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From Tess Marstaller

Peace Corps Volunteer, Cameroon

Asinge, Friends!

At a few degrees above the equator, my Cameroonian village in West Africa can at least depend on one thing arriving with consistency – nightfall at 6:30.  Water in the public taps, phone network, electricity, the long promised road repairs, teachers for the new school year, cross your fingers but don’t hold your breath.  Electricity has been out for almost a week now.

Today I traveled to charge my computer, only to find that riding over broken roads on motorcycles, or jungle humidity, or maybe lizard droppings, have gotten the best of my keyboard.  So many letters don’t work, what I’ve typed looks like code!  I’m typing by candlelight and have put out buckets to collect rain for my bath and dishes.

My alarm clock will be the bustle of early morning village life: chickens, babies, wood-chopping, open-fire cooking, neighbors yelling greetings to those trekking to their cocoa farms or hauling water.

It’s all part of my roller coaster ride as I try to integrate into my community as a Peace Corps health volunteer, the first foreigner to have a presence here in 20 years.  The learning curve has been more like free fall as I get used to hearing “WHITEMAN” yelled as I pass by villagers still taken aback by my presence, and keep my front door open despite my desire for privacy to respect the culture of openness.

My job, helping this community identify and address their health development needs, has been the most rewarding, exasperating, and eye-opening experience I’ve ever been thrown head first into.

Perhaps most moving has been teaching reproductive health to young women who are going through adolescence and womanhood without even basic information.  The school curriculum includes no sexual education, though premature pregnancy and STD’s are major problems among youth.  The first time I held a seminar for 7th – 9th grade aged girls I put out a “Question Box” for their confidential matters and could not hand out slips of paper fast enough for their outpouring of uncertainties.  I cried reading them later, realizing I’d hit a nerve of serious need that I could actually respond to.

Helping them navigate pregnancy, child-rearing concerns, introducing the benefits of family planning, and sending the message that they can positively influence their own lives is a role I love.  Doing so in the context of rampant need and the social and cultural complications I’ve been learning about for years is a dream come true.

Still, the going is slow.  The heat, harassment and endless house malfunctions can make crawling out of bed utterly overwhelming.  Yet, the headaches of trying to function where basic functioning often seems out of reach are made immediately worth it by the thrilling moments.  Yesterday a nurse and I hosted the first session of a support group we are trying to launch for HIV+ women.  It has taken months to find even a few women willing to share their status with others.  Talking about the free treatment available to these women, who have never had autonomy over so much as a dollar, let alone their own health, was powerful.

Kids have been the golden ticket to feeling at home here.  Their adoring greetings (“Auntie Tasse, Auntie TASSE!”) and laughter as we draw and play cards on my porch always brighten my day.  I can’t wait until they return from their relatives’ holiday care so I can distribute the equipment and supplies you sent through the Women’s Society.  What an amazing outpouring of childhood goodies that these kids have never known.  My heartfelt thanks to you all.  For pictures of my recent summer camp, check out my blog at tessincameroon.blogspot.com.  For questions or more dialogue, email me at tmarstaller@gmail.com Thanks for your prayers of support!

An Invitation from the Parsonage

Creativity is a gift of the Spirit!  And what is it that inspires us to create?  The beauty of God’s creation; the love between us; a light heart; something funny or tender or even tragic … here is the sacred in our ordinary lives.  Let us give voice to this, or capture it with your camera, your palette and your brush.

George Fox asked: “And what cans’t thou say?” and so does your Newsletter Committee.

Daphne Clement

September Newsletter

Dear Durham Meeting Friends,

In August we will not meet for Monthly Meeting and Woman’s Society enjoys an “Eat Out” together, so their report will be short.  Because we will have an unusual amount of free space in the September newsletter, the Pastor and Newsletter Committee invite you, young and not so, member or not, to submit your original creations: works of art, photos, poems, short prose, lyrics that express faith or beauty, i.e. appreciation of the natural world, Spirit in your lives.  Here is an opportunity; please join us in Durham Friends Creative Newsletter Issue.  Artwork and photos need to be in jpeg format, high resolution would be best.  For written content, it is lovely if it can come in some version of Word.  Instead of either above, we can scan anything flat up to 8½”X11” but no slides.  Dropping art or written work into an envelope works.  The bottom line is to get it to us any way you can.  We’ll take care of the rest and will return your treasure to you.  Please submit your creative piece to arrive by Sunday, August 21st to:

In person: Jo-an Jacobus or Daphne Clement,

Via mail: Jo-an, 65 Preble Rd #18, Bowdoinham 04008; or Daphne, 848 Pinkham Brook Rd, Durham 043222

Or via email: mjo.anjacobus@gmail.com; or clement.daphne@gmail.com.

Just can’t wait to see what you’ll be sending in.

The Newsletter Committee

 

Minutes Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends, July 17, 2011

July 17, 2011

 

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened on Sunday, July 17, 2011, at 12:15 pm with 16 people present.  Co-Clerk Edwin Hinshaw read a quote from Thomas Kelly: “Social concern is the dynamic life of God at work in the world.”

1. Theresa Oleksiw and Leslie Manning reported for Ministry and Counsel.

a) Ministry and Counsel recommends that the new sound system be provided by Confield Associates.  This system means there will be hand held microphones so that everyone will be able to hear.  (It was determined that the hanging mics would not work in our meeting room.)  It will cost between $1900 -$2100.  Woman’s Society has $2000 earmarked for this.  Finance Committee is asked to suggest how any cost over $2000 should be met.  This recommendation was approved.

b) Because of child safety concerns for child care in the meetinghouse, M&C recommends having half windows installed in the nursery room doors for both of the access doors.  Finance Committee is asked to look into how the costs for this would be met.  This was approved.

c) The telephone tree is now available and will be distributed to all who are on the tree with extra copies available on the table in the library.

d) A questionnaire to assist in the annual evaluation of the Pastor will be done by forms that will be made available in the August newsletter as well as on the table in the library.  Daphne Clement will also be filling out an evaluation.  There will be a place on the form where members and attenders can say what they would like in the way of program offerings and when they might be available to attend such programs.  M&C will bring a report of the evaluation and a recommendation coming from it to Monthly Meeting in November.

2. The Treasurer’s Report (attached) was distributed by Katherine Hildebrandt and was accepted with great thanks.  Income for June was $2,936.03 and Expenses for June were $6,523.41.  The significantly lower amount in contributions in June reflects seasonal differences.

a) It was noted that we budgeted $42,000 for contributions for 2011 and at the half-way point of the year, we have brought in $20,690, so we are very close to the budgeted projection.  However our income for the first 6 months of 2011 is $4980 short of our expenses in the same period.

b) The Rise Up Singing benefit concert of the youth group brought in $1650.  $650 went to pay the musicians.  $250 has gone to sponsor a child at the Kakamega USFW Orphan Project.  The youth group is still deciding how to allocate the rest of the money.

c) Finance Committee is still working on developing the method of making electronic transfers for people who want to make their contributions through automatic bank transfers.

d) $1261.26 is available as part of the compensation package for Daphne Clement to go to conferences.  We approved allocating $500 of that to assist Daphne with her costs for going to New England Yearly Meeting sessions.

3. Susan Rice and Leslie Manning reported for Peace and Social Concerns.

a) They wish to hold a second benefit dinner for Lisbon Area Christian Outreach (LACO) food pantry on Saturday, October 1.  It would be a “Harvest Dinner and Pies” event.  Shiloh and Church of the Brethren would be asked to carry this event with us.  This recommendation was approved.  Daphne Clement is offering to be the liaison for Durham’s connections to LACO for fundraising.  This was quickly approved

b) On Saturday November 12th, Peace and Social Concerns is recommending that we hold a Kenya Crafts Sale and Tea.  The crafts would be brought back from Kenya by Susan and the sale of them will directly benefit the Orphan Project.  At a particular point in the day, there would be a “Kenyan Tea (and biscuits)” and a reporting from those who were part of the trip this summer.  This was heartily approved.

c) On Sunday, January 29, 2012 (the 5th Sunday of the month) Peace and Social Concerns would like to invite Brunswick and Lewiston Friends for worship and a pot luck with a program on how war spending has affected our job economy.

4) Dorothy Hinshaw reported for Christian Education Committee:

a) The special offering taken on Children’s Day (for the Children and Youth projects of United Society of Friends Women [USFW]) was $215.  Durham’s Woman’s society has contributed further funds to make it a total of $500.

b) Rally Day will be on September 11.  Plans for the year will be reviewed at that time.

c) At the end of August there will be a training workshop called Our Whole Life (OWL) Training, for middle school and high school curriculum.  Daphne Clement’s conference fees are already covered in her compensation package.  The Meeting approved funding for Wendy Schlotterbeck and Katharine Hildebrandt through the Christian Education budget and Conference funds.

5) Daphne Clement gave the pastors’ report.

a) She attended Friends General Conference Summer Gathering in July where she co-led a “Spiritual Journey and Writing” workshop that was very well received.  Nearly 1000 Friends from all over the world were in attendance and she appreciated living for a week in a “village of Friends.”

b) Pastoral visits continue.  She gives special thanks to Bill Curtis who does an exceptional job on our lawns.  The community garden is coming along very well.

c)  Jim Douglas will be bringing the message on August 7.

d) The sign is a work in progress.  It was decided that the sign will have the website on it instead of the telephone number.

5) The Meeting decided to give $1200 (a 10% tithe from our Charity Fund) to the Brunswick Unitarian Universalist Church to help the rebuilding of their church following the fire.

6) It was approved that Elizabeth Muench will serve as our Ministry and Counsel representation to NEYM until or unless another person is appointed to undertake this responsibility

7) Monthly Meeting will not be held in August.

8) The minutes of the Monthly Meeting were approved during the meeting.

9) The Meeting adjourned, continuing in the spirit of worship, at 1:40 P.M.

 

Susan Rice, Recording Clerk

Kakamega Update: July 2011

By Sukie Rice

I will be leaving for Kenya July 27, and am excited about this year’s trip.  We have a great group of 14 adults and youth going, all ready for adventure.  We’re carrying 30 storage bins of children’s clothing, gifts, art supplies sports equipment, sheets and towels.  I am excited that this year we are bringing 258 fleece jackets and all the children will have a jacket now to keep them warm, thanks to all the sponsors,

Although the project was begun with a focus on the Care Centre, the High School portion of the Care Centre has steadily grown from three students in the first year to 58 this year.  Please read the report and know that, without sponsorships, the boys would be in despair as to what to do with themselves and the girls would be pregnant by 16, with or without a young man to take care of them and their baby.

Woman’s Society July 18, 2011

By Nancy Marstaller

We met on a perfect summer evening at Helen Clarkson’s lovely home with its fantastic view.  Margaret Wentworth led us in devotions and the program – taking highlights from the last two programs from our Blueprints lessons book.  One was based on the story of Jesus healing the man who had been crippled for 38 years.  Jesus asked if he wanted to be healed.

We pondered how sometimes we cling to old ways of life, even if new ways of being open to us.  The known feels safer, even if we know the new way will be better for others and ourselves.  We wondered how we might need to change our Woman’s Society so that we continue to be a group that meets women’s spiritual needs.

We talked about the past split in New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, and what might have happened if we had lived up to our ideals and the split never occurred.  It’s sometimes hard to remember that we are looking for God’s will in our lives, not our own will’s desires.

In the business meeting, we sent “thinking of you” cards to several.  Our treasurer reported a balance of $3540.93, of which $2000 is earmarked for the meeting sound system.

We decided to donate to several of the USFWI projects: $150 each to Keys to the Kingdom, Four Funds, Peace and Christian Social Concerns, and the Christian Service Fund and $100 to the Thanks Offering.  Locally, we approved donating $100 each to Opportunity Farm, the Sexual Assault Support Services of Midcoast Maine, and Tedford Housing.

We are asked to pray for those attending the Friends United Meeting Triennial, especially visitors from Kenya, many of whom have been denied visas by our government so won’t be able to attend.  We pray for our policy makers, that their hearts be opened.

Our nominating committee reported that most positions have been filled for the coming year.  They still have a couple more people to ask.  We are so grateful to all who are willing to share in the roles needed to keep our society working.  Jo-an volunteered to produce an updated contact list.

The Tedford meal in July was vegetarian and hot dog macaroni and cheese, coleslaw, green salad, watermelon, and cookies.

If you don’t already receive the NE USFW newsletter and would like to, let Clarabel Marstaller know.  You may receive it by email or post.

Our August meeting will be our annual eat out on August 15 at 6 PM.  We agreed we would like to go back to the Lion’s Pride.  Theresa will check out making arrangements.

We polished off our evening with Helen’s delicious raspberry and cherry pies, and other goodies, after that we continued to enjoy each other’s company before heading into the warm summer night.

DFM Sonds Aid to Brunswick UU Church

At the July Monthly Meeting we decided to send $1,200 to the Brunswick Unitarian Universalist Church to help the rebuilding of their church following the fire on June 6th that destroyed the entire rear of the sanctuary.  We also discussed that Friends be invited to contribute to that endeavor.  If you are so  moved, donations may be mailed to:

Unitarian Universalist Association,

Northern New England District,

Brunswick Fire Fund,

10 Ferry Street #318,

Concord, NH 03301.

To donate online, http://uuworld.org/news/articles/184523.shtml

For more information, please see:

http://www.nned.uua.org/

From Wayne

As we can see from Tess Marstaller’s article, she is doing marvelous work in Africa.  The package we sent was well received and my understanding is that we will probably try to send another.  Please speak to Nancy Marstaller concerning future needs.

Rally Day: Sunday, September 11

By Wendy Schlotterbeck

Rally Day marks the beginning of the new year for Children and Youth activities at Durham.  Activities start early on Rally Sunday with the kid-chefs cooking up breakfast for the meeting.  Come join us right from the start of our new year.

Breakfast creation 8:45 AM – kids who like to cook, come help!!

Breakfast 9:30 AM Open to all

Program 10:00 Come learn what’s happening in Christian Education

Meeting for Worship 10:25 – Inter-generational, kid friendly service – no Sunday School.

Schedule 2011 – 2012:

This year we will have three age groups meeting on different Sundays.

As usual, childcare will be provided for babies and toddlers.

Elementary Grades (preschool age through grade five) meet 1st and 3rd Sundays beginning at 10:25 AM.  We will be using the Godly Play curriculum.

The middle school age group (grades six – eight or nine) will meet 2nd and 4th Sundays beginning at 10:25am.  The curriculum will be announced shortly.

Passages, the high school group, will meet 1st and 3rd Sundays, beginning at 10:15 AM.

After September 11th, the regular Sunday School schedule begins:

September 18: Godly Play and Passages

September 25: Middle School

Events and Newsletter Delivery

By Jo-an Jacobus, Editor

As editor of our newsletter, some things have become clear to me as I work with Wayne to get the newsletter to you in a timely manner.

The most obvious to me is I can’t guarantee you will receive the information about events happening during the first week of the month before they occur.  The turn-around time after monthly meeting is just too short.  It is a virtual certainty that the paper copies will not have arrived until late in the first week of the month.  It is tight in some months for the email version as well.

The most important area of clarity involves a positive step that can be taken by those submitting articles concerning upcoming events.  Tell us in advance.  Put an October event into September’s newsletter.  Even if your event is in late October, September is better.  Send it to us early, at least a month early.  Get the news in a month early to be sure Friends can attend your event.

Another positive step for those submitting articles is not new but bears repeating.  Please get your articles to me by 5 P.M. on the Wednesday following monthly meeting.  If I don’t have it by then, it won’t go in.

My last thoughts on hearing about upcoming events in a timely manner I have said before but it does make a difference.  If you want to receive your newsletter in time to see notices about events occurring in the first week of the month, email is the way to go.  This might not be an issue for you.  If it is, I’m doing everything I can to get it to you on time.  Once the newsletter is in final copy, that’s the end for the email edition but only the beginning for a paper version.  It must be copied, collated, prepared for mailing, and go through the US Mail.

I spoke with a Durham (F)friend this week who was very upset with the quality of the photographs in the paper copy of the newsletter.  This friend felt the photos weren’t worth printing, although having seen them once online thought those were terrific.  This friend is adding email delivery to paper delivery, wanting to see the lovely photos but still wanting to have a copy to hold.  A “twofer” that works for one friend: early news with great photos and paper to hold.

Society of Friends Family Tree

From our Pastor, Daphne Clement

“I would like to see us (the Religious Society of Friends) turn our family tree upside down,” I said.  And Margaret Cooley, Director of Woolman Hill, immediately saw what I was envisioning and responded: “The branches would then be our roots.”[1]

Our family tree turned upside down?  The branches now the roots?  If this were so, would it mean that Friends have learned from the mistakes of the past?  This version of the Family Tree would surely portray a mature Society of Friends in which real Christian love of God, of the Light and of each other would help us to be tolerant and respectful of difference.

Here in New England where so much of American Quaker history originated, we have had lots of opportunities to practice and nurture this sort of tolerance and love of each other; throughout our 350 year history, we have at times done this well … and at other points, when it came to bearing with diversity among Friends … we fell quite short … short on Love.  The problems among us have reflected the larger human condition and are illustrative of how we humans tend to think and act when we are not centered in the Light.

It is so easy to be swept up in controversy and be swayed by the warmth of emotion generated by strong opinion.  It is the real work of elders and ministers in the face of such controversy to hold fast to the Light … allowing the Light to transform and make room for a potential “new thing” to be wrought among us.

I propose to you that since George Fox abolished the laity … making us truly the “priesthood of all believers” … we are all ministers.  And because we Friends are all ministers now, this is our task: To trust in Light of God and in the awesome diversity of God’s creation, knowing that really, there are as many ways to worship as there are people.  And because we know this, let us join together, as kindred: Friends General Conference (FGC), Friends United Meeting (FUM), Evangelical Friends International (EFI), Conservative, Independent, Programmed and Un-programmed … let us value each other … let us love each other … letting go of divisive judgment  … let us turn our family tree upside down. 



[1] Several weeks ago we, the Durham Friends Meeting, hosted a Woolman Hill Board Meeting. Before worshiping together they presented a slide show portraying the beauty of Woolman Hill Retreat Center in Western Massachusetts. Part of their presentation was an opportunity for us to respond to their inquiry about the ways Woolman Hill might better serve the program needs of New England Meetings.

Minutes Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends June 19, 2011

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened on Sunday, June 19, 2011, at 12:15 pm with 11 people present.  Co-clerk Edwin Hinshaw read “Quaker Education Should Be Experiential” from the World Conference, 1937.

1.  The Clerk read thank you notes from the Woolman Hill Board members who met at our meeting on the weekend of June 5.

2.  The Clerk read a letter to Kris Reed expressing the Meeting’s affirmation of his commitment as a conscientious objector, offering our support for him in his efforts to live a peaceful and nonviolent life.

3.  Jo-an Jacobus reported that the Meeting telephone was connected May 20th.  She described the full agreement with FairPoint Communications.  All agreement information will be held by the Trustees.  The meeting thanked Jo-an for all the work she has put into this to tailor our agreement specifically to our needs.

4.  We decided to send to the Finance Committee the need for a $360 budget revision to cover the cost of the telephone for 2011, with the suggestion that they transfer some funds currently allocated in the budget for snowplowing to the telephone cost.

5.  Daphne Clement gave her Pastor’s Report for May.  Along with many visits, hosting Woolman Hill board members, attending the Beacon Hill Friends House board, and the contemplative prayer group, she spent a great deal of time preparing the meeting garden (in which the Youth Group is planting) and preparing to paint the Meeting sign.

The meeting approved the layout for the sign that Daphne presented with minor adjustments.  We were very pleased that she has taken on this challenge and we look forward to the new sign with great anticipation.

6.  The Treasurer’s Report (attached) was distributed by Eileen Babcock and was accepted with thanks.  Income for May was $5,267.61 and Expenses for May were $5,684.05.  Requests for NEYM Equalization Fund will be announced from the facing bench over the next three weeks.

7.  Eileen Babcock, reporting for Finance Committee, said that Durham Oil Company has published its contract prices for oil for the coming year.  Trustees will research the options and will bring their recommendation to Monthly Meeting in July.

8.  The Meeting requested Susan Rice write up a report on the Kakamega Project for the newsletter.

9.  The Meeting approved the following people to be our representatives at the sessions of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends (NEYM):  Daphne Clement, Nancy Marstaller, and, pending their agreement, Wendy Schlotterbeck and Leslie Manning.  We approved Theresa Oleksiw as our representative to serve on NEYM Nominating Committee.  The Meeting requests that Durham’s Meeting on Ministry and Counsel send to Monthly Meeting its recommendation for the Meeting’s representative for NEYM Ministry and Counsel.

10. Representatives to Quarterly Meeting, Sunday, July 24 at Portland Meeting are Glenice Hutchins, Clarabel Marstaller, Alexandrine and Joseph Godleski and Daphne Clement.  The program for the day will be on Global Warming.

11.  Daphne Clement will look into the needs of the Brunswick Unitarian Universal Church since its big fire last month.  She will report to both Monthly Meeting and Woman’s Society.  As we have had the experience of strong support and friendship from other churches when we had a fire in 1986, we want to reach out to the UU church in some way.

12.  Monthly Meeting will not be held in August.

13. The minutes of the Monthly Meeting were approved during the meeting.

14. The Meeting adjourned, continuing in the spirit of worship, at 1:55 P.M.

 

Susan Rice, Recording Clerk

July Refreshments

3              Kitsie Hildebrandt, Clarabel Marstaller

10           Glenice Hutchins & Al Anderson
17           Brenda Masse, Wayne Hollingworth
24           Dotty DeLoach, Don Goodrich
31           Sukie Rice, Susan Wood

Woman’s Society Report for June

By Angie Reed

The Woman’s Society met on June 20, 2011 for a High Tea (light suppa) at the home of Dorothy and Ed Hinshaw.  12 women dined on cucumber sandwiches, beets, soda bread and jam, strawberries, cheesecake, among other delights, and of course freshly brewed tea.  These were served by the beautiful hostess, Dorothy with help from her male family members, Ed and grandson Chris, all with good humor.  All women who attended felt like queens for the day and had a wonderful, unforgettable time.  A HUGE thank you goes out to Dorothy, Ed, and Chris for providing those gathered with a wonderful way to begin the summer.

Following the tea, we gathered in the parlor for our program and meeting. Jo-an Jacobus lead devotions by reading the children’s book, “Praying with our Feet”.  The program for the evening was titled “Working for Peace” and was read jointly by all attendees. It described the work of Charlotte Stangeland and a team of people who are developing a Peace Curriculum to be taught to young people in Kenya.

In business, we were asked to pray for the team of people we had just discussed who are developing the Peace Curriculum in Kenya and have been hindered by government regulations and are doing their best to complete the curriculum before the next presidential elections in 2012. The Tedford meal for June was Sloppy Joes, 2 salads, rolls, ice cream and rhubarb sauce. We discussed the book list for the next season of the reading program.  Please let Angie know if you have any books you would like to share with the Meeting for the next reading program which starts in Sept. of 2011.   Nancy read a list of donations for Tess Marstallar’s camp program in Cameroon.  Items donated included soccer balls, crayons, pens, pencils, 10 jump ropes and lots of stickers. Please check Tess’s blog to see how your items are being used.  Thank you to all those who contributed to the care package Tess Marstaller will use in her camp program

Last but not least, we discussed the Yard Sale which made a grand total of $1,789.75 and is a record for us. People were pleased with the new pricing system for Jumble items, and expressed regret that Syretha Brooks was not home to share in the kitchen fun this year. We decided to spend some of these funds to continue contributions to the “Adopt a Nurse Program” and also send monies to the youth funds that were listed as under funded in the last “Advocate”.  Some of the money was placed in reserve to fund community needs throughout the year, especially as winters have been so hard on people lately.

The meeting ended by Dorothy Curtis who read silly quotes and messages of friendship. The next meeting will be on July 18 at the home of Helen Clarkson.  All are invited to attend.

Boxes for Earthquake and Tsunami Relief in Japan

By Ann Ruthsdottir

I sent two boxes to the relief project for Japan.  After I took all the packaging off (mostly around tooth paste), I was able to tightly pack all of the generous offerings into 1.75 boxes.  I filled the last quarter box by adding a small, child-safe wooden toy, a small baby quilt and some wash clothes.  I used wash clothes for packing material.  Everything in the boxes could be of use.

Thank you all for your wonderful offerings to a people who have been harmed in so many ways.

Falmouth Quarterly Meeting is July 24 in Portland

By Margaret Wentworth

Falmouth Quarterly Meeting will be held Sunday, July 24 at Portland Friends Meeting.  The schedule is:

9:00 AM    Register and refreshments

9:30 – 12:30 Program, Part I

12:30 – 1:30 Lunch, provided by Portland Friends

1:30 -3:30 Program, Part II

3:30 – 4:30 Wrap up

4:30           Falmouth Quarterly Meeting

5:00           Meeting for Worship with Portland Friends

6:15           Potluck supper

 

The program, “Awakening the Dreamer, Changing the Dream”, facilitated by Young Adult Friends, is given in preparation for Yearly Meeting sessions, and is related to the Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC) World Conference to be held next year with the theme “Being Salt and Light: Living the Kingdom in a Broken World”.

 

Four questions are considered:

  • Where are we?
  • How did we get here?
  • What’s possible for the future?
  • Where do we go from here?

 

If possible, participating in both parts of the program is important, Childcare will be provided if requested by July 15.  A donation of $10 for the FWCC Travel Fund is requested, but not required.  Make checks out to Portland Friends Meeting, earmarked for FWCC Travel Fund.  This will help Latin American Friends attend the Conference.

 

For more details, please contact:

  • Andy or Dorothy Grannell (878.8698)
  • Linda Johnston (933.4922)
  • Margaret Wentworth (725.6935).

 

This will be a long day, but it promises much food for thought and positive action!

Adulty Sunday School Class Study

By Clarabel Marstaller

The Adult Sunday School class has just finished its consideration of a Pendle Hill pamphlet by Bill Taber on “Four Doors to Worship.”

On Sunday, June 26, we will begin a study of an article from each of three issues of “Quaker Life,” on Friends Peace Testimony, Friends Testimony on Integrity, and Friends and Authority.

The Adult Sunday School class meets from 9:30 to 10:20 on Sunday mornings, in the Christian Education room.  Join us!

2011 Annual Woman’s Society Yard Sale

Jo-an Jacobus

This year’s annual Woman’s Society Yard Sale raised a record total of $1,789.75.  Customers and sales volunteers alike were pleased with the new pricing system for Jumble items.  Customers were invited to offer an amount they thought their choices were worth rather than all items being priced.  Only the more obviously “priceable” items received a price tag.

Syretha Brooks’ energetic and warm sales style was missed in the kitchen this year.  The food was still as delicious as ever but I, for one, missed Syretha bringing trays out to the parking lot to entice us inside.

There were books galore, clothing to dress countless families, the beginnings for many a craft project and plants to “seed” many gardens.

The money raised was placed in Woman’s Society reserves to fund local, regional, national and international programs that the Woman’s Society sees helping to make a difference in the world.

From our Pastor, Daphne Clement

In the 20th century Friends’ witness in the world placed a high value on our Testimonies and our community has made strong statements for Equality and Civil Rights and for Peace.

But it is important to remember that early Friends saw their witness in the world mainly as a reflection of their inner life and they “described themselves as persons who had undergone a radical transformation.”  Their immediate first-hand experience of the Light of the Living Christ changed them.  As this inward change took place, there was a corresponding change in the way Friends lived their day-to-day lives.  Living the Testimonies was the natural outward expression of the inward life, the natural expression of doing “what love required.”

George Fox suggested that Friends become “patterns witnessing to the Truth” and the “pattern” to which he referred was an inward opening to continuing revelation of the Living Truth, which when followed leads us to witness with our lives.  This is what we mean when we say: “Let your life speak.”

Our Testimonies have been described differently in different times and places.  Some suggest that there are 4 and name them as: “Harmony, Community, Equality, and Simplicity.”  Others say: “Equality, Peace, Simplicity, & Truth.”  Recently our Testimonies reflect the collective longing for deep integrity and cohesive community, bringing the number to 5: “Community, Equality, Integrity, Peace, Simplicity.”  And the NEYM Faith and Practice adds “Stewardship.”

No matter how we name or number them, the beauty of Friends’ Testimony in the world is our ability to adapt, to meet the most significant issues of the day in meaningful and relevant ways.

We no longer testify to equality by speaking plain; it is no longer necessary to address people with the familiar / singular pronoun ‘thee’ as it was in 17th Century England when the noble class expected to be addressed with the formal / plural ‘you’ to acknowledge their ‘divine rights.’  Early Friends acknowledged “that of God in everyone” (not just in the nobility) and gradually society has achieved new understandings of equality.  We are now less class bound and though we are probably not conscious of it when we address each other as ‘you’ we are really recognizing Equality – “that of God in everyone” when we say ‘you’.

Another early Testimony was to Simplicity – dressing plain.  Plain dressing was a response to fashion as a lavish expression of wealth by the English gentry … and an early call to an intentional, thoughtful life style.  Unfortunately, plain dressing quickly became a badge, an ‘outward sign,’ an empty form. Even Margaret Fell, wife of George Fox, protested it, saying that to dress “all in one dress and all in one color” is a “Silly poor gospel!”   She goes on to say: “It is more fit for us to be covered with God’s eternal Spirit … clothed with the Light … which leads us and guides us …”

Today we might say that Simplicity is our testimony if we are intentional with our time and energy.  Lloyd Lee Wilson says that the simple life is one in which there is “time to remember the divine purpose behind our tasks, time to listen for a possible divine amendment to the day’s schedule, and time during the day to be thankful for the divine presence …”

And Friends’ witness for Peace – that is: living in the life and power that takes away the occasion for all war – will, of course, always endure.

Each of our testimonies is born of Friends’ commitment to Integrity or Truth … integrity / conscience rises out of God’s concern for us.  It is by listening to the ‘still small voice within,’ that we are able to tend with integrity our witness for Equality, Simplicity, Community and Peace.

The beauty of Friends’ testimony is that we tend not to get stuck (at least for very long) in empty form.  Our capacity to adapt speaks to the strength of Friends’ “creedless” witness of our faith, the transformative potential of simply allowing the Light of Christ to lead … and to open Friends to the new Light of continuing revelation.  In the future Friends’ witness in the world will inevitably need to address new leadings that arise to meet new needs … but because Spirit is consistent, certain principals will always prevail.

It is important for us, while living the testimonies, that we do not get the “cart before the horse” and look outward for confirmation of their value.  When we ask, “Are we making a difference?”; “Are we changing the world?”; “Are we still fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan?” we risk growing discouraged.  If the testimonies are acted upon with a misplaced expectation that the world will change we do indeed risk becoming both exhausted and dispirited. It is enough to tend and stay obedient to the Light, the inward guide. And then to do just what love requires of us, for love’s sake. This is living our testimony. This is enough.

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, May 15, 2011

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened on Sunday, May 12, 2011, at 12:20 P.M., with 14 people present.   Clerk Edwin Hinshaw read a gentle prayer by Mary Stewart of Longmont, California (1904).

1. Susan Rice was approved as Recording Clerk for 2011, with thanks.

2. Jo-an Jacobus reported that Durham Monthly Meeting now has a two-year contract with FairPoint Communications for a landline telephone.  It will cost approximately $45 a month.  It should be hooked up on May 20th.  The phone number is:  207.725.0411 and we will be listed as Durham Meeting of Friends.  It was agreed that we should have voice mail along with call forwarding and conference calling.  It was also agreed that we should have a block on 900 and international calls.  It was agreed as well that Clarabel Marstaller and Jo-an Jacobus would be our contacts with FairPoint.  Despite our wishes to have a copy of the contract held by the Trustees, there is no contract with FairPoint, only a verbal agreement.  Jo-an Jacobus will write a report of all the items agreed to by both parties and provide it to the Trustees so it may be held by them.

3.  The Meeting would like to recognize our graduates for this year:

From high school:  Kristopher Reed, Amanda Curtis, and Sarah Freshley.

From college:  Keegan Brown and Nicholas Gorgone.

From graduate school:  Wesley Marstaller.

A gift certificate from Quakerbooks of Friends General Conference (FGC) for each graduate was approved to go with our hearty congratulations.

4. Katharine Hildebrandt, Treasurer, presented the Treasurer’s report for April.  Income for April was $4,761.92; expenses were $4,862.55.  The report was accepted with thanks.  (Report attached.)

New England Yearly Meeting of Friends sent us a $100 donation to help with costs for the wonderful Godly Play Workshop supported by FGC.  We agreed to send that $100 to FGC along with $160 from Christian Education Committee and the fees taken in for the workshop.

Katharine has been researching all the Meeting’s funds to determine which were given with restrictions.  At this time the only fund that Katharine was able to determine has a restriction is the Goddard Fund, with a restriction on the principle.  She requests that someone else do a similar check of all our trustees’ and finance files to confirm this and to help establish the base amount of the Goddard Fund which is being held and invested by the New England Yearly Meeting of Friends Pooled Funds.

5.  David Reed reported for Trustees.  Saturday May 21 will be clean-up day for the inside and outside of the Meetinghouse.

6.  Finance Committee reported:

A. The organ that is in the Meeting Room was donated to us by Friends Camp.  Finance Committee encourages anyone who would like to thank Friends Camp for this gift to do so by making a contribution to the Meeting and we will gratefully send it to Friends Camp.

B.  There was discussion about having people make their donations to the Meeting through automatic monthly transfers from their bank account to ours.  For some people this might be a more regular, manageable way to make their contributions.  This method of receiving donations was approved.  The Finance Committee is being asked to announce this at Meeting and through the newsletter.  They were also asked to create a form for automatic transfers that friends could give to their bank with our bank account and routing numbers included.

7.  Susan Rice reported that the Peace & Social Concerns dinner to benefit the Lisbon Area Christian Outreach Food Pantry will occur on Saturday June 25th at 5:30.  It will be a pig roast with a locally grown pig.  The menu will include vegetarian baked beans, cornbread, a variety of salads, and our famous Strawberry Shortcake.  There was a discussion concerning serving pork as it excludes Muslims and Jews.  It was decided to proceed with the menu as planned with a request for deeper discussion for future dinner menus. There will be a strong effort to invite people who live in the local area.

8.  Clarabel Marstaller reported for Christian Education Committee that June 12 will be Children’s Sunday.  It was requested that there be a second offering on that day to go to the United Society of Friends Women International children’s projects.  This was approved.

9.  Clarabel Marstaller reported on the Quarterly Meeting that gathered on April 30 at Friends Camp.   The July 24th Quarterly Meeting will be held at Portland Meeting and the program will be on the Friends World Committee on Consultation theme of “Salt and Light”.

10.  Daphne Clement gave a pastor’s report which included special thanks for her support committee.  A contemplative prayer group has started on Tuesday evenings at the Meetinghouse.  She will begin to repaint our old sign.  Hooray!

11.  Wendy Schlotterbeck gave a very full Youth Minister report.  (Report attached.)  We accepted this report with appreciation and admiration.

12.  A letter of greeting from Durham Monthly Meeting will be carried by Elizabeth Muench to the Intermountain Yearly Meeting.

13. The minutes of the Monthly Meeting were approved during the meeting.

14. The Meeting adjourned, continuing in the spirit of worship, at 2:10 P.M.

 

Susan Rice, Recording Clerk

Durham Young Friends Activities

Please join DYF (Durham Young Friends) on Children’s Day Sunday, June 12 for Meeting for Worship.  That is Children’s Day Sunday and they have care of worship that morning.  A picnic will follow with food, games and activities.

DYF and all of Durham Meeting are warmly invited to the Annual Campout taking place June 17 – 19, at the summer home of Betsy and Stuart Muench in Georgetown.  Even if you can’t stay overnight, come for a few hours during the day for kayaking, swimming, beach activities, singing and wonderful conversation.  Please contact Wendy Schlotterbeck for more details.

Durham Meeting Hosting LACO Benefit Dinner

From Durham’s LACO Team

Durham Monthly Meeting is hosting a Pork Roast and Strawberry Shortcake Dinner to benefit the Food Pantry of Lisbon Area Christian Outreach (LACO). to be held on Saturday, June 25 at 5:30 pm at the meetinghouse.  The menu is pork roast, vegetarian baked beans, cornbread, a variety of salads, and dinners at Durham are never complete without our luscious strawberry shortcake.

The LACO Food Pantry serves hundreds of people every month, people who otherwise cannot afford to put enough food on the table for their families.  Donations of food and money are vital for the success of the Food Pantry. Many people in our community depend on it and the numbers of those in need have increased greatly over the last two years and continue to rise.  Come join us for a delicious meal while helping LACO help so many others.

Tickets:           In Advance    At the Door

Adults                          $10                  $12

Seniors & Teens          $8                    $10

Family of 5                  $25                  $30

Children                      $5

For more information and tickets, please call Daphne Clement, pastor, at 353.6354.

Woman’s Society Newsletter Report for May

By Angie Reed

The Woman’s Society met on May 16, 2011 at Nancy Marstaller’s house. 15 women gathered for a devotional prayer by Dotty DeLoach, and a program by Sarah Sprogell. Sarah shared her experiences with Bobbie Jordan in the last months and moments of Bobbie’s life here on earth. We were all touched by the pure love and devotion these two wonderful women share for each other and join Sarah in prayers for her next steps in her journey.

In business, Prayers were asked for the recipients of the Joy fund who are Christine Wood of Kickapoo Center; Brenda White of Mesquakie Center; and Ann Kendall of MOWA Choctaw Center. We would also suggest you include Joseph Makokha in your prayers. He is the clerk of the Friends Church Peace Team in Kenya and is much involved with the Peace Curriculum being developed for Kenyan schools. The Tedford Meal for May was hot dogs, and buns, green salad and 2 wonderful deserts.

Kitsie Hildebrandt has purchased four platters to be used for Woman Society sponsored events and was asked to purchase a few more in the event of breakage. The new Blueprints for 2011-2012 are available for purchase for $5.00 from Margaret Wentworth. Angie Reed asked that members review the book list for the coming year in the Advocate and let her know if there are any books on this list you would like to read during our next year’s reading program. Final plans were made for this year’s yard sale to be held May 28th at the Meeting House. Please look for new pricing on our Jumble items.

Lastly, Nancy Marstaller read an email from Tess who is in the Peace Corp in Tombel, a province of Cameroon. She has asked for a care package for her students to help her put on a summer camp for girls this coming summer.  We will put together a care package similar to that sent to Japan to be mailed out after Father’s day. See newsletter article for more details.

The meeting was closed by Kitsie who read a poem by Mary Oliver which in part said… in life “it is not the weight you carry but how you carry it.” The next Meeting will be hosted by Dorothy Hinshaw on June 20th at her home at 5:30pm.

Youth Minister’s Report Spring 2011

By Wendy Schlotterbeck

1. Durham Young Friends held a very successful “Rise Up singing” sing-a-long concert on March 19th.  It seemed that all who came had a wonderful time and the youth made $1001.  My highlight of the year was watching the young friends in the front row thoroughly engaged and enjoying both the concert and one another.

2. The April Young Friends Meeting was held at Aunt Bee’s house and the youth, as always, had a fabulous time.  Special thanks to Brenda Masse for helping with the group as Wendy was at the Playing in the Light workshop along with Jeanne Baker-Stinson and five others.

3. At our May 20th meeting, we had a sleepover at the Meetinghouse.  We held a wonderful, lengthy Quaker discussion about whether we wanted to sponsor a Kakamega child.  The sense of the meeting was that we would indeed sponsor a child and accept the responsibility of continuing the sponsorship year by year.  The youth were excited about writing letters and hope that in a few years, some of us may participate in the Summer Trip to Kakamega to meet the children.

4. As the school year comes to a close, I am amazed and humbled by our youth who in a short time (the Philadelphia trip was just last year!) have really bonded into a lovely group.  Some remarked how Durham Young Friends (DYF) feels like family, they love coming to Meeting, and really enjoy being friends and Friends.  We at Durham are so very blessed to have such incredible young people in our midst.

5. Passages has been focusing more on Conscientious Objection this spring, our final gathering on May 22nd featured excerpts from the documentary “Soldiers of Conscience,” and a special guest who is a member of Veterans for Peace.  We hold Kris Reed in the Light as he ventures forward in his journey after graduation from high school in June.  Next fall, we plan to continue the high school “Passages” group and look forward to more study of faith communities especially Islam and Judaism.

6. Please attend “Children’s Day” on Sunday, June 12th when the youth will have the care of worship.  There will also be a picnic after meeting with food, games, and activities.

7. On June 17 – 19 our annual campout will be held at Betsy Muench’s summer home.  All of Durham Meeting is warmly invited.  If you can’t stay overnight, come for a few hours during the day for kayaking, swimming, beach activities, singing and wonderful conversation.  Contact Wendy Schlotterbeck for more details.

Special Children’s Day Offering

By Clarabel Marstaller for the Christian Education Committee

Sunday, June 12, is Children’s Day with meeting for worship and special events to show appreciation for our children.  A second offering will be taken during meeting for worship which will go to the Youth and Children’s Project of the United Society of Friends Women International.  That project supports three ministries helping young people:

1.  Children and Youth programs at three Friends Indian Centers–MOWA Choctaw in Alabama, Kickapoo in Oklahoma, and Mesquakie in Iowa.

2.  Eli and Sibyl Jones scholarships for the Friends Schools in Ramallah.

3.  Support for girls’ education in Turkana, Kenya.

Please help us make these programs come alive in all three areas.  Thank you!