December 2020
Be still and cool in thy own mind and spirit...
George Fox
Rhythms and Resilience

How do we find our rhythms and give ourselves resilience this Covid Winter?
I’ve been asking myself this question because I was finding myself particularly challenged with the thought of a Covid winter of isolation, while already facing an Ithaca winter of grey. The outdoor tasks my husband and I sharewheelbarrowing loads of firewood, shoveling a long driveway, and slogging through snowdrifts to check chickensare part of our chosen way of life, but their satisfying qualities tend to diminish with stretched-out bad weather. The added absence of hugs from family or friends seems daunting.
As a result I sought to reassure myself with the rhythms of winter.  Of course there are nature’s rhythms: Winter Solsticearound December 21stthe time the Earth, with its dual revolutions, one daily and the other around the sun, gives us the shortest day of the year. And then there is the Spring Equinoxaround March 21stwhich brings these same revolutions to the point of equal days and nights. But I found myself also thinking of more human patterns, so I mapped a few that I know of for the months below:
  • November: Thanksgiving – gratitude
  • December: Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa – giving love and light
  • January: Turn of the year – celebration
  • February: Lent – reflection and abstinence
  • March: the shift to Easter, Passover, and Resurrection. Spring brings maple syrup time; the pivotal month when the tree sap rises invisiblyto warmer days and freezing nightsto signal the changing season, even as visibly, the cold and grey often continue.
These rhythms unite the cyclically diminished sunlight (and the oh, so slowlytoo slowlylengthening days) with human-created traditions that connect us, as individuals, to the universal. These traditions have been created by our ancestors, who faced far worse circumstances than we do (without the options of Zooming and Facebooking ourselves into togetherness) to get themselves through the winter. As the light of winter darkens, holding each other in the light can also be a beacon reflecting down a long history of human resilience and survival.
— Elizabeth Keokosky

Covid Working Group Supports Our In-Person Events

The next meeting of the Covid Working Group will be January 8th at 4pm via Zoom. Covid Working Group meetings are open to anyone interested. Please ask Carol Clark for Zoom information.
IMM Friend Yohko Tsuji's Book is Available

The Library Committee is happy to have received two copies of Yohko Tsuji's Through Japanese Eyes: Thirty Years of Studying Aging in America. They'll be available in the library for folks who want to explore them.
Anti-Racism Group Meets

A small group of people from IMM with a concern for anti-racism has met three times in Spirit-led conversation. We will meet again in December. All are invited to join. The group is grounded in the sense that racism is in the water we drink and the air we breathe, and troubles each of us, the Meeting, the Society of Friends, and society generally. We take joy in coming together to talk about hard things. Contact Margaret McCasland for the Zoom information.
Where are Monthly Meeting minutes?

The minutes from Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business can be found on the right-side column of our website. The minutes from November are here.
Virtual workshops from Powell House

Powell House is a retreat center for New York Yearly Meeting. Workshops continue on-line.

Upcoming offerings include:
  • Chat with a Virologist: Questions and Answers on Covid-19. December 12, 2-4pm.
  • Wintersong: 7th-12th grade. December 18-20.
  • Winter Solstice: December 21, 4-8pm.
For more information, see:
Perry City Friends Invite us to In-Person MfW

Perry City Monthly Meeting is a very small Meeting (averaging 5 attenders any given Sunday) with a rich history and a deep, directed spiritual life, despite its small numbers. PCMM would like to extend an invitation to IMMers to join them for Meeting for Worship. The hope is that having visitors in the meetinghouse would add additional spiritual sustenance to their community as well as help them feel better connected to the wider body of Friends in the area.
If you would like to visit PCMM one Sunday morning, you do not need to notify anyone in advance. They are meeting at 11am at their meetinghouse at 6324 Route 227 in Perry City. Questions can be directed to Tom Joyce, 275-9560.

Worship at Hector on Sundays

We plan to have the Hector Meetinghouse open for Sunday worship at 10am through December, weather permitting. Should a weather cancellation become necessary, it will be posted here by early evening the preceding Saturday.

Remember to dress warmly, bring a mask and towel or other cloth covering for where you sit, and to sign a Covid-screening sheet in the entryway. Directions to the Hector Meetinghouse are here.
December Calendar of Ithaca Monthly Meeting
Sunday, December 6, 9:30a

Join Friends to watch a brief QuakerSpeak video and discuss what you watched. This week, we will be watching "My Journey as a Transgender Quaker."
IMM Guys Lunch
Thursday, December 3, 12n

A time together for Quaker men and people who dont mind talking to them. Bring your lunch and enjoy fellowship.
Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business
Sunday,December 13, 12:30p

Please send agenda items to the Clerk by Monday, December 7. (Contact information is at the bottom of this newsletter.)
Sunday, December 20, 9:30a

Join Friends to watch a brief QuakerSpeak video and discuss what you watched.
Womens Fellowship is Zooming
Friday, December 18, 6:30p

Bring your knitting, wear your best sweatpants... or not... and join us for an informal hangout. Hope to see you there!
Womens Chair Yoga now by Zoom
Monday & Thursdays, 11a to noon
This long-running group, which met for years at the meetinghouse, now runs on Zoom, making it more accessible than ever. To join in, email <> The group is about half Friends and half neighbors, nurturing the Inner Light. No yoga experience required. There is a sliding-scale fee. For more info or questions, Nancy Gabriel, 607-339-7123;

120 Third Street • Ithaca NY 14850
Gina Varrichio, Clerk

Pat Sewell, Treasurer
Marin Clarkberg, Newsletter editor
Newsletter contributions due on
last Monday of the month at 5pm