Monthly Meeting October 2022

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

October 9, 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.)

2022.10.1 Opening Worship

Ithaca Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends met online via Zoom for Monthly Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business on October 9, 2022. At 12:40pm 9 Friends settled into Worship.

Clerk reviewed the agenda.

2022.10.2 Treasurer’s Report : Third Quarter of 2022

Pat Sewell, treasurer, reviewed the Treasurer’s Report for the Third Quarter of 2022. Highlights include: current donations are on track with last year at this time, spending on utilities is up due to inflation, and there has been very little spending by committees which suggests that IMM has not yet returned to its pre-pandemic level of activity. Other trends Pat noted include: a potential decrease in future donations due to the deaths of several beloved and generous older Friends and an increase in community use of TSMH which is resulting in increased donations along with increased expenses. The treasurer also noted he is reaching out to committee clerks for requests for next years budget.

The treasurer also gave an update on the monetary value of the 3 properties IMM owns in response to questions that arose at MfWwAtB in June. We use the county assessed value of the Burtt House ($750,000). The assessment of the TSMH has not been updated by the county since 2016. Property values in the area have increased 20% since then, which applied here would lead to us valuing TSMH at $440,000. There is no estimated change in the value of the Hector Meetinghouse. Pat noted that we keep track of the monetary value of our property to understand the financial situation of IMM and because we budget maintenance costs on a percentage of their value.

The treasurer will send out to the email list serve the Third Quarter Budget to Actual and Balance Sheet.

Friends expressed gratitude for the work of the treasurer. Friends received the treasurer’s report.@

2022.10.3 Third Street Meetinghouse Committee: Combination Change.

John Lewis reported that the TSMC will change the combination on the kitchen door of the TSMH on Nov. 1. The relevant people will be notified.

Friends received the report.@

2022.10.4 Third Street Meetinghouse Committee: Changes to COVID-19 Policies

The Clerk stated that we would not be making decisions on these items at this meeting. We would hear the report, have opportunities for ministry, questions, and sharing today. We will hear this reports again at the November MfWwAtB and have the opportunity to make a decision on these proposed changes at that time.

John Lewis read the report from the TSMC proposing 3 changes to IMM’s COVID-19 policies. The report notes that we are in another time of transition as we move through the COVID-19 pandemic. There are increasing requests from outside groups to use the TSMH. Very few places except medical facilities require the use of masks. IMM has been enjoying more events such as potlucks that have been taking place outside, but that will be less possible as the weather becomes colder.

The first proposed change is that outside groups be permitted to follow their own COVID policies. In response to questions, it was clarified that this is what is actually happening now. Several Friends expressed support for this change.

The second proposed change is that the kitchen be opened for outside groups and ourselves. Several Friends expressed support for this change.

The third proposed change is that the wearing of masks be made voluntary for Meeting for Worship and other IMM events.

Friends offered ministry, comments, and sharing in response to this proposal which is summarized here. More detailed notes were also recorded.

There was a longing expressed for Friends to feel more connected to each other and recognition of how masks inhibit this for some and make it possible for others. Most of those from whom we heard during this Meeting expressed a reticence to remove the mask requirement, saying it was a way that we ‘protect each other’.

Friends expressed appreciation for the opportunity for this sharing and listening. Friends received the report. @

Closing Worship 2022.10.5

Friends settled into closing worship before adjourning. 

Respectfully submitted,
Barbara Chase, serving as Recording Clerk