Spark, March 2015


15 Rutherford Place
New York, NY 10003
New York Yearly Meeting News
Volume 46
Number 2
The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) March 2015
Editor, Steven Davison    


Theme Features: Quakers and Other Faiths

Around Our Yearly Meeting—Yearly Meeting news



Around Our Yearly Meeting

Upcoming Events

ARCH Visitor Training—March 20-22
ARCH (Aging Resources, Consultation and Help) Visitor training is coming up—March 20-22 at Christ the King Retreat Center in Syracuse, NY. This session will be facilitated by Callie Janoff and Anita Paul.

NYYM is growing in awareness and ministry to aging adults and people with disabilities. Prison visitation is a growing ministry. Share this opportunity with young adults, too. We have several ARCH Visitors who are finding a valuable role within their meeting by taking this training. Hospitality is available. Please send all inquiries and applications to Barbara Spring, [email protected], 518-441-6405. You can download an application from

Free One-day Clerking Workshop
        with Arthur Larrabee, Farmington Friends Meeting, Saturday, April 18, 2015
Please register by March 31 by email to [email protected]. Breakfast and lunch provided.

Play readings at Fifteenth Street Meeting
Fifteenth Street Meeting's Arts Committee is planning a series of readings of new plays by members of our community at the meetinghouse, 15 Rutherford Place. If you're interested in reading, please meet us at 1:30 pm after meeting on March 22 so we can hear you. On March 29, we will have a rehearsal. On April 5 the 15th Street Arts Committee will perform four Charles Sirey plays at the meetinghouse. Please come. All are welcomed.

Stoking the Fire—A Gathering in the Power of Christ
      May 22-25, 2015 Jesuit Spiritual Center, Milford Ohio, May 22-25, 2015
Cost: $350 before March 16. $375 until May 1. Late registration, $400.
Registration is now open. Visit for details.


News & Announcements

An Invitation to Apply for Funds from the NYYM Barrington Dunbar Fund for Black Development
The Black Development Fund was established in 1969 as the response of New York Yearly Meeting to the needs of the Black and Puerto Rican communities within the area of the Yearly Meeting. It was provided that the fund would be administered by a committee of Friends, the majority of whom would be Black. The name was changed in 1978 to recognize the work of Barrington Dunbar for the Yearly Meeting. In addition, the charge now includes all Latinos in the NYYM area, not just those of Puerto Rican descent.

The Committee tries to educate Friends on the needs of the Black and Latino sectors of the community and tries to foster Friends' concern and cooperation in responding to the needs of those communities.

The committee has granted funds to maintain or expand programs for Black and Latino communities, including development projects that help preschool children, youth, and the aged who are victimized by the adverse conditions of poverty and racism; projects that help with re-entry challenges of formerly incarcerated individuals; scholarships for disadvantaged students at the high school and college level; and many other programs of a like nature. Please send requests to [email protected] with Barrington Dunbar in the subject line and indicate your monthly meeting or worship group.

Young Adult Field Secretary back from maternity leave
Hello Friends!
I am back to work after my maternity leave. Isaac Heron Bailey Savory was born on October 31, 2014. He was born at a healthy 8 pounds, 15 ounces. He is doing great and Maddie, Jon, and I are enjoying him and getting to know him better. Isaac is looking forward to meeting his extended Quaker family as we travel throughout NY Yearly Meeting. My travel schedule is evolving and may change, but you can follow it on under Quicklinks at the bottom of the right-hand sidebar.

I am eager to visit monthly meetings, and also schedule mini retreats. If your meeting would like me to visit, and/or host a mini retreat, please let me know! My email is [email protected].
Gabrielle Savory Bailey


Shrewsbury Meeting invests in outreach tools
Shrewsbury meeting has created a 3' by 8' vinyl banner to display in front of the meetinghouse, and used the same design for several other items: as a bumper sticker, as a banner ad in the local weekly paper for four weeks in April, as bookmarks and tent cards (these latter were homemade). The meeting ran an ad last fall featuring William Penn's "true godliness" quote: "True godliness does not turn men out of the world, but enables them to live better in it, and excites their endeavors to mend it." (Too bad William predates modern liberal gender consciousness.) They also are currently running an ad based on the Quaker SPICES. They put lawn signs out on weekends giving Sunday activity times and have created two new table-top drapes for booths at events with just one word: Quakers.

Syracuse Meeting hosts Earthcare Working Group program
On February 1, Liseli Haines spoke to Syracuse Meeting's Witness Committee about the history, activities, and goals of New York Yearly Meeting's Earthcare Working Group.

Come Sing!
If you love to sing, come join with others who love it too! Nightingales, an a cappella singing group that meets twice a year, will meet the fourth weekend in April, near Poplar Ridge, NY. It certainly should be Spring by then, so come sing with us around a campfire in a lovely rural setting. You do not have to be a great, or even a good singer to participate. If you can talk, you can sing. We gather not to perform, but to share the joy of fellowship and the love of singing.

You don't have to come for the whole weekend to participate. There will be opportunities to sing Friday evening, Saturday morning, Saturday late afternoon, and Saturday after dinner. Those that stay overnight Saturday will warm up the Poplar Ridge meetinghouse with song before worship on Sunday. Some will sleep in tents, but there are beds on site and in nearby homes as well.

Bring a pot-luck offering, a blanket or chair to sit on if you stay for the campfire, a flashlight, and copies of Worship in Song and/or Rise Up Singing.

Shuttle service from the Syracuse Amtrak station is a possibility. Children are most welcome, though those not wanting to participate in the singing are the responsibility of their parents. Whether you want to camp or stay in a bed, we can accommodate you.

Dates: April 24-26, 2015
Place: Craig Kukuk and A.T. Miller's farm near Scipio Center, NY, and at Poplar Ridge Monthly Meeting.
Suggested fee: $10.
Registration or more information: Contact Bronwyn Mohlke, [email protected], 607-277-4183.

We need to know how many to plan for, who needs a bed, and what food you plan to share!

Poughkeepsie Meeting recommits to its meetinghouse and seeks a tenant
Poughkeepsie Meeting decided in December 2014 to withdraw its property from the market and stay in place, renewing our commitment to our much-loved 87-year-old meetinghouse as one of our ministries to the community. Regular users besides ourselves include two Alcoholics Anonymous groups, a foster parents organization, and a philatelic club. For the past two years an African-American congregation has warmed our largest spaces each Sunday afternoon with its enthusiastic and amplified worship services. But this building, too large for our own needs, had caused concern about our finances and our limited "person power."

Poughkeepsie Meeting lost almost half of its annual income a year ago when the Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse moved elsewhere, after twenty years in our former "parsonage." Knowing this to be imminent, the meeting tried vainly for over three years to sell its property. Now, it is committed to improving it. The "parsonage," with newly refinished floors and repainted rooms, stands empty, and we are looking for a renter. Zoning permits use as a residence, an office for a non-profit organization, or an office for a professional person who also resides in the building. If you know of people planning to move to Poughkeepsie, you might call to their attention the website, which has pictures, a floor plan, and details about the available building.


Friends Give $40,000 in Support of New York Yearly Meeting

After Friends found unity at summer sessions in the priorities witnessed and articulated by the Priorities Working Group, one couple in the yearly meeting was moved to make a substantial contribution to support that work. They pledged $40,000 over the next five years, an extraordinarily generous gift. I asked them to share with the yearly meeting why they were led to do so. Deb responded for both of them:

For almost three decades, Ted and I have claimed our membership in New York Yearly Meeting secure in the knowledge that the gathered witness of NYYM Friends stands with us, accompanies us and encourages us wherever we are.

NYYM's recent time of extended discernment and the emergence of its renewed and vigorous spirit reminded us that the Spirit-driven work, inward and outward, must be nourished both by that which is eternal and that which is more temporal. We hope that our contribution will do much in support of the temporal needs of this Spirit-driven work. Witness needs wheels under it to travel in the world, and—Friends witness being no different—we sought and found clearness in offering our resources to NYYM for its nurture of the work of the Spirit, as it arises.

We rest easy in NYYM's capacity for both stewardship and for generous use of its resources in the service of Friends testimonies. We cannot know whose life will be transformed because of access to needed resources, but we do know that lives will be transformed. And, while we cannot predict where or by how much, there will be some small added evidence of the power of our testimony of love for one another. To know that we are contributing to the transformation of others, and to the demonstration of our love for each other, is a blessing for us.

The Yearly Meeting's Development Committee wishes to express its profound gratitude to Deb and Ted for their trust and support. Their gift is making a huge difference in the Yearly Meeting's capacity to pursue the vision articulated in the Statement of Leadings and Priorities. In subsequent conversations with Deb and Ted, they made it clear that they also hope that their contribution will serve as an inspiration for others to make similar multi-year sizable contributions to the Yearly Meeting, in order to support and sustain the work of the Spirit among us. The Development Committee shares this hope, and invites Friends to consider similar commitments. If you are so led, please contact a member of the Development Committee.
             Christopher Sammond, General Secretary

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New Members

    Joseph John Crotty IV – Westbury
    Marie Hoguet – Brooklyn
    Leela Le Noury – Brooklyn
    Violet V. Le Noury-Stewart – Brooklyn
    Chris Stewart – Brooklyn
    Louis Sontin – Brooklyn


    Sally, Demeice, and Daniel Garepis-Holland, from Scarsdale to Purchase


    Edd Fenner, member of Morningside, on February 7, 2015
    Jean Reid, member of Easton, on February 25, 2015
    Nancy Sorel, member of Bulls Head-Oswego, on February 5, 2015
        Memorial: Fifteenth Street Meeting, 2 pm, May 23, 2015; 15 Rutherford Pl., New York, NY
    Gertrude E. Ward, member of Adirondack, on December 22, 2014


    Emily Walsh and Eli Gwynn, members of Brooklyn Meeting, on January 1, 2015, under the care of the meeting.

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