Spark, January 2019 - Learning from Quaker History

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Welcome to Spark Online

The online edition of New York Yearly Meeting's print newsletter.

Download a pdf file of the January 2019 Spark


Learning from Quaker History

Around Our Yearly Meeting

Editor's Note

Welcome to the January Spark. This issue is overflowing with articles on and inspired by Quaker history. And although it’s winter, please take a moment to imagine the lush green leaves and long bright days of July, because Summer Sessions registration is now open! All the information you need starts on page 6. Summer Sessions is “Pay as Led” for the first time this year, which means Friends can choose the level of payment most appropriate to them. We hope this will make Summer Sessions accessible to more people. As the NYYM office will now be handling all aspects of registration and payment, and as Friends will need time to discern how much they can spend, we will need the extra time gained by starting the registration process extra early.


Are you Friend-ly? Do you have thoughts about things? Then you are invited to write an article for Spark. Articles are a form of ministry. Please limit yourself to 400-600 words.

Upcoming Spark themes:

March: Resolving Conflict. Quakers tend to shy away from conflict. How can we deal with it better? Guest edited by the Committee on Conflict Transformation! Submissions due February 6.

May: Quaker Commonality. What binds Quakers together in a common faith? What threatens to keep us apart? What makes us a religious society of Friends?

Please send article submissions and meeting news to [email protected] by the 1st week of the month prior to the month of publication. 

In between issues of Spark we distribute InfoShare, NYYM’s e-newsletter. Please, share your meeting’s news and events by sending them to: [email protected].

You can also keep up with NYYM through social media:

Manage your NYYM email lists at

Warmth to all!

—Sarah Way



New Members

  • Mira Ellen Haines—Mohawk Valley
  • Elisabeth Ellen Prenot — Mohawk Valley
  • Derek Schleef — Buffalo


Meeting News

Faith and Practice Now Available as a Talking Book!

The Committee to Revise Faith and Practice announces the release of the 2018 edition of Faith and Practice in two new formats through the Talking Books program of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. For participants in the Talking Books program, there is both a downloadable version and a cartridge version that’s played on a machine. The Talking Books program is a free service for people with low vision, blindness, or a physical disability that prevents them from reading or holding a book. Certification by a physician, healthcare professional, or librarian is required.

Applications can be obtained through local libraries or online at:


Quaker Classics Translated into Spanish

Friends United Press is pleased to announce the publication of two new Spanish-language versions of Quaker classics: The Diary of John Woolman and Wilmer Cooper’s A Living Faith. You can purchase El Diario de John Woolman and Una Fe Viviente through the FUM Bookstore at We offer these with gratitude to Raices Cuaqueras for the work of translation into Spanish, and encourage Friends to check out their full list of translated texts.


Upcoming Events 

Attend the 2019 White Privilege Conference with FGC!

March 20th-23rd, 2019 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. 

The White Privilege Conference (WPC20) strives to equip individuals to work for justice through self and social transformation. The annual WPC is an opportunity to examine and explore difficult issues related to white privilege, white supremacy, and oppression. FGC will be providing discounts and sponsoring a Quaker hospitality room for both conferences. We are also working on ways to support Friends with less expensive overnight housing.

For more information on the conference, visit Registration opens Jan. 21. To learn more about attending with FGC, visit


Winter Meetings for Discernment

Feb. 23, 2019 (snow date: March 2)
Poughkeepsie Meeting 

This is NYYM’s ongoing experiment with extended, waiting worship designed to discern leadings and strengthen connections in our yearly meeting. Registration is at 8:30am, and meetings will take place 9am-12pm and 1pm-4pm with lunch in between. Simple meal on Fri., 6-8pm, available for elders & those interested. Please register in advance at [email protected] or 212-673-5750.


Young Adult Spiritual Nurture Series: What is Discernment? Quaker Decision-Making in the 21st Century

A one-day mini retreat for young adults on Sunday, February 24, 2019 (following Meeting for Discernment on Saturday) at 10:00am at Poughkeepsie Monthly Meeting. 

For info and registration please visit


Powell House is for you!

Everyone is invited to visit Powell House for an upcoming conference. Powell House is the conference and retreat center for NYYM and holds adult, youth, and intergenerational events. For a schedule and more information visit or call 518-794-8811. 


FCNL Spring Lobby Weekend 2019

Sat., March 23–Tues., March 26 in Washington, DC 

Join young leaders (ages 18-30) at the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL)’s Spring Lobby Weekend. Hundreds of students, recent grads, Quakers, and young adults will come to Washington, DC, to lobby their representatives. We will lobby for laws that protect the rights and safety of immigrants, migrants, refugees, and their families. We have real opportunities to advance our legislative priories for the 116th Congress and move closer to the world we seek this year. Join us this March and make your voice heard. Registration is open now and financial aid is available. Visit



Quaker Student Voices in Friends Journal

Friends Journal invites Quaker middle and high school students to share their voices through writing. This year’s theme is “Friendly Competition?” Students are invited to write about the role of competition in their life and how Quaker values influence their approach to it. The deadline to participate is Feb. 11, 2019. Find more information, including a list of six queries to get students started on writing, at


QUNO Job Opening in Geneva

The Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO) in Geneva is seeking a Representative for Sustainable and Just Economic Systems policy work. Applications due Feb. 7. See more at