InfoShare, April 2015

InfoShare
 
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 14 April 2015 Number 2
Editor: Steven Davison    

 

 

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Notes & Announcements

Quaker Religious Thought now available online

All back issues of QRT are now available online at digitalcommons.georgefox.edu/qrt, thanks to the collaboration of QRT editor Howard R. Macy and the staff of George Fox University Libraries.

Michelle AlexanderMichelle Alexander,
author of The New Jim Crow

Pendle Hill now streaming live video of some programs

Pendle Hill has developed live video streaming capability and plans to stream some of its programs. Click the following links to sign up to view Phillip Gulley’s Stephen G. Cary Memorial Lecture (May 4) and Michelle Alexander’s presentation (April 30) at their Mass Incarceration Conference, which is now sold out, plus Monday Night Lectures, including Earth Quaker Action Team founder Eileen Flanagan's lecture on April 6. Michelle Alexander is the author of The New Jim Crow.

QuakerBooks of FGC now at Pendle Hill

FGC and Pendle Hill are very happy to announce an experimental collaboration bringing QuakerBooks of FGC to Pendle Hill. For at least the next six months, QuakerBooks will operate from the site of the current Pendle Hill bookstore. Pendle Hill will now have in excess of a thousand new titles to serve over 4,500 annual campus visitors. Likewise, FGC will be able to better serve Friends living in and visiting the Philadelphia region with a convenient walk-in bookstore, ample parking and the beauty and serenity of the Pendle Hill campus. By having one bookstore serving our two institutions, we hope to offer a better and stronger service for everyone.

Our hours will be 9:30am-4:30pm, Thursday through Monday beginning Monday, April 13. These hours will also better serve Pendle Hill weekend workshop participants and Friends who work during the week.  Customer service will be available during these new times as well. To reach QuakerBooks of FGC, use our same phone number: 1-800-966-4556 (toll-free) or 215-561-1700 x3012 (local). The QuakerBooks website will continue to be available 24/7 to serve your needs.

Please visit QuakerBooks of FGC on the Pendle Hill campus! We think you’ll love our selection of books, pamphlets, CDs and tracts on a wide range of Quaker topics as well as books on general spirituality, activism and for children. If you wish to renew your Pendle Hill Pamphlet subscription, please call Pendle Hill at 610-566-4507 ext. 2. You can order Pendle Hill pamphlets from both the Pendle Hill and QuakerBooks websites.

Resources for meetings for addressing racism

On New York Yearly Meeting’s Resources for Meetings web page and on our Resources-RacialEquality web page, you can find resources developed by Philadelphia Yearly Meeting designed to help meetings think about where they are and what they may do regarding racism, especially, and “-isms” in general. Here's a link to the PhYM web page: Resources for Addressing Racism.

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Job Opportunities

Executive Director, Elsie K. Powell House

Deadline: June 1

Elsie K. Powell House (www.powellhouse.org), New York Yearly Meeting’s retreat center and an outreach arm of New York Yearly Meeting for adult and youth spiritual nurture, seeks a full-time Executive Director to oversee its spiritual life and physical operations. Position to begin Spring 2016. Powell House’s mission is to foster the spiritual growth of Friends (Quakers) and others and to strengthen the application of Friends' testimonies in the world.
Title: Executive Director
Job Category: Exempt
Status: Full-time
Supervisor: Powell House Committee Personnel Sub-committee
Location: Old Chatham, NY

Responsibilities

  • Leadership and Ministry responsibilities include understanding the spiritual needs of NYYM members and committees, creating a vision for using the entire physical and spiritual resource of Powell House to support the spiritual transformation and life-long nurture of members and attenders in the NYYM, and developing youth, adult, and intergenerational programming to address their needs.  The Executive Director informs the Powell House Committee at regular intervals on the status of Powell House physical plant and activities and work with the Committee and sub-committees on specific matters related to the physical, financial, operational and spiritual aspects of Powell House
  • Day-to-day operational responsibilities include overseeing design, execution and hosting of spiritual nurture conferences and rentals; hiring and supervising required staff; overseeing and managing institutional finances, fundraising and buildings and grounds

Required experience: Active member of a Quaker monthly meeting and on-going service and engagement in Quaker organizations (especially Yearly Meeting organizations) and business process. Deep grounding in the Spirit. Five years prior organizational leadership, e.g., non-profit executive director, pastor, etc.  Experience supervising staff.  Experience in designing Quaker programs (e.g., First Day School or Adult Education). Relevant graduate degrees a plus, e.g., MDiv, Master Retreat Center Management, MBA.

Compensation: Commensurate with experience. Benefits include health insurance, housing on-site at Powell House, participation in unemployment, disability insurance, worker’s compensation and social security / Medicare.

Elsie K. Powell House is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Qualified persons are encouraged to apply regardless of their religious affiliation beyond the Religious Society of Friends, race, age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or disability.

Elsie K. Powell House is a smoke-free workplace.
Please submit resume, references, and cover letter to searchcommittee@powellhouse.org no later than June 1, 2015.

Online Communications Internship at FGC Office in Philadelphia

Deadline: May 4.

This is a one-year paid internship at FGC’s office in Philadelphia, PA, for someone with strong verbal and written communications skills seeking to gain a strong understanding of some of the key technology and tools supporting professional communications today. This intern will work closely with the Communications and Web Manager, and other FGC staff to support ongoing communications work across the organization. This work will be guided by FGC’s minute of purpose, major goals, and associated programs. It will include substantial work in Drupal with FGC’s primary website, www.fgcquaker.org, in Salesforce which is our primary database, and with a variety of related web tools. This position will play a role training and supporting FGC programs to use the web and social media for effective communications as well as participating in broader strategic communications efforts. Familiarity with the web and a high level of comfort with computers and online communications will be important, but the position does not require a high level of technical skills.

See the link for details: www.fgcquaker.org/serve/opportunities/online-communications-intern.

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Upcoming Events

New York Quarterly Meeting Spring Cemetary Cleanup in Prospect Park

April 25: The NYQM Cemetery Committee invites you to join us for our Spring Cemetery Cleanup in Prospect Park on Saturday 4/25 (note this is a change from a date announced earlier).

Come between 10 am and 4 pm to help rake, weed, and enjoy the beauty of the Cemetery; beverages and cookies will be provided. Bring work gloves, a bag lunch and enthusiasm and plan to stay as long as you can.

Tours are arranged, usually at noon and 2pm, in case you would like to know more about the property. It is a lovely time to visit the graves of Friends who have passed. The Cemetery is located on the Transverse Road in the park and directions are available at www.nyqm.org/docs/cemeterymap.pdf.

For more information, please feel free to contact Charlene Ray, 212-757-3504.

Shrewsbury Meetinghouse on local historical tour

May 2 & 3: The Weekend in Old Monmouth historical tour includes the Shrewsbury Meeting house, and the Meeting has placed an ad in the Greater Media weekly newspapers that are circulated in Monmouth County for the week prior to the Weekend in Old Monmouth tours. To the right is the ad they used. This is a pdf file so it can be printed at different sizes for use as flyers and posters. See below for more on their anniversary celebrations.

NYYM Friends speak to NAACP chapter on Quakers and Slavery

May 14 & June 13: At the invitation of the Edison, New Jersey chapter of the NAACP, Jeffrey Aaron (New Brunswick Meeting) and Jeffrey L. Hitchcock (Rahway & Plainfield Meeting) will speak on the history of Friends and slavery as part of the chapter's 2015 Juneteenth Celebration. Jeffrey Aaron has already addressed the group once, on April 9, discussing the history of Friends and the abolition movement and how Quaker values informed Quaker involvement. On May 14, Jeffrey Hitchcock speaks on the current work of Quakers to confront and contend with racism, both within the Society of Friends and in society at large. The two Friends will appear together on June 13. Click here to view a map to the events. Click here to view the chapter’s web page on the program.

Survivors of the atomic bomb blasts in Hiroshima and Nagasaki visit Brooklyn Meeting

May 17: On the afternoon of Sunday, May 17, at 1:00 PM, Brooklyn Meeting will host a presentation by Hibakusha (survivors of the atomic bomb attacks on Japan.) This is the last event ever by the sponsoring Hibakusha Stories program which will include survivors; all future events will include only descendants of survivors. They have chosen to conclude their visits at our Quaker meeting, and we are greatly honored. Our visitors will be speaking about the devastation caused by nuclear weapons and including personal experience. This is a public event and we encourage everyone to attend. Brooklyn Meeting is located at 110 Schermerhorn Street in Downtown Brooklyn. Directions at brooklynmeeting.org/directions.html. For further information, contact Tom Rothschild tomr[at]tnrmediate.com.

Discussion on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at Genesee Valley Meeting

May 31: Deb and Ted First of Fredonia Meetng will facilitate. Program runs from 12:30 to about 2:30 following worship (10-11 am) and Dish-to-pass lunch (11:15 am – 12:15 pm). All welcome for any portion. Location: Growing Places Creative Learning Center, 14 Battle St., Dansville, NY.

Extended meeting for worship —Farmington-Scipio Region

June 6: Perry City Meeting, 6324 Route 227 in Perry City, near Trumansburg and Ithaca. Click here to download a flyer.

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Conferences

Community & Restorative Justice Conference

May 8: Morningside Meeting is co-sponsoring the conference at Lehman College in the Bronx, NY (10468) exploring the need for and the benefits to be gained from restorative practices in K-12 schools, undergraduate and graduate schools of education, community organizations, and government agencies. Contact for the Conference is David C Fletcher, PhD, davidcfletcher61[at]gmail.com. Visit the website at www.bestrestorativepractices.com/.

Youth Programs at Powell House

May 8–10: for 3rd and 4th Graders: Leaps and Bounds
You’ll stay in the Anna Curtis Youth Center and share the exuberance of spring with other 3rd to 5th graders. We will celebrate life, each other, and the wild wonderful world around us. Count on lots of leaps and bounds! There should be space for parents to stay next door in Pitt Hall for their own personal retreat.
August 28–30: for 4th and 5th Graders: A Parent and Youth Retreat
At that retreat, your grown-up (a.k.a. parent ) gets to participate and be a big kid again. Each kid brings a parent.  The topic will be in the fall brochure, but it will be a good opportunity for parents and first time attenders to get to know what happens in the youth retreats, to meet Mike and Chris, and to form new friendships with youth and parents from other meetings.

Earthcare Retreat-Summit at Powell House

May 1–3, Earthcare, Eco-Justice, and Inner Transition

Download the Summit flyer.

NYYM's Earthcare Working Group and the Mid-Atlantic Transition Hub (MATH) present a weekend workshop intensive with Pamela Boyce Simms, NYYM Earthcare Working Group, Certified Lead Trainer Transition US, and the Earthcare Working Group Connectors.

 

What are "God and the Earth" calling Quakers to do in the face of unprecedented environmental degradation and exploitation? Friends in New York, Pennsylvania, and around the world are meeting the challenges of the times through resilient local community-building in the Transition movement. In these times of resource depletion, economic instability, and climate change, we have a vision of a world of peace.

In this workshop, Inner Transition, the internal aspect of the shift toward a resilient future provides the spacious container for exploration of that vision, and consideration of the Transition Neighborhoods as a pathway. Thought-provoking discussion and contemplative and interactive activities will explore the intersection of social justice, eco-justice, and earthcare. Participants will cultivate an experiential understanding of inner transition. They will be equipped with practical tools to help their meetings and communities turn the vision of justice and resilience into reality.

Workshop Info: Pamela Boyce Simms, 646-214-8386, transitionmidatlantic.pbs@gmail.com.

Register by April 20: $328/adults; $218/ages 13-22 & commuters; $55 infant-12.  After April 20: $348/$238/$75.

Childcare and Children's Program with three weeks notice.
NOTE: Participants must register with Powell House to ensure space in this weekend retreat. Questions? Please call Sharon at Powell House, 518-794-8811 ext 10.

Seeking Wholeness—FGC Gathering 2015 in Callowhee, NC

July 5–11, Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC: The FGC Gathering starts Sunday July 5 in Cullowhee, NC, with optional pre-Gathering events beginning Friday. Registration starts April 18 and closes June 10, May 31 for children.

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Quaker News

Friends in Shrewsbury celebrate two milestone anniversaries, run advertisement

Quakers in Shrewsbury: 350 years, 200 years

Three hundred fifty years of worshipping together (1665) and 200 years in their current meeting house (1816). Visit their website to see details: www.shrewsburyquakers.org. In conjunction with their celebration, the Meeting ran this ad in local media.

Quaker Social Action—Mexico City

by Chris Japely

In January of this year I was lucky enough to spend nine days in the heart of Mexico City at ‘“Casa de Los Amigos,” a Quaker Center for Peace & International Understanding.’ This wonderful traditional Mexican house has been involved in Quaker action since 1956, an offshoot of Quakers in Mexico dating from the 1860s (when pastoral/evangelical Friends arrived in San Luis Potosi in the north). The Casa was presenting a “Quaker Social Action Learning Tour,” and they had invited interested U.S. Quakers to come and see their various projects, ranging from earth care to housing, feeding, and assisting migrants from Central America to the US, and also deportees and “retornados” from the US.

There were seven of us on the visiting team (from California, New Mexico, Nevada, and New York), and we quickly bonded over meals, meeting for worship, excursions throughout Mexico City, and an overnight trip to a rural eco-village, Vicente Guerrero, in the state of Tlaxcala (where we learned to survey land using a thousand-year-old indigenous method still in use).

Among other activities, the Casa introduced us to the following efforts they partner with Mexico City progressive groups: (1) a weekly artisanal market/barter exchange of home-made goods, (2) an urban garden teaching composting and indigenous plant companion cultivation, (3) a 25-year relationship with a women-run cooperative, Flor De Mazahua, selling shawls, dolls, and other products made by indigenous Mazahua women, (4) Tochan, a migrant shelter providing emergency housing and other services to people traveling north but “stopped” in Mexico City for health or other personal reasons, and needing support. (One resident, for example, had lost a leg on the infamous train that migrants jump on to get part of the way to the US border.) (5) A regular meeting place for Collective SubVersiones, the main independent media group in Mexico City (a dangerous and brave activity for all involved; Mexican journalists are assassinated frequently). (6) Meetings with “Los Otros Dreamers”—people who have been deported from the US or who have voluntarily returned even though they don’t speak Spanish and have lived in the US from infancy.

In addition, the Casa houses refugees from Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Haiti (through UNHCR), and gives them intensive Spanish language classes.

This trip was gloriously busy, upbeat, full of witness of Quaker action of great vitality and generosity, and we also enjoyed wonderful Mexican food, the best of all being three meals by a woman from Vicente Guerrero, the small eco-village. In our small bits of free time we were able to visit a major Mexican museum or two, and we spent one half-day visiting the pyramids at Teotihuacan.

Casa de los Amigos is a wonderful Quaker center to keep in mind for visits (extremely affordable basic accommodations and walking distance to Zocalo, the city center) and future learning tours. It is also the home to the Mexico City Friends Meeting (unprogrammed), and you may very well bump into Friends you know from far-flung places. (I bumped into two Friends I knew, one I’d met in Sweden at Nordic Annual Meeting and the other here at 15th St.) I encourage everyone to consider a visit. Please contact me if you want further information at saintbeuno[at]earthlink.net.

Casa’s website is www.casadelosamigos.org/en/.

Youth Institute Summary Report

March 27-29, 2015
Powell House Conference and Retreat Center

On March 27-29, the Youth Committee in conjunction with the Powell House Youth Directors held it’s first Youth Institute. The objectives of the institute were to provide take-home skills, to broaden and deepen connections among Friends, and to uplift a multigenerational approach to youth programming. These were joyously and wonderfully met over the intense day and a half we were together.

The institute was intentionally held simultaneously with the Friends General Conference Faith and Play training workshop led by Melinda Bradley to make optimal use of the Powell House facilities and to allow for those working with youth to intermingle during meals and free times.   Between the two programs there were 40 participants from 22 monthly meetings and three yearly meetings. Twenty-five percent of the participants were under 25 years old and about 15% were mid-sixties and up. Thirty participants, including all of the younger friends, were in the Youth institute.

Plenary sessions of the youth institute consisted of worship through community building activities and games, intermingled with small group discussions. Friday evening, friends spoke of why they were Quakers, what they experienced in meeting for worship, and at its best, what they experienced in their faith community. They then shared why they wanted children to participate in Quaker meeting and what they hoped children would experience in worship and with their faith community. Saturday morning began by looking at what people need to be whole and then sharing what meetings were doing well for their children. Saturday evening we focused in self-selected small groups on four questions that arose during the day:

  • How do you make the intergenerational activities (worship/religious education/gatherings) work?
  • How can small rural meetings attract folks under 50 and young families? What kinds of outreach to the community can we do that would let folks know who we are and that we exist?
  • Re-thinking our definition of good kids and bad kids. What do they need from us? What can we learn from them?
  • Following a review of the advices and queries around sexuality and teens in three different yearly meeting Faith and Practices, this question arose: Do we encourage teens to explore transient but interesting and satisfying sexual encounters or do we encourage them to reserve sex for committed relationships?

We offered six 90-minute workshops during the day on Saturday:

  • Creativity and Spirituality
  • Spiritual Development in Youth
  • Using Games in Spiritual Work
  • Teens and Quakerism Today
  • Exploring Sex and Gender Issues
  • Service/Learning Projects: Identifying and Leading

The workshops were facilitated by Friends from around New York Yearly Meeting with significant experience in working with youth (or being youth). They were highly interactive and experiential, raising many good questions and forging strong bonds between participants. Additionally, there were a number of resource lists and informational materials prepared and disseminated.

Sunday Morning we looked at next steps, specifically around future youth institutes. Participants completed a survey to identify potential topics, formats, and locales. The youth committee will use this information to help design future events. Click the following to download a list of Suggested Topics for Future Youth Institutes.

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Staff Travel Calendars

 

ARCH Coordinator, Callie Janoff

July 19–25 NYYM Summer Sessions, Silver Bay, NY
October 31–November 1 ARCH Visitor Training, Ocean Grove, NJ

 

ARCH Coordinator, Anita Paul

July 5–11 FGC Gathering: Quaker Values and End-of-Life Decisions
July 19–26 NYYM Summer Sessions, Silver Bay, NY

 

ARCH Coordinator, Barbara K Spring

April 24–26 Life Story Festival
May 15–16 Being Mortal workshop
May 31 Butternuts Quarterly Meeting, facilitating Life Stories Workshop
June 20 New Jersey ARCH Visitor Enrichment Day
July 5–11 FGC Gathering: Quaker Values and End-of-Life Decisions

 

Associate Secretary, Helen Garay Toppins

April 10–12 Attend Spring Sessions, Oakwood School, Poughkeepsie, NY
April 25 Attend called meeting on Quaker Charities, Manhasset Meeting, Manhasset, NY
April 26

Attend Quaker prison worship group's reunion, Morningside Meeting, New York, NY
    PM: Attend Peace & Planet Festival, Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, New York, NY

May 3 Meeting for worship, Manhattan Meeting, New York, NY
May 17

Worship at Brooklyn Meeting in the morning
Hibakusha—atomic bomb survivors—at Brooklyn Meeting in the evening

May 23 Memorial meeting for Nancy Sorel, 15th Street Meeting, New York, NY
May 30 Protestant Day event — Woodbourne Prison, Woodbourne, NY
June 5–7 Co-facilitator, Growing the Blessed Community: A Weekend for Small Meetings and Worship Groups
June 9 Women's Worship Sharing, 15th Street Meeting, New York, NY
June 21 Quaker Worship Group, Woodbourne Prison, Woodbourne, NY

 

General Secretary, Christopher Sammond

April 10–12 Attend Spring Sessions, Oakwood Friends School, Poughkeepsie, NY
April 17–20 Support NYYM/NEYM Pastors Retreat, Powell House, Old Chatham, NY
April 23–25 Clerk North American Ministries Meeting, Atttend FUM General Board Meetings, Richmond, IN
May 8–10 Facilitate retreat for Easton Meeting, Greenwich, NY
May 11 Meet with NY State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) Assistant Commissioner, Albany, NY
May 15–17 Attend Farmington-Scipio Regional Meeting Spring Gathering, Painted Post, NY
May 22–25 Help facilitate FUM's Stoking the Fire gathering, Cincinnati, OH
June 1 Facilitate Spiritual Nurture Retreat, Auburn Prison Preparative Meeting, Auburn, NY
June 6 Attend Extended Worship, Perry City Meeting, Perry City, NY