Spark May/June 2020 - Quakers Together While Apart

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 May/June 2020 Spark

 

Contents

Theme Articles: Quakers Together While Apart

Other Articles

Around Our Yearly Meeting


Around Our Yearly Meeting

 

Editor's Note

Welcome to the May/June issue of the printed NYYM newsletter, Spark. As I write this, our country is entering the third week of peaceful protests in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, sparked by the death of George Floyd. We’re also at the end of the third month of pandemic quarantine, with all schools, sports, museums, gatherings, meetings, shows, etc. cancelled or moved online. The extent of the disruption we’re now experiencing is extreme. But with disruption comes openings for change. The protests have already led to some policing reforms and restructuring, and a majority of white people seem to have woken up to the reality of systemic racism. On a smaller scale, the pandemic has caused many meetings to try worshipping online, enabling distant or homebound Friends to worship with their meetings once again. 

The next issue of Spark is in September and the submissions deadline is August 1. Consider writing an article or submitting images for Spark. Email submissions to communications@nyym.org. Please limit yourself to 400-600 words.

Upcoming Spark themes:

September: Reflections on NYYM’s 325th Year. NYYM held its first yearly gathering 325 years ago. We celebrate this every 25 years. Has NYYM changed since its 300th anniversary, in 1995? What do you think—or hope—will be different at the 350th or beyond? Please share your thoughts on the past, present, and possible futures of our yearly meeting.

NYYM’s monthly email newsletter, InfoShare, has been laid down. Instead, a weekly update is now sent to the NYYM “global” email list every Friday. To join that list, email [email protected]. Please send your meeting’s news to [email protected] ASAP to have it shared in the next weekly update.

 

NYYM is on social media:

Facebook.com/NewYorkYearlyMeeting/

Twitter.com/NYYMTweets

Instagram.com/newyorkyearlymeeting

 

Manage your NYYM email lists with NYYM Connect

—Sarah Way

 

 

Urgent—Write to Friends in Prison during COVID-19 Crisis

As the COVID-19 crisis continues, we are faced with profound opportunities to deepen mutual ministry with one another. For me, this includes tending to the relationships I have with inside Friends.

Due to the pandemic, Quaker worship inside prisons has been suspended, and inside Friends are isolated from their Quaker family. So, too, are those incarcerated Friends who have at some time been connected to a worship group and now find themselves in prisons with no Quaker connections. Visits to prisons have also been suspended, but those of us who are not registered as volunteers can still write letters.

As my communication with inside Friends has continued, they have shared in their letters and emails a profound yearning for news from the yearly meeting.   Often, they speak of support for and solidarity with their Quaker community; even as conditions within the prisons deteriorate, incarcerated Friends hold us in the light. They write of hope, and remind me to breathe, to be calm, and to spread love at this time. I have found that in this moment of uncertainty and fear, sharing correspondence with incarcerated Friends is an act of grace, a return to center.

At this crucial time, we need many more outside Friends to embrace the opportunity to develop a relationship with an inside Friend.  Outside Friends can connect with incarcerated Quakers through the Inside Outside Letter Writing Collective. This program is under the care of the NYYM Prisons Committee and invites inside and outside Friends to correspond as fellow seekers in mutual ministry. Please consider joining.

To join the collective, email Judy Meikle at [email protected]

Inside Friends can join the collective by writing to Judy Meikle at PO Box 765, Norwalk CT 06852.

 

 

Notices

New Members

  • Dorothea Jean Coiffe-Chin—Fifteenth Street
  • Ron Hogan —Flushing
  • Susan Clinch Jefferson—Poughkeepsie
  • Zuzia Kwasniewski —Saratoga
  • Dennis Rittenhouse —Manasquan
  • Claudia Sydenstricker—Chatham-Summit

Transfers

  • Kay and James Fitzgerald, from Abington (PYM) to Buffalo

Marriages

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

Deaths

  • Arthur Berk, member of Fifteenth Street, on April 7, 2020. 
  • Bethea Brice, member of Poplar Ridge, on March 11, 2020.
  • Wilma Campbell, member of Rochester Meeting, on May 26, 2020.
  • Anneliese Garver, member of Buffalo, on March 10, 2020.
  • Joan Kindler, member of Flushing, on March 27, 2020.
  • Kathryn Mott, member of Ridgewood, on January 22, 2020.

 

 

News

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.

 

NYYM Friend on Cover of Time Magazine

The April 20, 2020 issue of Time Magazine features a story on paramedic and NYYM Friend Alanna Badgley, part of a special report: Heroes of the Front Lines. The story follows Alanna through her shift at the height of the COVID-19 epidemic in Yonkers, NY. “It’s often up to her to tell patients’ families that they can’t ride in the ambulance and can’t come to the hospital, and to stand there as they slowly realize that her arrival could mean a permanent goodbye... ‘I’m there to talk to them,’ she says, ‘and to provide some level of empathy and humanity in the moment in which they are truly terrified.’”

The story is harrowing, sad, frightening, and inspiring, as Alanna continues to do her work faithfully in the hardest conditions imaginable. Read the story here: time.com/collection/coronavirus-heroes/5815747/coronavirus-paramedic-experience/

 

Young Peacemakers Week

Due to the corona virus threat, Albany Meeting’s Young Peacemakers Week will, unfortunately, not be held in its traditional form in 2020. Albany Meeting feels that the risk to children’s health is not one they want to take on. They look forward to hosting young peacemakers in 2021 instead. If anyone would like to receive a free packet of materials, which will include paperback books, arts and crafts supplies, a CD of peace songs, etc., please contact Anita Stanley. In the meantime, all children and their families are encouraged to nurture peace and peace-making by supporting the Black Lives Matter movement and making their voices heard. Albany Meeting hopes to see you in August of 2021 for a new Young Peacemakers Week!

 

New Powell House Youth Directors

The new Powell House Youth Program Directors are Sarah and Martin Glazer. They have both served as excellent adult presences and co-facilitators with the outgoing youth directors, Chris and Mike. Martin grew up in the program and Sarah arrived at Powell House as a young adult. Martin is great at making others feel heard. He is funny, kind and totally present. He is familiar with all the traditions and things that go into creating a youth conference. Sarah connects well with others and knows how to move the group to that deep place of community. She has a light-filled laugh and great sense of humor and is not afraid to take on difficult subjects. Together they are creative, playful and spiritually curious. They are Quaker-savvy and open to continuing growth in themselves and the youth program. Both Sarah and Martin care deeply about the program and each person who makes up this wonderful community. Welcome, Sarah and Martin!

 

Climate Justice Working Group Launches Web Page & Project Reporting Form

The Climate Justice Working Group (CJWG) encourages and supports “direct action to reduce global warming and other harmful human effects on the environment and to restore Earth’s ecosystems for the good of all life.”

CJWG is an open working group, and you are most welcome to join it. Please email Sylke Jackson, clerk of the CJWG, if you would like to join one of their Zoom meetings.

CJWG recently launched a new page: https://nyym.org/committee/climate-justice-working-group

CJWG also created a form called “Climate Solutions around NYYM” for reporting projects, actions and events your monthly or regional meeting have completed or are working on. If you have ideas or projects you would like the working group to know about, please email Margaret McCasland, assistant clerk of the CJWG and she will send you a link to the Climate Solutions reporting form.

 

New Powell House Youth Directors

The new Powell House Youth Program Directors are Sarah and Martin Glazer. They have both served as excellent adult presences and co-facilitators with the outgoing youth directors, Chris and Mike. Martin grew up in the program and Sarah arrived at Powell House as a young adult. Martin is great at making others feel heard. He is funny, kind and totally present. He is familiar with all the traditions and things that go into creating a youth conference. Sarah connects well with others and knows how to move the group to that deep place of community. She has a light-filled laugh and great sense of humor and is not afraid to take on difficult subjects. Together they are creative, playful and spiritually curious. They are Quaker-savvy and open to continuing growth in themselves and the youth program. Both Sarah and Martin care deeply about the program and each person who makes up this wonderful community. Welcome, Sarah and Martin!

 

Friends United Meeting Triennial Rescheduled

Due to the coronavirus pandemic Friends United Meeting (FUM) has decided to reschedule the 2020 Triennial Sessions. Tentative plans are to reschedule the conference for the summer of 2021 in Kenya. Please direct your questions to [email protected].
FUM is committed to carrying forward the theme for the 2020 Triennial: the gospel message that Christ Jesus is inviting the community of Friends to Come. Abide. Go. The global community of Friends is invited to participate in the 30 Days of Prayer, beginning on Sunday, 12 July 2020 (the day the Triennial was scheduled to begin). The unifying grace and power of prayer is needed during these critical days.

 

NYYM COVID-19 resource page

Looking for guidance in a time of “social distancing” and physical separation? Consult NYYM’s curated and frequently updated COVID-19 resource page at nyym.org/COVID-19

 

Online Events

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, in-person gatherings have been cancelled for now. Below are some online events you may wish to join.

 

NYYM-led Meeting for Worship

Sundays at 10 a.m.

For people without local online worship, NYYM is holding general worship Sunday mornings at 10 a.m. To request the Zoom link, email [email protected], or check the weekly NYYM email.

 

Local Meetings Respond

Mondays at 7 p.m.

This weekly call is for people involved in their local or monthly meeting who are thinking about their meeting’s responses to current changes. Topics change weekly. The current topic and Zoom link, along with summaries of previous topics, can be found at nyym.org/content/local-meetings-respond-series.

 

Powell House Weekly Online Worship

Saturdays at 6:00 p.m.

Powell House, the conference and retreat center for New York Yearly Meeting, 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.

 

Family Devotionals

Monday-Fridays at various times

These daily Zoom calls, organized by Emily Provance, are designed for adults and children participating together. The audience primarily in mind is elementary school and preschool. There’s usually singing together, a story, a query, and a chance for some discussion. To get more information, visit tinyurl.com/quakerfamilydevotionals. (Read an article on these devotionals starting on page 1.)

 

Events for Young Adults

The Interim Young Adult Field Secretary, Marissa Badgley, has been organizing virtual get-togethers, workshops, and meetings for worship since the pandemic began. For an updated calendar of events, visit bit.ly/NYYM-yafcal1.

 

Powell House has gone virtual!

Powell House, the retreat and conference center for NYYM, is facilitating a series of virtual workshops, using the Zoom conferencing technology, on a donate-as-led basis. See www.powellhouse.org/virtual-workshop-series for the latest.

 

 

Opportunities

COVID-19 Fund for Congregations

Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS), Everence® and Mennonite Central Committee U.S. have joined together to launch a COVID-19 Congregational Relief Fund to aid churches/meetings and their families and individuals facing financial crisis due to the coronavirus pandemic. The fund will accept grant requests of up to $5,000 each from churches that might not have means to recover from this unprecedented global situation. Recipient churches may use the grants to meet their congregational financial needs (such as rent, mortgage, utilities, staff salaries, etc.) or to assist the families and individuals in their midst. Visit www.everence.com/resources/covid19-congregational-relief-fund

 

The Fund on Sufferings

The Fund on Sufferings was established to provide aid and assistance to those who are suffering because of fidelity to Friends’ testimonies. Follow these steps to request financial assistance from the Fund.

An individual experiencing a financial hardship as a result of living out Friends’ Testimonies applies to their monthly meeting or, if no monthly meeting affiliation, to a yearly meeting committee with which they’re affiliated.

The meeting or yearly meeting committee forwards the request to the Liasion, Carolyn Emerson.

The monthly meeting or yearly meeting committee discerns its action and reports back to the Liaison.

The Liaison discerns a decision with the Sufferings Task Group regarding the request. If in unity to provide funds, they request the Treasurer to send the funds.

 

Resident Caretaker Needed

Rockland Friends Meeting (Quaker) in Blauvelt, NY (NW suburb of NYC) is seeking a resident caretaker.  The rent—$900 including utilities and wifi—is low for the NYC metro area, and includes just a few responsibilities.  The space consists of two rooms: a bedroom and a sitting room that includes your own refrigerator.

Outside of the apartment, the updated kitchen is shared with the meeting, as are the two bathrooms, which are not connected to the apartment. The surroundings are woodland/residential, very quiet; having a car would be helpful. Besides Sunday morning worship, several times a week other organizations hold meetings in part of the meetinghouse.

Rockland Meeting is looking for a mature, responsible individual or couple who wants to live simply and be a welcoming presence. References, resume, interview required. Could this be a possibility for you?

Contact Peter Wade or Sylke Jackson

 

 

MORE JOB OPENINGS

  • Financial Administrator at the Center for Economic and Social Rights: www.cesr.org/vacancy-financial-administrator
  • Apply to be an “Emp” at Silver Bay YMCA, either for the summer or full time: silverbay.org/employment
  • Stony Point Center seeks a part-time Front Desk Associate and a full-time Director of Administration. More details: stonypointcenter.org/about-us/careers

 

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 www.penington.org/short-termsummer-housing/  or email [email protected]