Monthly Meeting September 2021

Ithaca Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends
Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business
September 12, 2021

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

2021.9.1 Opening Worship

Ithaca Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends met online, using Zoom remote conferencing service, for Monthly Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business on September 12, 2021. At 12:30pm and after a technological hiccup, 21 Friends settled into worship.

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

2021.9.2 Worship Sharing: Observations on the State of the Meeting

Clerk Gina Varrichio read a prepared report regarding the Meeting’s current state and asked that Friends consider three queries:

  1. Do the above observations resonate with you? Which ones?
  2. What observations have you made that are missing from this list?
  3. Which of these observations do not belong on this list?

Friends shared out of the silence. Notes from the session were preserved.

2021.9.3 Communications Committee: Updates on A/V System

Nancy Riffer presented a report from the Communications Committee. The report highlights five needs: 

  1. the system should improve sound for those who need help hearing and provide teleconferencing ability,
  2. it will be professionally installed,
  3. it needs to be able to be used without an engineer or tech support there, so should be simple and straightforward,
  4. it needs to be versatile, and
  5. security from theft is a concern.

Questions were asked and addressed. Messages centered around the concern voiced by some Friends that the use of tech interferes with the spirit of Friends’ worship and appreciation for the work of the committee.

The clerk noted that the Communications Committee is creating opportunities for a functional, unobtrusive way to do the tech tasks that need to be done–the nuts and bolts. There will be separate conversations led by Ministry & Worship about how to use that tech during Meeting for Worship.

Melissa Travis Dunham of the Communications Committee noted that difficulty with tech and discomfort with tech in worship are two different things. Some, after a year of all computer screen communication, want worship to be computer free, or want that for their children. The committee also noted that the meeting room is intentionally plain.

She said further that the five-page report is very detailed and technical, probably too detailed for Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business. The Google Doc can be shared. Friends can ask members of the committee for the link. 

Friends received the report. 

2021.9.4 Ministry and Worship: Hybrid Worship in September

Barbara Chase of Ministry and Worship read a report about hybrid worship. IMM will continue hybrid worship through the month of October. In-person worship will continue in the Third Street Meetinghouse linked with online worship, both at 10:30am. Worship at Hector will continue through Thanksgiving.

A new laptop computer will be purchased as a stop-gap until a more permanent solution is identified. Money is available in M&W’s budget for this.

Ministry and Worship proposes that the Communications Committee be empowered to secure a more permanent system, in line with their guidelines document, as soon as possible. 

Questions were asked and answered. Friends received M&W’s report and approved their asking the Communications Committee to move ahead and to come up with one or more proposals for what the system might be.@

2021.9.5 Nominating Committee: M&W Nomination

For the Nominating Committee, Carolyn Kenyon reported the nomination of Ellie Rosenberg to serve on Ministry and Worship. Ellie has also asked to be released from Nominating. 

Meeting accepted Ellie’s leaving the Nominating Committee and approved her nomination to Ministry and Worship.@

2021.9.6 Earthcare Committee: Bell Station Property

For the Earthcare Committee, Elizabeth Keokosky read a report about working with the Finger Lakes Land Trust and other local organizations to preserve Bell Station, a property on the east shore of Cayuga Lake originally purchased for the construction of a power plant that was not built. Sale of the property for residential development is being considered and an auction is currently scheduled for early October. Preservation would be a far better use for the community, the lake and the land, these local groups point out. Earthcare asks the meeting to approve a minute to ask NYSEG to withdraw the auction for purchase and work with Finger Lakes Land trust to preserve the property. 

Friends who are not on Earthcare but who are familiar with the land and the situation spoke in support of the minute. Meeting approved the minute.@

Earthcare further asked that IMM approve sending a letter to officials speaking of our endorsement of this plan. The text of the letter was provided in the report.

Meeting approved Earthcare working with the clerk to send the letters to the representatives listed in the report’s Appendix.@