Category Archives: Meeting for Business

Information related to our monthly Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business, including reports and minutes

Monthly Meeting July 2022

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

July 10, 2022

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

2022.7.1 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 July 10, 2022. At 12:35pm, thirteen Friends settled into worship.

Clerk shared the agenda that includes only two reports. The Clerk shared that she and the Assistant Clerk will stay on Zoom after the end of our Meeting for open discussion.

2022.7.2 Ministry and Worship: Plans for Worship

Barbara Chase read a report from Ministry and Worship Committee that grew out of two gatherings in May where Friends reflected on the experience of hybrid worship. The report described positive and negative aspects of the hybrid worship experience. Overall, Friends have shared that the that the benefit of providing accessibility for Friends who are unable to attend in person outweighs the discomfort of using technology as a part of worship that some Friends experience. That said, we haven’t heard from all Friends, and we are continuing to learn about how this most recent development in our practice of worship will impact our spiritual community.

Ministry and Worship proposes that hybrid worship continue at the Third Street Meetinghouse indefinitely. Friends expressed gratitude for those who make the technology work each week, and for the recent dish-to-pass that gathered us together in person to share food together.

Friends received the report. @

2022.7.3 Treasurer’s Report: Quarterly Summary

Pat Sewell, treasurer, described that last year, the Meeting received a gift of significant size and as a result the Finance Committee is now developing a protocol for managing large gifts that might go beyond the annual budget request.

In reviewing the financial activity, Pat noted that the stock market has not been performing well, but that there were no immediate concerns for our Meeting. He further noted that this time of year is slow in term of financial activity, with few donations coming in and fewer expenses as well.

After Pat described the creation of a fund for “Project Abundance,” the Clerk invited Pat to describe the difference between a “fund” and a “budget line.” In short, a fund accumulates a balance that can be spent down in any year; lines in our annual budget, in contrast, do not roll over balances from year-to-year.

A Friend asked how our property values are assessed. Pat indicated that the properties were valued last year and described some of what went into the assessment.

Friends received the report. @

Friends raised questions about the meanings and implications of property values, monetary and non-monetary. Friends asked that Ministry & Worship consider fostering a broader discussion of our properties.

At 1:45, twelve Friends settled in worship before adjourning. Our next regularly scheduled Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business will be August , 2022.

Respectfully submitted,

Marin Clarkberg

Monthly Meeting April 2022

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

April 10, 2022

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

2022.4.1 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 April 10, 2022. Clerk reviewed the agenda for Monthly Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business and recognized Steve Mohlke for holding the Meeting in the Light.

At 12:32PM, Friends present settled into worship & by 12:37 they numbered 13.

2022.4.2 Ministry and Worship: State of the Meeting Report (Second Reading)

On behalf of Ministry and Worship, Carol Clarke read the second report (revised with input from Friends after its first reading in March). The report details the highs and lows of IMM’s membership & worship engagement related to the extended duration & nature of Covid-related restrictions and realities. While individual engagement has been challenged by a variety of factors, committee work has been more consistent and fruitful in 2021 as compared with 2020. Additionally, small group gatherings (for discussion, social connection, service, deep spiritual investigation and exploration of leadings) have flourished. Bottom line, in 2021, we have continued to make ourselves vulnerable and to do everything possible to come together, keep ourselves and each other safe, and follow the leadings of Spirit.

Clerk made space for questions, concerns & ministry. Friends requested the following addition: “We extended our Memorandum of Understanding with the Friends Center for Racial Justice to continue its work in the Burtt House for an additional year, through 2023.”

Friends approved sending the report on to FSRM and NYYM @

2022.4.3 Ministry and Worship: Plan for Worship

On behalf of the committee, Barbara Chase reported that Ministry and Worship would like to continue hybrid worship temporarily and sees a need to create gatherings, both in person and on Zoom, so that Friends can share and discuss their experience of worship now, both from attending worship in person and on Zoom. M & W plans to have these meetings in May and will announce when it will do this on Zoom and in person as soon as the committee is able to set dates.

Friends shared reflections, comments and concerns related to the availability & quality of hybrid meeting for worship, as well as appreciation for the efforts of IMM to make those attending worship electronically feel included in the process. They requested the May meeting announcements be distributed widely with the goal being to include as many people as possible, by as many modalities as possible to encourage as large a virtual gathering as possible. Carol Clark shared that there are many options for gathering still being suggested & considered, especially those for utilizing outdoor spaces as weather permits.

Further, IMM will hold an indoor sunrise Worship at the Hector Meetinghouse on Easter Sunday with regular indoor worship at Hector set to resume at 10:30 AM in person on Sunday, April 24.

Friends approved the committee’s recommendation @

2022.4.4 Communications Committee: Sound System

On behalf of the committee, Melissa Travis-Dunham provided a detailed report on IMM’s new sound system. Melissa reviewed the components & layout, technical hurdles & triumphs, process for integrating, offering & facilitating the use of included listening assist receivers (2), as well as the final costs & equipment acquisitions as follows:

  • $7,400. to Audio Chef, LLC (Paul Acosta’s business) for the A/V system as installed (hours he spent consulting with IMM prior to equipment purchase & troubleshooting after installation were included).
  • $830. for an overhead projector purchased and installed in January 2021
  • $399. for a new laptop acquired in fall of 2021

Friends asked questions, expressed wide-ranging gratitude and specific reflections, and acknowledged that IMM currently has a de facto technical assistance “working group” that helps troubleshoot & facilitate user experience. A suggestion was made to formalize communication between ComCom & these tech helpers to address questions, problems and/or solutions related to the system.

Friends received the report.@

2022.4.5 Treasurer’s Quarterly Report

Treasurer, Pat Sewell shared transactional details to supports the following statement:

At the end of 2021, our Meeting remained in very good fiscal health. IMM received roughly $73,000. in donations, which was very close to its budget of $76,000. Covid meant less was spent on in-person necessities (childcare, hospitality), but more was spent on technical equipment. In response to a solicitation about including IMM in estate planning,  IMM received an estate planning gift ($100K) that has provided a strong financial base from which to operate moving forward.

Major 2021 projects included the following:

  • Solar Panels donation/installation, resulting credits (about $50./month) & fees
  • A/V Upgrade (numbers are slightly different — $7400. as reported by ComCom represents the initial estimate; final number includes $225. billed at the end of the project for additional services/equipment support rendered)
  • New furnaces for Burtt House
  • New ramp for TSMH

Pat shared details about IMM’s long term financial planning (see estate gift above), as well as the reality that the Meeting-approved portion of our savings ($50K) housed in an environmentally focused mutual fund managed by Quakers is currently down about 4% from our initial deposit due to supply chain issues and the war in Ukraine.

After acknowledging Quakers’ testimony of simplicity that encourages us to use our resources deliberately in ways that make life truly better for oneself and others, Pat provided Friends with a visual breakdown of where/how money was spent in 2021.

  • 48% properties
  • 28% Quaker organizations
  • 10% Witness
  • 8% Admin
  • 6% Nurture (funding lines that help IMM do IMM “things” specifically related to meeting such as childcare, etc.)

Additionally in 2021, IMM housed $127,000. in Alternatives Federal Credit Union, which used the money to invest in our community by way of loans for individuals and businesses.

A Friend asked if IMM has a specific process/procedure for how it handles estate planning gifts. While estate gifts are not treated as income, finance is presently working on a plan to formally address & communicate the process/procedure by which they are received, accounted for, held &/or utilized.

Additional questions, comments & reflections about expenses related to the Third Street Meeting House (repairs, improvements, etc.) were asked, answered, shared & received, and the resulting investments acknowledged.

Friends received the report.@

2022.4.6 Closing Worship

At 2:16PM, 10 Friends settled into worship before adjourning. Our next regularly scheduled Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business will be May 8, 2022.

Respectfully submitted,

Blair Jennings

Monthly Meeting March 2022

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

March 13, 2022

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

2022.3.1 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 March 13, 2022. At 12:35pm, sixteen Friends settled into worship.

Clerk shared the agenda and recognized Carol Clarke holding us in the Light.

2022.3.2 Memorial Minute for Chuck Mohler

Liam Murphy read the memorial minute for Chuck Mohler who died in April 2021 and who had been a member of our meeting for thirty years. The minute—compiled by Melody Johnson, Dick Crepeau, assisted by Linda Heyne, Steve Mohlke and Mike Simkin—noted Chuck’s contributions to agricultural sciences, to our Meeting, and to our sense of community. Chuck loved to dance. Friends remembered Chuck’s kindness, integrity, and beautiful depth. Friends received the Memorial Minute.

2022.3.3 Memorial Minute for Tom Brown

Shirley Way read the memorial minute for Tom Brown who died in October 2021. Tom had been a member of our meeting for nearly fifty years and had served the Meeting in many capacities, including as Clerk. The minute was compiled by Dre Spies assisted by Judith Knight. Friends reflected on all the Meeting has lost with the passing of Chuck, Tom, their wives Carol and Wilma, and others in our Meeting. Both Chuck and Tom were deeply connected to nature in their lives and in their studies. Both used their words parsimoniously. Friends shared that they were honored and humbled to have been let into their lives. Friends received the Memorial Minute. @

2022.3.4 Ministry and Worship: State of the Meeting Report (First Reading)

Barbara Chase began by recognizing Carol Clarke for her work on the draft and, in particular, for her attention at both worship sharing sessions held to reflect on 2021. Barbara then read the first draft of the State of the Meeting report.

In reflecting on what they heard, Friends highlighted the losses to our sense of community that we have sustained during the pandemic—dishes not passed; children’s faces not seen—but also expressed gratitude for all the work that has been done to keep us going.

A Friend noted that the report seems to be filled with contradictions, but those contradictions reflect our reality.

Friends received the first draft. Clerk noted that Ministry and Worship will weigh the commentary offered today and return in April with a final draft of this report.

2022.3.5 Earthcare Committee: Donation to Fridays for Future

Margaret McCasland presented a proposal from the Earthcare Committee to donate $150 to Fridays for Future (FFF), an international youth climate action group founded by Greta Thunberg and Kallan Benson. With Meeting’s approval, this donation would come from Earthcare’s budget line. Friends approved the donation. @

2022.3.6 Annual Reports.

Continuing our reading of annual reports from 2021:

Melissa Travis Dunham read the annual report from the Communications Committee. Friends expressed gratitude for the work supporting our community given such limited face-to-face opportunities in 2021, and for supporting the hearing-impaired going forward.

Miguel Piery, Elizabeth Keokosky, Margaret McCasland, and Jim Grant alternated through the reading of the annual report from the Earthcare Committee. Friends spoke on the gift of 21 solar panels (on a solar farm) from the estate of Will White and of Chuck Mohler’s role in our handling of that gift. Friends also expressed gratitude for the beautiful, raised garden supported through Project Abundance.

Friends received the reports.@

At 2:35, fifteen Friends settled in worship before adjourning. Our next regularly scheduled Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business will be April 10, 2022.

Respectfully submitted,

Marin Clarkberg

Monthly Meeting February 2022

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

February 13, 2022

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

2022.2.1 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 February 13, 2022. Clerk reviewed the agenda for Monthly Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business and recognized Shirley Way for holding the Meeting in the Light.

At 12:30 PM, Friends present settled into worship & by 12:35 they numbered 14.

2022.2.2 Memorial Minute: Beth Jolles

Steve Mohlke read the memorial minute. Friends listened deeply then settled into worship to reflect on what was shared. Friends shared memories & ministry about Beth’s life, her work, her service to IMM, her spirit-driven practicality, her abundant generosity & love.

Friends received the report @

2022.2.3 Memorial Minute: Martin Jolles

Mike Simkin read the memorial minute. Friends again listened deeply then settled into worship to reflect on what was shared. Friends shared memories & ministry about Martin’s wisdom, his steadfastness, his support for Friends during difficult times at IMM, his willingness to playfully engage both children & elders in demo work at TSMH, as well as his overall ability to make things happen – including an unexpected smile from a Friend just waiting for the school bus.

Friends received the report @

2022.2.4 Annual Reports

Friends presented annual reports and answered questions for committees as follows:

Karen Friedeborn read the report of the Ithaca Monthly Meeting Pastoral Care Coordinating Team (IMMPaCCT), sharing highlights & details about members, initiatives and plans both practical & spiritual the group has made for the year. After a moment of reflection, Friends shared gratitude to the folks building community through pastoral care & connection

Pat Sewell read the report of the Finance Committee, sharing highlights & details related to the financial life of IMM; he recognized the passing of two valued committee members, and the newly assembled group that serves on this committee. Friends reflected silently, then shared their appreciation for the group’s flexibility and continued good work in the face of many changes.

Karen Friedeborn read the report of the Burtt House Committee, sharing the committee’s immense gratitude to long-time member, Tom Brown as well as a list of maintenance tasks – both anticipated and emergency – that have been undertaken by various Friends through the year. After silent reflection, Friends shared their appreciation.

On behalf of the Peace & Social Justice Committee, Garry Thomas, Ruth Yarrow & Margaret McCasland each read a section of the lengthy report. They shared details that illuminated the varied & impactful work of this committee – from peace advocacy & social justice activities to the research for & distribution of 16 IMM Witness Grants, as well as 11 Peace & Social Justice grants. Friends again entered a period of silent reflection, then shared the following:

1. Clarification of specifics related to the Cayuga Share Farm’s eviction risk (not negligence, but consideration of sovereignty) & IMM’s support

2. Clarification of specific years requests

3. Acknowledgment of the wonderful work of women in India that is supported by this committee

4. Recognition of Elizabeth Schneider’s two decades of service on this committee

Friends received these four reports.@

2022.2.5 Closing Worship

At 2:08 PM, 17 Friends settled into worship before adjourning. Our next regularly scheduled Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business will be March 13, 2022.

Respectfully submitted,

Blair Jennings

Monthly Meeting January 2022

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

January 9, 2022

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

2022.1.1 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 January 9, 2022. At 12:35pm, twenty-six Friends settled into worship.

Clerk shared the agenda and reviewed that the annual meeting of the corporation would precede the regular, monthly Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business.

2022.1.2 Annual Meeting of the IMMRSF Corporation

Present for the annual meeting: Liam Murphy, Chris Dunham, Melissa Travis Dunham, Shirley Way, John Lewis, Bronwyn Mohlke, Steve Mohlke, Gina Varicchio, Mike Simkin, Angela Hopkins, Pat Sewell, Ellie Rosenberg, Judith Knight, Tom Ruscitti, Carolyn Kenyon, Jill Marie, Margaret McCasland, Connie Thomas, Gary Thomas, Barbara Chase, Nancy Riffer, Elizabeth Schneider, Joanne Sturgeon, Marin Clarkberg, Ruth Yarrow, Kris Altucher, and Antonia Saxon.

Liam Murphy, co-Convener of Trustees and co-President of the Corporation convened the Annual Meeting of IMMRSF, Inc., and read the President’s Annual Report to Membership. Liam noted that trustees met by video/phone conference three times in 2021. Given a number of new trustees in 2021, we reviewed and discussed the Meeting’s Corporate by-laws to be familiar with their requirements.

With Meeting’s approval, Trustees signed contracts for the following expenditures in 2021:

Antonia Saxon, Secretary of the Corporation noted that timely and correct notice was given to the membership for the 2021 Annual Meeting of the Corporation (held on January 10, 2021). Thirty-three members attended, and the reports from the Officers of the Corporation were received and approved at that time.

Pat Sewell, Treasurer of the Meeting and of the Corporation, gave the end of the fiscal year budget report. Pat reported that IMM received $144,000 in donations while our total expense was $63,000. As of the end of the year, Ithaca Monthly Meeting held nearly $135,000 in checking, approximately $26,000 in savings and $50,000 in a Friends Fiduciary Account. Pat noted that final numbers for 2021 will be provided in March.

Liam Murphy noted the officers for 2022 would continue to be co-Conveners and co-Presidents Liam Murphy and Marin Clarkberg, with Antonia Saxon continuing to serve as Secretary for the Corporation.  Pat Sewell serves as Treasurer of the Corporation and of the Meeting.

Friends approved the officers for 2022.

Liam Murphy adjourned the Annual Meeting of IMMRSF, Inc.

Clerk reviewed the agenda for Monthly Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business and recognized Pat Sewell for holding the Meeting in the Light today.

2022.1.3 Annual Reports

Clerk reminded Friends that not all annual reports are to be read in January. For the last few years, we have distributed annual reports across two or three months. Friends presented annual reports and answered questions for committees as follows:

  • Ministry & Worship Committee. Friends reflected on the activities related to organizing two memorial meetings for Friends of 2021 and noted that these and other pastoral care activities were done by Friends not serving on M&W. M&W will amend the report to reflect the activities relating to Memorial Meetings. Friends received the report and expressed gratitude for the care that we receive from one another during difficult times. @
  • Third Street Meetinghouse Committee. Friends expressed gratitude to the committee for their care of our Meetinghouse, even while opportunities around the Meetinghouse have been limited by the pandemic. Friends received the report.
  • Hector Meetinghouse Committee. Friends reflected on the role of the Hector Meetinghouse during the pandemic. Friends received the report.
  • COVID Working Group that covered its work for 2020 and 2021; that is, from the creation of the committee through to its laying down. Friends expressed gratitude for the work of this committee in a difficult and rapidly changing environment. Friends received the report.
  • NYYM Representative. A Friend noted that it was just announced that NYYM Spring Session’s beginning on April 1st will be virtual. Friends received the report. @

At 2:10, nineteen Friends settled in worship before adjourning. Our next regularly scheduled Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business will be February 13, 2022.

Respectfully submitted,

Marin Clarkberg

Worship Sharing

A Friend spoke about the murder of George Floyd, of learning with othersand listening to others—as we strive to fight racism, and of hope for the future.

A Friend reflected on the realities and illusions of American democracy and our troubling history as a nation.

A Friend longed for us to use some of our time together to introduce ourselves and “check-in.”

A Friend wondered if this period of the pandemic might be followed by a period of radical extroversion. How do we reach out to one another? We must go beyond acceptance and actively, lovingly include people of color, gender-nonbinary people, and others. Are we truly welcoming to everybody?

A Friend expressed a concern that Friends may have left the meeting because of they did not feel welcome because of their political views. Are we “othering” those with whom we have a lot in common but not everything in common?

A Friend spoke of including families and children.

A Friend hoped that we might leave behind guilt as a foundation for action, and that guilt is a brick in the wall between us and the spirit.

A Friends spoke of a compelling need to find common ground. This is true in our own meeting as well as in society at large. The starting point for finding common ground is communication: talking with one another with curiosity and not with the assumption that we will always agree.

Monthly Meeting December 2021

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

December 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 have been distributed on the listserv and/or are available from the Clerk or Recording Clerk.)

2021.12.1 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 12, 2021. At 12:35pm, fifteen Friends settled into worship.

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

2021.2.2 Memorial Minute for Will White

Ruth Yarrow read a memorial minute for Will White, a lifelong Quaker who began attending Ithaca Monthly Meeting after moving to Ithaca in 2003. Will’s life expressed Friends’ testimonies in deep and meaningful ways. Having known Will only in his later years, Friends shared a wish to have known more about the fullness of his life while he was still with us. Friends received the Minute.

2021.12.3 Clerks Report: Upcoming Memorial Minutes

Clerk noted that Memorial Minutes are expected for five deceased Friends. Compiling a Minute on behalf of someone in the IMM community that has passed away is a way to remember, discover, and celebrate the significance of that person. Memorial Minutes are the responsibility of the entire Monthly Meeting and, ideally, are not authored by those who are closest to the deceased, so as not to burden those most grieving.

Help is needed. The Memorial Minutes pertain to: Tom Brown (whose Memorial Minute is being compiled by Dre Spies, who would like an additional person to help), Beth Jolles (being compiled by Melanie-Claire Mallison), Martin Jolles (compiled by Mike Simkin, who would like an additional person to help, Chuck Mohler (compiled by Dick Crepeau and Melody Johnson), and Esther Darlington (whose Minute is being compiled by Nancy Riffer).

Friends are invited to share remembrances or suggestions for these minutes. Contact the Clerk or the people identified above. Friends received the report.

2021.12.4 Clerks Report: Response from FCRJ

IMM forwarded the minute from the October 2021 Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business expressing a desire to extend the current Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Friend’s Center for Racial Justice (FCRJ) for an additional year to the FCRJ Coordinating Committee. In an email dated November 17, 2021, the Coordinating Committee approved extending the MOU such that the MOU will now run through December 31, 2023.

Friends received the report.@

2021.12.5 Finance Committee: 2022 Budget

Similar to 2020, IMM’s spending this year was strongly shaped by a world adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our spending on “in-person” activities remained low, but we invested heavily in ways to better connect and communicate virtually. Looking forward, our 2022 budget reflects a desire to rebuild our connections among ourselves and in our community.

Pat Sewell, Treasurer, read a report to highlight significant changes in the 2022 budget as compared to 2021. Friends noted a discrepancy in the narrative of the treasurer’s report that did not accurately reflect the Earth Care Committee Distribution line. Clerk highlight that line and the Friendship Donation Network line in the budget spreadsheet where they are accurately represented.

Friends approved the budget for 2022. @

2021.12.6 Earthcare Committee: Donations for Approval

Members of the Earthcare Committee described the work of five organizations that they propose sending $100 each: Fridays for Future, Girl Child Education, La Via Campesina, Our Children’s Trust, and Right Sharing of World Resources. Earthcare seeks Meeting’s approval for allocating these funds.

In addition, Earthcare described using their discretionary funds to give $100 each to Project Abundance, Cayuga Lake Watershed Network, Project Growing Hope Community Gardens, Earthjustice and Indigenous Environmental Network.

Finally, Elizabeth Keokosky gave a synopsis of how the garden boxes adjacent to the Third Street Meetinghouse—a part of Project Abundance—were funded, created, and used. Earthcare hopes that in the next year, these can become a more familiar and well-utilized part of the neighborhood and that we can expand this practice to other religious organizations in Ithaca through Area Congregations Together.

Friends approved the donations for 2022 and received the report from Earthcare.@

2021.12.7 Nominating Committee: Nominations

Nominating Committee is bringing two additional nominations, effective January 2022: Steve Mohlke for Trustees (for a term that runs through 2024), and Barbara Chase for Assistant Clerk (for a one-year term that runs through 2022).

Friends expressed gratitude for restoring the role of Assistant Clerk and enthusiasm for these nominations. Friends approved the nominations. The full slate of Nominations for 2022 is available at the following link: [insert link]

2021.12.7 Naming Committee: Nomination

Naming Committee recommends Kathleen Gale for Nominating Committee for a term that runs through 2024. Friends approved the nominations. @

2021.12.8 COVID Working Group: Laying Down CWG

Carol Clarke read a report from the COVID Working Group. The report described that the COVID guidelines that the group developed have been robust and few changes have been made in them over the last six months—even as pandemic is still with us and COVID cases in our community are higher than they have ever been.

The tasks of the working group—at least as they pertain to meeting at Third Street—will be picked up by the Third Street Meetinghouse Committee.

Friends appreciated that considerable time and effort has been made to listen to Spirit throughout this pandemic. With gratitude and appreciation for the work that has been completed over this difficult time to keep our community together, Friends approved laying down the COVID Working Group. @

2021.12.9 Closing

At 2:25, eighteen Friends settled in worship before adjourning. Our next regularly scheduled Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business will be January 9, 2021.

Respectfully submitted,

Marin Clarkberg

Monthly Meeting November 2020

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

November 8, 2020
Clerk: Gina Varrichio
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.)

2020.11.1 Opening Worship
Ithaca Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends met in Monthly Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business on November 8, 2020. At 12:34 P.M., 19 Friends gathered via Zoom and settled into worship.

2020.11.2 Worship Sharing: WHAT IS THE “IMM COMMUNITY?”

Clerk shared her rationale for asking those gathered to participate in Worship Sharing around queries related to the concept and content of IMM Community. Clerk asked all to consider and share out of the silence about the following:
1) Who and what is the IMM Community?
2) Are there differences between a spiritual/religious community and other kinds of communities? Do they matter?
3) What are you doing that strengthens the IMM Community? What are you doing that diminishes the IMM Community?
4) What is the IMM Community doing that strengthens you. What is the IMM Community doing that diminishes you?
Clerk provided space and invited responses to each query. Much was shared with love, honesty and consideration.@

2020.11.3 Peace & Social Justice Donations Approval

IMM allocates $2,000 each year to the Peace and Social Justice Committee to give to organizations, and sometimes individuals, who are working for peace and justice in the world. Of these funds, $1,000 is discretionary, that is, the Committee can decide where those funds are donated. The additional $1,000 requires Meeting approval. On behalf of the committee, Garry Thomas reported Peace & Social Justice’s priorities and process, as well as specific details about how each of the proposed recipients of these non-discretionary donations connect to the spirit of IMM. The proposed recipients and amounts are as follows:

  • Opportunities, Alternatives and Resources/OAR – $200
  • College Initiative Upstate (under the umbrella of OAR) – $200
  • National Religious Campaign Against Torture – $100
  • Arte y Esperanza – $100
  • Afghan Women’s Fund – $100
  • Plowshares – $300

Friends approved the allocation of funds as presented in the report.@

2020.11.4 Nominating Committee: 2021 Nominations

On behalf of Nominating Committee, Cai Quirk read the full report. It included details about both recent history and the context under which the Committee Roster was considered, adjusted and populated – specifically, in light of ongoing COVID realities and opportunities in terms of efficient, effective use of resources and leadings. Nominating presented a draft of proposed Nominations for 2021 for Friends’ thoughtful consideration and reflection.

Nominating will return in December seeking approval to this document-in-progress.
Comments, questions and specific adjustments were raised and acknowledged. Joy and gratitude for individuals’ service was also shared. Friends who notice additional edits are asked to reach out to the Nominating Committee directly between now and December. Friends received the report.@

Cai further shared a list of interim nominations to address immediate needs of committees (such as those created by resignations) for IMM approval as follows:

  • Barbara Chase for Ministry & Worship
  • John Lewis for Third Street Meetinghouse
  • Michelle Brimage for Third Street Meetinghouse

Friends approved the nominations.@

2020.11.5 Closing Worship

11 Friends settled into silent worship at 2:23 P.M. before adjourning. Our next regular Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business will be held at 12:30 P.M. on December 13, 2020.

Respectfully submitted,

Blair Jennings

Monthly Meeting October 2020

Ithaca Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends

Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business

October 11, 2020

Clerk: Gina Varrichio

Standing in for the Recording Clerks: Ellie Rosenberg, Melissa Travis Dunham, Gina Varrichio

(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.)

Nineteen Friends were present at 12:45pm at the start of Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business.

Clerk recognized Nancy Gabriel as holding the Meeting in the Light.

Clerk read the following passage from Thomas of Celano in The Remembrance of the Desire of a Soul (2000), a reflection on the life of St. Francis of Assisi:

He learned by revelation the meaning of many things, but when he was conversing among others he put the opinions of others ahead of his own. He considered the opinions of his companions safer than his own. He would say that a man had not yet given up everything for God as long as he held on to the moneybag of his own opinions. 

2020.10.1 Worship Sharing: Report to FSRM on the Reflections of the IMM Breakout Group

We began with worship sharing around a report written at Farmington Scipio Regional Meeting’s Fall Gathering regarding the experience of Ithaca Monthly Meeting Friends. The report was read by Melanie-Claire Mallison. Those gathered were ask to consider the following queries:

1) Do you feel the report captures the corporate experience of IMM at this time?

2) Where do you see the spirit moving in our Meeting or where have you seen it moving in the past?

3) What is missing from this report?

Friends shared ministry. Some of the themes that arose during this time were recognition of the unwillingness and/or discomfort around talking about religion/our spiritual lives/God; a feeling that IMM focuses on the testimony of community, sometimes to the exclusion of all other testimonies; concern about the message that “if you’re not doing X, you’re not really a Quaker;” the desire to refocus on the “we” rather than the “I;” and a deep love and appreciation for IMM and each other. Informal notes were taken, and these will be used to inform further discussions around these themes. TBD.

NOTE: This is a brief accounting by the clerk and not a minute approved by the body, as we neglected to write one.

2020.10.2 Covid Working Group: Wedding And Memorial Gatherings 

The COVID Working Group proposes that the Third Street Meetinghouse be made available for members or attenders who would like to hold a wedding or memorial gathering.The covid working group will change some of the wording to speak to unmasking during wedding vows and kisses and wording around “bubbles.” @

2020.10.3 Covid Working Group: Building Use By Outside Groups 

COVID Working Group recommended opening the Third Street Meetinghouse to outside groups for their events. The proposal to open the Third Street Meetinghouse to outside groups following our covid guidelines was approved. @

2020.10.4 Covid Working Group: Use Of The Kitchen By Teen Day 

The COVID Working Group proposes that Teen Day be granted access to the kitchen and any appliances it needs for teaching purposes, with the understanding that no food will be prepared or consumed in the meetinghouse. @

2020.10.5 Ministry And Worship: Hybrid Meeting For Worship 

M&W recommends the extension of hybrid Meeting for Worship in the Third Street Meetinghouse until Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business in December. @

2020.10.6 Treasurer’s Report

We were reminded that Kitchen Cupboard still needs our donations and are figuring out the best way to make this happen. Questions were asked and answered about the budgeting sheet. New camera, microphone, projector, disinfectant, etc. is under operations and maintenance for the Third Street Meetinghouse for now. There may be a way to have a COVID-related line as well. Finance Committee is discussing this. @

2020.10.7 Other

A request was made to open the Meetinghouse for a day of prayer on election day.

Monthly Meeting September 2020

Ithaca Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends
Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business
September 13, 2020
(The @ signifies that the minute has been read and approved during Meeting. Please note that copies of all annual reports provided during this Meeting are on file with and available from the Clerk or Recording Clerk.)
2020.9.1 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 September 13, 2020.At 12:30pm, twelve Friends settled into worship.
Clerk recognized Barbara Chase as holding the Meeting in the Light.
2020.9.2 Ministry & Worship: Continuing In-Person Meeting for Worship

Nancy Riffer of Ministry & Worship Committee read a report that made several observations about our current practice of “hybrid” Meeting for Worship based at the Third Street Meetinghouse. Ministry & Worship recommends the extension of hybrid Meeting for Worship at Third Street until at least October’s Monthly Meeting. Friends shared some thoughts about their experience of hybrid Meeting and expressed a desire to talk with one another about this.

Friends approved the continuation of hybrid meeting at the Third Street Meetinghouse.

The Ministry & Worship Committee further recommends that the Hector Meetinghouse continue to be available for worship on Sundays as long as Friends continue to want to meet there and can abide by the safety guidelines that are in place. @

2020.9.3 Finance: Bookkeeping Error

Marilyn Ray reported that in March 2019, the Ithaca Monthly Meeting bookkeeper at the time mistakenly sent $2,400 to the Friends Center for Racial Justice. It has taken several months to unravel what happened given changes in bookkeepers and in accounting software. After an extended period of consideration, the Finance Committee has decided to write this amount off as a bookkeeping error, given that it was IMM’s mistake.
Friends received the report.

2020.9.4 Clerk’s Report: Transfer of Membership, Karen Reixach

Clerk read aloud a request for the transfer of membership of Karen Reixach from Ithaca Monthly Meeting to the Keene Monthly Meeting in New Hampshire. Karen moved to Keene to be closer to her family. Clerk read a draft letter to the Clerk of Keene Monthly Meeting approving the transfer. Friends approved the request and wish Karen well, even as we will miss her centered presence dearly. @

2020.9.5 COVID Working Group: Opening the Meetinghouse to Teen Day

So that Gina Varrichio, Clerk could withdraw from the consideration of this agenda item in which she has a special interest, Steve Mohlke clerked the discussion on opening the meetinghouse for Teen Day.

Carol Clarke, clerk of the COVID Working Group, read a report proposing that “Teen Day”—a program held once-a-week for homeschooled teenagers—be allowed to reconvene in the Third Street Meetinghouse. Teen Day’s proposal is to use the meetinghouse for half-days on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The COVID working group supports this proposal.

Carol noted that COVID Working Group does not feel ready to open the meetinghouse to other groups more broadly and that the committee carefully weighed the decision to allow the Teen Day group to use the Meetinghouse while not opening the Meetinghouse to others. The rationale for allowing this group and not others include: the Teen Day group’s COVID safety plan was specific and well-thought out; the Teen Day group has been excellent stewards of the space in the past; there is a close and trusting relationship between the Teen Day group and the Quaker Meeting; and the Teen Day Group has explicitly planned for the possibility of shutting down their use of the building should the need arise. The proposal describes that no groups will be allowed to use the building for a three-hour period before and after the group is in the building.

Friends were asked to consider how to help less privileged groups who also want to use our building. Carol indicated that the COVID Working Group is continuing to make plans for a broader use of the building and may return to monthly meeting next week. Friends approved the proposal. @
At 1:35, fifteen Friends settled in worship before adjourning. Our next regularly scheduled Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business will be October 11, 2020.
Respectfully submitted,
Marin Clarkberg

Monthly Meeting August 2020

Ithaca Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends
Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business
August 9, 2020

Clerk: Gina Varrichio
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.)

2020.8.1 Opening Worship

Ithaca Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends met in Monthly Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business on August 9, 2020. At 12:30 P.M., 20 Friends gathered via Zoom and settled into worship. Clerk shared the following reading:

The history of religion through the ages reveals the fact that there have been multitudinous ways of worshipping God, all of them yielding real returns of life and joy and power to large groups of [people]. At its best and truest, however, worship seems to me to be a direct, vital, joyous, personal experience and practice of the presence of God.
– Rufus Jones, The Inner Life (1916)

Clerk recognized Barbra Bleecker who was holding the meeting in the light.

2020.8.2 Peace and Social Justice: Ithaca Sanctuary Alliance (ISA)

On behalf of the Peace and Social Justice Committee, Elizabeth Schneider reported on the genesis and activities of the ISA, highlighting IMM’s participation and support of these efforts. Having become a sanctuary church, First Congregational Church of Ithaca’s (FCC) intent has been to have individual faith communities participate on an ongoing weekly basis in direct volunteer support activities for sanctuary residents. Despite a continued desire to support ISA, the committee is clear that providing volunteers to fulfill the specific coverage & support requirements of individual’s in sanctuary at FCC is not possible at this time. She then read a proposed letter to be sent to ISA informing them of IMM’s inability to participate in a coordinated, volunteer role; the letter reinforces IMM’s continued desire to stay involved via written communication and/or fundraising outreach.
Ministry arose about exactly how IMM structures itself to fulfill its very real desire to do “good work in the world” so that it can be achieved; it was coupled with ministry around how best to identify, manage and honor our human resources and leadings.
Friends approved sending the letter to ISA.@

2020.8.3 Nominating Committee: Laying Down CALM

On behalf of Nominating, Pat Pingle shared the following:
Nominating Committee received a letter from the Committee on Children and the Life of the Meeting (CALM). The letter explains the recent history of CALM’s work in trying to carry out their charge, which includes a broad range of offerings to children and families and engagement of the community as a whole in multi-generational activities. The letter also names several factors which contribute to the insurmountable difficulties they have experienced, and remarks, “We wonder whether there may be better ways to build an all ages IMM community than via CALM.”

In light of this, Nominating Committee brought the following minute to the Meeting for approval:

Following the request of the Committee on Children and the Life of the Meeting (CALM), Nominating Committee recommends that Ithaca Monthly Meeting lay down CALM.

The report concluded that functional next steps are not clear at this time, but the overall task of creating and sustaining an all-ages inclusive meeting will requires a process of discernment with participation of our Meeting as a whole as it is beyond the purview of any one committee.

Clerk indicated that Nominating and the Clerk are currently reviewing the overall manner in which participation of friends in the life of the whole meeting is encouraged, organized and supported. A report on these efforts is forthcoming.

Upon request, CALM’s Charge was read aloud and acknowledged to be both aspirational and ambitious. The contributions of Angela Hopkins to the work of CALM were gratefully acknowledged.

Concern arose about how the meeting will continue to fulfill its duty to provide what is seen by many as an essential service in terms of outreach and growth of the IMM community. Hope was expressed that the whole community will consider and determine together the best way to right-size and therefore fulfill IMM’s desired roles and services in a realistically balanced manner, in other words, discern with joy what we can do together. Difficulties related to the extraordinary, prolonged public health crisis were also acknowledged. All agreed this moment represents but the beginning of a much larger, wide-ranging conversation.

Friends approved Nominating Committee’s recommendation to lay down CALM.@

2020.8.4 COVID Working Group: Reopening the Hector Meeting House

On behalf of the working group, Carol Clarke described a comprehensive plan to reopen Hector Meeting House beginning today and continuing through the usual Hector Meeting House season. The plan was created with input from the Hector Meeting House Committee and regular attenders; the requirements and processes are similar to those approved/adopted for reopening the Third Street Meetinghouse.

Those who regularly attend Meeting for Worship at the Hector Meeting House are planning to actively support social distancing and other requirements as articulated in the plan. Because of the generally low number of attenders, there is no requirement that attenders sign up in advance. COVID Pods (also known as COVID Bubbles) of people will be allowed to sit together in order to help maintain proper spacing.

Friends approved the reopening plan as presented in the report.@

2020.8.5 NYYM Witness Coordinating Committee: Revision of the 13th Amendment

On behalf of the NYYM Witness Coordinating Committee, Cai Quirk reported on the inspiration, origination and history of this effort. As of now, New York Yearly Meeting has endorsed a minute brought to the Yearly Meeting by Fifteenth Street Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends. The minute asks for an amendment to the United States Constitution that revises the 13th Amendment. The minute is seeking to remove the exception clause that allows the institution of slavery to continue in the United States through imprisoning people.
They read the minute that follows:
“Minute 2020.6.3. Fifteenth Street Monthly Meeting Friends considered a statement regarding the United States Constitution. Section 1 of the 13th Amendment that states: Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
We propose a new amendment to the constitution that amends Section 1 to state the following: Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”
Additionally, they read a letter (the entirety of which can be found in the committee report) that Friends have been asked to send to our congressional representatives on behalf of Ithaca Monthly Meeting. (Friends are also invited to send a version of this letter as individuals.)
They clarified the process by which this amendment is being brought before Congress.
Questions, concerns and clarifications were shared. Specifically, the language of the proposed amendment and letter in the context of the US Constitution proved particularly challenging for its broad applicability and potentially unintended consequences in practice. Particularly a concern arose that the proposed amendment is not clear on the impact this amendment might have on the status of the prison and jail system. Additionally, it does not address issues of privilege, equitable distribution of appropriately-applied punishment and more.
Friends agreed the language of the proposed amendment as well as the letter needs clarification and/or revision and determined a process by which to achieve this. Liam Murphy, Cai Quirk, Gina Varrichio and Pat Sewell will consider this language and bring it before Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business at a later time. Interested friends are encouraged and invited to join them in this effort.

Friends agreed to continue this conversation to reach clarity and unity on the language and process related to both the minute and the letter.@

2020.8.6 Treasurer’s Report

In light of the lengthy discussion around agenda items, this report has been held over until September’s Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business. Pat Sewell, Treasurer encouraged friends with any questions or concerns in the meantime to please contact him directly.

2020.8.7 Closing Worship
12 Friends settled into silent worship at 3:07 P.M. before adjourning. Our next regular Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business will be held at 12:30 P.M. on September 13, 2020.
Respectfully submitted,
Blair Jennings