Minutes, Summer Sessions 2012
The 317th New York Yearly Meeting
July 22–28, 2012
Silver Bay, New York
- Monday, July 23, 2012
- Thursday, July 26, 2012
- Friday morning, July 27, 2012
- Friday afternoon, July 27,2012
- Friday evening, July 27, 2012
Monday, July 23, 2012, 10:15 a.m.
Heather M. Cook (Chatham-Summit), Clerk
Jeffrey Hitchcock (Rahway & Plainfield), Assistant Clerk
Karen A. Reixach (Rochester), Recording Clerk
Sylke Jackson (Rockland), Reading Clerk
2012-07-01. Out of waiting worship, the Clerk observed that this is a time to practice together loving-kindness, forgiveness, gratitude, and joy.
2012-07-02. The Clerk introduced the Friends at the clerks’ table and reviewed the proposed order of worship for our session.
2012-07-03. The Clerk reported that the roll call by region was conducted last evening. All regions were represented.
2012-07-04. Visitors were welcomed.
Eden Grace, New England Yearly Meeting (NEYM), Friends United Meeting (FUM)
Keith Harvey, NEYM, regional director of American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), Northeast Region
Jon Watts, Baltimore Yearly Meeting (BYM), plenary speaker for New York Yearly Meeting (NYYM) summer sessions
Megan Keitzman-Nicklin, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (PhYM), elder for Jon Watts Maggie Harrison, (PhYM), plenary speaker for NYYM summer sessions
Barry Crossno, South Central Yearly Meeting (SCYM), Friends General Conference (FGC)
2012-07-05. Barry Crossno, general secretary of Friends General Conference, expressed his appreciation to Friends for their support and indicated opportunities to learn more about FGC.
2012-07-06. Friends heard a selection from George Fox (1658): “Be still and cool in thy own mind and spirit, from thy own thoughts. Then thou wilt feel the principle of God, to turn thy mind to the Lord God, whereby thou wilt receive God’s strength and power from whence life comes, whereby thou will receive God’s strength to allay all blusterings, storms, and tempests,” from the CD Timeless Quaker Wisdom in Plainsong, selected, set to music, and recorded by Paulette Meier.
2012-07-07. David Kisselback, chief executive officer of the Silver Bay YMCA, welcomed us and talked about the community here, especially the presence of Friends. The peace, patience, and commitment Friends bring have enriched the ongoing community here over the years. He invited Friends to take time to center and to enjoy what Silver Bay has to offer.
2012-07-08. The reading clerk read the travel minute from East Africa Yearly Meeting for Mama Jean Smith, who started the Kuwesa project for HIV widows and children to earn cash for necessities. Most recently the project introduced bio-sand water filters to eliminate dysentery, increase productivity of adults, increase learning in children, and extend the life span of people infected with HIV.
The Clerk will endorse the travel minute on behalf of NYYM.
2012-07-09. State of the Society Committee member Sarah Way (Brooklyn) summarized the State of the Society report for this year. This year, meetings were asked to respond to two questions:
- How does ministry thrive in our meetings? How do we identify and support the ministries rising among us? Do we communicate our faith with tenderness and honesty to each other, to our meetings, and to the larger world?
- Every meeting carries part of the long legacy of Quaker faith and practice. What do we contribute to that legacy? Are we called to participate in non-Quaker movements that express or could use Quaker values?
The full report can be found on the NYYM website nyym.org (here) and in the 2012-2013 Yearbook beginning on page 34. In response to the summary, Friends lifted up the possibility of extended worship, and expressed a desire for outreach especially around earth care. We were invited to engage the stories in the individual state of meeting reports of who we are and to experience these reports not simply as status reports but as epistles.
2012-07-10. The preceding minutes were approved.
2012-07-11. Friends heard another selection from Paulette Meier’s CD based on a text by Isaac Penington (1667): “Our life is love, our life is peace, our life is tenderness, and bearing with each other, and forgiving one another and not laying accusations one against another; but praying for each other and helping each other up with a tender hand.”
2012-07-12. General Secretary Christopher Sammond (Poplar Ridge) suggested that Friends read the staff reports in the Advance Reports to get a sense of the varieties of work that is carried forward on the Meeting’s behalf.
He introduced Steven Davison (PhYM), the new communications director of NYYM.
Christopher told Friends that part of his work as general secretary is to look at larger issues and spoke at length about the following quotation: Freedom is actually a bigger grace than power. Power is about what you can control. Freedom is about what you can unleash.
“We are called to be unleashed.
“We are poised.
“We are pregnant.
“The time is now.
“God is straining to be born in us.
“Do we have the courage to open to the Living God?”
Christopher affirmed that we seek to unleash the power of God—to walk in that power, to live in that power, to work through that power. And he observed that our greatest barrier to doing so today is not lack of funds. It is not lack of inspired Friends ready to do the will of God. Our greatest barrier is our attachment to who we have been, how we have “always” done things, how we see ourselves and our structures, physical and institutional, today. He offered a number of examples of the rigidity, but stressed that his sense is that we are moving out of that place into one of more fluidity, more faithfulness. He provided examples of the quickening of the love of God within local meetings, in our Yearly Meeting, and in the larger bodies of Friends.
He concluded his message, “This is not just about us. This is happening everywhere. The love of God is seeking to open us and pour through us. Can we open to it? Do we dare? If we do, are we willing to have the Living God, the awesome power of unbridled love, unleashed in and through us? If we are, we must also be willing to change. Joseph Campbell wrote: ‘We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.’” And Christopher said tenderly, “I believe we can. I believe we are. God, help us.” He offered queries for us to engage:
“Change often comes in forms that are unfamiliar to us; do our institutional structures enhance and give life to what is arising within and through us?”
“Is what we are doing with new life helping it to be released?”
Out of continued worship, Friends affirmed the challenge of change and recalled that many Friends whom we uphold now were not well received by their meetings; spoke of the urgent need in our world for “salvation”—the direct experience of the Loving God; observed the contrast between the recent State of Society report and the pattern observed by Christopher; recalled the history (and expectation) of the fire coming from young people; offered the serenity prayer and mutual tenderness as guides to change; resonated with Christopher’s message about the unleashing of the power of the living God and the inertia that holds us back and called us to remember that we belong to that greater Body that holds it all; questioned how do we grow, what means do we use. Ministry continued: The power of the early Religious Society of Friends was that they expected and experienced the in-breaking of God. To the extent that we rely on our own power to change, we will fail. We are called to expect the in-breaking of the power of God, calling to us as a lover. There is a place prepared for us, a peaceable kingdom. It is possible if we expect it.
2012-07-13. Friends settled into community worship, joined by Junior Yearly Meeting.
2012-07-14. Friends remained after community worship and approved minutes 11 and 12.
Thursday, July 26, 2012, 10:15 A.M.
Heather M. Cook, Clerk
Jeffrey Hitchcock, Assistant Clerk
Andrew Mead von Salis (Brooklyn), Recording Clerk
Robin Mallison Alpern (Scarsdale), Reading Clerk
2012-07-15. Friends gathered themselves into peacefully expectant worship. The Clerk invited us to check in with ourselves at this point in our week, to help ensure our attentiveness to obedience. She introduced the clerks serving this morning and proposed the items on which we would worship.
2012-07-16. The Clerk introduced the following visitors and guests: Jack Payden-Travers, National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund Faith Kelley, Ohio Yearly Meeting (OYM), William Penn House in Washington, D.C. Micah Bales, OYM, currently Interim Communications and Web Specialist of Friends United Meeting (FUM)
2012-07-17. Micah Bales reported on recent activities of FUM. Forty Days of Prayer for the Future of Friends, guided by a specially published booklet, will be observed October 10 through November 18, 2012. Micah presented queries to inspire a culminating day of discernment on the future of Friends, intending to inform FUM’s priorities and planning for the coming ten years.
2012-07-18. Friends heard a selection from Isaac Penington (1681) from the recording Timeless Quaker Wisdom in Plainsong by Paulette Meier: “Give over thine own willing, give over thine own running, give over thine own desiring to know or be anything, and sink down to the seed, which God sows in thy heart, and let that be in thee and grow in thee and breathe in thee and act in thee, and thou shalt find by sweet experience that the Lord knows that and loves and owns that, and will lead it to the inheritance of life, which is God’s portion.”
2012-07-19. The Meeting approved minutes 20 through 22 in accordance with the consent agenda.
2012-07-20. 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.
2012-07-21. Friends received the requests for release from service:
Lindley Murray Fund 2014
Nancy Sorel (Bulls Head-Oswego)
Financial Services 2014
Todd Tilton (Westbury)
Friends Peace Teams 2014
Greta Mickey (Central Finger Lakes)
Junior Yearly Meeting 2013
Mary Eagleson (Scarsdale)
Supervisory Committee for the General Secretary 2013
Karen Reixach (Rochester)
2012-07-22. Friends approved the Handbook page for the Development Committee.
2012-07-23. Nominating Committee co-clerk Jill McClellan (Buffalo) brought forward the nomination of a non-member of our Yearly Meeting, Ralph Skeels of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, for appointment to the Oakwood Friends School Board of Managers for a three-year term. Friends approved.
2012-07-24. Friends approved minutes 15 through 23.
2012-07-25. Indian Affairs Committee co-clerk Susan Wolf (Ithaca) presented the proposed minute regarding repudiation of the Doctrine of Discovery (also known as the Doctrine of Christian Discovery), a principle of international law that originated in Christian church law and has long been invoked as a basis for past colonization of indigenous lands and peoples. She cited examples of current uses of land in America that Native peoples consider to be desecrations.
The Committee has engaged the Yearly Meeting on this issue and its current relevance in U.S. law in conversations, publications, and postings on its page of the Yearly Meeting Web site. On July 9, 2012, the Witness Coordinating Committee approved the minute repudiating the Doctrine of Discovery.
In worship, we heard that churches worldwide have credited Friends and Anglicans for bringing to their attention the injustice of the Doctrine of Discovery, which was promulgated in Jesus’ name, and which has profited Friends’ historic migrations and settlements as well as those of others. We also heard a call to repentance, confession, and the necessity of ongoing stewardship. The Yearly Meeting approved the following minute as proposed, with one Friend standing aside:
We seek to live in a just peace with our fellow human beings, both as individuals, and as peoples.
The United States has formally declared its support for the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples of 2007. We now call on the United States Senate to enact the legislation that will make this the law of the land in the United States of America.
We repudiate the Doctrine of Discovery, which originated in the 15th century from Papal Bulls and European royal charters issued at that time. The Doctrine of Discovery mandated the seizure of lands belonging to any non-Christian peoples and encouraged the enslavement, exploitation, or eradication of those peoples. We cannot accept that the Doctrine of Discovery was ever a true authority for the forced takings of lands and the enslavement or extermination of peoples. It is reprehensible for the United States to use the Doctrine of Discovery as a legal doctrine to compel a jurisdiction over Indigenous Peoples or their lands.
We honor the inalienable rights of Indigenous Peoples to their homelands, water, spiritual practices, languages, cultural practices, and to self-government, all of which sustain life and the life of a People, and the autonomy of Indigenous Peoples. An Indigenous People has the right to make decisions and establish constructive arrangements with other nations, governments, and peoples on their own behalf.
2012-07-26. At the request of the Indian Affairs Committee and the Witness Coordinating Committee, Friends directed the incoming Clerk and the General Secretary, in consultation with the incoming or continuing clerks of those committees, to disseminate widely the foregoing approved minute and its underlying concerns to the monthly meetings and Friends within New York Yearly Meeting, and to government officials, Friends organizations, other faith groups, Native nations, and other appropriate organizations.
2012-07-27. Friends approved minutes 25 and 26.
2012-07-28. Friends heard a selection of George Fox (1653): “Mind that which is eternal, which gathers your hearts together up to the Lord, and lets you see that ye are written in one another’s heart” from Timeless Quaker Wisdom in Plainsong.
2012-07-29. At noon, Friends returned to open worship and were joined by Junior Yearly Meeting for a quarter-hour of community worship.
Friday, July 27, 2012, 10:15 A.M.
Heather M. Cook, Clerk
Jeffrey Hitchcock, Assistant Clerk
Karen A. Reixach, Recording Clerk
Alanna Badgley (Poughkeepsie), Reading Clerk
2012-07-30. The meeting settled into open worship. The Clerk described individuals and our Yearly Meeting as beautiful, changing and eternal—clay vessels carrying that of God within.
2012-07-31. The Clerk introduced those at the clerks’ table, and reviewed the items for consideration in worship at this session.
2012-07-32. The memorial minute for Walter Wells Haines (Rockland, sojourning at Old Chatham) was read. An international economist, founding member of the intentional community Skyview Acres and of the Rockland Monthly Meeting, Walter served the Yearly Meeting as recording clerk for twenty years, capturing the sense of the meeting in minutes that have been described as “poetic and succinct.” Walter was also a moving and healing spirit during the Yearly Meeting’s nearly twenty-year process of revising Faith & Practice. Friends celebrated his life of service to Friends, recalling Walter’s sense of humor; his innate gifts as a recording clerk and his willingness to teach others precision, understanding, the use of English, and humility (remembering that the minutes belong to the meeting, not to the recording clerk); the contributions of his six children to our s(S)ociety; the importance of the Yearly Meeting in upholding blended families; and his authority in affirming Truth.
2012-07-33. Committee to Revise Faith and Practice clerk Irma Guthrie (Perry City) brought the proposed advice and query on the environment for their second reading. She indicated that after their first reading last summer, the committee circulated the proposed advice and query and received thoughtful comments and reflections from individuals and meetings, so that the advices and queries are already serving their function of inviting Friends to consider deeply their relationship with creation. After careful consideration, the committee has retained the original wording. Friends approved the advice and query:
Friends are advised to acknowledge and celebrate our interconnectedness with the natural world, and to share with our children and others our love for God’s creation. We are encouraged to live lives that nurture both ourselves and the Earth. We are urged to pay attention to such concerns as population growth, climate change, sustainable energy policies, and right sharing of natural resources.
Are we engaged in nurturing and deepening our relationship with all creation? Do we make time to open to the Spirit through contact with nature? Do we strive to live in harmony with the Earth? How can we transform our lives in witness to our right relationship with the Earth, and join with others in active stewardship, realizing that we share one planet, now and in the future?
Friends urged the committee to consider the interconnectedness of our advices and queries.
2012-07-34. Minutes 30 through 33 were approved.
2012-07-35. At the Clerk’s invitation, the Assistant Clerk Jeff Hitchcock presided over the remainder of this session.
2012-07-36. The presiding Clerk introduced the NYYM delegation to the Sixth World Conference of the Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC): Sylke Jackson (Rockland), Diane Keefe (Wilton), Margaret Mulindi (Manhattan), and Gloria Thompson (Manhattan). Christopher Sammond (Poplar Ridge), general secretary of NYYM, also attended this largest worldwide conference of Friends in the last 40 years and most diverse ever.
2012-07-37. The reading clerk read portions of the epistle from the Sixth World Conference held at Kabarak University, Kenya, 17-25 April 2012, and organized around the call to be “Salt and Light: Friends living the Kingdom of God in a broken world”. The full text is available at http://saltandlight2012.org/6th-world-conference-friends-epistle.
2012-07-38. A short video, which is on the Salt and Light website, gave a flavor of the vast diversity of the FWCC gathering. The participants in the Salt and Light gathering then offered brief reflections on their experiences. A written report from the delegates is appended.
Christopher Sammond focused on the power of worship. God working in and through those present bridged divides of culture, theology, and practice, so that by the middle of the gathering it felt like all were in a covered meeting for the remainder of the time. For the first time, Christopher felt part of a worldwide body of Friends; he experienced a taste of the Kingdom. He said, “We were incredibly blessed by this experience and now our work is to spread this experience at home.”
Sylke Jackson recounted that one of the plenary speakers offered the Maori term for Quakers as “the faith community that stands shaking in the wind of the Spirit,” which seemed to her to characterize the gathering. She described the power of the intimate “home groups” in addressing the potentially divisive matter of homosexuality; she observed that out of such intimate conversations may come powerful political and social movements.
Diane Keefe described the “thread group” she attended, led by David Zarembka of Friends Peace Teams (FPT) African Great Lakes Initiative, one of 43 thread groups offered. The powerful testimony about preventing conflict opened her eyes to the work of FUM and of FPT, and to the importance of the support of Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) for the critical crisis fund of the U.S. government. Margaret Mulindi brought greetings from the 850 participants in the gathering. She felt challenged and inspired. She especially valued the vibrant presence of young Friends there and exhorted NYYM to involve young Friends in our monthly, quarterly, and yearly meetings.
Gloria Thompson described this as a lifetime opportunity. She experienced a strong sense of community united in the Spirit. The messages at the gathering kindled her prayer life, uplifted her in love, increased her commitment to service, and re-energized her faith in the power of the Living God. On behalf of all the delegates she offered heartfelt thanks for this opportunity.
Ministry around the report ensued. Friends heard a call for a renewed relationship with FUM, including support for the work in Kenya of Eden Grace of FUM, and a prayer that some day we could send 40 or 400 NYYM Friends abroad, blowing us like seeds across the world, to share in more of our broad Society of Friends.
Extensive materials from the Gathering, including videos and the text of the prepared messages given in plenary worship, are available at http://www.saltandlight2012.org/followtheconference.
2012-07-39. Epistle Committee clerk Roger Dreisbach-Williams (Rahway & Plainfield) gave the first reading of the epistle from these Sessions. Friends were encouraged to offer suggestions and concerns to members of the Epistle Committee.
2012-07-40. Minutes 35 through 39 were held over for consideration until the afternoon session.
2012-07-41. The meeting continued in community worship with song, story, and vocal ministry.
Friday afternoon, July 27, 2012, 1:50 p.m..
Heather M. Cook, Clerk
Jeffrey Hitchcock, Assistant Clerk
Roger Dreisbach-Williams (Rahway & Plainfield), Recording Clerk
Karen Snare (Bulls Head-Oswego), Reading Clerk
2012-07-42. The Clerk introduced the Friends clerking this session and reviewed the agenda.
2012-07-43. Friends approved minutes 35 through 39 from the morning session.
2012-07-44. A memorial minute for Joseph Henry Condon (Rahway & Plainfield) was read. Joe was born on February 15, 1935. He understood the value of sharing energy. He humbly shared the energy of hard work, of strong reason and of patient love. Joe enjoyed classical music, theater and Native American crafts and the company of his nieces and nephews. While working for AT&T Bell Laboratories at Murray Hill, NJ, he produced many patents in the area of digital switching. Joe was a member of Summit Monthly Meeting for about fourteen years, and transferred his membership to Rahway & Plainfield Monthly Meeting in 2005. He was active, useful, and well loved in these meetings. Joe served on the Powell House Committee for many years, and he was the soundman for NYYM summer sessions at Silver Bay. Joe had a great interest and knowledge of Quaker history and theological evolution.
Friends expressed appreciation for his valuable services to Powell House, youth, and the Yearly Meeting.
2012-07-45. Treasurer Susan Bingham (Montclair) presented the Treasurer’s report as of June 30, 2012. The NYYM operating budget started this year with $204,735; there was income of $232,522 and expenses of $211,747. The balance as of June 30, 2012, was $225,510 which is $20,775 more than last year at this time. The full report is posted on the NYYM website.
2012-07-46. Financial Services Committee clerk Sandra Beer (Old Chatham) presented the committee’s report. She noted that data on meeting donations include widely different abilities to contribute, making objective comparison less useful than expected. Friends were asked to urge their meetings to consider their covenant donations for 2013 and report to Financial Services by mid-October.
2012-07-47. Friends approved a minute of recognition for Paul Busby from the Personnel Committee and the General Services Coordinating Committee: “For twelve years, Paul served the Yearly Meeting as its Administrative Associate and Communications Director. He was a dedicated worker who brought excellent editing skills to the publications of the Yearly Meeting. Paul took his responsibilities seriously and could be counted on to speak directly with those he worked with throughout his years of service. We thank him for his years of service and wish him well in his future endeavors.”
2012-07-48. Priorities Working Group clerk Lee Haring (Bulls Head-Oswego) reported on the group’s activities. The report is appended.
2012-07-49. Sessions Committee clerk John Cooley (Central Finger Lakes) reported that attendance this year is 576, including 151 in Junior Yearly Meeting. Over $17,000 from the Equalization Fund, including the 10 complementary stays from the Silver Bay Association and many individual contributions, were used to help 90 individuals attend. Friends were urged to fill out evaluation forms (which can be found on the Yearly Meeting website and returned by mail or e-mail) regarding their experience this week. The committee welcomes suggestions for future sessions. The sooner these are received, the easier it will be for the committee to consider them.
2012-07-50. Friends approved minutes 42 through 49.
2012-07-51. Friends heard a selection from Margaret Fell (1660), “Truth is one and the same always, though ages and generations goes and another comes, yet the word and power and spirit of the Living God endures forever, and is the same and never changes,” from the recording Timeless Quaker Wisdom in Plainsong by Paulette Meier.
2012-07-52. Aging Resources Consultation and Help (ARCH) coordinators Anita Paul (Schenectady) and Barbara Spring (Albany) reported on the services they provide, which are described in pamphlets and on the Quaker Aging Resources website. Of the eight programs they offer, the most popular program is end-of-life planning. They spoke about ARCH Visitors; there are now 48. A program is planned for September at 15th Street Meeting. A third Coordinator position is being added.
2012-07-53. The Clerk reported on four actions taken on behalf of the Yearly Meeting between sessions:
October 2011 – signed a statement from Occupy Faith NYC in support of Occupy Wall Street
November 2011 – signed an Interfaith Network letter to Janet Napolitano, secretary of Homeland Security
December 2011 – signed an Occupy Faith letter to Governor Cuomo urging the extension of the “millionaires tax”
June 2012 – subscribed to New Yorkers Against Fracking coalition’s endorsement of a ban on hydraulic fracturing in NY.
2012-07-54. Friends approved minutes 51 through 53.
Friday evening, July 27, 2012, 6:45 p.m..
Heather M. Cook, Clerk
Jeffrey Hitchcock, Assistant Clerk
Andrew Mead von Salis, Recording Clerk
2012-07-55. Friends of all ages gathered into worship, and the Clerk spoke of the joy in our noise and in our togetherness. She introduced the clerks and reviewed what would be presented.
2012-07-56. Junior Yearly Meeting (JYM) Committee clerk Peter Close (Purchase) expressed appreciation for the participants in the program and all those who facilitated it. He then introduced the incoming co-clerks of the JYM Committee, Miriam McGiver (Quaker Street) and Aldona Januszkiewicz (15th Street), and the JYM coordinators for 2013, Dawn Pozzi (Rochester) and Melanie-Claire Mallison (Ithaca).
2012-07-57. Aldona Januszkiewicz introduced the in-coming clerks of the older JYM groups: for the 7th and 8th graders, Amelia Bacon and Dwight Huey; for the 9th and 10th graders, Erin Clark and Simon Michaud, with Columbine Loza and Soren Grunberg as alternates; and for the 11th and 12th graders, Carson Burns and Lilly Bergstein, with Mariah Goodwin and Martin Glazer as alternates.
2012-07-58. Dawn Pozzi noted that providing child care enables adults to participate in sessions. She acknowledged the Friendly presence at Silver Bay’s morning childcare program, Ty Griese, and the evening child care coordinators Kevin Mullaney, Julian Alpern, and Lincoln Alpern.
2012-07-59. The 1st and 2nd graders sang their epistle to the tune of “The More We Get Together.” Its text, reciting their many lessons discovered, is appended.
2012-07-60. Tallulah Way Klein read aloud the epistle of the 3rd and 4th graders as her group acted out a lively wildlife parable, illustrating the value of community and working together. Its text is appended.
2012-07-61. The 5th and 6th graders each recited parts of their epistle. It expressed what integrity is, and vividly told how to recognize it. The epistle went on to summarize their week’s many activities and explorations. The epistle is appended.
2012-07-62. The 7th and 8th graders began in a very quiet circle, with each speaker tossing an unwinding ball of yarn across the circle, creating a web, as she or he named a highlight or accomplishment of the group. This illustrated their connectedness, all intertwined with attention to integrity. The epistle is appended.
2012-07-63. The 9th and 10th graders sat facing assembled Friends. Their designated readers read the events of their week, as the pace of the group’s accompanying percussion grew. Attention was given to homophobia, racism, guided meditation, games, and spontaneous “cuddle chains,” as well as the wider world of Quaker activity. They ended by forming a cuddle chain and recited a poem. The epistle and poem are appended.
2012-07-64. Martin Glazer read the epistle of 11th and 12th graders, accompanied by a pianist from their group, while all of the other group members formed a massage chain. Their week’s activities ranged from games to learning about conscientious objection and wrestling with the experience of Integrity. The calm spread through the room, along with occasional laughter. The epistle is appended.
2012-07-65. The 7th through 12th graders’ epistles specifically acknowledged each group’s experience of working in committees and conducting business after the manner of Friends.
2012-07-66. Dawn concluded the JYM report by announcing that Café Night, which is organized by the high school group, raised about $6,700 for Powell House and the Sharing Fund.
2012-07-67. For the Circle of Young Friends, Barbara von Salis (Brooklyn), representing the Young Adult Concerns Committee, reported that group’s discernment that no call for any epistle arose from the Spirit during their richly active week. The Clerk recognized our appreciation for these Friends’ faithfulness in their discernment.
2012-07-68. After a period of quieting, Colleen Hardiman (attending Purchase) of the Epistle Committee gave the second reading of the Yearly Meeting’s epistle, reflecting substantial input and further seasoning since this morning’s first reading. It was considered silently and vocally, and was approved. Much ministry arose from the essence of the epistle and the awe of embracing integrity. Friends continued to struggle with the concluding phrase “a broken world.” We acknowledged our differences of understanding and experience, and the need for all to feel included in our spiritual community. The epistle is appended.
2012-07- 69. The minutes of this session were approved.
2012-07-70. At the Clerk’s invitation in view of the late hour, Friends closed by joining hand-in-hand in the center of the room in concentric circles, allowing spontaneous song to arise. For a few minutes, familiar hymns of quiet gratitude, obedience, and praise welled up. Following meeting for worship Saturday morning, NYYM will adjourn, to meet again from November 9 to 11, 2012, at the First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in Somerset, New Jersey.