Minutes, Summer Sessions 2013

Submitted on 07/22/2013

New York Yearly Meeting
Summer Sessions

July 21 – 27, 2013

 

Monday evening, July 22

Silver Bay, New York
Monday, July 22, 2012, 7:45 p.m.

Jeffrey L. Hitchcock (Rahway & Plainfield), Clerk
Mary Eagleson (Scarsdale), Acting Assistant Clerk
Roger Dreisbach-Williams (Rahway & Plainfield), Recording Clerk
Robin Mallison Alpern (Scarsdale), Reading Clerk

2013-07-01. Following settling worship, the Clerk welcomed Friends and spoke of the joy he feels in serving the Yearly Meeting. He then introduced those sitting at the clerks’ table, reviewed the agenda, and the practices we follow in our sessions.

2013-07-02. The Clerk reported that during the Roll Call in the Morning session, all regions were present.

2013-07-03. The Clerk welcomed: Ruth Kinsey, formerly of Farmington Monthly Meeting, now of Gwynedd Monthly Meeting (PhYM, who is leading Bible Study); Colin Sexton, General Secretary Friends United Meeting, who is leading an interest group; Barry Crossno, General Secretary Friends General Conference; Virginia Avanesya, of Washington Monthly Meeting; and Keith Harvey, Regional Director for the American Friends Service Committee’s Northeast Region.

2013-07-04. A Travel Minute for Jean Smith, formerly a member of New York Yearly Meeting, from East Africa Yearly Meeting of Friends was read. She will speak about her work to bring clean drinking water without fuel or chemicals in Kenya at lunch on Friday. Friends approved endorsing the Travel Minute.

2013-07-05. The State of the Society report was read by Sarah Way (Brooklyn Monthly Meeting).

Our monthly meetings are full of spiritual gifts. We help one another through difficulties. We face challenges that come with growth, as well as decline. We practice humility in recognizing failures and working to resolve conflicts. We reach out to the community and welcome newcomers. We support each other in our spiritual journeys. We celebrate our joys together. We learn how to carry Quaker practice and the quietness of meeting into our daily lives. We do not know exactly how we will continue to grow and what steps we will take to share the work of the meeting, but we trust that the Way will open.

Friends received the report which is printed elsewhere in the Yearbook and available here.

2013-07-06. General Secretary, Christopher Sammond, reported on his sabbatical (attached). He comes back refreshed and renewed, and convinced that we need to go deeper. God is always present, but we are not always present and open to that Presence to the degree that is possible, a degree that would fulfill our deep yearning for connection to the Divine. We have, as a body, been seeking spiritual renewal for a long, long time. Spiritual renewal won’t be accomplished by structural changes and sweeping top-down programs. Spiritual renewal happens as each of us is faithful to the Light we have been given. And the depth of that Light, and the depth of our renewal in the Spirit, are inextricably woven into the fabric of our individual lives.

He comes back with a prophetic message: We need to stop burning hydrocarbons. We have already done irreparable harm to the earth, our only home. We need to do all that we can to stop the production and use of hydrocarbons (including with our investments). We need to look at it with the same level of concern that John Woolman had for the effects of slavery.

He also comes away from this sabbatical with a clear sense of the power of our practice as Friends, and its potential for the renewal that we have been so earnestly seeking for so very long. As Friends, we need to reach for living in what Thomas Kelly referred to as “the Divine Center.” We need to relearn how to access those deeper levels of consciousness that Bill Taber wrote about. The heart of who we are as Friends is about learning to listen to the still, small voice, and to be faithful to its directives. It is to be an instrument for the voice of the Divine, in worship, in our business, and in our dealings with others. We can deepen in this practice. We can open to the “more” that is always available, always being offered. We have to do this work individually. Yet our extended community can support each of us in this crucial work. By our witness, by our example, we can spread this holy contagion far and wide.

Spiritual renewal happens as each of us is faithful to the Light we have been given. Ministry was given in response to this report. The Meeting settled into covered worship.

2013-07-07. Buffy Curtis (Mohawk Valley) spoke about the Two Row Wampum Renewal campaign – which includes participation by several Meetings and individual Friends – a water journey with Haudenosaunee peoples from Troy to New York City that will begin on July 28 to bring the concern for reversing the Doctrine of Discovery and our relationship to the environment to the United Nations. Additional information is available through the Indian Affairs Committee.

2013-07-08. The minutes of this session were approved. The meeting closed with community worship.


 

Wednesday morning, July 24

Silver Bay, New York
Wednesday, July 24, 2013, 10:20 a.m.

Jeffrey L. Hitchcock (Rahway & Plainfield), Clerk
Lucinda Antrim (Scarsdale), Assistant Clerk
Karen Way (New Brunswick), Recording Clerk
Sylke Jackson (Rockland), Reading Clerk

2013-07-09. Friends gathered in worship. The Clerk introduced those at the clerks’ table and made several announcements. He explained the process and need for using microphones. He also noted that the arrival of the children for community worship may sometimes interrupt our meeting for worship with a concern for business. When that happens, we will suspend consideration of business and enter into expectant worship. At rise of worship, there will be announcements. The Clerk also reviewed the agenda for the morning.

2013-7-10. The Reading Clerk read a memorial minute for Alice Higley Gilbert, who was born in 1926 and died June 18, 2012. Throughout her long life, Alice demonstrated a wonderful ability to master complex systems and manage multiple responsibilities. At Swarthmore College she achieved degrees in mathematics and physics, graduating Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Psi. In her career, she worked in banking, statistical analysis, and software development. She was married to Phil Gilbert for 64 years, raised three children, and for some years transcribed books into Braille in her spare time. She served three monthly meetings—Westbury, Manhasset, and London Grove (Pennsylvania)—along with a long list of Quaker organizations at the regional, yearly, and national level. For New York Yearly Meeting, her responsibilities included Treasurer, Clerk of Nominating, and Clerk of the Oakwood Friends School Board of Managers. When not taking on complicated projects, she was a student of piano and an enthusiastic traveler. Friends spoke in loving remembrance of her caring spirit and her ability to recruit others to a more active and rewarding Quaker life.

Copies of this memorial minute will be forwarded to the Quaker organizations that Alice served.

2013-7-11. Gabrielle (Gabi) Savory Bailey (Chatham-Summit) reported on her year as Young Adult Field Secretary. She surveyed 151 Young Adults in NYYM and found that 76 did not grow up as Quakers. This means that more than half of our Young Adults begin attending meeting with little knowledge of Quakerism. They are attracted to the spiritual life of the meeting, but too often what they hear is a lament that the meeting, the yearly meeting, and Quakerism are dying. She drew our attention to the effect of language, saying “one step to growth is to Anchor Our lament darkens our outreach and our welcome to newcomers. She proposed that “we cultivate what is ALIVE in our meetings, and practice radical hospitality to each other and to anyone we encounter.” Radical hospitality means sharing what is most alive in us and looking to greet what is most alive in the newcomer. It does not mean drafting newcomers onto committees three weeks after they arrive, but waiting to understand what they really want. According to Gabi’s survey, young people do not just want to go where there are other young people. “They mostly want connection in this world that is more and more disconnected, and deeper spiritual discourse in this world that is more and more secular”—which is what most people want, regardless of age. Instead, we pile on more committee work. We need to acknowledge that there is a problem with burnout in our Yearly Meeting and our Monthly Meetings, and lovingly address the needs of those who are doing too much. This is as much a ministry to the life of the Meeting, as it is to the individual. This is part of the radical hospitality needed by Young Adult Friends, and by all other Friends as well.

Friends were moved to ministry in response to Gabi’s message. Her full report will be available as an online document.

2013-07-12. Steven Davison (Yardley Meeting, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting) reported on the work of the Communications Committee and his first year of work as Communications Director for the Yearly Meeting. He described his vision of serving as a midwife to spiritual renewal in the Yearly Meeting through a kind of “editorial ministry.” The vision of the Communications Committee is to move Yearly Meeting communications from print to digital, taking advantage of social media while being careful to leave no print-dependent Friends behind. SPARK is now published online in a forum format, so Friends can comment on articles and interact with one another. The Handbook and all advance documents for Sessions are also online, and the Yearly Meeting now has a Facebook page (Newyorkyearlymeeting). Steven demonstrated how to access the internet at Silver Bay, and then showed us how to navigate through the resources of the NYYM website. The vision of an online community extends to Yearly Meeting committees, to regional meetings, and to monthly meetings. Steven and the Communications Committee are committed to helping meetings build and connect their websites. The committee can also help with press releases. For most effective expansion, the Communications Committee and the Communications Director are also urgently seeking photos, forum comments, Facebook friends, and volunteers for posting online content. Being online saves the cost of printing; more importantly, it gathers a community that is independent of geography and welcoming to seekers at all stages of interest. Friends who are ready to give up paper can contact Steven at steven@nyym.org. (View the Communications Director's report here.)

2013-07-13. The Minutes for this session were approved. Meeting closed after a period of community worship.


 

Minutes: Wednesday evening, July 24

Silver Bay, New York
Wednesday, July 24, 2013, 7:45 p.m.

Jeffrey L. Hitchcock (Rahway & Plainfield), Clerk
Lucinda Antrim (Scarsdale), Assistant Clerk
Andrew Mead von Salis (Brooklyn), Recording Clerk
Robin Mallison Alpern (Scarsdale), Reading Clerk

2013-07-14. The Clerk welcomed Friends, reviewed the session's brief agenda, and called us into worshipful consideration of our business.

2013-07-15. Jens Braun, our named appointee to the Bolivian Quaker Eduction Fund, gave its proposed descriptive page for our Handbook its first reading. Friends heard the text, and were invited to bring comments, corrections or suggestions to Jens Braun well before the anticipated second reading at our Fall Sessions this year.

2013-07-16. From a renewed silence, the Reading Clerk read the memorial minute of Westbury Meeting for Noel Palmer. Noel was a recorded minister and energetic organizer. He expressed his profound faith by helping conceive and structure schools, meetings and organizations, as his life with his wife Daisy led him from Jamaica, West Indies, to various regions of the United States. His ministry and guidance among us continued until his death this year at age 86, leaving not only his writings but innumerable, life-long impressions of the love be bestowed on all he served.

Friends spoke in the continuing worship of Noel's ready perception of gifts where the had not been recognized before, and of the fittingly full voice in which he spoke God's Word. His words in ministry transcended many Friends' preferred spiritual language, touching and blessing and changing hearts everywhere.

Friends directed the Clerk to forward the memorial minute to Friends United Meeting, Jamaica Yearly Meeting, and any other wider Quaker groups in which Noel's life was instrumental.

2013-07-17. Friends heard and approved the minutes of this evening's business.

The clerks' table was then yielded for the remainder of the session to the Nurture Coordinating Committee, for the Yearly Meeting's open consideration of an integrity issue.


 

Thursday morning, July 25

Silver Bay, New York
Wednesday, July 24, 2013, 7:45 p.m.

Jeffrey L. Hitchcock (Rahway & Plainfield), Clerk
Lucinda Antrim (Scarsdale), Assistant Clerk
Roger Dreisbach-Williams (Rahway & Plainfield), Recording Clerk
Karen Snare (Bulls Head-Oswego), Reading Clerk

2013-07-18. The Clerk welcomed Friends, introduced the agenda – noting that paying attention to our financial condition is a ministry – and those at the clerks’ table. Friends were reminded to state their name and meeting before speaking.

2013-07-19. A report was received from JYM listing those who were not present at their meetings.

2013-07-20. Clerk of the Priorities Working Group, Lee Haring, presented their report (attached): Since Spring Sessions, the Priorities Working Group has visited 8 monthly meetings. The Queries are the same as before –

First, How is the Spirit alive in your Monthly Meeting?
Second, What work, ministry, witness is your Meeting called to?
And third, How can the rest of the Yearly Meeting support you in that life?

One important question, which has been before the Priorities Working Group from the beginning, concerns the Yearly Meeting’s budgeting process. The question is, How can the concerns and leadings that meetings have expressed to us be recognized early enough to identify their priorities and direct the budget process? As a first step, members of the group have spent much time and effort in drafting both a consolidated statement of the Yearly Meeting’s income and another consolidated statement of its expenses. These statements will show not only the operating budget, but also the funds managed by the Yearly Meeting treasurer, and the funds managed by the Yearly Meeting’s trustees. The result will show that our activities, measured by dollars, are almost twice as robust as the operating budget alone would indicate. As they continue developing these statements, they expect to present a more detailed report at Fall Sessions, with sample copies of the documents.

The broad financial picture reflected in a consolidated income report will illustrate the priorities under which we currently labor; it will allow discernment on the extent to which the Yearly Meeting's activities serve the leadings of the monthly meetings. It responds to the advice that Friends should "inspect frequently the state of their temporal affairs." Knowing accurately our programs and activities, as measured by our income and expenses, will help the Financial Services Committee and other Friends to develop a budget that reflects the priorities of the Yearly Meeting.

The group anticipates completing their visits to monthly meetings this year. Friends received the report.

2013-07-21. The Treasurer’s report was presented by Yearly Meeting Treasurer, Susan Bingham (Montclair): Opening Balance $204,908; Receipts $199,025; Disbursements ($215, 616); Closing Balance $188,318; Net Change ($16,591).

Friends received the report.

2013-07-22. The 2013 Budget was presented by the Clerk of General Services, Jeffrey Aaron (New Brunswick). Total Expenses & Revenues $514,954. The budget is balanced by correcting income expectations not taken into account at Spring Sessions. The full budget is attached.

Friends approved the Final 2013 Operating Budget.

2013-07-23. Development Committee Report was presented by Clerk of General Services, Jeffrey Aaron. The 2012-13 Budget Appeal brought in $22,960 from 38 individuals, two monthly meetings and one quarterly meeting, plus the surplus from 2012. The fund was open for contributions between Fall and Spring sessions. The committee asks that the fund be authorized for 2013-14.

Friends received the report.

2013-07-24. The New York Yearly Meeting Development Committee has completed the work for our 2012 appeal, and is looking forward to exploring developing strategies for our Annual fund 2013, such as legacy issues, coordination with other committees and re-invigorating further development. The committee respectfully requests from Friends the approval of another appeal for 2013/2014 to continue our endeavors.

Friends approved a 2013-14 Budget Appeal.

2013-07-25. A preliminary look at the 2014 budget was presented by Jeffrey Aaron, who spoke to the need for Friends to serve on the Financial Services and Development Committees. Neither committee was able to complete all of the work that they had intended because there were too many vacancies. Without Friends to do the work, it won’t get done. Though no increases are expected from the Witness, Nurture or Ministry sections, the 2014 budget will go up due to a change in the schedule of payment to staff, which created a one-time reduction in 2013, and an increase in the rental cost of our office space. The budget has remained constant since 2005 despite inflation. The number of members has gone done down by 150. The average donation has gone down from $133 to $132.

Friends received the report.

2013-07-26. The Clerk presented the consent agenda for approval, reminding Friends that, after advance opportunity for expressing concern, items on the consent agenda require no discussion. Friends approved minutes 2013-07-30 through 2013-07-32 in accord with the consent agenda.

2013-07-27. Friends approved the nominations for service to the Yearly Meeting. The nominations can be found following the minutes and epistles of this Summer Sessions, in the listing of “Friends Under Appointment to New York Yearly Meeting” in the Yearbook.

2013-07-28. Friends received these requests for release from service:

 

Friends United Meeting 2014
  John Edminster Fifteenth Street
  Regina Baird Haag Adirondack
Friends General Conference 2014
  Rick Townsend Fredonia
NYYM Trustees 2015
  Todd Tilton Westbury
Personnel 2015
  Joyce Schroeder Purchase
State of Society 2014
  Callid Keefe-Perry Rochester
Junior Yearly Meeting 2014
  Elise Bacon New Paltz
Oakwood Board 2015
  David Eskin Purchase
Committee on Conflict Transformation 2014
  Robert Martin Poughkeepsie

2013-07-29. Friends approved the Handbook page for the American Friends Service Committee. This page of the Handbook can be found at the NYYM website or paper copies may be requested from the Yearly Meeting office.

2013-07-30. A Travel Minute was received from Friends World Committee for Consultation for Ruben Clemente Maydana Torres, a member in good standing of the Golgotha Friends Church in La Paz, part of the National Evangelical Friends Church (INELA) of Bolivia, and Benigno Sanchez Eppler, a member of Northampton Friends Meeting in New England Yearly Meeting who is serving as Ruben’s mentor and interpreter. They are traveling among Friends in the Eastern United States as part of Ruben’s leading to experience the worldwide family of Friends and the Quaker Youth Pilgrimage coming to South America in 2014.

Friends approved endorsing the Travel Minute.

2013-07-31. The minutes of this session were approved. The meeting closed with community worship.


 

Friday morning, July 26

Silver Bay, New York
Friday, July 26, 2013, 10:20 a.m.

Jeffrey L. Hitchcock (Rahway & Plainfield), Clerk
Lucinda Antrim (Scarsdale), Assistant Clerk
Karen Way (New Brunswick), Recording Clerk
Karen Snare (Bulls Head-Oswego), Reading Clerk

2013-07-32. Friends gathered in worship. The Clerk introduced those at the clerks’ table and reviewed the agenda.

2013-07-33. Don Badgley (Poughkeepsie) reported for the Advancement Committee, which has received two requests for grants from the Lockport-Brinkerhoff Fund, which funds the repair and maintenance of meetinghouses. The committee recommended approval of a grant of $2,150 for Rockland Friends Meeting and $2,000 for Housatonic Meeting. Friends approved both grants.

2013-07-34. Mary Eagleson (Scarsdale), clerk of Witness Coordinating Committee, introduced Susan Wolf (Ithaca) who presented the first reading of a revised description of the Indian Affairs Committee for the NYYM Handbook. A second reading for approval will be presented at Fall Sessions.

2013-07-35. Mary Eagleson next presented a minute on gun violence. The minute arose from similar minutes forwarded by New York Quarterly Meeting, 15th Street Meeting, Staten Island Meeting, Scarsdale Meeting, and a working group within Purchase Quarterly Meeting. In addition, an informal working group of members of Purchase and Croton Valley compiled a list of possible actions to take on this issue. Witness Coordinating Committee offered this minute as a first step, with wider distribution planned.

Friends spoke in response to the minute, offering worship on the source and nature of our peace testimony, and how it can be expressed in our current social reality. Friends did not unite on this minute as written, and it is referred back to Witness Coordinating Committee. Friends with thoughts on this issue and on wording of a minute should contact the committee.

2013-07-36. Mary Eagleson gave a first reading for approval of the revised parts of an updated description of the Witness Coordinating Committee for the Handbook. She emphasized changes to the section on Guidelines for Witness Activities Fund Process, which sets a new deadline of Spring Sessions for applications for funds.

For the sake of setting the new deadline, the page was approved. The section listing constituent committees will be edited for better clarity and will be presented again in Fall Sessions.

2013-07-37. Mary Eagleson presented a minute of concern regarding drone warfare that was originally drafted by Orange Grove Monthly Meeting in California. New York Quarterly Meeting forwarded the minute to the Yearly Meeting. For the sake of a united voice, Orange Grove requested that meetings approve the minute as drafted.

Despite shared concern regarding drones, the body was not in unity on the minute. Nevertheless, Friends brought forth powerful ministry on the peace testimony.

2013-07-38. Elizabeth Gordon of the Epistle Committee gave a first reading (twice) of the Epistle. Members of the committee will be available to receive comments and suggestions between this session and the next reading.

2013-07-39. The minutes were approved.

2013-07-40. Junior Yearly Meeting joined us, singing a song of Spirit and liberation. Together we settled into community worship.


 

Friday evening, July 26

Silver Bay, New York
Friday, July 26, 2013, 6:45 p.m.

Jeffrey L. Hitchcock (Rahway & Plainfield), Clerk
Lucinda Antrim (Scarsdale), Assistant Clerk
Andrew Mead von Salis (Brooklyn), Recording Clerk

2013-07-41. The Clerk welcomed all to our meeting for worship in a spirit of celebration of our community. He invited the Coordinators of the Junior Yearly Meeting, Dawn Pozzi (Rochester) and Melanie-Claire Mallison (Ithaca), to introduce the presentation of the JYM groups' epistles. They reviewed the JYM program to come, and applause followed. They announced the fund-raising results of the Tagless Tag Sale, the Café Night, and the Fun(d) Fair, by which our youth and supporting adults have contributed $8,007 to the Yearly Meeting's Sharing Fund and to Powell House. Applause and cheers followed. They introduced each other as next year's JYM coordinators. Applause and laughter followed. Finally, they called for Friends to stand as their various histories with JYM were called out, producing an impressively inclusive crowd of standing Friends.

2013-07-42. The first and second graders, guided by Rebecca Wolf, Andrew Wolf, Rebekah Tanner, and Kristen Morgan-Davie, all presented a big composite poster and, in the manner of a Haudenosaunee welcoming ceremony of thanks, a call-and-response report of their many lessons in gratitude, with the chorus, “Now let us hold this in our minds.”

2013-07-43. The third and fourth graders, supported by Tom Goodridge, Kai McGiver, Rita Hamm and Will Tesdell, dramatized their imaginations as to what we would be if we were not people. From a nature field trip, each strange masked creature uttered a symbolic sound and translated it into an individual message of respect and oneness with nature.

2013-07-44. The fifth and sixth graders took the stage next, coordinated by David Gerhan, Patrick DiGiovanni, Abby Burford and Bryant Henning. Each person in turn read aloud a contribution to the group's report, which included examples of Quakerly notice and reconsideration of principles that were evoked.

2013-07-45. Next, Friends heard Dwight Thompson and Irena Rosenberg read, and saw the other seventh and eighth graders pantomime, the high-energy activities of their week in their own vivid words. The seventh and eighth graders also presented a turtle-shaped card they all signed with their thanks and illustrated with the Two Row Wampum, to be sent to Frieda Jacques, whose contributions to our Summer Sessions figured so prominently in all the youth epistles.

2013-07-46. Columbine Loza read the ninth and tenth graders' epistle to Friends, as her group, with Erin Clark as clerk, gradually morphed before our eyes from a crowd milling about into an ever more intimate circle – ending with a surprise circular sit.

2013-07-47. As a line of eleventh and twelfth graders stretched across the stage, led by clerks Carson Burns and Lily Bergstein, each one in the group read her or his paragraph describing the elements of their week with humor, perspective, and a group sound effect or two.

2013-07-48. Ellie Rosenberg (Ithaca) was acknowledged as the Friendly Presence serving in the Silver Bay Association's program of morning child care for our youngest Friends. Liz Honis, Kevin Mullaney, Robin Mullaney, Jennifer Lindop, Chris Cherry and Nathan Mallison were thanked for coordinating the afternoon child care, which served at least 60 children over the week.

2013-07-49. Applause, laughter and appreciation greeted every one of the epistles. They were joyfully received. We felt the truth in Melanie-Claire Mallison's closing words, “We truly are Junior Yearly Meeting.”

2013-07-50. After our youth moved out to their next evening activity, and following a short time of silent worship, the Clerk reviewed our remaining agenda. Friends approved the suggestion, conveyed by the Clerk, to append the reports of the General Secretary and the Young Adult Field Secretary to our Minutes of these Summer Sessions.

2013-07-51. Jeffrey Aaron (New Brunswick), clerk of the General Services Coordinating Committee, reported the recent sale of the meetinghouse of the Stamford-Greenwich Monthly Meeting, which has been laid down. He explained the Yearly Meeting Trustees' recommendation, approved by the Coordinating Committee, to begin as soon as possible to maintain in trust all the current proceeds received by the Yearly Meeting in connection with the sale, together with expected further proceeds. The realized cash flow from the trust would be used in support of the Yearly Meeting's operating budget. He read the recommendation of the Trustees, as follows:

Trustees recommend that all the current assets held from the sale of the Stamford-Greenwich meetinghouse, combined with the John De Forest Trust inherited from Stamford-Greenwich Meeting, be combined into one trust fund – the Stamford-Greenwich Trust – managed by the Trustees with dividend income payable to New York Yearly Meeting. All future income from interest and principal payments on the mortgage held by the Trustees will be paid into this trust each quarter.

The Yearly Meeting approved.

2013-07-52. The Sessions Committee report was delivered by Roseann Press (Housatonic), with an introduction acknowledging the active support of others for the Committee's work. Of the 506 Friends registered for Summer Sessions, 111 were in Junior Yearly Meeting. Roseanne Press encouraged us to give attention to our Spring and Fall Sessions as equally important to the Summer Sessions we now conclude. The report was received.

2013-07-53. Marissa Badgley (Poughkeepsie), on behalf of the Circle of Young Friends, read their epistle. Our young adult Friends have discerned where our differences lie and divisions may arise, both as a Yearly Meeting and within the Circle of Young Friends itself, and have attended deeply to ways forward “into a more whole and accommodating community.” The epistle expresses gratitude and energy, even as it asks for our prayers and support.

In response, Friends of varied ages reflected on the difficulties or even contradictions inherent in the challenges of which the epistle speaks. Yet, to varying degrees, we may see the distinctions among us as insignificant. Whether or not we do, we all join in gratitude for the spiritual vitality among our younger Friends. The epistle was received.

The Circle of Young Friends expects to proceed to discern whether their epistle is addressed to our Yearly Meeting or more widely, and to whom it best be sent.

2013-07-54. Roger Dreisbach-Williams (Rahway and Plainfield), clerk of the Epistle Committee, delivered the second reading of our Epistle. From an appreciative silence, some specific changes to its lanaguage arose and were tested and adopted, with final wording of one section to be worked out with those holding a particular concern. Friends approved the Epistle as amended. (View the Epistle here.)

2013-07-55. The Minutes of this session were approved. The meeting concluded in silent worship, to convene again at our Fall Sessions on November 16, 2013, at Caldwell College, West Caldwell, New Jersey.

 

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