Spark, March 2019 - Transforming Conflict

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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 March 2019 Spark


Articles: Transforming Conflict


Around Our Yearly Meeting

Around Our Yearly Meeting

Editor's Note

Welcome to a jam-packed issue of Spark! This issue was guest-edited by Heather Cook and Karen Reixach of the Committee on Conflict Transformation. Learn how conflict can be useful, transformative, and necessary for change. Many thanks to Heather and Karen for all their hard work.

Don’t miss the information for Spring Sessions, April 5-7 at Oakwood Friends School. See pages 11-12 for details and a registration form. Registration is open now. The deadline to register for hospitality and meals is March 20, so don’t delay. I’ll see you there! 

Summer Sessions registration is OPEN! See pages 9-10. This year our annual, week-long, multi-generational gathering is “Pay as Led.” Friends who need to pay less can do so, and Friends who can pay more to support our community can do so. The goal is to make Summer Sessions more accessible to everyone. Regular registration for Summer Sessions ENDS May 15, much earlier than in the past. Please spread the word. 


You, Friend, are invited to write an article for Spark. Articles are considered a form of ministry. Please limit yourself to 400-600 words.

Upcoming Spark themes:

May: Quaker Commonality. What binds Quakers together in a common faith? What threatens to keep us apart? What it is that makes us a Religious Society of Friends?

September or November: Light Behind the Walls. On prison ministry, AVP, and more. Details to come.

Send article submissions to [email protected] by the 1st week of the month prior to the month of publication. 


InfoShare is NYYM’s emailed newsletter. Share your meeting’s news and events! Send them to:
[email protected].


Engage with NYYM online! Follow New York Yearly Meeting on Facebook, NYYMTweets on Twitter, and newyorkyearlymeeting on Instagram. 

Join or leave different NYYM email lists at  

And: Peace!

—Sarah Way


Welcome to Spring Sessions at Oakwood Friends School!

It is always a joy to gather at our own yearly meeting Friends school in Poughkeepsie, where we can mingle with young Friends over excellent meals in their dining room and enjoy the lovely campus environment. It all starts with loving, Spirit-led, communal labor together. The choices, the decisions, are the responsibility of all of us, not of any one or two or ten or twenty of us.

We have both important business matters to discern and inspiring reports to consider from the valuable work of Friends that goes on all the time across our entire area. The more who can join us, the better will be our decisions, which will affect all of us. We will have a new budget proposal to consider and there is a chance that we may begin to consider some yearly meeting structure revisions as well. Please consider joining us if you are able. Participant expenses are as you are able to pay, or as you are moved to spend if you are able to help by paying a little extra. Pay as led applies to all three of our gatherings: Spring, Summer, and Fall Sessions. Advance registration is important so that informed planning can be made with some accuracy. Please make a note in your calendars and try to join us if you can. We need input from as many of our Friends as possible!

­—Jeffrey Aaron, NYYM Clerk


Join the Match: Commit to a Recurring Gift Before Summer Sessions

An enthusiastic supporter is offering a match to encourage us all to join in making sustaining contributions to New York Yearly Meeting. 

$50,000 is available to match new and increased recurring gifts offered before Summer Sessions 2019. This match is made possible by a generous gift from a fellow NYYM member. For your contribution to be eligible, all you have to do is indicate that your gift is recurring (monthly, yearly, etc.). If you’d prefer not to participate in the match, you can indicate that when you make your donation.

New York Yearly Meeting has programs and resources to help your meeting grow, connect with your community, nurture your population of Friends throughout different life stages, enrich the spiritual life of your meeting, and support your meeting through difficulties. Your gifts help support all of the work of NYYM, work that strengthens our communities and helps us continue to bring our Quaker faith to the world.

Your gifts to your own local meeting remain the backbone of support for our shared nurture of one another, and for our ministry in the spirit and witness to the world. With your direct support for NYYM, we can do more.

We hope that you will consider this request to be well-ordered and needed, and that you will make a donation in an amount that reflects both the value our yearly meeting has for you and your own capacity to give. Visit and click “Donate to NYYM” or call the NYYM office at 212-673-5750 to donate.


Can Children Lead the Way to Peace?

At Albany Monthly Meeting we believe the answer is an emphatic, “YES!” With the goal of bearing witness to our Peace Testimony, we are again holding our Children’s Peace Week, now renamed Young Peacemakers Week (YPW). The scheduled dates are August 19–23, 2019, from 8:30 a.m.–3 p.m., with the option of supervised play from 3–5 p.m. YPW will be held at our Meetinghouse, at 727 Madison Ave., in Albany. It is open to all children entering grades 2–8 in the fall of 2019, with a final celebration for all children and their families on Friday, August 23, from 1–3 p.m. Although the suggested donation is $85 per child, no one will be turned away for inability to pay. Each day will be devoted to a peace theme, such as peace within yourself, peace in the environment, peace in your family, etc. Activities will be planned with these themes in mind, in a summer day camp atmosphere. There will be music, art, drama, non-competitive games, a field trip to a nature preserve, walks to the park, as well as a variety of creative and child-led projects. If you have children of the right age, or know young people that would enjoy this peace-making experience, please consider joining us in August! We are also looking for teacher assistants and teen-age interns as paid staff, as well as volunteers—we welcome all who are interested.

For more information, visit, or find us on Facebook. Individual questions can be answered by contacting Anita Stanley. We hope to hear from you soon!


Monthly Meetings and Pay as Led

Even though Summer Session participants can Pay as Led (PAL), monthly meetings will continue to play a critical role in supporting their members and attenders. Friends seeking to pay less than the standard rate will be asked to approach their monthly meetings for aid, but it’s likely that many Friends will opt to skip that step and just pay less. The PAL experiment may fall drastically short in funds if monthly meetings no longer help people attend. The solution is quite simple! Monthly meetings, worship groups, regions, and quarters are all encouraged to consider what funds they normally provide to members and attenders—and donate that amount to NYYM, with the memo “Summer Sessions.” If your meeting does receive a request from an individual, please send the amount directly to NYYM with the person’s name in the memo. We will use a combination of meeting aid, individual donations, and registrant payments to cover our final bill from Silver Bay YMCA. For our planning purposes, it would be helpful if all donations were made to NYYM by June 12. Thank you for your kind consideration.



New Members

  • Rob Docters — Wilton
  • Richard Duffee — Wilton
  • Frances Gascon — Unadilla
  • Carl Peter Tulevech — Rockland


  • Ron, Lisa, Charlotte, and Jocelyne Brooks, to Chatham-Summit from Stillwater (SCYM)
  • Nadine Clare Hoover, to Buffalo from Alfred
  • Ronald Rieder, to Morningside from Scarsdale


  • Marguerite "Mig" Pronto, member of Adirondack, on February 3, 2019


Upcoming Events

NYYM Spring Sessions

April 5-7, 2019, hosted by Nine Partners Regional Meeting at Oakwood Friends School in Poughkeepsie, NY. See our Spring Sessions page.


Next Event in the Young Adult Spiritual Nurture Series: Clerking in the 21st Century

May 3 (evening)–May 5 (lunch)

Powell House, Old Chatham, NY

This weekend will provide opportunities for young adults at all phases of their Quakerdom to learn about clerking. Come if you know a lot, know a little, know nothing, or perhaps think you know something but aren’t sure. We will hear from current and former clerks and discuss how traditional clerking translates into the 21st century. At the end of this workshop, participants will know more about clerking and will have built skills to move into clerking roles. Join us to enjoy the beauty of Powell House in the spring and to build and deepen our skills in and knowledge of an important Quaker practice! Visit to register and for more information.


Reaching the Sacred Across the Divide

May 17-19

Come to Farmington-Scipio Regional Spring Gathering

Watson Homestead,
Painted Post, NY

Registration Questions: contact Bronwyn Mohlke [email protected]


The Friends General Conference Gathering—Peace in our Hearts, Justice in the World

Early registration opens April 1!

June 30-July 6, 2019, at Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa
The Friends General Conference (FGC) Gathering is an amazing opportunity to immerse yourself in Quaker spirituality and to enjoy yourself among new and familiar F/friends. This year there are deep discounts for children, teens, and young adults—including no program fees for children and teens! Bring your family and come this year! Visit 


NYYM Summer Sessions

July 21-27, 2019, at Silver Bay YMCA Conference and Family Retreat Center, Silver Bay, NY. This, our annual weekly gathering, is now “Pay as Led.” Please register soon—registration deadline is May 15. See our Summer Sessions page.


SAVE THE DATE: Creating Generous Congregations, a workshop at Powell House

August 16-18, 2019

Facilitated by Colin Saxton
Does your meeting ever have a hard time with conversations about giving and financial support? An exciting new workshop is coming to Powell House this summer!
As Quakers, we sometimes struggle to have conversations about giving and our use of wealth, especially as it relates to meeting finances. Creating Generous Congregations (CGC) is an interactive and practical workshop focused on inspiring and equipping meetings toward generosity and faithful, financial stewardship. Participants will explore the unique mission/vision of the meeting, current trends in giving, the spirituality of fundraising, and creative ways to invite Friends into a fuller partnership in the shared work and witness of the fellowship.

Make a note on your calendar, and watch for an invitation coming through the mail to your meeting treasurer soon.



Join ARCH Visitor Training Online

Have you ever thought to yourself, “One of these days I’m going to make it to one of those weekend ARCH training retreats, but committing to a whole weekend away just doesn’t seem practical right now”? Well this is for you.

Participate in the new ARCH Visitor Remote Training via Zoom video conference this Spring 2019! Yes, all of the great resources, learning, community building, spiritual deepening, and interpersonal connections of the ARCH Visitor Training retreat weekends are now available in a format geared for today’s busy Quaker. We will meet weekly via Zoom for seven weeks for about an hour and a half, at a time mutually agreeable to the group. No experience with Zoom or video conferencing necessary—training provided.

Sign up today! Visit and click on “becoming an ARCH Visitor.”

If you have questions, please email [email protected].


NYYM Meeting Houses & Properties Fund

The Trustees would like to remind all about the Meeting Houses and Properties Fund. From the New York Yearly Meeting Trust Fund Descriptions, August 2018 Version:

“This fund was established in 2017 at the direction of the Trustees. The proceeds from the sale of the Plattekill Meeting House was deposited in this fund. The income is directed to the Meeting Houses and Properties designated use fund. The income from the Brinkerhoff fund is also directed to the Meeting Houses and Properties Fund.”

Per the Trustees minutes of May 23, 2017, “…the approved uses of that Fund are expanded to include maintenance, repair and new construction of meetinghouses and properties.”

The Trustees will be reviewing all applications to this fund at the end of May, so it is our request that you submit any requests prior to that time. The link that follows takes you to the NYYM Financial Resources for Individuals and Meetings page—please scroll down towards the bottom to find the form to complete and submit.     


The Powell House Subscription Series

Powell House is the conference and retreat center for NYYM. As we begin to launch the second year of offering a subscription series for individuals and monthly meetings at Powell House, let’s review the specifics of the program.

The individual plan: Any individual who pays $720 is eligible to come to as many Powell House programs as they’d like for one year.

The monthly meeting plan: A monthly meeting that pays $1440 can have one person at each Powell House program for one year.

Powell House subscriptions have some restrictions and guidelines. Please feel free to bring questions or concerns to Co-Executive Director Regina Baird Haag at [email protected] or at 518-794-8811.

Here’s a testimonial from a current individual subscription holder, Joanna Oltman Smith:

“The Powell House subscription plan lets me support a place that means a lot to my family, while also allowing me to attend conferences on a regular basis without second guessing. The more one attends PoHo, the better for heart and soul, and the subscription definitely encourages more frequent attendance. It also greatly simplifies the registration process. Found time! What a gift.” 

Visit for more information and contact [email protected] to purchase a subscription.