New England Yearly Meeting

A community of Quakers and Quaker meetings across New England.

New England Friend: June 2016

Clerks' letter

  • New England Yearly Meeting will be gathering for our 356th annual sessions from August 6th through August 11th. We will meet again at Castleton University in Castleton Vermont.  We will celebrate how we are living into the Spirit. We will sing, play and pray together. Come! Come be with Friends. Come from love not from obligation. Come to be the hands of God.

2016 Sessions program

  • NEYM Youth programs offer robust and grounded communities of peers for younger Friends, from infants in Childcare to Young Adult Friends. For many, the youth programs are amongst the most meaningful aspects of Yearly Meeting Sessions.

  • Any group, individual or committee within the Yearly Meeting is invited to schedule an activity during these blocks of time by submitting an online request with a description. Submissions received before June 26 will appear in the Advance Documents. To learn more details, submit an Opportunity proposal, or see a list of activities that have already been scheduled, visit:

  • Sunday Plenary Our Sunday afternoon plenary will be a panel of NEYM Friends offering their own experiences of a call to radical faithfulness. Panelists will be Judy Goldberger (Beacon Hill), Angela Hopkins (Northampton), and Jay O’Hara (Sandwich-West Falmouth). Rachel Guaraldi (Beacon Hill) will serve as the moderator.

  • We are pleased to introduce you to Ailsa Pavón from Pueblo Nuevo Friends Church and Alexis Gonzalez, a member of Hólguin Friends Church,who are the representatives to us from Cuba Yearly Meeting.  Ailsa works as a medical technician in a clinic in her neighborhood which is just a short walking distance from the Quaker conference center. Ailsa’s husband, Roberto Pupo-Cruz, is also a member of Pueblo Nuevo. 

  • Our experiment with a “Pay-As-Led” approach to Sessions fees has proven to be a great success. Friends have found it to be a much simpler way to determine how much to pay, and the generosity of monthly meetings and individuals has meant that collected fees and donations have covered all the costs of the gathering. We were pleased to share our experience in an article in the December 2015 issue of Friends Journal, and since then the approach is drawing interest from Friends across North America and beyond. 

Additional Sessions info

  • On Saturday afternoon, August 6, Castleton’s main thoroughfare will again be occupied by a Shriners parade, hindering access to campus for a couple of hours, but also providing a fun opportunity for Friends to spend time together! The parade will be followed by a football game on campus at 5 p.m., requiring us to shift the location of our evening activities. 

  • We invite your meeting to name representatives to ensure that your meeting’s perspectives and wisdom are included in the discernment of our shared work and ministry as Friends in New England. Naming representatives is also a great way to ensure that news of what happens at Yearly Meeting is shared when your representatives return home.

  • If you are interested in displaying your artwork at this year’s Sessions, please contact Nancy Marstaller by June 15. Include information about the type of work, how many pieces you hope to display, and their sizes. When we know how many artists we have, Nancy will allocate the space and contact each artist in early July.

  • I’ve recently had some great conversations with Friends about the difference between diversity and inclusion. Diversity is about paying attention to the numbers of people of different identities that come through the doors; inclusion means paying attention to fully including everybody. Diversity stays on the surface; inclusion is where the possibility for transformation lies.

  • For Readers… Again this year we will have two large and lively bookstores.  At the Jeffords Science Center we will be selling Quaker books, Pendle Hill Pamphlets, books on the Sessions theme, fiction, history, theology and more, as well as consignment goods.  At the Fireside Lounge in the Campus Center we’ll have books and more for child, parent and family, including curriculum and service project information for home and First Day School; flags; posters; and afternoon music and art projects.

  • The Family Neighborhood Come as you are; live into all that can be, together! We invite families, especially those with young children, to request housing in the Family Neighborhood during registration. From early-bird coffee and tea, to Parent Conversations, to end-of-day story time, we stir up a spirit of community, drawing forth joy, warmth, mutuality and care. If you are traveling as a single parent, the community becomes extra pairs of eyes and hands.

New England Yearly Meeting of Friends

901 Pleasant Street, Worcester, MA 01602

(508) 754-6760 - [email protected]