Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A new newsletter!

Dear Friend, 

This went out on my NEW Newsletter.  If you would like to be added to the list of Young Adults and Families for New York Yearly Meeting, let me know.
                  On the recent survey, many of you indicated that you would like to know about what is happening in the Yearly Meeting, as well as what opportunities there are for committee work, fellowship and conferences.   I also heard from a lot of people that they are looking to know others YAF and Families.  You told me that you wanted to hear about what I was doing as well.  SO, I will be sending out e-blasts to keep you informed of all the great things that are happening in NYYM. Please let me know if there is something that you would like to know, that I can address.  I hope this helps to include more people, especially those not on Facebook, in the wider conversation. 
                  There is so much going on!  I am excited to share it with you!!

Happy New Year! 

Gabi Savory Bailey
Young Adult Field Secretary, NYYM—nyym.yafs@gmail.com


·       What is going on with other YAF and Families in NYYM?
·       Where has Gabi been?
·       Upcoming conferences at Powell House and Pendle Hill
·       YAF Spotlight on Kirsten Mandala, Chatham Summit MM, NJ

What’s going on with YAFs and families in the Yearly Meeting?

15th Street MM- Friends under 40 (anyone is invited) meet once a month after Meeting for Worship, choose a local eatery (inexpensive preferably) and walk to lunch.  It is a very informal gathering, for fellowship and food.  

Brooklyn MM- Young Adult Friends meet for a potluck once a month at the home of one of the YAF from the meeting.  There is time for food, worship and fellowship.  At least once a year there is also a gathering in the old Quaker cemetery in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, for a picnic, and sometimes worship.  They also organize hikes, and other excursions outside of the city. 

Ithaca area MM -- YA Friends gather once a month at Burtt House, a property owned by Ithaca              Monthly Meeting, in Ithaca.  They have a potluck and fellowship.

Rochester MM family worship--This is a monthly opportunity for semi-programmed Worship for people of all ages. 

Brooktondale worship group--This group is under the care of Poplar Ridge Monthly Meeting.  They meet the first Sunday of the month at either the home of one of the members or at a community center.  People of ALL AGES are welcome. The format will be very simple. It will start with a query, prayer, scripture, poem or song to help lead us into worship together.  Then we will sit together and share as led until 5PM. 

Princeton area worship group --Friends gather at the home of one of the members for worship once a week.

NJ/AFRM family worship and potluck--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.

All Friends Regional Meeting Arts Day--All Friends Regional Meeting experimented with forging and nurturing friendships among Friends across the region and generations by conducting an Arts Day at Chatham Summit Monthly Meeting one late Saturday afternoon and evening in April of 2012. It was a resounding success with 48 children and adults attending, many of them young families. Artists from various meetings oversaw mini-workshops in sculpting, fabric construction, origami, book-cover making, and beaded jewelry making.  A show and tell, potluck and singing finale capped off a very enjoyable arts day. One parent said she felt like she had been on vacation and a child asked if we could do it every week!
 Have something great happening in your neck of the woods?  Let Gabi know!  If you have questions, or are interested in any of the opportunities listed above, contact Gabi Savory Bailey (nyym.yafs@gmail.com) and I will get you the information.  There is good stuff happening in our Yearly Meeting, Let’s hear it!!

Where have I been Since Summer Sessions?  Where am I going?
·       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

Upcoming Powell House  and Pendle Hill weekends

Silent Retreat: Dwelling Deep - An Extended Meeting for Worship,  January 18-21 with Linda Chidsey, Carolyn Moon
During this extended weekend, Friends are invited to enter more fully into the silence and to experience the deeper rhythms in which we might live. This retreat will include the opportunity for solitude, individual and corporate worship, silent meals, and "active" silence. There will also be opportunities for individual and group spiritual reflection. Come and simply BE with God; listen and attend to the Divine stirrings of the soul.
Clerking: Serving the Community with Joy & Confidence, with Arthur M. Larrabee February 1-3
This will be an opportunity for new, experienced, and potential clerks of Friends' meetings and committees to meet and think together about the role of presiding clerk. It is expected that each person will leave the weekend with new energy and enthusiasm for being a clerk, feeling well grounded in both the theoretical and the practical. There will be handouts, exercises, and opportunities for experience sharing.  Among other topics, we will consider:  The fundamentals of a Quaker meeting for business.  What is the "sense of the meeting," and how is it different from consensus? What is the meaning of "unity? "Standing in the way," and how can we think about it? Techniques of "good" clerking. Dealing with difficult situations.
Winter Wonderland, February 15-17
Come play with family and F/friends during an unprogrammed weekend. You'll be sojourning at Powell House. We will feed you at regular intervals and be here to answer questions . . . but otherwise, your time is your own.
Sound good?
Who knows what the weather will be, but you might want to go cross-country skiing, ice skating on Lea Pond, snow shoeing, sledding, walk to the bird sanctuary, reading, doing puzzles, playing games, just sit in front of the fire with a cup of something warm. Remember to bring your own equipment for skiing, skating, etc.
Cost: One person, $60/night; Two people, $100/night; Family, $150/night. Includes all meals and snacks. Look carefully at all of the options for registration.
Creativity & Spirituality, February 22-24, 2013
Co-lead by many creative and Faithful Friends!
If art leads you to a deeper spiritual journey or your spiritual journey leads you to be more creative, or if you just want to explore the relationship between creativity and spirituality, this retreat is for you.
Through all the forms of creativity we find opportunities for deepening our spiritual journey. In a creative community we will delve into the interrelationship between creativity and spirituality through a variety of art forms: quilting, weaving, sculpting with clay, painting with watercolors, knitting, crochet, or photography. Each area will be led by a specialist, and the time will be rich with worship and creating. The weekend culminates with a whole group sharing of our creative process and our creations.
This weekend has become one of our most popular so in 2013, we're offering a 2 house retreat and adding musical expression as a venue. Do you enjoy singing? Do you like to "jam?" We have some wonderful musicians ready to come and create, so come join us. Bring your instrument and see what Spirit brings together.
Upcoming Family weekend May 10-12—SAVE THE DATE! 

More info is coming!  This will be a weekend for entire families to participate together in sessions. 

Upcoming Pendle Hill weekends

Spirit-Mind-Body Practices for Wholeness Jan 11 - 13, 2013 Amanda Kemp, Kevin Greene, Amy Ward Brimmer, and Walter Hjelt Sullivan
As you live, work, and walk your spiritual path in the world, cultivate self-care practices that support your mind and body. Explore yoga, qigong, t’ai chi, the Alexander Technique, and Breema®.
Helping Teens Engage Racial Justice Work Jan 18 - 20, 2013 Lisa Graustein
Experimentally explore a 10-session curriculum designed by facilitator Lisa Graustein to help teens better understand how racism impacts our lives and what each of us can do to bring about racial justice and healing.
Whites Confronting Racism and Working for Racial Justice Jan 25 - 27, 2013 Ali Michael and Sarah Halley
In a supportive environment, white people will increase their understanding of racism, build their skills for racial justice work, and create a concrete action plan.
Clerking Feb 8 - 10, 2013 Deborah Fisch and Deborah Shaw
Develop your clerking skills with two Friends with years of experience clerking their monthly and yearly meetings.
 John: The Quaker Gospel Feb 17 - 21, 2013 Doug Gwyn        
With Quaker and biblical scholar Doug Gwyn, explore Jesus’s conversations with such figures as Nicodemus, the Samaritan woman, the blind man, Pontius Pilate, and Mary Magdalene, and see how early Friends experienced these conversations.
 Quakers and the Song of Songs Mar 8 - Mar 10, 2013 Michael Birkel
How did early Friends respond to the lyrical and erotic Song of Songs – the biblical book of love poetry?
 Liberation: A Quaker-Jewish Dialogue Mar 10 - 14, 2013 Marcia Prager and Rebecca Mays
Explore the richly textured themes of freedom, liberation, and commitment that arise from Jewish and Christian stories, enriched by a Quaker context.

There are funds available to help make conferences possible!  PLEASE contact me, Helen Garay Toppins ( office@nyym.org) or the clerk of your Monthly Meeting to find out how to get financial assistance.  Questions about Transportation?  Let’s talk.  I bet there is a solution!

Spot light on a NYYM Young Adult Friend,
Kirsten Mandala, Chatham Summit MM, NJ

How did you come to Quakerism and why did you stay?            I grew up in Quakerism, as my parents brought me to Meeting regularly. I stayed mostly because of the people I was exposed to. The caring, activist community was a stark contrast to most of the other communities in my life. Even before I learned to appreciate the spiritual side in Quakerism, I recognized that the people I met through Quakerism shared a value system that I cared deeply about, which often led them to do incredible work.
What Quaker work have you done, or do you do?           After years of attending monthly and yearly meeting, I started engaging with Quakerism outside of the traditional worship setting. In 2009, I received a grant to work with a Quaker organization, the African Great Lakes Initiative (AGLI), to teach conflict resolution to youth and start a children’s library. In 2011, I returned for a summer to help expand the library system. After graduating college in 2011, I accepted a job at the Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO), which represents Quaker concerns at the United Nations.
What is a gift of Quakerism for you?        Quakerism was instrumental in shaping my value system. I was raised with a deep appreciation for nonviolence and social justice, which has informed my academic studies and career path. I knew from an incredibly early age that I wanted to devote my life to peace work so I studied political science in college to build an intellectual framework that would support this, travelled and volunteered extensively, and worked on the Peacebuilding program at QUNO upon graduating. Quaker values are integral parts of me, and I have no concept of the person I would be without them.
What is a challenge of Quakerism for you?         There is a very difficult tension between tolerance and a strong belief system. It is hard to see the light in individuals who commit atrocities, and difficult to balance understanding in the face of violence or prejudiced.
What did you do for QUNO?  What did you love about it?  How did you start working with them? I worked as a Program Assistant for the Quaker United Nations Office from Aug 2011-Nov 2012. It’s a really fantastic one-year position that allows recent college graduates who are interested with Quaker values engage with peace work at the UN. The program was recommended to me and seemed a natural fit for my interests, so I applied for the position spring of my senior year in college. I loved it because it gave me the opportunity to be a fly on the wall during policy discussions. After years of studying political science and working with more grassroots peace organizations, it gave me a very real introduction to the world of macro-level politics of peace. I now have a much deeper understanding of how different levels of peace work reinforce each other, and a better grasp of the field of peacemaking.
What will you be doing in Rwanda?          I’m heading to Rwanda for the next year to work with the African Great Lakes Initiative (AGLI), a small Quaker non-profit that focuses on grassroots peacebuilding in the Great Lakes Region of Africa. Over the course of the year, I will be working with AGLI on a variety of projects related to reconciliation, trauma healing, and the Children’s Peace Libraries. Since the 1994 genocide and its violent aftermath, Rwanda has made laudable economic progress, but true reconciliation lags behind. With few nationally comprehensive restorative justice or resolution programs, it’s hard to overstate the importance of the grassroots-level workshops sponsored by AGLI since 2001. While I will be helping with AGLI’s Healing and Rebuilding Our Communities program (which conducts trauma-healing workshops for adults), most of my focus for the year will be on youth. I will be working on expanding our Children’s Peace Library system, hopefully opening a fourth library branch in the north. The Libraries are meant to be centers for peace education, so I will also be conducting conflict resolution workshops for youth.

Interested in helping support Kirsten’s work in Rwanda?  Email me and I will get you her info.  Nyym.yafs@gmail.com

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