IMMRSF Committee Charges, Function and Responsibilities 2009
AMERICAN FRIENDS’ SERVICE COMMITTEE (AFSC) REPRESENTATIVE
Serves on a program committee to the MidAtlantic Region Upstate New York Office of the AFSC. The role is completely advisory–no major responsibilities for budget or fundraising are required. The program committee meets four times a year. Since gas prices have gone up, the committee has decided to meet in Syracuse two times a year and have the two other meetings by conference call. Meetings are held on Saturdays and usually run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. There will occasionally be responsibilities outside the regular meeting times to do special projects such as writing pamphlets or recruiting new members. Most of the work of the committee, however, is to review the reports of the staff and give advice and suggestions to implement or improve the work they are doing. Currently the Upstate Office runs three major projects: a Youth Empowerment Project in which the HIPP (Help Increase the Peace) program is used; an economic justice project in which AFSC facilitates workshops to train neighborhood community people to advocate for themselves; and an environmental project with the Akwasasne Indian program in which local foods and crafts are promoted. This last project is the result of long time work that AFSC and NYYM have done with the Native Americans in this area. In the past year AFSC was active in working with families who had been evicted from a housing project on very short notice because the land was wanted for development by the medical facilities in Syracuse. AFSC consequently facilitated meetings with all the parties involved in housing to clarify what the plans were for low income housing in the area. This was a project with major consequences for poor people and AFSC was the prime mover. The term is set by the AFSC and can be as long as 8 years.
AREA CONGREGATIONS TOGETHER (ACT)
is a cooperative association of faith communities in the Ithaca area, who are committed to mutual respect and shared service.
ACT-sponsored activities include:
- Ithaca Kitchen Cupboard, distributing groceries to hungry people in our community;
- CROP walk, an annual event to raise funds to relieve hunger locally and globally;
- multifaith Thanksgiving service, hosted each year by a different member group;
- literacy efforts in the community with the Family Reading Partnership;
- Sharing issues of common concern to local faith communities;
- ongoing opportunities to learn about our neighbors;
- working on common goals.
Ithaca Friends Meeting is committed to providing volunteers one day a month at the Kitchen Cupboard, preparing and distributing bags of food to those who come in (currently held at the Salvation Army center, which processes applicants). We have a tradition of making a special collection on second Sundays of funds for the Kitchen Cupboard. Friends regularly participate in the CROP walk and Thanksgiving service. The ACT representative’s major role is to keep the Meeting informed, to try to ensure that someone (not always or only the named representative) carries out our commitments, and to bring joys and concerns back and forth between our Meeting and the other groups.
BURTT HOUSE COMMITTEE
1. STEWARDSHIP OF THE ORIGINAL GIFT The purpose of the Burtt House Committee (BHC) is to provide a focal point to carry out IMMF’s responsibilities of stewardship implicit in the original gift of Ned & Marjorie Burtt. In performing its many functions, the BHC is mindful of the spirit in which the gift of the house was made, a spirit that allows the house to continue to be “a harbor of peace, renewal and refreshment to all who enter it.” (Ned & Marjorie Burtt, May 1981):
II. GENERAL OBJECTIVES & SPECIFIC TASKS
The BHC provides oversight of the house, grounds and occupants to insure its effective use by IMMF as a Friends Center. This includes the need for ongoing maintenance, safety and security. Specific tasks include:
a. Selection and oversight of the Caretaker.
b. Supporting the Caretaker with physical & consultative assistance as required;
c. Providing caring and prudent oversight of individuals and groups using the house, including: occupants, visitors, sojourners, attenders and members.
d. Maintaining housekeeping standards for the house & grounds,
e. Making minor repairs and alterations as needed for the care and safety of the property and occupants,
f. Determining the need for and implementing major repairs and renovation in order to protect the inherent value of the property.
g. Arranging for the Fall and Spring Project Days when those active in IMMF are invited to participate in seasonal clean up activities.
h. Maintaining liaison with IMMF Trustees through one member of the BHC who ~, sits on ‘both committees to facilitate communications between the two groups.
III. BHC MEETINGS
The BHC meets monthly at BH. Meetings are arranged at the convenience of BHC members and are scheduled to last about two (2) hours. BHC membership provides an opportunity for all members and participants in IMMF to contribute their individual skills and enthusiasm to the varied needs of maintaining a Friends Center.
IV. BH WORKING GROUP
It is important to recognize the role of the BH Working Group, an informal group who actively support the work of the BHC. In many situations these individuals do the actual scheduling and maintenance tasks in coordination with the BHC. The Working Group is open to all those wishing to participate on a regular or ad hoc basis..
In carrying out these stewardship tasks, the BHC strives to incorporate Quaker values in its decision making and is mindful of the need to make the BH “an asset rather than a burden.” (Ned & Marjorie Burtt, May 198.1)
Approved September 13, 2009
CALM (Children and the Life of the Meeting) COMMITTEE
is responsible for planning, implementing, and overseeing all activities related to First Day School during the school year. CALM shares responsibility for the Out of the Nest Program with Ministry and Worship.
This differs a bit from what was approved by Meeting:
“The Children in the Life of the Meeting (CALM) committee is responsible for planning, implementing, and overseeing all activities related to First Day School during the school year. It also provides support for the teachers, develops and coordinates sample curricula, and maintains materials and a library of resources for teachers. CALM shares responsibility for the Out of the Nest Program with Ministry and Worship.” Minute of September 14, 2008.
The clerk has a clear charge in relation to conducting the monthly meeting for business. In addition, the clerk may assume several other responsibilities, not from a position of authority but rather from a position of leadership and hopefully a position of respect from the Meeting. Each is summarized below.
In relation to the monthly business meeting, the clerk:
- Sets the agenda after consultation with various committees and individuals
- Circulates a tentative agenda and relevant background reports, proposed minutes, or other information in advance
- Ascertains in advance who has agenda items, communicates with those people, and helps ensure that tentative agenda items are adequately prepared for presentation to the business meeting (this is done without prejudice of the clerk’s personal feelings about any item)
- Presides over the meeting for business
- Ensures that the meeting is conducted in a spirit of worship
- Encourages those present to stay focused on the topic at hand
- Encourages the participation of all, including those present who are less verbal
- Helps create safety for the meeting by tactfully interrupting a speaker who has gone off topic, become overly repetitious, or is abusive of others
- Is sensitive when the meeting seems to be coming to unity (sense of the meeting) on a topic and tests this sense, or determines that unity is not possible within a reasonable time for that agenda item and suggests tabling the topic or an alternative procedure
- Determines when a sense of the meeting has been reached
In relation to a position of leadership, the IMM clerk typically breaks meeting for worship and convenes afterthoughts, greeting of visitors, and announcements-or delegates this to the assistant clerk or a member of Ministry and Worship. The clerk also serves as the person to whom requests for membership are addressed, and the clerk handles membership transfers upon approval by Ministry and Worship and the Meeting for Business. The clerk also frequently handles requests for clearness committees and committees of care, accepting such requests and referring them to Ministry and Worship.
In addition, the clerk frequently assumes these duties:
- Keeps in contact with committees and tries to be of assistance if there is conflict within a committee, if a committee seems to be bogged down or neglecting important work, or if coordination between two committees seems called for and the clerk can be helpful in that regard. This does not imply that the clerk has supervisory authority over committees.
- Answers external inquiries about the Meeting
- Serves as a conduit for communications between Yearly Meeting and the monthly meeting
CORNELL UNITED RELIGIOUS WORK (CURW) REPRESENTATIVE(S)
There are two primary functions associated with this appointment: liaison to Cornell United Religious Work, the interfaith campus ministry of which Ithaca Monthly Meeting is a member; and liaison to Young Friends. At some times, the IMM CURW Rep and the Young Friends Advisor(s) have been the same person(s), and this is efficient and desirable when feasible. As liaison to CURW, this Friend receives e-mails concerning campus ministry, events and opportunities of interest to faith communities, and notices concerning the use of facilities in Anabel Taylor Hall. An ongoing task is the timely forwarding of such e-mails to the appropriate IMM recipient (e.g Young Friends, Clerk, Hospitality, CALM, various working groups) for their information. A major responsibility is to receive the three annual Room Reservation forms for Anabel Taylor (Fall, Spring, and Summer), consult with the Clerk and relevant committees, and submit the forms by the deadline. Failure to do this can result in disruption of IMM functions in the building. Part of this job also is to contact certain individual chaplains each semester, to ensure that our continued use of their offices for First Day School is still agreeable. Attending the weekly “chaplains’” meetings (usually held on Wednesday mornings) is recommended whenever possible because they are an excellent way to remain informed as well as to appreciate the scope of spiritual concerns in the community.
has the responsibility of sending out the monthly Newsletters to those who have requested it. The most essential part of this commitment is to nurture the recipient as one would a family member by giving ongoing information about Meeting activities and outreach. This involves including a short personal note, pointing out something special or not to be overlooked in the Newsletter. The Corresponding Clerk writes other notes, too, to cheer, encourage, or support-for outreach stimulates inreach, does it not?
Collect and maintain current contact information for Meeting members and attenders. Create a directory for Meeting (including contact information, committee assignments, and membership information). Print labels for Meeting mailings.
The Earthcare Committee will facilitate the consideration of Earthcare-related concerns within the life of Ithaca Monthly Meeting on an ongoing basis.
The Committee will build on the testimonies of Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, Equality and Stewardship (SPICES), among other sources, to inspire and inform our work and outreach on Earthcare. The Committee will promote and facilitate mindfulness with f/Friends regarding actions we can take personally, as committees within IMM, as a Meeting, and as part of the wider community. The Earthcare Committee will also work with wider Quaker bodies and other public and private organizations to address Earthcare and eco-justice concerns locally, regionally, and nationally. The Committee will make recommendations to the Meeting for budget allocations to local, national, and international Quaker and other environmental and eco-justice organizations.
This Committee is open to members and attenders. Official members will serve 3 year terms. The initial convener will help the committee establish a structure for coordination, for example, selecting a Clerk, etc.
Approved April 5, 2009
FARMINGTON-SCIPIO REGIONAL MEETING (FSRM) REPRESENTATIVES
Ithaca Monthly Meeting’s Representatives to Regional Meeting are responsible for sharing information between monthly meeting and regional meeting. At least one of them should attend the three regional meeting gatherings each year (winter, spring, and fall). In advance of each gathering, the representatives inform IMM of the program, encourage Ithacans to attend, and seek out concerns to report for Ithaca Meeting to the Region, as Meeting directs. They should also report back to monthly meeting on the regional gatherings, finances, and ongoing concerns and activities of the regional meeting. The representatives share information both at Ithaca Monthly Meeting’s meeting for worship with attention to business, and also via our Meeting’s e-mail list.
In addition to providing general support to the Treasurer, the finance committee has four specific functions.
First, it reviews investments and, with the approval of the Trustees, adjusts the investment portfolio to balance good returns with safety of funds in a manner consistent with Quaker testimonies.
Second, the committee performs an in-house audit of the books at least once every two years. The committee may request professional help if that appears useful.
Third, the committee solicits unrestricted contributions by letter from all members and attenders at least once per year.
Finally, the finance committee drafts a budget for the coming year for approval by the Monthly Meeting and does various tasks associated with publicizing the budget. The committee communicates with other committees of the Monthly Meeting to ascertain their expected expenses for the coming year. The committee receives suggestions on the nature and amount of budget items from the Clerk, committees and members of Meeting. The committee then synthesizes this information with data on expenditures from previous years to propose a budget for the coming year. The proposed budget will be submitted for consideration by the November meeting for worship with a concern for business unless otherwise directed by the Monthly Meeting. The committee also prepares, in conjunction with the Treasurer, documentation of the current state of the Meeting’s finances to provide an adequate context for consideration of the budget. After the Monthly Meeting has modified and approved the proposed budget, the committee prepares and distributes the finalized budget for the coming year.
Approved October 11, 2009
*FRIENDS’ COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL LEGISLATION (FCNL) REPRESENTATIVE
The representatives act as liaison between the Yearly Meeting and FWCC. They carry Yearly Meeting concerns to FWCC and report back to theYearly Meeting. This includes an annual written report.
Representatives should attend the annual meeting of the Section of the Americas. Each one is asked to serve on one of the Section’s committees, which meet at the time of the annual meeting and at other times as necessary. Representatives should attend and help in the planning of the annual regional conference, to which all interested Friends are invited. They are asked to make Friends in the Yearly Meeting aware of the need for funds to support FWCC’s work.
Those Friends appointed to attend the world plenary meetings should be prepared to report their experiences to groups in the New York Yearly Meeting area and others within reasonable travel distance.
You can find out more there about FWCC which might be helpful to you by following this link:
* FRIENDS’ WORLD COMMITTEE ON CONSULTATION (FWCC) REPRESENTATIVE
HECTOR MEETING HOUSE COMMITTEE
is responsible for the oversight and carrying out of the use and
maintenance of the building and grounds of the Hector Meeting House. On a weekly basis during its use in the summer this involves seeing the grass gets cut as needed and that inside and out all is fresh and clean for Meeting for Worship.
Each Spring a clean up is called which requires the help of all Friends willing to clean windows, polish benches, wood work and floors and to rake and generally clean up the grounds. The committee assists in ordering a portable toilet for the summer months, and tends to the excess growth brush around the property and flowers in the cemetery.
A Fall clean up is done after the leaves fall to make the Spring work more easy, and to make sure the building and grounds are ready for winter.
The committee is responsible for the preparation of the Meeting House for special Meetings for Worship, such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s eve, and Easter. The building being deserted and cold, it needs to be dusted and swept, and to have a fire lit several hours in advance of Meeting to remove the damp chill.
It is the committee’s responsibility to see that the building is sound, the foundations are solid, the roof is in good repair, the stove is safe, the chimney is in good condition, the walls are painted inside and out, and windows are in good repair.
Last but not least, is to see that the children’s needs are met with regard to their housing in the pavilion and that their play area is clean.
Approved September 13, 2009
is charged with making sure the Edwards Room in Anabel Taylor Hall becomes a proper space for our Meeting for Worship each First Day from October through May. We try to have the room prepare dearly, so that when Friends arrive it is a space feeling ready for each of us to quietly enter and begin the process of corporate worship.
Activities: Hospitality Committee organizes the name tags for Friends, puts out current literature, and greets Friends and visitors. We try to make all feel welcomed, especially visitors and those who are coming to a Quaker Meeting for the first time. This year we purchased a guest book where visitors can sign in, if they choose. It was hoped that a registry of visitors would allow Hospitality, Ministry and Worship, or others in the Meeting to know who has been attending Meeting for Worship and reach out to them and make them welcome. The blanket that is spread each week in the corner for the children was washed over the summer.
We are also charged with hosting the monthly potluck brunch and the annual Holiday Brunch in December. This entails setting up napkins, plates, and tables,and cleaning up afterwards. This year brunch also included coordinating with the Social Justice Committee who serve and sell Fair Trade coffee, tea,and hot cocoa. We use money from our budget to purchase disposable napkins, plates, cups, and flatware. Reusable mugs are available to use for beverages. The mugs are taken home by Hospitality or Social Justice Committee members to be washed. This year Hospitality Committee made an effort to buy more environmentally conscious plates, cups, napkins, and flatware (products made from renewable resources or that are recyclable or compostable). The Holiday Brunch was canceled this year due to inclement weather, although some Friends did bring light refreshments to share.
Continuing in 2007, the Ministry and Worship Committee asked Friends to enter the Edwards Room for Meeting for Worship by 11:00 AM or wait to enter at11:15 AM when the children are leaving for First Day School. For the beginning months of 2007, Hospitality Committee held latecomers outside the Edwards Room until 11:15 AM. However, it became increasingly apparent that this task did not correspond with the charge of Hospitality Committee to create a welcoming environment for Meeting for Worship. After two members of Hospitality Committee provided feedback to a member of the Ministry and Worship Committee, M&O reconsidered the task of holding latecomers. For the remainder of the spring that task was done by a member of M&O. In the fall, M&O asked latecomers to wait until 11:15 AM either in the hall outside the Edwards Room or in the Episcopalian Lounge which has frequently been a space where latecomers can prepare for corporate worship. The Hospitality Committee was charged only with closing the doors at 11:05AM and posting a sign asking latecomers to wait.
Member responsibilities include:Signing up for one First day a month to set up the Meeting room before Meeting begins.(2 people together)Volunteering for the Holiday brunch or monthly brunches after Meeting. Commitment to setting up the Meeting space occurs between the months of October & May only. Gathering as a group (usually once a year in October) to discuss responsibilities & times that people are available for the committee work.
–Prepared by: Melissa Travis Dunham 12/07/revised by Erica Weiss 8/08
KITCHEN CUPBOARD REPRESENTATIVE
This person serves to coordinate Meeting’s volunteers to the Kitchen Cupboard, who serve one morning a month at the grocery distribution center in the Salvation Army building in downtown Ithaca. The Kitchen Cupboard, an activity of Area Congregations Together, states: “Our mission is to serve and educate individuals and families in the Ithaca area who need assistance in maintaining their nutritional health and well-being. We try to encourage healthy meals and suggest other available services/resources to clients in a non-judgmental and safe environment. All people need a hand now and then and it is very important that they feel safe when they reach out in hard times. A barren cupboard is a scary thing when money is tight or unavailable. Keeping people fed helps them function better in their daily lives. We feel that helping others at such times improves morale and safety in our community as well as physical well-being.”
LIAISON TO THE HOSPITAL
Meeting’s Liaison to the Hospital is listed at the Cayuga Medical Center
at Ithaca as the Quaker contact, so that if anyone is admitted to the hospital and says that s/he is Quaker, the liaison will be contacted. The liaison visits people in the hospital upon receiving news from the hospital staff or hearing directly from the patient or family. The liaison will then share the news with Meeting if the patient so desires. The liaison may also help to arrange needed support from Meeting when the patient goes home.
- Maintain a lending library of Quaker books and other publications. These categories have been defined as appropriate for our collections:
- Books by or about Quakers
- Books of special interest to Friends
- Biblical materials and other selected religious materials
- Periodicals of interest to Quakers
- Care for the books and materials which are shelved at the Burtt House.
- Purchase, maintain, and display in the Edwards Room a reference collection of resource materials about Quakerism and about our Meeting for inquirers and new attenders.
MINISTRY AND WORSHIP
has traditionally patterned its charge after that of NYYM’s Ministry and Counsel:
The meeting on ministry and counsel has particular responsibility for nurture of the religious life of the meeting. Its purposes are to exercise general care of meetings for worship and support of the spiritual ministry, and to provide pastoral care of the membership.
Faith and Practice notes that all Friends bear some responsibility for the above concern, but that Ministry and Counsel has those direct responsibilities. Members of Ministry and Counsel should be familiar with the contents of Part One – Faith, and particularly Section 2 of that part, dealing with “Seeking the Spirit.”
In addition to monitoring and contributing to the quality of Meetings for Worship, and taking the lead for providing pastoral care, M&O handles several specific responsibilities:
- Drafting the annual State of the Meeting report
- Nominating clearness committees and special committees of care,
- Communicating with out of town Friends
- Recommending membership termination for Friends who have grown apart from our Meeting after careful and lengthy communication with these Friends
- With our Treasurer, handling scholarship requests in the form of financial assistance for Quaker-related out-of-town meetings and event.
Often subgroups of M&O take the lead for the above responsibilities. M&O meets monthly, on the third Thursday evening of the month or at other times by mutual agreement.
collects information on upcoming events and other items relevant to Ithaca Monthly Meeting and makes it available to the Meeting through a monthly newsletter.
In general, individuals interested in publicizing an event or making a public announcement send the information to a Newsletter Editor. In addition to this information, the newsletter has generally included the Minutes from Monthly Meeting and a calendar of regular and periodic events, including the time and location of Meeting for Worship, Midweek Meeting, and so on.
The Newsletter Committee compiles the information relevant for each month into a single publication. In recent years, the length of the newsletter has ranged from 4 to 10 or more pages. The process of compiling and formatting the newsletter may take 2 – 5 hours.
The Newsletter Committee generally produces 100-120 copies of the newsletter (e.g. using the services of a local copy shop) and brings them to Meeting for Worship on a Sunday in close proximity to the start of the month.
In serving as one of the primary means of facilitating communication within the Meeting, the Newsletter Committee should consider its editorial role and how best to make the newsletter available to the Meeting.
The current Newsletter Committee creates an electronic version of the newsletter, posts it to the Meeting website, and sends a notice to the Meeting email list. In addition, the current Newsletter Committee mails paper copies of the newsletter to a list of Friends who are otherwise unable to pick up a copy for themselves.
NEW YORK YEARLY MEETING (NYYM) REPRESENTATIVE(S)
Since the time of George Fox, Friends have found it desirable to gather in Yearly Meetings. Members of Ithaca Monthly Meeting are automatically members of NYYM as well, putting us in touch with Friends from a wide range of activities, viewpoints, and experience.
The function of the NYYM Representative(s) is to make sure that the appropriate Yearly Meeting section or committee is aware of Ithaca’s concerns and needs; and to keep Ithaca Meeting informed of interesting work, issues, resources, and opportunities that we are connected to through the yearly meeting. The NYYM Rep(s) should expect to travel to as many as possible of the YM sessions: in Winter (budget, usually downstate, first weekend in December); Summer (the fullest yearly gathering, with guests from Meetings all over the world; at Silver Bay on Lake George), Spring and Fall, (March & September, held at different Meetings throughout the YM area). Both Ithaca Meeting and the YM have funds to reimburse some of the expenses of this travel. Upon returning to Ithaca there should be a report given to our Meeting about events and decisions from the Yearly Meeting session.
(The following is from NYYM Faith and Practice, Approved the 28th of July 1995)
The nominating committee should be appointed to make nominations throughout the year for officers, committees, representatives and trustees as the monthly meeting directs. Care should be taken that members of this committee be chosen with due regard to their discernment, seasoned judgment and knowledge of the membership of the meeting. Nominating committee members should confer with Friends they nominate before they propose their names to the monthly meting for appointment. Any member of the meeting has the right to suggest changes in the nominations. A member of the nominating committee shall not be eligible for reappointment after service of three years except after an interval of one year.
PASTORAL CARE COMMITTEE
Many members of our Meeting, without being asked or appointed, have quietly ministered to other members of our community, sometimes for a weekend, sometimes over periods of months or even years. They travel to the homes of ill or elderly Friends to hold Meeting for Worship, bring meals, do shopping, provide rides to appointments, watch children and often just sit and listen.
In many meetings, this work has traditionally been assigned to Ministry and Worship committees. In Ithaca Monthly Meeting, the Ministry and Worship committee has not been able to do all of this work, and has depended on the work of these silent Friends.
Ministry and Worship is recommending the formation of a small committee of three or four individuals who feel called to this ministry. The committee will make it easier to identify both Friends in need, and Friends willing to lend a hand. We hope that having an established committee will also make it easier for Friends to ask for help. The Pastoral Care committee will:
- Identify Friends who are in emotional, material, or spiritual need;
- Develop a list of people in meeting who are willing to provide specific kinds of assistance, and link these people with those needing care;
- Reach out and offer help to those who are frail, ill, or incapacitated;
- Arrange for material aid where it may be needed;
- Keep in touch with members and attenders who are isolated or homebound;
- Designate a liaison to meet with M&O quarterly.
PEACE WITNESS COMMITTEE
consists of at least five persons approved by the Meeting in accordance with normal procedures, for the following purposes:
- To provide a focus in our Meeting for peace witness and to encourage and support the leadings of Meeting members and attenders working for peace.
- To seek ways to cooperate with community groups working nonviolently for peace, and with nearby Monthly Meetings, to develop and promote non-militaristic responses to violence.
- To cooperate with new peace initiatives of other organizations of Friends in order to implement peace witness efforts more broadly in our region.
We meet monthly on the second Tuesday of the month, at 7:30 PM at the Burtt
House. If someone were interested in the committee, but had a conflict with that time, it could be changed.
The committee has a number of initiatives at any given time. Committee members take on the work as it speaks to them and as they are able. Examples:
(1) There is an ongoing peace vigil on Thursday afternoon, 4:30-5:30 at the bottom of East State Street. Some committee members are able to participate in that.
(2) We are currently planning a remembrance of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Those who can participate in this will attend the vigil (on Aug 7) and/or the Meeting for Worship (on Aug 9). Committee members are assisting in outreach within our Meeting and to other faith communities. This remembrance is becoming a tradition for the committee as it clearly points out the devastation and loss of life that is caused by wars.
(3) There was a recent peace march from a few locations in upstate New York to Fort Drum. Two committee members participated in this amazing march, one marching the whole distance.
(4) Currently a couple of committee members attend meetings of local peace activists to keep us aware of local events. We have cosponsored events in the past due to participation in these meetings.
(5) Committee members have been involved in supporting one of the Iraqi families who moved to Ithaca last fall.
New committee members can join in on what is already going on, or they can bring their own leadings or ideas to the Committee and seek support for those. Each person is expected to support the work of the committee as able and to follow through on commitments made to the committee.
(1) We are painfully aware that our country is at war in Iraq and in Afghanistan; at times there seems to be preparation for another war in Iran. Bringing the Quaker peace testimony forward at this time seems of the utmost importance. We need more members on the Peace Witness Committee to do this. Please find persons from the variety of sections of the Meeting. We would love to see the Meeting as a community and as Quakers ringing the bell for peace. With more of us this would be possible. Examples:
Rotation of attendance at the peace vigil; sometimes there is only one person there, frequently only two. But those one or two people are thanked and thanked for their presence every week by passers by. What response might a stronger presence bring?
Regular letter writing campaigns to our legislators regarding peace.
Letters to the editor.
Following through on the Movement of Conscience where Quakers of all ages write out why they are “conscientious objectors to war” with the goal of collectively handing in those statements to our legislators to create a peace tax fund.
(2) We understand that the Peace Witness Committee is open to all persons in the Meeting. In addition to appointed members Marjorie Baines, Wilma Brown, Mac Larsen, Elspeth Rhodin, Elizabeth Schneider, and Lenora Schneller, we are sometimes joined by others. Bonnie Tyler has been very active in supportive work with the Iraqi family, and Joanne Sturgeon attends some meetings and participates in some activities.
4. Purchase and maintain an ample supply of New York Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice volumes for borrowing and for purchase.
5. Maintain subscriptions to periodicals of interest to Quakers.
We currently have one librarian who requests help as needed.
Differs from Previously approved minutes:
A Committee for Peace Witness will be established, to consist of at least five persons approved by the Meeting in accordance with normal procedures, for the following purposes:
1. To provide a focus in our Meeting for peace witness and to encourage and support the leadings of Meeting members and attenders working for peace.
2. To seek ways to cooperate with community groups working nonviolently for peace, and with nearby Monthly Meetings, to develop and promote non-militaristic responses to violence.
3. To cooperate with new peace initiatives of other organizations of Friends in order to implement peace witness efforts more broadly in our region.
[A Committee for Social Justice was also established in the reformulation of the previous Peace and Social Action Committee.]
–Minutes of May 11, 2003.
The following Advices to the Committee on Peace Witness and the Committee on Social Justice were offered on the above date in order to assist these committees in their work:
Because justice and peace are closely related, the Committee for Peace
Witness and the Committee for Social Justice should consider scheduling joint meetings, perhaps on a quarterly basis, for the purposes of sharing ideas, keeping each other informed about plans, and offering mutual support for the vital work of witnessing for peace and justice.
The Meeting expects that both of the new committees will continue the practice of the previous Peace and Social Action Committee by being open to participation in all of their work by any members or attenders of the Meeting.
Examples related to part 1 of the charge to the Committee on Peace
Witness include supporting community programs for non-violent conflict resolution, providing informational resources on alternatives to violence, supporting counseling in matters of conscience and war, encouraging study groups on causes of and responses to terrorism, and promoting the Quaker peace testimony.
Nearby Monthly Meetings, referred to in part 2 of the charge to the
Committee on Peace Witness, include Alfred, Binghamton, Central Finger Lakes, Elmira, Farmington, Perry City, Poplar Ridge, Rochester, and Syracuse.
The other organizations of Friends referred to in part 3 of the charge to the Committee on Peace Witness include the Farmington-Scipio Regional Meeting, New York Yearly Meeting, AFSC, and FCNL.
Examples related to part 1 of the charge to the Committee on Social
Justice include supporting community programs such as Offender Aid and Restoration, the Advocacy Center (formerly the Task Force for Battered Women), the Kitchen Cupboard and the Food Bank of the Southern Tier, non-violent conflict resolution programs in our community and in our schools, and protection of civil liberties. This committee will seek to promote the Quaker testimonies on equality and justice.
Examples related to parts 2 and 3 of the charge to the Committee on Social Justice include ACT (Area Congregations Together), the Friendship Center, the Upper New York State Area Office of the AFSC, the Coalition for a Living Wage, groups opposed to the death penalty, AFSC and FCNL.
The committee’s charge is to help and support Friends in leading Quaker lives, and encourage community building. In many ways the Program Committee functions as the equivalent of an adult religious education committee within the Meeting. This includes facilitating study and discussion of how Friends in previous eras met and overcame difficulties, of what spiritual resources and practices have been valuable to Friends, and of how we face the challenges of living our testimonies. It also includes speaking to the needs and strengths of Friends who are on many different paths. Some specific examples have been discussions before and or after first day meeting for worship, evening movies and discussions, Quaker Basics Sessions or Leading Quaker Lives sessions, special presentations by invited speakers, the annual picnic and annual talent show.
The Program Committee meets not more than once a month during the school year and once or twice in the summer. Members of the committee are charged with locating speakers and leaders for the various events and
encouraged but not required to attend meeting events we schedule. At least one Program Committee member is expected to be at each event.
An earlier approved minute:
Program Committee developed the following mission statement which appears in the minutes of October 14, 1996: “The Program Committee’s charge is to help and support Friends in leading Quaker lives. In many ways the Program Committee functions as the equivalent of an adult religious education committee within the Meeting. This includes facilitating study and discussion of how Friends in previous eras met and overcame difficulties, of what spiritual resources and practices have been valuable to Friends, and of how we face the challenges of living our testimonies. It also includes speaking to the needs and strengths of Friends who are on many different spiritual paths.”
Preamble and Historical Note: Since the earliest days of the Religious Society of Friends, Quakers have engaged in active public witness for their beliefs, often at serious risk to themselves. Sometimes, however, there have been “Quiet Periods” in the history of Friends, when little has been done to speak truth to power. Today we must face dramatic challenges not only to humankind but also to all living things. The voices of Quakers and many others are now joined in speaking truth to power and to our fellow human beings. We believe that the Ithaca Friends Meeting has much to contribute to this Quaker Witness, and so we plan to share selected messages from our Meeting with other Friends and with the wider public, as set forth below, trusting that others will respond, and strengthen our combined inner light, to bring about a better world for all.
Publicity Committee Responsibilities: The Publicity Committee will assist the Meeting and its Committees by preparing notices of Meeting times and places, and contact information for visitors and sojourners interested in staying at the Burtt House. The Committee will also prepare posters and/or public announcements of interest to other Quaker groups and/or to the wider community, based upon Meeting-approved minutes and program activities, as requested by the Meeting or by other IMM Committees. These items would include, especially, actions which are intended to carry forward fundamental elements of Quaker witness to the world. The Committee will also, if so requested, try to assist Meeting committees in preparing announcements for activities within the Meeting.
Committee Structure: The Publicity Committee will consist of at least two people, at least one of whom is a member of the Meeting. They will each serve a term of three years, and may be reappointed.
Outreach: The Committee will help to build links to the community by making information available, on either a regular basis or occasionally, to interested organizations such as CRESP, CURW, ACT, LWV, OAR, and to other Meetings of Friends. In every case in which the Meeting has chosen liaison representatives with such organizations, their advice will be sought, and we expect that the representatives will be the persons to carry the messages to the organizations. As Friends share our leadings with the wider community, we trust that our Meeting will also benefit from the wisdom of other groups. We anticipate that these links may sometimes lead to co-sponsorship of important public gatherings, adding to the power of our messages.
Approved, June 14, 2009
*RECORDER OF MEMBERS
The 1998 NYYM Faith and Practice states:
“A Recording Clerk, if the monthly meeting appoints one, writes minutes of the business meeting, subject to the meeting’s approval.” (p. 71)
“A Recording Clerk,”: Nominating Committee names a person willing to serve, or two persons willing to share the job, to be approved by the Monthly Meeting. If the Recording Clerk is absent from a monthly business meeting, Clerk may appoint someone, who takes the minutes according to normal procedures and submits them in his/her own name as “Recording Clerk for the Day.”
“…if the monthly meeting appoints one…”: traditionally, and in some small Meetings, the Clerk has served as Recording Clerk and written the minutes. While this has not been IMM’s practice, it serves as a reminder that the Clerk is ultimately responsible for the final version of minutes, and that the Recording Clerk serves the Clerk and the Meeting .
“… writes minutes of the business meeting…”: The Recording Clerk sits at the Clerk’s table at the monthly meeting for Worship with Attention to Business, and at other times when requested by the clerk such as for called meetings, annual meeting of the corporation, and other special meetings for which a record is desirable. Any person or committee bringing a proposed Minute for approval should provide a written copy of its wording to the Clerk and Recording Clerk before the discussion begins.
Two different kinds of tasks occupy the Recording Clerk. While listening attentively to the entire discussion, there is often no more than a summary sentence to be recorded. However the exact wording of Minutes proposed for approval, and decisions and actions which the Monthly Meeting agrees upon, must be recorded. In both of these tasks, the Recording Clerk works to hear, understand, follow, and express the sense of the meeting as guided by the Clerk. At the beginning of each new year, the Recording Clerk is responsible for making copies of the minutes for the previous year on acid-free paper and sending them for archiving to the library at Swarthmore College.
“…subject to the meeting’s approval.” In IMM the practice is that after each section of the agenda, the Clerk asks the Recording Clerk to read the minutes of that section for approval by those present. Time is allowed both for the composing and for reflection on the accuracy and suitabiliity of each minute, but it is the Clerk’s responsibility to minimize attenders’ editing for anything other than clarity.
As soon as possible after the rise of business meeting, the Recording Clerk sends a copy of the approved minutes to the Clerk for a final reading. Once the Clerk is clear that the minutes are accurate, the Recording Clerk e-mails copies to the IMMRSF list and to the Newsletter editor. If an error or omission is discovered at some point after the public distribution of the Minutes, the Recording Clerk puts the correction on the agenda for the following monthly business meeting, and records it in that month’s Minutes.
IMM began appointing co-Recording Clerks in 2008. These two Recording Clerks work together to schedule when each will record minutes of Monthly Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business and to minimize the need to search for Recording Clerks for the Day. They follow the procedures detailed above and retain copies of Monthly Meeting Minutes, documents and reports is a clearly marked case in a location that is near where Meeting for Worship takes place. This enables the Recording Clerks and Clerks to access past minutes as needed. Each Recording Clerks is responsible for making sure copies of minutes that have been approved with accompanying documents and a copy of the relevant Monthly Newsletter are put into the case as soon after the Minutes for a particular month are finalized.
ROUTE 79 PROPERTY COMMITTEE
The Route 79 Property committee is charged with maintaining the land and facilitating the use of the land for Meeting purposes. The work of this committee includes seeing to the mowing of the land as well as outdoor development work (such as the addition of the driveway).
Approved September 13, 2009
The scholarship committee is a sub-committee of M&O. They serve on “an as-needed basis” to review requests for scholarship funds and to direct the Treasurer to pay funds from the scholarship fund in the yearly budget. The committee tries to actively promote the availability of funds to support Meeting members and attenders in their spiritual growth and ongoing service to the Meeting. Attendance at various events is not only a form of outreach from our Meeting but also an opportunity for people to bring back to the Meeting information, ideas, renewed enthusiasm and support. In this spirit the committee seeks to provide nurture for the betterment of both individuals and the Meeting as a whole. The committee tries to gather information and reach a decision quickly, understanding that a timely response will allow the person requesting funds an opportunity to plan for their attendance. The committee reviews upcoming gatherings, conferences and workshops at Powell House, Pendle Hill, Friends General Conference, NY Yearly Meeting at Silver Bay, and other similar retreats and submits newsletter items informing Friends of upcoming possibilities. In some instances, the Committee may discover a workshop that they feel would definitely benefit our Meeting and therefore, create a scholarship and recruit someone to go. Sometimes people want to go but may need a little push and this committee may be able to do that.
In the past there has usually been a 1/3 – 1/3 – 1/3 consideration for funds. The committee asks the person who is requesting funds if he or she has asked the conference sponsor or some other source for a third of the cost. The person is asked if he or she can afford a third and the Meeting picks up the remaining third. This practice has generally worked well.
In addition to the above allocations, there exists “First Timer Scholarships” to Powell House, which offer a 50% scholarship to someone attending for the first time. The Scholarship Committee could match the other 50%, thereby making attendance free, as an incentive to encourage first time attendees. In addition, the Scholarship Committee could offer 50 % First Timer Scholarships to those who would like to attend Spring Gathering for the first time.
While the committee would hope that the above guidelines and incentives would work well in most circumstances, the committee is aware that there are some other possibilities that could arise. In some cases the person is not able to secure a third of the cost from the conference sponsor or another source. In some cases the cost of the workshop is too high for the person to manage one-third from their own funds. The committee has developed a case by case practice of asking a series of questions (below). These questions help the committee reach a fair discernment of support for all the people who come with a request.
1.Is the person who is asking for the funds currently serving on committees for the Meeting or on committees outside the Meeting, but part of NY Yearly Meeting, Regional Meeting, etc.?
2.Are we encouraging many people (attenders and members) to go to workshops, training, Silver Bay, FGC, Powell House, etc. and to use available Meeting resources to support these efforts?
3.Will the person not be able to go if they do not have this support from the scholarship funds?
4.How much is currently available in the scholarship fund and are there other requests before the committee?
5.Has this person come to the committee in the past for scholarship help?
The committee discusses the above questions and comes to a decision about the request. The person is informed and the Treasurer is asked to meet the request
M&O reminds future Scholarship Committee members that the scholarship funds are also used to reimburse Regional and NYYM Representatives for expenses incurred when they travel to serve the Meeting.
SOCIAL JUSTICE COMMITTEE
provides a focus in our meeting for responding to concerns related to social justice, and to encourage and support leadings of Meeting members and attenders working for social justice. The committee seeks ways to cooperate with community groups working non-violently for social justice. The committee supports measures which will provote economic justice and equal opportunity for all, in order to build a society in which every person may find both personal fulfillment and opportunities to make positive contributions to our commuity and to the world.
We meet monthly at the rise of Meeting on the first Sunday of the month during the school year and on Thursday evenings at 6p.m. during the summer. This is always subject to change.
Our usual work involves arranging speakers, organizing events and workshops and facilitating responses to critical legislative issues. The committee does oversight of the jail transportation ministry, Kitchen Cupboard, and Christmas giving. Each of these activities requires some work outside the regular meeting and people take on what they are able to.
We rotate the responsibility for convening the meeting and taking notes. We do anticipate and encourage people to bring their concerns to the committee.
Differs from previously approved minute:
A Committee on Social Justice will be established, to consist of at least five persons approved by the Meeting in accordance with normal procedures, for the following purposes:
1. To provide a focus in our Meeting for responding to concerns related to social justice, and to encourage and support the leadings of Meeting members and attenders working for social justice.
2. To seek ways to cooperate with community groups working nonviolently for social justice.
3. To support measures which will promote economic justice and equal opportunity for all, in order to build a society in which every person may find both personal fulfillment and opportunities to make positive contributions to our community and to the world.
A Committee for Peace Witness was formed at the same time in the reformulation of the previous Peace and Social Action Committee.
—-Minutes of May 13, 2003
Refer to the Peace Witness Committee for Advices given to the Peace Witness and Social Justice committees.
oversee all property belonging to Ithaca Monthly Meeting. Their responsibilities include prudent administration and right application of capital and income, in the spirit of Friends’ testimonies. Trustees are empowered to hold title to IMMRSF property, to carry out legal transactions, and to enter into contracts, on behalf of the Meeting. Trustees take action only at the direction of the Monthly Meeting.
The By-Laws of IMMRSF, Inc. (2003) specify additional duties that the Trustees perform as Officers of the Corporation, and Trustees assume responsibility for knowing and carrying out what is legally required.
To serve as a Trustee, a person must be a member of Ithaca Monthly Meeting. The Treasurer and the Clerk (or Assistant Clerk) of the Meeting must be among the five to seven members of the committee. Trustees serve staggered three-year terms; typical practice is to have Trustees rotate off after two full consecutive terms. Trustees meet monthly or as needed.
Meetings are quarterly, more frequently if necessary, work is shared among trustees based on abilities and gifts
YOUNG FRIENDS ADVISORS
1. Act in a role of fostering young persons, generally between the ages of 18 and 35, who are members or seekers within the Religious Society of Friends;
2. Enable, through outreach, these young persons to meet one another and to find a nurturing spiritual home within our Meeting community;
3. Be a resource for these young persons in their planning of social gatherings, service projects, and other activities;
4. Generally oversee the welfare and spirituality of the group of young people;
5. Obtain from CURW the annual lists of new students who express an interest in Friends, and to invite and welcome these students to the Young Friends group and to our Meeting community;
6. Plan and host a welcome event for new and returning students each Fall;
7. Maintain a current contact list for the group, and to help create an overview of upcoming events;
8. Keep the Monthly Meeting informed of the activities of the Young Friends, and to help facilitate the Young Friends’ involvement with the activities of the larger Meeting;
9.To work with Meeting’s CURW representative as liaisons between our Meeting and CURW (and other campus organizations) in matters relating to concerns of Young Friends and their function as a registered campus organization.
July 6, 2009 Committee & Representative Charges on file:
AFSC Rep, ACT Rep, Burtt House, Children and the Life of the Meeting (CALM), Clerk, CURW Rep, Corresponding Clerk, Directory, F-S Regional Mtg Rep, Finance Committee, Hector Meetinghouse, Hospitality, Kitchen Cupboard Rep, Liaison to Hospital, Library, Ministry and Worship, Newsletter, Nominating, NYYM Rep, Peace Witness, Program, Publicity Committee, Recording Clerk, Rte.79 Property, Social Justice, Trustees, Young Friends Advisor.
Committee& Representative Charges NOT on file:
Assistant Clerk, Treasurer, Recorder of Members, NYYM Rep, FCNL Rep, FWCC Rep,