Spark, February 2024 - In the Footsteps of Fox: Leadings of Young Adults
Start Spreading The News!
Share your meeting’s news, announcements, and upcoming events with the rest of the yearly meeting by sending them to [email protected]. News items will appear in Spark, our printed newsletter, and our weekly email newsletter. Want to get Spark in the mail? Email [email protected], or call 212-673-5750. Want to receive the weekly update emails? Sign up at [email protected].
Welcome to Spark Online
The online edition of New York Yearly Meeting's print newsletter
This is the Online Edition of the February 2024 issue of Spark, which you can also as a pdf file.
In the Footsteps of Fox:
Leadings of Young Adults
George Fox left home at 18 in search of true religious experiences. At age 25, George Fox began to preach publicly, traveling on foot around England and attracting a growing group of followers — the “Friends of the Truth.”
Quakerism has listened to the leadings from young adults since the beginning. In this issue we lift up the voices of some of the young adults (and soon-to-be young adults) in our yearly meeting to learn how they have been led by the Spirit.
Articles On Theme: In the Footsteps of Fox: Leadings of Young Adults
- The Presence of Listening, by Calliope George, NYYM Sojourner
- The Spirit of Kwanzaa Compels You, by Chase Salazar Southgate, Cenhesse (Friends) Meeting
- Revolution in Syria and Quakerism, by Nicole Fite, Brooklyn Meeting
- A Note of Appreciation for NYYM and Thoughts on Moving Forward, by Greg Koziol, Young Adult NYYM Friend
- Children’s Peace Festival, by Anna Whitely, Chatham-Summit Meeting
- The Little Red (Quaker) Hen, by an Uneasy Friend
- Pacing Poetry, by Nichole Nettleton, Ithaca Meeting
- Epistle on Integrity, 11th-12th grade and Young Adults
Other Articles from Friends
- I Will Hold You in the Light: Brooklyn Meeting’s Email Light List, by Linda Gnat-Mullin, Brooklyn Meeting
- We Weep with the Willow, by Kathy Czekaj, Manasquan Meeting
Around Our Yearly Meeting
- Editor's Note
- Query for State of Meeting Reports
- Faith and Practice Available
- NYYM's Weekly Update Email
- Upcoming Events
- Online Worship
I received news about the death of an old Powell House youth program friend of mine recently. A community of Friends from that time — 30 years ago — has joined together in a Facebook chat to share our grief, stories about Justin, and offers of help. Chatting together has helped us feel less alone. The bonds we formed as teenagers remain strong. I’m feeling very grateful for my time at Powell House.
Spark accepts article submissions of 400-600 words, artwork, photos, poetry, shorter news items and announcements, and letters to the editor.
Upcoming Spark themes:
May 2024: Why We Gather.
Why do Quakers find it important to gather together? From the 2020 edition of Faith and Practice: “The yearly meeting exists principally to worship together,” and, though our worship focuses on business, we “can engage in any activity or foster any work that the membership considers appropriate.” What does that mean, or what should it mean? Is gathering for worship and business enough to create a faith community? When, how, and why do we gather?
Submissions are due by April 1 to [email protected].
Choosing love anyway,
Sarah Way, NYYM
- Matthew Ciske — Albany
- Jim Morgan, member of Brooklyn, on November 2, 2023.
- Paul Weaver, member of Consicence Bay, on October 23, 2023.
Query for State of Meeting Reports
The State of Society query is intended for all meetings, worship groups (unprogrammed, pastoral, prison etc.) and at-large members of the yearly meeting. By responding to this query you help us to reflect on how Spirit moves among us.
What is shaping your spiritual life and how are you being led to respond?
Meetings and individuals are asked to return responses by April 15, 2024, to [email protected].
Faith and Practice Available
Copies of Faith and Practice, the NYYM book of discipline, are available from the NYYM office. $10.00 per copy suggested. Contact [email protected] or write to New York Yearly Meeting, 15 Rutherford Place, New York, NY 10003.
NYYM's Weekly Update Email
The next gathering of New York Yearly Meeting for business will be Spring Sessions, held on site at Oakwood Friends School and online April 5-7, 2024. See page 7-8.
Winter Meeting for Discernment
March 2, 2024
Meetings for Discernment are periods of extended, waiting worship and deep listening to discern leadings and strengthen connections in our yearly meeting. The 2024 Winter Meeting for Discernment will be held in three sessions online via Zoom on Saturday, March 2. There will be a Zoom meeting on the evening of Friday, March 1 beginning at 7 p.m. for anyone new to the Meeting for Discernment or interested in holding space as an elder.
The query for our worship:
How do we nurture the practice of discernment as we embrace the diversity of belief, experience and spiritual vocabulary among us?
To register, visit nyym.org/event/winter-meeting-discernment-2024.
SAVE THE DATE!
Summer Sessions 2024 will be held at Oakwood School and online, Friday, July 26 (dinnertime) to Wednesday, July 31 (lunchtime). Contact [email protected] to help with Summer 2024, especially if you're interested in working with children.
Powell House Workshops
Powell House is the retreat and conference center for NYYM. Visit powellhouse.org/event-list/ to register or call 518-794-8811.
Creativity & Spirituality
March 15-17, 2024
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. In a creative community we will delve into the interrelationship between creativity and spirituality through a variety of art forms—possibilities include: quilting, weaving, sculpting with clay, painting with watercolors, knitting, crochet, cooking/baking, origami, music.
Spring Work Weekend
April 26-28, 2024
Indoor and outdoor work projects on Powell House’s campus, with evening recreation and fellowship activities.
Friends General Conference's 2024 Gathering: Rooted in Story
June 30-July 6 in Haverford, PA
Friends come together from across the US and Canada to deepen their worship, explore something new in a workshop, benefit from a Spirit-led plenary, share meals with a Friend, dance and sing, and more. There will be designated activities for Junior Gathering (infants to 9th grade), Young Friends in High School, and Young Adult Friends. www.fgcquaker.org/the-gathering
Friends World Committee on Consultation — World Plenary Meeting
SAVE THE DATE: August 5-12, 2024
In 2024, the first Quaker World Plenary Meeting in almost a decade will take place in South Africa, hosted by Southern Africa Yearly Meeting, and online. The theme is “Living the Spirit of Ubuntu: Responding with Hope to God’s Call to Cherish Creation and One Another.” Visit fwcc.world/wpm/
For Young Adults
Children, Youth and Young Adult Community Director Beth Kelly maintains a list of upcoming YAF events at nyym.org/yaf-events
Powell House YAF Conference: Ghosts and Grief
June 14-16, 2024
Stories of ghosts swim around the walls of Powell House. Maybe you are carrying one of your own! How does the past influence the present? What happens when we pass beyond the physical world? What spaces do you think you would inhabit as a ghost? Visit powellhouse.org/event-list/ to register.
For Children & Teens
Powell House Youth Conferences
Visit powellhouse.org/event-list/ to register or call 518-794-8811.
Sensing, Listening, Deciding: 11th-12th Grade and Young Adults
March 22- 24, 2024
Quakers believe that everyone should get a voice when decisions are made for a community. In Quaker meetings, the clerk takes on the role of listening to the members of the meeting and helping everyone come to consensus on any decision that gets made for the meeting. At this conference we will talk about the role of the clerk as well as how the skills of clerking can be applied to different areas of life.
Turning the Page: 6th-8th Grade
April 19-21, 2024
Changing schools, moving to a new town, becoming a teenager… There are many moments in life that can make you feel like you are entering a new chapter. Turning the page into that new chapter can feel exciting, but it can also feel challenging. At this conference we will talk about how big changes have affected our personal story.
EarthSong 2024: 7th-12th Grade
May 24-26, 2024
EarthSong is a time of celebration and care for our community. It includes our annual send-off ceremony for our seniors as they enter a new phase of life. You can expect deep conversation, fun activities, and joyful games.
Many of the local meetings in New York Yearly Meeting are holding online or hybrid online-and-in-person meetings for worship every week. Visit nyym.org/online-worship-opportunities for the most up-to-date information.
These Quaker organizations often have job openings. Check their websites for current opportunities:
Friends General Conference: www.fgcquaker.org/work-at-fgc/
American Friends Service Committee: afsc.org/careers
Friends Committee on National Legislation: www.fcnl.org/about/work-fcnl