A newsletter for Young Adult Friends, and Families, of New York Yearly Meeting
You are getting this newsletter if you are a Young Adult Friend, 18- 35 ish (YAF) associated with New York Yearly Meeting (NYYM), or have a family in NYYM. Feel free to unsubscribe if you do not wish to be a part of this list by clicking the unsubscribe button at the bottom of the email. You can also change your email address there. Know someone who would like to be added? 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 this spring! I am excited to share it with you!
March and April bring opportunities to gather as a Yearly Meeting. The first, March 2, is Meetings for Discernment. This is a time to gather in extended worship. Some of the worship is on queries that have been raised. Some is open worship. This March it is in Brooklyn. Please read the description in the section about my upcoming travels
Spring is coming!! April 5-7 is Spring Sessions in Locust Valley, NY. That is on Long Island. I highly recommend this weekend. (see my description in the list of where I will be traveling) It is a great way to see what happens in the Yearly Meeting business and committees. Please consider putting both events on your calendar. May 10-12 I will be co-facilitating a weekend for FAMILIES at Powell House. See the description in the Powell House conference section below. There are DEEP discounts for families, as well as opportunities for Financial Aid. Please come!
Do you have something you would like to share with YAF and Families in NYYM? I would welcome photographs, artwork, poetry, essays, haiku, meaningful quotes and passages, you name it! I want to make this a forum for us to be able to share who we are and what we are doing.
I hope you are staying warm, dry and healthy. Spring is coming!
Spotlight on a committee, Committee on Conflict Transformation
YAF Spotlight on Nick Rozard, Alfred Monthly Meeting
Where has Gabi been? Where is she going?
Upcoming conferences at Powell House and Pendle Hill
What is going on with other YAF and Families in NYYM?
What is YACC?
The Young Adults Concern Committee (YACC) is a committee of NY Yearly Meeting. It is the committee that oversees the Circle of Young Friends (CYF) and the retreats they plan. YACC also plans the CYF activities for Summer Sessions each year. This committee is one way that Young Adults can find voice in the Yearly Meeting. YACC meets regularly throughout the year on the internet, and also in person at Summer Sessions, and one other annual meeting.
Currently sitting on this committee are: Lucas Braun- Old Chatham MM, Rosie Stillman—Montclair MM, Audrey Jaynes—Montclair MM, Jenny Pronto Adirondack/Ithaca/Poplar Ridge MM, Anthony Smith—New Brunswick MM, Alanna Badgley—Poughkeepsie MM, Barbara vonSalis (coopted member) Brooklyn MM. If you have any questions, ideas or concerns please contact a member of YACC. You can also contact me to put you in touch with YACC. Are you interested in getting involved with YACC? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spotlight on a Committee: Committee on Conflict Transformation
The Committee on Conflict Transformation serves the monthly meetings in New York Yearly Meeting, and the Yearly Meeting itself when it convenes in Sessions. Our objective is, when invited, to assist meetings in situations of disabling conflict and help facilitate the transformation of those situations into opportunities for spiritual growth, both for the individuals involved and for their meetings. This can be accomplished either by timely intercession in response to a crisis or by helping the engaging group to build skills in avoiding debilitating conflict.
The Committee includes Friends who are experienced and skilled as active listeners, problem solvers, and mediators. We provide an opportunity for troubled Friends to be heard with empathy in the assurance of a safe environment. We endeavor to help Friends consider their situations in new ways that allow for constructive and positive transformation and test whether a way forward might be found, beyond the conflict that the individual or the meeting may be experiencing.
We invite all Friends, whether in a corporate or an individual capacity, to think of the Committee on Conflict Transformation when confronted with two types of challenges:
first, consider us as “first responders” to a crisis; and
second, as a resource to train the meeting in the skills of conflict acknowledgement, understanding, and prevention.
Click the titles to download pdf files of these resources:
•When Conflicts Arise: Crisis or Invitation? — an article by Peter Phillilps and the Committee on Conflict Transformation that has appeared in Spark that seeks to help meetings "use the conflict to prompt a change and transform the Monthly Meeting into a place better able to acknowledge and deal with conflict in love and integrity, and [deepen and enhance] its own spiritual journey."
Nick Rozard—Alfred Monthly Meeting (See Nick at work in Indonesia in the photo at the top of the newsletter!)
How did you come to Quakerism and why did you stay?
I come from a Catholic tradition on both sides of the family, and when I was a child, both of my parents decided that their spiritual home was not with the Catholic church. My family began attending Poplar Ridge Friends Meeting starting when I was 8. I liked the worship style, but I loved the people. There were so many wonderful caring people, and even as a child I mattered to the meeting. Later my family moved, and we no longer attended a Friends worship. Then when I was in college I started to see that hugely influential people and institutions in my life were Friends. Most notably Nadine Hoover and her work with Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) and Friends Peace Teams. But also Quakers were working with conscientious objection to war, conscience, gender equality, war tax resistance, and conscionable business practices. I folowed the people in a way. I went to meeting to be with Nadine, and maybe to be near Sarah as well. Sarah did end up married to me.
What Quaker work have you done, or do you do?
I have travelled extensively in Indonesia with Friends Peace Teams Asia West Pacific, including a year in Yogyakarta, Indonesia working on Water Filters that produce drinking water. I am a professional engineer, and these water filters have become my work. I have also become the clerk of my local Quaker meeting, Alfred Monthly Meeting. Conscientious objection to war, and war tax resistance are also activities that I consider part of my Quaker spirituality.
What is a gift of Quakerism for you?
I find the community to be the biggest gift. There are so few quakers, but so many quakers doing good in the world. I find that Quakers are in very close contact, whether they live down the road, or across the globe. It is so common to find others working on similar issues. Also the percentage of Quakers engaged in social change is staggering. It is a wonderfully rich community.
What is a challenge of Quakerism for you?
I love the bottom-up approach which many Quaker organizations are. I like that everyone has equal voice in this type of structure, where the people doing the work make the decisions together, and the the administrators follow the leadings of the group. I find it challenging (and quite useful) to apply this philosophy to existing systems. For example I am a volunteer firefighter, and the Chief's order is the only option. On the other hand I find it easy to work with others using approaches I have learned and developed with Quakers. For example I share the work and decision-making process with all people involved in the water filter work.
What did you do for Friends Peace Teams? What do you love about it? How did you start working with them?
Friends Peace Teams builds peace by creating person-to-person connections through friendships, and acquaintance. My way of forming these connections is through the engineering work on ceramic water filters. In the year I spent in Yogyakarta, Indonesia I took existing technology that our partner organization (called SHEEP Indonesia) already had, and researched the next phase of that technology. SHEEP was having trouble getting their design to kill a high enough percentage of bacteria to be safe to drink. Together we decided that we needed more research on the technology before we could go into production, so we built a ceramics laboratory to enable experiments on the variables that make it work. At the same time we built a companion microbiology lab that would challenge the filter with bacteria, and see how much got through. As you could imagine, this is a huge task, and I'm still working on it today a year and a half after starting this project in Indonesia.
I am interested in many other projects Friends Peace Teams Asia West Pacific has going, Particularly FPT-AWP is building a workshop center in Pati, Indoenesia called Peace Place Pati. Peace Place is a learning center for developmental play, AVP, and English. I was particularly involved with AVP there, and I would ride my motorcycle the 5-7hours from Yogyakarta to Pati, a couple times a month to be with them. I have also travelled to the former war zone in Aceh, and visited internal refugees from the war in a village called Baruk Induk. Forming the friendships in these places is what FPT is all about.
Where have I been? Where am I going?
February 19, Worship with Canal Worship Group, Princeton, NJ
February 22-24Co-Facilitating the Creativity and Spirituality Weekend at Powell House. This is not an official function of my position. However, it is a great time to get to know people and discover gifts in each other. Please join us! www.powellhouse.org.
March 2 Meetings for Discernment- Brooklyn MM 9 am to 5 pm.
There is still time to register, and you can show up at the door. Suggested contribution is $10. You can come for the morning or afternoon, if you just want to try it out. There will be lunch. Visit www.nyym.org to know more.
Meeting for Discernment is an ongoing experiment of the Yearly Meeting in deep listening. It allows us as a Yearly Meeting to listen for the movement of the spirit in our Monthly Meetings and Worship Groups. We meet twice a year in extended worship over the course of a day, held in prayer by a body of elders—once at Silver Bay’s Summer Sessions, and once in the winter or early spring at locations around the Yearly Meeting. Meetings are asked to appoint members to attend but all are encouraged to come. Worship can become deep; one Friend described his experience thus: “The very experience of sitting together for several hours builds trust. By the middle of the afternoon messages often come from tender places of uncomfortable Truth.”
Although the first intent of the Meeting for Discernment is listening for the concerns and joys of our monthly meetings, it also allows us to sense ourselves as a Yearly Meeting body and supports our prayer life and presence in the world. A Friend says: “I often struggle with long periods of worship. My mind wanders, my body hurts. I do it because it deepens my spirit enabling me to walk over the earth answering that of God in more than the usual number of people. In the days following Meetings for Discernment I find that I’m more joyful and have a greater sense of well-being.”
Out of worship we respond to queries formulated by the steering committee on Meetings for Discernment. For our March 2 session (at Brooklyn Monthly Meeting), our morning queries will focus on monthly meetings: What are your dreams, yearnings, and hopes for your meeting? What is God calling your meeting to become? For the afternoon session we ask friends to explore these queries: What are your hopes, leadings, and expectations for our yearly meeting as a gathered body? What work is God calling us to do together that we cannot do separately?
March 17 Visit Albany MM.
April 5-7 Spring Sessions, Locust Valley, NY (That is on Long Island). Truth be told, I love Spring Sessions. It is a low commitment way to see what is happening in the Yearly Meeting. I get to catch up with People that I have not seen since Summer, or Fall. I get to dabble in the committees, and Coordinating committees with no commitment to joining. I do not have the same expense as summer sessions, and less time commitment, but I still walk away connected to the wider Quaker Body. Also, I get to stay with other Friends who I may or may not know yet, for Free! I LOVE staying with Friends and seeing them at home, and getting to know them. It is another gift of travelling, and knowing each other in different ways. If you have not been to Spring Sessions, please consider going. Financial Aid is available. Visit www.nyym.org for more details!
April 26-28 Farmington Scipio Spring Gathering, Pan Yan, NY. This is a GEM of a gathering. I never knew it existed! What fun for individuals and families! It is held at a camp in the Central Finger Lakes. Anyone is welcome. There is time to worship, fellowship, and sessions on different things. I do not know what this year is. There is a great Youth Program. My whole family loves it. I have met wonderful people there. Camping is available. If you live in Farmington Scipio RM, or want to see what I am talking about, PLEASE consider going. There are usually a good number of YAF there, as well as families. Kids love it!
May 10-12 Leading a Family Weekend at Powell House
July 21-27 Summer Sessions, Silver Bay. This is the annual NYYM Sessions held at Silver Bay on Lake George. It is a residential gathering for people of all ages where we do our YM business, fellowship, speakers, Junior Yearly Meeting, committees, interest groups, swimming and activities, and worship. There will be much more information coming up soon. If you love Summer Sessions, tell people! If you want to know more, contact me for information.Nyym.email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Qualities of the Spiritually Alive, March 8-10 with Philip Gulley.
What do the spiritually alive have in common? What traits and qualities transcend religions and cultures? What makes someone spiritually alive and healthy? Join Phil Gulley for a weekend at Powell House, and explore together the characteristics of spiritual "aliveness." More and more people are moving away from organized religion, but identify themselves as spiritual people. What does it mean to be spiritual, but not religious? How can our Quaker meetings attract those who are spiritual curious or hungry?
Beloved Indiana author and Quaker pastor Philip Bulley has become the voice of small town American life. Guilley is the author of 16 books including the acclaimed Harmony series of novels chornicling life in the eccentric Quaker community of Harmony, Indiana and the best-selling Porch Talk series of inspirational and humorous stories. He is also the author of the recently released theological book, If the Church were Christian, and is co-author of the booksIf Grace is True and If God is Love, written with James Mulholland. Phil regularly gives speeches, sermons, and readings, and also conducts workshops throughout the country.
Shakers & Quakers March 15-17 2013
Who were "Shaking Quakers? 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 Appearing identified themselves as “Believers” in the formative years. Now called the United Society of Shakers, or simply “Shaker,” they have created a unique material legacy in their earthly quest for spiritual perfection.
Like the Quakers, Shakers believe in personal communication with a God who was both male and female, and in the ability to find and give voice to the Inner Light. Those expressions often took the form of hymns and songs, as well as rhythmic swaying and "dancing" when the spirit moved them. For Shakers, work and worship are synonymous – leading each Believer to his/her temporal and spiritual Light.
During this weekend we will explore the roots of Shakerism and what connections exist with Quakerism – both historical and contemporary. Participants will also share in song and movement, Shaker-inspired meals, and a Shaker meeting. An optional Sunday afternoon tour at Mount Lebanon Shaker Village is planned.
Sharon Duane Koomler and Jerry Grant share a combined 50 years of Shaker scholarship and a special affection for Shakers – both past and present. Sharon has spoken and published on Shaker design, and has a particular interest in the individual call to spirituality as manifested in testimony, song, and art. Jerry is the Director of Research and Library Services at the Shaker Museum and Library in Old Chatham, NY. Jerry lectures on a wide variety of topics and has special interest in Shaker printing & publishing.
Parenting by Design or by the Seat of Our Pants. March 22-24, 2013
Secrets revealed! Parenting a middle or high school aged-person is demanding, rewarding, confusing, and uplifting. Let's join together and learn from each other about the ways that we raise our children to affirm our whole families. Discussions and activities will center on our parenting hopes and fears, and how to address them. Topics might include: What is my kids reading/watching/listening to? And by the way, what is s/he wearing? Why doesn't s/he talk to me anymore? Is my kid having sex? And what do I do about it? What do I believe? How do I pass that on? What does my son or daughter believe? How do I know? When should I say "no?" How do the kids make such a great community seem so easy? We will create our own community this weekend, and have so much fun in the process, that we might be mistaken for a bunch of teens at a PoHo Youth Conference.
Julie Glynn is the parent of three kids aged 15, 13, and 10-and-a-half. She was once a kid, and was (in retrospect) a particularly difficult teen. As a youth she found joy and fellowship at Powell House. She helps with First Day School at Brooklyn Monthly Meeting. Chris DeRoller facilitates youth programs for kids in 4th to 12th grade. She has spent time with hundreds of kids and listened in on conversations about school, love, spirit, sex, fears, hopes, anger, dreams, "boys, girls, and everything in between," music, art, god, parents, monsters, the future, the past, the Beatles, and Harry Potter. She enjoys creating spaces where people can open to one another and experience new things. She's mom to a 14 year-old and an almost 21 year old.
Work/Messiah Sing. March 29-31 2013
This weekend has become a favorite of many F/friends and families. Whether you come to work, work and sing, 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 younger ones while we work. The music: We will do Part I of Handel's Messiah on Friday evening; Part II on Saturday evening, ending with the "Hallelujah Chorus;" and Part III on Easter morning. To make it happen, you need to bring your own instrument. If you have a score, bring that too. We've had people playing violins, violas, cello, flute, bassoon, oboe, clarinet, trombone, trumpet, 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 the spring and summer. Let us know you are coming and what skills you bring, and we will let you know if you can bring any specific tools with you. The food: Jacki Gray, creative cook, will prepare sumptuous food throughout the weekend. Her massage chair will be in residence, too.
Women's Weekend, A weekend just for women! April 12-14, 2013
Annie Patterson, Rise Up Singing
Our souls long to be fed and nurtured, but our lives are often so busy and filled with outward noise that we forget how to listen to the deepest place within our hearts. Singing can take us right there - to that innermost place that cries out to be held and loved. Writing our thoughts, without judgment, can lead to a place of deep healing within us. This weekend is all about women, taking time to feed and nurture our spirits and enjoy being together in the process! Come prepared to sing and worship together, and devote some time to listening to our inner voices through writing. We will spend much of the weekend singing songs from Rise Up Singing. We'll meet in small groups for shorter, but just as rich, time to write together on Saturday afternoon. Annie Patterson has played a central role in helping to create a quiet revolution of group singing in the US and abroad. She is co-creator, along with her husband Peter Blood, of the iconic songbook, Rise Up Singing, now it its 22nd year. Rise Up Singing has sold over a million copies around the world. A member of Mt. Toby Meeting, NEYM.
Quakers & Shamanism April 19-21
Tara Lindsay, Kate Smith, Brian McGuire and Kelli DeFlora.
Anthropologists, archaeologists, historians, and psychologists have all studied shamanism whose origin dates back centuries. Practiced throughout the world, but most especially in Asian, South American, and Native American cultures, shamanic practice does not replace individual religious disciplines and traditions but transcends them and brings practitioners face to face with what it means to be "spiritual." In addition to quiet time for reflection and time in nature, the weekend will include three key components of Shamanic practice.
The Shamanic Journey is a way of finding answers, information, healing and knowledge, as well as guidance or help with one’s personal life. Through drumming, rattling, and smudging, the facilitators will provide "an opportunity to open yourself to receive the wisdom of the universe and live in a more connected way to the earthly and heavenly forces that are guiding your life."
The Fire Ceremony is an active and uniquely potent ceremony designed to give participants the opportunity to make significant changes in their lives. Focused on the work of the South, of release, this deeply experiential ceremony utilizes deep drumming and focused movement to create a supported, intentional space for growth and transformation.
The Healing Circle, as its name implies, is an oasis of healing modalities encouraging participants to slow down, reflect and take better care of themselves. Through the sound of singing bowls, the scent of essential oils, the healing touch of Reiki, the cleansing smoke of smudging, this ceremony is a quiet, yet tangible, invitation to purify your energy field.
Developing a Quaker Toolbox: a weekend for families of all ages May 10-12, 2013
Gabi Savory Bailey-Young Adult Field Secretary, Chatham Summit MM and Audrey Jaynes, Montclair MM
As families, parents and kids it is hard to navigate many situations without the right tools. Our Quaker faith and tradition can help us build a toolbox to do hard things. We can be
nurtured and nurture others. When we have the right tools we can engage with each other in new and powerful ways. Together we will develop a literal and figurative tool box. Through storytelling, discussion, art, games, small groups, acting, worship, music and sharing experiences, we will engage with the skills Quakerism gives us. With practices such as: worship/centering, listening, holding someone in the light, simplicity, gratitude, and discernment we can each participate more fully in the life of our families, communities and Meetings, at every age.
This weekend will be about creating a space where we can all be a part of meaningful and joyful learning. It is our belief that our children, of all ages, can access and benefit from these tools, especially if they are exposed to them early and often. As adults we can also benefit from the insight they give us. This is a weekend for all members of the family, from youngest to oldest. There will not be childcare, as we will all be working together in sessions, and looking at these skills as it applies to us at each developmental stage, and explored in a way that speaks to all different ages. There will be some time for parental discussion.
At the end of the weekend we hope each family will leave with a toolbox of skills that they can share with each other, their Monthly Meetings and their regions. At least one parent/guardian per family must be present in each session. We will have to limit the enrollment to 12 families.
This weekend is coordinated and facilitated by Gabi Savory Bailey, Young Adult Field Secretary for NYYM, andAudrey Jaynes, Montclair MM. Both have lively toddlers who will be in attendance. There will be planning support and input from a variety of other concerned individuals and NYYM committees.
Register by May 1st: $220 for 2; $330 for 3 or 4; $440 for families of 5 or more After May 1st: $240/$360/$480
Early Christian communities and early Quaker communities were socially and culturally diverse groups of people, surprisingly knit together by the power of divine Love into communitas – new and Love-awakened relationship with one another and with the world
Is there a children’s book or story you’ve longed to write, perhaps begun, or maybe just carried in your heart for years?
There are funds available to help make conferences possible! PLEASE contact me, Helen Garay Toppins (email@example.com) 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!
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 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, on Tuesdays, at the home of one of the participants.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will get you the information. There is good stuff happening in our Yearly Meeting, Let’s hear it!!