Peterborough, Ontario CANADA
About Our Meeting
of mid-August, 2012,
we became a Monthly Meeting. We also now have
charitable status. We are able to accept memberships and to
take marriages under our care.
do not have a Meeting House. This is not unusual for
smaller meetings or worship groups. We are of sufficient
numbers, however, that meeting in someone's home is not
always practical (though we have our summer meetings at homes). We
therefore rent space weekly on Sunday at Sadleir House, and find that
the former library space has a warm, welcoming feel to it.. We are able
to store our sign,
information kit, and tea kit at the facility.
We have a library of Quaker-related books under the care of
Mary and Greg Conchelos.
Those who attend come from as far away as Lindsay and
Hastings. Some of
us are close enough to bicycle or bus (there is a
stop at the first corner south of Sadleir House). We are all
mindful of the environmental impact of the automobile in these times
carpooling or multi-purpose trips are common.
We have an active outreach/program committee who plans our discussion
topics and other activities. Times and places for these are
listed in our calendar.
Our mailing address:
PO Box 40033 Charlotte PO
Peterborough, ON K9J8R9
More about our
relationship to Wooler.
We offer a program for children every Sunday
on request. Parents may go out with the children, or join in with the
silent Meeting. We seek to nurture the inner sense of Spirit through a
positive experience in trust and creative activity, with some silent
time and sharing time.
On fourth Sundays we offer the Earthcare curriculum. At present we are
following a guide called Let the Earth Teach Thee, with 5 basic themes:
Web of Life, Creation, Exploration, Appreciation, and Preservation.
At all times the program for children includes playful learning,
stories, singing and/or outdoor exploration and cooperative games. If
possible please let us know that you are coming.
Check the calendar for specific dates. For details
meet in a great task when we meet in worship, no less than to realize
the Divine Presence and to create an atmosphere in which
that Presence and Power can touch us into fuller
we remember this, we cannot but approach the occasion with reverent
humility and the desire that nothing on our part may hinder or
disturb. It is something holy and wonderful we are trying to
build up together – the consciousness of the Presence with us here and
the reality of communion with God.
Quaker worship is based on
the silence of waiting in expectancy. In the still spirit of the
Meeting we reach down beyond our deepest selves to the very ground of
our being, to come nearer to each other and to God. We do not
worship in isolation but try to hold an awareness of all those gathered
with us, uniting in a common purpose. That common purpose is
expressed through the recitation of a creed, the singing of hymns, the
repetition of set prayers, under the leadership of a minister, but
rather through waiting and listening which becomes an act of sharing in
which we are all ministers.
Waiting and listening may lead
someone to offer a spoken contribution which will deepen and enrich the
worship. Anyone is free to speak, pray or read an appropriate
passage aloud provided it is done in response to a prompting of the
Spirit which comes in the course of the Meeting. Listen to
is said in an open-minded, charitable spirit. If something is
said that does not speak to your condition or need, try to reach the
spirit behind the words. The speaker wants to help the
take care not to reject the offering by negative criticism.
not be discouraged by any failure in concentration. See the
reassurance offered by St. Francis de Sales: “When your heart
wandering and distracted, bring it back quickly to its point, restore
it tenderly to its Master’s side, and if you did but nothing else the
whole of your hour but bring your heart back patiently and put it near
our Lord again, and every time you put it back it turned away again,
your hour would be well-employed.”
In the centre of the circle
there is a Bible together with anthologies of Quaker writings about our
experiences with God, each other, and the wider society. These
may be used as a focus for spoken ministry or for spiritual
reflection. There is also a collection of Advices and Queries
which serve to remind us of the fundamental issues we are invited to
consider on our spiritual journeys. There may be a reading of
some of these, once the Meeting has begun to settle down. In
quietness of a Quaker Meeting those present can become aware of a deep
and powerful spirit of love and truth that transcends their ordinary
The Meeting will end after one hour with a
handshake. In Peterborough, it is our custom to hold hands
brief moment in a circle as a symbol of our unity. We then
few minutes to share various thoughts. Some of them will have
arisen during the course of the Meeting but did not lead to vocal
ministry. This is also an opportunity to share concerns, both
personal and social, and those moments of joy we have
experienced. These contributions are received in a worshipful
manner, often with a few moments of silence in order to fully
The presence of newcomers and visitors is
greeted with a round of introductions, followed by
announcements. Every one is then invited to stay for a cup of tea,
literature on the table and socialize.
committed to an encounter with the Divine Presence in both the Meeting
for Worship and in their daily lives, they express this in different
ways. Each of us brings our own life’s experiences to
meeting. Some will have a profound sense of awe and wonder
because they know God is present. Others will be far less
certain. They may only be ready to hold an awareness that
experiences in life point beyond themselves to a great whole. Some will
thankfully accept God’s inexhaustible love shown in Jesus
Christ, the promise of forgiveness and the setting aside of past
failure. Others will know that to seek to be open to people
spirit of love and trust is the direction in which they want to
move. Despite the different ways in which we may account for
life-expanding experience, we seek to become united in love and
strengthened by truth so that we enter a new level of living.
you for coming. Your interest and presence will have
to our sense of unity and truth, and we hope you may wish to learn more
about the many ways in which Quakers have experienced and responded to
the Divine Presence. Please feel free to share your own
experiences, concerns, and queries. Pamphlets are available
the table; there are also list of books and videos which can be
borrowed or purchased.
If child care responsibilities make it
difficult for you to continue to worship with us, please let us know
and we will offer a programme for the children.
In 2007 we decided to form an ecostudy group. It meets
(usually) on the second Wednesday of every month at a group member's
home in Peterborough. Interest in this topic
is so strong in our area that we have participants from other faith
groups. To further the sharing of information amongst
ourselves we set up a wiki.
It features a
calendar as well as links and reports (sometimes with photos) of our
Information about the Religious Society of
- Canadian Yearly Meeting is the corporate body of Friends in
Canada. It meets annually to discuss national issues and make
Friends Service Committee
Friends Service Committee acts on the peace and
social justice concerns of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
- To donate directly to the Canadian
Friends Service Committee
securely on the web, go to this
at www.CanadaHelps.org. Many other charities are also
there and you immediately get an electronic receipt you can use for
income tax return for the amount you donate. There is a 3% transaction
fee deducted from the money (which covers credit card transaction fees,
bank charges, etc.) before it goes to the charity, so you may want to
consider that in the amount you donate.
Other Quaker Organizations
meetings meet in silence. Programmed
will accompany a period of silence with other activities such as
singing and sermons.
- A list of unprogrammed Friends Meetings in North
- A North
American organization of unprogrammed meetings,
providing resources and education. Canadian Yearly Meeting is
affiliated with FGC.
- A North
American organization of programmed Quaker
churches. Canadian Yearly Meeting is affiliated with FUM.
Our History And
Relationship to Wooler MM
Peterborough Monthly Meeting
started as a worship group under the care
of Wooler Monthly Meeting
meeting twice a month in attenders' homes. (All members in the group
held their membership in
the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) with Wooler Monthly Meeting.
Those who attend Peterborough meeting are always
welcome to attend
Wooler meetings (held on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of each month)).
Every other year Wooler MM has a candle-light carol sing in the meeting
the Saturday evening before Christmas and a number of us like to
to attend that.
The group grew until it became impractical to always meet in
our members was connected with Trent University and was able to inquire
about and finalize arrangements to rent the Traill College Lecture Hall
every Sunday during the school months. We continued to meet at
attenders' homes during the summer months, where we could often meet
At roughly the same time, our attendance numbers approached and
even surpassed those for Wooler Monthly Meeting. Although it had been
suggested that we become a Monthly Meeting of our own, many of us
remained reluctant to plunge right away into regular monthly
meetings for worship for business, especially since it has
seemed that we
did not have much business anyway. The alternative was to test the
waters of more formal structure by becoming an Allowed Meeting
under the care of Wooler Monthly Meeting. Over the subsequent years the
presence of serious inquirers who
wanted to learn more about Quakerism led us to schedule regular
influence of these same serious inquirers led us to also engage in more
community-building activities within the group as well
as some outreach activities.
2010 we seriously looked into becoming a Monthly Meeting. The
again did not feel it was ready. We agreed to revisit the
in a year's time. Doing so in the fall of 2011, we decided to
become a Monthy Meeting. The matter was brought forth and
approved in the 2012 Canadian Yearly Meeting.