Monthly Meeting July 2020

Ithaca Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends
Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business
July 12, 2020

Clerk: Gina Varrichio
Recording Clerks: Marin Clarkberg, Blair Jennings

(The @ signifies that the minute has been read and approved during Meeting. Copies of all written reports are on file with and available from the Clerk or Recording Clerk.)

2020.7.1 Opening Worship

Ithaca Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends met in Monthly Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business on July 12, 2020. At 12:30 P.M., 17 Friends gathered via Zoom and settled into worship.

Clerk recognized Ellie Rosenberg who was holding the meeting in the light.

2020.7.2 Naming Committee Report: Nominating Committee Members

On behalf of the Nominating Committee, Pat Sewell reported the following:
The Naming Committee nominates Cai Quirk (September 2020 and possibly beyond), Dreia Spies (2022), David Horton (2022), and Stephen Paisley (2022) to fill current and anticipated openings on the Nominating Committee. Additionally, Nancy Gabriel has resigned from Nominating.

Friends approved the nominations.@

2020.7.3 Ministry & Worship: In-Person Meeting for Worship

On behalf of Ministry & Worship, Nancy Riffer presented a detailed and deeply discerned multi-dimensional re-entry plan for the Third Street Meetinghouse. This comprehensive plan considers a variety of logistical and emotional concerns and queries, procedural necessities and potential strategies for use, restriction of use and potential re-closure – based on recommendations or requirements of governing bodies and/or IMM’s assessment of local COVID19 transmission risk – of the building.

While the committee reached clarity around the many steps required to begin using the building again, committee members were unable to come to unity on exactly how to proceed at this time.

Gratitude for this work was uniformly expressed. Questions, outside experiences with other entities’ re-entry scenarios were shared and suggestions arose – ex. a sign-in sheet for potential contact tracing, chairs outside for overflow attendees, resources for families with small children, disposable masks to distribute, etc. Discussion centered on the concept of balance between individual needs, fears and spiritual experience of in-person Meeting for Worship vs. digital. Friends raised concerns related to logistics around cleaning, universal adherence to safety procedures and willingness to commit to the work required by this plan. Additionally, offers of support for helping develop/enhance individual safety were expressed.

Friends agreed that delineating a plan to safely re-enter the building is desirable.@

Friends approved the re-entry plan as presented in the report with trust that 1. a COVID Working Group is gathered, 2. revisions to the reported plan may be made by the COVID Working Group as they consider suggestions and discern necessities moving forward and 3. the COVID Working Group reports said revisions at subsequent Meetings for Worship with Attention to Business.@

2020.7.4 Ministry & Worship: COVID Working Group

On behalf of Ministry and Worship, Kris Altucher described the committee’s proposal for the formation of a new working group to make recommendations for and oversee safely and compliantly reopening our meetinghouses. The working group would create and update guidelines needed to open the building and monitor their fulfillment. This includes populating task-specific work groups (ex. cleaning) with willing participants. The COVID Working Group would continue for a temporary but indefinite period. It would include one member from TSMC, one from M&W, and at least two members from the meeting at large.

Just as a concern arose around who will be responsible for assuring the committee is populated, the committee was populated within the context of this Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business as follows: M & W will be represented on a rotational basis by the current members of the committee; TSMC will be represented by Carol Clarke; the members-at-large will be Ellie Rosenberg and Melissa Blake. Additional members are more than welcome. Interested Friends should contact Carol Clarke.

Friends approved the creation of a new COVID working group.@

2020.7.5 Resignation of Membership: Fell Cadwallader

The Ithaca Monthly Meeting clerk received a letter from Fell Cadwallader in June 2020 asking to resign his membership to IMM. Fell is clear that his personal spiritual path and the path of IMM have diverged, though he would like to be clear that he still considers himself a Friend.
In recent years, the loss of Fell’s inspirational presence, loving spirit, and willingness to challenge Friends’ complacency has been felt by many of us in the IMM community. The clerk has been in contact with Fell since his decision, and, though she laments it, affirms his choice has been well discerned. Fell is released from membership.
Questions and expressions of appreciation were shared.
Friends received the report. @

2020.7.6 Other Concerns

A Friend raised a concern about the language related to the Finance Committee Report originally scheduled for consideration during this month’s Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business, but unanimously held over to August in light of time constraints. Several of those present also expressed concern and a desire to continue the discussion between now and August’s Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business.

2020.7.7 Closing Worship
14 Friends settled into silent worship at 2:39 P.M. before adjourning. Our next regular Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business will be held at 12:30 P.M. on August 9, 2020.
Respectfully submitted,
Blair Jennings