Morningside Meeting: worship at 11:00 am on Sundays, hybrid (details here)
Flushing Meeting: worship at 11:00 am on Sundays, hybrid (details here)
Manhattan Meeting: semi-programmed hybrid worship at 9:30 am; on first and third Sundays, worship is hybrid; on second, fourth and fifth Sundays, worship is online only (details here)
Staten Island Meeting: 10:10 am on 2nd and 4th Sundays, hybrid (details here)
Job Opening: Senior Operations Manager
Statements About the Conflict in Gaza and Israel
At the January 2024 quarterly business meeting we heard statements on the conflict in Gaza and Israel that were brought by Brooklyn, Morningside, and 15th Street Meetings. You can read all three statements here. The minute below gives a overview of each statement and the actions we are taking:
Minute 2024.01.09. Brooklyn, Morningside, and 15th Street Meetings all submitted minutes on the conflict in Israel and Gaza as part of their reports to the quarter; the minutes are gathered here.
Todd Drake, clerk of Brooklyn Meeting’s Peace and Social Action Committee, reads the minute from Brooklyn, which approved this statement after much discernment and seasoning. The minute re-affirms the Quaker peace testimony and expresses horror at the killings on all sides in Israel, Gaza, the West Bank, and the entire Middle East. Quakers see that of God in all people. The minute states a recommitment to conflict mediation, and a desire for love to prevail over dehumanization. Force may subdue, but love gains.
Jason McGill, clerk of Morningside Meeting, reads the minute from Morningside. Morningside re-affirms the Quaker Peace Testimony. They ask the US government to withhold further military aid to Israel and to work toward a ceasefire. 50% of the casualties in Gaza have been women and children. They ask for a free flow of humanitarian aid to Gaza, and for a commitment to ensuring the civil rights of the Palestinian community to stop the cycle of violence.
Barbara Barnard, clerk of 15th Street Meeting, presents the minute from 15th Street. The meeting urges lawmakers to endorse a ceasefire, protect lives, provide humanitarian aid, address the root causes of the conflict, and speak out against antisemitic and anti-Islamic words and actions. The Peace Testimony is reaffirmed.
The minutes are united by their commitment to our peace testimony. The clerk suggests the quarter endorse all three and forward them to our representatives; that meetings send their messages to the meeting’s local representatives, that they be featured on our website and in other NYQM communications, and be forwarded to the New York Yearly Meeting.
A Friend expresses caution on approving minutes like this at the quarterly meeting level, saying that letters from individuals are just as powerful as those from groups. Another Friend suggests that we both approve the minutes AND send individual letters. People have been calling for statements from us and other Quaker organizations on this subject. Some Friends feel strongly that Friends of the quarter should speak for peace through these statements. A Friend with friends in Palestine expresses horror at what is happening in Gaza and asks, who should stand up for peace if not Quakers? Another Friend says that this is a human rights issue and not a political one and hopes we take even more action past these minutes. A Friend says our action for peace should be continuous. A Friend wants the quarter to find ways to use these minutes locally.
After this sharing and discernment, Friends approve this proposal.
About NYC Quakers and Meetings for Worship
Members of the Religious Society of Friends (AKA Quakers) have lived and worshiped in New York City since the 17th century. Coming from diverse religious backgrounds, Friends look for spiritual guidance from many diverse sources, including direct, personal experience. We believe that every person has innate worth, a belief that leads to beliefs in non-violence, equality, integrity, and social action. We also believe that people have access to an inner power that can guide us in our beliefs and actions. Some call this power God, some the Holy Spirit; many Friends call it the Inner Light. We believe that everyone can experience this Light.
The Quaker way of worshiping together is a gathering of people who seek the Inner Light. Most of the Quaker congregations, or “meetings,” in New York City hold unprogrammed meetings for worship. These meetings for worship begin in silence — no minister leads us; no formal prayers are said, nor hymns sung; no religious symbols are displayed. Instead the gathered Friends sit quietly and pray, meditate, or listen for an inner voice. If someone is moved — divinely inspired — to speak, his or her words may enrich the understanding of those present. Both our silence and our spoken words bring us closer together. Our diverse community includes Manhattan Meeting, which holds semi-programmed worship featuring singing and a message from a pastor in addition to periods of silent worship.
(Some material borrowed from Brooklyn Monthly Meeting’s FAQ.)