Spark, May 2021 - Eldership and Spiritual Accompaniment
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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 May 2021 Spark
Eldership and Spiritual Accompaniment
Guest-edited by Lu Harper and Anne Pomeroy
Articles on the Theme: Eldership and Spiritual Accompaniment
- Introduction to Eldership and Spiritual Accompaniment, by Lu Harper, Rochester Meeting
- Letting Go of the Term ‘Elder’, by Anne Pomeroy, New Paltz Meeting
- Holding Space, by Beth Kelly, Brooklyn Meeting
- The Gift of Traveling With Each Other, by Angel Ramos, Rochester Meeting
- On Being Accompanied, by Callie Janoff, Brooklyn Meeting
- Thoughts on Eldering, by Mary Foster Cadbury, Bulls Head-Oswego Meeting
- Eldership in the Healing Center: An Interview with Kathy Slattery, Lu Harper & Anne Pomeroy, Guest Editors
- Faith Journeys of Our Elders, by Sue Tannehill, Buffalo Meeting
- Chaplaincy as Eldership, by Astuti Bijlefeld, Central Finger Lakes Meeting
- Recording as a Form of Eldering, by Karen Reixach, Keene (NH) Meeting
- Eldering From the Body, by Heidi Kelly, Old Chatham Meeting
- Holding Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business in the Light, by Nancy Gabriel & Nancy Riffer, Ithaca Meeting
- Anti-racist Practices to Share: Noticing Patterns of Oppression and Faithfulness, by Antonia Saxon, with Cai Quirk & Sarah Way
- Women Behind Bars Matter, by Gregory Thompson, Green Haven Prison Worship Group
Around Our Yearly Meeting
- Editor's Note
- Bible Study with Powell House
- New Edition of Faith and Practice Available
- Projects to Support Children, Youth, and Parents
- Quaker House at Chautauqua Institution
- Calling All Playwrights!
- Report from Spring Sessions
- Online Events
- Online Worship
Around Our Yearly Meeting
Many thanks to Anne Pomeroy and Lu Harper for guest editing this issue on Eldership and Spiritual Accompaniment. Both have deep experience providing spiritual support to individuals and communities. I am grateful to them for that work and for their help with this issue.
If you aren’t receiving the weekly NYYM email, but would like to, please send a message to [email protected].
Please consider submitting your writing or images for future issues of Spark.
Upcoming Spark themes:
September: Open issue. You are encouraged to write and submit articles inspired by our time together at Summer Sessions, or by anything else that inspires you.
Please do write and share. Deadline for the September issue is August 9. Email article, letter, photo, poetry, and drawing submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please limit yourself to 400-600 words.
You can also send news or events to that email address so they can be shared in the weekly NYYM email or in the next Spark.
Sarah Way, NYYM
Report from Spring Sessions
NYYM Friends gathered online April 9-11, 2021. The weekend began with a joy-filled Friday night event led by Marissa Badgley. On Saturday, two sessions of worship and business were held. In the beginning of afternoon worship Friends got a sampling of Meeting for Feelings with Joy Meikle and her delightful puppet friend, Aura. "Social meals" at lunch and dinner gave Friends the chance to go deeper into a topic with other Friends or to simply socialize. Sessions ended with a meeting for worship and business on Sunday afternoon.
In addition to hearing reports and endorsing travel minutes, the body (ie., the Friends who had gathered in worship for the business meeting) approved several minutes. Two minutes endorsed bills on parole reform, advocating for more widely available timely parole and making parole available to incarcerated people ages 55 or older who have served at least 15 years in prison. Two other minutes addressed the climate crisis. NYYM agreed to support the enactment of federal carbon pricing legislation. And, after some prayerful discernment and revision, NYYM approved the Earthcare Minute, below. Please share it widely.
You can read all of the Spring Sessions minutes and reports at nyym.org/content/minutes-spring-sessions-2021.
Human activity is causing catastrophic effects including habitat destruction, pollution of air, soil and water, resource depletion, species extinction, global warming, and new forms of disease. With reverence and respect for all Creation, Friends are called to bring the full weight of our heritage of engagement with the world to help stop and reverse the effects of climate disruption and ecological damage in order to leave a habitable planet to future generations of all species.
These compounding crises call each of us to discern what we can do individually and corporately in light of our gifts and circumstances. Our daily choices matter. However, as important as personal witness is, it is not enough to safeguard our planet for future generations. Therefore, Friends are urged to act collectively and quickly to protect and restore our beloved planet.
Friends can help create community initiatives such as community choice aggregation (an affordable, ecological source of electricity), protection and planting of trees and other forms of carbon sequestration, watershed protection, community gardens and composting centers, and stations for collecting and reusing refrigerants.
Friends are urged to stay informed on Earthcare issues including pending government legislation at all levels and to contact our elected representatives regularly to express our opinions. Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), Quaker Earthcare Witness and Climate Crisis Policy are valuable resources.
Friends are called to advocate that institutions and businesses shift their investments and change their practices so that climate solutions can be implemented rapidly and at the scale needed to truly slow and then reverse global warming. A respected source of scientifically and financially validated climate solutions is “The Drawdown Review,” available at www.drawdown.org.
Opportunities for further work for change include climate marches, non-violent direct actions, and other ways to publicly advocate for ecological and just policies and practices.
In contemplating collective actions, care should be taken to work with and receive guidance from those people most impacted by the climate crisis, environmental degradation and injustice. We must also support a just transition for workers who may lose their livelihoods in the transformation to an Earth-friendly economy.
Friends, may we come into right relationship with all Creation.
- Claudia Ansorge — Poughkeepsie
- Marcia Clark — Poughkeepsie
- Christopher Brandon Fisher — Housatonic
- Diana Jensen — Brooklyn
- Nichole Lynn Nettleton — Ithaca
- Kristina Sibinga —Chappaqua
- Rebecca Swan — Amawalk
- Dan Bell, to Rochester from Broadmead Friends Meeting (Lake Erie YM).
- Mathilda Navias, to Rochester from Broadmead Friends Meeting (Lake Erie YM).
- Barry Allen, member of Morningside, on January 21, 2021.
- Dolores Gifford Applegate, member of Manasquan, on March 9, 2021.
- Gretchen (Gay) Berger, member of Purchase, on January 6, 2021.
- Nicholas Boyce, member of Brooklyn, on March 24, 2021.
- Linnea Capps, member of Brooklyn, on April 19, 2021.
- Carol Coulthurst, member of Rahway-Plainfield, on March 27, 2021.
- Charles Mohler, member of Ithaca, on April 1, 2021.
Bible Study with Powell House
Join Regina Haag and Emily Provance as they read through Genesis on Wednesdays, 5:30-7:00 p.m. Email [email protected] to join the mailing list and receive each week's reading and Zoom link.
New Edition of Faith and Practice Available
$10.00 per copy suggested. Large print version is also available. To order, contact [email protected] or write to New York Yearly Meeting, 15 Rutherford Place, New York, NY 10003.
Projects to Support Children, Youth, and Parents
A Call for Proposals
Do you have a creative idea for engaging teens or children, or connecting parents with spiritual support? NYYM has funding available for projects that support NYYM youth and parents in 2021. Visit nyym.org/pks to find out more and to submit a proposal.
Quaker House at Chautauqua Institution
The Quaker House at Chautauqua Insitution has just opened and is accepting reservations. Visit quakerschq.org. For more on the Chautauqua Institution, a sort of "summer camp for intellectuals," visit chq.org. Send questions to Sue Tannenhill at [email protected].
Calling All Playwrights!
The 15th Street Meeting (NYC) Arts Committee is seeking scripts based on people or events from Quaker history or the current Quaker community for production in 2022. Please send scripts or inquiries to [email protected].
NYYM Summer Sessions
Online, July 25-31, 2021
Interest groups will take place during the three weeks starting July 5. See nyym.org/summer-sessions-2021 for more.
Friends General Conference's 2021 Gathering
Online, June 27-July 3, 2021
The Virtual Gathering offers a wide variety of programs and events throughout the week. You can register to attend the full event, or just the parts that fit with your schedule. Standard registration opens May 6. Visit www.fgcquaker.org/connect/gathering for more info.
Events for Young Adults
The Interim Young Adult Field Secretary, Marissa Badgley, continues to support and organize virtual gatherings, workshops, and worship designed for young adults (ages 18-35-ish) but open to all. Visit nyym.org/yaf-calendar-2021 for all upcoming events.
Virtual Powell House Workshops
Powell House is the retreat and conference center for NYYM. The buildings at Powell House are available for sojourners. There are also online workshops being planned frequently — go to poho.org to see the full list of upcoming events.
Events for Children and Teens
Upcoming IN PERSON Powell House Youth Conference!
Earthsong 2021, for 7th-12th Grade, August 13-15, 2021. 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.
Upcoming ONLINE Powell House Youth Program Conference
Upcoming virtual youth weekends:
Just Make it Up! for 9th-12th Grades, June 11-13, 2021.
Here at Powell House, we are working on creating a completely non-violent role playing game. During character creation, instead of asking questions like, “What weapons does your minotaur character carry?” our game asks, “Now that you are a minotaur, what kind of jelly would you want on your PB&J?” Join us for a weekend of playing and discussing the world of fun and interesting tabletop role playing games.
Friends General Conference (FGC) Year-Round Youth Program
FGC offers several online programs for youth. Visit fgcquaker.org/connect/gathering/programs-and-events/year-round-youth-programs
Family Devotionals for Younger Children
These daily Zoom calls are designed for adults and children participating together. The audience primarily in mind is kids in elementary school and preschool. There's singing, a story, and a query with a chance for discussion, either as a whole group or in smaller groups. Find the link to register at nyym.org/family-devotionals.
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 nyym.org/content/meeting-feelings.
Many of the local (monthly) meetings in the New York Yearly Meeting area are holding online meetings for worship every week. Visit nyym.org/online-worship-opportunities for the full list.
Powell House Online Worship
Saturdays at 6:00 p.m.
Powell House 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 and worship for BIPOC and others every week. Find all details and links at fgcquaker.org/resources/online-worship-opportunities.
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 pendlehill.org/explore/worship/join-us-online-for-worship-in-the-barn/
FWWC’s Worldwide Worship List
Friends World Committee of Consultation (FWCC) has compiled a list of meetings holding worship online around the world: fwcc.world/kinds-of-friends/online-worship
Multiple Job Openings at Pendle Hill
Pendle Hill, the Quaker retreat and conference center outside of Philadelphia, PA, is now hiring for several associate and administrative positions. Visit pendlehill.org/explore/employment/
Job Opening: General Secretary, Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC)
FWCC (www.fwcc.world) provides the connective tissue for the world body of Quakers. Can you see yourself providing leadership and organizing this work? The applicant must be a member of the Religious Society of Friends who speaks English proficiently and is willing to live and work in London, United Kingdom. Please read the full job description at fwcc.world/about-fwcc/general-secretary-search. Applications should be submitted to [email protected] by midnight in London on June 4, 2021.