Dear Members of CFHA:
The following is a report and update on the activity of the Executive Committee and members during the recent months. We hope you find this information encouraging, for although Covid-19 may have altered our patterns, our work has been progressing well. We invite your comments and questions on the information provided below.
Many of you participated in our Annual General Meeting presentation featuring Ben Pink Dandelion and Steven Angell in 9th month 2020. By virtue of Zoom technology, we were able for the first time to make participation in the AGM possible for members in every Canadian time zone and beyond.
During the business meeting that followed, members present were updated on financial, membership, and other activity of the past year. Regular membership has seen little change, but institutional and meeting membership has declined. This can be attributed to the cessation of our hard copy publications, the Canadian Quaker History Journal and The Meetinghouse. Our member services were expanded to now include electronic fund transfer capability to facilitate member renewal and donation options.
Substantial investments in organizational capacity building and updating saw expenditures greatly exceed income last year. For the first time in the history of CFHA, part-time contract staff positions were created and filled to provide the organization with needed special skills and to perform duties not able to be performed by our available volunteers. Chris Landry, Organizational Assistant, and Allana Mayer, Digital Archivist and website consultant, effected immediate and dramatic progress on a number of CFHA objectives. These included a complete reconfiguration, upgrade and relaunch of the website, acquisition and implementation of a membership administration software program, and the initiation of a ground-breaking Digital Archive facility development project. The investments of the past year have greatly enhanced CFHA’s ability to fulfil the objectives of our mission statement. Our donations received during the past year met our budget expectations, and we wish to take this opportunity to thank all those who donated generously last year and since.
Last year the transition from printed publications to a weekly blog was completed, and CFHA gained a presence on Twitter and Facebook. We thank Robynne Rogers Healey and Digital Editor Sydney Harker for oversight and sustaining a lively and informative blog. Members and viewers are encouraged to contribute comments and items of historical Quaker interest. Please click here to register as a blog contributor: https://cfha.info/register-for-the-cfha-website/, or here to view our latest and previous postings: https://cfha.info/blog/.
Thanks are also due to transcription coordinator Randy Saylor and transcriber Carman Foster for adding new transcriptions to the many already available our website. Without access to the microfilm records held at the Archives of Ontario and the Canadian Yearly Meeting Archive at Pickering College, Newmarket, we have relied on our long relationship with staff at Friends Historical Library at Swarthmore College to provide minute book images for transcription. Carman is currently working on an additional Muncy Monthly Meeting book containing records of the Catawissa meeting in Pennsylvania. This meeting largely relocated to Uxbridge, Ontario, early in the nineteenth century. Please click here to view our transcriptions: https://cfha.info/transcriptions/.
The Who are the Quakers? panel set continues to be among the most frequently viewed items on our website. The principal creator of that set, member David Newlands, has completed a draft of a set of eight new panels documenting the life and ministry of George Fox. Final completion of this new set awaits the reopening of Friends House in London, and the granting of permission to use certain copyright graphics and images. Watch for updates. Please click here to view the existing Who are the Quakers? panels: https://cfha.info/about-quakers-in-canada/.
Friendly Friday sessions via Zoom were launched last year on alternate Friday afternoons between 1:30 and 3:00 PM Eastern Standard Time. The initial concept was to utilize group readings of the Nickalls edition of the Journal of George Fox to acquaint seekers and those unfamiliar with the principles and testimonies of Quaker faith and practice. Things did not work out that way. Instead, a relatively small but loyal group of participants consisting almost entirely of members and attenders of meetings has developed. All are welcome, and participants from Hawaii to Germany have joined in via Zoom. In the course of a dozen sessions, we have delved deeply into most of the first two chapters. These sessions are neither lively discussions nor particularly academic. Rather, they have acquired the tone and characteristics of worship sharing. Those familiar with this work by Fox know that it is a very intense, challenging, and difficult to understand text. The slow but thorough pace of the group has facilitated knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the foundational ministry Fox was and continues to communicate to our present day. Thanks to Chris Landry for sending out the meeting notifications and to Donna Moore for hosting the Zoom sessions and preparing the on-screen reading texts. Click here to register for receive Friendly Friday notifications: https://cfha.b.civicrm.ca/civicrm/event/register?id=3.
In summary, we remain a very active group dedicated to achieving our mission statement goals and organizational potential. We hope you will continue to support us in this important work through your membership and your contributions both historical and financial. If you have never contributed to CFHA preciously, please consider making a one-time or planned giving donation today. Donations can be made directly to CFHA via cheque or electronic transfer, please see our website for details. CFHA is a registered Canadian charitable organization. Charitable donation tax deduction receipts will be issued for all donations. Please click here to view our donor information page: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/canadian-friends-historical-association/.
Submitted on behalf of the CFHA Executive Committee,
Jeff Dudiak and Gord Thompson, Co-Chairs