Spring Gathering Interest Groups

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Spring Gathering Interest Groups 2021 / Saturday afternoon, May 15


Friends – we have a great line up of Interest Groups to choose from!  Here are their descriptions and the time that each will be offered.


Peruvian Outreach Project: Returning the Love, Building the Future


Presenter:   Kathy Houlihan

We believe that a single action can make a difference in a community. Inspired by hope , the Peruvian Outreach Project works to transform the lives of others. Learn about the formation of the Peruvian Outreach Project, our work at the Aldea Infantil Virgen del Pilar Orphanage and our exciting new project, the Hoogar Hermelinda Home for young Women in Tarapoto, Peru.


Social Media for Meetings: Supporting Informed and Spirit-Led Discernment


Presenter:  Emily Provance

Working with social media opens many new avenues for the Publishers of Truth, as early Friends were called.  But engaging with social media platforms also brings up very real concerns about social justice, privacy, integrity, simplicity, and the ability to practice deep listening.  In addition, "social media" is an enormous umbrella, encompassing literally dozens of platforms that can be used for many different purposes.


This workshop will focus on queries and information that can support a meeting's discernment about use of social media.  Are we led to engage with it at all?  Within what boundaries?  For what purpose?  On which platforms? Who will do it? How will we know whether and when to continue, stop, or change our meeting's use of social media? 


Rather than attempting to answer the above questions, we'll save the discernment for our local meetings--but we'll prepare by talking about why each query matters, gathering the facts that will allow for informed and Spirit-led discernment.



Quaker Aspen: Quakers @ Work


Presenter:   Nick Dosch

Quaking Aspen trees (like all trees) consume nutrients from the soil, and breathe the breeze (the same breezes that give them their iconic quaking leaves).  We Quakers are an important part of the living community, and we consume to live and prosper.  How we consume can greatly harm or benefit the communities we are in.  But how do YOU consume, are you buying from Quakers, hiring Quakers, and investing in Quakers?  

Many of us work for an organization that is not explicitly Quaker, so how do you bring your spirituality to your work?  Come connect to others and direct this seedling movement among Friends: Quaker Aspen.


Doctrine of Discovery, Unmasking the Domination Code


Presenters:   Nadine Hoover & Jeffrey Barr

THE DOCTRINE OF DISCOVERY Unmasking the Domination Code is a story of historical truth, spirituality and resistance, told on behalf of the original nations and peoples of Great Turtle Island and elsewhere on Mother Earth. In 2015, Chief Justice John Marshall's distinction between "Christian people" and "heathens" in Johnson v M'intosh (1823)is still treated by the US Supreme Court as valid law for the United States. The Supreme Court has used the claimed right of Christian discovery and domination in the Johnson ruling as its underlying rationale for every ruling that it handed down since 1823 regarding our original nations.


Cristobal Colon (Columbus) and other colonizers laid claim to the lands of the original nations on the idea that Christians had a biblical right to discover and dominate non-Christian lands. This doctrine of ancient Christendom, supported by papal edicts, continues to serve as the conceptual foundation of the political and legal system of the United States, and as the conceptual foundation of other dominating political systems elsewhere in the world in relation to original nations.

We will promptly begin at 2:00 PM watching the documentary together with discussion following. 


Serving up electric pressure cooking, with a side of environmental justice


Presenter:  Karen Peissinger

Join Karen Peissinger as she talks about using an electric pressure cooker to prepare easy, quick and nutritious meals. She’ll discuss types of electric pressure cookers, safety features and safe use, helpful tips and tricks as well as useful accessories. Also, Karen will discuss the connection between cooking and poor indoor air quality as an environmental justice issue, and how electric pressure cookers might help. The presentation will wrap up with a quick demonstration of an easy recipe and a Q&A session.


Healing Circle to Express Our Grief and our Hopes


Presenter:   Kathy Slattery

Using the (this time, virtual) circle process of Indigenous Peoples, and taught by Parker Palmer (Circles of Trust) and Kay Pranis (Peacemaking Circles), we will speak our truth from the heart about our experiences of hard lessons and unexpected openings in the last year, looking for where Spirit is leading us.


Beverly Ward


Presenter:   Beverly Ward

This group will grow out of questions that emerge from the morning's plenary and panel discussion – questions related to doing justice. This will be in workshop form, with lots of discussion.


Viruses, Vaccines, Science, and the Creation


Presenters:    David Swift, Dr. Thamby Ninan, Joshua Ninan 

We will hear a brief presentation on viruses, where they come from, what they are made of, and how vaccines are made.  

Then there will be ample time for questions, answers, comments, discussion, and reflection.

"At its heart, science is about connecting with the world; it is a living celebration of the universe."

Presenters will be scientist, professor, Collins Meeting Friend, Dr. Thamby Ninan, and his grandson, Joshua Ninan, molecular genetics student at SUNY Fredonia.  

Discussion facilitator, Fredonia Friend, mathematician, physics and astronomy  teacher, J. David Swift.


Becoming an antiracist faith community: Where is NYYM at?


Presenter: Mathilda Navias

A group of Friends have been working on writing a minute on becoming an antiracist faith community for monthly meeting and yearly meeting consideration. It's still in a draft stage, and we would like to give Friends the opportunity to see what we have so far and to discuss it.