Monthly Meeting March 2021

Ithaca Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends
Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business

March 14, 2021

(The @ signifies that the minute has been read and approved during Meeting. Please note that copies of all annual reports provided during this Meeting are on file with and available from the Clerk or Recording Clerk.)

2021.3.1 Opening Worship

Ithaca Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends met on-line, using Zoom remote conferencing service, for Monthly Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business on March 14, 2021. At 12:30pm, sixteen Friends settled into worship.

Gina Varrichio, Clerk, began by reviewing the agenda. John Lewis was recognized for holding the Meeting in the Light.

2021.3.2 Worship Sharing: Continuing Revelation

Clerk asked Friends to consider the following queries:

  • How can we remain open to our own continuing revelation, even that which we find unwelcome or uncomfortable?
  • How can we respond faithfully when these revelations result in the need for change to ourselves, our Monthly Meeting, and/or the Society of Friends?

Friends shared from the Spirit about the work we do within ourselves and within our communities, the challenges of leaning, the shame that can come with unlearning, what it means to be open and inclusive, and enhancing our sense of connection to the universe.

2021.3.3 Ministry & Worship Committee: In-Person Meeting for Worship

Nancy Riffer shared that the Ministry and Worship committee proposes:

  1. Reopening the Third Street Meetinghouse on April 4 (Easter Sunday) for hybrid worship (in-person combined with Zoom worship) at 10:30am and continuing in this manner on Sundays for the foreseeable future.
  2. Resuming worship at the Hector Meetinghouse on April 4 (Easter Sunday) with an in-person sunrise service at 6am. Beginning April 11, worship will be at 10am through at least the month of April, with future worship opportunities communicated via the IMM listserv and the newsletter.

Friends noted the ongoing uncertainty that surrounds the pandemic and the possibility of having to adjust. Friends approved the resumption of hybrid worship at Third Street and of in-person worship at Hector Meetinghouse. @

2021.3.4 NYYM Witness Coordinating Committee

On behalf of the NYYM Witness Coordinating Committee, Cai Quirk reported New York Yearly Meeting minuted support of a new amendment to the US Constitution that would modify the 13th amendment to no longer allow any exceptions in the abolishment of slavery. NYYM also approved sending a letter to congressional representatives, calling them to act on this matter, and asked that individuals and monthly meetings consider doing the same.

Meeting is asked to approve the minute of 15th Street Meeting that has been adopted by the NY Quarter and New York Yearly Meeting. It reads:

Friends considered a statement regarding the 13th Amendment to the Constitution Section 1 of the 13th amendment of the US constitution states: ​Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction. ​We propose a new amendment to the constitution that amends section 1 to state the following: ​Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Friends approved the minute.

Cai also read a proposed letter to be sent from Ithaca Monthly Meeting to be individually addressed to U.S. Senators for New York Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and to Congressman Tom Reed. Friends raised issues pertaining to particular phrases in the letter. Friends approved asking the Clerk to send the letter without the first sentence. @

2021.3.5 Travel Minute for Cai Quirk

Barbara Chase from Ministry and Worship read a proposed travel minute for Cai Quirk. This letter invites other meetings to welcome Cai into their community, and notes that Cai’s photography, storytelling, music, vocal ministry, and writing opens doors to fresh perspectives and ways of seeing the world and each other. Friends shared thoughts about how the letter may be stewarded and approved the travel minute. @

2021.3.6 State of the Meeting Report (first reading)

Clerk noted that this is the first reading of the Ithaca Monthly Meeting State of the Meeting report. A revised version will be shared in April, and the finalized report will be sent to New York Yearly Meeting where it is shared more widely.

Shirley Way read the draft report, and the clerk invited Friends’ ministry as well as direct feedback. Friends offered some reflections and comments. Friends received the report.

2021.3.7 Annual Reports

Jim Grant read the annual report from Area Congregations Together. Friends explored questions around how the various religious communities relate with one another.

Tom Brown read the report from the Burtt House Committee. A suggestion was made to add Majesty Hopkins’s name to the list of people addressing maintenance. Friends received these two reports.

The annual report for Earthcare Committee is held over until April. @

At 3:05, nineteen Friends settled in worship before adjourning. Our next regularly scheduled Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business will be April 11, 2021.

Respectfully submitted,

Marin Clarkberg