Author Archives: mtravisdunham

Burtt House Discussions

The Burtt House Working Group (BHWG) seeks to build upon the broad sharing that emerged in the gatherings held in the Fall, attended by a large number of Ithaca Friends. The Group is proposing a second round of worship sharing meetings for us to hear Friends’ thoughts, feelings, and reflections as we consider the role of the building in the life of Ithaca Meeting.

Three sessions are planned:

  • Sunday, January 15, 2023 , 12:30-2:00 pmin-person only at the Third Street Meeting House
  • Wednesday, January 18, 6:00-7:30 pm: online only via Zoom. See below for Zoom information
  • Sunday, January 22, 2023, 9:00 am: Hybrid format, in person at the Third Street Meetinghouse and via Zoom. See below for Zoom information

Queries to Focus Our Sharing in these Gatherings:

  1. How has the Burtt House contributed to the Meeting’s Quaker life in living out Friends’ testimonies?
  2. How has the Burtt House helped me live out my faith as an individual?
  3. What would it mean to you as a Friend if Ithaca Monthly Meeting released the Burtt House? What would it mean to Ithaca Monthly Meeting as a community to release the Burtt House?

Friends are invited to address whichever of these queries calls forth a response from your own experience, and to attend as many of the sessions as feasible. Your responses to this are part of the fabric of the Meeting. These stories are our stories.

These gatherings continue to be “Meetings for Listening” without problem-solving or arriving at any decisions. In the first round many of us were able to discern inner movement on distinct layers of our own memory, learning, and connections to our fellow Friends.

One thread through the first round was that some Friends have questions on points of history, e.g., information about the bequest, and past minutes and decisions regarding the property. BHWG is compiling links to available documentation.

Please resolve to attend at least one of the January worship sharing sessions.

Questions and comments are welcome.

Angela Hopkins, Antonia Saxon, Gina Varicchio, Nancy Gabriel, Steve Mohlke.

Zoom Information for the Burtt House Discussions

Click the button below or use the Zoom meeting information listed here to participate in the discussions online on January 18 or January 22.

Meeting ID: 840 1819 9474
Passcode: friends
To join by phone dial 929-205-6099 and enter meeting ID: 840 1819 9474 when prompted.

An Update on the Afghan Women’s Fund

Written by Margaret McCasland

Ithaca Monthly Meeting has had a long and loving relationship with the Afghan Women’s Fund and its director, Fahima Gaheez (formerly Vorgetts). Fahima used to visit Ithaca regularly to update us on their work and to sell rugs and handcrafts to support AWF’s work. Barbara Barry and Fahima were especially close, and they stayed in touch until Barbara’s passing.

The Afghan Women’s Fund currently needs an infusion of funds to launch an innovative program “that could put education in reach of literally tens of thousands of Afghan girls and young women. We can’t share details yet, but we look to 2023 determined to make it work.”

One of the rugs sold by the Afghan Women's Fund

One of the best ways you can support her work is to purchase one of the hand woven rugs from central or western Asia that she sells to raise funds. You can see photos of the rugs here.

The following (lightly edited) letter is from the Fall 2022 issue of the newsletter of the Afghan Women’s Fund. To also see stories and photos from regions around Afghanistan, see the full newsletter.

Dear friends and supporters,
This year, the Afghan people, including AWF volunteers on the ground, faced more severe challenges.

Working in the Taliban’s Afghanistan is very hard, yet the resilience of our volunteers, teachers, and the women, men, young people and elders is unmatched in the face of their harsh situation. Many local efforts have been successful due to their determination and resourcefulness despite the circumstances, although limited by desperate needs for funding.

While it is possible to move supplies and money to support projects, everything must be done very carefully due to poorly functioning infrastructure in many sectors and the harsh and inconsistent rule of the Taliban. For example, many AWF vocational training projects have been on hold because two key volunteers were killed and another jailed and tortured and now is in hiding. In some locations the teachers and volunteers who have run AWF-supported adult literacy and vocational projects just cannot publicly do so at this time.

So this is a time of working as hard as possible where we can, and working delicately and persistently to expand that space. In the past year this has meant a focus on elementary education and supporting dogged local efforts in several provinces to make high school level education available for girls.

Looking Ahead, AWF remains dedicated to women’s rights and empowerment, no matter the circumstances. This year has been trying for the people of Afghanistan and we are honored to work alongside them to find ways around the obstacles.

Recently we began working on a new program that could put education in reach of literally tens of thousands of Afghan girls and young women. We can’t share details yet, but we look to 2023 determined to make it work. And to share it with you.

We are very careful doing our work and always emphasize caution to our volunteers. Many activists, organizers, and average people (including AWF volunteers) have been killed, tortured, or jailed by Taliban in the past year. Others have had their homes confiscated and had to go into hiding to stay safe, only to have family members harassed and even abducted. Many struggle to have enough food and adequate living conditions. But they still do what they can, as we must as well.

Afghans are knocked down over and over again, yet they stand up again each time. And you, who believe in humanity, thank you for being there for them. Your donations and other assistance literally make the difference. Every help – small or large – gives them hope.

Thank you for your trust, love, and support. Please be in touch!

Best wishes in these difficult times,
Fahima Gaheez
Director, Afghan Women’s Fund

Excerpt from the Fall 2022 newsletter of the Afghan Women’s Fund

From their website:

“Since 2002, Afghan Women’s Fund has been dedicated to rebuilding Afghanistan with a focus on empowering women and girls through education, access to healthcare, and vocational opportunities. Over the years, AWF has built and opened new schools for girls, developed literacy and computer skills classes for women, created income-generating projects for widows to help them become self-sufficient, distributed warm clothing and school supplies to refugees and guided numerous other humanitarian and educational projects like digging wells for clean drinking water and irrigation, building and supplying hospitals and clinics, and donating resources to widows.”

Notice of Annual Meeting

The Annual Meeting of IMMRSF, Inc. – the legal corporate entity of Ithaca Monthly Meeting – will be Sunday January 8, 2023 at 12:30pm on Zoom, followed by our regular January Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business. All are invited. We do require a certain percentage of the membership to attend the Annual Meeting to be in line with NYS law, so, if you are available to join us that day, we’d love to have you.

The Annual Meeting involves an update from the President, Secretary, and Treasurer of the corporation (all member of Trustees) and usually runs no more than 1/2 an hr before we move on to our regular business. All are welcome!

Join the Annual Meeting via Zoom by clicking here.

Meeting ID: 372 632 479
Password: friends

You can also join by phone by calling (929) 205-6099 and entering Meeting ID: 372 632 479 when prompted.

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

Monthly Meeting November 2022

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

November 13, 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.)

2022.11.1 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 November 13, 2021.

At 12:45 PM, 19 Friends settled into worship with 3 more Friend joining during the introductory section.

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

2022.11.2 Third Street Meetinghouse Committee: Changes to COVID-19 Policies

On behalf of the committee, John Lewis read the submitted report which notes that requests to use our meetinghouse have started to increase dramatically in the last few weeks & reviews past and current policies, procedures and public attitudes toward both COVID and use of TSM. Based on the reported information and their discernment, the committee proposed the following significant changes to IMM’s COVID protocol at this time:

  1. Outside groups be permitted to follow their own COVID policiesFriends are reminded to put your committee and other gatherings on the calendar so that everyone is aware of who is in the building.
  1. The kitchen be opened for cooking and other appropriate uses to outside groups and us.

Friends shared current masking information/recommendations with regard to multiple groups using the space concurrently, as well as reflections and suggestions about how to manage the practical realities of sharing our space – kitchen readiness, etc. Clerk noted that TSMC has confirmed the good working order of all building amenities. Significant discussion swirled around the idea of requiring outside groups to follow our mask-wearing policies if there is more than one group in the building and the sense of the meeting was to remove the language around required mask-wearing altogether.

Friends approved the proposed changes.@

Additional note: due to ministry that arose in October’s Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business, the third proposal from TSMC is being held over until December. In the interim, the Ministry & Worship Committee would like to create opportunities to share our experiences in a way that is inspired by the recent gatherings held by the Burtt House Working Group. The committee plans to hold two gatherings: a Zoom meeting on Wednesday, November 16th at 7pm, and a hybrid gathering at 12:15 on November 20. At both of these TSMC invites Friends to share about their experience with, and feelings about, wearing (or not wearing) masks in public or in groups and current COVID.

The hope is that a sense of community is created by sharing with each other our direct experience with these things and that this will help IMM move toward a gathered leading on this. Making a decision about the question of changing our mask requirement during Worship will not be considered at these gatherings. We ask only for Friends to speak from their own experience about this – their experience of wearing or not wearing masks in public or in groups.

2022.11.3 Nominating Committee: Nominations

On behalf of the committee, Carolyn Kenyon placed the following names before Ithaca Monthly Meeting to be considered to fill vacancies in committees and positions at the end of 2022.

  • Assistant Clerk – Marin Clarkberg;
  • Burtt House Committee – Mike Simkin;
  • Communications Committee – Carol Clarke

The following will serve another term in their position/committee:

  • Liaison to Hospital – Bronwyn Mohlke; 
  • Greeter – Bronwyn Mohlke, David Horton; 
  • Library Committee – Margaret McCasland, Simon St. Laurent; 
  • Third Street Meetinghouse Committee – Pat Pingel

NOTE: The Nominating Committee will be down to two people at the end of the year and needs at least two more people.

Friends expressed gratitude for those who’ve agreed to serve, as well as concern about ongoing vacancies/needs on specific committees – TSMC, Finance, etc.

Friends approved the nominations.@

2022.11.4 Burtt House Working Group: Burtt House Sharing

On behalf of the committee, Nancy Gabriel shared the flavor and outcome of three community discussions to explore Ithaca Monthly Meeting’s leadings with respect to the Burtt House held at the end of September.

The invitation to the discussions read, “A metaphor that seems apt is that of a river, with many streams springing from different sources and gradually converging into a single flow.”

The metaphor of the river helped frame Friends’ expectations; all three meetings were characterized by quiet, warm reflection and deep listening. Friends shared stories, memories, wishes for documentation of Friends’ Burtt House experiences as part of the meeting’s history. Concern was expressed about responsible stewardship. There was a sense that the house’s importance in the life of the meeting has diminished over the years, particularly after the move to the Third Street meetinghouse. All in all there was appreciation for sharing, listening and being heard and a sense that the discussions felt grounded. Also, it was agreed that a sense of community did emerge – a community with a history. 

The Working Group felt that the way these discussions went would guide the meeting toward its next steps, including discerning what exactly the next question in the process is/will be. The group continues to meet and is planning for a second round of community discussions.

Friends received the report.@

2022.11.5 Peace and Social Justice: Nondiscretionary Donations

On behalf of the committee, each member present (Garry Thomas, Ruth Yarrow, Margaret McCasland & Jill Marie) read a portion of the report, sharing information and anecdotes about the organizations (national, international, local) represented on the list of recommended 2022 non-discretionary donations. The following donations require meeting approval:

  • $200    National Religious Campaign Against Torture
  • $200    Council of Chiefs – Tiny Seeds
  • $300    Afghan Women’s Fund
  • $200    Opportunities, Alternatives and Resources / OAR of Tompkins County (General Fund)
  • $200    No More Deaths/No Mas Muertes    
  • $250    Village at Ithaca

Total: $1,350 (includes $100 donated to Peace & Social Justice in Barbara Barry’s name). Friends have access to the organizations’ contact/donation information in the report in the event they feel called to further support these organizations individually.

Friends approved the donations.@

2022.11.6 Closing Worship

16 Friends settled into shared worship at 2:17 P.M. before adjourning. Our next regular Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business will be held via Zoom at 12:30 P.M. on December 11, 2022.

Respectfully submitted,

Blair Jennings

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

Project Abundance Germinates

Raised garden beds at the corner of Third and Madison Streets

If you’ve attended Meeting for Worship in person at our Third Street Meetinghouse, or just been past there recently you probably noticed several raised garden beds installed on the tree lawn and along the fence. What you’re seeing is the beginning of Project Abundance. Thanks in part to a mini-grant from Sustainable Tompkins, Ithaca Monthly Meeting’s Earthcare Committee has launched Project Abundance to “make real the sense of abundance nature offers us – and incorporate the sacredness of nature and the miracle of growth more within neighborhood communities and within our own congregations” (from the grant application). Food and flowers growing in the raised beds will be available for anyone in the neighborhood to pick and use for free.

The originating purpose of Project Abundance, which Earthcare discussed in fall of 2020, was to get past the narrowing and diminishing mindset of the Trump presidency and the pandemic.  When they began researching how to implement the idea they discovered an already existing network of neighborhood raised garden beds in the Northside neighborhood, ranging from a park near the Science Center, to Conley Park, to a permaculture park near the Cascadilla Creek. Leading this effort was Josh Dolan of Cornell Cooperative Extension, and Solidarity Gardens, a network of area gardeners.   Earthcare looked for ways to plug into this network and expand on their vision.  

Members of the Earthcare Committee reached out to the Northside Neighborhood via their listserv and solicited thoughts on what to grow in these raised garden beds. Suggestions included greens (kale, collard greens, chard, lettuce), herbs (thyme, basil, parsley) and flowers (calendulas, zinnias, lavender). The aim of the project is to encourage a sense of abundance and delight in growing food and flowers. In addition, Earthcare wants to see if we can create a model that other religious organizations can adopt.

Earthcare Committee hopes this physical and practical example will expand love of nature and a concern with the human destruction of nature within Ithaca Meeting.  They also hope to create a further connection between Ithaca Meeting and members of the Earthcare Committee, and the Northside neighborhood. The committee hopes this project will blur those boundaries between our Meeting and the neighborhood, and enhance Quaker ideas of the Spirit in everyone and everything.

The project is led by Betsy Keokosky and involves the work of several Friends in our Meeting, including Margaret McCasland, Jim Grant, Miguel Piery, Steve Soblick. If you would like to help with this project, get in touch with Betsy.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki Remembrance

Sunday, August 9, 2020 at 6:00 pm (EDT)

  • Around the Peace Pole in front of the Friends Center for Racial Justice (FCRJ), 227 North Willard Way (please wear a mask and social distance)

There has been a tradition of Friends and others to take time to remember the dropping of the first atomic bombs in 1945 on Hiroshima (August 6) and on Nagasaki Japan (August 9) with a silent vigil around the Peace Pole in front of the Friends Center for Racial Justice (FCRJ). This year marks the 75th anniversary of these bombings. This is a vigil of mindfulness and remembrance of the thousands of persons who were killed 75 years ago at the instant of the blasts, those who later died from their injuries, and those who suffered from their injuries. 

We are proceeding with plans to vigil together in a blended manner. Some Friends will meet in person around the Peace Pole at the FCRJ and socially distance so that those in attendance can feel safe while being apart and wearing a mask.  Some Friends will join via Zoom (link below). If you plan on attending this Vigil in person, please e-mail Elizabeth Schneider to reserve a seat.

In-Person Worship at Third Street

Third Street Meetinghouse, early July 2020

At Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business in March 2021, Ithaca Monthly Meeting agreed to re-open our Third Street Meetinghouse for hybrid Meeting for Worship. Revised guidelines for in-person worship were accepted.

If you would like to join us, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Agree to wear a mask the whole time you are in the Meetinghouse and enter through the kitchen (unless you need to use the ramp).
  2. Email Carol Clarke ( and to let her know you’d like to come – we need to know in advance who is coming.
  3. Enter through the kitchen door and fill out a COVID screening form as you enter (on a table on the right as you enter or a greeter will hand you one).
  4. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after filling out the COVID screening form (there is a hand sanitizer dispenser mounted on the wall by the entrance to the library).
  5. Enter the Meetingroom from the Library and exit the Meetingroom from the other door into the entry hall.
  6. If you use the bathroom, please sanitize the surfaces there before you leave.
  7. Maintain social distance from others as you arrive and as you leave and not to approach anyone at any time in the building – please take conversations outside.

In addition, people may bring a closed container with liquid into the meetinghouse but no food will be consumed there. Only the downstairs of the meetinghouse will be used. During Meeting for Worship, or any other IMM event in the meetinghouse, if there are fewer than 10 people in the meetinghouse, we will open the windows if the temperature is above 50 degrees. If there are 10-20 people in the meetinghouse, we will open the windows if the temperature is above 40 degrees. Otherwise, the windows will remain closed. Our intent is to use common sense while not making Friends uncomfortable unnecessarily.