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 12 October 2013 Number 5
Editor: Steven Davison


Download a pdf file of InfoShare, October 2013



Notes & Announcements

Submit an article for the November Spark:
Keeping Faith: Answering That of God in All Creation

We invite Friends to submit articles for the November Spark on the theme "Keeping Faith: Answering that of God in all creation," which was also our theme for the 2013 Summer Sessions.

"That of God"—most Friends know this phrase from George Fox's famous letter from Launceston jail, in which he wrote:

"This is the word of the Lord God to you all, a charge to you all in the presence of the living God; be patterns, be examples in all countries, places, islands, nations, wherever you come; that your life and conduct may preach among all sorts of people, and to them. Then you will come to walk cheerfully over the world, answering that of God in every one; whereby in them ye may be a blessing, and make the witness of God in them to bless you: then to the Lord God you shall be a sweet savour, and a blessing."

What if we expand "that of God" to include all creation?

Our speaker at Summer Sessions, Freida J. Jacques, Turtle Clan Clanmother of the Onondaga Nation of the Haudenosaunee, approached the theme through the lens of Indigenous people. Would you like to write an article about how you keep the faith? How you view that of God? Is it earthcare witness? Restorative justice? Social justice? Pastoral care? Ministry? Something else? Please let us know right away if you plan to submit an article.

Deadline: right away! We've added this invitation to InfoShare because there still is a little time to submit something—but not much. Please send your article to Steven Davison by November 4. And thanks!

Your Meeting's website:
How is it doing?

We believe that your meeting's website is one of the most valuable ways to reach seekers who might be interested in Quakerism and in a place to worship with us. The Yearly Meeting communications director Steven Davison would love to talk to you about how to make your website more visible, attractive, and effective in bringing new people to your meeting. We have a plan. Please feel encouraged to contact Steven at

Volunteers needed for the NYYM website

The Yearly Meeting is looking for volunteers who would be willing to help manage content on the NYYM website. This includes publishing each issue of Spark on the website (five times a year), the Yearbook (once a year), and other projects. You don't have to commit to regular service: just let us know as each project comes along whether you can help that time—every little bit will make a difference. You don't have to be a web geek to help, either, though a little knowledge of HTML and a little experience with Content Management Systems would be a real asset; but we can teach what you need to know, if you're interested. If you are interested, please contact Steven Davison.


Upcoming Events


Dining Well Around the World While Helping Others
Scarsdale Meeting hosts dinner fundraiser: November 2, 6:15 pm

Scarsdale Meeting is inviting f/Friends to a three-course international gourmet meal on Saturday evening, November 2nd at 6:15 p.m., at their meetinghouse, which is at 133 Popham Road, just west of Rte 22 and the Scarsdale Village Hall.

The event will offer not only the opportunity to enjoy an excellent meal of dishes from around the world, but the funds raised will help more than 140 men and women in five area homeless shelters.

Every year Scarsdale Friends use the money to purchase warm "necessities" such as socks, underwear, wool hats and gloves, and flannel nightwear for the women. They are put into holiday gift packages with donated toiletries and given out at a holiday party held at the Open Arms Shelter in White Plains.

The sumptuous variety of mouthwatering international main dishes at the dinner will be surrounded by wonderful appetizers, breads and fantastic desserts. Vegetarian and kosher dishes will be included within all three courses.

Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children up to age 16; they can be reserved by phone or email: or 914/779-8354.

Contributions of money or warm socks are also welcome!

The Scarsdale Meetinghouse is easily accessible by car and MetroNorth train. Pickups from the train can be arranged with several days advance notice.

Happy holidays everyone from Scarsdale Friends Meeting!

Community-building Retreat—Bring the Kids!
Wilton Meetinghouse, November 2, 9–3:30

Sponsored by Purchase Quarterly Meeting

Register at the link by October 30 even if you are joining for part of the day: Retreat registration

9:00 Gather and light breakfast
9:30 Program: Large & small group activities, Friendship project
3:00 Multigenerational worship & Heart sharing

Facilitator: Melinda Wenner Bradley, a member of West Chester Friends Meeting (PA), is the clerk of the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Faith & Play Working Group and the former clerk of the PYM Children's Spiritual Life Committee. A classroom teacher and accredited Godly Play® trainer, Melinda works with Quaker meetings and Friends schools using story and spiritual nurture to build community.

ARCH Caregivers Weekend Retreat
November 8–10, Powell House

Co-sponsored by ARCH: NYYM's program for Aging, Resources, Consultation, and Help

Are you a caregiver?

YOU are a caregiver and this weekend is for you. Whether you care for a parent, a partner, a friend, or a sibling, the increased responsibility for their care can be hard on you. Caregivers are at a remarkably high risk of burning out and becoming sick themselves.

This weekend retreat will give you an opportunity to renew your internal health: tell your story, ask questions, seek support, learn about resources, and be with others who are on this same journey and understand. Previous participants highly recommend this weekend as a respite time to refill the well!

Our weekend together will feature outside experts on relevant topics in addition to ARCH staff and Visitors.

Extensive financial support is available to enable you to attend this weekend. Contact Powell House to register.

Brooklyn Meeting hosts a contra dance
Sunday, November 10, 3–6 pm

The Honey Tones and Caller Chart Guthrie provide the music and instruction. There will be light refreshments. Everyone is welcome, including children. Cost is $10 for adults, $5 for kids, $25 for families.

Address: 110 Schermerhorn St., Brooklyn, NY 11201. Send inquiries to Ingrid Schwarzkopf, or call 917-843-2535 for information.

Fall Sessions ARCH Mini-workshop—Caregiving
Saturday, November 16, Caldwell College (Fall Sessions)

Join the Committee on Aging Concerns and the ARCH staff for a session open to all. We will explore the joys and challenges of being a caregiver and consider how our meetings can support the caregivers in our midst. This mini-workshop will occupy the second committee time slot of our Fall Sessions weekend at Chatham-Summit Meetinghouse & Caldwell College, Caldwell, NJ, on Saturday November 16. Please join us!


ARCH Visitor Training—Special Edition
December 7, Arbor Glen Continuing Care Retirement Community, Bridgewater, NJ

We are excited to be offering a one-day version of our weekend training program to our F/friends at Arbor Glen Continuing Care Retirement Community in Bridgewater, NJ on December 7, 2013. This training day is also open to F/friends in the surrounding communities. For more information please contact Barbara Spring at or Anita Paul at

Upcoming Spark Themes

We invite Friends to submit articles on the themes of upcoming issues of Spark. The deadline for submissions is the first of the month of the month preceding publication. Here are the themes:

Schedule of Upcoming Regional Meetings

Meeting Date Location  
All Friends January 26, 2014 Ridgewood  
  April 27, 2014 Rockland  
Farmington-Scipio January 18, 2014 Rochester  
  May 16–18 Watson Homestead, Painted Post, NY  
  September 20, 2014 Ithaca  
Long Island April 26, 2014 Westbury  
New York January 26, 2014 Brooklyn  
  April 20, 2014 Fifteenth Street  
Nine Partners November 3, 2013 New Paltz  
  February 2, 2014 Poughkeepsie  
  May 4, 2014 Bulls Head-Oswego  
  August 3, 2014 TBD  
Northeastern May 4, 2014 Adirondack  
Purchase November 2–3, 2013 Wilton  
  February 2, 2014 Purchase  
  May 4, 2014 TBA  
  August 3, 2014 TBA  
Shrewsbury & Plainfield April 5, 2014 New Brunswick  

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Meeting News

Cornwall writes open letter to President Obama
and elected officials on nonviolence


We, members of Cornwall Monthly Meeting in New York, oppose U.S. military action in Syria.

As Quakers (Religious Society of Friends), we join many others who know that violence begets more violence; that history bears this out; that not only is nonviolent action the moral and ethical route, but also the practical one. "There is no way to peace; peace is the way."

This past week, we were reminded of the message of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., that words spoken in peace are heard and raise the possibility of change, but words spoken violently keep us from listening and changing. In the spirit of this historic event and the desperate need for these messages to prevail in these times, we urge our government to find the nonviolent route to responding to the Syrian government's use of chemical weapons.

In order to make it possible for our community to mourn all those who have been the victims of violent deaths, we will open our Meetinghouse, 60 Quaker Road, Cornwall, for worship and quiet meditation, from 10:30 to 7:30 on September 11, 2013.

Questions may be addressed to Elizabeth Pozo, Clerk of the Meeting, at (845) 534-7474.

Butternuts Quarterly Meeting Retreat focuses on Two Row Wampum Treaty

Butternuts Quarter held its roughly 30th consecutive meeting retreat at White Eagle Conference Center on September 20–21. Liseli Haines and Buffy Curtis presented a program about the Two Row Wampum paddle down the Hudson River in August to commemorate the 400 year anniversary of the Treaty between the European settlers and the Haudenosaunee (the League of the Iroquois). You can learn more about the Two Row Wampum Treaty Renewal Campaign and NYYM participation by clicking the following links:

Liseli Haines and Buffy Curtis on the Two Row Wampum paddle
Buffy Curtis and Liseli Haines on the Two Row Wampum paddle




Philipstown Worship Group interviewed by local website, a regional online newspaper, recently interviewed members of the Philipstown Worship Group. Titled Quakers Draw Strength From Silence, the article covers some Quaker history, Quaker faith, and Quaker pracrice, with some quotes from participants.

Greenwich Citizen publishes article on Friends

Entitled Forever Friends: Local Quakers are a small but devoted group", the article quotes a number of NYYM Friends and refers to several organizations and meetings, but focuses mosly on Purchase Meeting and features a very nice little slide show.

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Yearly Meeting News

Apology to Afro-Descendants

Ministry Coordinating Committee expects to bring an Apology to Afro-Descendants to Fall Sessions for consideration by the Yearly Meeting. To help answer questions about the Apology, the working group of European American Quakers Working to End Racism is preparing background materials. These will be available in print at Fall Sessions. They may also be posted online in advance of Sessions.


ARCH Offerings

Care Giver’s Weekend Retreat—November 15-17, 2013, Powell House, Old Chatham, NY
Provides rest and renewal for your meeting’s caregivers.

Fall Sessions ARCH Mini-workshop on caregiving
The joys and challenges of being a caregiver and consider how our meetings can support the caregivers in our midst.

Special Edition ARCH Visitor Training at Arbor Glen
A one-day version of ARCH's weekend training program at Arbor Glen Continuing Care Retirement Community in Bridgewater, NJ.

Invite us!
We would love to facilitate a workshop at your meeting! Choose from our available topics, or request a customized session, one hour to one weekend.

For more information, please contact:

Anita Paul
Barbara Spring
Callie Janoff

AVP Workshops

Community Advanced Workshop—November 8–9, 2013, Center for Nonviolence, Buffalo, NY

Community Basic Workshop—Novembe 9–10, 2013, World Peace Sanctuary, Wassaic, NY

Community Training for Facilitators, 15 Rutherford Pl., NY NY.

Basic Workshop—Syracuse, NY

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Staff Travel Schedules

ARCH Coordinators

October 26 — Barbara Spriong at Housatonic Meeting.

November 8–10 — Barbara Spring and Anita Paul co-host Powell House's Caregivers Weekend.

November 15–17 — Barbara Spring, Anita Paul, and Callie Janoff lead a caregivers mini-workshop at Fall Sessions. Both are also available for individual consultations, and to discuss aging conerns.

November 2 — Anita Paul at Wilton Meeting.

December 7 — Anita Paul and Barbara Spring lead Special One-day Visitor Training at Arbor Glen CCRC in Bridgewater, NJ.

Travel Calendar: Gabrielle Savory Bailey
Young Adult Field Secretary
October to December, 2013

October 5–6 Visit to Farmington Meeting
October 12 Chatham-Summit Meeting Retreat
November 2–3 Family Weekend at Powell House on Stewardship
November 13–15 Fall Sessions, hosted by All Friends Regional Meeting, Caldwell College & Chatham-Summit Meeting
December Comp time

Travel Calendar: Christopher Sammond
General Secretary
October to December, 2013


6 Visit Brooktondale Worship Group, Caroline, NY
8–12 Attend FUM North American Ministries and General Board Meetings, Richmond, IN
15–17 Co-facilitate NYYM/NEYM Pastors Retreat, Weekapaug, RI
18–20 Help lead Nightingales singing weekend, Scipio Center, NY
26 Participate in Budget Saturday, Purchase, NY


3 Visit Brooktondale Worship Group, Caroline, NY
9 Attend NYYM Development Committee Meeting, Manhattan, NY
10 Visit Ridgewood Meeting, Ridgewood, NJ
15–17 Fall Sessions, Chatham, NJ


6–7 Attend Priorities Working Group meeting, Saratoga, NY
8 Meet with Cornwall Meeting Ministry and Counsel, Cornwall, NY
14 Visit Auburn Prison Worship Group, Auburn, NY
20 Visit Cayuga Prison Worship Group, Moravia, NY

Travel Calendar: Helen Garay Toppins,
Associate Secretary
Autumn, 2013

November 15–17 Fall Sessions, Chatham, NJ

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