Looking toward our quarterly meeting Sunday, April 17


In 2015, we did yeoman service by holding six meetings for business – often long or difficult ones, too.  This year, our participation may be less burdensome – and there’s always the opportunity for the joy of community when we gather.

Please plan to attend at Fifteenth Street meetinghouse, with worship at 11, potluck lunch at noon, and meeting for business at 1:00 p.m.  Our annual Corporation meeting, with ratification of two new Trustees expected, will be at 2:00.  There will be childcare and kids’ activities.  There will not be a very burdensome agenda, but we’ll hear some good news and we’ll decide some issues about our communal life as Quakers in NYC.

Shortly, I’m hoping this website will let me post what we’ll be considering:  Roster of our Committees, showing the current nominees for service; Annual report of our Trustees; Report on our Audit; interim progress report on the Friends Seminary redevelopment and the completion of its separate incorporation as agreed; and the glowing reports from the clerks of our six very different constituent Meetings:     .

And, check here again, as the weekend gets underway, as more reports and details appear!

- Andy von Salis, clerk, NYQM

Resolution of our Friends Seminary relationship


We have come to the end of a 10-15 year process in which citywide Quakers determined our best relationship with Friends Seminary for the long-term future.  We concluded at our special interim meeting on December 6 that the Seminary will be a separate corporation – one wedded to “Essential Principles” that ensure it remains a Friends school with interrelationship to our Quarterly Meeting.

The Seminary will operate much as before, but will make its own decisions.  The new corporation and the existing Quarterly Meeting will handle property ownership and space use for at least the next 100 years, as governed by a voluminous “deal sheet.”  A summary of that, and the approved Essential Principles, are just as posted via links on this webpage December 5th.  The closing of the legal paperwork governing these changes will probably come in six months, but the deal sheet includes clauses providing that the Seminary may begin now to make its property-use plans and commitments accordingly.

For the minutes of our December 6th meeting, click here.

Our next regular quarterly meeting will be held on January 24, 2016 at Brooklyn meetinghouse.  Save the date, plan to bring food, and prepare to consider our programs and their budgetary needs for 2016!

- Andy von Salis, clerk

Meeting for Business Dec.6: Agenda Documents


As we meet tomorrow (Sunday, December 6th, 1:00 p.m., at Fifteenth Street meetinghouse), here are the documents we will consider:

A one-page summary of all the major terms in the lengthy “Deal Sheet” that our Trustees and Seminary Committee agreed to early Friday evening, which are recommended for our approval, and

A nine-page statement of the Essential Principles, Practices and Procedures to govern the new, separate Friends Seminary corporation that our Relationships Committee recommends we approve also.

The work of these three committees was allocated and coordinated that way.  Their documents are designed to work together, and are both acceptable to all three committees.  Please download, print and bring copies of these with you to the meeting!  Each will be introduced and briefly explained by the respective committees, the language used can be interpreted as may be needed (for example, real-estate terms, and geography such as “the Central Building”), and – as was done at an Information Session last night – questions can be answered and concerns heard.

- Andy von Salis, clerk, NYQM

Special meeting of the QM – to decide proposals for Friends Seminary

Friends, our Quarterly Meeting has given much attention to the future of Friends Seminary, which is in many ways our largest asset and responsibility.  We decided in April the Seminary will be a separate Quaker corporation.  We held an extra business meeting on September 27.  And our committees have continued to work overtime all year on their specific proposals.

Now, they aim to join in bringing a unified proposal before us for decision at a special interim meeting on Sunday, December 6, at 1:00 p.m. at the Fifteenth Street meetinghouse.  For logistical reasons, a final decision is needed now, or all current plans will be off the table for some time.  We all realize that two interim meetings in a single year is a lot to add to Friends’ regular obligation to show up for our quarterly business – but we all hope this will be the last!  We will have the usual potluck lunch after 11am worship, and provide childcare as usual.

We will also convene a meeting of the Corporation membership at that time, so the members can make such major decisions legally effective.  All members of Friends meetings in New York are the membership, so we all need to consider attending.  On this webpage, you will find the exact text of the proposal(s) before us as the date draws near, so check back here for them!

Here is the Notice to which the members are legally entitled:

–  Andy von Salis,   Clerk, New York Quarterly Meeting

A special Meeting of the Corporation of the New York Quarterly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends will be held at 1:00 p.m. on December 6, 2015 at the 15th Street Meeting House, 15 Rutherford Place, New York, NY.

The purpose of the Meeting is to consider the separate incorporation of Friends Seminary, to approve an Essential Principles and Practices for Friends Seminary (a section of proposed By-laws), to approve a proposed property separation of the Friends Seminary School and to transact such other business as may lawfully come before the Meeting.

In friendship,

Ann Kjellberg, Clerk of Trustees and President of the Corporation

NY Quarterly Meeting meets this Sunday, Oct. 25!


Our regular October meeting for business has extra energy this Fall.  We’ll hear from our three venerable yet rapidly-developing Friends Schools, who’ll present their annual reports; but we’ll also have some decisions to make on Sunday afternoon, October 25.

Reports are great to read in advance, and I hope all Friends in NYC will check back here, right up to Sunday,  because hardly any were submitted even one full week in advance!  We all regret that, but our Schools and other Committees are continuing to work for more results this week.  I’ll be posting their reports in pdf, with links right here in this paragraph whenever the report has been submitted in advance.  . . .  starting with the regular quarterly report from Brooklyn MeetingMorningside Meeting,   . . . and moving on to our proposed Agenda and our committees’ reports:
Brooklyn Friends School trustees’ annual report; Committee on the Relationship between the Quarterly Meeting, Fifteenth Street Meeting and Friends Seminary; report from Friends Seminary on its separate incorporation and Redevelopment; brief report from our QM Trustees on that separate incorporation; Ministry & Counsel annual report;  . . .   Your clerk has been advised that there will be no annual report this month from Friends Seminary or Mary McDowell Friends School, although MMFS has sent us some interim commentary.

So please plan now on attending at Morningside Meeting at 1:00 p.m. on the 25th.  If you’ve never worshiped in a tower in the sky before, you’re in for a treat – the 12th Floor at Riverside Church, high above the Hudson, has lots of windows.  Come for worship with Friends citywide at 11am, potluck lunch and socializing at noon, and our meeting for business at 1:00 pm.  The church is a few short blocks north and west from the 1 Train at 116th Street.  See you there!

Note that the 1 Train is scheduled for service changes this weekend:  it provides no service south of 14th Street or north of 137th Street, so plan well where you’ll need to make transfers.

- Andy von Salis, clerk, NYQM

Indigenous Peoples Day – NYC Quaker observance

   You are warmly invited to participate in events marking Indigenous Peoples Day on October 27 (Tuesday) 2015 at Brooklyn Friends School, 375 Pearl Street, Brooklyn NY and Brooklyn Quaker Meetinghouse, 110 Schermerhorn Street, Brooklyn NY. These events are both entirely free and open to the public These.events will be led by our Indigenous neighbors, including Onondaga Clan Mother Freida Jacques, Mohawk Elders Tom Porter and Kay Olan, Evan Pritchard, Mi’kmaq scholar, and the Akwesasne Women Singers, a traditional Mohawk Women’s Singing Group from the Akwesasne Reservation near Potsdam NY and extending on both sides of the St. Lawrence River.
Theme for the day:
Care for the Earth, Looking to Seven Generations in the face of Climate Change
  • 4:00, PEACE POLE DEDICATION, Brooklyn Friends School. The Peace Pole movement is dedicated to the call for world peace, and the Poles can be found in many locations worldwide, inscribed “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in many languages. The eight languages on the Brooklyn Friends School pole include Mohawk and Canarsie.
  • 6:00-9:00 THANKSGIVING PRAYER, DISCUSSION, SOCIAL DANCING, Brooklyn Quaker Meetinghouse
    Traditional Opening Words of Thanksgiving Prayer by Tom Sakokwenionkwas Porter,theme discussion, refreshments, traditional Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) social dancing and music.

– Event arranged by Tom Rothschild and Brooklyn Friends School

Finding unity in our Meetings – program Oct. 10 with Arthur Larrabee


Arthur Larrabee will facilitate a workshop on Friends Decision-making and the Search for Unity.  Arthur Larrabee is former presiding clerk and former general secretary of Philadelphia YM.

Date,  time, place  of workshop:   Saturday October 10 at Brooklyn meeting (110 Schermerhorn Street, Brooklyn, NY), 10 AM to 4 PM.  Lunch is pizza and potluck — why not bring something to eat or share!

RSVP appreciated if you intend to come.  RSVP REQUIRED if you need childcare – please include number and age(s) of child(ren).  All RSVP’s to:  beth.r.kelly [at] gmail.com .  This event is hosted by our Ministry & Counsel Committee; there is no fee to attend.

- NYQM Ministry & Counsel Committee, by Tom Rothschild, Beth Kelly and Charlotte Ehrman

Agenda and Reports for our meeting Sept. 27

Here is the:  agenda  for the called meeting of NYQM on Sunday, Sept. 27th at the Fifteenth Street meetinghouse.

The written reports for the meeting will include:

Report of our Trustees

Letter from our appointees to the Friends Seminary Committee

[Note:  You may have to return to this page when the documents to these links are available, and the Minutes of our July meeting are posted.]

Friends are encouraged to worship together at 11:00 a.m.  Note that the meeting begins at 1:00 p.m. following a potluck lunch at noon – and we hope for good weather to dine in a sunny yard!  Please bring dishes to share that need not be reheated.  There will be childcare, morning and afternoon.

We hope to see you all for a day of community, fun and advancing Friends’ truth!

Andy von Salis,  clerk, NYQM

Called meeting – a bit of update


Our special meeting for business, called for Sunday afternoon September 27th, will take place at 1:00 pm – with a target completion time of 3:30 pm – at the Fifteenth Street meetinghouse.

Fifteenth Street Meeting created a host committee this past weekend, so I do expect further information that I can post here soon about our lunch and childcare arrangements.  The initial signs are that we’ll be welcomed with most if not all of the conveniences that Fifteenth Street offers us at our regular meetings there.  I’m gratefully looking forward to it!

The purpose of the meeting is, of course, unchanged.  As to the agenda, I still do not yet have reports from any of the groups working on the issues before us, updating or refining their proposals and recommendations to us.  But I do expect to receive one or more, and I will post them here.  Check often!

- Andy von Salis  (clerk, NYQM)