Spark, May 2013

15 Rutherford Place
New York, NY 10003
New York Yearly Meeting News
Volume 44
Number 3
The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) May 2013
Editor, Steven Davison    


  • Summer Sessions
  • Theme Features: Patriotism
    • Forum on Patriotism — An introduction to our new forum on Patriotism based on this issue's theme articles and how to use it to comment on the articles.
    • Patriotism—Dry Kindling to a Match  ~ Robin Whitely (introduction to the theme)
    • Patriotism and a Marine  ~ Charles P. Mayer
    • Do You Pledge Allegiance, Friend?  ~ Jeffrey Aaron
    • I Pledge Allegiance to the Kingdom of Jesus Christ  ~ John Edminster
    • Moyers & Company on April 17.

      Brooklyn Meeting First Day School makes a movie

      Brooklyn Meeting's First Day School has created a movie titled The Last Sunday of Each Month that can be viewed on YouTube:

      Young Adult Reading Group atBrooklyn Meeting

      Bruce from the Brooklyn Meeting has started up a light reading group for young adults. Participants, often crazy busy, will be reading mostly short pieces once or twice a month by Quakers and “Quakers-Who-Don’t-Quite-Know-They-Are-Friends.ˮ Bruce can be contacted at [email protected].

      Two Row Wampum

      Friends Buffy Curtis and Liseli Haines of Mohawk Valley Meeting are participating in an enactment of the Two Row Wampum Treaty, a friendship treaty between the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) and the Dutch that involves paddling canoes from Albany to New York this summer. The flotilla will end at the United Nations to commemorate the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People. They will try to connect with Friends Meetings along the way to invite their participation and engage their help and support with food, housing and other needs, including financial. The aim of the event is to learn and be inspired to create an equitable and sustainable future for all in the Hudson Valley and beyond. You can contact: Buffy Curtis, [email protected], or Liseli Haines, [email protected]. The event coordinator is Andy Mager, [email protected].

      Friend honored for AVP work

      On February 13, Will Bontrager from Farmington Meeting was honored with the Community Service for Peace Award by the Center for Dispute Settlement in Canadaigua for his work in the Alternatives to Violence Project. Early in his life, Will, a graduate from Mennonite University, volunteered with the Mennonite Central Committee in Africa as an agriculturalist. He soon became involved in helping refugees. In 2000 he founded the Finger Lakes Restorative Justice Center, now renamed Partners in Restorative Initiatives (PiRI). PiRI is dedicated to the principles of restorative justice and peacemaking and provides a range of restorative practices, including community conferencing and peace circles in the region.

      Will credits his wife Annie Weier with being very supportive of his peace work. Retired from farming and baking, Will still works his land, does auctioneering, and sells stuff on eBay. Last July, serving on the National Council of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, he visited Peace Villages in Colombia to observe their non-violent strategies. They refuse to turn to violence in the face of disappearances, torture, and massacres, he observed.

      (From the Canadaigua Messenger, PiRI’s Talking Piece, and a short telephone conversation with Will Bontrager)

      Facebook page for Dover Randolf Meeting

      Laura Graham has set up a Facebook page for the Dover Randolph Friends Meeting. The pictures are very attractive and inviting. They invite you to visit


      Old Chatham Meeting Film Series

      Old Chatham meeting is now in its ninth year running a monthly film series. Would you like to try this at your meeting? They would be happy to provide you with all the materials you need to make your own meeting's film series a success. Contact Bob Elmendorf, 518-766-2992, [email protected].

      Bridging Gaps . . .

      Bridging gaps between individuals, between meeting and community, between generations—these are some things that we are called to do. On September 20-22, 2013, leaders of Youth and Young Adults will gather at Quaker Hill Conference Center in Richmond, Indiana, to discuss how to bridge gaps in youth programs, what it looks like to lead a sustainable lifestyle and avoid burnout while caring for younger Friends. For more information, visit

      NYYM Prayer List

      Do you know someone who could use our prayers? Are you yourself called to pray for others? Contact Julia Giordano at [email protected] to participate.

      Call for Volunteers—AVP

      AVP has an urgent need for volunteers as facilitators for prison and community workshops. To be part of this dynamic program and for more information about AVP facilitator training, please contact Shirley Way at the AVP New York Office. Phone: 800-909-8940 or 315-604-7940 or email: [email protected].

      "Follow Me" John 21:19: Exploring Radical Discipleship—Northeastern Christ-Centered Friends Gathering

      August 30 – September 2
      The 5th Annual Northeastern Christ-Centered Friends Gathering will be held at Powell House on Labor Day Weekend. For both the committed and the curious. For more information, contact Connie Bair-Thompson at [email protected]. Fees: $200/ person. For campers on the grounds: $100; 10% discount for all first time attenders to Powell House conferences.

      H.H. Mosher Fund at Summer Sessions

      August 30 – September 2
      At the New York Yearly Meeting Summer Sessions taking place at Silver Bay, NY, the Mosher Fund book table will be located in the central section of the Inn. We are offering $50.00 worth of books for your meeting library. Be sure to assign someone to pick up your books. We also give a book gift to those graduating from Junior Yearly Meeting.

      If you have suggestions for books, or can help with checking in our books on Sunday at 1 pm, please notify Ruth Ralston. Her contact information is in the Yearbook.

      Noel Palmer's sermons have been published

      Noel Palmer's sermons are now available on a new website, Your purchase enrolls you in a community that seeks to take The Daily Notes To God Challenge to heart. See the website for more information.

      Committee on Conflict Transformation seeks a filmmaker—Deadline July 1

      The Committee on Conflict Transformation requests proposals from filmmakers located in the New York City area. The Committee wants to film a one-day workshop it is holding in New York City on September 28, 2013. The footage will be edited into two or three 25-minute films to be posted for streaming from the Yearly Meeting web site. To get specifications for submitting a proposal, contact the clerk of the committee, Peter Phillips, at [email protected].


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New Members

Sharon Bartoo – Fredonia
Linnea Capps – Brooklyn
Leslie McCarthy – Brooklyn
Marie Johnson – Cornwall
Calder Kimple – Cornwall
Chloe Elizabeth Spencer – Cornwall
Barbara Moeller – Peconic Bay


Tobias Wei-en Kennedy, on February 28, 2013, to Nathan Kennedy, member of Binghamton Meeting, and Hannah Kennedy


Jessica Brockington, to Chappaqua from Morningside
Birdie (Susanrachel) Condon, to Old Chatham from Chatham-Summit
Tony Gaenslen, to Poplar Ridge from Ithaca
Greg Gallina, to Cornwall from Rockland
Sarah Lianne Holliday, to Brooklyn from Langley Hill


Leona DeMorier, member of Undadilla, on February 11, 2013
Howard Hallowell, member of Rochester, on January 26, 2013
Joan Morris, member of Poplar Ridge, on April 5, 2013
Christian F. Otto, member of Flushing, on March 27, 2013
Virginia Valentine, member of Brooklyn, on February 1, 2013

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