Monthly Meeting August 2022

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

August 14, 2022

Clerk: Gina Varrichio

Assistant Clerk: Barbara Chase

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.)

2022.8.1 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 August 14, 2022. Assistant Clerk recognized John Lewis for holding the Meeting in the Light & Carole Clark for providing Zoom hosting duties.

At 12:31PM, 10 Friends settled into worship with 5 more Friends joining during the introductory section. 

Assistant Clerk shared the agenda for Monthly Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business.

2022.8.2 Burtt House Working Group: Scheduling Community Discussions

Having been minuted/approved at IMM’s November 2021 MfWwAtB, the Burrt House Working Group (BHWG) was created to explore the Meeting’s leadings with respect to the Burtt House property. On behalf of the working group, Steve Mohlke shared the group’s first goal: community-building for IMM. Having been separated from each other for more than two years, the group perceives this charge to mean facilitating ways for everyone in IMM to be included and to be heard on the subject of our relationship to the building which has been part of the life of IMM since the Burtts were active members. They bequeathed their house to the Meeting in 1981.

To do this as equitably as possible, the group acknowledges each person comes from a self-defined starting point and needs a chance to reflect on their present state of awareness about the Burtt House. Therefore, the group has scheduled the following “come as you are with the experiences you’ve had” discussions:

Sunday, Sept 18 @ 12:30PM: In person ONLY at the Third Street Meetinghouse

Wednesday, Sept 21 @ 6PM: Online ONLY via Zoom

Sunday, Sept 25 @ 9AM: Hybrid, e.g. online via Zoom AND in person at the Third Street Meetinghouse

Friends are invited to join in one or as many gatherings as they wish. Contact any member of the BHWG with your requests, comments, thoughts, reactions so far. BHWG Members are Antonia Saxon, Steve Mohlke, Nancy Gabriel, Angela Hopkins & Gina Varrichio.

Friends settled into silent worship to await spirit-led questions & thoughts. Assistant Clerk expressed deep appreciation for the BHWG & invited ministry. Friends shared comments & affirmation.

Friends received the report & approved the committee’s recommendation for discussions.@

2022.8.3 Naming Committee: Progress Report

On behalf of the committee, Bronwyn Mohlke shared the report as follows:  Approved in November 2021, the current Naming Committee members are Gina Varrichio, Pat Sewell, Bronwyn Mohlke, and Kris Altucher. Since November, Naming has met several times to consider possible nominations to the Nominating Committee. In December 2021, Naming Committee brought Kathleen Gale’s name forward, and she was approved to join Nominating. Several other possibilities came out of our discernment, but none of those asked were available to serve at this time.

The Naming Committee agreed that it would be better to share a report of our observations so far rather than fall into slot-filling. Observations:

  • Ithaca Monthly Meeting seems to be in a time of reinvigoration right now. After a time of dormancy, committees are beginning to reconvene, new projects are starting up, we’ve managed a few successful potlucks. 
  • A portion of this time has been the end-of-semester time or the summer, neither of which is conducive to conducting IMM business, even in the best of times. People may have more energy to direct to committee work in the fall.
  • The Naming Committee’s inability to bring other names forward to serve on the Nominating Committee might be a visioning issue. There could be a name that we’ve failed to see. We have been disconnected for the last few months, and there very well could be folks we simply missed. If Naming Committee has not approached you about serving on the Nominating Committee and you think you are led to do so, please contact us.
  • Considering the size of the Meeting functionally at this time, our oscillating needs, post-pandemic realities, and where the energy of IMMers seems to be drawn, this may be a time for reinvention. Do our current committees – type, size, structure, etc. – serve our current needs? How are Meeting members and IMM as a whole being led at this time? What work must be done vs. should be done vs. could be done?

The Naming Committee is not yet asking to be laid down. We will continue holding these concerns in the light as well as remaining open to unexpected inspiration. 

 Friends settled into silent worship, then offered ministry out of the silence that included observations, questions, ideas & hope that way will open for a potentially reimagined organizational work paradigm and functional sufficiency of both the Naming/ Nominating Committees & IMM, itself moving forward. The Naming Committee will continue addressing questions; perhaps looping Ministry & Worship into this discernment process. Bronwyn encouraged all to continue sharing their thoughts and ideas with the Naming Committee. Assistant Clerk expressed deep appreciation for the work of the Naming Committee and its willingness to engage IMM’s consideration of the “bigger” issues revealed by its work.

Friends received the report.@

 2022.8.4 Closing Worship

16 Friends settled into silent worship at 1:21P.M. before adjourning. Our next regular Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business will be held via Zoom at 12:30 P.M. on September 11, 2022.

Respectfully submitted,

Blair Jennings