Spark, March 2020 - Friends Meet on Indigenous Lands

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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 March 2020 Spark



Articles: Friends Meet on Indigenous Lands

Online Articles

Around Our Yearly Meeting

Around Our Yearly Meeting


Editor's Note

Editor’s Note  Welcome to this special extended issue of Spark. The theme, Friends Meet on Indigenous Lands, was guest-edited by the Indian Affairs Committee. They curated a diverse collection of informative and moving articles. Many thanks to Liseli Haines and Buffy Curtis for all their hard work on this issue.

The next gathering of NYYM is Spring Sessions, April 3-5. We are once again being warmly welcomed at Oakwood Friends School. See pages for details. Registration is online and is open now. Please register by March 25 so we can plan meals, hospitality, and child/youth programs. I’ll see you there!

Summer Sessions registration is probably open! Please check and register at See Our week-long gathering will be “Pay as Led” again this year!

You are welcome to submit a prayerfully-considered article or news item for Spark. Articles should be no longer than 400-600 words and be submitted by the first of the month prior to publication.

Upcoming Spark theme for May: The Joys and Challenges of Regional Meetings. Regional and quarterly meetings can help smaller meetings run events or tackle challenges together. Have you been able to do things as a region that your meeting couldn’t have done on its own? What are the joys of meeting as a region, and the challenges? What would your ideal regional or quarterly meeting look like? Email article submissions to [email protected].

Email your meeting’s news and events for inclusion in the  monthly email newsletter, InfoShare, by the 5th of the month.

NYYM is on social media:


Manage your NYYM email lists with NYYM Connect

Happy Spring! —Sarah Way



Welcome! You are invited to join New York Yearly Meeting Friends at Spring Sessions! 

Spring Sessions this 325th year of NYYM will convene at Oakwood, our own yearly meeting Friends school in Poughkeepsie, April 3-5. We will mingle with young Friends over nourishing meals in their dining room and enjoy the lovely campus together. We will have important business to discern, including a revised budget, as we arranged at Fall Sessions 2019. It is expected to provide funding in support of a youth and young adult staff position for all of 2020. At Fall Sessions, it was not clear that we would be in a financial position to do so. There will also be a proposal for a new budgeting process, including a plan for better timing for financial review. Currently, the proposed budget is presented in November for the coming year, after a Budget Day review only several weeks earlier. The timing is far too tight to be an efficient process. We may begin to consider initial budget drafts for two years ahead. There will be a report on the Leadings and Priorities process of past years, how it has influenced our direction as a yearly meeting, and what it may mean for the future. Between this writing and the beginning of our sessions together, for both committee sessions and plenary business, new items will come to the agenda and will be reported in the advance reports that will be posted on the web site.


The more who can join us, the better our decisions will be, which will affect all of us going forward. We labor together under the Spirit in the manner of Friends. Please consider joining us if you are able. Participant expenses are as you are able and led to pay, so everyone can attend. If you are moved to help by paying a little extra, to help cover the cost of others, you can contribute to the Equalization Fund; see for details.


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 April 3 to 5, if you can. We always need input from as many Friends as possible. Our time together is a time of joyful sharing and a time that is critical to our sense of being a united, Spirit-led community!


—Jeffrey Aaron, NYYM Clerk



Applying for Membership in New York Yearly Meeting

As approved at Fall Sessions 2019, Friends can now apply for membership through the yearly meeting in addition to through a monthly meeting.

Here’s How to Apply for Membership in NYYM:

Write a Request for Membership Letter to NYYM describing your spiritual journey; your connection to NYYM, Friends, and/or Friends’ organizations; and describe the spiritual discernment that has led you to this decision. Also, tell us why membership in a monthly meeting is not appropriate for you at present. Please refer to Faith and Practice for guidance in this process. Include your name, home and email addresses, and phone number. Address your application to Helen Mullin, Clerk of the Membership Subcommittee of Ministry and Pastoral Care, 15 Rutherford Pl., NY, NY 10003.

Look in the next InfoShare and Spark for details on what happens when your request is received.




[email protected]


Kanakwiio means Shining Light in Mohawk, the language of this Native American elder’s people; his colonialized name is Harold Molt. At age 68, Kanakwiio is “Uncle Harold” to many of the Ramapough Lenape people, a name he earned when he came to the Ramapough land in Mahwah, NJ, to support the Split Rock Sweetwater Prayer Camp there in 2016. That camp was established on the banks of the Ramapo River, inspired by the big protest camp at Standing Rock that year, with the intentions of honoring and protecting the local waters, and protesting plans to construct more gas pipelines nearby. Kanakwiio joined his Ramapough friends in living, conducting ceremony, and standing guard at the camp, where epithets shouted from passing vehicles, spurious calls to the police, and even gunshots at night became commonplace.


Tensions ran high; the neighboring Polo Club community installed a battery of security cameras, and one morning Ramapough and Polo Club alike awoke to find cameras and streetlights shot out, with green paint sprayed on Polo Club signs. Kanakwiio was the one arrested, charged with several gun violations, and in 2019 sentenced to 5 years of prison.


So now our Shining Light sits in Northern State Prison in Newark, NJ, kept from his Ramapough friends and his Mohawk people alike. His is a survivor spirit—his efforts are both to keep himself strong and to connect with and serve those there with him. Cards and letters honor his work and his spirit, and help remind him that he is far from forgotten:

Harold Molt 720834G

Northern State Prison

P.O. Box 2300

Newark NJ 17114


He doesn’t get to keep the envelopes, so if you’d like a reply be sure to put your full name and return address on the card or letter itself. Either way, his Light will shine in gratitude to you.


Aho—I have spoken.


Indigenous Peoples, Regeneration, and Seeing the Forest for the Trees


We have a once-in-a-planet opportunity for a regenerative, earth-healing way forward. Steven Lovink’s discussion paper Seeing the Forest for the Trees envisions youth and indigenous wisdom keepers leading global reforestation, planting a trillion trees by 2030. Our economy and ecology will align. Right relation with Creation will prevail in this Peaceable Kingdom with earth. (This movement preceded and is much more deeply transformational than the Trillion Tree Initiative,, of the World Economic Forum in Davos.) A series of quantum dialogues is to commence in April, with plans to present this intergenerational call to action at the UN this September.


For a free copy of Seeing the Forest for the Trees, email Sheree Cammer, [email protected]. We invite your comments and questions: Steven Lovink, [email protected], R.E. Hogan, [email protected], or Sheree, [email protected].


Looking forward,


Interwellbeing and Light for All! From Quaker Earthcare Witness folks R. E. Hogan and Sheree Cammer




Visit to find a comprehensive list of resources about Native Americans in the NYYM area, including museums, organizations, websites, podcasts, books, movies, and more! A sample:—an interactive map of original peoples of any area. Includes information on Land Acknowledgements and how to do them.—national resource center for information related to Quakers seeking right relationship.— website for the Toward Right Relationship with Native Peoples program—the American Indian Library Assoc., which critiques children’s books about Native Americans.   




New Members

  • John Anderson—Wilton
  • Ted Bongiovanni—Brooklyn
  • Carol Clarke—Ithaca
  • Drew Philigene—Brooklyn
  • Landon Tan—Brooklyn


  • Mahayana Landowne, , to Brooklyn from Miami (FL) 


  • David Obermayer, member of Binghamton, to Marie Sager, on October 18, 2019.


  • Ellen Margaret Deegan, member of Fifteenth Street, on November 24, 2019.  
  • Richard Dean Hathaway, member of Poughkeepsie, on Jan. 29, 2020. Memorial April 18, 2pm, Poughkeepsie Mtg.
  • Melinda Knowlton, member of New Brunswick, on September 11, 2019.  
  • Ann Rhodin, member of Ithaca, on July 15, 2019.
  • Will White, member of Ithaca, on October 11, 2019.




New AVP Landing Strip!

The Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) has started a new “Landing Strip” in Newburgh, NY. Landing Strip is a group of men and women who meet to offer a welcoming hand to those who are going through the transition back to society after being released from prison. For more details, visit


Intergenerational First Day School

Following a suggestion from a QREC (Quaker Religious Education Collaborative) discussion, Mohawk Valley Friends will be trying all-ages First Day School on 5th Sundays in 2020. All Friends and attenders who are willing and able are invited to spend the first 15 minutes of meeting downstairs in the First Day School classroom. Adult Friends may then return to their usual unprogrammed Meeting for Worship upstairs. It is hoped that this experiment will give older Friends an opportunity to engage with material they might not otherwise, that younger Friends may see that adults value and want to know about the work they’re doing in First Day School, and that this will continue to build relationships between all ages of Friends in the meeting’s small but beloved community.


Quaker Worship at Stony Point

Stony Point Center is an inclusive, multi-faith conference center in Stony Point, NY. Quaker Worship takes place there every Thursday evening at 5 pm. All are welcome! Most Thursdays the meeting will meet in the meditation space but please call ahead (845-786-5674) to verify meeting space, or check with the front desk upon your arrival. Visit for more.


News from Powell House

Powell House now has fiber optics! This new link to 21st century communications happened last week. After a few hiccups, the Powell House internet connections are now faster and hopefully more able to handle all networking and streaming needs.

Farewell Sharon & Welcome Bryant: Sharon Koomler has “retired” after 10 years as office manager/registrar. All her great work is well appreciated and Powell House wishes her well in her new adventures. Bryant Henning has assumed this position, and is learning quickly how to keep PoHo running.


Upcoming Events

NYYM Spring Sessions!

April 3-5, 2020, at Oakwood Friends School in Poughkeepsie, NY. All are welcome. Please register by March 25. See pages


NYYM Summer Sessions!

July 19-25, 2020, at Silver Bay YMCA Conference and Family Retreat Center, Silver Bay, NY. This is the 325th annual week-long gathering of NYYM Friends. Registration will open soon, if it is not already open. Please register by June 1. See


Upcoming Events for Young Adult Friends

Workshop: Giving Vocal Ministry and Projecting my Quaker Voice—Saturday, March 14, Manasquan, NJ.  (BONUS: Co-facilitated by Gabi Savory-Bailey)

Virtual Worship: Saturday, March 21, 10:00-11:00a.m. EST—Homily delivered by Martin Glazer. Join via Zoom at or call 646-558-8656 and enter meeting ID # 673 241 9481

Workshop: Fundamentals of Spiritual Leadership—Saturday, April 18, Saranac Lake, NY.  (BONUS: Co-facilitated by Jens Braun)

FYI: Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) has several programs and internships for young adults. See


Join the ARCH Network!

ARCH (Aging Resources Consultation and Help) Visitors are Friends from throughout New York Yearly Meeting who offer practical and spiritual/pastoral care to older people and differently-abled adults. Join in this vibrant ministry!

There are two ways you can train to be an ARCH visitor this spring:

  • Online: ARCH Visitor Remote Training sessions will be held via Zoom video conferencing over the course of 7 weekly sessions, 1.5 hours each, the weeks of March 15-April 29 (to be scheduled at dates/times most convenient to participants)
  • In Person: ARCH Visitor Training Spring Retreat is March 20-22, 2020 at the home of Jill McLellan near Geneva, NY.

For more information or to register for either training, please email Callie Janoff, ARCH Director, at [email protected], or call the NYYM office (212-673-5750)


Come Experience Powell House

Powell House is NYYM’s conference and retreat center. Visit

Adults & All-ages Conferences:

Opening to the Heart of Worship —on spirit-led worship, March 20-22

Creating in the Light — the popular creativity and spirituality weekend, March 27-29

Spring Work, Messiah Sing, Scavenger Hunt — the annual intergenerational work weekend, April 10-12

Upcoming Youth Conferences:

Hello! How Are You? 6th-8th grade, March 20-22

Flower Power, 4th-6th grade, May 8-10

Of Dice And Friends, 9th-12th grade, April 24-26

EarthSong, 7th-12th grade, May 29-31




Pastor Sought

Adirondack Friends Meeting of South Glens Fall, NY is seeking a new pastor. For further information please call Anni Stewart.


Camp Caretaker Needed in MD

Baltimore Yearly Meeting is seeking applicants to fill the position of Caretaker at Catoctin Quaker Camp in Thurmont MD. The Caretaker lives at the camp, cares for the facility, and makes it ready for summer camp and group rentals. View the job description at


Youth Programs Manager for Baltimore Yearly Meeting

Baltimore Yearly Meeting (BYM) is accepting applications to fill the position of Youth Programs Manager. The BYM Youth Programs Manager engages in the ministry of empowering BYM children, youth, and Friendly Adult Presences to safely work, play, learn and worship in a creative spiritual community. The position includes the implementation of weekend Quaker conferences, meetings, and retreats for the youth of the yearly meeting. The complete job description is available at


Farm-to-Table Organic Garden Summer Intern at Pendle Hill

The Summer Garden Intern participates in the day-to-day garden tasks and projects, fostering and sustaining a holistic, cost-effective, land-centered food ethic. Find the job description on



  • Financial Administrator at the Center for Economic and Social Rights:
  • Apply to be an “Emp” at Silver Bay YMCA, either for the summer or full time:
  • Stony Point Center seeks a part-time Front Desk Associate and a full-time Director of Administration. More details:


Short-term Room Rentals in NYC

Penington Friends House is a Quaker residential community on East 15th Street in Manhattan. 25 permanent residents live there, observing the Quaker values of simplicity and peace. Furnished rooms are sometimes available for sublet during the summer. If you’re interested, check  or email [email protected]