Summer Sessions 2022
July 24-30, 2022
In Person at Silver Bay YMCA, Silver Bay on Lake George, NY
and Online via Zoom Videoconference
General Services Coordinating Committee, Ministry Coordinating Committee & Witness Coordinating Committee are giving over the coordinating committees meeting time on Wednesday, July 27th from 2:15 pm to 5:15 pm to sponsor this special two-part program.
Native American Concerns (Wednesday, July 27th from 2:15-3:15 pm)
Portia Kay^nthos Skenandore-Wheelock manages the Friends Committee on National Legislation’s Native American Advocacy Program. Portia is a citizen of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin and spent her formative years traveling back and forth between the Oneida Indian Reservation in Wisconsin and the Oneida homelands in upstate New York. She will present, answer questions and dialogue with Friends about her lobbying work on critical issues in Indian Country, such as recognizing and protecting tribal sovereignty, addressing the history of cultural deprivation and abuse in the former Federal Indian boarding schools program, the proposed Truth and Healing Commission on Indian Boarding School Policies in the United States Act, and the crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.
An Urgent Call to the Religious Society of Friends (Wednesday, July 27th from 3:15-5:15 pm)
In May, a group of Friends issued “An Urgent Call to the Religious Society of Friends” to raise their grave concerns “about the deliberate falsehoods and coordinated efforts currently underway to subvert our democracy.” The Call invites “Quakers throughout the country to work in their local communities, states, and the national arena to take critical actions to prevent an authoritarian takeover of our democracy.” It urges “Friends to discern the deep truths that provide a foundation for active love, wisdom, compassion, and a truly democratic electoral system—and then to actively support such changes.” The Call poses two queries:
- What, if anything, is the Light Within calling Friends to do in response to the unprecedented rise of domestic extremism, white supremacy, and authoritarianism that is threatening the destruction of our democracy at home and abroad?
- How can I/we respond with resolute love even while I/we may be struggling with fear, anger, apathy, or hate?
In worship sharing and corporate discernment, we will engage with these queries and possible next steps.
This special program is open to both in-person participation by Friends attending Summer Sessions and to virtual participation via a Zoom link that will be distributed in advance to all registered participants.
Activities and Events
Living faithfully invites us to be changed.
When our lives are not in unity with “who we say we be,” Spirit asks us to “true” our lives to the Truth by aligning and realigning our lives to Spirit’s openings, following paths of greater integrity, faithfulness and wholeness.
Individually and collectively, our eyes are being opened to the Truth of how in our gatherings and sessions we harm Friends whose identities and experiences are different from the dominant Quaker culture. Our experience at Summer Sessions 2021 led us to explore what other yearly meetings are doing to address the impact of racial and other harms that occur in Quaker gatherings.
The plenary panelists, from Pacific Yearly Meeting, will share their Spirit-led experience of developing and piloting “Stepping Stones to Sacred Space,” a process to address and repair racial harms occurring in their yearly meeting sessions. As they listened, their understanding transitioned from “safe space,” to “brave space,” and ultimately to “sacred space,” a space where acknowledging and repairing racial harm leads to healing, love, and unity. Centering Spirit and Spirit’s agenda over the norms of Quaker culture may transform us and our business practices.
We invite you to join the panelists to see how this process can make our meetings more welcoming environments where we fully embrace the ministry and gifts of Friends with diverse identities and experiences. We might be changed. We might live more faithfully.
The panelists will join us via Zoom. Friends at Silver Bay will have the opportunity to gather in the auditorium and Friends joining online will receive a link to the Zoom meeting.
Meetings for Discernment
Meetings for Discernment are periods of extended, waiting worship designed to discern leadings and strengthen connections in our yearly meeting. At the Summer 2022 Meeting for Discernment, we will be seeking light collectively in extended worship using these queries:
What truths are being revealed today that we cannot unknow, cannot unsee?
How are we being called to change?
How are we being called to action?
For scheduling and further details, visit https://nyym.org/event/meeting-discernment-summer-2022.
Worship Sharing Groups
Groups will meet either online or in person. At worship sharing, participants are given a query and a chance to explore the query in a sacred, worshipful space with a small group of Friends. Friends attend the same worship group throughout the week. Special interest worship groups are available.
Worship at Summer Sessions
NYYM Summer Sessions provides many opportunities to worship and share with the Peaceable Community. Everyone is invited to attend opening worship on Sunday evening, community worship each morning, Meeting for discernment on Tuesday, and closing worship on Saturday, all of which will take place in person at Silver Bay; the planning team intends to livestream or hold these as hybrid events as circumstances allow. Worship sharing groups will meet every morning after business meeting, either in person or over Zoom. In addition, your worship and your discernment are needed at hybrid meetings for worship with a concern for business. Join us!
Meeting for Worship with a Concern for the Peace Testimony
Thursday, July 28, 3:10-5:15 p.m. — Maintaining the Peace Testimony in a time of war has long been a challenge for Friends. Time after time, when our nation prepares for war, public discourse and sentiment are channeled in support of grand ideological principles; opponents are defined as irredeemably evil; the conflict is described as posing an existential threat; our nation’s cause is deemed just and unchallengeable; warfare is exalted as the only realistic solution; and society experiences a unifying sense of catharsis and exhilaration, of collective sacrifice for the greater good of all humanity and of validation of our exceptionalism. Through presentations, worship sharing and corporate discernment, this Meeting for Worship will explore how Friends have responded to the drum beat of war in the past and how we can respond today; consider the broader societal impact of our nation’s enduring and unique faith in lethal violence and coercion, and how our special faith in militarism contributes to domestic gun violence.
The Bible is a collection of stories, poetry, prophecies, and pithy sayings covering more than 1,000 years of the history of a faith community, and their experiences of God. Some aspects of their culture are foreign to us, but the basic problems of everyday life are universal. The theme of this year's Bible Study is "Being Changed" and will examine Biblical stories of people whose lives were changed by an encounter with God.
About the instructor: Lucy Price has a BA from Yale University and an MA in Theological Studies from George Fox Evangelical Seminary. A native of New York City, she is the daughter of an interracial couple and attended her first anti-war demonstration in 1967. She describes herself as "intensely but not narrowly Christian" and has been a Quaker since 1991.
Lucy retired from pastoring Adirondack Friends Meeting in 2020. She is currently living in Malone, NY and is an active member of West Richmond Friends, in Richmond, Indiana. She is a recorded minister in the New Association of Friends.
At business meetings, also referred to as meetings for worship with a concern for business, our Quaker practice is put into action. Everyone present is part of the decision-making body and goes through discernment and the finding of the way forward together. Reports on the recent activities of committees and individuals are also heard. Business meeting is a great way to find out how Spirit is moving around the New York Yearly Meeting. Business meetings will be hybrid, both in person and online via Zoom.
On Wednesday afternoon at Silver Bay, the Junior Yearly Meeting presents the Fun(d) Fair, a fundraising fair that includes games, crafts, and refreshments. At the same time, there is the Tagless Tag Sale, at which you can “pay what you wish” for items donated by Friends. Please consider bringing used items in good condition to Silver Bay so they may be sold at the tag sale. On Thursday evening, the senior high group produces Café Night, an all-ages, talent show during which hats are passed to collect donations. Café Night will be streamed online, and it may be possible to have online performers participate (this can’t be confirmed yet.) Bring your instruments and props and join the fun! All of these events raise money for the NYYM Sharing Fund and Powell House.
Introduction to the Healing Center at Summer Sessions 2022
The Healing Center (HC) is in Sproul Pavilion, as it has been in summers past. The HC plays a central role this summer in the work of Summer Sessions. In alignment with this year’s theme of “Being Changed, Living Faithfully,” the mission of the HC is to address the grief, loss, and trauma our beloved community has experienced, to provide a safe place and a sacred space.
The HC operates on a temple model, not on a spa model, that is, seekers cannot expect to come for an appointment as if they were paying for services. Rather, seekers enter a sacred space where everyone present contributes prayerfully to the spiritual energy. Seekers can hold space, receive work, or join a meeting for healing — whatever is offered at the time.
The HC schedule is different this summer. From 11:00–11:30 a.m. each weekday, there will be silent worship. From 2:00–3:00 p.m. each weekday, there will be a guided group activity. From 3:00-4:30 p.m. there will be table work, or one-on-one energy work. Also, COVID protocol will be followed; both seekers and volunteers will be masked.
Caring for a Community of All Ages
As part of creating our beloved community here at Summer Sessions, we want to take a moment to consider how all of us participate in nurturing relationships with persons of different generations. It's a joy to connect with children, teenagers, young adults and older adults; that joy comes with vulnerability. Generally speaking, it's good practice for children and teenagers not to be in a 1:1 situation with an adult who is not their family member or chaperone, especially out of sight of others. But even if there's a situation in plain sight, it's okay to be a little awkward and interrupt something that looks inappropriate. We also want to promote, as other Quaker groups do, a culture of consent for all ages: ask Friends before you touch them, feel free to say no if asked, and gracefully accept the boundaries children and adults set for themselves. "I would like to hug you, would you like that, too?" is one way you can ask.
If you or a young person you know has been harmed or feels especially vulnerable during sessions, even if you're not sure whether the situation is potentially harmful, please contact John Scardina or Anne Pomeroy or any member of the Circle of Care and Concern for help (these folks have green tags on their name badges).
Junior Yearly Meeting (JYM)
Junior Yearly Meeting is the program for children ages 5-18 attending Summer Sessions in person. Groups are arranged according to grade, and meet every morning, Mon.-Fri., from the rise of Community Worship to lunchtime at 12:15 p.m. JYM volunteers plan a community-building week of activities for the children, including games, discussions, art projects, and more. JYM is a time for young people to experience a community based on Friends’ testimonies and practices. Age-appropriate, experiential Quaker content is part of the program, and groups will spend some time in quiet worship or worship sharing every day.
For children under 5 years old, Silver Bay offers childcare through their Silver Camp on Monday through Friday mornings from 8:30 to 11:45 a.m. Parents do not pay for this; NYYM covers the cost. If you might use Silver Bay’s morning childcare, you should complete the NYYM–Silver Bay camp form. It will be emailed to you after you register.
Can my child go to Silver Bay without me? Yes! If your child is under 18, they may attend Silver Bay with an adult chaperone. They must room with the chaperone if possible and appropriate; otherwise they should be in adjoining rooms. The chaperone must be designated by the parent/guardian on their registration forms, and must be at least 10 years older than the young Friend they are chaperoning. The chaperone and the child should know each other reasonably well. The parent/guardian must provide a signed note giving the chaperone the authority to care for their child, to be presented at JYM check-in.
Further In-Person Support
12-Step Meetings. 12-Step Meetings will be held every day during Summer Sessions. 12-Step Meetings will be coordinated by John Scardina. Are you able and willing to facilitate one or more of the meetings? Please contact John at [email protected].
Disability Concerns. Friends who indicate special needs on their registration form will be contacted by the NYYM office to gather further information. Several mobility-accessible sleeping rooms with bathrooms are reserved in the Inn for those using wheelchairs (and their roommates). Other more accessible rooms in the Inn may be reserved by people who need them. Friends who require assistance with personal needs must arrange this assistance on their own, and the person assisting them must stay in their room with them. Please indicate on your registration form if you require help with hearing or movement. Note takers can be provided or accessible locations allocated for worship-sharing groups and committee meetings.
Circle of Care and Concern. The Circle of Care and Concern (CCC) is made up of/has members from the Community Agreements Response Team (CART), Child Sexual Abuse Investigation Team (AIT), Junior Yearly Meeting (JYM) Coordinators, and the clerk or a designated representative from Sessions Committee. The CCC meets each morning/daily at Summer Sessions. Concerns about inappropriate behavior that have been brought to members are considered. Reports on the work being done to address previous concerns are also part of the meeting. Others in the Circle may provide counsel to any of the participating individuals and groups. All issues will be handled using the principles outlined in this document. Elders from throughout the yearly meeting may be called on for assistance by any of these groups, with the possible exception of the AIT, which has specific legal requirements. Anyone on the Circle of Care and Concern can be approached if you need help or a listening ear or are experiencing an interpersonal conflict. Members of CCC have green dots on their name badges.
Documents and Resources for the Business Sessions
Below are links to material that you may find useful during business meetings at Summer Sessions. The Annual Reports contain the reports written by the clerks of NYYM committees and representatives to affiliate groups. The treasurer’s report from last year and the current year’s operating budget are also included. The Minutes from the last two Sessions, Fall 2021 and Spring 2022, are made available here for your reference. The Supporting Documents for items on the agenda folder includes materials to be discussed at business meetings during Summer Sessions. Within this folder are sub-folders containing Interim Actions, which are actions taken by the NYYM clerk and general secretary in between Sessions, when getting approval from the gathered NYYM body isn’t possible; and the Seasoned Business Items List, which contains reports that the clerk predicts can be approved at business meeting without further discernment. For more information on Seasoned Business Items, read “How We Use This List” at this link.
Minutes from Recent Sessions
Agenda and Supporting Documents