Summer Sessions 2014, Program Information



Week at a Glance


Helpful People for NYYM Sessions

  • Display Requests: Karen Snare
  • Financial assistance: Helen Garay Toppins
  • Food-service coordinator: Martha Gurvich
  • Greetings to absent Friends: Kathleen Lawson
  • General scheduling: Roseann Press
  • Golf cart coordinator: Angel Ramos
  • Junior Yearly Meeting Coordinators: Melanie-Claire Mallison & Dawn Pozzi
  • Minute editor: Steven Davison
  • Off-campus coordinator: John Cooley
  • Silver Bay liaison & audiovisual arrangements: Martha Gurvich
  • Special needs coordinator: Martha Gurvich
  • 12-Step Coordinator: Derek Polzer
  • Worship Sharing groups coordinators: Kate Lawson & Claire Simon
  • All registration questions: Helen Garay Toppins, [email protected]; 212-673-5750; NYYM 15 Rutherford Pl., New York NY 10003.


Participant Expectations & NYYM Agreements

Our gathering at New York Yearly Meeting Summer Sessions is an opportunity to live the experiment of creating the blessed community. Like any community, we have agreements that guide our behavior toward each other and towards the whole body, ensuring safety and comfort for all of us. By registering for Summer Sessions, Friends are endorsing these agreements and we are all, younger and older, expected to abide by them. Parents and guardians are asked to speak with their youngsters about their behavior, and adults are asked to take the agreements seriously.

Given these agreements and Silver Bay's rules, Friends must smoke only in those areas designated by Silver Bay (smoking is not allowed in guest rooms), and must refrain from using alcohol and illegal substances. If you engage in these activities, you (and possibly your family or guardian) may be asked to leave Summer Sessions; so let's be conscious of behavior that promotes community, and conduct ourselves as responsible guests of Silver Bay.

  1. All attenders are expected to observe safety precautions, such as maintaining contact between children and parents, guardians, or sponsors at regular intervals.
  2. Attenders under 18 years old are expected to:
    • register with Junior Yearly Meeting in the company of their parent, legal guardian, or sponsor;
    • cluster with (sleep in a room near to) their parent(s), guardian, or sponsor;
    • have a valid medical consent form signed by a parent or guardian (medical forms will be mailed to JYM registrants);
    • attend the activities of the JYM group to which they have been assigned.
  3. Parent(s), guardians, or sponsors for children under 18 years old assume responsibility for the safety and well-being of that person.
  4. If responsible for a child or to an adult, agree and commit to a specific bedtime and check in at least twice a day.
  5. If 18 years or older, register yourself and dependents with New York Yearly Meeting.


Bible Study at Summer Sessions

Our Bible Study speaker, Maggie Edmondson, hopes to draw you into experiencing the Bible as an open-ended book—living, growing, and evolving with us. What anchor does it offer? What kernels of eternal truth does it point toward that can guide us as we try to discern how to live faithfully in this day and age? If you think the Bible isn’t for you, give these talks a try. You may be surprised. 

Maggie has been pastor of Winthrop Center Friends in Maine for 18 years. She has given Bible Study talks for the FGC Gathering in 2010 and New England Yearly Meeting in 2011 and has been a speaker for Quaker Earthcare Witness and FWCC gatherings. She has also been a musical performer and teacher most of her life. Last year she had a 6-month sabbatical during which she made many musical settings of scriptures, particularly of Psalms. She hopes to offer her presentations in both words and music. 


Financial Assistance Available

June 28 is the deadline for financial assistance requests for Summer Sessions. Friends requesting assistance should first ask your monthly meeting, quarterly, and regional meetings for support. Friends will be asked to send confirmation from their meeting about the amount that has been asked for and granted—even if it is zero. This process can be as simple as an email or note from your meeting’s clerk, or a more formal letter. No request for funds will be processed, and no funds will be disbursed, without this communication from your meeting.

Fill out the Financial Assistance section at the bottom of your registration form stating the amount you expect or hope to receive from your meeting. Then write in the amount you need from the Equalization Fund. Scholarships typically provide adults and children up to one-third the cost of lowest-priced housing, but may provide more, depending on the needs of the individual or family. If you have a physical condition that limits your mobility and your access to the lower-priced housing units, please give us that information on your form.


Equalization Fund

The Equalization Fund uses contributions to help Friends with the cost of attending NYYM sessions. The registration form in Spark and on the NYYM website provides an opportunity for Friends to contribute to the fund.

In addition, the registration form provides the opportunity to contribute towards the cost of morning childcare for our littlest Quakers (those just entering Kindergarten and younger). Silver Bay offers childcare Monday through Friday mornings, which is supplemented by a JYM volunteer. The Yearly Meeting covers the fee to Silver Bay for this service. This 15 hours of childcare enables parents to participate more fully in our Sessions, so please donate if you can. 


Meetings for Discernment—Queries for Summer Sessions


The Priorities Working Group has heard a clear call from around the Yearly Meeting for a yearly meeting that is deeply grounded in the practice of our faith, that is made up of strong, vital local meetings, that is gathered together into one body, that nurtures our children, youth, and young adults, that witnesses to the world on our behalf, and that is accountable and transparent. With these priorities as a starting point . . .

  • What are your hopes and dreams for your Monthly Meeting, for your Regional/Quarterly Meeting, and for New York Yearly Meeting over the next 3-8 years?  
  • Where might God be leading us? 
  • How might we flourish?  

We invite you to set practicalities aside for now, to "plant dreaming deep" (May Sarton) in your visions of our future together. Let us open ourselves to the possibilities before us.


In the morning session, we will have heard Friends' visions for our future together. In the afternoon session, we hope to be led by God as we begin to discern what we each bring to our future. We learn as much or more from our hunger and need as from our more evident resources. They teach us of our gifts, and the places that need tender care. As we pool these, we may use the image of the "stone soup" parable to think about how our needs, resources, and aspirations come together to create something none of us can make alone.  

  • What are your Meetings' and your own needs, resources, and aspirations?  
  • How do they feed your vision of our future?   
  • What do they have to teach us? 


Agenda Items

If you have items for the business agenda, please contact the appropriate coordinating committee clerk: John Cooley, General Services; Irma Guthrie, Ministry; Deborah Wood, Nurture; Mary Eagleson, Witness; or Jeffrey Hitchcock, clerk of NYYM, [email protected]; or the NYYM office, [email protected]. Contact information for the coordinating committee clerks is in the Yearbook, which should be available at your meeting.