Morningside Quaker Meeting

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Interfaith Civic Leadership Academy accepting applications

Scott Blumenthal writes:

The Interfaith Center of New York is now accepting applications for the next cohort of the Interfaith Civic Leadership Academy. ICLA fellows are diverse clergy members, lay leaders, and faith-based activists working to improve the lives of New Yorkers. In a series of evening workshops, they build relationships across faith lines while learning effective strategies for community leadership, organizing, and advocacy. They then use these skills to create community projects that contribute to the civic life of New York. Each fellow receives $500 in grant funding for their community project, as well as a $500 personal stipend to honor their commitment to the program.

More details are available here:

ICLA “is particularly interested in working with emerging faith leaders – with individuals who have some past experience in community leadership or social activism, but could still benefit from ICLA trainings. The program is not a ‘master class’ for seasoned faith leaders.” Information about previous ICLA fellows can be found here:

The application shouldn’t take long to complete, so please apply if you’re interested! Or share the information with an emerging faith leader you think could benefit from the program.

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Worship Sharing on Abundance Sept 30 in our Cemetery

Charlene Ray writes:

Concern for Quaker Living (CQL), a sub committee of the NYQM’s Ministry & Counsel invites you to a worship sharing gathering at the Cemetery.

How can we find abundance, confidence and trust?

We live in fragmented times, the earth is suffering, people are restless, hope is fleeting and tolerance and love are in short supply. Instead of embracing each other’s humanity and life itself, we argue, separate, form groups of “us” and “them”, and basically forfeit our voices and interest in listening to others.

But what about you?

Have you lost your voice, your ability to trust?

Are you finding an inward path to support you?

Isn’t it time to seek community, to share with an abundance of spirit, and to embrace the world around us?

Come to the Cemetery on Saturday, September 30th at 10:30 to share, to eat and to enjoy each other’s company.

Worship sharing starts at 11:00-12:00, followed by a potluck lunch.

If it is raining, come to 110 Schermerhorn, Brooklyn Friends Meetinghouse.

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Braiding Sweetgrass, a worship sharing opportunity -- please join us!

Charlene Ray writes:

In cooperation with the Racial Justice Study Group, a series of 4 worship sharing times, using Robin Wall Kimmerer’s book, Braiding Sweet Grass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants, 4 parts, beginning with pages 1-117 (Printed 2013, First paperback edition, Milkweed Editions, Canada). Some questions we will be interested in answering might be 1) what chapter was most interesting and why?, 3) are there ideas or practices that you might like to try? And 4) does any of this reading suggest a new view of Thanksgiving and/or Christmas?

Framed by Ernie Buscemi and Charlene Ray, we hope you will joing us on a journey into more expansive relationships\We will be starting October 22 and invite you to read and re-read this in the meantime. Our proposed reading schedule is something like:

October 22: Pages 1-117—Planting Sweet and Tending Sweetgrass
January 28: Pages 121-201—Picking Sweetgrass
February 25: Pages 205-300—Braiding Sweetgrass
March 25: Pages 303 to end

Here is a little bit about the book and the author from Wikipedia: The series of essays in five sections begins with “Planting Sweetgrass”, and progresses through “Tending,” “Picking,” “Braiding,” and “Burning Sweetgrass. This progression of headings suggests how Kimmerer’s book functions not only as natural history but also as ceremony which plays a decisive role in how Kimmerer comes to know the living world.

Kimmerer describes Braiding Sweetgrass as ”[A] braid of stories…woven from three strands: indigenous ways of knowing, scientific knowledge, and her story, the story of an Anishinabeckwe scientist trying to bring them together in service to what matters most.” She also calls the work an intertwining of science, spirit, and story.

Kimmerer, who is an enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, writes about her personal experiences working with plants and reuniting with her people’s cultural traditions. Robin Wall Kimmerer (born 1953) is an American Distinguished Teaching Professor of Environmental and Forest Biology; and Director, Center for Native Peoples and the Environment, at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF). Born in 1953 in Upstate New York, her time outdoors rooted a deep appreciation for the natural environment. Kimmerer has a BS in Botany from State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry. . She spent two years working for Bausch & Lomb as a microbiologist. Kimmerer then moved to the University of Wisconsin–Madison, earning her master’s degree in botany, followed by her PhD in plant ecology in 1983.

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Countdown to Closing Rikers demonstration, August 31

Scott Blumenthal writes:

Hi, friends. Freedom Agenda, a member-led project, dedicated to organizing people and communities directly impacted by incarceration to achieve decarceration and system transformation, is organizing a demonstration at City Hall Park on Thursday, August 31. We will remind Mayor Adams that closing the Rikers Island jails by August 31, 2027 is the law and he must take steps now to comply with it. I hope you will join us if you feel led and are able. You can read about the demonstration and register to participate here.

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Aug 12 Escape to Governors Island and visit with Indigenous artists

Ernie Buscemi and Charlene Ray write:

We invite you to join Morningsiders on an excursion to Governors Island. We plan to take the 9:30am Governors Island Ferry for a leisurely exploration, a 11:30am rendezvous at Little Eva’s for lunch (bring your own or pick up something from Little Eva or one of the several food trucks; Little Eva is on Liggett Terrace and is equipped with tables and chairs). After a leisurely lunch, we can amble over to 15 Nolan Park to visit the studio space of the American Indian Community House and their several artists in residence at 1pm. Let’s take time after this visit to have some sharing of our own learnings before heading back to the NYC bustle.

Everyone is welcome!! And it will help us if you can let us know you are coming so we can look for you; please RSVP We hope to see you there, rain or shine!!!

Both Governors Island and the American Indian Community House have more information on their websites and Facebook pages.

In Friendship,
Ernie Buscemi and Charlene Ray, for the Morningside Monthly Meeting, as we seek to have relationships with our Indigenous neighbors.

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Hip Hop's 50th Birthday Jam

Miguel Herrera shares this information with Morningsiders:

On Friday August 11th, the birthday of Hip Hop, the Universal Hip Hop Museum is hosting Hip Hop’s 50th Birthday Jam. They will celebrate Hip Hop’s elements at Mill Pond Park (Exterior Street and 150th Street), next to the museum’s construction site in the Bronx. The event is free.

The party starts at noon EST with music, food, and drinks (of course), murals created by artists courtesy of Thrive Collective, including Tats Cru, Lady Pink, and Queen Andrea. Immediately following the visual art, RAPAMANIA, a rap showcase hosted by the iconic Van Silk, begins at 2pm EST. Next up, Red Bull BC One will host an Open Cypher, presenting a number of world-renowned breakers and local talent.

View the invitation on the Universal Hip Hop Museum’s website.

Life After COVID Worship in our Cemetery

Charlene Ray writes:

Most of our lives we live on a conveyer belt. Like a piece of luggage, we go round and round, until someone claims us. Once we are off, we go home, to some place familiar, or we might explore the world around and within us. In essence, we claim ourselves, have a plan, a vision if you will.

What if that experience of living, of discovery, is exacerbated by a dense persistent fog? That is what it has felt like during this covid pandemic for many of us.

Let us gather in worship, share what we have experienced, have learned, gained and lost, and are looking forward to. For more about the Cemetery and a map go to

Come to the Cemetery on Saturday, June 3rd at 10:30 to share, to eat and to enjoy each other’s company. Worship sharing starts at 11:00-12:00, followed by a potluck lunch.

And if it is raining, come to 110 Schermerhorn, Brooklyn Friends Meetinghouse.

Sponsored by NYQM Concern for Quaker Living and Cemetery Committee

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Let’s Support the AFSC work of Akira Rose

Charelene Ray shares:

As a member of Morningside, I am writing to ask you to help me raise $1,680 before June 30 to help Akira Rose stay in NYC, close to her work directing AFSC’s Liberation Summer Camp at 15 Rutherford Place.

Liberation Summer Camp and its longer more in-depth, Liberation Academy, create alternatives to violence for young people at risk of being incarcerated. Last year, along with several Mornningsiders, I got to see firsthand how powerful this program is. Their final projects were inspirational and lifechanging. Now I have received a request to repeat the support Morningsiders provided last year to help Akira Rose, its program director. Here is what she is asking:

My name is Akira Rose and I am currently the Youth Activism Fellow for AFSC’s Healing Justice NY program. This summer, we are celebrating the 10th anniversary of Liberation Summer Camp (!), a 5-week advocacy camp for youth ages 15-20. For the past ten years, we have taught young people how to create change in their communities through art and activism. During last year’s camp, I was able to stay at Penington Friends House, which is right next door to where we host the summer camp. As someone who lives on Long Island, being in such close proximity to where the summer camp took place made being in community with campers and staff alike a smooth process. I was able to show up early and create a welcoming environment before campers arrived and stick around to invite questions and offer support to campers and our staff. Overall, staying at Penington allowed me to show up and support the camp to my fullest capacity. This year, I anticipate the needs of the camp only increasing and I know that residing at the Penington for its duration will ensure that we can all focus our energy on having another successful year as we hit this amazing milestone. Thank you for supporting both me and Liberation Summer Camp as we create healing justice in our community.

Akira Rose

The cost for her stay at Penington Friends House is $1,680 for July 8-August 12, for a furnished sublet room and 5 dinners/week. In response to the heartfelt program and its wisdom, the state of violence especially racially motivated violence, I invite Morningside members and attenders to offer some financial support to enable Akira to participate safely and more fully in Liberation Sumer Camp.

Please make checks payable to Morningside Monthly Meeting with Akira in the memo line. Send them to me, Charlene Ray 44 West 62nd Street, #27D, New York NY 10023. I will batch them, have them deposited and ask for a check for a like amount from Morningside payable to Penington Friends House for the purpose of rent for Akira. This is my leading and one that was born here in our Morningside worship experience, it is not an official Morningside event. I simply ask that you join me in seeing this as an opportunity to support life giving, life affirming racial justice action. I will gladly accept any size donation. Thank you.

Also, this could not be done without the support and cooperation of the Morningside Meeting and Penington Friends House.

In grateful and appreciative Friendship,

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Annual Meeting of Penington Friends House

Charelene Ray shares:

All members and friends of the New York Yearly Meeting are invited to the Penington Annual Meeting as follows:

Since 1898, the Friends Home Association of New York (FHA) has overseen a Quaker Residential Community at Penington Friends House, providing lodging, board and meeting space for Friends in New York City. Please join us in continuing and celebrating this service to our community!

Our mission is to maintain a home and community that can serve as a model for cooperative living, where Friends and guests can live, gather, and cultivate their inner light, consistent with Quaker practice and testimonies.

The annual membership meeting of the Association will be held in person at Penington Friends House, 215 East 15th Street, New York, NY on Saturday, June 10 at 11:00 am. All are welcome to attend.

If you would like to attend, please RSVP to and include your name, name of your meeting where you are a member and your email address. We will follow up with some board materials for you to preview in advance of the meeting.

If you have any questions, you can call Robin Drake at 212-673-1730.

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What is Silent and Still—it's music and movement!

Charlene Ray writes:

What is Silent and Still? It is a dance/music opportunity—but how can it be silent and still if it is music and movement? Come and find out! Brooklyn Meetinghouse, March 19!

Being brought to us by the work of Concern for Quaker Living (“CLQ”) of NYQM, we hope that this movement and music will bring us into the Spring and new/renewed relationships with spirit, each other and our world. Bring snacks to share at intermission.

Use this link to find out more about the program and the performers and to sign up: With the code, quaker, you can bypass the Groupmuse $5 fee. While the program is offered free, we will be asking for donations that go directly to the performers ($20 per person is suggested).

Silent and Still, March 19, 2:30pm, 110 Schermerhorn St, Brooklyn. Hope to see you there!

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