Monthly Meeting December 2022

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

December 11, 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.)

2022.12.1 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 December 11, 2022. At 12:35pm, nineteen Friends settled into worship.

Clerk for a volunteer to hold the Meeting in the Light. Nancy Riffer agreed to do. Clerk shared the agenda. (The agenda and accompanying reports were also shared on the listserve.)

2022.12.2 Ministry and Worship: Lifting the Mask Requirement

Barbara Chase read a report from Ministry and Worship Committee. This report was developed after two gatherings, on 11/16/22 and on 11/20/22, where Friends were invited to share their experiences and leadings about mask wearing. The report proposed that mask wearing result from “individual discernment” rather than a global policy for the Meeting, and recognized that whatever our policy, there will always be people discomfited to some degree.

Friends spoke about the continuing risk of COVID as well as RSV, flu, and other illnesses. Some suggested a more prescriptive approach of “recommending” or “encouraging” mask use.

Friends approved sending the minute back to Ministry and Worship for further seasoning and invited M&W to bring a minute on this issue in the future. Friends who have additional thoughts are invited to share them with members of M&W. @

2022.12.3 Naming Committee

On behalf of Naming Committee, Bronwyn Mohlke brought the name of Nancy Riffer to serve on Nominating Committee beginning in January 2023 and ending in December 2025. Friends approved the nomination.

In addition, the Naming Committee asks to be laid down as it currently constituted. Friends approved. @

2022.12.4 Nominating Committee

On behalf of Nominating Committee, Carolyn Kenyon brought the following names to fill vacancies in committees and positions:

  • Greeter: Liam Murphy
  • Trustees: Gina Varrichio
  • Historian: Steve Phelan
  • Third Street Meeting House: Chris Dunham

Carolyn further noted that Nominating Committee has been unable to fill all the slots for several of IMM’s committees. These committees include:

  • Nominating Committee (will have three members)
  • Finance Committee (will have three members plus the Treasurer)
  • Burtt House Committee (will have three members)
  • Third Street Meetinghouse Committee (will have four members)

After a decade of faithful service, Blair Jennings is stepping back at the end of this year from serving as one of IMM’s Recording Clerks. Nominating Committee is searching for a Friend to serve as Recording Clerk, or to share the responsibilities of Recording Clerk. We encourage Friends to continue discerning how they are led.

Friends approved the nominations. Friends appreciated Nominating’s diligent efforts to fill the vacancies and recognized that our Meeting’s needs and abilities change over time. Friends released Nominating from continuing to search for additional members for the four committees listed above. @

2022.12.5 Trustees: MOU with FCRJ

Steve Mohlke read a report from the Trustees. Trustees met to discuss the status of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Ithaca Monthly Meeting and the Friends Center for Racial Justice that is currently in effect through December of 2023. At Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business in October of 2021, Friends noted a desire to give FCRJ a year’s notice to extend, modify, or discontinue the MOU. We are now one year away from the end of the current MOU.

Recognizing that recent worship sharing events concerning the Burtt House were deep and community building, Trustees see that Meeting is moving forward in discernment.

Trustees support the idea of giving FCRJ at least a year’s notice before altering or discontinuing the MOU but propose that we do not establish a new end date for the MOU this month. Trustees expects to be able to propose the next steps with respect to the MOU no later than June 2023, as we observe spirit moving within the Meeting.

Friends received the report. @

2022.12.6 Earthcare: Recommended Donations

Jim Grant reminded Friends that half of the Earthcare’s donation budget of $1,500 is “non-discretionary”, and thus requires Meeting approval. Accordingly, Earthcare brings the following donations to the Meeting for approval:

  • $100 to Gayogo̱hónǫʼ Sovereignty and Rematriation, a traditional segment of Gayogo̱hónǫʼ that is suffering while it struggles with another less-traditional faction for recognition by the Bureau of Indian Affairs
  • $150 to Indigenous Environmental Network, a country-wide alliance of indigenous peoples whose mission is to protect the sacredness of Mother Earth and who have been active in protesting the Keystone Pipeline
  • $150 to Girl Child Education, which supports secondary education for girls who have attended Quaker schools in Africa
  • $150 to Our Children’s Trust, a group seeking to change the United States constitution to make a clean environment a constitutional right
  • $200 to Amazon Watch, a group working to protect the rainforest by partnering with indigenous peoples

Friends expressed gratitude for the discernment that Earthcare brings to this decision. @

2022.12.7 Finance Committee: IMM 2023 Budget

Pat Sewell, Treasurer, reviewed the proposed budget, noting that the 2023 budget is quite similar to last year’s with two notable exceptions. First, reflecting inflation, property costs and especially utility expenses have increased, driving a 10% increase in that budget line. Second, we have included $1,000 in the Young Friends budget line; this budget line has been $0 in recent years. This is an exciting change, and indicative of vitality in our Meeting.

The Treasurer touched on a few other points of interest in the budget, including the fact that we paid for our Powell House subscription last year even though the subscription program was suspended due to the pandemic. With our subscription essentially pre-paid, the proposed budget eliminated the Powell House subscription cost for this year. Friends suggested that we might instead donate last year’s expense and pay our Powell House subscription this year. Similarly, Meeting erroneously gave twice it’s expected contribution to the Paul Schreur’s Dinner last year. The proposed budget removed this year’s contribution, but Friends suggested we restore our annual $250 donation.

Friends approved the 2023 budget with the two revisions: restoring our Powell House contribution and continuing our annual $250 donation to the Paul Schreur’s Dinner. @

At 2:40, thirteen Friends settled in worship before adjourning. Our next regularly scheduled Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business—also the annual Meeting of the IMMRSF Corporation—will be January 8, 2023.

Respectfully submitted,

Marin Clarkberg