Spark, January 2023 - Mindful Eating
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Share your meeting’s news, announcements, and upcoming events with the rest of the yearly meeting by sending them to [email protected]. News items will appear in Spark, our printed newsletter, and our weekly email newsletter. Want to get Spark in the mail? Email [email protected], or call 212-673-5750. Want to receive the weekly update emails? Sign up at [email protected].
Welcome to Spark Online
The online edition of New York Yearly Meeting's print newsletter.
This is the Online Edition of the January 2023 issue of Spark, which includes extra articles that were not published in the print version. You can also view the print version as a pdf file.
Bonus articles and resources can be found in this Mindful Eating Booklet.
Nourishing All Life While Nourishing Ourselves
Articles on the Theme: Mindful Eating
- How can every meal we eat be like saying grace?, by Guest Editors Margaret McCasland, co-clerk of Earthcare Working Group & Climate Justice Working Group, and Rebekah Rice, co-clerk of Witness Coordinating Committee
- Food for all: Personal Choices, Public Policy, by Margaret McCasland, Ithaca Meeting
- Mindful Eating, a Journey through Testament, by Rebekah Rice, Saratoga Meeting
- Testimony, by Nadine Hoover, Buffalo Meeting
- Full-Body Mindfulness, by Cai Quirk, Ithaca Meeting
- Finding our Common Unity, by Sheree Cammer, Albany Meeting
- Dear CommUnity, by Sheree Cammer, Albany Meeting
- Resources from Quaker Earthcare Witness (QEW)
- Selected Readings from QEW’s BeFriending Creation
- The Unrealized Radicalness of a Home Garden, by Elizabeth Keokosky, Ithaca Meeting
- Excerpt from Braiding Sweetgrass
- Book Review: What Your Food Ate, David R. Montgomery and Anne Bikle, Norton, 2022, Review by Rebekah Rice
- Earthcare Grant Supports Nyack Garden
- NYYM’s Earthcare Fund helps people nourish ourselves while nourishing Earth
- The Gift of Regenerative Farming, by Janet Soderberg, Fifteenth Street Meeting
- Of Wild Winds Buffalo Preserve and Ancient Sea Shells, by Sheree Cammer, Albany Meeting
- A Little Eden in Nyack, by Sylke Jackson, Rockland Meeting
- Song, by Sheree Cammer, Albany Meeting
- Raising Sheep, Regenerating the Land, by Rebekah Rice, Albany Meeting
- Salmon Lifeway, by Joel Isaak, Dena’ina
- Food is Weird, by Joshua Quirk
- Spiritual Crisis in an Eating Disorder, by Cai Quirk, Ithaca Meeting
- More Veggies / Less Meat, by Janet Soderberg, Fifteenth Street Meeting
- Becoming Flexitarian: When Being Vegan or Vegetarian isn’t an Option, by Margaret McCasland, Ithaca Meeting
- Friends Journal has put out a call for articles on Farming and Food
- The Environmental Working Group (the other “EWG”)
Other Articles from Friends
- Corey Devon Arthur: One Painting Away from Being a Whole Man, by Judy Meikle, Wilton Quaker Meeting
I am massively grateful to guest editors Margaret McCasland and Rebekah Rice for their work on this issue. I hope you enjoy and share it.
Please consider writing (up to 600 words) for Spark. Upcoming themes:
March 2023: Quakers and the Arts. What does art mean to you? Are you spiritually inspired or nurtured by writing, music, theater, dance, or visual arts? Do you create art, writing, or music, and does Quakerism inform your creations? Please share your favorite pieces of art that relate to Quakerism.Submissions due February 10.
May 2023: How Do We Talk About God? Friends in NYYM use a lot of different words to mean “God” — Spirit, divine, Jesus Christ, the Light, etc. Let’s talk about it. Submissions due April 1.
Please also share your news, events, and letters to the editor with NYYM. Email them to email@example.com.
Sarah Way, NYYM
- Heather Buchan—Brooklyn
- Kaitlyn Pawlukoje— Westbury
- Diane Roinson—Farmington
- Louise Smith—Farmington
- Renee Thompson—Farmington
- Christa Farmer (member of Westbury) married John Refior at Westbury Monthly Meeting on June 25, 2022.
- Astuti Bijlefeld, to Farmington from Central Finger Lakes
- Irene Goodman, to Westbury from Manhasset
- Carol Kitchen, to Buffalo from Rochester
- Cherry Rahn, to Farmington from Central Finger Lakes
- Anthony Salem, to Rochester from New Paltz
- Sybil Ann Brennan, former member of Scarsdale Friends Meeting, on September 3, 2022.
- Polly Nicholson, member of Farmington, on July 26, 2022
- Louise Pingrey, member of Adirondack, on September 29, 2022
- Katherine Ramsey, member of Adirondack, on December 20, 2022.
State of Society Query
The 2022 State of Society query is intended to speak to a range of meetings, worship groups, and at-large members of the yearly meeting. We encourage you to engage with the query as it speaks to you and your Quaker community.
The State of Society Committee is seeking Quaker simplicity in this year’s query and is hopeful that you will find avenues of engagement as individuals and within your membership group. This is the query for 2022:
“HOW DO YOU LIVE YOUR QUAKER FAITH?”
For help we refer you to Faith & Practice —State of Meeting Reports (p. 126 in the 2020 edition.)
Meetings and individuals are asked to return their responses by April 17, 2023, to [email protected].
Winter Meetings for Discernment
The Winter Meetings for Discernment will be held on Zoom Saturday, March 4th. Meetings for Discernment are periods of extended, waiting worship designed to discern leadings and strengthen connections in our yearly meeting. We will center around these queries:
How might we nurture our spiritual community in a way that cultivates gratitude for our diverse concerns and experiences?
What do we do when it is challenging to recognize that of God in another?
How will we know when everyone feels welcome and deeply listened to?
Please save this date and encourage Friends in your meeting to consider attending.
Spring Sessions 2023
April 14-16, Hybrid: Online and at Oakwood Friends School
Please see nyym.org/spring-sessions-2023 for more details.
Summer Sessions 2023
July 22-27 (Sat. lunch to Thurs. morning), Hybrid: Online and at Oakwood Friends School
Summer Sessions 2023 will also be at Oakwood Friends School (NOT at Silver Bay) and online from lunch on Sat. July 22 to the morning of Thurs., July 27. Visit nyym.org/summer-sessions-2023 for details.
Powell House Workshops
Powell House is the retreat and conference center for NYYM. Visit poho.org to see the full list of upcoming events and to register.
Water of Life Retreat
With Barbara Shulamith Clearbridge
February 17-19, 2023
This in-person retreat includes Quaker and other time-tested ways to deepen our spiritual lives. There will be times of prayer, of learning, of healing, and of silence. In creating a retreat environment, Shulamith builds an atmosphere of stillness, spaciousness, acceptance, prayer, healing, and love.
Pastoral Care and Counseling in Your Meeting
With Lucinda Antrim
March 17-19, 2023
During our in-person weekend together we will weave together time to focus on learning and/or refreshing concrete pastoral care skills with time for spiritual refreshment and deepening.
For Children & Teens
Upcoming Powell House Youth Conferences— visit poho.org
STORIES AND PERFORMANCE for 9th-12th Grade
February 24-26, 2023
Acting gives us a chance to explore different personalities and concepts in an intimate and energetic way. What stories will we share with each other in our performances? This will be a deep and expansive weekend, with good fun and connection.
WILD WILDLIFE for 4th-5th Grade
March 10-12, 2023
This weekend, we will get to know these critters around Powell House. We’ll spend time in the maze noticing what different animals are up to. We will also discuss with each other what it might be like to be an animal living here. Let’s get wild with the wild wildlife!
PLAYFULLY RIGHTEOUS for 9th-12th Grade
April 28-30, 2023
This mix of games and justice is sure to be a fun and fulfilling time.
for 7th-12th Grade
May 27-29, 2023
Join us for our annual celebration of our loving, strong community.
For Young Adults
Beth Kelly maintains a list of upcoming YAF events at nyym.org/yaf-events
FCNL Spring Lobby Weekend 2023
March 25-28, 2023, Washington, D.C.
Friends Committee on National Legislation’s Spring Lobby Weekend offers young Friends and other young people the tools to be effective advocates. This four day conference will bring together hundreds of students, recent grads, Quakers, and young adults to learn about their power as advocates and lobby Congress. Sign up to receive updates at act.fcnl.org/sign/young-adult-program-updates/.
Many of the local meetings in New York Yearly Meeting are holding online or hybrid online-and-in-person meetings for worship every week. Visit nyym.org/online-worship-opportunities for the most up-to-date information.
Job Openings at American Friends Service Committee
Job Openings at American Friends Service Committee
AFSC has a number of positions open in their Philadelphia PA, DC, and Newark offices. Visit www.afsc.org/job-center
Job Openings at Friends Committee on National Legislation
New NYYM Directory
For many years, the New York Yearly Meeting office has printed a Yearbook containing information from the past year. Now, most of that information is kept updated online at nyym.org/yearbook.
The parts of the Yearbook that contained personal contact info—including the local meeting clerk information and the contact list of Friends serving the yearly meeting on committees or as clerks or representatives—will not be posted online but will be printed in a yearly Directory. Each local meeting and Friend on a YM committee should receive this Directory by the end of January or beginning of February.
If you’d like to receive printed versions of some of the material that used to appear in the Yearbook, please visit nyym.org/request-print or call the NYYM office at 212-673-5750 with your request.
Letters to the Editor
On Daisy Douglas Barr
Manasquan Monthly Meeting
I read Susan Weisfeld’s (Nov. 2022) portrait of Daisy Douglas Barr with increasing discomfort, as it seemed to lack any directly expressed concern about Barr’s alliance with the KKK. Yes, the author bookends her portrait with a discussion of white supremacy. But she seems to ask the reader to connect the dots, rather than taking a more critical perspective on Barr’s choice, implying that Barr did so more to empower women. One cannot view Birth of a Nation without clearly seeing its bigoted racial argument. Barr asserted a leadership position in what then and now was seen as a domestic terrorist organization. To let this pass without naming it repeats the damage American racism has been causing for over 400 years.
Response to Quaker Earthcare Witness Steering Committee’s “Statement on Reproductive Services”
(Editor’s Note: the message below is responding to an item that appeared in the weekly NYYM email newsletter on October 14, 2022, which reported that the Quaker Earthcare Witness Steering Committee has endorsed, and asked meetings to consider, a statement from the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population in support of global accessibiliy of reproductive services, including abortion.)
With the knowledge that the Religious Society of Friends is not in Unity, nor is it ever likely to be in Unity, regarding abortion, Quaker Earthcare Witness Steering Committee “approved” a statement put out by the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population that expresses their concern with the Supreme Court’s decision on abortion.
First, as members of a faith community we should be extremely wary and uncomfortable when asked to focus on worldly politics. Worldly politics divide us by their nature. Spirit led concerns and Divine Light will not divide us.
We need to ask ourselves the following:
What is the connection between sexual reproductive services and Friends’ stewardship of the environment?
Why should the international union for the scientific study of population concern themselves with a woman’s right to her body and her right to abortion?
Why are Quakers being asked to “sign-on” to a political statement focusing on individual and personal matters, and not even claiming to be Spirit led?
Whether we are for abortion or not, it is a private matter.
Whether we are for contraceptives or not, it is a private matter.
Whether we are theists, Christ-centered, non-theist, etc., and etc., this is not a Spirit led concern. It is of the world and its politics that are both self-serving and dangerous.
Is this the faith community that we hold so dear?
Let us stop rubber stamping things like this.
One Friend challenges us to “find the references to our Guide in this statement.” What challenges you?