New England Yearly Meeting

A community of Quakers and Quaker meetings across New England.

2015 Annual Report

Dec 22, 2015
Martha Penzer, clerk

Since our last report, the committee has successfully begun a Respite Oasis at Sessions in Vermont, as an outreach especially for caregivers, partners, and companions of loved ones with high maintenance needs. The oasis provides a quiet area to rest and find support. There is a selection of reading materials on the subject of aging and caring for the aged in our community and society at large. We plan to repeat the Respite Oasis at this year’s Sessions gathering.

The committee also applied for and received a grant of $8,000 from the Friends Foundation on Aging to start a new program in the NEYM community. We have chosen the name Support Across Generations for the Elderly (SAGE)/Aging Resources Consultation Help (ARCH) for the program. (Visit us at Sessions for more information about SAGE!)

Our plans for the coming year include repeating the Respite Oasis at Sessions.

The practices of wearing a black armband or donning purple or black to signify personal loss have lapsed from our public life. Yet, we still need a way to signal grief, vulnerability, and a need for consideration. The Committee on Aging offers purple yarns to those who mourn. Fashion them as an armband or ribbon to wear. This is an invitation to empathy, to prayer and to share about a life that has been treasured. 

Additionally, we are inspired by the world-wide movement to offer a “Death Café” to encourage discussions and increase awareness of death, with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives. The idea for Death Cafés originates with the Swiss sociologist/anthropologist Bernard Crettaz, who organized the first café mortel in 2004. 

The first ARCH/SAGE Visitor Training session is being planned at Woolman Hill in early December (potentially the 11th through 13th). We are also looking into having Anita Paul repeat her ARCH workshops given two years ago at Sessions.

Our plates are full this year and the committee looks forward to year of service to our greater community.

New England Yearly Meeting of Friends

901 Pleasant Street, Worcester, MA 01602

(508) 754-6760 - [email protected]