Spark, November 2022 - Famous Quakers

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 our weekly email newsletter. Want to get Spark in the mail? Email , or call 212-673-5750. Want to receive the weekly update emails? Sign up at .

Welcome to Spark Online

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

This is the Online Edition of the November 2022 issue of Spark, which you can also view as a pdf file.


Famous Quakers



Articles on the Theme: Famous Quakers


Messages from Friends


Around Our Yearly Meeting



Editor's Note

Welcome! Please consider writing (up to 600 words) for Spark. Upcoming theme:

January 2023: Mindful Eating: Nourishing all life while nourishing ourselves. Guest edited by Rebekah Rice and Margaret McCasland. We invite you to tell us how YOU choose which foods to eat, and why? What are your considerations, and how is Spirit leading you? Topics could include: Carbon-storage and Farming; Compassion for Animals; Food and Climate Change; Food & Fair Labor; Food Justice; Food & Stewardship (Honorable Harvest); Grateful Eating/Simplicity; Regenerative Farming; and Spirit-led Food Choices. Submissions due December 1. Email articles to Margaret and Rebekah at [email protected] and include "Spark article" in the subject line.


Please share news and events with the rest of NYYM. Email submissions to Your news may appear in Spark, the weekly email, or both. 


To join the email list, visit To join the mailing list, email [email protected] or call 212-673-5750

NYYM is on Facebook (NewYorkYearlyMeeting), Twitter (NYYMTweets), and Insta (newyorkyearlymeeting).

Sarah Way, NYYM
Communications Director




New Members

  • Michael Jones—Cornwall


  • Nathan Aldrich, member of Farmington Friends, on September 10, 2022.
  • Donna Beckwith, member of Perry City, on September 9, 2022.
  • Ann C. Beebe, member of Fredonia, on July 24, 2022.
  • Richard E. Brewer, member of Manasquan, on August 29, 2022.
  • Donald Bybee, member of Conscience Bay, on June 23, 2022.
  • John Cooley, member of Central Finger Lakes, on August 20, 2022.
  • David Fletcher, member of Morningside, on September 12, 2022.
  • Peter Jolles, member of Ithaca, on June 19, 2022.
  • Nancy S. LaFountain, member of Manasquan, on August 1, 2022.
  • Rima Segal, member of Rochester, on October 20, 2022.
  • Clifton Thomas, member of Rochester, on September 20, 2022.




World Quaker Day at Bethpage Meeting

A wonderful gathering of around 22 persons was held at the heated Bethpage Meetinghouse on October 2, 2022, for worship, a celebration of World Quaker Day, and a discussion session on a Quaker  version of “deep canvassing.” The pastor of a local Methodist Church also attended for a few minutes to understand Quakerism. Some strangers also stopped by when they saw 11 cars in the Bethpage Meetinghouse parking area. Friends dispersed after 3 hours after a light potluck lunch. 


Young Peacemakers Week in Albany

Albany Friends Meeting is pleased to announce that another successful Young Peacemakers Week has concluded on the Meetinghouse grounds.  A fruitful collaboration with the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) resulted in a wonderful variety of little faces from all over the world. Our focus on diversity also produced an exquisite array of skin colors, as well as all kinds of languages and ethnicities. Our goal of family involvement was a hit with the moms and dads, including a simple communal meal every night, group singing, and activities that all ages could participate in. We appreciate the help of so many volunteers who drove our children from families without transportation, as well as those who supported our children with special needs. Our campers reflected the Quaker Peace Testimony in their interpersonal relations, their cooperation on our many projects, and their awareness of the need for peace in our environment and in the world. It was wonderful being back in our lovely old Meetinghouse, following our two years with a “reduced” camp due to COVID, and our towering and strong elm trees in the backyard welcomed us back with open arms. We’re already  looking forward to next year’s rainbow of campers!  Please call Anita Stanley at 518-441-7722, or e-mail at [email protected], for more information.


Opening of New Friends School in Sohagpur, India

From Dr. Sanjeev Shukla, Principal, Friends Girls School Sohagpur

On the occasion of World Quaker Day and Gandhi Jayanti (a celebration of Gandhi’s birthday), in the graceful presence of God, we conducted the grand opening of the newly constructed building and Friends English Medium Play School on Saturday, October 1, 2022 at Friends Girls School Sohagpur. The program started with a prayer followed by hymn singing and a Bible reading. Governing Board members, invitees from Sohagpur, retired principals, staff of the school, and old and present students blessed this occasion with their presence. Speeches were given, the contractor and supervisors were thanked, and a beautiful dance program was presented by children and students. Finally, all guests walked to the newly constructed building and a ribbon cutting ceremony was conducted. Everybody admired the design, construction, and painting of the teaching and learning materials in the new building.



Upcoming Events

Reflection Sessions on the Life Cycle of Meetings

November 7 at 2 p.m. and November 15 at 8 p.m.

Wanting to talk more about something you've read in the Life Cycle of Meetings issue of Spark? Register for an upcoming reflection session led by Emily Provance: Monday, November 7 at 2 p.m. (Eastern) or Tuesday, November 15 at 8 p.m. (Eastern). Open to Friends everywhere. For more information or to register, visit


Celebration of John Cooley’s Life

There will be a celebration of John Cooley’s life on Saturday, November 19, 2022, at 1:00 p.m., at Seneca Lake Event Center, 586 East Fourth St., Watkins Glen, NY. John’s family intends to stream the memorial online and to have a celebration at Silver Bay, NY on Saturday, July 29, 2023. Visit for more and to RSVP.


NYYM Fall Sessions

December 2-4, 2022, Online

Please see the Fall Sessions 2022 page for details.


Powell House Workshop

Powell House is the retreat and conference center for NYYM. Visit to see the full list of upcoming events and to register.

Brent Bill: Hope and Witness in Dangerous Times

December 2-4, 2022, at Powell House

In this workshop, we’ll explore the themes of Brent Bill’s book Hope and Witness in Dangerous Times: Lessons from the Quakers on Blending Faith, Daily Life, and Activism — from how the first testimonies (peace, equality, etc.) sprang from the daily life and faith of the early Friends to how to be a people of hope in dangerous times. We’ll look at the hope and witness of Friends through the ages and how those lessons inform our hope and witness today.


Friends’ Decision-Making and Clerking: Participating in Meetings for Business with Joy and Confidence

November 18-20, 2022, Friday 4:30 p.m. through Sunday at noon at Pendle Hill, PA

An in-person weekend workshop with Steve Mohlke on clerking skills and principles. Read more and register at


Friends Committee on National Legislation Annual Meeting and Quaker Public Policy Institute

November 16-20, 2022

You're invited to attend FCNL’s Annual Meeting and Quaker Public Policy Institute. You can join us online or in person in D.C. for worship, learning, fellowship, and action. Register:


For Children & Teens

Upcoming Powell House Youth Conferences

OH MY GOURD! for 6th-8th Grade

November 18-20, 2022

Squash! Pumpkins! Cucumbers! Melons! All of these fall under the category of gourds. At this conference we will be doing a variety of food projects involving gourds. Think delicious pumpkin dishes, juicy melon delights, and tasty cooked squash. We'll talk about the importance of food and cooking. And of course we'll play games and enjoy each other's company at this good, gourdy conference.


WINTERSONG for 7th-12th grades

December 9-11, 2022

Wintersong is a yearly wintertime celebration of our PoHo Youth Program community. Visit to find out more and to register.


For Young Adults

Mending, Healing, Growing

Young Adults (older than high school age) at Powell House

January 20-22, 2023

Living through the pandemic has changed us. What we were needing before is different from what we are needing now. At this conference, we will explore the ways we have changed individually and as a community. We will go deep with our conversations and incorporate fun and movement in our exploration. Our glowing young adult community will surely make this conference both boisterous and grounding. Visit


Online Worship

Many of the local meetings in New York Yearly Meeting are holding online or hybrid online-and-in-person meetings for worship every week. Visit for the most up-to-date information.




Job Openings at American Friends Service Committee

AFSC has a number of positions open in their Philadelphia office. In addition AFSC seeks a Sr. International Human Resources Manager (flexible location) and Staff and Supervising Attorneys for the Detention and Deportation Defense Initiative in Newark, NJ. Visit


Job Openings at Right Sharing of World Resources (RSWR)

RSWR seeks an Associate Secretary of Operations, Associate Secretary for Advancement, and Associate Secretary of Programs. Visit


New NYYM Directory

For many years, the New York Yearly Meeting office has printed a Yearbook containing information from the past year. Now, most of that information — this year’s minutes and reports and the current Friends under appointment committee list—is available online at

The parts of the Yearbook that contained personal contact info— including the local meeting directory with clerk information and the contact list of Friends serving the yearly meeting—will not be posted online but will be printed in a yearly Directory. Each local meeting and Friend on a YM committee should receive this Directory by the end of this year.

If you’d like to receive printed versions of some of the material that used to appear in the Yearbook, please visit or call the NYYM office at 212-673-5750 with your request.                      


Callie Janoff Steps Down as ARCH Director

We are sad to announce that Callie Janoff will be leaving her position as Director of ARCH (Aging Resources, Consultation and Health) as of November 15, 2022. ARCH Coordinator Kevin Lovelady will serve as interim director until a permanent replacement is found.


Callie has worked with the ARCH program for ten years, starting under the mentorship of Anita Paul and Barbara Spring and taking on the full time Director role in 2015. Through her years of stewardship the ARCH program has expanded to include local coordinators throughout our yearly meeting. The ARCH Visitor Training has transformed from an in-person, weekend-long workshop to the four week, online ARCH Foundations Workshop, and the curriculum is now focused on mutual accompaniment, cultivating our capacity for vulnerability, and developing a community of practice to grow older in community.


Callie has facilitated countless events on aging and pastoral care for our yearly meeting community, and has provided support for the Mentorship Program, the Parent Mutual Support Groups, the “Second Thirds” program, Joy Meikle’s Meeting for Feelings and Illuminations Newsletter, Mattie Johnson’s Listening to Parents and Youth project, and many other places in the yearly meeting. At the same time she has continued to support Friends who participate in the ARCH network and to manage and mentor the ARCH coordinators. Her gifts of ministry, organization, spiritual groundedness, intuition, knowledge, humor, generosity, and compassion were well used by our community. She counseled many Friends through difficult transitions, holding them with love during moments of deepest grief. She devoted the past several years of her life to caring for every member of our community, and her presence on staff will be deeply missed.


We are grateful for Callie’s years of service to our community and wish her the best in her future endeavors.

Elaine Learnard, Clerk of NYYM
Steve Mohlke, General Secretary