InfoShare, April 2014

N e w   Y o r k   Y e a r l y   M e e t i n g
R e l i g i o u s   S o c i e t y   o f   F r i e n d s
Volume 13 April 2014 Number 2
Editor: Steven Davison   Asst. Editor: Helen Garay Toppins

Download a pdf file of InfoShare, April 2014


Notes & Announcements

Positions Available

Upcoming Events

Staff Travel Schedules


Notes & Announcements

Epistle from the 2014 Pastoral Meetings Gathering. Pastors, elders, and members of ministry and council committees from New York and New England Yearly Meetings met at Powell House March 24–27. The gathering published an epistle, available here. This web page also contains quite a few resources for pastoral meetings with will soon be on our own Resources web page.

Apology to Afro-Descendants—Next Steps. Ministry Coordinating Committee would like to thank all of you who participated in the on-going discussion of next steps following the approval of the Apology to Afro-Descendants. We are encouraged by the responses we received and look forward to receiving more. We encourage Friends to continue to work with the queries that were sent, and to create others as led. 
    To encourage on-going discussions, Steve Davison has created a place on the website for Friends to continue the conversation under "Apology to Afro-Descendants—Next Steps". We encourage Friends to take the opportunity to continue the conversation by sharing your thoughts and experiences. Meetings are welcome to report on how they are using the queries and what new understandings they are discovering. We are in this healing process together. Let's be open to continued guidance from Spirit as we move forward in building the Blessed Community we all envision. With Appreciation and Hopeful Anticipation, Irma Guthrie, Clerk MCC

The New York Yearly Meeting Prayer List is periodically sent out to subscribers, listing Friends who ask to be prayed for, or loved ones of Friends for whom prayer is asked. You can ask for prayers for God’s healing, or for God to strengthen you in faithfulness, courage, discernment, the ability to forgive, or whatever it is you feel the need of. And Friends who get the prayer list will pray for you. You can be as specific as you want; or if you’d rather not tell the world what you want prayer for, you may list yourself with an asterisk, which will signal the reader not to inquire at all about what you might want prayer for. Prayer requests will be kept posted for three months, unless the requester asks to have theirs renewed or pulled. 
We only accept requests for prayer for yourself or for someone who you know consents to being put on the prayer list. Exceptions are made only for your own minor children or for family members who may be comatose, legally incompetent or deceased, but even then—please think! We don’t want anyone hurt or embarrassed to discover that a well-meaning friend has given us their name without obtaining permission, in effect telling the world behind their back, “So-and-so needs prayer.” It could be taken as suggesting that So-and-so is somehow defective, and at the very least it could be felt to be a violation of privacy. 
I’m also asking that you refrain from using this list to ask for prayers for collectivities like “the children of Syria,” “the prisoners at Guantánamo,” etc., not because these groups don’t need our prayers, but just to keep the scope of this prayer list manageable. But if you feel strongly the other way about it, I would listen to an appeal.
    Anyone can subscribe to the NYYM Prayer List simply by sending an e-mail to Anyone who wants to unsubscribe from it, please just send the Prayer List an e-mail with "unsubscribe" in the Subject line; no questions will be asked. You will always get the prayer list as a blind courtesy copy (bcc), which means that no one but the Maintainer of the Prayer List (currently myself) and possibly his oversight committee (which hasn’t been formed yet) will know that you’re on the mailing list. This will protect you from unwanted e-mail from Friends who might write back to me hitting “reply all.” 
    If you have questions or if I can also suggest ways to make the task of praying for the Friends on the Prayer List a pleasure rather than a grim chore, please contact me at the prayer list email. John Edminster, NYYM Prayer List Coordinator

Conflict Transformation. The NYYM Conflict Transformation Committee is available to help meetings transform conflict situations into opportunities for spiritual growth. The Committee includes Friends who are experienced as active listeners, problem solvers, and mediators. The committee has filmed a very effective workshop, Conflict in Quaker Meetings: Crisis or Opportunity? You can view the complete video or shorter films of the workshop's sessions on the Conflict Transformation Videos web page. The Committee would be happy to bring the workshop to your meeting and you can find other valuable resources on conflict transformation on the Committee's web page, as well. Peter Phillips, clerk Conflict Transformation Committee

Send us your news! We welcome news and announcements of local meetings and local Friends for Spark and for InfoShare. Send them to Steven Davison, NYYM communications director.

Submit articles to Spark on religious education. The theme of our September Spark is Stepping into Quaker Religious Education. We are looking for articles that span First Day School through Adult Religious Education. We want to hear about your challenges, and your success stories, regarding religious education curricula, programs, and experiences for children, tweens, teens, young adults, and older adults. If you are interested in submitting an article, or if you have any suggestions regarding this theme, contact Helen Garay Toppins at with a copy to Steven Davison at The deadline for submissions is August 1, 2014. If you have ideas for future themes for Spark, please let us know.

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Positions Available

Spiritual Deepening Planning Coordinator Wanted – Friends General Conference is seeking a qualified Friend to work on a contract basis with FGC committees and staff to coordinate and develop a Quaker spiritual deepening program for use by individuals and meetings. The purpose of this work is to provide a clear plan on how FGC, in collaboration with other Quaker institutions, yearly meetings, and monthly meetings, can help seekers, Friends, and meetings enter fully and deeply into the Quaker way. This limited-term position is contingent upon approval of a grant request submitted recently for this project. In order to start this project as quickly as possible if funding is indeed available, letters of interest are due by April 30, 2014. 
Please send your letter of interest stating clearly your experience in religious education and spiritual formation program development, your resume, and a statement of availability for what we believe is a seven to nine month full-time project beginning in June 2014. Send inquiries to Barry Crossno, FGC General Secretary, Please include “Spiritual Deepening Planning Coordinator” in the subject line. More details are available at:

Field Officer in the Africa Ministries Office – Friends United Meeting (FUM) is reopening the search for qualified applicants from North America to serve as a full-time, Kisumu, Kenya-based staff person. Will receive a competitive salary, including benefits. A complete job description is available on the FUM website. Applications will be received until the position is filled. Start date is negotiable and will depend, in part, on when personal support is sufficiently raised. Resumes, along with a letter of interest and list of references, may be sent to: Eden Grace, FUM Global Ministries Director 101 Quaker Hill Drive, Richmond, IN 47374.

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Upcoming Events

April 25 & 26, 2014 – The Two-Row Wampum Renewal Campaign will return to NYC for a Teach-In, and everyone is invited! The teach-in is sponsored by Brooklyn Meeting, through our peace & social action committee, and by Brooklyn Friends School. For information and registration go to (Pre-registration is urged, so we have an idea of numbers and workshop preferences, but is not required.)
    I hope that many of you will decide to participate in this special event. Besides participating directly in Teach-In events Friday evening and Saturday, we are asking that Friends volunteer to provide food for a pot-luck lunch on Saturday at Brooklyn meetinghouse, and that those Friends who are able will offer hospitality for those travelling from Onondaga, Syracuse, and other more distant places for one or more nights (April 24, 25, 26). If you wish to volunteer, please let me know what you are able to do. Friends, especially in/near NYC, please volunteer! We who are responsible for the event are counting on you to make it successful. Contact Tom Rothschild if you have further questions or would like to offer hospitality or other help.

April 25-27 – Nightingales. if you love to sing, come join with others who love it too! Nightingales, an a cappella singing group that meets twice a year, will meet near Poplar Ridge, NY.
Come sing with us in a lovely rural setting. You do not have to be a great, or even a good singer to participate. If you can talk, you can sing. Shuttle service from the Syracuse Amtrak station is a possibility. Help in forming a carpool with others from your area is available. Children are most welcome, though those not wanting to participate in the singing are the responsibility of their parents. Whether you want to camp or stay in a bed, we can accommodate you. Those wanting a bed need to bring their own linens.
    Dates: April 25-27. Place: Hannah and Andreas Richter's house (966 Bartnick Road, Genoa, NY, 13071), and Poplar Ridge Monthly Meeting. Suggested fee: $10. For more information, contact Christopher Sammond,, 607-753-0444. To Register: Contact Hannah Richter by email or call 315-364-3784. We need to know how many to plan for, who needs a bed, and what food you plan to share!

May 1-4, 2014 – Quakers United in Publications Annual Conference will be held at Woolman Hill, Deerfield, Massachusetts. The theme is Publishing the Word in a Changing Landscape: Tools & Techniques. A 10% discount is available if you register and pay all fees by 15 March 2014. Registration closes 15 April 2014. Registration materials and more information available at

May 3, 2014 – A memorial service for Newton Garver at 11: A.M. at the Orchard Park Quaker Meetinghouse, 6924 E. Quaker Street St. (Rt. 20-A) Orchard Park, NY.

May 3 & 4, 2014 – Shrewsbury Meetinghouse on Old Monmouth historical tour. The 1816 Quaker Meetinghouse in Shrewsbury is among the popular historic sites featured in the annual Weekend in Old Monmouth tour, which will be held this year on May 3 and 4.
    An active house of worship throughout its almost 200 year history, it is the newest of at least three meetinghouses that have served the Friends (Quaker) Meeting in Shrewsbury, the oldest going back to 1672, a few short years after the first Quaker settlement here in 1665. The current meetinghouse property at the northeast corner of Route 35 and Sycamore Avenue, which includes an active burial ground, has been in service to the meeting since 1689.
    The Weekend in Old Monmouth tour is a catalog of noteworthy sites organized by the Monmouth County Historical Commission, which local residents and other guests are invited to visit at their leisure, and in the order they choose, all day on Saturday (10-5) and on Sunday afternoon (12-5). More information on the overall tour can be found at the Monmouth County website.
    Your visit to the Quaker Meetinghouse can include, at your option, a discussion of both the history of Friends/Quakers in the area and the unique architecture of the meetinghouse, which is currently in the midst of a multi-phase renovation. Information about the historic burial ground will also be available, as will light refreshments.
    Visitors’ parking is available behind the meetinghouse, via a driveway opening from Sycamore Avenue. Additional information on the Meetinghouse, its history, and the Friends Meeting that worships there can be found at

May 16-18, 2014 – Farmington Scipio Regional Meeting's Spring Gathering, a family-oriented weekend of worship, connection, exploration, and play at Watson Homestead, Painted Post, NY. The weekend will feature conversations with Lloyd Lee Wilson on Radical Hospitality, Covenant Community, and Sharing Our Spiritual Journeys. Please register as soon as possible—the deadline was April 15. Registration forms can be found at For more information, contact Kathy Slattery at

May 16–18, 2014 – Nourish Your Meeting's Pastoral Care with ARCH. Many Friends feel over-extended: "I can't take on any more right now." Other Friends feel disconnected: "I haven't even been to meeting for a while." Consider joining Anita Paul and Barbara Spring at Powell House for a weekend of training as an ARCH Visitor, May 16-18, 2014.
    Past participants have found that the training and support that ARCH provides actually enhances and supports the work they already do, rather than finding that they are taking on more. Others have found a way to become more integrated into their local meeting in a way that they hadn't before. Everyone will find the opportunity to understand better their own aging, or the aging issues faced by those they care for spiritually and materially.
    If you know someone in your meeting who you think would benefit from a weekend with ARCH, please encourage them to come to this FREE retreat at Powell House. It is a gift to them and to your meeting!
    For more information, contact Barbara Spring at or 518-441-6405.

May 17, 2014 – Philadelphia Yearly Meeting invites Friends to a Quaker College Fair from 12:00 – 3:00 at the Arch Street Meeting House, Philadelphia, PA. Colleges represented at the Quaker College Fair offer a values-based education rooted in Quaker tenets. Appropriate for all high school-aged students, and particularly relevant to juniors and their families, this Fair allows for one-to-one personalized contact with Admissions officers, and offers insight into the college search process. Information about financial aid and campus life are also provided, and an interactive panel discussion opens the Fair. Information and registration are available on the PhYM website:

June 11-15, 2014 – Friends United Meeting Triennial, Indiana Wesleyan University, Marion, Indiana. Imagine! Quakers all over the world gathered together in Christ, in Community, for Mission. Imagine! A time where we are gathered together in prayer, reflection, discussion and planning. Imagine the possibilities that could arise as we come together for the FUM Triennial. What could God do in and through us as we gather? Let’s find out together! Register now at: the FUM website. After May 15 registration cost increases.

June 24–29, 2014 – Quaker Spring 2014, Barnesville, Ohio. The theme is: Let Experiencing the Inward Christ Together. We invite all Friends hungry for spiritual community, of all ages, to spend time in worship, reflection, conversation, and play. We hope to bring together Friends from all branches of Quakerism, to share what Spirit-led Quakerism is about at its core--and to experience it together.  Registration and information on the Quaker Spring website.

June 29–July 5, 2014 – Friends General Conference Gathering. The theme is: Let Love Be the First Motion. Speakers include Judy Anne Williams on sexuality and spirituality, Victoria Greene about her work to transform cultures of violence in Philadelphia, and Noah Baker Merrill, co-founder of Quaker Voluntary Service and Secretary of New England Yearly Meeting. Registration and information on the FGC website.

July 20-26, 2014 – NYYM Summer Sessions at Silver Bay, New York. The theme is: Moving into Action – Where is God Leading us? Look for details in your May Spark.

September 12-14, 2014Nurturing Friends Young, Old & Everyone In Between. Join Friends of all ages as we gather to celebrate the circle of our NYYM community and spiritually journey together for a bit. Plans for the weekend program at Powell House include music and stories, mutigenerational worship, finding opportunities to play together and be present to each other and to get to know one another better across our ages and experiences. We’ll learn and practice tools we can take back to our home meetings to continue to widen, deepen, and sustain our circles of community. The event will be held at Powell House, Old Chatham, NY. Deborah Wood, Clerk Nurture Coordinating Committee.

November 14–16 – NYYM Fall Sessions, 15 Rutherford Place, New York, NY 10003.

Upcoming Regional Meetings: Click the following to view the calendar for upcoming regional meetings.

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Staff Travel Schedules

Travel Calendar: Gabriel Savory Bailey,
Young Adult Field Secretary

Spring, 2014

April 19 Facilitating the YAF mini-retreat, Chatham-Summit Meeting, Chatham NJ
May 16–18 Farmington-Scipio Spring Gathering
July 20–26 Summer Sessions, Silver Bay NY

Travel Calendar: Christopher Sammond
General Secretary

April to June, 2014


4–6 Attend Spring Sessions, Rochester, NY (Cancelled due to illness)


2–3 Facilitate Retreat for Brooklyn Meeting Ministry & Council, Brooklyn, NY
10 Participate in Priorities Working Group meeting, Rahway & Plainfield Meeting, Plainfield, NJ
11 Visit Shrewsbury Meeting, Shrewsbury, NJ
16–18 Attend Farmington-Scipio Regional Meeting Spring Gathering, Painted Post, NY


1 Visit Adirondack Meeting, South Glenns Falls, NY
7–8 Facilitate Retreat on Worship and Vocal Ministry for Cornwall Meeting, Cornwall, NY
9 Attend Auburn Prison Preparative Meeting 40th Anniversary Celebration, Auburn, NY
11–14 Attend FUM Triennial, Marion, Indiana
28–30 Attend FGC Gathering, California, PA

Travel Calendar: Helen Garay Toppins,
Associate Secretary

Spring 2014

April 20 Woodbourne Prison, Quaker Worship Group, Woodbourne, NY
April 26–27 Pendle Hill, Wallingford, PA, Quaker Quest Travel Team
May 31 Otisville Prison, Quaker Day of Reflection, Otisville, NY
June 9 40th Anniversary, Auburn Prison Quaker Worship Group, Auburn, NY
June 14 Sing Sing Prison, Quaker Worship Group, Ossining, NY
June 15 Woodbourne Prison, Quaker Worship Group, Woodbourne, NY
June 21 Woodbourne Prison, Protestant Day, Woodbourne, NY

ARCH Activities
Callie Janoff, Anita Paul, & Barbara Spring

Spring, 2014

4/16/14 – National Health Care Decisions Day. Consider your advanced directives with your local ARCH Visitors or Pastoral Care Committee. For more information contact Barbara Spring.

4/26/14 – Spirituality and the Joys of Aging Workshop, 15th Street Meeting's Retreat at Powell House. Facilitated by Barbara Spring.

5/10/14 All day – Two workshops: Community Building and Advanced Directives, Rochester Meeting. Facilitated by Anita Paul.

5/11/14 – Spirituality and the Joys of Aging Workshop, Poughkeepsie Meeting. Facilitated by Barbara Spring.

5/11/14 – Barbara Spring will lead an after-meeting workshop at Poughkeepsie Meeting.

5/16-18/14 – ARCH Visitor Training, Powell House. Facilitated by Barbara Spring and Anita Paul. Become an ARCH Visitor as we cultivate a community of well-supported aging Friends. For more information contact Barbara Spring.

6/6-8/14 – Barbara will attend Walk Humbly, Act Boldly, June 6 - 8, Powell house workshop.

ARCH Wants You to Know

Free Tax Prep – Free tax preparation is available at over 700 sites in New York State, at least one in every county. For those with an income under $52,000 of any age. IRS locations can be found by web searching IRS/freetaxprep. Make sure you skip the sites of H & R Block and Trubo Tax. For those 60 and over the AARP sites can be located by web searching AARP free tax prep. It will take you to a site with an article about the service and two-thirds of the way down it will say in light blue "to find a site". For those without a computer, the local library or county aging services program can assist in finding a location.

Women and Heart Attacks – Most people are familiar with the symptoms of a heart attack: sweating, nausea, trouble breathing, discomfort anywhere in the upper body, including arm, back, neck, jaw, or stomach. While some describe the pain as an elephant sitting on the chest, others say it is more like a feeling of fullness, pressure, or squeezing, symptoms that can occur days or weeks before the actual heart attack. These sensations last for more than a few minutes but may come and go.
    Most don't know that women can experience those symptoms, in addition to some symptoms that are women-specific, including a sense of dread, early morning waking for several weeks, abdominal pain, heartburn, dizziness, clammy skin, or unexplained fatigue.
    Because symptoms may be different or less painful than we think a heart attack should be, valuable time is lost. Some even discover they've had a heart attack in the past that they were unaware of, like I did when I went for pre-surgical screening for cataracts.
    For either sex, there is one truism: most people delay getting help, and instead ask another's opinion, like the woman who called her niece in another county for her opinion, or poo-poo a spouse's concern, or chomp on tums all day until the son gets home from work. Call the paramedics! If you're not having a heart attack the paramedics will tell you that and not insist you go to the hospital; if you are, you will be under treatment before you leave your home. Besides, the paramedics have a lot of training and they like to use it—let them. Anita Paul, ARCH Coordinator

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