Spark, November 2016


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The online edition of New York Yearly Meeting's print newsletter.

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November 11–13, 2016
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Don't forget to share your meeting’s news, announcements, and upcoming events with the rest of the Yearly Meeting through InfoShare, our digital newsletter. We publish InfoShare between issues of Spark, in February, April, June, August, October, and December. Send your items to [email protected]. Don’t get InfoShare? Email [email protected] to get on our list.

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Download a pdf file of the November 2016 Spark



Our Theme: Vocal Ministry

Other Articles

Around Our Yearly Meeting

Upcoming Spark Themes

Hello Friends! You are invited to write for Spark. Articles in Spark should be considered a form of written ministry. Pieces should be spirit-led and reflect your personal experience, Quaker history, or present faith and practice.

Upcoming Spark themes:

January: The Connection Between Witness and Faith. How does one inform the other? How do we keep that connection centered?

March: Discernment

We welcome articles on this or other related topics. Please send your submissions for January Spark to [email protected] by January 1st.

— Sarah Way, Editor

Around Our Yearly Meeting

Meeting News

Ways of Peace Indigenous People's event at Brooklyn Meeting

On the evening of October 25, a group of people, including Chiefs, Clan Mothers, and Elders from a number of different Indigenous Nations visited Brooklyn Meeting as part of a day-long Indigenous Peoples Program jointly sponsored by the meeting and Brooklyn Friends School. Earlier that day they had participated in collections (assemblies) and a number of classes and events at the school.

Following refreshments, the evening program began with Mohawk Elder Tom Porter with the Haudenosaunee offering of love, gratitude and thanks to the Creator and all Creation (“Thanksgiving Address”) traditionally given at the start of any event. Tom then spoke of the long-standing relationship between Quakers and the Haudenosaunee (Confederacy of the Six Nations), including the support he had personally received from Quakers when he refused induction into the U.S. military. Other members of the group also spoke about issues of concern, including the ongoing opposition to the North Dakota Access Pipeline by the Standing Rock Sioux joined by many other Indigenous Tribes and Nations as well as other allies (including a number of Quakers). There was also a rap piece by Oneida Hip-Hop artist Daygot Leeyos. Everyone present then joined in Haudenosaunee social dancing led by Anenhaienton and Kanonwiio and their three children to bring the evening to a joyous conclusion.

Interfaith breakfast and discussion at Flushing Meeting

Flushing Meeting’s Peace & Social Action Committee hosts monthly interfaith breakfast meetings with members of the Baha’i Community of Queens and the Flushing Interfaith Council, which includes representatives from a wide variety of faith-based organizations and community groups in the area. The interfaith breakfast starts 8:30am on the first First Day of each month with piping-hot bagels from a local store run by Korean American immigrants. After breaking bread, the Baha’i, Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Quaker, and Sikh participants share prayers, poetry, and song in the worship room of our meetinghouse, often followed by a discussion on topics of concern. Past discussions have focused on domestic violence, environmental sustainability, and spiritual journeys. Meetings are free and open to all. For details, please contact [email protected].

Ramallah Friends Meeting and School visit

Diane Keefe and her husband, from Wilton Meeting, visited the Ramallah Friends meeting and school on October 30th. David, the Friend in Residence, showed them the new middle school building and a large white commercial building, the rent of which will support the school. A classroom of students were taking an IB math make-up class because their teacher wanted the students to be well prepared for their IB exam. The headmistress has been there for 13 years and said that no one from the YM has visited since a group of Friends Seminary students visited a few years ago. They would welcome more visitors. FUM is looking for a new Quaker head of school; all are encouraged to apply and Arabic fluency is not required. Dylan, a Friend from New England Yearly Meeting, teaches English at the school. Meeting for worship was very moving and involved singing songs of peace and the beauty of life.

Friends in Unity with Nature sponsors art show at 15th Street

An art show was held at 15th Street Meetinghouse on Oct. 21, 2016, featuring the nature-inspired work of Lynne Jones-Dietze of Springfield, PA Friends Meeting. Lynne’s technique is a fusion of traditional Asian art styles and Impressionism, providing a unique approach to Chinese painting. The event was sponsored by 15th Street Meeting’s Friends in Unity with Nature Committee, who also received a percentage of the show’s profits.

Quaker Parent Meetups

In future InfoShares and Sparks we will be reporting on a series of Quaker parent meetups. The first one occurred in New York City on Dec. 3rd. For more information on hosting or attending a parent meetup, contact Melinda at [email protected].

Upcoming Events

WORKSHOP: What White People Can Do About Racism

What: How to act against racism from a position of unearned (and unwanted) racial privilege
When: Saturday, December 10, 2016, 9:00am-3:30pm
Where: Brooklyn Meetinghouse, 110 Schermerhorn St., Brooklyn NY

United States society is historically and presently structured by race. White people have a privileged position within that structure. Many white people understand this implicitly and are uncomfortable with the inherent unfairness, but do not know what to do about it. This workshop is intended to give people some basic knowledge about basic concepts and models; decentering whiteness, as a goal; building multiracial community, as a goal; and the inter-dependent nature of these two goals. Cost: is $95, including lunch; sliding scale available. NYYM Black Concerns Committee is also offering financial assistance.

For more information, and to register, contact:
Robin Alpern (914) 736-5447,
[email protected]
Jeff Hitchcock (908) 245-4972,
[email protected]

Going Home: knowing and connecting with our nurturing places

What: A Young Adult Friends (ages 18-35-ish) mini-retreat, facilitated by YAF field secretary Emily Provance
When: Saturday December 17, 9am-3pm (9am-10am breakfast and conversation) at
Where: Chatham-Summit Meeting, 158 Southern Blvd, Chatham, NJ

It’s December. Some of us are about to return to the places where our roots and comfort are; others of us are walking away from our roots and comfort in order to make visits that might be hard. Still others are wishing they could go home—but it just isn’t going to happen this year.

Where are our roots? From where do we each draw sustenance? How do we stay connected to sources of comfort, support, and guidance when we are, or feel like we are, far away?

In this mini-retreat, we’ll explore these questions and more, with space for celebration, wondering, and grief.

For registration, click here. Cost is pay-what-you-can, up to $20/person to cover costs. Childcare is available upon request.

Youth Institute 2017: Exploring Faith Together
Hosted by Chris DeRoller, Mike Clark and Melinda Wenner Bradley
Under the care of the Youth Committee of NYYM
April 21-23, 2017

REsources and REnewal joins with the Youth Institute for a weekend jam packed with useful materials, proven practices, conversations, fun and worship. Especially designed for adults and teens working with children and youth in our Meetings, it is open to everyone interested in exploring our faith together. The time will include plenaries, experiential learning, small group and whole group discussions, all grounded in joyful worship and fellowship together.

Meetings are urged to send a team of Friends, including those serving on First Day, Religious Ed or Ministry and Counsel committees. Together, we will explore: What does it mean to be a Quaker and how do we share this with others? Our intention is that participants will come away from the weekend affirmed and refreshed, ready to move forward whether you’re newly stepping into this work or a seasoned practitioner.

Watch for more information about registration on or email [email protected].


Upcoming Powell House Conferences

Cherish Family and Friends
Annual New Year's Celebration

Dec. 30, 2016–Jan. 1, 2017

This multigenerational conference is one of our most popular, so register early! At this annual event we can have activities for all ages—it's up to you. Last year there was finger painting, energy work, Tai Chi, Pilates, a work project, a walk to Dorson's Rock, a gathering for young adult F/friends, and frosting cupcakes among others. There's also Cabaret, a midnight feast on the 31st, and brunch on the 1st. Come and be a part of this wonderful intergenerational celebration. Scholarship funds and special family rates are available.

Dwelling Deep, a Contemplative Retreat
with Linda Chidsey and Carolyn Moon

January 13-16, 2017 (through Monday lunch)
Co-sponsored by the School of the Spirit Ministry

During this extended weekend, Friends are invited to enter more fully into the silence and to experience the deeper rhythms in which we might live. This retreat will include the opportunity for solitude, individual and corporate worship, silent meals, and “active” silence. There will also be opportunities for individual and group spiritual reflection. Come and simply BE with God; listen and attend to the Divine stirrings of the soul.

Being of Service: Exploring Public Ministry in our Meetings
with Kristina and Callid Keefe-Perry February 10-12, 2017

Some meetings struggle to name the spiritual gifts that their members are carrying. Others have lots of members in ministry but wonder what they can provide in terms of support, development, and accountability. Others still wonder exactly what ministry is. If you are a person that feels called into service, you might not quite know what your role is, how to get the connection and support you need, or what the relationship is supposed to be between your personal sense of leading and your community's oversight of it. If any of these things seem familiar, this is a weekend for you. Visit


Job Opportunities

Help Wanted at Powell House:

Snow Removal Person — this person must be available to work when snow is accumulating! The position is part-time, hourly work. If you live nearby and would like to earn some extra money, let Regina Haag know at 518-794-8811 or by emailing [email protected].

Cooks — We would like to add another person or two to the supply of folks who are employed for weekend retreats and programs (both adult and youth) to provide meals under the direction of our food service manager. Send your resumes to [email protected].

Farmington Friends Church is hiring a pastor

To start in April 2017. They seek someone with a commitment to Full Time Pastoral Ministry that is rooted in Quaker Practice and Christ Centered. You can find the job description under the News tab on the Farmington Friends web page:


New Members

Michael Andrew Tritto, Jr. — Buffalo


Joseph Best, from Manhattan to Manhasset
James Townsend Darragh, from Westbury to Brooklyn
Mary Owen, from Staten Island Executive Meeting to Brooklyn
Magnolia Sampson, from North Branch MM (PYM) to Brooklyn
Nedelya Simeonovia, from North Branch MM (PYM) to Brooklyn
H. Wayne Williams, from Brooklyn to Catskill


Claire Aldrich, member of Farmington, on September 12, 2016
Donald Bay, member of Farmington, on August 29, 2016