InfoShare, Early Summer 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||Early Summer 2014||Number 3|
|Editor: Steven Davison||Asst. Editor: Miranda von Salis|
Download a pdf file of InfoShare, Early Summer 2014
Notes & Announcements
- Priorities Working Group report to Summer Sessions—Major agenda item at Summer Sessions
- Clerk's Visitation Initiative—An Invitation
- Epistle from Young Adult Concerns Committee
- A Call to the Meetings of New York Yearly Meeting—from Earthcare Working Group
- Friends Journal Archives—A new website
- Quakerlists.org discontinued—23 years of cybercommunity ends
- Friends available for programs on the legacy of Pete Seeger
- Support a documentary on Quakers—AFriend is developing a project for viewing on PBS
- FCNL's Program Report to yearly meetings—for 2013–2014
- Send us your news!—for Spark and InfoShare
- Spark themes—submit your articles and ideas for future themes
- NYYM Prayer List
- Health professional—Camp Gregory in Aurora, NY, seeks EMT, RN, LPN, or higher
- Young Adult Friends Min-retreats—July 19 in Old Chatham,August 30 in Saratoga, TBA in Brooklyn
Notes & Announcements
Please read the Priorities Working Group report to Summer Sessions
Friends are asked to read the report of the Priorities Work Group prior to coming to Summer Sessions. During our time at Silver Bay we will engage in opportunities to discuss the report, reflect upon the recommendations, and take part in a process of discernment with the hope that we will emerge with a clear sense of the work of the Yearly Meeting for the coming years. Prior acquaintance with the contents of the report will help Friends carry through on this process. The report is available on the Yearly Meeting website.
Jeffrey L. Hitchcock, NYYM clerk.
Clerk's Visitation Initiative—An Invitation
Friends are beginning to join in the spirit of visitation, talking the talk and walking the walk. About one Quaker out of 100 in NYYM has now recorded a visit to meeting for worship at another monthly meeting or worship group this year. Several Friends have personally shared experiences and suggestions with me. I’ve asked our Communications Director to set up an online forum where Friends can share these ideas, suggestions, stories, and concerns more widely. Here’s where to go: link to forum.
For information about the Clerk’s visitation initiative itself, go to the Visitation web site www.plainfieldquakers.org/mm-wg-visits/, and/or look at the NYYM.org information page www.nyym.org/?q=MeetingVisitationInitiative.
Jeffrey L. Hitchcock, NYYM clerk
Epistle: June 1, 2014—Young Adult Concerns Committee
To Friends Everywhere,
On May 30, 2014 – June 1, 2014, members of the Young Adult Concerns Committee of the New York Yearly Meeting of Friends gratefully gathered in Alfred, NY supported by the hospitality of Alfred Monthly Meeting who fed and housed us. We gathered with the intention of deepening in worship together, expanding our understandings of our individual Faith journeys and discerning our leadings as a committee. What occurred exceeded those goals. We envisioned the ways in which our committee is being led to serve the Yearly Meeting, even if it diverges from what is anticipated or expected of us. We aspire to nurture and connect Young Adult Friends (YAF) within the Yearly Meeting and beyond, but we are also called to nurture and support the Religious Society of Friends as a whole.
We foresee Young Adult Friends leading a worldwide Quaker movement that utilizes the tools, old and new, that our Faith offers to enable Friends (and friends) to deepen in Spiritual inter-visitation, prayers, worship, discernment, clearness, stories, workshops, and Opportunities. We see ourselves acting as a foundation to nurture growth and Faithfulness within society (and our Religious Society) through our positive outlook of change. We can challenge ourselves to look deeply at our Faith (and our Faith community) and in turn challenge others to do the same. In recognizing this, we challenged ourselves to stop dwelling in obscure language and instead hold in the light the corners of our Faith community in which there is darkness. As we held these concerns, we endeavored to tenderly and faithfully listen and move forward with integrity.
What is a Quaker? What do Quakers believe? What is “worship”? What does it mean to be in Community? We realized, through a simple role-playing exercise, that we do not all know how to answer these questions, nor have most of us ever been encouraged to try. This was profound. How have some of us grown from children to adults, within a religious society, without ever taking the opportunity to learn what it is that we are, or rather what we are striving to be? This was frustrating at first: why did there seem to be so few opportunities to speak about our Faith with one other? However, it quickly became joyful and exciting to have a forum to express our experiences of the Divine and our Faith and to endeavor to live in a way that testifies to these experiences. We embraced this blessed invitation to go deep with each other, giving time to those things that are often overlooked or taken as self-evident. We continued with awareness of our jargon, taking time to define what we meant when we said things like “let’s settle.” Unsurprisingly, this meant something different to each of us. But all definitions fostered the experience that we all seek.
We are called to action. Our God is dynamic. We must respond to continuing revelation among us and support the new leadings of the Divine working among us. Our Faith is active.
How can we live deeply into our Faith? We sense that it will require much more than what our current structures offer. This energizes us.
A Call To the Quaker Meetings of NYYM from the Earthcare Working Group
The Earthcare Working Group invites Friends to address rapidly accelerating climate change and make it a “Priority Frame of Reference” as we consider the Priorities Working Group’s Statement of Leadings and Priorities at Summer Sessions in Silver Bay this July. Quaker meetings of NYYM are called to contemplate and define what their role will be in the great “Transition” we must make in response to dramatic climate change, resource depletion, and severe economic contraction.
Friends are asked to: 1) sit in Meetings for Discernment regarding these issues, 2) engage in conversations within their Monthly Meetings and with the Earthcare Working Group as we prepare for Summer Sessions, and 3) contribute their Monthly Meetings’ seasoned concerns and suggestions about action on climate change for inclusion in an Earthcare Working Group Statement to the Priorities Working Group at Summer Sessions this July. Meetings are invited to consider a spectrum of actions, from traditional Quakers methods such as speaking truth to power, to joining with others to help our neighborhoods, villages, towns, and cities become more resilient and less dependent on fossil fuel.
At this juncture when scientific prognoses unequivocally state that changes in the Earth’s climate will continue to increase on an unprecedented scale, Quakers are called to turn inward and listen for the Inner Voice that has always led us. We are asked to discern our individual leadings, and look to each other to find a sense of what is the Highest Good for humanity and the Earth,... our home.
RSVP to join the Earthcare Working Group Discussion: Pamela Boyce Simms, Pbs9@georgetown.edu, Patricia Chernoff: email@example.com
New Website Increases Availability of Friends Journal Archives
A three-year project to make the Friends Journal Archive more widely available has culminated in the development of a new web site. This is an index of over 8000 articles by over 4000 authors on 200 topics; articles written between 1955 and 2011. Subscribers to Friends Journal have easy access to the text of those articles on the Friends Journal site. The information page can be reached here fjarchive.info.
Discontinuation of quakerlists.org Scheduled for the End of June
The email lists on quakerlists.org are becoming less and less used and more and more objects for attacks by spammers. We have held off the attacks, but it takes time and effort, and it seems that there is no longer a need for these e-lists, given the multitude of alternative and more secure methods of communicating that are available to us now.
Started before the introduction of the World Wide Web, an archive will be kept of the twenty-three years of cyber community in case any Quaker historian has interest down the road.
The lists will cease to operate at the end of this month(June 2014). This includes Quaker-L, Quaker-P, Quaker-C, Quaker-CA-West, Quaker-MM, Quaker-CYF, Quaker-Translators, and Quaker-Disability
Thanks to all who were part of this initial Quaker foray into Cyberspace.
Friends Available for Programs on the Legacy of Pete Seeger
A desire to share the messages and values of Pete Seeger to the meetings of NYYM has surfaced through recent conversation among Friends. Robert Peters [meeting unknown], longtime student and friend of Pete, Bob Wolpert (Abington Meeting, PhYM) and Roland Moussa, a very close, long time friend of Peter Seeger's, who is also an Apache and who attended his first Friends meeting wish to make themselves available to meetings to do programs to celebrate the legacy of Pete and the meaning of his life in our times. Multi-generational events, such as potlucks, actions, singing and study are of particular interest. Any interested meetings should contact Jeffery Aaron or Robert Peters for more information.
Documentary Filmmaker Seeks Funding Guidance for Upcoming Quaker Project
I met the other day with Janet Gardner, a documentary filmmaker who is developing a project for PBS. The working title is: Quakers: The Quiet Revolutionaries, and her co-director/co-producer is Emmy-award winning Elena Mannes. They are telling the story through the lives of 5 people: George Fox, John Woolman, William Penn, Alice Paul, and Bayard Rustin. They recently ran a Kickstarter campaign that was funded, but they have left the trailer up for people to take a look. They have applied for major funding from the NEH, but would be open to other ideas about possible funders, either groups or individuals.
The web link is: www.kickstarter.com/projects/gardnerdocgroup/quakers-the-quiet-revolutionaries.
Best, Walter Naegle
Send us your news!
For the next InfoShare (published the last day of Summer Sessions), and for September's Spark.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org with a copy to Steven Davison at email@example.com. The deadline for submissions is August 15, 2014. If you have ideas for future themes for Spark, please let us know.
NYYM Prayer List
Our prayer list has become an extremely active channel for the Holy Spirit. Please contact John Edminster, the List's coordinator,if you would like to be prayed for, or wish to add a loved one to the list (make sure you ask them if that's okay), to join the Prayer List email list, or to learn more about the List.
Camp Gregory is in need of Health Personnel
Competitive pay, will trade for Campership(s).
Must be EMT basic, RN, LPN, or higher.
Private Housing, Room and Board Included.
Camp open Sunday through Friday July 5th – August 15th
Please Call Mike Bower (315) 729-0599 for more information www.campgregory.org
Casper Gregory Camp Inc
PO Box 322
1803 Lake Rd
Aurora, NY 13026
Summer Young Adult Friends Mini-Retreats
A series of one-day retreats for our Young Adult Friends will be available around NYYM this summer. Created as “A time to get to know new Friends, and see old Friends, and practice spiritual work together”, costs kept minimal with a suggested donation of $15-$20.
Poughkeepsie Friends Meeting House
249 Hooker Ave,
Poughkeepsie, NY 12603
Old Chatham Monthly Meeting
Old Chatham, NY
Saratoga Friends Meeting
Brooklyn Monthly Meeting
120 Schermerhorn Street
Brooklyn , NY 11201
Contact Gabi Savory Bailey, Young Adult Field Secretary of NYYM for more information or if your meeting is interested in hosting a mini-retreat in 2015!
Wilton Monthly Meeting was well represented by WWII veteran John Lee, Missy Conrad, Kate Coleman, Ellie Levin and Diane Keefe in the Norwalk, CT Memorial Day parade. We were joined by veterans for peace and members of Saint Paul's church on the green. This is our 10th year marching.
Diane Keefe, Co-clerk Wilton MM Peace and Service Committee
Showing of Short Film on the “Two-Row Wampum Renewal Campaign”-
Most of you are familiar with the “Two-Row Wampum Renewal Campaign” commemorating the 400th anniversary of the first agreement between the Mohawk Nation of the Haudenosaunee (“Iroquois”) Confederacy and the earliest Europeans in that region, the Dutch. Our meeting was a sponsor of the Campaign and of the Teach-In about the Campaign held in our meetinghouse and Brooklyn Friends School in April.
A short movie was made of this journey, titled “Guswenta,” which is the name of the wampum belt. This movie was shown on Thursday, June 19 at 7 pm at the Sixth Street Community Center, 638 East Sixth St., Manhattan. Following the film, there was a panel discussion with the filmmaker, a Mohawk educator and one of the organizers.