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We have arranged a full program including guest speakers, and members from our three Atlantic Friends Meetings.  Interspersed with programmed sessions are meal breaks, stretch breaks and longer free times. Sunday evening will be a cheerful noisy talent show for young and old. Enjoy sessions at your own choice, or enjoy your own communing with nature or Friends. Please feel free to enjoy the Weekend in your own way!

Location and Dates

Camp Geddie: a Church camp near Merigomish, NS
about 18 kms from exit 27 of Hwy 104.
Victoria Day Weekend, May 20 to 23, 2016
Friday Evening – Monday at Noon

Directions, details and registration at http://atlantic.quaker.ca/afg

Hope to see you there!

 

May 20-23 2016: Atlantic Friends Gathering

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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)
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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).

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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.

Celebrating Peggy Hope-Simpson

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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…

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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!