InfoShare, February 2012

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InfoShare
Volume 11 February 2012 Number 1
Editor: Paul Busby

Contents

Witness Coordinating Wants to Hear from You

In an effort to respond to the needs of monthly meetings, the NYYM Witness Coordinating Committee would like to hear about your meeting’s peace concerns and social justice activities and interests.

We would also like to know if anyone in your meeting carries a special interest for Latin American concerns.

Please respond to office [at] nyym.org by March 1.

Pendle Hill Seeks Director of Finance and HR

Pendle Hill, a Quaker center for study and contemplation in Wallingford, PA, is looking for a director of finance and human resources (HR) to be responsible for the compilation, analysis and presentation of Pendle Hill financial information. This full-time position reports to the executive director and supervises the accounting and human resources specialist, the grounds manager, the facilities manager, and the IT & communications manager.

Full details are at http://bit.ly/zzpvSl.

To apply, please submit a current résumé, contact information for three references, and a cover letter describing your interest to Sandy Horne at Pendle Hill, 338 Plush Mill Rd., Wallingford, PA 19086, or shorne [at] pendlehill.org. (Please put the job title of the position for which you are applying and your last name in the subject line.)

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A Ministry of Prayer and Learning
Devoted to the School of the Spirit

Testing the Waters, a one-day retreat
February 11, 2012
Richmond Friends Meeting, VA

Are you interested in learning more about the On Being a Spiritual Nurturer program of the School of the Spirit Ministry? The next class of the two-year program begins in September; application deadline is May 25. A one-day retreat, Testing the Waters, provides an opportunity to meet the core teachers and former graduates and to enter into discernment with others. Please join us at Richmond Friends Meeting, Virginia, Saturday, February 11, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Detailed information about the Spiritual Nurturer program is available online at http://bit.ly/AamwUM.

Nominal fee of $20 in advance; $25 at the door covers expenses. A light lunch will be served. Scholarships available. Advance online registration at http://bit.ly/wgO20D is encouraged, but not required.

Other day-long Testing the Waters retreats dates and locations:
Feb. 25 at Wellesley Friends, MA
Mar. 31 at Gwynedd Friends, PA
Apr. 15 at Central Philadelphia Friends, PA (information session only, 12:30–2 p.m.)
Apr. 28 at Red Cedar Friends, Lansing, MI

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Clerking Weekend at Powell House

February 24–26, 2012

Topics include:

  • The fundamentals  of a Quaker meeting for business
  • What is a “sense of the meeting” and how is it different from consensus?
  • What is the meaning of “unity?”
  • “Standing in the way,” and how can we think about it?
  • Techniques of “good” clerking
  • Dealing with difficult situations

The facilitator, Arthur Larrabee, is a lifelong Friend and presently serves as general secretary of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting.

To register: http://bit.ly/xUAABh; by phone, 518-794-8811, ex 10; or sharon [at] powellhouse.org.

By February 10: $220 adults; $110 ages 13–22 and commuters; $55 infants thru 12
After February 10: $240/$120/$60

Children’s program and childcare available with three weeks’ notice.


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Register for Meeting for Discernment

March 3, 2012
Ithaca Meetinghouse

The next Meeting for Discernment will take place at the Ithaca meetinghouse on Saturday, March 3, 2012, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., hosted by Ithaca Meeting. (Alternate date in case of bad weather: Saturday, March 17, at same time & place.)

In Meetings for Discernment the Yearly Meeting gathers for extended worship without the weight of an agenda for business. Because Meetings for Discernment offer an occasion for the Yearly Meeting community to hear what is rising up among us, monthly meetings and worship groups are asked to appoint at least one person to participate. By meeting this way in the fullness of our community, we hear that which might not be heard in the midst of committees and attending to business.

This Meeting for Discernment will focus on the following query.

How are we living out a faithful response to God's leading in community? How are we being faithful inwardly & outwardly? How have connections beyond our meetings brought opportunities for deeper faithfulness?

Full information is online at http://bit.ly/vZPmLM.

For a registration form go to http://bit.ly/veDqzD or request a form from Bronwyn Mohlke, BJQMohlke [at] gmail.com 607-220-3219, or call the NYYM office at 212-673-5750.

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Quakers are Alive & Well in Bedford Stuyvesant!

Everyone is invited to join us at the Bedford Stuyvesant Worship Group, Sundays, February 26 and March 25, from 3 to 5 p.m., at Restoration Plaza, 1368 Fulton Street, Brooklyn, NY 11216.

This worship group is sponsored by the NYYM Black Concerns Committee.

Bayard Rustin Centennial Events

2012 is the centennial of Bayard Rustin’s birthday. We invite your meeting to join us in commemorating the life and reinvigorating the vision of a renowned former member of New York Yearly Meeting.

The NYYM Black Concerns Committee has posted a brief biography of Bayard, a press release for I Must Resist: Bayard Rustin’s Life in Letters, and a reading/resource list for your meeting’s discussion groups and First Day school activities.

Author events with Michael Long, author of I Must Resist, will be held at 15th Street Meeting on March 15 at 7:00 p.m., and at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, 515 Malcolm X Boulevard, New York, NY 10037, on March 21 at 7:00 p.m.

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AVP at Purchase Meetinghouse

March 23–25, 2012

Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) is offering a Basic workshop at Purchase meetinghouse March 23–25. The workshop will cover basic conflict-transformation skills including building affirmation and self-esteem, improved communication and listening skills, developing cooperation and teamwork, and creative conflict resolution.

The workshop schedule will be Friday 7:00 to 10:00 p.m., Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., and Sunday 1:30 to 8:30 p.m. Three meals will be provided, including Saturday lunch and supper and Sunday supper. The fee for the workshop is $125 to $40, depending on income. The workshop is limited to 20 participants. To reserve your space contact Beth Morrison, 914-762-2856 or bethbmorrison [at] gmail.com.


Christopher Sammond’s Travel Calendar

February 1–March 31, 2012

February
7–13 Vacation
18 Meet with Advancement Consultation Planning Group, Chatham, NJ
19 Visit Dover-Randolph Monthly Meeting, Dover, NJ
24–26 Participate in the Spiritual Nurture Working Group retreat, Ticonderoga, NY
 
March
2–3 Support Meeting for Discernment, Ithaca, NY
9–11 Participate in the Priorities Working Group, Matinecock MM, Locust Valley, NY, or NYC
16–17 Facilitate retreat for Ithaca MM, “Opening to the Heart of Worship,” Ithaca, NY
19–22 Cofacilitate NYYM/NEYM Pastors Retreat, Powell House, Old Chatham, NY

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Friends Conference on Religion and Psychology

The Friends Conference on Religion and Psychology will meet this year on Memorial Day Weekend, May 25–28, 2012, at Lebanon Valley College, Annville, PA. The plenary speaker will be Barbara Goodrich-Dunn, on the topic “The Inseparable Body and Soul: Complexes, Dreams, and Shadow.”Small interest groups available for more personal and deeper exploration of the topic. For further information and registration: http://fcrp.quaker.org.

AFSC logo

Quaker United Nations Summer School

July 1–13, 2012, Geneva

QUNO logo

For people with an active interest in international affairs:

  • Would you like to study the UN at first hand?
  • Do you want to meet people from all over the world?
  • Are you age 20 to 26?

The Quaker UN Summer School aims to provide an introduction to the work of the United Nations.

Application packs available from www.quaker.org.uk or from  Helen Bradford (QUNSS),  QPSW,  Friends House,  Euston Rd.,  London, NW1 2BJ; helenb [at] quaker.org.uk. A direct link to the application documents is http://bit.ly/A33y70.

Deadline for applications is March 12, 2012.

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Employment at Woolman-Sierra Center (Calif.)

Working at Woolman is a major lifestyle choice. To commit to community living, to have one's life and work intertwined, to live in a rural setting, and to take a modest salary, all require a high level of dedication. Above all other qualifications, we are looking for people who will thrive here.

If you are interested in interning at Woolman, you can find out more at http://woolman.org/internships. Specific URLs for openings:

Internships
Dairy Farm Internship,  http://bit.ly/AfTEs6.

Community Internship, beginning August 6, 2012, http://bit.ly/y9fqrs.

Summer Camp
Woolman Teen Leadership Camp Director, beginning June 18, 2012, http://bit.ly/ws1dBT.

Woolman Camps Trip Manager,  beginning June 22, 2012, http://bit.ly/yOgD5Z.

Woolman Camps Activity Director, beginning June 22, 2012, http://bit.ly/wUSEvC.

Camp Counselor, beginning June 23, 2012, http://bit.ly/AfvrMD.

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Young Friends in Residence Intern Openings

Start date September 1, 2012

Young Friends in Residence (YFIR) is looking for interns, who will live in intentional community with one or two other interns. Work includes developing youth and adult programs focused on creating a space for friends of all ages to experience, live in, and respond to Spirit. Interns are encouraged to immerse themselves in the local community and participate in the life of Perry City Monthly Meeting and the wider Quaker community. An openness to grow and deepen spiritually is required, as is experience in Quaker practices. Small monthly stipend ($250) plus room, board, and travel expenses.

For more information, including a job description and application, please contact Chris DeRoller at 518-794-8811 or e-mail YFIRwg [at] gmail.com.

To read about what previous interns have done visit their blog at http://youngfriendsinresidence.blogspot.com/.

Young Friends in Residence is a collaborative program between New York Yearly Meeting and Perry City Monthly Meeting, with significant support from Farmington-Scipio Regional Meeting.

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A Message from World Ministries Committee

World Ministries Committee (WMC) would like Friends throughout NYYM to consider our mission when they are involved in projects where the ministry of Quaker love is making a difference anywhere in the wider world. Not all Friends may be familiar with our mission, so the following description is to encourage submissions of grant proposals if we can be of some assistance.

We are funded by bequests and also receive money from the Sharing Fund. Given the funds at its disposal, the committee encourages applications from NYYM that describe how a small amount of money can make a difference.

Persons or organizations applying for funds should write to us with a sense of ministry, that is, with a vision of what is to be done and how it will be accomplished while spreading the Quaker message of love and peace. Grants are limited to members of NYYM or, alternatively, the vision should be shared and endorsed by a meeting or organization within NYYM.

In considering the applications, WMC will focus on whether the proposed work is ministry and whether it is in the wider world. From time to time we do give grants for administration and also we do fund projects in some areas of the US, although not often.

Applications should be by letter, preferably electronic, to the WMC clerk and should say specifically for what the funds are needed. Each application should designate a NYYM Friend as the main contact person for the project, and this person must accept responsibility for stewardship of any funds granted to the project. If funds are granted, a report is due in about nine months with an update on the project.

WMC meets two to three times per year via teleconference, and applications are accepted throughout the year. To learn more, or to submit a grant, please contact the WMC clerk, Sue Weisfeld, at: sweisfeld [at] juno.com.

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Quaker House on Cape Cod

Quaker House on Cape Cod, a quiet setting for retreats, workshops, family gatherings, and traveling Friends, invites you to consider Quaker House when planning retreats, week-end workshops, or other Quaker programs.

Reasonable rates for individuals or groups. Available September through May.

Within easy walking distance

  • public beach
  • boat launch
  • 15-mile bicycle path (from Falmouth to Woods Hole)
  • hiking trails
  • convenience store
  • ATM
  • library (with Wi-Fi connection)
  • post office
  • quiet & peaceful surroundings
  • historic Quaker meetinghouse next door

Quaker House is at 572 W. Falmouth Hwy. (Hwy. 28A), West Falmouth, MA. Bus service is available from Boston and Providence, RI. For further information please contact: Anita Thacker, 508-563-7112.

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Monteverde Friends School Accepting Applications

Monteverde Friends School (MFS) in Costa Rica is now accepting applications for international students in grades 10–12.

Grounded in the values of integrity, truth, community, and peace, MFS provides a challenging academic environment in an atmosphere of love and respect for our students, staff, and community. The school strives to lay a foundation of solid intellect, pursuing truth and developing the values necessary to contribute to a peaceful and just society.

Nestled high in the cloud forest of Costa Rica, during its 60 years the school has successfully grown to more than 100 students who represent Quaker, Costa Rican, and international communities.

MFS offers

  • Education guided by Quaker values
  • Strong bilingual curriculum
  • Small classes in Spanish as a Second Language
  • High academic standards and caring individual support
  • Quality education with transferable credits
  • Rich cultural immersion in a Costa Rican homestay
  • Many opportunities to make lasting friendships
  • Living in the midst of a pristine cloud forest and wildlife
  • Engaging opportunities for growth

Find out more at www.mfschool.org. For a student application package and with any questions, e-mail directormfschool [at] gmail.com.

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From Ramallah International Friends Center

We Enter 2012 Expectantly...

From the program coordinator:
It’s a new year. What will this year bring for all of us? Endings and beginnings are always a time to reflect—a time to reflect on what was, what may be, the role each of us played in what happened and what did not happen this past year, and what each of us can do to play a constructive role for positive change in the future.

Last year was a year of many changes and upheavals worldwide. Natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes, earthquakes have devastated parts of many countries around the world. Human-made disasters have also affected many countries around the world. The Arab world witnessed many changes and unrest. The verdict is still out as to whether these changes will take the people in a positive direction so they can enjoy their human rights and equality or whether these changes will lead the people into more misery and oppression.

Palestine witnessed many changes too—some changes were positive and some were not welcomed by the people. So much of Palestinian land continued to be confiscated by the Israeli authorities. Palestinian homes continued to be demolished in order to build new settlement housing in all of the West Bank, especially in East Jerusalem. Confiscation of land, destruction of homes, burning of trees, arrests, all continue to dominate the life of Palestinians living in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, while the people in the Gaza Strip remain under Israeli siege.

To continue reading, and for links to articles about Palestine, go to http://bit.ly/zxu7wC.

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Report from Quaker Earthcare Witness Gathering

October 21–23, 2011, at Cenacle Retreat Center in Chicago

Amy Savage (Syracuse Meeting), NYYM representative to QEW

I found it very heartening to meet and share ideas and worship with other Friends involved with Earthcare at the Quaker Earthcare Witness (QEW) gathering in Chicago last October. Though we are facing great changes, most of them negative, we have faith. Only in community will we be able to live together in love as the world changes, and hopefully do our best to stall some of the negative changes.

Sometimes I feel pessimistic about the future because of the “gloom and doom” of biodiversity loss, rising temperatures, flooding, and the unethical food systems that we see in the US, among other things. It is certainly looking very difficult out there. But I know that Friends have faced great challenges before, together, and we will do so again. At the QEW gathering, one speaker explained that global hunger is a problem and there is much food wasted in the US (in addition to many other problems with Big Ag; for example, monocultures, concentrated animal-feeding operations, etc.). It is important that we continue to respond to these problems by choosing ethical food options, by encouraging composting, and by not eating obesogenic foods.

During the weekend we visited one of the Chicago farmers’ markets, where visions of colorful gourds filled our spirits and homemade pastries filled our bellies. Also during the weekend, a speaker shared with us the positive changes brought about by the Chicago Wilderness program, protecting lands, restoring habitat, and bringing children into the parks. This was very encouraging. I know that for me, my direct experience of nature in childhood caused me to care so deeply about Mother Earth today.

Friends also reminded each other of the abolitionists who came before us. We still have vestiges of slavery in the US, but we have come a long way since the mid-19th century. There were Friends who enslaved people and there were Friends who ran stations on the Underground Railroad. Friends were sometimes divided, and many abolitionists did not live to see the end of slavery. But those who knew in their hearts (against the ethical code of the day) that it was wrong to own people did their best to end slavery even if they could see no end to it in their lifetimes. Many were willing to boycott products, like sugar, that were critical facets of the economic system based on slavery. As slavery was the engine of the economy then, now it seems to be cheap labor in other countries and resource extraction—primarily fossil fuels.

This is when I draw on George Fox’s words, “Wear thy sword as long as thou canst.” Those of us who have put down our swords can encourage others, verbally, spiritually, and physically, to put down our collective swords. We don’t have much time (at all) to start putting down our swords! We want to be in right relationship.

It is important not to give up hope but to treat Earth as you would a loved one. If you know that eventually a family member will pass away, you will still love and care for him/her every day. Even though Earth is suffering, we should not assume all is lost and thereby abandon love and care for Earth. Every day we must be mindful and work the good work to protect our natural world.

We must also have faith, like the abolitionists, and make changes in our lives and share those changes with others. John Woolman shared his experiences and life-changes with individual Friends and with Meetings. So don’t hide your Light under a bushel, Friends! If you have a garden, invite some Friends to come see it and have them taste a tempting carrot! If you have stopped eating meat, share your joy by sharing a vegetarian meal. If you have started riding your bike, ride it to Meeting and encourage others who can to join you. It is important that we be joyful and welcoming (and sometimes charming or even sexy!) in this process. We are not making sacrifices; rather we are loving Mother Earth and liberating ourselves from unethical and evil practices.

Have our Meetings organized carpooling? Do our Meetings try to have vegetarian and/or local-food potlucks? Do our Meetings compost food wastes? Have we made efforts to green our meetinghouses? Have a Meeting vegetable garden? I believe these questions are important. I also know that it sometimes takes a change of heart, a lot of volunteer time (and sometimes some fundraising!) to get things going. But if we have a vision, we can move toward it!

Different Friends in QEW are organizing a youth activist environmental training, working with Costa Ricans to sustain small farm agriculture, helping Meetings get mini-grants for sustainable projects, and working on repudiating the Doctrine of Discovery before the UN. These are all wonderful projects.

I was reminded again at the QEW gathering that many Friends wear many “hats” and can be overwhelmed by responsibilities. When the Meeting has few members and is growing tired, perhaps you don’t need to start a new project there, but can join up with Greenpeace or 350.org or Tar Sands Action or another group that has more members and established projects. And don’t be afraid to share with these other groups that you’re a Quaker!

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