Minutes, Nurture Coordinating Committee, 01-25-14

Minutes – Nurture Coordinating Committee Meeting

January 25, 2014 – Powell House, Old Chatham, NY


Present:  Deb Wood (clerk), Kate Lawson, Roseann Press (recording clerk pro tem), Aldona Januszkiewicz, Karen Snare, Bob Elmendorf, Anthony Smith, Lucinda Antrim

Regrets:  Mike Clark, Ron Peterson, Rick Townsend, Dawn Pozzi, Beatrice Beguin, Jen Perry, Irene Goodman, Fred Doneit


The meeting started with worship and introductions.

The clerk reported that Bulls Head-Oswego Meeting has agreed to house the Resource Library temporarily.  Karen Snare will assist in managing the process from moving the library from its current location to Bulls Head.  The clerk will contact Chris Erb to see if she would be willing to help with this project.  Some next steps could include having an annotated list of all materials in the Resource Library on the NYYM website, replacing current materials with e-books, and other possibilities and uses yet to be determined.

Aldona Januszkiewicz reported for JYM and what steps were beginning around the request for more transparent fiscal oversight of the JYM budget.  A JYM and JYM coordinator handbook is in the process of being created so that the historical knowledge gained is passed along.   It was hoped that the high school clerks (Natalie Mattson and Emma Gardiner) would attend the Powell House Clerking Weekend but there is a conflict for one of the clerks as there is Senior High weekend at the same time and the other high school clerk is away.   A suggestion was made to have the NYYM high school clerks and the FGC high school clerks join forces at the clerking weekend where FGC high school clerks are mandated to attend.  This is typically held at Pendle Hill and should also extend invitations to the younger members of the Youth Committee.

Kate Lawson read a report from the Youth Committee.  This report is attached for reference as is the report from FWCC.

The clerk reported that the dates of May 16-18, 2014 have been decided upon for the Nurture Coordinating Committee Retreat Weekend.  ARCH is also meeting this same weekend which should better enable filling Powell House.  It is also the Spring Gathering for Farmington Scipio.  The focus of this weekend will be youth and it is hoped that we have a number young Friends at the weekend.  The clerk expressed concern that the overall NYYM ministry to youth has been lacking and hopes to develop ideas on how to correct this.  How can we better minister to our youth?  Thinking outside of the box will be important.  Do our youth feel part of our faith community?  What structures are needed, or need to be removed, to help facilitate this?  Do we need more staff?    An opinion was expressed that unless children are deeply integrated into their faith community by age 11 the likelihood of them staying connected is minimal. How does our early religious education support this group and instill in them a sense of belonging to a larger community – not just one of youth?  How can we create the spaces needed so everyone, young and old, can choose to engage as a faith community?  A suggestion was made to have the weekend be a series of workshops around some of the questions raised and best practice sharing.  Carefully listening to each other and being heard by others is a very powerful experience and it is hoped that these workshops can enhance this experience.

Given that the weekend chosen is problematic (graduations, conflict with Spring Gathering) a suggestion was raised to consider a change in the date.  A possible way to raise awareness of a retreat weekend would be a series of discussions and listening sessions around this topic while at Summer Sessions as well as Spring and Fall Sessions, Spring Gathering, Quarterly Meetings, etc.  These will be facilitated by members of Nurture Coordinating Committee, and others as needed, and the information gathered will be used to develop the program for the retreat.  A series of queries to be shared at upcoming Regional and Quarterly meetings will be all or any of the following:

  • What have been your formative experiences on your faith journey?
  • What do you get out of being a Friend?
  • What aspects of nurturing the entire yearly meeting would you like to explore?

The clerk will address this possible change in date to the fall with Ann Davidson to determine what, if any, other dates may be available in addition to looking at other venues for this retreat.  

The clerk advised that our current representative to the Meetings for Discernment Steering Committee (Irene Goodman) is unable to continue in that role and asked for a volunteer to take her place on that committee.   The representatives meet monthly (via phone mostly) to organize all aspects of Meetings for Discernment.  Anyone willing should be in touch with Deb Wood. 

Jen Perry, will be convening the drug and alcohol task group.  Margaret Lew (15th St. Meeting), Dan Michaud (Old Chatham), Helen Staab (Purchase), Willie Bontrager (Farmington), Griffin Perry (Farmington), and Kira Smith (NEYM) have agreed to serve on this task group with her.  Naomi Paz Greenberg is the representative from Meetings for Discernment to this task group.  Jen is soliciting volunteers from youth and adults in addition to those named. 

Karen Snare reported for FCG.  The report is attached for reference.

Bob Elmendorf reported for Powell House Committee.  In recent years a number of non-Quaker groups have been utilizing the facilities mainly during the summer months, which has generated significant income during a time when income was historically low.  The committee is looking to the future and working on succession planning, how better to reach out to a broader audience, and capital project management to maintain the facilities.

Anthony Smith reported that YAC met at Fall Sessions.  While there is a desire to deepen spiritually, the energy to put together retreats is not there.  The idea of adding a ‘day’ retreat tied to Spring and Fall Sessions was raised and could be integrated into the regular Spring/Fall Sessions planning with some assistance from the Young Adult Field Secretary.   Another idea would be to hold ‘mini’ retreats throughout the YM, facilitated by the Young Adult Field Secretary.  Lucinda Antrim also suggested that these ‘day’ retreats could be tied to Meetings for Discernment (even as a co-retreat).

The meeting closed with silent worship.


Respectfully submitted,

Roseann Press - Recording Clerk, pro tem



FWCC Committee Report to Nurture Coordinating Comm.

January 25, 2014


After promoting the opportunity at Summer Sessions and through emails, three NYYM youth have applied to the 2014 Quaker Youth Pilgrimage in Peru and Bolivia.  The last NYYM youth to apply was at least 10 years ago.  The Youth Pilgrimage selection committee should make a decision in the next couple of weeks.

The FWCC Section of the Americas usually has a Section Meeting in March.  This year that routine has been changed.  Instead, four Section Consultations will take place in California, North Carolina, El Salvador and Bolivia at different times.  Gloria Thompson will attend the North Carolina consultation.  Gloria is a co-clerk of the Northeast Region of the FWCC Section of the Americas.  Mike Clark and Sylke Jackson will attend the El Salvador consultation.  They will also be investigating the options for a NYYM youth service/learning program in El Salvador.   The NYYM Conflict Transformation Committee will also be presenting workshops in North Carolina and California.


Youth Committee Report to Nurture Coordinating Committee

January 25, 2014


The NYYM Youth Committee has not met since Fall Sessions.

Current and former members of the Youth Committee worked closely with the organizers of the youth program at Fall Sessions, 2013.  We provided assurance, support and details on what our experiences had been organizing the youth programs at fall and spring sessions for several previous years. We explained the various ways the program and participation could unfold.  We shared the medical release form and different procedures we had used.

The organizers of the 2014 Spring Sessions in Farmington-Scipio Region are currently in communication with members of the Youth Committee.  We anticipate that it will be as exciting, engaging, meaningful and fun as the last one.


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