Monthly Meeting April 2021

Ithaca Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends

Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business

April 11, 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.)

2021.4.1 Opening Worship

Ithaca Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends met on-line, via Zoom remote for Monthly Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business on April 11, 2021.

Clerk reviewed the agenda for Monthly Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business and recognized Nancy Riffer for holding the Meeting in the Light.

At 12:37 PM, 23 Friends settled into worship.

2021.4.2 Worship Sharing: Listening as a Community

As we return to shared worship spaces differences among the community regarding COVID-19 best practices and perspectives have resurfaced. How we navigate these conflicts together will provide an opportunity to actively “listen across differences” and to practice these skills among F/friends. To facilitate this exercise, clerk posed three queries:

·       In what ways is listening different than simply not saying anything?

·       Is it possible to listen deeply when you have already settled on your opinion?

·       Is the goal of “listening across differences” coming to a shared viewpoint, or embracing different viewpoints as true, even when in conflict with one another?

Friends offered reflections and ministry out of the silence. 

2021.4.3 Earthcare Committee Annual Report

On behalf of Earthcare, Betsy Keokosky, Miguel Piery and Margaret McCasland shared reading this report and answered questions.

Issues of racism, authenticity, intention, impact and respectful interaction were shared. A question was raised whether members of color were directly requested to participate in the drafting of the letter mentioned. In future, when letters addressing issues of racism are written, a friend offered an invitation to ask for help directly from her, a black woman and provided an example of how that can be done with respect. Another friend suggested we not rely solely on the “only two people of color” we may know, but rather we’ll know we’ve evolved when we no longer have to be reminded to ask at all. Appreciation for honesty, eldership, comfort in discomfort and the fortuitous nature of spirit was shared.

A suggestion for Nominating Committee to consider asking friends of color to fill important committee vacancies was made.

Invitations to participate in specific IMM activities and committees were offered.   

Friends received the report. @

 2021.4.4 Finance Committee: Solar Panel Gift

 Prior to reading this report, clerk held silence with attention to the contributions and loss of Chuck Mohler, its author. On behalf of Finance, Mike Simkin reported the offer of RENOVUS solar panels from Olivia White (wife of long-time IMM member Will White). He reviewed details, including the projected positive impact 21 panels would have on IMM’s budget. A F(f)riend from the Earthcare Committee provided further background on Chuck’s contribution to the process. Another F(f)riend requested the Third Street Meetinghouse Committee be apprised of any further requirements in terms of communication and/or next steps. Finance is empowered to address logistics. A letter from IMM will be sent to Olivia White to communicate the meeting’s appreciation.

Friends approved the gift, contingent on its review by IMM’s Trustees. @

2021.4.5 Finance Committee: Quarterly Report

 On behalf of Finance, Pat Sewell, treasurer shared that the reported total for 2020 donations has been updated from $49,965 to $74,677 for the following reasons: a large donation (stock gains) was dated for the wrong year; a batch of checks (including many year-end donations) that was misplaced by the bookkeeper has been discovered and deposited; and holiday postal delays resulted in several donations (dated 2020) arriving after business meeting. This means that instead of being $5,741 short of expenditures, we received $18,971 more than we spent. This is excellent news and means that our actual donations from 2020 are very close to how we budgeted for 2021. This oversight has been corrected and measures have been taken to assure it does not happen again.

Treasurer also reported on the committee’s consideration of options for long-term financial planning and reviewed several.

Lastly, treasurer shared and reviewed IMM’s balance sheets, highlighting both form/function as well as specific lines/funds of interest. F(f)riends can access each of these documents via live links in the report, itself or by emailing the clerk.

Friends received the report. @

2021.4.6 Ministry and Worship: Donation to QuakerSpeak

On behalf of Ministry and Worship, Barbara Barry described the history, work and financial difficulties of QuakerSpeak, as well as its use to enhance the life of the meeting. Ministry and Worship recommends a $1000 donation from the General Fund be made to help sustain QuakerSpeak. If the donation is sent by April 16, the amount will be matched by another donor. Ministry and Worship would like to join other Meetings in supporting this unique form of Quaker education and encourages individuals to make donations to QuakerSpeak, as they are able.

Friends approved the donation. @

2021.4.7 Ministry and Worship: State of the Meeting Report (Second Reading)  

On behalf of Ministry and Worship, Barbara Chase read the report. Clerk recognized the contributions of those who helped to compile the report and appreciation was expressed. Once approved, it will be shared with both Farmington-Scipio Regional Meeting and New York Yearly Meeting.

Friends approved the report. @

2021.4.8 Closing Worship

At 2:46, 12 Friends settled into worship before adjourning. Our next regularly scheduled Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business will be May 9, 2021.

Respectfully submitted,Blair Jenings