New York Yearly Meeting
of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
InfoShare
Volume 6 December 2007 Number 6
Editor: Paul Busby, paul [at] nyym [dot] org


State of Society Query

We on the Ministry Coordinating Committee look forward once again to hearing from you about the spiritual condition of your meeting or worship group in your State of the Meeting Report for 2007. All members of our committee read all the reports submitted to us with care and attention, and we hope your meeting will participate this year in this important discernment process throughout New York Yearly Meeting.

“The State of the Meeting report should be,” according to Faith and Practice, “a searching self-examination by the meeting and its members of their spiritual strengths and weaknesses and of the efforts made to foster growth in the spiritual life.” We invite you to look back over the year 2007 in your meeting community, and this query may help in your deliberations:

How do we sense the spirit moving among us?

This is our chance to do some deep searching together in a process of corporate discernment, and monthly meetings use many different approaches to involving as many of their members as possible in this self-examination process. Some publicize the query in their newsletter before they meet together to consider it; some have a meeting potluck where members of Ministry and Counsel record concerns; other meetings ask for reports from each of their committees. Whatever your process, we hope you will consider how to produce a report which reflects the spiritual condition of your meeting.

(If you want to look at the “State of the Society Report,” which is the written result of that discernment process, just log on to the New York Yearly Meeting Web site, ww.nyym.org, and scroll down the left side of the page to “State of the Society” and click it; you will be able to open up the reports for the last ten years. If you need a hard copy, please call me at 914-922-1553 or e-mail dnbwood [at] aol.com, and I will send it to you.)

When your monthly meeting approves your report, the clerk should forward it to the Yearly Meeting office by February 15, 2008. If possible, send it both electronically and in hard copy.

Blessings, Deborah Wood, for the Ministry Coordinating Committee

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First Meeting for Discernment

March 15, 2008, Rochester Meetinghouse

This is a reminder that the first Meeting for Discernment will be held on March 15, 2008, at Rochester meetinghouse.

At this year’s Summer Sessions, Friends approved creating Meetings for Discernment as a replacement for the Yearly Meeting on Ministry and Counsel. The first one will be held on March 15, 2008. The second will be a designated day of Summer Sessions at Silver Bay. Meetings for Discernment will worshipfully consider:

  • How is the Spirit moving in your monthly meeting?
  • What concerns have been laid upon your heart and into the collective care of your monthly meeting?
  • How is the Spirit moving in the yearly meeting?
  • What are we as a body called to at this time?

The Interim Steering Committee asks for monthly meetings to appoint at least one Friend, and emphasizes that all Friends are welcome, and encouraged, to join in this worship and work.

More information in general about Meetings for Discernment is available in the 2007 Advance Report of the Transition Working Group, which can be found on the Yearly Meeting Web site at www.nyym.org/pubs/yb07-08 in the Advance Reports section. Also, please see the article in October 2007 InfoShare at www.nyym.org/spark/is2007.10.shtml#m4d.

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Christopher Sammond’s Travel Calendar

December 1, 2007–January 31, 2008

December
     1–2      Facilitate Drawing Out Gifts Alumni Retreat, Powell House
   6–12      Vacation
       16      Visit Jericho MM, Jericho, NY
  23–24      Visit Amawalk MM, Yorktown Heights, NY

January
     4–6   Spiritual Nurture Committee Retreat, location to be announced
       13   Visit Croton Valley MM, Mt. Kisco, NY
       14   Interim Steering Committee for Meetings for Discernment, Poughkeepsie, NY
       20   Visit Hamilton MM, Smyrna, NY
       30   Quaker Quest Training Consultation, Pendle Hill, Wallingford, Pa.

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Position Available: Director, Chappaqua Friends Nursery School

Chappaqua Friends Nursery School seeks an experienced, enthusiastic educator to serve as director beginning June 2008. The director administers the day-to-day operations of the school, which enrolls up to 50 children. This is a highly regarded nursery school program for children three to five years old, with an experienced team of teachers, a loyal and committed parent body, and a supportive oversight committee. We seek a director who will lead the school through the exciting process of becoming accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

This is currently a full-time position. The job may also be divided into two part-time positions of director and assistant director.

A successful candidate should have a proven track record as an early-childhood educator and/or administrator, with educational qualifications that meet the NAEYC criteria for a program administrator. Individuals who are able and willing to obtain the necessary qualifications within a set time period will also be considered.

Applications must be received by February 7, 2008. Applicants should supply a cover letter, résumé, and three references. Send to: Karen Warren, CFNS Search Committee, 109 Hardscrabble Lake Dr., Chappaqua NY 10514; r3k2warren [at] aol.com.

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Flushing Remonstrance on Display

The Flushing Remonstrance will be on display at the Queens Library at Flushing, 41-17 Main St. at Kissena Blvd. in Flushing, Queens, N.Y., from December 5, 2006 to January 7, 2007. Admission is free. The exhibit is part of a borough-wide celebration of the 350-year old document, which demanded religious tolerance in the Dutch colonial town of Vlissingen (Flushing), in the colony of Nieuw Netherland. The Flushing Remonstrance is recognized as a forerunner to the first amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Accompanying the Remonstrance's display is a display of photographs of houses of worship from all over Queens.

The Flushing Remonstrance, which can be read at www.nyym.org/flushing/remons.html, was signed in 1657 by a group of freeholders who were protesting a proclamation by the provincial governor, Peter Stuyvesant. The governor forbade the sheltering of Quakers, even for a single night. The townspeople had been guaranteed freedom of worship in the original 1645 charter by the Dutch West India Company. A written protest ("remonstrance") was prepared. It was signed by 31 men at great personal risk. None of them was a Quaker. Several were arrested and heavily fined by the furious governor. In 1661, John Bowne permitted Quakers to assemble in his home in Flushing. He was arrested and deported to Holland. He presented his plea. The Dutch West India Company upheld the promise of religious tolerance, citing that "the consciences of men ought, at least, to be free." They recalled Governor Stuyvesant to Holland. John Bowne returned to Flushing a free man in 1664. The legacy of the Flushing Remonstrance remains to this day.

Additional activities celebrating the Flushing Remonstrance can be found at www.flushingremonstrance.info.

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YOUNG ADULT FRIENDS INFORMATION

The November 2007 Spark (www.nyym.org/spark/2007.11.shtml) was devoted to the topic Voices of Young Adult Friends. Continuing this theme, in this issue of InfoShare we are pleased to bring you more news about what YAFs are doing!

Epistle from YAF Retreat

We write to you from Brooklyn’s meetinghouse in New York City during a time of retreat and exploration. Here twelve Young Adult Friends gathered for a conference titled Faith and Practice: Finding Yourself Quaker. We came together Friday evening and remained with each other in the Spirit of worship, play, and sharing until the rise of Brooklyn’s Meeting for Worship on First Day. The hospitality afforded by the meetinghouse space was greatly appreciated, and we were grateful again for having such a welcoming environment in which to join. During the time spent together we have experienced fellowship, nourishment, and support in seeking our paths. The whole of the gathering has been full of gratitude and connection.

Friday evening Friends were encouraged to consider different aspects of Quakerism, and together we collected a list of words that rose in us as we thought about what Quakers are. The list held ideals, ordeals, hopes, and truths. It contained Continuing Revelation and Committees, Seriousness and Lightheartedness, Questioning and Affirming Christianity, Political Awareness, Quaker Guilt, Mysticism, Silence, and Joy. Even as we took it down, we knew that no list could ever be long enough to explain it fully. No list could capture the gestalt…and so we moved to questions.

During the late evening of Friday, and throughout the day on Saturday, we asked and grasped after Truth. We wondered who we were and asked it aloud. Then we wondered what we were if no one agreed. We took pride in our heritage and history and wondered about our future. We struggled with the idea that some are Quaker because of the community it provides and others because of the spirituality. We want to know if one can be had without the other. Would either be complete? We asked if there was a right way to worship; if we should, or could, draw lines to define us; and whether or not there was any joy in worship. We asked what the Divine was. We asked if Divine was. We wondered and we wandered. And we did it all together.

Though we all grapple with difficult questions, it is not as common for us to do this work together and aloud. We found that there was power in speaking these questions into the space and in trying to answer them together. The atmosphere was live and our conversation flowed smoothly from one thing to the next. And yet, for all the variety of topics, there were moments when we knew each other’s experience deeply. In the space of that moment we placed words on our experience and spoke them.
These are ours.

Sewn with threads of Word.
There are many voices.
Many fingers pointing.
One moon.
There is something that connects all of us.
There is something that is the same in all of us.
There is this energy to be alive.
It makes people whole and real.
When we settle in Gathered Stillness we open ourselves into the possibility of a profound experience which all can recognize, and no book can define…
Everything is there. It is exciting. Breathing faster. Heart beat up.
Everyone is themselves and more. More opened up. More…
There is Love.
It liberates.
Using the word love is dangerous though.
You end up saying love can fix the world.
Instead lets say…
The Universe is here. In its entirety.
Raw in this moment.
Commit.
Carry it forward.
Hear that?
See how it pushes you forward?
Feel how it grows larger still?
Is there sweetness in your mouth?
Will the shaking stop?
Is there more?
We help it along. Sure we do. But it does it itself too.
…and there is joy…. and gratitude to celebrate.
For those around us.
For friends.
For enemies.
For my life. Speak it.
For life. Acknowledge it.
Remember.
There are many voices.
These are ours.

We came for Faith and Practice: Finding Yourself Quaker and discovered that what we were looking for was, of course, in front of us the whole time. Quakerism is about finding. In this moment. Renewing again in every moment. Failing. Trying again. And trying again. In community. In silence and stillness.

To paraphrase Thomas Kelly, a practicing Friend must above all be one who practices a continual returning to inner stillness, who draws the world into the silence and Light found there, and is ready to bring that Light into the world, and is willing to be changed because of it all. A practicing Friend is one who does this and is willing to do it with others. Again and again. We feel called to this. This calls to us.

We are grateful for having had this time to be with one another, to have explored, and to be refreshed. And we are grateful and joyed to be able to share it with you.

In this long moment,
Callid Keefe-Perry, Rochester; Jillian Smith, Saratoga; Sarah Brown, Rockland; Niko Tsocanos, Wilton; Alex Tsocanos, Wilton; Sebastian Tsocanos, Wilton; Rebecca Haines, Mohawk Valley; Alex Haines, Mohawk Valley; Beth Vardy, Philipstown Worship Group; Luke Jones, 15th Street; Brianna Higgins, Wilton; John Lavin, Birmingham (Philadelphia Yearly Meeting)

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Young Quakers and Business Meeting

As the Youth Ministries coordinator for Friends General Conference I’ve had the opportunity to attend annual sessions of several yearly meetings. This year, I was fortunate that New York Yearly Meeting was among the three yearly meetings that I attended. Yearly meetings have different numbers of young people and incorporate them into fellowship and business in various ways. However, most yearly meetings, including NYYM, are asking the question: How do we create a truly multigenerational, spiritual community where all Friends feel a part of and are engaged with Quakerism?

Having grown up with a small Young Friends group of only six people, I was surprised at how many Young Friends attended NYYM, how many families were present, and that Young Adult Friends continue to come back well after college. When I asked younger Friends why they attended NYYM, they spoke with joy about growing up participating in Powell House retreats and attending Yearly Meeting with their family. They loved returning year after year to reconnect with their community of friends, to worship, play, and enjoy the beauty of Lake George. I was so happy to see families playing shuffleboard, kids hanging out at the beach, and YAFs leading intergenerational game nights. I was awed by the youthful energy and beauty of it all.

Yet there were only a handful of Young Adult Friends present in the business meetings. Even though I enjoyed attending the business meetings, I felt the tension of wanting to be canoeing, swimming, or worshiping outside. This made it difficult for me to be truly present. It seems like a Catch 22: New York Yearly Meeting offers activities that are welcoming to Friends of all ages, but then Friends choose not to be a part of the Quaker business process of the yearly meeting. I recognize that business meetings can be long and tedious at times, but I’ve also experienced how powerful they can be.

Not until last year, when my job required me to attend a number of business meeting sessions in different yearly meetings, did I begin to see how awesome business meeting could be. Some of the conversations were thought provoking, engaging, and very Spirit-led. There were discussions focused on race, Christian language, and sexual discrimination that made me both proud and sometimes embarrassed to be a Friend. They pushed me to look for Truth in others' beliefs and to stand in my own beliefs. Business meetings are a place to address the challenges Friends face living our testimonies of equality, integrity, peace, simplicity, and community today. I believe that many YAFs struggle with how to live these testimonies in their everyday lives, and have a lot to offer to these conversations. I hope Friends of all ages extend personal invitations to one another, or that younger Friends go in groups to meeting for worship with a concern for business, so that we can all experience what is a fundamentally awesome way of doing business.

I understand that some younger Friends may not be led to business meeting or even to worship at monthly meetings at this time in their lives. The query posed by the Circle of Young Friends during the worship session at NYYM sessions asked, “What is the role of Young Adult Friends in the Yearly Meeting, and how can we all work to nurture it?” One Friend's message really spoke to me. This Friend recognized the different gifts that Young Adult Friends offer, like the ministry of bringing people together for Frisbee games and caring for the children. How do we acknowledge and appreciate all of the diversity of gifts Friends bring to our religious community? Some Friends in their twenties might not attend a monthly meeting or go to business sessions, but they are deeply spiritual and wrestle with what it means to live as a Quaker in their everyday lives. How do we nurture Friends' ministries as they grow and change?

I believe that as a religious society, we are all called to be faithful to keep asking the questions, lifting up different ministries of Friends, and putting out the invitation to help create a multigenerational spiritual community together. It’s important that New York Yearly Meeting keep having worship-sharing sessions on YAF concerns, creating task groups on youth, and offering a loving space for young people to return to every year. It’s also important that younger Friends encourage one another to participate in opportunities, such as business meeting, that challenge us all to be part of a fully engaged faith community.

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FGC: Quaker Youth: Speak Thy Truth!

www.fgcquaker.org/qy

The Friends General Conference (FGC) QuakerYouth Web site has undergone some major changes and is now much more interactive! Our most exciting new feature is a blog for Friends to share their thoughts and experiences as young Quakers. There are also photos from the 2007 New York Yearly Meeting and the NYYM YAF epistle, as well as epistles from young Friends from many other yearly meetings.

Some awesome new features:

  • Find links to programs for Young Friends and Young Adult Friends
  • Search for jobs and internships with Quaker organizations
  • Read and comment on blog postings from younger Friends
  • Use the “How to” resources for organizing small gatherings or weekly YAF groups
  • Explore Quaker social networks on the Web (YouTube, Facebook, CouchSurfing)
  • Share photos and artwork
  • Check out the calendar for events for younger Friends
  • Sign up for a monthly e-newsletter to receive updates about upcoming opportunities for Friends

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Young Adult Friends Conference!

Come connect with other Young Adult Friends from across the U.S. and Canada! Next Memorial Day weekend (May 23–26, 2008) come to Richmond, Ind., for a three-day conference at Earlham College focused on leadings and callings. This conference will explore how we can create a deeper spiritual community and support one another in discerning important life questions.

Young Adult Friends will lead a variety of interest groups, and faculty from the Earlham School of Religion will offer workshops on peace and justice issues and cross-cultural perspectives. We welcome young adult Friends from Friends General Conference and liberal/unprogrammed traditions as well as Friends from Friends United Meeting (FUM), Evangelical Friends International (EFI), and Conservative yearly meetings to participate in this exciting event. Let’s come together to worship, play, pray, laugh, and talk about our beliefs as Friends.

This conference is supported by Friends General Conference, Friends United Meeting, and Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. A planning committee of young adult Friends from different branches of Quakerism is organizing the event. For more information on upcoming events, please check out www.fgcquaker.org/qy or contact Emily Stewart at emilys [at] fgcquaker.org.

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Conflict Transformation Workshop at PoHo

The Committee on Conflict Transformation of NYYM will again offer a Powell House workshop, the weekend of February 15–17 2008. This workshop will address the ways in which we can respond affirmatively and in love when a meeting or a committee finds itself in conflict with a "difficult person." We will consider what makes a person "difficult" and what aspects may at different times be in the person, in those reacting to the person, and in the situation itself. We will learn and practice how to listen in ways most likely to bring a positive response, offering affirmation for the person but not the "difficult" behavior. How do we best balance the needs of the person and the needs of others in the meeting or committee? When do we need to ask for professional help?

Time will also be set aside for private meetings with committee members to discuss particular situations in your meeting or committee. And there will also be time for fellowship, worship, joy, and laughter.

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Powell House Events

NYYM Task Group on Racism Retreat—Rubye Braye, Jan. 4–6, 2008

Silent Retreat “Dwelling Deep: An Extended Meeting for Worship”—Linda Chidsey, Jan. 18–21, 2008 (through Monday lunch), cosponsored by the School of the Spirit Ministry.

Pastoral Care—Mickey Edgerton & Dortha Meredith, Feb. 1–3, 2008

Quilting from the Center—Kathie Greenwold, Anne Pomeroy, and Anita Paul, Feb. 8–10, 2008

Dealing in Love with Difficult People … in Our Meetings and Beyond—sponsored by the Conflict Transformation Committee, Feb. 15–17, 2008

Clerking: Serving the Community with Joy & Confidence—Arthur Larrabee, Feb. 22–24, 2008

AVP Basic Conflict Resolution Workshop: Level 1, Feb. 22–24, 2008

Earth in the Headlines: How Are We Called to Respond? —Marshall Massey, Mar. 14–16, 2008

Work/Messiah Sing & Celebration, Mar. 21–23, 2008

Holy Resistance, Sacred Surrender—Mary Kay Glazer, Mar. 28–30, 2008

For more information contact Powell House, 524 Pitt Hall Rd., Old Chatham NY 12136; 518-794-8811; info [at] powellhouse.org; www.powellhouse.org.

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Building and Holding Safe Spaces
for Quaker Youth

February 8–10, 2008, Pendle Hill

FGC’s Youth Ministries and Religious Education Committees are cosponsoring a workshop on safety issues for overnight events for middle and high school–aged Friends. At this workshop, Friends will have opportunities to

  • seek common ground on issues relating to guidelines and program expectations
  • explore how to empower and support youth as they help to shape their own guidelines
  • look at case studies together
  • share stories, ideas, and resources
  • look at what yearly meetings have put together around issues of safety for youth
  • worship together and support one another in ministry

Kri Burkander, of Ann Arbor (Mich.) Friends Meeting in Lake Erie YM, will facilitate. Presenters will include youth workers Lisa Graustein, New England YM; Elizabeth Walmsley and Cookie Caldwell, Philadelphia YM; and Laura Norlin, Southern Appalachian YM and Association.

For more information call Pendle Hill at 800-742-3150 ext 3. or visit their Web site at www.pendlehill.org. Matching funds may be available from Pendle Hill. Call John Meyer at Pendle Hill, ext. 121, to apply.

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Pendle Hill Workshops

Jan. 11–13, 2008—Recording: Spiritual Discipline and Communal Gift: Pendle Hill weekend with Mario Cavallini. Led by a former recording clerk for Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, this workshop will focus on both the practical and spiritual dimensions of recording.

Feb. 1–3, 2008—Praying with Francis of Assisi and George Fox: Pendle Hill retreat with Marcelle Martin. Come renew your intimacy with God, inspired by these two mystics, visionaries, and bold leaders of movements to reform Christian practice. The leader is Pendle Hill's resident Quaker Studies teacher.

Feb. 8–10, 2008—Building and Holding Safe Spaces for Quaker Youth (see article above).

Feb. 18–22, 2008—John's Gospel: A New Translation for Quakers and Other Contemplatives: Pendle Hill short course with Chris Ravndal. Let a new translation of the "Quaker Gospel" enrich your own experience with the Spirit.

Feb. 25–29, 2008—Befriending Paul: Pendle Hill short course with Beckey Phipps. Paul's influence remains strong in Quaker faith and practice today, at the same time that many Friends reject some of the words attributed to him. How can Paul become a valued companion on our spiritual journeys?

Mar. 7–9, 2008—Spirit-Led Eldering: Pendle Hill weekend with Margery Mears Larrabee. Eldering based on a concern for the wholeness of the person and the meeting can strengthen our relationship to each other and to God. Margery Larrabee wrote the Pendle Hill pamphlet Spirit-Led Eldering and has led many workshops.

For any of these workshops, register online at www.pendlehill.org or via phone at 800-742-3150, ext. 3 (U.S. only) or 610-566-4507, ext. 3 (worldwide).

Join the Pendle Hill mailing list at: www.pendlehill.org/contact/joinlist.php.

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New Director of Admissions and Communications at CFS

Connecticut Friends School is delighted to introduce Robin Dellabough as our new Director of Admissions and Communications. Robin has been an enthusiastic champion of the school from its inception: recruiting students, talking up the school within her community (which includes membership in Purchase Monthly Meeting), suggesting CFS board members, and, most recently, serving on the CFS board of trustees.

She brings to the table a rich, varied professional background and perspective. Robin cofounded and was president of Lark Productions, a book development company based in Irvington, New York. She produced, edited, or wrote more than 100 books, including Dads and Daughters: How to Inspire, Understand, and Support Your Daughter.

Robin has developed curricula for Purchase Friends Meeting’s First Day school for more than 10 years. CFS parents and students alike will find Robin an ardent and empathetic ally, and we feel fortunate to bring aboard such a long-time F/friend who will help Connecticut Friends School continue to develop its unique mission in education and community.

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Statements of Conscience at Saratoga

Saratoga Monthly Meeting invited Jens Braun and Nadine Hoover to share a potluck and help us with writing statements of conscience on December 9th after meeting for worship. Nine participants (six from Saratoga meeting and three from a local peace group) welcomed this opportunity to focus on where our consciences are leading at this critical time in the life of our nation. One participant pointed out that Frederick Douglass had spoken in the Saratoga meetinghouse and that today we continue that same tradition of Spirit-led activism. We were grateful to Friends Jens and Nadine for their willingness to travel from afar to help us in our journeys.

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Friends Peace Teams Adds Indonesian Initiative

Friends Peace Teams is pleased to announce the addition of an Indonesia Initiative, to join with work that is currently being done in the African Great Lakes area and in Latin America.

The Indonesian Initiative (II), which has evolved out of Alfred Monthly Meeting and is coordinated by Nadine Hoover, seeks to connect communities of conscience between the U.S. and Indonesia to provide opportunities for conscientious service. With partners in Aceh, North Sumatra, West Java, and Central Java, we support friendships, nonviolence, developmental play, compassionate justice, and livelihoods.

Friendships. We work with people who do not support violence and war and do not take sides, and who have survived 30 years of war, a global tsunami, 8.9 Richter-scale earthquakes, and flooding from deforestation and palm plantations. We share a faith, across religion, class, and culture, in the power of a Living Spirit to give life, joy, peace, and prosperity through love, integrity, and compassionate justice among people who live in simplicity and equality. We call this our real work—seeking to live with clear consciences and to connect communities of conscience.

Nonviolence. Building on the peace and nonviolence work already done by the Acehnese and others, we offer Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) workshops as a format for us to practice nonviolence together. AVP workshops are offered in former war zones, with conflict refugees and participants from both "sides."

Developmental Play. Al-Falah School in East Jakarta has collaborated over the past decade to translate, integrate, and demonstrate early childhood education and project-based primary education with Indonesian language and culture in an Islamic setting. Al-Falah teachers now assist in setting up preschools and training teachers from Aceh and North Sumatra.

Compassionate Justice. The habitat of the Leuser International Ecosystem (www.leuserfoundation.org/) , covering 2.6 million hectares and home to endangered Sumatran orangutans, elephants, tigers, and rhinos, is rapidly disappearing. After being depopulated during 30 years of war, large commercial logging and palm interests have moved in and devastated the mountains. Floods that used to bring a foot of clear water now bring 12–14 feet of dirty, itchy water and 3–4 feet of sediment. II is working to document this situation and bring international pressure to bear, as well as providing AVP training to conflict refugees now living in the reserve.

A conflict refugee says, “I have to confess that before you came 100 percent of us thought of nothing but revenge. Now it is so different. I never would have believed we could have changed so much. Thank you.”

Livelihoods and Relief. As we work, play, and learn together, we discover that those without a stable family income have difficulty participating. So we provide relief in small amounts in remote areas, through friends who have concern for the people there, including: nails and cement for rebuilding; training in homemade compost and insecticide for conflict refugees; support for artists in Jogjakarta to gather and inspire the community after the 2006 earthquake; and microlending to AVP facilitators to stabilize family incomes so they can volunteer to facilitate community workshops.

Please visit www.consciencestudio.com/index.php?q=indonesia and www.friendspeaceteams.org, consider volunteering to assist with this work, join a summer workcamp, or contribute to the Indonesia work. To get more information about volunteering and the July 2008 Indonesia workcamp, or to find out how to contribute financially, contact Nadine Hoover at nadine [at] consciencestudio.com.

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Louisville Friends Embrace
Cross-Cultural, Cross-Theological Worship

Ohio Valley Yearly Meeting's membership has held steady over the years, but that may be changing because of new worshippers in Louisville, KY. Two extended refugee families from Burundi settled in Louisville, and began attending the Friends Meeting there. Evangelical Friends from Kansas began the first Friends churches in Burundi more than 70 years ago, and there are now more than 12,000 members there. Friends have played a key role in reconciliation following the genocide. Worship in Louisville is much quieter than the Burundians are used to, and the first fifteen minutes when the children are present are characterized by a little more fidgeting than previously - but the meeting has embraced the newcomers, and a third Burundian family is on its way to Louisville to settle. Both groups appreciate what the other brings. Burundian adults have taken to the unprogrammed worship, and the children are beginning to get used to it. For the Burundians, worship has to include hymn-singing, so if you walk past the meetinghouse before or after worship, you are likely to hear the sounds of Kentucky Friends learning to sing in Kirundi and French.

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