Category Archives: Meeting for Business

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

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

Monthly Meeting September 2022

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

September 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.)

2022.9.1 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 September 11, 2022. Clerk recognized Nancy Gabriel for holding the Meeting in the Light.

At 12:30PM, seven Friends settled into worship with 8 more Friends joining during the introductory section.

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

2022.9.2 Worship Sharing: Moving in Community

A key focus for IMM committees and attenders of late has been how to bolster and build our religious community, especially after years of pandemic separation. This, of course, is to be able to better support and connect with each other, but importantly, is also because community is a foundational component of our faith. Learning to do this well is religious practice.

Those in attendance considered the following queries:

1) How do/can we listen to that of God in each other?

2) How do/can we discern the spiritual direction we are being led as a Meeting community?

3) How do/can we build the IMM community?

Out of the silence, Friends shared reflections, hopes & messages about love, communication, vulnerability, showing up, imperfection, as well as looking for that of God in someone else rather than looking for oneself.@

2022.9.3 Nominating Committee: Nominations

Nominating committee members are Carolyn Kenyon, David Horton, Kathleen Gale. On behalf of the committee, Carolyn shared the report as follows:  

The Nominating Committee nominates Miguel Piery to serve on Ministry and Worship, beginning immediately and running through 2025, acting Assistant Clerk Barbara Chase to serve as Clerk, beginning January 2023 through 2025, and Pat Sewell to continue serving as Treasurer, beginning his new term in January 2023, continuing through 2025.

Friends expressed deep gratitude, as well as reflections on their individual journeys to & away from nominated positions.

Friends approved the nominations.@

2022.9.4 Closing Worship

Thirteen Friends settled into silent worship at 1:53 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 October 9, 2022.

Respectfully submitted,

Blair Jennings

Monthly Meeting August 2022

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

August 14, 2022

Clerk: Gina Varrichio

Assistant Clerk: Barbara Chase

Recording Clerks: Marin Clarkberg, Blair Jennings

(The @ signifies that the minute has been read and approved during Meeting. Copies of all written reports are on file with and available from the Clerk or Recording Clerk.)

2022.8.1 Opening Worship

Ithaca Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends met on-line, via Zoom remote for Monthly Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business on August 14, 2022. Assistant Clerk recognized John Lewis for holding the Meeting in the Light & Carole Clark for providing Zoom hosting duties.

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

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

2022.8.2 Burtt House Working Group: Scheduling Community Discussions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2022.8.3 Naming Committee: Progress Report

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

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

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

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

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

Friends received the report.@

 2022.8.4 Closing Worship

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

Respectfully submitted,

Blair Jennings

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