Tuesday, December 18, 2012

If I haven't been on this blog...where have I been ???

OK, it's been dark here for a while. I'm back!

I have been working on collecting and compiling surveys of the Young Adult Friends in NYYM.  151 to be precise!  THANK YOU to all who participated!!

Here is a list of other visits I have made...

·      Princeton to elder for a YAF-- I had the pleasure of supporting a YAF in his ministry this Summer.  It is a gift to me to see such faithful work. 
·      Chatham Summit MM for gathering of All Friends and NJ Families -- This fall, five families with children ranging from 18 months to high school age, met for worship sharing, a potluck and fellowship.  We had the worship sharing in the nursery, all we welcome to participate.  The younger ones of us popped in and out.  It was a great opportunity to meet other families, and get to know each other a little better.  We hope to do it again.
·      Powell House Cultivating Ministries weekend  This was a wonderfully rich weekend, and there were several YAF in attendance.
·      Saratoga MM where I led a program about the work I am doing, the survey I conducted, and how to think differently about YAF and Families in our Meetings, Regions and Yearly Meeting.
·      Fall Sessions
·      Nine Partners RM—I was thrilled to do a program for Nine Partners RM focusing on Knowing each other better, and building intergenerational community.
·      Dover Randolph MM—I visited with Friends at their monthly Breakfast Forum and we talked about the work I am doing and the interview project I am conducting.
·      15th Street MM (twice!)— Both times I was supporting the faithful work being done at that meeting.  15th Street has started an under 40 gathering once a month at a local eatery.  The other time was an intergenerational discussion on gifts and leadings.  Both were rich and well attended!

Would you like me to come to your Meeting, or Region?  Would you like someone to support the work that is already being done there?  I am eager to travel to do a program, support an existing program, or simply sit and listen.  Contact me at nyym.yafs@gmail.com

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Summer Sessions is coming up! Are you going to be there?

Dear Young Adult Friends and Families with young children!!

(I apologize if this email has been sent to you more than once, or if you have already told me that you will not be attending.)

Summer Sessions at Silver Bay is fast approaching, July 22-28!  I am looking forward to seeing many of you there!  There is much information below.  Please check it out!

1. NOT SIGNED UP FOR NYYM SESSIONS YET? No problem! You can still register! go to www.nyym.org for registration information. I can help answer any questions you might have! Please, do not let funding keep you away. Though the deadline is passed, please contact me if you need help with the fees. nyym.yafs@gmail.com.

2. There is some great planning in store for Young Adult Friends and Families at Sessions. Games, Kayaks, discussions and fellowship! Please make sure you come to the Young Adult Opening Meeting on Sunday evening, July 22. Also, check in on my YA Field Secretary table through the week for updates and information! I look forward to seeing you! www.nyym.org.

3. WHAT WILL THE YA FIELDSECRETARY BE DOING?? I am going to be facilitating 2 interest groups at Silver Bay this year. Tuesday I will be showing Friends the results of the survey I have been conducting since September, and talking about my work over the past year with Young Adults and Families with Young Children. Wednesday evening there is another interest group about Families in our Monthly, Regional and Yearly Meeting. This will focus on what is happening, and what we need to happen to best support our families, as well as attract and keep new ones. Monday will be an exciting Plenary with Jon Watts and Magdalene Harrison YACC has arranged for a session with Jon Watts and Maggie Harrison, the plenary Speakers, on Tuesday afternoon. 

4. CAN’T FIND TRANSPORTATION?  This is from the June info share
Car Pool … Train Pool … Taxi Pool
Transportation to Silver Bay
This year the NYYM Sessions Committee is trying to facilitate travel to Summer Sessions at Silver Bay. If you would like to offer a ride, need a ride, or want to share train travel to Silver Bay please contact the NYYM at office [at] nyym.org. Put TRAVEL in the subject line. We are also trying to arrange taxi or volunteer transport to meet the 1:17 p.m. train in Ticonderoga on Sunday, July 22, 2012.
Amtrak has a special offer that's good all summer and into the fall, except Labor Day, for trips to Ticonderoga—from anywhere along the NYC-Montreal route. If two adults travel together the second ticket is free. Kids already travel half price.
5. WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE PART OF EXCITING CHANGES ON YOUNG ADULT CONCERNS COMMITTEE (YACC) and CIRCLE OF YOUNG FRIENDS?? We are looking to get input about what you want and need.  We are also looking to include new members.  Not sure what this means?  Contact Gabi, nyym.yafs@gmail.com, for more information.
6.  MEETINGS FOR DISCERNMENT is on Tuesday July 24.  This is a series of worship sessions with queries to sit with.  The intent is to hear about the condition of monthly meetings and the body of the Yearly Meeting through the ministry of Friends speaking out of the silence as led by spirit. It is an opportunity for the Yearly Meeting to discern what is rising among us. This is a rich opportunity to hear what is rising in the different Monthly Meetings in our Yearly Meeting. 
7. QUESTIONS? COMMENTS? CONCERNS?  SMART REMARKS?  Please contact me!  Are there things you would like to see at Sessions? I look forward to hearing from you!  Is this your first time at Sessions?  Please let me know, so I can make sure to find you!

See you at the Bay!

Gabi Savory Bailey

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


I invite you to register for Summer Sessions at Silver Bay, on Lake George, NY, July 22-28, 2012.  This is a wonderful week to meet new Friends, see old ones, gather with other Young Adults.  There are opportunities to worship, participate in Business, find out what committees are available,( if you are wondering, ) have fellowship and recreation.  It is a time when we can take time to be together as a Yearly Meeting.  If you have never been, it is nice to know what is going on at the Yearly Meeting Level.  There is no pressure to join a committee, but there is the opportunity to see what is happening on the committees, if you are curious.  There is also an opportunity to participate in Business Meeting.  If you are a parent of a young family, I am gathering interest about clustering housing, so you are near other families. let me know asap!

There was a hike in fees this year, as you may know.  BUT THERE IS A LOT OF MONEY TO BE GIVEN OUT AS SCHOLARSHIP.  I spoke to  Helen at the YM office, and she said that there is a lot of funds to be given out.  Last year they did not use all that there was available.  It is important that these get used, so that people know there is a need.  DO NOT BE SHY.  Please contact me, or Helen Garay Toppins  to find out how to get this money.  ( Helen's email isoffice@nyym.org)  It will be confidential, no one need know you asked.  
If you want money, this is the important part.  YOU NEED TO ASK FOR IT  by JULY 2!!!  

If you have questions about Sessions, please contact me, I will get you to the right person.

-worship sharing daily
-worship sharing for parents of young children
-Circle of Young Friends kayaking
-Daily meal discussions
-Ice cream social
-Interest Groups 
-Interest Group about the work of the Young Adult Field Secretary
-Interest Group about supporting and including families
-Bible study daily, led by Young Adult Friend, Margaret Webb
-Intergenerational games
-Plenary Speakers Jon Watts, and Maggie Harrison 
-Circle of Young Friends session with Jon and Maggie
-Intergenerational discussions
-Business Meeting
-Committee Meetings
and so much more!!

Also, if you are interested in serving on Young Adults Concerns Committee, please contact me, ASAP, they would love to have you!!

THIS IS IMPORTANT.  We are very interested in including people who have not previously been a part of Circle of Young Friends.  This is  NYYM's group for Adults 18-35 ish.  It is a gift to all of us, the more people are present.  If your needs have not been met in the past, let me know.  If you have been away a long time, please come back, we miss you.  If you are unsure, give us a try.  If there are changes you would like to see, BE PART OF THE CHANGE.  Your voice is important.  If you want to know other Young Adult Quakers, this is your chance. If you are an older Young Adult Friend, there is room for you too!  Please, join the circle!

You can learn all you need to know on www.nyym.org  But if there is anything else, PLEASE CONTACT ME.  I am here to make it easier for you!!

I look forward to seeing you at the Bay!!


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Can I ask me a question? or more?

So a few weeks ago, at Spring sessions, I reported to the Body about my work.  In my work I am finding that everybody has a set of expectations and assumptions about others, Meetings, themselves, Spirit etc.  I began to wonder how these expectations and assumptions interfere with my, and others', experience of each other and the Spirit.  Can I be as present to the true movement of Spirit with these expectations and assumptions?  I wondered about Meetings, and individuals, and wonder if some of the difficulty in becoming a whole body, that considers and uses individual gifts regardless of the age of the person, is due to these assumptions.  The key is that I think that these queries can apply to ANY person at ANY age.  It is an exercise in looking deeply.  It is also about being honest with ourselves, and asking if we are WILLING to hear the answers, and with that knowledge do something differently.  My wondering is from hearing people say that they want change, they want more diversity in age, experience, etc, but when put to change, are not able to see what role they play.  And I wonder, if we all need to ask if we are willing to do the hard work, and then actually do it.  So here are my Queries, share them as you will.  Talk amongst yourselves.  Have worship sharing, lunch, a facebook group.  LET'S GO!

Queries about assumptions and expectations

  • How do my assumptions and expectations interfere with knowing each other and my experience of spirit?
  • Do I give more weight to certain Friends because of their age?
  • Do I expect that older Friends have more Spiritual gifts?
  • Do I expect that because I know someone for a long time that I know what they believe and their relationship with Spirit?
  • Do I expect that I will relate better or not to someone else depending on their age?
  • Do I ask hard questions given that I might actually hear a real and difficult answer?  
  • Am I faithful to my leadings to speak when it is difficult, and listen when I am uncomfortable?  
  • Do I stay safely in the idea that we are already a “community” and therefore always affirm each other regardless of what my experience and Truth tells me?  Do I challenge others to see what they are afraid to see and grow into what they are afraid to grow into?
  • How do my assumptions and expectations of each other interfere with the integration of people of all ages and life stages fully into our community?
  • Do I welcome the gifts and challenges that come with spiritual community? Am I prepared to be whole?
  • Do I communicate to parents that their children, as they get older,  are welcome to experience worship, and learn to sit in expectant waiting?   Do I really mean that they are?  Am I ready to be present to whatever unfolds? Do I assume that parents will need a break from kids for worship instead of helping them teach their children and Meetings about worship?
  • Do I assume children and YAF will not want to be in worship or business worship, the central experience we have as a Religious society? Do I expect that they will have trouble being in worship?  Do I automatically think that they will be happier in First Day School?
  • Do I assume that Younger Adult Friends  will not want to hear from or talk to Older Adult Friends, and vice versa?
  • Do I expect that someone is more or less ready to fully participate because of their age? When have I experienced someone making an assumption about me and my spiritual journey based on my age?
  • When have I experienced someone really seeing a spiritual gift or quality in me, telling me, and holding me accountable to be faithful to that which I am given?
  • When have I experienced someone coming into an already established group and saying what needs to be said, even if the delivery is rough, but is exactly what the group needs to hear?  Was I able to listen?  Were there changes or realizations as a result?  Did I and the group recognize and accept the challenge or was the reaction one of anger and indignation?
  • Do I help to create a space where people are safe to talk about and challenge each other in their faith?  Is it okay to say what we believe?
  • Do I share your spiritual struggles and joys with others, especially those of a different age than me?  What do I gain by hearing each other's struggles?
  • Do I hold so dearly to traditions and past experiences that I am unable to see how Spirit is moving in the present?  Do I allow Spirit to lead as the community is sculpted by those in the present?  Am I willing to give up something precious in order to be faithful?
  • Do I challenge someone when I do not feel seen or heard, or when I experience an assumption or expectation?  Am I faithful to your leading to speak Truth to other people in my community?  Do my Monthly, Regional and Yearly meetings teach people how to do that, especially when it is most difficult?  What religious education is available to members of my community to encourage leadings of the Spirit?

Monday, May 7, 2012

Hello Friends!
Yesterday I had the pleasure to worship at New Brunswick MM as they celebrated the new addition to their Meeting House.  It was lovely.  While there, I was able to catch up with 4 Young Adult Friends who worship there.  Dan, Anthony and Jeff were kind enough to pose for a shot in the newly spruced up garden behind the Meeting House.  It was a glorious day.  I am so blessed to be able to travel and spend time with such wonderful folks!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Faith and community are springing all around us! Jump in!

Dear Friends,
It is spring.  So much is starting.  So many opportunities to experience community, Spirit and life!  Here are some upcoming events and opportunities.  Bear with me, it is quite a list.  There is good stuff right to the end! J  email me with questions, nyym.yafs@gmail.com. 
Gabi Savory Bailey

Summer Sessions of NYYM at Silver Bay on Lake George, NY. 
Please consider coming to Summer Sessions this year!  The theme is Integrity.  There are opportunities for worship, work and fellowship!  See the Yearly Meeting website for details.  www.nyym.org.

Spring Sessions are held April 13-15 in Rye, NY.  This is an opportunity to witness the business of the Yearly Meeting, as well as see what various committees do.  You can committee hop, without threat of being roped into serving.  Please consider coming.  Questions?  Email me nyym.yafs@gmail.com.  There is hospitality available, as well as financial aid.

Powell House , NYYM’s retreat center in Old Chatham, NY, has wonderful weekends in coming months.  Here are a few.  For more, please visit www.powellhouse.org.  Do not fret about money.  There are funds available for you!  Speak to the clerk of your meeting, or email me, Gabi Savory Bailey nyym.yafs@gmail.com if you are looking for  financial help.

Nontheism Among Friends,         March 23-25, 2012
Friends have become increasingly aware of the theological diversity of our Religious Society. How can Quaker theists and nontheists enrich each other while views that differ? We invite all seekers to celebrate and deepen our own beliefs and practices, and our appreciation for the beliefs and
practices of others, so that we may all enjoy what Henry Cadbury called "the natural variety in Quakerism."
Awakening the Dreamer Symposium, March 30-April 1, 2012
The Awakening the Dreamer Symposium is a profound inquiry into a bold vision: to bring forth an environmentally sustainable, socially just, and spiritually fulfilling human presence on planet Earth. This workshop will explore this vision from a Quaker perspective, and with appreciation for the unique gifts that we can bring to the movement for building a sustainable society.

Work/Messiah Sing & Celebration, April 6-8, 2012
This weekend has become a favorite of many F/friends and families.Whether you come to work, work and play an instrument, or work and provide the audience for the choir - there's a place for you.We'll have childcare for the young ones while you work.
The music: We will do Part I of the Handel's Messiah on Friday evening; Part II on Saturday evening, ending with the "Hallelujah Chorus;" and Part III on Easter morning.If you have a score, bring that, too.We've had people playing violins, violas, cello, flute, bassoon and piano plus soprano, alto, tenor and bass.
The work: Doug Stalker, PoHo Property Manager will coordinate the work portion of the weekend.There are always lots of things to do inside and out to get Powell House ready for spring and summer. Let us know you are coming, and we'll let you know if you can bring any specific tools with you.
The Food: Jacki Gray, our creative cook, will provide sumptuous food throughout the weekend. Her massage chair will be in residence too.
April 27-29 Women’s Intergenerational: Sharing our Stories…………………...7th & UP
It’s wonderful being women. Sometimes it’s hard, often it’s breathtaking, always it’s who we are … or not. There are some things unique to us and much that is really just about being human. All of us have stories from our journey so far. It is in sharing our stories that we all grow more deeply connected and deeply grounded. And sometimes sharing our stories and hearing our stories is just what we need to let go and soar. Come fly with us, sit with us, sing with us share with us. We’ll enjoy each other and spring in full bloom at Powell House. Kites anyone?
May 11-13 Mother Has Come with Her Beautiful Song
Shakers have long been connected with Quakers.  Why?  Earliest members were often called "Shaking Quakers" because of the ecstatic nature of their worship services, not because of a relationship with the Society of Friends.  Members of the United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Coming called themselves "Believers" in the formative years.  Now called the United Society of Shakers, they have created a unique material legacy in their earthly quest for spiritual perfection.
During this weekend we will explore the roots of Shakerism and what connections with Quakerism exist -- both historical and contemporary.  Participants will also share in song and movement, Shaker-inspired meals, and a Shaker meeting.  A tour at New Lebanon Shaker Village is planned.
Looking for a change of scene?  Want a move?  Interested in deepening you faith and building community?  Feel the need for meaningful work?  Here are some opportunities!

Quaker Voluntary Service (QVS) www.quakervoluntaryservice.org
The QVS Experience
Grounded in Quaker faith and practice, QVS volunteers will engage in regular worship both within the QVS community and with local Friends meetings and/or churches.  Through these relationships, QVS interns will give and receive ongoing spiritual support and nurture. They will be exposed to and participate in a variety of Friends worship, business and discernment practices as well as learning more about Quaker history and theology. They will be encouraged to share deeply with one another about their diverse understandings of Jesus in the Quaker movement and in their own faith journeys. QVS interns will also have the opportunity to network with and be supported by a wider community of Friends and Friends institutions during their year of service.
QVS will partner with agencies and organizations that offer direct support to marginalized individuals and communities, and that strive to transform unjust systems. Volunteers will be placed by QVS after a process of mutual discernment with the volunteer and the cooperating partners as to the gifts and interests of the volunteers and the needs of the community and organization. QVS seeks to facilitate work through service that will lead volunteers to deeper understanding of underlying structural oppression through meaningful work involving learning & growth. QVS volunteers will have direct experience of answering that of God in others through real relationships with real people.
Through simple, communal living, volunteers learn to care for self and others. In addition to their service placements, QVS volunteers will share living space, meals, care for the home, and all aspects of day to day life. They will construct a “community covenant” – an agreement guiding interactions in the house, using Friends worshipful discernment practices.  Connections to the local Friends meeting or church and to the wider QVS Network offer support to this process in a variety of ways. The lessons learns through participation in intentional community will stay with volunteers for the rest of their lives.
At the heart of the year is a deep emphasis on reflection. In regular one-on-one meetings with a spiritual nurturer, in a structured group setting with fellow volunteers, through practices such as journaling, and in many informal ways, volunteers will find both the space and the supportive context to engage difficult questions that arise through the inevitable crossing of boundaries of perceived difference, encountering “The Other.” Volunteers will learn to hold both outward and inward challenges up to the Light, and to articulate how their perspectives may change as a result of these experiences. Throughout the year, volunteers will find resources in the witness and experience of Friends both past and present. Particular attention is given in these exercises and relationships to places of stretching or challenge as the volunteer’s spiritual understanding shifts and deepens to engage the injustice, inequality, privilege, and suffering that is an inevitable part of work for social justice and to learn skills to sustain them on this journey for the long haul.
Living four core Values: Community, Service, Transformation, and the Quaker Way. An experiment in faithfulness in the Friends’ tradition. An opportunity to find your gifts, and to help change the world. Want to learn more? call us at 404-721-4787. We’d love to help discern if this opportunity may be right for you.
Young Friends in Residence Job Openings
Start Date September 1, 2012
Intern positions. Situated near Ithaca, NY. Interns will live in intentional community with one or two other interns. Work includes developing youth and adult programs focused on creating a space for friends of all ages to experience, live in, and respond to Spirit. Interns are encouraged to immerse themselves in the local community and participate in the life of Perry City Monthly Meeting and the wider Quaker Community. An openness to grow and deepen spiritually is required as is experience in Quaker practices. Small monthly stipend ($250) plus room, board, and travel expenses.
For more information, including a job description and application, please contact Chris DeRoller at 518-794-8811 or e-mail us at YFIRwg [at] gmail.com.
To read about what previous interns have done visit their blog at http://youngfriendsinresidence.blogspot.com/.
Young Friends in Residence is a collaborative program between New York Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends and Perry City Monthly Meeting with significant support from Farmington-Scipio Regional Meeting.

Study with Quakers in England!!
Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre in Birmingham, UK is launching a Young Adult Leadership Programme for Young Adult Friends aged 19-28. Applications are now open. More details here: www.woodbrooke.org.uk/youngadults or contact youngadults@woodbrooke.org.uk

Monday, February 27, 2012

Technical difficulties...

Ok, so this continues from the previous post, because, well, computers confuse me and I messed it up.
I was talking about all sorts of great things happening in Friends General Conference...
This June, something VERY EXCITING. A 6 day intensive conference at Pendle Hill. So cool. http://www.pendlehill.org/yald the topic is earth care witness. I think it will be a magical time. More info to come!

Quaker Voluntary Service is starting up the new program this fall! It is an opportunity to live and work in community and grow spiritually. Check out the website. http://www.quakervoluntaryservice.org/ they are accepting applications now.

Young Friends in Residence is looking for interns. Live in community, lead exciting programs, live simply. Check out the links.


I will add more soon. So many awesome things going on!

Next week I am off to Meetings for Discernment in Ithaca, and then worship and fellowship with Poplar Ridge. Will I see you there??
I am dusting off my blog, and cannot believe how long it has been since I was last here!
I have wandered much, and will not list all my visits here. I will, however talk about the last 2 amazing weeks!

February 18-19 I went out to Long Island. What a great trip! I had dinner and great conversation with the Jackofsky Family. What a talented family. Here is a link to their band. A real live Quaker Bluegrass band! http://www.homegrownstringband.com/.
One daughter, a YAF, makes soap!http://www.watersongsoap.com/
Another daughter is a knit wear designer, and I am knitting one of her shawls right now! Www.fiddleknits.com. I love the gifts in our Yearly Meeting.
That night I stayed at a Quaker owned establishment, a lovely bed and breakfast in Port Jefferson. If you are ever out on the Island, maybe visiting Conscience Bay MM, look into staying there! Check it out! http://www.ransomeinn.net/
I then worshipped with Conscience Bay MM, and there were 9 YAF there! We had a lovely time getting to know each other, and were provided a lovely potluck, as only Quakers can do! I love worshipping in all the places I do. This was a lovely meeting house, and great company as well! I found the worship nourishing. http://www.consciencebayfriendsmeeting.org/

This past weekend, I participated in an FGC consultation with 26 other YAFs from 11 Monthly meetings in the US and Canada. It was so amazingly energizing. We talked about our vision for Quakerism, and the YAF community,and we talked about great things already happening. For example,