorism Act” Bill C-51 and changes to Canadian citizenship (increasingly restricted through Bill C-24).

Countless people of all (and no particular) faiths work for justice and peace and against the marginalization of Muslims or other Canadians. Quakers work with them to put our faith into action.

Barbara Aikman, clerk, Annapolis Valley Religious Society of Friends

{ 0 comments }

Ethical Dilemmas in Synthetic Biology, Sept 4th

Ethical Dilemmas in Synthetic Biology: a presentation by Annapolis Valley Quakers
Information and discussion open to all.

Wednesday September 4, 7-9 pm

NSCC Kingstec Campus, 236 Belcher St. Kentville Room C278
Google map: http://goo.gl/maps/2TJXg

For background info download this PDF document: www.bit.ly/SynthBioKit
Contact: email hidden; JavaScript is required

Below is a brief extract from the document referenced above. For full details, read particularly section three of the above linked document.
The document includes extensive references and links to relevant web sites.

Synthetic Biology: What is it and what is the range of views about its role?

Synthetic biology is the use of computer-assisted, biological engineering to create new biological systems and forms of life that do not exist in nature.

In 2011, a U.S.Presidential Commission defined synthetic biology as “an emerging field of research that combines elements of biology, engineering, genetics, chemistry, and computer science… [It relies] on chemically synthesized DNA [a building block of all living cells], along with standardized and automatable processes, to create new biochemical systems or organisms with novel or enhanced characteristics.”

Proponents of synthetic biology see its potential for developing new materials (e.g., a synthetic version of spider silk), foods (providing food in quantity in developing nations), medicines (e.g., production of an anti-malarial drug), energy sources (e.g. biofuels from algae), ways to remedy pollution (eg. detecting arsenic in water sources), and new means of computing. The military-industrial sector also sees potential weapons applications.

Those who are cautious about synthetic biology direct attention to what is absent in its development. They are concerned about what artificial organisms might do unexpectedly, since they have not yet existed in nature. They are concerned about the social justice aspects of synthetic biology: will the benefits of synthetic biology be distributed equitably among poor nations as well as wealthy ones? Will patenting of life forms lead to monopolistic control of benefits? Will large amounts of public funds be spent on unproven technology?

The Principles for the Oversight of Synthetic Biology, developed by a broad coalition of organizations from around the world (including the Biotechnology Reference Group of the Canadian Council of Churches) begins with:

Synthetic biology, an extreme form of genetic engineering, is developing rapidly with little oversight or regulation despite carrying vast uncertainty. To protect public health, worker safety and ecosystem resilience, it calls for risk research and development of alternatives, a robust pre-market regulatory regime, strong enforcement mechanisms, immediate action to prevent potential exposures until safety is demonstrated, ongoing monitoring for unintended consequences, immediate action to prevent potential exposures until safety is demonstrated…a ban on using synthetic biology to manipulate the human genome in any form, no commercialized or released (building blocks) without full disclosure to the public of the nature of the organism and results of safety testing, and … a  moratorium on the release and commercial use of synthetic organisms and their products to prevent direct or indirect harm to people and the environment (until government bodies, international organizations and relevant parties implement strong precautionary and comprehensive oversight mechanisms).

{ 0 comments }

“Mother’s Day began in America in 1870 when Julia Ward Howe wrote the Mother’s Day Proclamation. Written in response to the American Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War, her proclamation called on women to use their position as mothers to influence society in fighting for an end to all wars. She called for women to stand up against the unjust violence of war through their roles as wife and mother, to protest the futility of their sons killing other mothers’ sons.”

See http://www.nationofchange.org/radical-history-mother-s-day-1336835841

Julia Ward Howe’s Mother’s Day Proclamation – 1870

 
Arise then…women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts!
Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!
Say firmly:
“We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage,
For caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country,
Will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.”From the bosom of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with
Our own. It says: “Disarm! Disarm!
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.”
Blood does not wipe out dishonor,
Nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil
At the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home
For a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace…
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God –
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality,
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.
{ 0 comments }

Marilyn Manzer delivered the 2011 Sunderland P. Gardner lecture on “The Moral Economy” to a full house at the Fouuntain Performing Arts Centre at King’s Edgehill School on Wednesday, August 10th. In describing her life-long journey of concern on this issue, she wove together threads of economics, history, philosophy, music and beauty and presented an alternative vision to our current greed-based economy. The lecture is published as a Canadian Quaker Pamphlet. See also http://www.quaker.ca/Publications/SPG/ for the audio.

{ 2 comments }

Celebrating Peggy Hope-Simpson

On Saturday, April 23rd, we held a celebration of Peggy Hope-Simpson on the occasion of submitting her nomination to be considered for the Order of Nova Scotia.

Click on the pic to see in more detail. Click that one again to see it larger…

{ 0 comments }

Check out the AFG web site at http://atlantic.quaker.ca/afg for more information about the Atlantic gathering of Quakers over the Victoria Day weekend at Windhorse farm Conference Centre. Please register in advance ASAP! Click for the one-pager AFG poster 2011   Spread the word! Invite your friends!

{ 0 comments }