Spark, March 2021 - One Year of COVID-19

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 March 2021 Spark


One Year of COVID-19



Articles on the Theme: One Year of COVID-19


Other Articles


Around Our Yearly Meeting



Around Our Yearly Meeting


Editor's Note

We, the people all over the world, have spent a year under pandemic restrictions, avoiding other people and wearing a mask whenever we leave the house. That's a year of feeling constant fear and grief about illness and loss. A year of disruption to school, to jobs, and to families. Disruption can create openings. Changes that used to seem impossible suddenly seem less so. Let's not let this chance to make big, positive changes slip away.

One of the changes I made early on was to increase the frequency of NYYM's email newsletter to once a week. If you aren’t receiving it, but would like to, please email [email protected].

Please consider submitting your writing or images for Spark. Share your ministry with the yearly meeting.


Upcoming Spark themes:

May: Eldership. 

Have you served as an elder? Quaker "elders" sometimes hold a meeting or individual in the Light and in prayer. Members of Ministry & Counsel committees can be considered elders. They are sometimes called upon to "elder" Friends when guidance is needed. Though "elder" suggests a person of older age, Friends of any age can serve as elders. Have you been an elder? What was your experience? Do you have a story about eldering someone or being eldered?

Please do write and share. Deadline for the May issue is April 7. Email article, letter, photo, poetry, and drawing submissions to Please limit yourself to 400-600 words.

Also, send your news or events to me so they can be shared in the weekly NYYM email or in the next Spark.


Find NYYM on Facebook (NewYorkYearlyMeeting), Twitter (NYYMTweets), and Instagram

Wishing you hope and a happy spring.

Sarah Way, NYYM
Communications Director
[email protected]





  • Matthew Hubbard, to Jericho from Westbury
  • Jack Patterson, to Bulls Head-Oswego from Morningside
  • Laurel Brill Swan, to Rochester from Hartford (NEYM)


  • Sara Baker, member of Fifteenth Street, on February 14, 2021.
  • Eleanor (Penny) Brome, member of Purchase, on January 22, 2021.
  • Sue Clark, member of Albany, on January 20,2021.
  • John Fischer, founding member of New Brunswick, on December 5, 2020.




State of the Meeting Reports Due Soon

Please write and submit your State of Meeting report by April 19, 2021. Read about the State of Society process, suggested timeline, and this year's queries at


Experience Programmed Worship with Farmington Meeting

Farmington Meeting has been holding programmed worship over Facebook Live. Friends who usually attend unprogrammed worship may enjoy experiencing programmed meetings. Access messages (written and video versions, including queries) at Farmington's website ( and clicking on "Meeting Archive."


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].


News from Bethpage Meeting

Bethpage Meeting held worship on the grounds outside of its meetinghouse until the weather grew too cold to continue. Their historic meetinghouse needs repair and fundraising is ongoing. Bethpage has had some success raising money from their community through the village mayor’s newsletter. When Bethpage was worshipping outside, open to all, strangers sometimes dropped in, curious about what was going on. Jayant Singh said, “Our silent meeting pattern is appealing to non-Quakers—like Indian sadhus meditating in the Himalayas.” They hope to meet over Zoom until the weather warms up again.


Challenging Racism

Friends General Conference has posted a three part series, written by Carolyn Lejuste and David Etheridge, called "Becoming an Anti-Racist Quaker Meeting." Is it enough for one to believe they are not racist or is it imperative, as the author Ibram X. Kendi states in How to be an Antiracist, that we actively work to end racism? Start with Part 1 at


Online Events

NYYM's Spring Sessions

Friday, April 9 - Sunday, April 11

The NYYM community gathers together each spring. This year’s Spring Sessions will be held online on April 9-11, 2021 and everyone is welcome. See for more.



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 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 to see the full list of upcoming events at Powell House, as new events are being scheduled all the time. 

Upcoming Virtual Workshops:

Continuing Revelation: A Quaker Model for Living Joyfully in Turbulent Times, with Lu Harper and Anne Pomeroy, March 27, 2021. We will explore an evolving model of continuing revelation for individual Friends and Quaker communities joyfully living into change in turbulent times. During the retreat, we will consider a spiral model of continuing revelation to help guide us on our journey. This model offers us a new thing, a path through the wilderness into a renewed world.

Powell House Youth Program is Holding Online Conferences

Upcoming virtual youth weekends:

Rest, Renew, Refresh, for 6th-8th Grade, March 26-28. What makes you feel relaxed? How do you like to unwind when you’ve been feeling stressed? At this conference we’ll explore different ways to relax and unwind through creative art projects, soothing guided meditations, fun and silly games, and more.

Many Hands Make Light Work for 11th-12th Grade and Young Adults, May 14-16. Taking care of ourselves can feel hard, especially in a pandemic. We all have skills to share and knowledge to learn from one another. Our hope for this weekend is that everyone can walk away feeling a little more self-sufficient in their daily lives. Expect interesting skill-share workshops, creative small group discussions, and of course fun games with good friends.

Earthsong 2021, for 7th-12th Grade, May 28-30 (Please note that the date of this conference will likely be moved into June or July if it allows us to gather in person.) Join us for a weekend of fun and celebration! This is the time of year to celebrate our seniors as they get ready to go out and do good in the world. We will also celebrate our whole community and the love we’ve shared throughout the year. There will be workshops, games, crafts, a fancy dress-up dinner, and a boisterous cabaret.


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


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


Meeting for Feelings

Meeting for Feelings meets each Friday morning at 10 a.m. ET. It's a safe space for young Friends to learn about and understand their emotions. Joy Meikle and her puppet buddy, Aura, look forward to experiencing connection, peace, and fun with fellow members of their Quaker community. This offering is designed for ages 3-5 yrs old, but all ages are welcome. For more info and to register, visit


FGC Consultation: Spirit and Community in Online Gatherings

April 17, 2021. Over the past year, we have all learned a lot about how to gather online as a community and how to find ways to allow Spirit to move us. Let's share what we've learned and hear a panel discuss their best practices for on-line worship, business meetings, and community building. Find this event at


Friends General Conference's 2021 Gathering

Online, June 27-July 3, 2021. Early registration is April 15-29. View details at


NYYM Summer Sessions

Online, July 25-31, 2021.
See for more information.


Online Worship

Many of the local (monthly) meetings in the New York Yearly Meeting area are holding online meetings for worship every week. Visit for the full list.


Powell House Online Worship

Saturdays at 6:00 p.m.

Powell House, the conference and retreat center for NYYM, 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 p.m. Find all details and links at


Pendle Hill Worship in the Barn

Members of the Pendle Hill community gather in the Barn for worship every day from 8:30 to 9:10 a.m. Connection information is at


FWWC’s Worldwide Worship List

Friends World Committee of Consultation (FWCC) has compiled a list of meetings holding worship online around the world:




Residency at Penington House for BIPOC Doing Anti-racism Work

The Bayard Rustin Residency at Penington Friends House will provide up to one year of room and board to a person who has a strong project to address systemic racism and has a need to be in New York City for up to one year. The residency is envisioned as an ongoing ladder to empowerment for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) working to create a culture of anti-racism and intersectional equality in the US. Applications for the residency will be accepted until March 31. Visit or call Todd Drake, Director of Outreach, at 212-673-1730.