Minutes, Summer Sessions 2017

New York Yearly Meeting

Minutes from Summer Sessions 2017

July 23 - 29


Sunday, July 23, 2017; 6:45 p.m.
Silver Bay, New York

Lucinda Antrim (Scarsdale), Clerk
Jeffrey Aaron (New Brunswick), Assistant Clerk
Karen Way (New Brunswick), Recording Clerk
Elaine Learnard (Conscience Bay), Reading Clerk

2017-07-01. Sunday evening at 6:45 P.M., Lucinda Antrim (Scarsdale), clerk, welcomed Friends to the 322nd summer session of New York Yearly Meeting. Speaking to the theme “Bringing the Peaceable Kingdom to a Turbulent World,” the clerk described how the Seed of the Peaceable Kingdom can be heard inside each of us, in our meetings for worship and all over the Silver Bay campus. She spoke to those new to worship, suggesting we listen to the furthest away sound we can possibly hear. In our fellowship, peace grows. By the time we leave, each seed will have put down roots and reached for the sun. We will ready to face the turbulent world, both the one inside us and the one without.

2017-07-02. The Reading Clerk read the roll of regions, monthly meetings, and worship groups. Friends stood in response. Every region was represented.

2017-07-03. Liseli Haines (Mohawk Valley Meeting) presented an acknowledgment that the land we stand on today, sometimes known as the Mohawk Hunting Ground, was used for hunting by many Native Nations under the treaty or wampum of “The Dish with One Spoon.” Like them, we recognize that there is only one dish, Mother Earth. We will take only what we need, and leave the dish clean. Because we use only a spoon, there will be no chance of bloodshed, no war. We meet now in gratitude for the care taken by the Native Nations and for the wisdom taught us. Their descendants live among us today.

2017-07-04. David Herendeen (Easton) called for volunteers to come forward for an interactive story. With the help of the children, David told the story of Stone Soup.

2017-07-05. Dawn Pozzi (Rochester) and Eleanor (Ellie) Rosenberg (Ithaca), co-coordinators of Junior Yearly Meeting (JYM), announced that each morning will begin in the Auditorium with community worship. The coordinators took us through a series of announcements about age groups, pick-up times, childcare options, and the need for a few more volunteers. Then the leaders of each JYM age group were introduced, and children left the Auditorium to meet their groups.

2017-07-06. Reading and approval of this evening’s minutes were held over until Monday morning’s session.

2017-04-07. Andrea Kelly, the new head of Friends Academy, also welcomed Friends, citing the Quaker heritage, spirit and mission that marks all aspects of the school’s operation and educational experience.


New York Yearly Meeting Summer Sessions 2017

Silver Bay, New York
Monday, July 24, 2017; 10:45 a.m.

Lucinda Antrim (Scarsdale), Clerk
Jeffrey Aaron (New Brunswick), Assistant Clerk
Karen Way (New Brunswick), Recording Clerk
Rima Segal (Rochester), Reading Clerk

2016-07-07. This morning, we gathered again in worship. The clerk announced that we will begin each session by reading one of our Priorities. Today’s Priority: “We envision a Yearly Meeting deeply grounded in the practice of our faith.” We will also hold in the Light those Yearly Meetings that are meeting at the same or almost the same time as we meet. Today we hold in the Light Central Yearly Meeting and Evangelical Friends Church Eastern Region.
The clerk introduced those at the clerks’ table, reviewed today’s agenda, and urged us to read the important materials on the Consent Agenda, which will be taken up on Friday morning.

2016-07-08. The clerk welcomed visitors:

  • Ruth Reber visiting from Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (PhYM), on behalf of Friends General Conference (Ruth’s travel letter is attached),
  • Kathleen Wooten and Maille Wooten, Fresh Pond Monthly Meeting, New England Yearly Meeting,
  • Stephen Angell, from Earlham School of Religion and Oxford Monthly Meeting, Ohio Valley Yearly Meeting,
  • Julie Rudd from Wilmington Monthly Meeting, Wilmington Yearly Meeting, E-commerce and media specialist from Friends United Meeting,
  • Chad Cianfrani, head of Oakwood School,
  • David Millar, Canadian Yearly Meeting, representing Quaker Earthcare Witness.


2017-07-09. Chad Gilmartin (Morningside), Digital Communications Director for NYYM, introduced the Yearly Meeting’s new website: accessible this week at new.nyym.org or newyorkyearlymeeting.org. Next week the new website will become nyym.org, and will still be accessible at newyorkyearlymeeting.org.
During the week, Chad will be offering an interest group in best practices in digital communication, a lunchtime overview of the new website, and consultation to monthly meetings about their own websites.

2017-07-10. Diane Keefe (Wilton) presented the report for the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL). Diane strongly urged Friends to take every opportunity to lobby members of Congress during the August break and throughout the year. The proposed federal budget for 2018 would spend $695 billion on the military while cutting programs in health care, housing, the environment, and diplomacy. FCNL is also focusing on issues of immigration, judicial policy, the bail system, and climate change. Diane directed us to fcnl.org, saying “There are a plethora of issues. Pick the one that moves you most and become an advocate.” Advocacy will be supported by the Friends Welcome Center, which will open beginning this October to welcome delegations of Friends to Washington, DC for lobbying throughout the year.
Friends received the report.

2017-07-11. Marissa Badgley (Poughkeepsie) presented the State of the Society Report for the calendar year of 2016, looking toward 2017 (attached). State of the meeting reports were received from 60 monthly meetings and worship groups. She offered a comparative snapshot of prevalent themes and new themes in 2015 and 2016. Over 60% of the State of the Meeting reports mentioned the disruptive pain of the 2016 election, but many more spoke of joy, gratitude, hope, faith, trust, love, community, and justice. We are stressed but not disheartened. “In unusual times, we are learning to be brave in addition to faithful.”
In November 2016, we were challenged to consider what and in what we trust. This year’s state of the meeting reports confirm that our trust is abundant. We trust in our worship and practice as Friends, even though we don’t always trust that Spirit is at the core of Meeting practices or that our traditions always fit the present context. Instead, we trust in continuing revelation. We trust in our community, our love, our children, our history, and our eventual growth. Nevertheless, we worry whether people will come or stay. We worry whether we have enough time, energy, money or people, and whether we are going to survive. We trust in our commitment to justice and diversity, but we know our actions do not always align with that trust. We do not always trust that we know what to do.
Marissa led us in a short game of guessing the year of three quotations expressing worry and dismay about the state of the society of Friends. The answers were 1892, 1970, and 1975. The lesson is “we will survive.”
The state of society report concludes with this paragraph:

In 2017, New York Yearly Meeting Friends seek to be brave, to continue putting God at the center even when we are fearful or discouraged. We seek to build bridges between ourselves and our communities, and we seek to reimagine what we know and what we think we know. We seek to take advantage of the opportunities we are being given, even if these opportunities arise out of darkness. We seek to claim, name, and share the Truth as we experience it. And at the same time that we reach out, we seek to reach in. For we trust that “when we are aligned with God, our resources of abilities and gifts are multiplied by many times.” We trust in the Divine Source of Love. This trust is unshakeable.

After presenting the report, Marissa spoke to our pride and self-congratulation. Our state of the meeting reports tend to put the most positive light on the real state of our meetings. There were no mentions in these reports this year or last year about reaching out to young adults, many of whom are drifting away from the community of Quakers because they feel they do not belong. Are we preparing our children to lead us? The turbulence of the outside world distracts us from what Spirit is calling us to do. Marissa invited us to a more profound trust in God. She trusts that we are closer than we might imagine. She left us with a question: In what do you trust?
Friends received the report.


2017-07-12. Minutes were read, corrected and approved in stages during this session. After announcements, meeting closed with worship.


New York Yearly Meeting Summer Sessions 2017
Silver Bay, New York
Wednesday, July 26, 2016; 10:45 a.m.

Lucinda Antrim (Scarsdale), Clerk
Jeffrey Aaron (New Brunswick), Assistant Clerk
Karen Reixach (Ithaca), Recording Clerk
Robin Alpern (Amawalk), Reading Clerk

2017-07-13. The meeting opened with expectant worship. The Priority for the day was “We envision a Yearly Meeting made up of strong and vital monthly meetings.” The clerk invited us to hold in our hearts the Yearly Meetings gathering today: Iowa Yearly Meeting Conservative at Scattergood Friends School, West Branch, Iowa, and Northwest Yearly Meeting at George Fox University, Newberg Oregon (this yearly meeting is dividing over whether constituent meetings can choose to be welcoming to LGBTQ as members and pastors, and can conduct same gender marriage). The clerk then welcomed Friends, introduced the clerks’ table and reviewed the agenda. She reminded Friends to read the extensive materials on the Consent Agenda, which will be taken up on Friday morning. She welcomed whisper buddies, who help translate the arcane practices and language of Friends to new attenders.

2017-07-14. Silver Bay CEO Steve Tamm warmly welcomed Friends on behalf of the entire Silver Bay staff, noting that Friends might be interested to hear that Silver Bay is increasing its ecological stewardship of Lake George. He outlined the many major improvements in facilities.

2017-07-15. A memorial minute, entitled Testimony to the Motion of the Spirit in the Life of Vince Buscemi, was read.

Born in 1927 in a diverse section of Brooklyn, Vincent Paul “Vince” Buscemi died March 11, 2017. He served in the Navy and had an extensive career in engineering, but he is remembered among Friends for a life of justice and love. “For Vince spiritual and social concerns were inseparable. In his everyday walk, he showed how silence and prayer open the way to social action and how social action deepens silence and prayer.” Whatever Vince did, he gave his whole self. He and his wife Ernie were part of the Community of Reconciliation that formed after the death of Martin Luther King, Jr. He became a convinced Friend and a member of 15th Street, and took early retirement in order to do God’s work in a lifetime of witness against war and racism. The list of Vince’s activities is extraordinary: among so many other things, he walked across Central America to witness against fighting there, he developed a workshop on racism that he took to four yearly meetings, and with his wife Ernie, he wrote a book titled “Here I Am Lord.” He and Ernie transferred membership to Morningside Monthly Meeting, in part to support the LGBTQ community. He volunteered at the homeless shelter at 15th Street and at the Catholic Worker House. “He was always aware of the stranger, and he engaged the outsider with full attention and respect.” He and Ernie served as Friends in Residence at Pendle Hill and were active in a variety of ways with Friends General Conference, New York Yearly Meeting and his monthly meeting. From the silence Friends affirmed his ministry of connection both compassionate and challenging, “a glowing ember like a light through colored glass and one great flame throwing kisses as he flew by.”


2017-07-16. Emily Provance (15th Street) reported on the Friends United Meeting Triennial at Wichita, Kansas, July 12-16, 2017. Emily said at the Triennial she learned about the work of Friends United Meeting—building water filtration systems, educating girls, keeping kids out of gangs and organizing peace movements. Ninety percent of the membership of FUM is in Africa, and today FUM is committed to dismantling the western-centered, white-savior model. As we speak, Oscar Mmbali, a pastor born and raised in Kenya, is preparing to take his place as a pastoral minister in Belize, where a meeting has formed itself around Belize Friends School. She invited Friends to contribute to this effort.
David Herendeen (Easton) thanked New York Yearly Meeting, Northeast Region and his own meeting for assisting his attendance at the Triennial. He said he attended as an openly gay man. He described two dramatic encounters with FUM Friends with whom he was able to speak openly and who not only listened but heard him. He indicated that the FUM employment policy remains in place, but that there is movement.
Marissa Badgley (Poughkeepsie) issued an invitation to the next Triennial to be held in Kenya in 2020.

2017-07-17. Jeffrey Aaron (New Brunswick), co-clerk for the Meeting for Discernment Steering Committee, reported on yesterday’s sessions. He observed that the two periods of worship and the evening reflection on them were deep and heartfelt.
Caroline Lane (Flushing), co-clerk, observed that the process of Meetings for Discernment is less than 10 years old in NYYM. With practice, we are learning to do it better. The silences are deep and the messages that arose yesterday rang true and were moving. Please consider participating in the next meeting for discernment.
The Meeting for Discernment approved the nomination of Beverly Archibald (Manhattan) as an at large member of the Meeting for Discernment Steering Committee, and accepted the requests for release from service from Nathaniel Corwin (Old Chatham) and from Regina Haag (Adirondack).

2017-04-29. Mary Eagleson (Scarsdale), clerk of Witness Coordinating Committee, reported. The New York State Council of Churches has created a political action wing. Letters will go out to monthly meetings from Witness offering the opportunity join the action alert list.

2017-07-18. Peter Cook, Executive Director of the New York State Council of Churches, offered a brief overview of the work of that body.
The Council advocates with the State Legislature for the poor and disenfranchised on issues such as the $15 minimum wage, paid family leave, raising the age of prosecution and incarceration from 16-17 to 18, and affordable housing.
At the national level, health care remains an issue of deep concern. He urged people to contact their Senators and Congressional representatives.
The Council certifies and supports Protestant chaplains. It sponsors an annual high school retreat to the United Nations (last year focus was countering Islamophobia); the next retreat will be in Feb 2018.
Their program of bridging the urban-rural divide tries to get beyond the polarizing rhetoric and attend to the real needs in our communities.
Lucinda Antrim (Scarsdale) and Sara Niccoli (Brooklyn) are NYYM’s representatives to the NYS Council’s Collegium.

2017-07-19. Out of the silence our outgoing General Secretary, Christopher Sammond (Poplar Ridge), offered a final report.
He updated us on the search for the Young Adult Field Secretary; applications are still being sought. Emily Provance will continue to serve as the interim, with an ambitious agenda.
Programmatic interpretation of our 2016 expenditures (consolidated budget) helps us understand where the money goes because it incorporates the entire set of funds, not just the operating budget. Monthly meetings will receive a copy of the document. This will help in multi-year budgeting, and in assessing the progress on leadings and priorities.
He said, “I know you, I have stayed with you, I have worshiped and worked with you.” He thanked us for all we have given him. He especially thanked his wife Barbara Rhudy and associate secretary Helen Garay Toppins.
Christopher offered a response to the question of what he will do next: This year will be a sabbatical, a time of listening and discernment. He offered the query, “Are you willing to live your life as though climate disruption is a reality?” He will join Pamela Boyce Simms in her efforts at reviving the fire of George Fox.
He will be stepping back from NYYM. He concluded, “I love you all and you won’t be seeing me for some while.”
A period of open worship followed Christopher’s message. We have walked this path together, God has graced us and we are grateful—for your being open and listening, for worshiping in our homes, for naming our gifts, for trusting and challenging us, for deepening our faithfulness and our witness, for your groundedness and vision that informed bodies beyond NYYM, for planting seeds that will continue to grow. As ripples go out, they return with healing.

2017-07-20. Minutes were read, corrected and approved in stages during this session. Following announcements, the meeting closed with brief open worship.


New York Yearly Meeting Summer Sessions 2017
Silver Bay, New York
Thursday, July 28, 2017; 10:45 a.m.

Lucinda Antrim (Scarsdale), Clerk
Jeffrey Aaron (New Brunswick), Assistant Clerk
Bridget Bower (Perry City), Recording Clerk
Elaine Learnard (Conscience Bay), Reading Clerk

2017-07-21. The meeting opened with a period of waiting worship. Our NYYM Priority for consideration today is: “We envision a Yearly Meeting gathered together into one body.” The clerk introduced the clerks’ table.
Minute 2017-07-17 from yesterday was read by Karen Reixach, recording clerk. Friends approved.
The clerk announced that the consent agenda is in its final form and that final nominations will be available by 1 pm. The agenda was reviewed. The clerk extended a welcome to Friends who arrived mid-week. Arthur Larrabee brings greetings from Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting and Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. Patricia (Trish) Eckert, new pastor of Farmington Friends Church, has just come from Richmond, Indiana. The clerk also reminded Friends that whisper buddies are present for individuals who need interpretation of Friends’ practice.

2017-07-22. John Cooley (Central Finger Lakes,) clerk of General Services, introduced Barbara Menzel, reporting for the Search Committee for the General Secretary. She outlined the process of the Search Committee. She reported that Steven Mohlke (Ithaca) is the candidate who is best suited to meet the needs of the yearly meeting and recommend his appointment as our General Secretary. Their report is attached.
Friends approved the recommendation of Steven Mohlke as our next General Secretary.

2017-07-23. Steve was invited to speak. He shared his story of his growth as a Friend in our yearly meeting and in his own meeting, working in community and in Spirit. Many Friends have nourished his journey. Working with Friends in Ithaca, he found that building the community nourished the life of the meeting and that his spiritual journey and that of the meeting aligned. He anticipates listening a great deal over the next few months, inviting Friends to consider where we are. He welcomes opportunities to work with others, in community, and with Spirit, to address difficult issues. Friends welcomed Steve to his new role.

2017-07-24. Emily Provance (15th Street), interim young adult field secretary, spoke about her work. Her work starts with the question:

What conversations do we need to have to be a fully inclusive New York Yearly Meeting?

Programs that she is working on include:
A series of video conference conversations on multi-age inclusion; Quaker Exploration and Discourse Days; a social media project sponsored by Ministry Coordinating Committee, which will include 18 meetings in Phase 2; Quaker Outside the Lines; NYYM Connect. A full report will be attached. Her report was received.


2017-07-25. Melinda Wenner Bradley (West Chester, PhYM), children and youth secretary, reported on her work.
She called us to continue to engage in the ways we know — and are discovering — to be in multi-age, multi-generational spiritual community. The charge to do that exciting, challenging, and Spirit-filled work is in all our hands. The spiritual nurture of our young people is the business and responsibility of the whole yearly meeting. She is particularly interested in sharing ideas that provide our children with experiential learning about Quaker faith and practice, including our witness in the world.
Her report is attached. Friends received the report.

2017-07-26. Callie Janoff (Brooklyn), director of ARCH (Aging Resources Consultation and Help) spoke of the work that ARCH is doing across the yearly meeting. They endeavor to help to create opportunities to see growing older as a blessing and as a rich opportunity for spiritual growth for ourselves and those around us. She reported on their strategic planning process. Her report is attached. Friends received the report.

2017-07-28. Doug Way (New Brunswick), clerk of the Pay As Led Ad Hoc Subcommittee of Sessions Committee, summarized the Pay as Led proposal. The full report is attached. Our goal is to enrich both those who cannot currently come due to financial constraints and those of us who may have been coming for many years through expanded participation and new life and energy. He provided a list of the core issues to be considered.

  1. Minimum charge per attendee (25% of SB [Silver Bay] rate for cheapest rooms, 75% for most expensive rooms)
  2. Registrants may choose to pay any amount above the minimum
  3. Registrants will be required to name their principal Quaker connection (MM, Powell House, or other Quaker body)
  4. Registrants with special needs will be supported as they are today
  5. Rooms will be allocated on a first come first served basis (i.e. no preference for those paying at or above the SB rte except for special needs).
  6. We expect Friends will faithfully consider their choices and that payments above the SB rate will balance those below
  7. NYYM funds will be required to pay off a deficit, if any
  8. GS [General Services Coordinating Committee] and Sessions will establish processes to implement PaL

He also noted that implementation details have not yet been worked out and indicated that an ad hoc committee for implementation is anticipated.
The working group expects that Friends will faithfully consider their choices for payment. He noted that most of us who are here will likely pay more. This is a spiritual experiment. Are we willing to take this leap of faith?
Concerns were raised about the amount of financial risk the Yearly Meeting would be exposed to. It was noted that parents of young children and JYM volunteers were mostly not present. Members of the Senior high group were present for the entire session.
A decision was deferred to a future session.


2017-07-29. The minutes were read, corrected, and approved in stages during the session. Announcements were then read. The meeting closed at 1:00 p.m.


New York Yearly Meeting Summer Sessions 2017
Silver Bay, New York
Friday, July 28, 2017; 10:45 a.m.

Lucinda Antrim (Scarsdale), Clerk
Jeffrey Aaron (New Brunswick), Assistant Clerk
Karen Way (New Brunswick), Recording Clerk
Rima Segal (Rochester), Reading Clerk

2017-07-30. We gathered in expectant worship. Lucinda Antrim, clerk, read the NYYM Priority chosen for today: “We envision a Yearly Meeting that nurtures our children, youth, and young adults.” The clerk introduced the clerks’ table and thanked the elders who are holding us in the Light, as well as the Whisper Buddies who are helping individuals in the body understand our procedures.

2017-07-31. The reading clerk read the names of four yearly meetings that are meeting during or near this week. We hold in the Light Iowa Yearly Meeting FUM, North Pacific Yearly Meeting, Indiana Yearly Meeting, and Western Yearly Meeting. Friends were also urged to hold in the Light Wilmington Yearly Meeting that is undergoing a difficult discernment at this time.

2017-07-32. The reading clerk read the Epistle that came from the Friends General Conference Gathering workshop “Tansi (Welcome), Indigenous Peoples and Quakers as Allies.” We are listening to the rising message that the Religious Society of Friends must return to the path of the Heart and build right relationship with all indigenous peoples and Mother Earth. We are asked, What calls you going forth?

2017-07-33. In accordance with our consent agenda practice, the clerk reported that the previously posted contents had required no amendments. Friends therefore approved the following items (minutes 2017-07-34 through 36).

2017-07-34. The report on Interim actions by the clerk and general secretary was received. (Report attached.)

2017-07-35. Nominations for appointment to service are approved. (Report attached.)

2017-07-36. Release from service was approved: Karen Reixach from the Alternatives to Violence Committee.

2017-07-37. Elaine Learnard (Conscience Bay), clerk of the Nominating Committee, read the names of three individuals whose nominations must be considered specifically, because they are not formally affiliated with New York Yearly Meeting. Friends heard and approved the following three appointments:

Communications Committee Class of 2020 Jennifer Swann, South Berkshire, MA New England Yearly Meeting (co-opted)

Elsie K. Powell House, Inc. Class of 2018 Esther Gilbert, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (co-opted)

Indian Affairs Committee Class of 2018 Freida Jacques, Onondaga Turtle Clan (co-opted)

Friends approved.


2017-07-38. Elaine read the following nominations that were not included in the Consent Agenda:

Indian Affairs Committee Class of 2018 Maureen Healy Fifteenth Street Ann-Marie Scheidt Conscience Bay Class of 2020 Ian Hansen Fifteenth Street Lynne James Poughkeepsie

Friends approved.


2017-07-39. Rima Segal (Rochester), for the Epistle Committee, presented a draft of the Epistle describing our life and our work this week as a blessed community. The Epistle will come back to us completed later today. Friends were advised to speak to members of the Epistle committee if they have suggestions or corrections.

2017-07-40. John Cooley, clerk of General Services Coordinating Committee, introduced Mary Williams (Bullshead-Oswego), Treasurer of New York Yearly Meeting. She presented a report “without any numbers,” referring Friends to extensive documents in the Advance Reports and Consent Agenda. Mary described the new format for the NYYM Financial Summary, showing on one page Operations, Fund Balances, and Invested Trust Funds (approved in the Consent Agenda). John Cooley added that Budget Saturday is October 21, 2017, when Yearly Meeting Friends can discuss present and future details.

2017-07-41. John Cooley presented for approval a change coming from the Personnel Committee and General Services Coordinating Committee. General Services Coordinating Committee recommends laying down the separate committee named "Supervisory Committee for the General Secretary." The functions of this committee have been consolidated within the Personnel Committee. The NYYM Handbook page is being revised to include this change and will be presented for first reading at Fall Sessions.
Friends initially approved this change.

2017-07-42. Fred Dettmer (Purchase) clerk of the New York Yearly Meeting Board of Trustees, presented a first reading of a revision to the By-Laws that addresses the unification of the positions of YM treasurer and Trustees Treasurer (full text attached). Friends heard the first reading.

2017-07-43. When the minutes were read for approval, some Friends expressed concern that they were being asked to approve proposed changes too quickly, without enough background information to discern as a body. Further questions were raised about the laying down of the Supervisory Committee of the General Secretary and proper structure of the Personnel Committee. Eventually, Friends rescinded approval of minute 2017-07-41, asking for a more detailed explanation of the issue at a future session.

2017-07-43. Steve Mohlke, former clerk of Ithaca Monthly Meeting, corrected an implication in the State of Society Report that Ithaca Meeting, made up almost entirely of European-Americans, “set the stage for the birth of the Friends Center for Racial Justice.” The actual story is more complex and involves crucial initiatives from people of color. The phrase was changed to “the Friends Center for Racial Justice, a ministry of the Task Group on Racism, found a home in Ithaca, NY, with the offer of Burtt House by Ithaca Friends Meeting.” Steve urged Friends to try to see beyond the European-American frame that constricts so many of us.

2017-07-44. Junior Yearly Meeting entered the Auditorium singing “This Pretty Planet”, surrounding and blessing seated Friends, who rose in response. When the song finished, the clerk asked Friends of all ages to be seated, and invited Steve Mohlke to share his message again.
Friends received his report.

2017-07-45. Final minutes were read and approved. After announcements, we closed with quiet worship.


New York Yearly Meeting Summer Sessions 2017
Silver Bay, New York
Friday, July 28, 2016; 4:15 – 5:30 p.m.

Lucinda Antrim (Scarsdale), Clerk
Jeffrey Aaron (New Brunswick), Assistant Clerk
Karen Reixach (Ithaca), Recording Clerk
Robin Alpern (Amawalk), Reading Clerk

2017-07-46. The meeting opened with expectant worship.

2017-07-47. The clerk welcomed Friends, introduced the clerks’ table and reviewed the agenda. The Priority for the day was: “We envision a Yearly Meeting that supports and amplifies our witness.” The body was asked to hold the following Yearly Meetings gathered at the same time or close to our sessions: Lake Erie Yearly Meeting, Britain Yearly Meeting, Sierra Cascade Yearly Meeting, which emerged yesterday from Northwest Yearly Meeting.
Our clerk, Lucinda Antrim, acknowledged that yesterday during the discussion of Pay as Led, her spiritual condition was not clear and she did not call on young people who wanted to be recognized assuming erroneously that their messages were not responding to what she had invited Friends to speak to; she feels that she has centered and is ready to conduct the business today.

2017-07-48. Melanie Claire Mallison, clerk of Sessions and member of the Pay as Led Ad Hoc Subcommittee, stressed that the whole point of Pay as Led is to allow people who want to be at Yearly Meeting sessions to be able to attend.
Doug Way, clerk of the Pay as Led Ad Hoc Subcommittee, noted spiritual and financial challenges. The clerk summarized some of the concerns expressed in the discussion to date:

  • Who gets to come? How do we draw the line? We are clear that the spirit in which we offer Pay as Led matters, that we want to be welcoming and hospitable. Concern that families and those in transition may be hurt by this process depending on where we draw that line. We noted that we have been talking to those who are here, who have the time and resources. We need to talk to those who are not here. The Ad Hoc Subcommittee has not included any of those people.
  • Concern about financial risk. Some will pay more than the cost of summer sessions, some will pay the same, and some less. We accept the risks.
  • Concern about the implementation, particularly of registration.


2017-07-49. Friends approved working toward becoming one body, in part through the spiritual exercise of Pay As Led.
We will leave to the subcommittee the details of implementation (technical, procedural, additional volunteer or paid assistance, eligibility).
We understand that if we cannot have a detailed plan by Fall Sessions, we are unlikely to be able to implement by 2018 and encourage the subcommittee to continue its work.

2017-07-50. Remaining minute 2017-07-44 from the morning session was read and approved.

2017-07-51. The minutes of the afternoon session were read, corrected, and approved in stages during the session. Announcements were read. The meeting closed at 5:30 p.m.


New York Yearly Meeting Summer Sessions 2017
Silver Bay, New York
Thursday, July 28, 2017; 10:45 a.m.

Lucinda Antrim (Scarsdale), Clerk
Jeffrey Aaron (New Brunswick), Assistant Clerk
Bridget Bower (Perry City), Recording Clerk
Elaine Learnard (Conscience Bay), Reading Clerk

2017-07-52. The meeting began with a period of open worship.

2017-07-53. The clerk introduced the clerks’ table. Jeffrey Aaron (New Brunswick), assistant clerk, joined the table later.

2017-07-54. On April 9th, at the invitation of Irish Young Friends, a group of four high school Friends, from meetings throughout New York Yearly Meeting, accompanied by Chris DeRoller of Powell House, journeyed to Ireland to attend Ireland Junior Yearly Meeting. Each of the young Friends spoke of their experiences.
They were impressed by how smoothly the youth ran their business sessions, as well as how kind and welcoming they were; appreciative of how supportive they were of their clerks and how engaged they were. One was fascinated by the history of the Quakers in Ireland and the Quaker Cottage in Belfast. The current NYYM Junior Yearly Meeting clerk was impressed by the Irish JYM clerks and their role in the life of the JYM of Ireland.
Friends received the report. A full report is attached.

2017-07-55. Melanie-Claire Mallison (Ithaca) reported for Sessions Committee. This week, the Fun(d) Fair raised $750, there was $1362.40 from the Tagless tag sale, and Café Night raised $4,876. She reported that there were 450 total Friends in attendance: 338 adults and 112 in Junior Yearly Meeting.

2017-07-56. The 1st and 2nd grade group brought their views of the Peaceable Kingdom to share with us. They came to celebrate God, to have fun, to be with family, and to look at nature. They led us in a rendition of “This Little Light of Mine.”

2017-07-57. The 3rd and 4th grade group had 12 participants who created Peaceable “something”-doms and demonstrated shadow puppets “in the light,” complete with commentary from each.
Their full report was read aloud: “The 3/4s gathered and created our Peaceable “something”-dom. We were greatly enriched by games, the turtle “tiny-mo,” our lovely bracelets and face painting for the Fun(d) Fair, the beach, and our inspiring visitors. We survived rain, cold weather, and bad jokes (by certain adults). We went on to build our “something”-doms, that became peaceable, using shadow puppets and a light box. Our kids will now show their puppets and we will hold them in the light!

2017-07-58. The 5th and 6th grade group enthusiastically reenacted their week in a skit. Highlights include the great plastic cup massacre and a visit with Nadine Hoover, and a moment of waiting worship in linked canoes.

2017-07-59. Junior High reenacted their week, ranging from a variety of name whips, water worship thwarted by rain, guided meditation and fainting goat tag (don’t ask).
New clerks for next year were announced. They are Tallulah Klein and Josie Mack

2017-07-60. The High School group read a poem, creating a Peaceable Kingdom in rhyme. It is attached. Next year’s clerks were announced: Althea Brennan, Analea Blackburn, Abby Burgess.
Senior names (those who will be graduating out of JYM) were read.

2017-07-61. All of the epistles were received.

2017-07-62. Rima Segal (Rochester) read the epistle for New York Yearly Meeting.
Friends approved the epistle. It is attached.

2017-07-63. The 322nd session of New York Yearly Meeting rose at the end of a period of worship.


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