InfoShare, Summer 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 Summer 2010 Number 4
Editor: Paul Busby


NYYM Will Hire YAF Field Secretary

New York Yearly Meeting is ready to hire a Young Adult Friends field secretary—a seasoned Friend to serve in the capacity of networking, coordinating, and outreach, and to be a catalyst for young adult Friends in this Yearly Meeting.

The Young Adult Friends field secretary’s major responsibilities are to work with young adult Friends, serving as a locus and a catalyst for networking and community building; doing mentoring, coordinating, and outreach, and helping these Friends to develop their gifts and to find a home in the Religious Society of Friends. This work will necessitate considerable travel, meeting with young adults where they live and worship. In addition, the position will provide logistical support for Young Adult Friends retreats and activities, and serve as a support and focal point for college outreach efforts. This is a half-time position including many weekend commitments.

The field secretary must be a member of the Religions Society of Friends (or a committed and active participant in Friends’ activities) with a strong understanding of Quaker testimonies and practice. This Friend must have strong verbal and written communication skills, be skilled at supporting and investing the gifts and energies of others, be personable, and have a firm grasp of current electronic communication technologies. It is expected that this Friend would worship regularly with a NYYM monthly meeting.

For further information and to apply, contact Heloise Rathbone, clerk of the Personnel Committee, at 718-636-8253 or hcrathbone [at] gmail.com.

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Applications Still Open for Fall Young Adult Intern

We are still accepting applications for the NYYM fall intern. The deadline is September 1, 2010. The intern will serve from September 15 to December 15, 2010. The stipend for the three-month internship is $599.00.

Hours—20 hours per month for three months. After consultation with supervision, the intern may work more or fewer than 5 hours in a given week, as long as the total for the month is 20 hours. There are no

benefits. Approved phone, travel, and other incidental expenses will be reimbursed.

The intern should be connected to NYYM in some way—either raised in NYYM and now attending college or working out of state, or raised in another yearly meeting but now participating in the life of a meeting or worship group in NYYM.

The young adult must be connected to a Quaker meeting for worship. They do not have to be a member of a meeting, but they do need to be involved in the worship life of a meeting or worship group. The meeting can be near home, school, or place of employment.

Although the NYYM office is available for the intern to work in, this is not a prerequisite. Work may be handled from a home-based office or a college dormitory. There is no coverage for home-office expenses, save those enumerated above.

If you would like an application please contact Helen Garay Toppins at office [at] nyym.org

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George Seiler Dies

George Seiler passed away at home on Tuesday, August 3, 2010, with his wife, Jean, at his bedside. In addition to being a beloved member of Saratoga Friends Meeting, George had previously been a member of Montclair (NJ) Meeting. Memorial arrangements will be announced at a later time. If you would like information regarding memorial arrangements please contact Patricia Arno, patriciaa2 [at] verizon.net.

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Carolyn Mallison Dies

Melanie-Claire Mallison

Carolyn Mallison died early Sunday morning, August 1, 2010, at around 2:00 am. Mom has donated her body to science.

For now, if you wish to contact us, e-mail may be best, so that we can read them at our leisure, with tissues nearby. Carol Mallison, gimmechocolate [at] twcny.rr.com; Melanie-Claire Mallison, msmellie [at] gmail.com; Robin Mallison Alpern, robin.alpern [at] gmail.com.

Cards can be mailed to Carol Mallison, 137 Bank St., Newfield, NY 14867.

Plans for Memorial Meeting(s) are being made. If you would like to be advised when the plans are final, or how donations can be made out in Carolyn’s name, please contact Melanie-Claire Mallison at msmellie [at] gmail.com.

We appreciate your prayers and Light.

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Christopher Sammond’s Travel Calendar

August 1–September 30, 2010

August
1 Visit Alfred MM, Alfred, NY
9–17 Vacation
29–30 Visit Westbury MM, Westbury, NY
September
3–6 Support Christ-Centered Friends Gathering, Powell House, Old Chatham, NY
17–19 Visit Brooklyn MM, Brooklyn, NY
27–29 Attend Superintendents and Secretaries Retreat, Camp Quaker Heights, Eldora, Iowa

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Pendle Hill Seeks IT and Communications Coordinator

Pendle Hill, a Quaker study, retreat, and conference center, is searching for an information technology and communications coordinator to have responsibility for the management of computer systems to allow Pendle Hill to use technology efficiently and effectively.

Compensation includes cash salary and full benefits, including housing on Pendle Hill’s campus.

Pendle Hill encourages the participation of all and seeks to appoint to its staff individuals of diverse backgrounds and to do so without discrimination on the basis of gender, race, color, age, sexual orientation, or national origin.

Pendle Hill will conduct a background check for all positions.

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 Rd., Wallingford, PA 19086 or shorne [at] pendlehill.org. Phone inquiries to 610-566-4507 ext. 144.



This position will be held open until filled. We are currently processing applications.

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Pendle Hill Seeks Maintenance and Grounds Intern

Pendle Hill has an internship opportunity for a maintenance and grounds intern to assist in needed buildings and grounds repairs, planning, and routine maintenance, with an eye toward aesthetics and functionality for Pendle Hill visitors.

An intern is a full-time, temporary staff member with a one- or two-year commitment, who works in a team with the Pendle Hill maintenance and grounds teams, on a 23-acre, 19-building campus. This is an opportunity to develop maintenance skills, gain work experience in many aspects of maintenance and grounds, do meaningful, service-oriented work, and experience living in a Spirit-led educational community. In addition, the intern has the opportunity to participate in one Pendle Hill education course per term.

Pendle Hill will conduct a background check for all positions.

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 Rd., Wallingford PA 19086 or shorne [at] pendlehill.org.

Review of applicants will begin on August 18 and continue until the position is filled.

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

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QUNO-Geneva Seeks Director

The Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO) office in Geneva is seeking a director. The director’s role encompasses three main functions: responsibility for the strategic direction and effective functioning of QUNO Geneva, including fundraising; coordinating work with QUNO New York; and representation of QUNO with the UN, partners, funders, and Quakers worldwide.

Information about this position and how to apply can be found at www.quaker.org.uk/job-opportunities. The closing date for applications is September30, 2010, to start the post in June 2011.

QUNO: Local Inreach with Global Outreach

The Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO) in New York welcomes the active interest and support of local meetings year-round in its important international work. Often this means a speaker from QUNO visiting a monthly meeting to talk about its programs. October is an especially good time to invite QUNO speakers, since that is when its Steering Committee meets. Its ten members, from around the world, try to make themselves available to speak about QUNO’s work and the challenges it faces. This past March two NYYM meetings jumped at the chance to invite QUNO speakers. Flushing Meeting hosted David Kikaya of Nairobi (Kenya) Yearly Meeting. David is ambassador of Kenya to the UN Centre for Human Settlements. Traveling with him was Sieneke Martin, clerk of Victoria (Australia) Regional Meeting. Rockland Meeting hosted Lon Fendell, an Evangelical Quaker from the West Coast of the United States, who spoke about the work of QUNO-NY, and Charlotte Seymour-Smith, who represents the QUNO Geneva Office.

Local meetings can request to be put on a list for speakers from the spring and fall Steering Committee meetings, so act now! Contact QUNO at www.quno.org or 212-682-2745.

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November Spark Theme: Friends & Holidays

Invitation to Submit Material

Over the centuries, Quakers have had plenty to say about holidays: their meaning, the degree of importance they attach to them, and how to celebrate them . . . or not. Rarely (probably never) have Friends spoken with one voice with regard to any one holiday. And it is rare these days to hear contemporary Friends sharing their views on why and how they celebrate (or not) certain holidays. So let us hear from you, dear Friends. Do you have, as a Friend, a particularly poignant memory or powerful experience to share, or perhaps a strong view or abiding concern to write about, not only about Thanksgiving and the religious holidays of Christmas and Easter, but the entire gamut of official and unofficial holidays that make up the calendar year?

Articles should be from 750–1,200 words in length. Deadline for submission is October 1, 2010. Please let the November Spark Coordinator, Robin Whitely, know of your intentions to submit. Call at 973-376-2392 or e-mail rlwhitely [at] comcast.net. Also, please e-mail the editor, Paul Busby, paul [at] nyym.org or call 212-673-5750.

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In Jesus’ Name

Powell House Gathering of Christ-Centered Friends
September 3–5, 2010 (Labor Day Weekend)

This second annual gathering of Christ-centered Friends from the Northeast is planned as a sequel to the Powell House gathering in August 2009, whose epistle read in part: “Knowing that language and doctrinal notions have caused unnecessary divisions among people of faith, we have no desire to add to these, but simply to stand with Jesus Christ at an open door, where He offers His light and love.”

For more information contact John Edminster, Planning Committee clerk.

Fee: $200 adults, $100 campers

Children’s program and childcare with three weeks’ notice

To register, Call Sharon Koomel at 518-794-8811, ext. 10, or e-mail Sharon at info [at] powellhouse.org, or register at www.powellhouse.org.

Note: Efforts are being made to make this weekend affordable to anyone who wishes to be present. Donations to a scholarship fund may be sent to Powell House, Attn: Ann Davidson, 524 Pitt Hall Rd., Old Chatham NY 12136. Please write “Labor Day Weekend” on the memo line of your check.

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New Brunswick Monthly Meeting
Groundbreaking Meeting for Worship & Potluck

Jeffrey Aaron

New Brunswick Monthly Meeting, after years of discernment, will be building an addition onto our existing meeting house at 109 Nichol Avenue in New Brunswick, N.J., to provide a larger meeting room and additional meeting and First Day space, and to make our facilities entirely barrier free.

We will have a groundbreaking meeting for worship followed by potluck lunch on Sunday, September 5 (Labor Day weekend). Meeting will be at our usual time, 10:30 am, with potluck to follow at rise of worship, approximately noon.

Friends from throughout New York Yearly Meeting and beyond are invited to join us at worship or afterward. Advance notice to Barbara Menzel at



bjmenzel [at] optonline.net
would be helpful and appreciated, but is not required in order to attend.

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Come to the Next ARCH Visitor Training! It’s Free!

There are a few places left in the ARCH (Aging Resources Consultation and Help) Visitor Training September 10–12, 2010. The free training is designed to enable Friends to support seniors, families, and meetings to meet the needs of our members and attenders who are aging or have disabilities, and their families. ARCH has a goal to eventually have a Visitor within an hour of everyone in NYYM. Volunteers do not need any specialized skills or experience; everyone will be trained to listen effectively and to know of resources in their area.

The training will begin at 6 pm Friday and conclude at 1 pm Sunday. The time is filled with interactive, rich material that impacts all of our lives. A previous training participant said, “There was not another place I would want to be.” A good time was had by all!

This training location is Casowasco Camp on Owasco Lake just north of Moravia, N.Y. Your travel and camp expenses are all covered.

If you are called to serve seniors and persons with disabilities, please consider this opportunity. Call one of the coordinators, Anita Paul (518-374-2166) before August 22 or Barbara Spring (518-772-2290) after August 16 for more details. Is there someone else in your meeting who may be interested? Please check with them.

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Worship about Finances:

Budget Saturday
October 2, 2010
Purchase Meeting

F. Peter Phillips for the Financial Services Committee

Every year, Friends who serve as treasurers for monthly, quarterly, regional, and half-yearly meetings are convened by the Financial Services Committee at Budget Saturday. This year, Budget Saturday will take place at Purchase Monthly Meeting on October 2. All Friends are welcome to join in the worship. We will meet at 9:00 am for hospitality and settle into worship at 9:30. We expect to adjourn no later than 4:00 pm.



At Budget Saturday, Friends share ministry on the proposed programs and activities of New York Yearly Meeting, and on the ability and clarity of the monthly meetings to support that work. In worship, our leadings are held in the Light and tested against our abilities to execute them. In anticipation of Budget Saturday, each monthly meeting clerk and treasurer will receive a draft expense budget during August, with a request that, at their September meetings for worship with a concern for business, each meeting indicate its likely level of covenant donation in support of the proposed work. Each quarter will attend Budget Saturday with an estimate of the expected level of support.

Budget Saturday is an opportunity to share deeply felt ministry and to renew our unity of vision as a Yearly Meeting. The Financial Services Committee hopes that many Friends are led to attend and participate in our worship that day.

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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 on Saturday, October 30, in the Upper Library of Oakwood Friends School in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

We will start at 9:30 am with fellowship and continental breakfast, settling into worship at 10 am. 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 pm. 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, by October 15 if possible, to help with 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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Building Vital, Vibrant Regional Meetings

Friday, November 12, 2010
Flushing Monthly Meeting, Flushing, N.Y.

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 pm. 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 by October 28, to help with planning.

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FUM Work Teams

Friends United Meeting (FUM) announces upcoming workshops.

Thanksgiving in Belize, November 20–28, 2010
Approximate cost: $650 (not including cost of international flights) Registration deadline: September 15, 2010

The trip will be spent ministering at the Belize Friends Boys School either through a work project, tutoring in the classroom, or offering an after-school program, depending on the makeup of the team members.

The cost of this trip covers all lodging, meals, and transportation in Belize and two excursions within the country.

Please register online. Please have your passport available when you register. You will then need to mail, e-mail, or download a copy of your scanned passport to Terri Johns. Sam and Becky Barber will be your hosts for this trip and will share more information with the team as we get closer to the travel date.

Cuba Work Team, January 26–February 8, 2011
Approximate cost: $1,900. Registration deadline: September 30, 2010

The Cuba work team fills up quickly, so get your name in early. We will spend time worshipping with our Cuban Friends as well as continue construction on the yearly meeting building in Holguín.

The $1,900 fee covers the cost of your flights from Miami to Holguín and back, one night’s lodging in Miami, all meals and lodging and transportation while in Cuba, health insurance for your trip, and a medical kit which will be left with the Cubans at your departure. Depending on the cost of the airline tickets out of Miami, this price could vary a bit.

Please register online. Please have your passport available when you register. You will then need to mail, e-mail or download a copy of your scanned passport to Terri Johns. Linda Garrison will be our team leader and she will share more information with the team as we get closer to the travel date.

Ramallah Work/Study Team, late June through early July 2011 (exact dates to be determined)
For more information on how to register, contact Max Carter and Jane Carter, the team leaders for this trip. Registration deadline: January 10, 2011.

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Interested in Living in Community?

Beacon Hill Friends House has openings!

Beacon Hill Friends House in Boston is a Quaker-sponsored community of 20 open to people of all religious backgrounds. We do not discriminate based on race, sex, creed, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc.

We welcome students and working people of all ages—we currently have people ranging from their 20s to their 60s. We support the ideals of social justice, spirituality, peace, integrity, simplicity, and the dignity of the human person.

We share meals and household chores. Our bimonthly house meetings operate via consensus-based decisionmaking. Costs, which include housing, food, provisions, and all utilities, range from $856–$942/month.

This is a unique and exciting opportunity to discover the benefits and energy of community living in an ideal location, just steps from downtown Boston!

Apply early! Vacancies occur throughout the year.

For more info and to request an application call 617-227-9118 or e-mail us at directors [at] bhfh.org. Visit our Web site at www.bhfh.org.

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General Secretary’s Oral Report
to Summer Sessions

The following is a reconstruction of the oral report given by Christopher Sammond at Summer Sessions.

Good morning, Friends. I have reported on my service over the last year in the Advance Reports, outlining not only what I have done in the past year, but the reasons behind that work. I hope that many of you will read it. This morning I feel led to share some thoughts and stories about vision, resistance to change, and money.

Since at least 1969, this yearly meeting has been seeking renewal. We have been seeking to become a more vital Spirit-filled body, to grow in spiritual depth, in our witness, and in numbers. And yet in all but a few of the last few years since we reunited, we have declined in membership.

Many of our meetings have become smaller. This is what is normal now for many of our meetings. For our meetings to become larger, and/or more vibrant, imbued with more of the spiritual depth we all seek, would constitute a change.

An axiom of systems theory is that all systems resist change. This holds true even for positive change, change that is sought after. Any system, any community, will work unconsciously against change. That’s just human nature.

For individuals and monthly meetings, the first “reason” not to change that usually comes up is money. “We can’t afford it. We would like to do it, but we can’t afford it.” This is a very human, natural resistance to change.

When I woke up one morning with a very clear leading to go to Pendle Hill, one that didn’t need a clearness committee to help me in my discernment, one that was like a two-by-four across the forehead,—no ambiguity there!—my response was “Well God, I’ll go if you pay my taxes.” I still owed a lot of back taxes as the settlement of a recent divorce. So money was the first stop for me, and as I talked with others who went to Pendle Hill at that time and since, it was usually the first stop for them, too.

For a time I didn’t commit, waiting to see if this was going to work out, if the money was going to come, or not. It was only when I committed, only when I said, “Okay, God, I will go,” that the money came, and each and every obstacle cleared away, and “way opened” in a manner I had never experienced before.

Vision, energy, and commitment precede financial support, not the other way around.

If you translate the line from the Lord’s Prayer we know as “thy Kingdom come” directly from Aramaic to English, one possible rendering, as Aramaic is a very fluid language, is “Let our fiery hearts unite with yours in a common ‘We can.’”

About a year and a half ago, the clerks and pastor of Adirondack Monthly Meeting called me, asking for help. They were in a financial crisis and were considering drastic solutions, such as reducing their pastor’s hours from full-time to half-time or selling the parsonage. They also recognized that their financial troubles had been cyclical, and wanted to work toward a long-term solution. We talked over the situation, and then they went back and worked on it with their Ministry and Counsel Committee, and what they came up with was that they would not enact the cutbacks they were considering, but instead would hold an ambitious series of monthly fundraisers. They were going to host a chicken dinner one month, a car wash the next, etc.

What they found was that not only could they raise the money to do what they needed, but they had fun, built community in the process, and grew in a sense of agency and empowerment. Perhaps more importantly, they heard back from the surrounding community that “You cannot fail. You are the heart of this village. Not just in terms of the building or the people or the activities, but that you are conduits for God’s Light here.” They had had no idea how treasured they were by the surrounding community.

Now out of financial crisis, they looked at their budget and saw that their biggest expense, after the pastor, was their energy use. They chose to close off the upstairs of the meetinghouse, because they weren’t using it much, and initiated a program whereby each individual could buy a new, energy efficient window for the meetinghouse.

I was riding with a young adult member of that meeting who now lives in Ithaca to Meetings for Discernment, and she told me “I heard about this program, and wanted to give a window, but when I called up, they were all taken already!”

Vision, energy, and commitment precede financial support, not the other way around.

When some Friends in Wilton Monthly Meeting had a vision for creating a new Friends school, others in the meeting did not believe it could be done and were not supportive of it going forward. Finally, the Friends with this new vision said, “We think we can do this. If you don’t want to help, at least get out of the way so we can do it.” As I’m sure you know, Connecticut Friends School is now a thriving institution, one that nurtures our extended Friends community.

Vision, energy, and commitment precede financial support, not the other way around.

New people in monthly meetings are frequently more imbued with this “can-do” energy, an ability and willingness to see a new vision. They are not as entrenched in maintaining things the way they are. How can we recognize and utilize this precious resource of optimistic, willing enthusiasm and not wear it down with the tired status quo, so weary it can’t envision something better?

I believe we have pent-up resources, ready to get behind something that is right and true. In the midst of the economic downturn in early 2008, Friends from this yearly meeting gave $17,000 for Kenya relief after the postelection violence. This was more than any other yearly meeting. And when you figure this on a per capita basis, the numbers look even more impressive. We have impressive resources, just waiting for an outlet, ready to get behind work that is right and true.

O Lord, unite our fiery hearts with yours to form a common “We can!”

 

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