Spark, January 2021 - Another World is Possible
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 InfoShare, our monthly email newsletter. Don’t get Spark or InfoShare? Email [email protected] or call 212-673-5750 to get yourself added to our mailing list.
Welcome to Spark Online
The online edition of New York Yearly Meeting's print newsletter.
Download a pdf file of the January 2021 Spark
Another World is Possible
What does the world we want to live in look like? Do we have to change what we do, or how we think? Or both? What is necessary from us to make what we imagine possible; in our meetings, in our lives or in our witness work?
This issue was guest-edited by the Another World is Possible Working Group of the Witness Coordinating Committee.
Articles on the Theme: Another World is Possible
- Re-Imagining Our World, by Rebekah Rice, Saratoga Meeting
- Our Spiritual Crisis, by Liseli Haines, Mohawk Valley Meeting
- Vibrant Possibilities, by Mahayana Landowne, Brooklyn Meeting
- Listening to Stories, to Divine, by Cai Quirk, Ithaca Meeting
- Imagine., by Shirley Way, Ithaca Meeting
- A Better World IS Possible, by Frederick Drew Robinson, Otisville Worship Group
- Another World is Possible Toolkit, by Jens Braun, Old Chatham Meeting
- The Spring at the Heart of the Earth, by Liseli Haines, Mohawk Valley Meeting
- Advice from Friends Peace Team
- Building Resilience, by Shirley Way, Ithaca Meeting
- The Good Mind, by Liseli Haines, Mohawk Valley Meeting
- Caste, Dirty Work, Love, by Rebekah Rice, Saratoga Meeting
- Imagining a World Without Prisons, by Judy Meikle, Wilton Meeting
- Walking, by Geoffrey Navias, Hamilton Meeting
- Community Agreements to live by in all our relationships
- Yes, a Better World is Possible!, by Nancy Black, Brooklyn Meeting
- Excerpt and Link to Valarie Kaur's talk
- Fireflies, by Liseli Haines, Mohawk Valley Meeting
- Safety 4th, by Jens Braun, Quaker Intentional Village, Canaan
- Rebekah Rice recommends this excerpt from the introduction to the new edition of Robin Wall Kimmerer’s acclaimed book Braiding Sweetgrass.
Around Our Yearly Meeting
- Editor's Note
- NYYM Prayer List
- Sojourn at Powell House
- Join the Inside-Outside Letter Writing Collective
- Letter to the Editor: I Accept the Apology, by Yohannes (Knowledge) Johnson, Bullshead Oswego Meeting
- Online Events
- Online Worship
- Upcoming Sessions
Around Our Yearly Meeting
This issue of Spark, the printed newsletter for New York Yearly Meeting Quakers, was guest-edited by the Another World is Possible Working Group. Thank you! In these articles, we are challenged to think differently and imagine new kinds of changes. There were more articles than we had space to print, so please read the Online Articles here!
NYYM sends a weekly email newsletter. If you aren’t receiving it, but would like to, please email [email protected].
Please consider writing something or submitting images for Spark. Submissions are considered a form of written ministry.
Upcoming Spark themes:
March: One Year of COVID-19. It will be one year since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Quarantine restrictions and isolation have affected our ability to worship as well as our daily routines and plans. Many people have experienced losses of loved ones or experienced a frightening illness. Do you have a story from this year? Is there anything you’ve learned?
Please contribute to this sharing of ideas. Deadline for the March issue is Feb. 1. Email article and photo submissions to email@example.com. Please limit yourself to 400-600 words.
Don’t forget to email me your meeting’s news so it can to be shared in the next weekly email update or in Spark.
Happy new year.
Sarah Way, NYYM
- Bethea Brice, member of Poplar Ridge, on March 11, 2020.
- Lawrence J. Coulthurst, member of Rahway-Plainfield, on December 11 2020.
NYYM Prayer List
A Prayer List is sent out periodically by email to subscribers offering the names of Friends who have asked to be prayed for, or of loved ones for whom Friends have requested prayer. Consider being a recipient of prayer, and/or subscribe to offer intercessional prayer by contacting [email protected].
Sojourn at Powell House
The larger building at the Powell House retreat center, Pitt Hall, is now available to be rented, including the use of its kitchen and common spaces as well as specific bedrooms and bathrooms for your group. For details visit
www.powellhouse.org/sojourn-at-poho or call 518-794-8811.
Join the Inside-Outside Letter Writing Collective
Connecting incarcerated Friends with outside Quakers
Visit nyym.org/content/inside-outside or write to Judy Meikle at the yearly meeting office, 15 Rutherford Place, New York, NY 10003.
Coordinating Committee Weekend
Friday, Jan 29 - Sunday, Jan 31
Most New York Yearly Meeting committees are grouped by focus into organizing “coordinating committees.” There are coordinating committees for Ministry, Witness (social justice), and General Services, and these committees will meet during this weekend. Friends can attend any of these meetings to learn about how the Spirit is moving in our yearly meeting. Register at nyym.org/CC-2021
Winter Meetings for Discernment
February 13, 2021
Meetings for Discernment are periods of extended, waiting worship designed to discern leadings and strengthen connections in our yearly meeting. The Winter Meeting for Discernment will be held in three online Zoom sessions on Saturday, February 13. Our query will be: As a faithful Quaker community, how are we now called to witness? Registration information will be at nyym.org and emailed to the NYYM list.
Save the Date for Spring Sessions
Spring Sessions, a chance for the New York Yearly Meeting community to gather together for fellowship, worship, and business, will be held online on April 9-11, 2021. Please save the date.
Events for Young Adults
The Interim Young Adult Field Secretary, Marissa Badgley, continues to organize a schedule of virtual get-togethers, workshops, and worship designed for young adults (ages 18-35-ish) but open to all. Visit nyym.org/yaf-calendar-2021 for all upcoming events and opportunities!
Powell House has gone virtual!
Powell House, the retreat and conference center for NYYM, offers virtual workshops, using the Zoom conferencing technology, on a donate-as-led basis. Go to poho.org to see the full list of upcoming events at Powell House; new events are being scheduled all the time.
Powell House Youth Program is Holding Online Conferences
Upcoming virtual youth weekends:
Bundling Up and Hunkering Down for 9th-12th grades and young adults, Jan. 29-31
Tales, Fables, and Yarns, 3rd-12th grade and young adults, Feb. 12-14
Building, Changing, Inventing, 3rd-6th grades, March 5-7
Friends Committee on National Legislation Spring Lobby Weekend
March 20-23, 2021
At FCNL’s Spring Lobby Weekend hundreds of students, recent grads, and young adults, Quaker and not, will gather to learn and virtually lobby Congress. The focus this year is justice reform. Find out more at fcnl.org/events/spring-lobby-weekend-2021
Friends General Conference (FGC) Year-Round Youth Program
As the pandemic continues, FGC is offering several year-round virtual programs for youth so we can stay in community. Visit fgcquaker.org/connect/gathering/programs-and-events/year-round-youth-programs
Family Devotionals for Younger Children
These daily Zoom (videoconference) calls are designed for adults and children participating together. The audience primarily in mind is kids in elementary school and preschool. We’ll have singing together, a story, and a query. We’ll have a chance for some discussion, either as a whole group or in virtual small groups. Devotionals are offered every weekday morning at 8 a.m. ET and every Tuesday and Thursday evening at 7 p.m. ET. Find the link to register at nyym.org/family-devotionals.
Many of the local (monthly) meetings in the New York Yearly Meeting area are holding online meetings for worship every week. Visit nyym.org/online-worship-opportunities for the full list.
Powell House Online Worship
Saturdays at 6:00 p.m.
Powell House, the conference and retreat center for New York Yearly Meeting, holds a meeting for worship via Zoom every Saturday at 6:00 p.m. Contact Regina at [email protected] for information on how to join.
Friends General Conference (FGC) Online Worship
FGC offers general worship on Saturdays at 9 p.m.; for People of Color, worship on Wednesdays at 1 and 8 p.m. and worship sharing on Tuesdays at 5 p.m.; and a weekly Meeting for Worship for Friends of European Descent Confronting Racism and White Supremacy on Fridays at 12 noon. Find all details and links at fgcquaker.org/resources/online-worship-opportunities.
Pendle Hill Worship in the Barn
Members of the Pendle Hill community gather in the Barn for worship every day from 8:30 a.m. to 9:10 a.m. Connection information is at pendlehill.org/explore/worship/join-us-online-for-worship-in-the-barn/
FWWC’s Worldwide Worship List
Friends World Committee of Consultation (FWCC) has compiled a list of meetings holding worship online around the world, here: fwcc.world/kinds-of-friends/online-worship
April 9-11, 2021
All Friends are invited to attend any or all of Spring Sessions. The yearly meeting will gather online on April 9-11 for business and for worship. Meet other NY/NJ/CT-area Quakers and experience Quaker practice in action! Registration and more info will appear at nyym.org.
Spring and Fall Sessions: New York Yearly Meeting gathers for a weekend each spring and fall. For a few years, after 2021, NYYM will be experimenting with holding Spring Sessions at the same location each year: Oakwood Friends School, in Poughkeepsie, NY. In addition, Fall Sessions will be held online for the next several years to make them more accessible and Earth-friendly.
July 25-31, 2021
Summer Sessions is a week-long gathering of Friends where we can worship, play, work, and be in community with each other. At the time of publication, the Sessions Committee is moving forward with plans to once again hold our yearly Summer Sessions at Silver Bay YMCA, a campus on Lake George in the Adirondacks. Sessions will again use the Pay As Led
Whether Summer Sessions is held online or not, there will be:
Worship Sharing Groups. These small groups meet every day during Summer Sessions. Usually, a query or theme is provided. Participants are given the chance to explore the query in a sacred, worshipful space, and to share with each other in a deep and spiritual way.
Interest Groups. Interest Groups are a good way to introduce yourself to a topic or to dive deeper, to learn and to share, and can consist of a presentation, slide show, film, discussion group, or other activity.
Business Meetings, also known as Meetings for Worship with a Concern for Business. At business meetings our Quaker practice is put into action. Everyone present is part of the decision-making body, and goes through discernment and the finding of the way forward together. Reports on the recent activities of committees and individuals are also heard. Business meeting is a great way to find out how Spirit is moving around the New York Yearly Meeting area.
If Summer Sessions is held in person, many events will also take place online. The goal is to make Summer Sessions accessible to everyone, even those who can’t physically make it to our meeting. Please save the date and expect updated information to appear on nyym.org and in future issues of Spark.
Quaker Voluntary Service
Young Adult Friends can apply for Quaker Voluntary Service, an 11-month experiment living at the intersection of transformational spirituality and activism. Young adults work full-time at community based organizations addressing a wide range of issues, while living in a cooperative house and worshiping with, and being mentored by, local Quakers. Applications and references for the 2021-2022 QVS Fellowship are due March 15, 2021. Visit quakervoluntaryservice.org.
The Elizabeth Ann Bogert Memorial Fund for the Study and Practice of Christian Mysticism makes annual grants of up to $1,000 to individuals, groups, or institutions. Applications are due by March 1, 2021. Read the brochure at fwccamericas.org/docs/Bogert%20Fund%20Brochure%202020.pdf.