Spark, September 2020 - The Movement for Racial Justice

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 September 2020 Spark



Theme Articles: The Movement for Racial Justice


Notes from NYYM’s 325th Annual Gathering

New York Yearly Meeting met online for the first time this summer after 324 consecutive years of meeting in person. Below are reports from some of the interest groups held during these virtual Summer Sessions.


Other Articles


Around Our Yearly Meeting



Around Our Yearly Meeting


Editor's Note

Welcome to Spark, the printed newsletter for New York Yearly Meeting-area Quakers. Do you receive the weekly update with news and events for NYYM that I email every Friday? It’s full of up-to-date announcements, links to online events, job and grant opportunities, etc. Email [email protected] to join the email list.


The next issue of Spark is scheduled for November, and the submissions deadline is October 15. Please consider writing an article or submitting images for Spark.


Upcoming Spark themes:

November: Open. There are many urgent issues happening right now. Some meetings have started to hold hybrid in-person-and-online worship, and others are considering it. Sharing information about that experience would be helpful to many. Friends may wish to write about the struggle for racial justice and against police brutality, interpersonal or community tensions related to the election, climate change-related fires happening on the west coast, or the effects of extended COVID-related social distancing.


Please write as you feel led. Email article and photo submissions to Please limit yourself to 400-600 words.


Also, send your meeting’s news to [email protected] to be shared in the next weekly email update and, if received far enough in advance, in the next issue of Spark.


You can keep in touch with NYYM on social media! The more Likes and Replies our posts receive, the more our audience will grow.

Manage your NYYM email lists with NYYM Connect


Stay safe and hang in there.

Sarah Way, NYYM
Communications Director




New Members

  • Jorie Bateman-Coe—Fifteenth Street
  • Matthew Bell — Fifteenth Street
  • Steve Greechie — Fifteenth Street
  • Mary Grimes — Fifteenth Street
  • Carmen Hendershott — Fifteenth Street
  • Sander Hicks — Fifteenth Street
  • Janice Hinson — Buffalo
  • Claire Litherland — Fifteenth Street
  • John Thomas — Fifteenth Street
  • Eli Kjellberg Zerof — Fifteenth Street



  • Nathan Wu-Hansen, born to Ian Hansen, member of Fifteenth Street, and Tammy Wu, on November 18, 2019. 



  • Claire Litherland, member of Fifteenth Street, and David Lewis, on October 5, 2019. 



  • Jean Benninghof, member of Westbury, on May 28, 2020.
  • Julia Damkoehler, member of Albany, on March 23, 2020. 
  • Gordon Clark, member of Shrewsbury, on June 23,2020. 
  • Catherine Feucht, member of Purchase, on June 18, 2020.  





Announcing the Closure of Blossom Garden Friends School

After 44 years of operation, Blossom Garden Friends School, in Collins, NY, closed as of Aug. 31, 2020, due to difficulties inflicted by the COVID-19 epidemic. The school will become Blossom Garden Friends Peace and Education Center. It will be for educational, spiritual, artistic, and creative expression and growth. Contact Janice Ninan.


Sojourn at Powell House this Fall

The larger building at the Powell House retreat center, Pitt Hall, is now available to be rented, including the use of its kitchen and common spaces as well as specific bedrooms and bathrooms for your group. For details visit or call 518-794-8811.


Arrange an Earthcare Workshop for your meeting

Quaker Earthcare Witness is offering virtual workshops for your meeting on a wide range of earthcare-related topics. See available topics at and contact [email protected] to set one up.



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 Fall Sessions

Fall Sessions is November 6-8, 2020, online via Zoom. See the Fall Sessions 2020 page for more.


NYYM Budget Saturday

Budget Saturday is October 10 from 9 am to 12 pm. The meeting is an opportunity for the NYYM community to provide discernment on the 2021 and 2022 operating budgets. Email [email protected] for more.


Upcoming webinars from the Center for the Study of White American Culture

Visit for details. The Black Concerns Committee offers some scholarship aid for NYYM members and attenders. Apply to Robin Alpern at [email protected].

What White People Can Do About Racism, Part 1 —October 1, 8, & 15

A live, 3-part, interactive online workshop that looks at how white people can work for racial justice

Raising Anti-Racist White Children — November 4, 11, & 18

An online, live, 3-part interactive workshop for parents and educators offering information and guidance on how to prepare white children to live in our increasingly multiracial society.


World Quaker Day is October 4, 2020

The theme of this year’s Quaker Day is “What Does it Mean to be a Quaker today? Living a Faithful Life in a Changing World.” Friends World Committee on Consultation (FWCC) is encouraging online worship on Quaker Day along with the opportunity to invite another worship group to join with yours. More information, including resources that can be used, shared, and discussed, are at


Events for Young Adults

The Interim Young Adult Field Secretary, Marissa Badgley, continues to organize a schedule of  virtual get-togethers, workshops, and worship designed for young adults (ages 18-35-ish) but open to all. Click here for all upcoming events and opportunities!


Powell House has gone virtual!

Powell House, the retreat and conference center for NYYM, offers virtual workshops, using the Zoom conferen-cing technology, on a donate-as-led basis. Go to to see the full list of upcoming events at Powell House; new events are being scheduled all the time. Some upcoming events include:

Poho Book Club Reads An American Marriage, October 24

Poho Book Club Reads Hamilton, December 5


Powell House Youth Program is Holding Online Conferences

Upcoming virtual youth weekends:

Lunar Laughter, for grades 6-8, Oct. 9-11

Monster Mashquerade, for grades 3-5, Oct. 30-Nov. 1

Surviving and Thriving, for grades 11-12 and young adults, Nov. 20-22


Online Worship

Many of the local (monthly) meetings in the New York Yearly Meeting area are holding online meetings for worship every week. Visit for the full list.


Powell House 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.


Friends General Conference (FGC) Online Worship

FGC offers general worship on Saturdays at 9 p.m.; for People of Color, worship on Wednesdays at 1 and 8 p.m. and worship sharing on Tuesdays at 5 p.m.; and a weekly Meeting for Worship for Friends of European Descent Confronting Racism and White Supremacy on Fridays at 12 noon. Find all details and links at


Pendle Hill Worship in the Barn

Members of the Pendle Hill community gather in the Barn for worship every day from 8:30 a.m. to 9:10 a.m. Connection information is at


FWWC’s Worldwide Worship List

Friends World Committee of Consultation (FWCC) has compiled a list of meetings holding worship online around the world, here:




Quaker Job Openings

Philadelphia Yearly Meeting maintains a webpage with job openings in their yearly meeting and other Quaker organizations. Visit

For jobs with American Friends Service Committee (across the US), visit