Workday on Saturday, gun violence program on Sunday

miki soos logoRiverside-Salem Work Day on Saturday:  Please join us this Saturday, November 21st, from 10:00 a.m. onward as we work on the handicapped-accessible walkway.

On Sunday, Nov. 22nd (4-6 p.m. + potluck, at the cottage, 3449 West River Road, Grand Island, NY 14072, as usual):  Paul McQuillen, New Yorkers Against Gun Violence (NYAGV Buffalo-Niagara), will be our presenter.  Paul is currently the Upstate Coordinator of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence (NYAGV) and was the founding WNY Coordinator.

In fall of 2013, Paul saw the need for a gun violence awareness organization if Buffalo after discovering that there was no local organization. He contacted Leah Gunn Barrett, Executive Director of NYAGV at their offices in NYC, explaining that there was no formal GVA program in the Buffalo area and wanting to know more. He was told that upstate was particularly absent from an organized presence and they discussed opportunities to change that. Paul was afforded the opportunity to organize upstate and WNY which began in earnest in January 2014.

NYAGV now has coordinators in Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Albany and the Hudson Valley. They have a legislative representative based out of their main offices in NYC. They are growing statewide and have now organized a Buffalo Niagara presence – NYAGV Buffalo-Niagara.

Paul attended Albany Law School – Antioch University – Frontier CHS – St. Joseph University and St. Mary of the Lake.

He spent 20 years in the railroad and labor union fields attending Albany Law School while maintaining employment with Conrail.  He worked on Conrail, attended law school, and all while commuting home to his family on weekends.

He practiced law in Buffalo, mostly criminal defense, matrimonial and family court and was an Assistant Erie County Attorney for six years.

He has been married to Linda McQuillen (40 years). They have a son (Patrick), a daughter-in-law (Justine), and 2 1/2 grandchildren (Owen 4, Aubree 2 and ?).

This Sunday, Doctrine of Discovery – the domination code

miki soos logoThis Sunday, Nov. 15th, Agnes Williams of Indigenous Women’s Initiatives (IWI) will facilitate a discussion following the showing of “The Doctrine of Discovery: Unmasking the Domination Code.” The DVD shows “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. We are still here and still rightfully free.”

Even today, in 2015, Chief Justice John Marshall’s distinction between “Christian people” and “heathens” in Johnson v. M’Intosh (1823) is still treated by the U.S. 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 has handed down since 1823 regarding original nations.

The Interfaith Peace Network of WNY showed this film recently to much acclaim. It is based on Steven T. Newcomb’s book, Pagans in the Promised Land: Decoding the Doctrine of Christian Discovery. Newcomb co-produced it and is featured prominently in it. Directed by Sheldon P. Wolfchild; narrated by Buffy Sainte-Marie.

At our Environmental Cottage, 3449 West River Road, Grand Island, NY 14072, 4-6 p.m. (+ potluck). All welcome.

Co-pastors become pelegrinos on the Camino de Santiago

jon and cathy on the trail

Jon and Cathy on a practice hike.

miki soos logoOn Sunday, September 13th, WELCOME BACK to Sundays at 4 and GOOD-BYE to our co-pastors, Cathy & Jon, as they begin their Camino de Santiago pilgrimage in France/Spain (see link below).

There will be one more Wednesday (pottery) on Sep. 16th.

See September program schedule after Cathy & Jon’s link —

Hi Folks,

If you want to follow along with our adventures, here is a link to our blog. We will post photos and  short reflections. We will also try to make sure our location is pinned on the map regularly.

 Cathy & Jon


RS September Program Schedule

Sep. 13            Fare-thee-well send-off of our co-pastors, Jon & Cathy Rieley-Goddard, as they undertake a Camino de Santiago pilgrimage in France/Spain. Roger on Encyclical & local climate change responses.

 Sept 15            Crop walk meal at Dick & Jenny’s – 15% will be donated to Crop Walk

Sep. 20            Nancy Smith from the WNY Land Conservancy review the RS space (walk the land) at 3:00 p.m., followed by discussion.  Also, Roger Cook update on local climate change events connected with Pope Francis’ visit to U.S. and summit in Paris.

 Sep. 27            Jessica Selleck will discuss her observations and experiences while living in Bursa, Turkey from 2012-2014.  She will share her experience of spending a summer living in a small village as well as her experience in the city of Bursa and what she learned about a wide array of topics including: Turkish food, politics and culture.  Jessica holds an MA in Teaching English as a Second Language and was employed as an English Lecturer at Bursa Technical University during her time in Turkey.  She currently resides in Attica, NY.

  Oct. 4              CROP Walk on Grand Island, 1:00 p.m., Beaver Island or sign up on-line:


(More later!)

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Poetry by the river’s edge w/Chuck Culhane

miki soos logoWe’ll share our poetry tomorrow evening, Sept. 9th, now that Chuck Culhane can be with us, and Carol Alt will move her concluding pottery session to Sept. 16th.

6:00 potluck, 6:30 poetry (or thereabouts?) until about 8:00 p.m. at our Environmental Sanctuary/Cottage, 3449 West River Road, Grand Island 14072. See you tomorrow evening, we hope! (If you can’t come, please send a poem.)

Like this:

The Poet Compares Human Nature

To The Ocean From Which We Came


The sea can do craziness, it can do smooth,

it can lie down like silk breathing

or toss havoc shoreward; it can give

gifts or withhold all; it can rise, ebb, froth

like an incoming frenzy of fountains, or it

can sweet-talk entirely. As I can too,

and so, no doubt, can you, and you.

–Mary Oliver, A Thousand Mornings, p. 65.

A Spirituality of Being Human

miki sos small On Sunday, June 14th, Evelyn Brady and Roger Cook will facilitate a
discussion of a gift that Hugh Brady, D. Min., left for all of us:  his
book, "A Spirituality of Being Human."  "What is a spirituality of being
human?" Hugh asks. "It is loving and accepting human nature in its
brokenness and in its state of grace.  It is awareness of the deeply
transformative experience of being human."

Please join us for a discussion of Hugh's thought-provoking book.

Please join us this Sunday from 4-6 (+ potluck) for a thoughtful and likely
broad-ranging discussion.  At the cottage, 3449 West River Road, Grand
Island, NY 14072.

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