FGC Friends: New York Yearly Meeting
New York Yearly Meeting comprises meetings in all of New York State, northern and central New Jersey, and some nearby meetings in Connecticut. We are a re-united yearly meeting, our separate Orthodox and Hicksite yearly meetings having come back together in 1955. We therefore affiliate with both FGC and FUM, and we celebrate and support our few remaining pastoral meetings as well as our many unprogrammed meetings. Our annual Summer Sessions gather for a week each July at the beautiful Silver Bay YMCA campus facilities on Lake George, where many hundreds of us convene to worship and celebrate together and to share the good news of our many Spirit-led activities as a yearly meeting and as local and regional meetings.
Some examples of Spirit at work in New York Yearly Meeting:
- Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) is a gift to the world from New York Yearly Meeting and remains an active witness activity for many dedicated Friends. AVP is active in both New York and New Jersey correctional facilities. Our Prisons Committee leads us in its efforts to end the practice of solitary confinement and to support our many important prison worship groups.
- Our expanding ARCH program (Aging Resources, Consultation and Help) is greatly valued by Friends and provides professional and volunteer resources and ministry to meetings, older Friends, and persons with disabilities throughout NYYM and beyond.
- In recent years, our General Secretary has been joined by a wonderful, active Young Adult Field Secretary who helps our young adults retain a relationship with each other and with our yearly and local meetings. This year we also hired a new Children and Youth Field Secretary to support the children and families in our local meetings.
- Our Conflict Transformation Committee provides workshops as well as individual interventions to transform conflict situations among Friends and within meetings. The work of the committee is a valuable resource for our diverse, multicultural body. It has shared its good work at gatherings of FWCC, Baltimore Yearly Meeting, and New England Yearly Meeting, and will do so at the 2016 FGC gathering.
- Our Spiritual Nurture Working Group is presenting exciting programs to help local meetings deepen spiritually, in areas such as worship, pastoral care, vocal ministry, among others.
- NYYM Friends are concerned about solitary confinement in our penal system and approved the following minute at their April Continuing Sessions this year: The New York Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends calls on Governor Cuomo to support the reform of the practice of solitary confinement in the state correctional facilities and local jails of New York, as developed in the Humane Alternatives to Long Term (HALT) Solitary Confinement Act, Bill #A4401/S2659. With the enactment of the changes in the use of solitary confinement proposed in the Act, New York would become a leader in the effort to stop human rights abuses in the United States.