InfoShare, October 2010


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
InfoShare
Volume 9 October 2010 Number 5
Editor: Paul Busby

Contents


Report on Budget Saturday

Sandra Beer, clerk, NYYM Financial Services Committee

On October 2, 2010, the New York Yearly Meeting Financial Services Committee convened Budget Saturday at Purchase Monthly Meeting.

Clerk Sandra Beer reported that, based on indications received from about half of the monthly meetings, 2011 revenue will be at approximately the same level as for 2010. Those assembled therefore considered (a) what programs should be maintained if income is about even and (b) what programs could be enlarged, reinstated, or initiated if more revenue were realized. The Committee hopes to have information about planned 2011 covenant donations from all monthly meetings in time to submit a recommended budget at Fall Sessions, November 12–14.

Budget Saturday this year was marked by goodwill, curiosity, learning, and mutual support. The “flat” draft budget proposed by the Committee was prayerfully considered, and after minor changes, both the projected expense level and the various allocations among the committees and programs of the Yearly Meeting met with the approval of those present.

Attaining a “flat” expense budget, however, required trimming certain highly valued programs and activities. Therefore, the assembled group considered the priorities of programs that had been cut or curtailed but that could be restored in the event that projected covenant donations and other revenue will support work beyond the “flat” budget.

The first two activities that would be reinstated with these additional funds would be support for Yearly Meeting representatives to other organizations and support for the Young Friends in Residence program.

The next group of programs to receive support with additional contributions would be to restore NYYM member donations to FGC, FUM, and FWCC to the 2010 level; a slight increase in the Yearly Meeting’s support for Powell House; and additional work grants and scholarships to permit attendance at Summer Sessions.

Restoring support to Oakwood School and other organizations, such as AVP and Right Sharing of World Resources, to the 2010 level and funding a workshop in conflict transformation for representatives from monthly meetings would be the third priority.

The body assembled shared a faith-led hope that monthly meetings and individual Friends might see the extraordinary value in the Yearly Meeting’s activities, and be challenged to contribute generously in their support. It was clear to all that it is urgent that meetings not yet indicating their 2011 donations do so as soon as possible, so that make a decision on a proposed 2011 budget at Fall Sessions can that is based on good information as well as infused by the Spirit.

Covenant donation information, concerns, or questions may be directed to the Committee clerk, Sandra Beer, beer [at] igc.org or 518-392-1971.

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Clerks Gathering

Saturday, October 30, 2010
Oakwood Friends School
Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

Heather Cook, clerk, NYYM

From profound spiritual growth to practical nuts-and-bolts skills building, clerking brings challenges and joys that are sometimes far outside our expectations. In your service as clerk of a meeting or committee, whether in your monthly, regional, or yearly meeting, what has surprised, baffled, changed you? Do you have questions and want information?

The clerk of the Yearly Meeting invites all clerks to gather to share experiences of spiritual growth, best practices in clerking, and questions, Saturday, October 30, in the Upper Library of Oakwood Friends School in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

We will start at 9:30 a.m. with fellowship and continental breakfast, settling into worship at 10:00 a.m. Lunch will be available for $5 (please bring cash or check), or you are welcome to bring a brown-bag lunch. We will finish by 4:00 p.m. Limited overnight hospitality will be available with a minimum two weeks’ notice (more is better!).

Please e-mail the Yearly Meeting clerk at clerk [at] nyym.org about your intention to participate, to help the planning. Please include whether you would like the following:

  • a school lunch
  • to be picked up or taken to the train station (please include the time of the train’s arrival or departure)
  • a bed on Friday and/or Saturday night.

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Inviting Youthful Friends to Fall Sessions!

November 12–14, 2010
Flushing Meeting and Flushing High School
Flushing (Queens), N.Y.

Fall Sessions information is here.

Fall Sessions will include programs for two age groups, 6–11 and 12–18, that combine fellowship, fun, games, and worship.

Age 6–11: All youth ages 6–11 are welcome and encouraged to participate in the day-long program for their age group on Saturday, November 13. Facilitators Natalie Braun, Mia Kissil Hewitt, Mark LaRiviere, and Katherine Wood have some fun activities planned for that day, including arts and crafts, games, community building, and other surprises.

We’re especially pleased to announce that Mark LaRiviere, a known and respected painter in the art world, will share some of his joy/knowledge/ experience as an artist by doing an art project with us.

Please complete the registration form (in Sept. Spark or on the Web site) as soon as possible so that we know you are coming and can plan accordingly! As a reminder, this program is taking place on Saturday only, and all kids will be housed with their parents on both Friday and Saturday nights.

Opportunities for  12–18 year group will also include two overnights in the 316-year-old Flushing meetinghouse, a community-service project, and participation in committee and business session meetings.
So far, adult and younger Friends facilitating this group are Margaret Lew, Sam and Gabe Obermayer, Noah Pomerselig, Peter Close, Mike Clark, Franklin Crump.

If you have questions please contact Margaret Lew, mlew1022 [at] aol.com; 917 539 6338 or Peter Close, woolmanj [at] aol.com; 203-861-0264.

Medical and contact form is here.

Schedule for the Youth Program for Ages 12 –18 at Fall Sessions will roughly be:

Friday night:
5:30–7:00: Arrive at Flushing meetinghouse with sleeping bags, etc. Potluck dinner with all ages.
7:00 on: Introductions, community building games,

Saturday morning:
Breakfast at the meetinghouse (just our group)
Service projects (to be determined) and/or a mini AVP (Alternatives to Violence) workshop.

Saturday Lunch, afternoon and dinner–we will join the rest of Fall Sessions at Flushing High School (1–2 blocks from the Meetinghouse) for lunch and committee meetings.

Saturday Evening: Some may choose to remain at the high school for Nurture Coordinating Committee and some may choose to return to the meetinghouse for evening activities and a possible baking project, joined later by those attending Nurture CC.

Sunday Morning:
All Fall Sessions events, breakfast, and lunch will be at the meetinghouse. We will join the adult sessions from 8:30–10:00 and then have a youth business meeting from 10–12, followed by lunch.

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Building Vital, Vibrant Regional Meetings

Friday, November 12, 2010
Flushing Monthly Meeting

Heather Cook, clerk, NYYM

Do you carry a concern about the vitality of our regional, quarterly, and half-yearly meetings? What do we have to share and learn about each other’s regional structure and distinctive character? Do you wonder if others are more vital, or want to see why another does and doesn’t do some things? How do the monthly meetings relate to and support each other with or without the benefit of much regional organization? What do you want more of in your region? How does your region serve monthly meetings and worship groups in useful ways?

If any of these queries speaks to you, or if you have related ones, you are invited by the Yearly Meeting clerk, Heather Cook (All Friends Regional Meeting), worshipfully to consider these and other questions on the Friday of Fall Sessions, at Flushing Meeting, from 5:30–8:00 p.m. This gathering will be an opportunity to start this conversation and to see if there is interest and energy in continuing at another time. Please bring food to share.

Please e-mail the Yearly Meeting clerk at clerk [at] nyym.org about your intention to participate, to help the planning.

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Opportunity to Consult with ARCH Visitors

Barbara Spring and Anita Paul, ARCH Coordinators/Visitors

Aging Resources Consultation and Help (ARCH) Visitors are available to assist Friends with issues concerning seniors and people with disabilities. Fall Sessions will offer informal opportunities for folks to consult with us about these concerns. We invite you to reflect whether there is something that you'd like to talk about at Fall Sessions, whether briefly in passing or for extended periods. We could even schedule a time to meet. We enjoy these opportunities. It is also a good time to ask about scheduling a workshop for your meeting or to inquire about upcoming training and workshop events.

Contact Anita Paul, anitalouisepaul [at] juno.com, or Barbara Spring, barbarakspring4 [at] msn.com.

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Contra Dance at Brooklyn Meeting

After the closing worship at Fall Sessions, Brooklyn Meeting will host a Contra Dance Sunday, November 14, 2010, from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. Cost is $10 for adults and $5 for kids, to defray expenses.

The meetinghouse is at 112 Schermerhorn St. (corner Boerum Place) in Brooklyn.

Band: The Honey Tones; caller: Chart Guthrie

For further information call 917-843-2535.

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Christopher Sammond’s Travel Calendar

October
1–2 Attend Budget Saturday, Purchase MM, Purchase, NY
7 Meet with 15th Street MM Pastoral Care Committee, 15th Street MM, New York, NY
8–10 Help Lead Nightingales singing weekend, Mohawk Valley MM, Clinton, NY
14–16 Attend FUM Board meetings, Richmond Indiana
19–21 Support NYYM/NEYM Pastors Retreat, Weekapaug, RI
 
November
6 Visit Woodbourne Prison Worship Group
12–14 Attend Fall Sessions, Flushing MM, Flushing, NY
27 Visit Auburn Prison Worship Group

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Reflections on Christopher Sammond’s Brooklyn Visit

Jim Morgan, Brooklyn Meeting

On the weekend of September17–19, 2010, Christopher Sammond brought a remarkable mirror to Brooklyn Meeting. It wasn’t a looking glass in which we saw reflected the large, vital, and attractive congregation we like to think is ours. No, it was a metaphysical mirror; he brought us a powerful catalyst for looking deeply inward.

When, in small groups, we held this mirror up to ourselves, it enabled us to see and articulate our spiritual condition.

Four or five times during the weekend Christopher skillfully maneuvered us into emotionally intimate conversation with one or two others of those present—usually folks we’ve known for years but with whom we’ve never meaningfully engaged—in such a way that deep, sometimes unsettling perceptions emerged.

Especially concerning self/other prejudices, he made it possible for many of us to open doors, speaking in trust to our companion(s) of that moment, that seemed liberating and even transformative. Sadly, it was one of those occasions when, if you weren’t present, it’s almost impossible afterward to convey the joy and beauty of what occurred. How I wish that we might re-create Christopher’s mirror to share its potency with all of you.

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Carolyn W. Mallison, 1924–2010
Memorial Meeting and Celebration

Saturday, November 20, 2010, 1:00–7:00 p.m.
at the Foundation of Light
391 Turkey Hill Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850
www.foundation-of-light.org/

Details and an RSVP request can be found at https://sites.google.com/site/carolynsmemorial/.

Carolyn’s favorite charity was Tompkins County SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), 1640 Hanshaw Rd., Ithaca, NY 14850, www.spcaonline.com/.

We will also have a Remembrance Circle sometime during Summer Sessions at Silver Bay, July 17–23, 2011.

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Pendle Hill Seeks Information & Registration Associate

The Pendle Hill information and registration associate registers participants for the educational programs and for sojourn stays, as well as providing the primary contact support for most Pendle Hill constituencies. The means of contact are telephone, e-mail, Web site, postal mail, and face-to-face communication. The position provides for the maintenance of phone coverage, as well as welcoming visitors.

This is a full-time, non-exempt position. All staff at Pendle Hill spend a few work hours each week contributing to the community through meal time, housekeeping, or maintenance work.

Further information is at www.pendlehill.org/employment.
Interested? 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 Road, Wallingford, PA 19086 or shorne [at] pendlehill.org.

Please mention in your cover letter how you heard of this opportunity.

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FGC Seeks Communications Intern

Friends General Conference (FGC) is working to transform all external communications to become more participatory and oriented around our constituencies. FGC seeks a creative, well-organized individual familiar with writing for the Web to assist us in this new work. This position offers an opportunity to participate in building a new, visionary program to support the Quaker meetings and Friends we serve. To see the full job description, go to www.fgcquaker.org/about-us/employment-internships.

To apply, send a letter via e-mail describing your interest in the job, a current résumé, and three references to Lucy Duncan at lucyd [at] fgcquaker.org by October 25, 2010. As we are a faith based organization, letters which describe your motivation or leading to apply for this position will be considered more seriously. Please no phone calls.

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FWCC Seeks Executive Secretary

Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC) Section of the Americas seeks a Friend for appointment as executive secretary beginning May 1, 2011. The Section's executive secretary is the spiritual and practical leader of the organization in collaboration with the Executive Committee. She or he facilitates and supports the governance of this Quaker organization. He or she, with the Executive Committee, develops, focuses, and implements the organization's vision, while anticipating the future and being open to and facilitating strategic planning and needed changes.

As the chief administrative officer, the executive secretary is responsible for employing, managing, and supervising the staff, budgeting, financial administration, fundraising, outreach, and interpretation. The person works with other FWCC offices and sections around the world and relates to yearly meetings and Quaker organizations in the Americas.

See http://fwccamericas.org/about_us/images/search_ENG.pdf for qualifications and abilities and http://fwccamericas.org/about_us/images/apply_process.pdf for information about the application process.

Application deadline: December 1, 2010
Starting date: May 1, 2011
For further information contact Ann Stever, fwccsearch [at] aol.com, clerk of the Search Committee.

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FWCC Global Change Clusters

Is there a distinctively Quaker response to global change? What do Friends in your monthly meeting or region have to say bout this?

Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC) will sponsor a Global Change Consultation in late 2011, focused on discerning what message Friends have to offer to each other and to the world. Can Friends as a body formulate a testimony that starts from the abundance of God’s love, rather than from fear, on which action can be based? Friends are invited to hold local “cluster meetings” to worshipfully consider and discern your views and vision. FWCC has provided six queries for consideration. Formats of clusters may vary. Cluster outcomes will be deepened and integrated by a Listening Committee, then forwarded to the Consultation, which will include Friends of all traditions and regions, as well as theologians and experts in various fields. The Consultation will strive to unite on a document to be submitted to the World Conference of Friends in Kenya in 2012.

For more information, see www.fwccglobalchange.org, or contact Judy Inskeep, inskeeps4peace [at] verizon.net; 215-283-7255.

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FUM Chain of Prayer

January 1 through Pentecost Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sign up for your meeting’s day in the Chain of Prayer. Make it a priority to pray for the ministries of your own meeting, another FUM meeting that we partner you with, and those of Friends United Meeting. Prayer is one way we can partner with God in transforming lives.

This year for Chain of Prayer, we challenge you to think about Transforming Lives. What does that phrase mean to you? How are you conforming, and how are you being transformed? Is your life a Living Witness to the power of God that transforms lives? Do you know how you can transform lives around the world through Friends United Meeting?

May the next several months be a time of discovering how you can respond to the Great Commission by “going into all the world” (Mark 16:15) to be God’s hands and feet in transforming lives.

Contact Kim Schull at kims [at] fum.org or call 765-962-7573 for more information on FUM Sunday and Chain of Prayer. Also, visit www.fum.org for resources and information.

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Fair Trade—It’s More Than Coffee And Chocolate!

Kristen Richardson, Chatham-Summit Meeting

On October 3, Chatham-Summit Monthly Meeting had a special hospitality hour featuring fair-trade items, particularly olive oil from Palestine sourced through Zatoun, a Canadian organization supporting livelihood and peace programs in Palestine (see www.zatoun.com).

The special hospitality hour, supported by the Hospitality and Peace & Social Action Committees, featured Middle Eastern snack food and the opportunity to taste the olive oil and za’atar (a yummy thyme-based herb blend).

Educational literature provided by Zatoun was available, as were samples of the olive-oil soap also sold online.

The oil is available only by the case (12 bottles), so it’s helpful to make a group purchase. There were more buyers than bottles, so the Meeting will likely order another case before the holidays. This is good oil and gives us a chance to truly put our money where our mouths are. You’ve heard of values-voting; this is values-eating!

When you order from Aatoun, you can order just a case of oil, or the “peace package,” which in addition to the oil includes the soap samples, za’atar blend, and literature. They also include an audio CD, Zatoun: A Life Story, but everyone was so busy scarfing down the goodies, it never got played.

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Earthcare Suggestions

Patricia Chernoff, clerk, NYYM Earthcare Working Group

Two beautiful afternoons while Summer Sessions were in progress, a number of us with a concern for earthcare gathered in a tent near the Inn overlooking Lake George to share what we are doing in our meetings and individually to respond to this concern for the earth. Many exciting ideas and actions came forth in our discussion. I would like to share some of the ideas I was able to record. I learned a lot about what is going on in NYYM!

  • Avoid plastic whenever possible. Recycling is good, but plastic can be used only a limited number of times and then goes into the waste stream. Try not to purchase items that are packaged in plastic and products that have excessive packaging. This is difficult, but the Europeans have made much progress in this area.
  • Recycle or reuse hangers.
  • Return ink cartridges to manufacturers.
  • Encourage municipalities to calculate tonnage of recycling per person.
  • Have a clothing swap to discourage clothes shopping.
  • Raise money for meeting concerns with a silent auction.
  • Consume less; think about needs, not wants.
  • Hold meetings for worship outdoors.
  • Study John Woolman.
  • Publish articles on Earthcare in your meeting newsletter.
  • Arrange for a presentation of the Awakening the Dreamer Symposium in your meeting or at Powell House. Contact Keith Voos (New Brunswick Meeting), keithvoos [at] aol.com; 732-951-9154.
  • Create an ecospirituality group in your meeting.
  • Quakers know how to do nonviolent actions. We should educate members of our communities to do nonviolent actions for the earth.
  • Visit 350.org to learn about earthcare actions of 10/10/10. New York City Friends took the train to Manitou, a small stop 45 miles north of the city on the Metro North train line. We hiked the Appalachian Trail for the day and did a cleanup, had lunch at a rocky outcropping overlooking the Hudson, did some worship sharing, and took the train back to the city in the late afternoon.

First Day School Ideas:

  • Build bat houses, birdhouses, bird feeders.
  • Show Annie Leonard’s short film Story of Stuff, which can be downloaded by going to storyofstuff.org. She also has a number of videos at youtube.com.

Other Resources:

At Friday dinner a group of us gathered to talk about how we can stay connected this year. We spoke about starting a blog for writing about what we are doing individually and in our meetings. We would also like to speak by conference calls to save on travel. As I write this I am working on the creation of a blog. We also agreed to write personal statements on spirituality and the earth and share those.

A Friend quoted the Zapatistas: “They tried to bury us but they forgot that we are all seeds.” Let us all be seeds for change.

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Book Review

Tom Goodridge, Morningside Meeting

Five and I Survived, Narratives in Good Ol’ SchoharieCounty by Dorothy K. Garner

I was not an objective reader of Dorothy Garner’s memoir about following her dream to become a farmer. I had gotten to know Dorothy during 25 summers at Silver Bay. I first got to hear Dorothy tell some of her stories, with her deadpan style of humor, at Café nights.  As a young urban Friend introduced to Quakers through history books, getting to know Dorothy felt like meeting “a real Quaker.” Dorothy’s life has followed Spirit and this book allows the reader to follow her spirit’s trail.

Dorothy learned that “the cows come first” the day she and her growing family arrived on her own farm. On that hilly land in upstate New York, Dorothy felt she could finally realize her dream. Dorothy harvests lessons culled from life on the farm using dialogue, anecdotes, and letters. An example of an amusing anecdote is when she discovers that her youngest daughter, Amy, can walk right under the cows!

Farmers are expected to be practical and Dorothy is practical, but she is highly unconventional as well. What other farmer would take her cow to Rockefeller Center to star on David Letterman’s TV show! I invite you to follow this headstrong Quaker woman’s story as she follows Spirit into the pasture.

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Thanks from Noel and Daisy Palmer

We are indeed grateful for the many cards, telephone calls, e-mails, prayers, and visits that we have received during our illness and convalescence. Although we are still seeing a team of doctors and must take the prescribed medications, we are feeling better and hope that as we continue the treatments full health will be restored.

We want to bear testimony to the fact that although we did not expect to be ill at this time and especially that both of us would have to be in the hospital at the same time (although not at the same hospital and for the same ailment or for the same duration), it was both a new and a strange experience. It was, however, a growth opportunity. We learned more about our bodies and got information on what precautions we must take to cope with the ailments that we are now hosting.

In addition, this has been a time of reflection and spiritual maturing. There were times when neither of us was fully conscious, and when we regained collectivity we had reason to ponder what really could have happened during our unconscious moments. I, Noel, experienced a new empathy with the Psalmist in the 30th Psalm; the entire chapter speaks to my condition and makes me feel an at-onement with someone who is serious about depending on God for his/her salvation.

Dear Friends, again we thank you for your kind expressions and your love.

Noel and Daisy Palmer are members of Westbury Monthly Meeting, and Noel is pastor of Manhattan Monthly Meeting.

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Meetings for Discernment—Past & Future

Janet Hough, clerk, Steering Committee for Meetings for Discernment

Many have felt a palpable hunger for what the Meetings for Discernment have provided—a time to share how Spirit is working in the life of our local meetings; an opportunity to enter into extended worship; an occasion for those called to vocal ministry and deep listening to practice and counsel one another on their calling. And many feel a hunger for what has not yet been realized.

In moving toward a vision of whether and how the Meetings for Discernment might become a more permanent body within NYYM, the members of the Meetings for Discernment Steering Committee are holding questions such as these: What is growing out of this experiment? What fruits can we see—in one another, in our monthly meetings, and in yearly meeting committees? How do extended worship, sharing the life of our local meetings, the practice of deep corporate listening, and spirit-led vocal ministry fit together? By bringing together seasoned friends from within the monthly meetings that make up our yearly meeting, what part might Meetings for Discernment play in helping the yearly meeting to discern who we are and how we are being led? We welcome the insights and inquiries of all who have a concern for the life of the Religious Society of Friends.

Written accounts of the February 2010 Meeting for Discernment at the Purchase Meeting House and the July 2010 Meeting for Discernment at Silver Bay are now posted on the NYYM Web site under Organization/Yearly Meeting Sessions & Meetings for Discernment.

Meeting for Discernment February 26, 2011
The next NYYM Meeting for Discernment will be on Saturday, February 26, 2011, at Rahway & Plainfield Meeting in Plainfield, NJ.

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Upcoming Conferences at Powell House

Come spend a weekend with us—we’d love to see you!

Nov 19–21 The 2nd Quaker Abolition: ending Torture—QUIT!* This weekend will look at some of the history, current legal and protest movements, and make long-range plans for ending torture. John Calvi will also have stress reduction as an integral part of the weekend. With John Calvi and Chuck Fager.
Dec 3–5 The Annual AA/Al-Anon Weekend. This weekend is for anyone who is recovering from an alcohol/drug addiction and anyone significantly related to a person in recovery.
Dec 30–Jan 1 Our Annual New Year Celebration. This event is an opportunity to celebrate the  past year, the coming year, and each other, with activities for all ages!
Jan 14–17 The Annual Silent Retreat. This three-day retreat will include silent meals, “active” silence, and chances for individual and group spiritual reflection. With Linda Chidsey and Carolyn Moon
Jan 21–23 Feeding The Fire Series VI: Trusting in the Slow Work of God. This weekend will celebrate how far Love has carried us and how the Divine is carrying our communities and ourselves now. With Christopher Sammond.

For more information, (and more events!),please visit www.powellhouse.org/ or call us at 518-794-8811.

*QUIT: Quaker Initiative to End Torture www.quit-torture-now.org

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AVP Basic Workshop at Purchase

November 12–14, 2010
Purchase Meeting

The Alternatives to Violence Project  (AVP) is a grassroots, volunteer program dedicated to reducing violence in our lives, in our homes, in our schools, in our prisons, in our streets and in our society.

AVP provides a space for us to practice transforming conflict into win-win outcomes. No one loses. Conflict becomes an opportunity for greater understanding, an opportunity to deepen relationship.

There will be an Alternatives to Violence Project basic workshop November 12–14 at the Purchase Friends meetinghouse.

Workshop schedule:
Friday: 7:00–10:00 p.m.
Saturday: 9:00am - 9:00 p.m.
Sunday: 1:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Three meals are included.

Workshop fee is on a sliding scale: $30–$125 depending on ability to pay. Scholarships and hospitality (overnight accommodations) are available.

For more information: 914-769-1720; fredfeucht [at] optimum.net.

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Casa de los Amigos Continues Refugee Work

Paul Busby, NYYM Latin American Concerns resource person

The Casa de los Amigos (Friends’ House) is a Quaker center for peace and international understanding, rooted in Friends’ values, in Mexico City.

In October 2009, the Casa signed a landmark Agreement of Cooperation with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Mexico. The agreement permanently reserves two rooms in the Casa de los Amigos for recent refugees and those seeking asylum in Mexico.

A brief update appeared in February 2010 InfoShare. Since then, as of the end of May, the casa had hosted 33 migrants, refugees, asylum seekers, and victims of human trafficking: five women, four men, two kids, and one baby from Honduras, in addition to asylum seekers from Brazil, Sri Lanka, Haiti, Nepal, Iran, Guinea Conakry, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Argentina, and Colombia. Friends of the Casa who work at the Mexican federal Commission to Help Refugees (COMAR) say that refugees who start out at the Casa are better able to integrate into Mexican society. A refugee from Brazil, who lived at the Casa for two months and returns often to visit, says, “the Casa was my healing.” According to Casa directors, “These guests enrich our community more than words can say.”

The July/August 2010 issue of Western Friend features an article, “Solidarity Hospitality: Refugees, Migrants, and the Casa de los Amigos,” which can be read online here.

For more information about the Casa’s work and how to visit, please go to www.casadelosamigos.org.

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FLGBTQC Gatherings

Friends for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Concerns (FLGBTQC) gather twice a year—once at the Friends General Conference Summer Gathering (which will be in Grinnell, Iowa, July 3–9, 2011; see http://fgcquaker.org/gathering) and once at our own Midwinter Gathering, which will be in Greensboro, NC, February 19–21, 2011. The main Web site for FLGBTQC is http://flgbtqc.quaker.org/, and the site for the 2011 Midwinter Gathering is https://sites.google.com/site/midwnter2011/. All are welcome to attend our Gatherings—you do not need to be Quaker, nor do you need to be LGBT or Q.

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The Woolman Semester

The Woolman Semester is a 16-week Quaker program that welcomes high school juniors, seniors, and first-year postgraduates who are taking a “gap year.” Similar to a semester abroad in concept, the Woolman Semester immerses students in the studies of peace, social justice, and sustainable living on a 230-acre rural campus in northern California. Project-based course work and off-campus opportunities facilitate personal growth and leadership skills through self-exploration and an intellectual commitment to being an informed global citizen.

There is a spring semester, generally from mid-January to mid-May.

For information please contact Samantha Sommers, admissions director, 530-273-3183, ext. 14. Also please visit www.woolman.org.

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