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Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, May 19, 2019

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened in worship for the conduct of business on Sunday, April 19, 2019 with 11 people present. Clerk Susan Rice opened the meeting by reading from the New England Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice: “Meeting as a Caring Community.”

1. The April 21, 2019 minutes were approved.

2. Ministry and Counsel: Martha Hinshaw Sheldon reported that Falmouth Quarterly Meeting has sent a letter of transfer of membership from Lewiston Friends to Durham Friends Meeting for Renee Cote of

Auburn, Maine. Ministry and Counsel recommends we approve this transfer. Other business included conversations about the worship hour, pastoral care, and a support group.

3. We heartily approved the transfer of membership of Renee Cote from Lewiston Friends Meeting to Durham Friends Meeting.

4. Finance Committee: Nancy Marstaller reported that the Capital Account has been moved from a savings account to a money market account.

10% ($1810) of the Janet Douglas bequest has been put into the Charity Account, and the balance ($16,200) has been added to the Capital Account.

They agreed to move $25,000 from the checking account into an 18th mo. CD with interest of 2.l%. Someone from the committee will attend Trustees’ meetings for communication purposes.

5. Nancy Marstaller reported for the ad hoc care committee for Ralph and Twila Greene financial support. As noted in last month’s monthly meeting minutes, additional funds are required for renovation of their house. It was suggested that we give an amount from the Charity Fund, and that persons are encouraged to donate to the Charity Fund. A full report concerning this project is attached.

6. The meeting approved donating $600 from the Charity Fund to help with the Greene house renovation with the understanding that they will be able to stay there indefinitely. People who wish to personally contribute to this fund are encouraged to do so (checks made to Durham Friends Meeting).

7. Christian Education Committee: Wendy Schlotterbeck reported that they encourage “baby” noise in meeting for worship; it is waiting worship, not necessarily silent.

Sanitary stations were added to the bathrooms.

The Sunday School Godly Play teachers are “retiring,” and new teachers will be needed for September.

Upcoming events will be advertised in the newsletter or Friendly Notes: June 2: Children’s Day;

June 8: Yard and Plant Sale; June 15-16 Georgetown Campout; July 12-15: Wabanaki support circle.

8. Youth Minister: Wendy Schlotterbeck reported that she participated in a racial justice event, and the climate change panel. She attended the All Maine Gathering. She is making plans for next year’s children and youth activities and Sunday School. We expressed appreciation for her work with children and youth.

9. Nominating Committee: We approved the nomination of Brown Letham and Bob Eaton to Trustees.

10. Trustees: Leslie Manning reported that Trustees met on May 5, 2019. The Cemetery Accounts were reported by Donna Hutchins to have $4.837.95 in checking, $4225.12 in savings, a CD of $22,339.92 as well as the Pratt Fund of $2,645.00. They will combine the Pratt Fund with the CD upon maturity of the CD if there is no restriction on the Pratt Fund. They recommend that the CD be renewed for a longer period of maturity.

They approved the sale of two plots in Lunt Cemetery to a new neighbor, James Holland. They viewed the standards for headstones and markers in the sale agreement.

On-going projects were listed which are included in the attached detailed report.

We were reminded that the current meetinghouse building will be 200 years old in 2029. They hope to have it in good condition for that anniversary.

Leslie Manning confirmed that she will be stepping down from Trustees. Donna Hutchins has offered to serve as clerk.

11. We expressed our appreciation for Leslie’s diligence and care as clerk of Trustees.

12. Peace and Social Concerns Committee: Cushman Anthony reported briefly on past activities and Ingrid Chalufour reported that on April 27 approximately 6 people from meeting participated in the protest at the destroyer christening at Bath Iron Works. The Durham Friends Meeting banner was prominently displayed. On April 28 Linda Muller delivered the message at meeting followed by a discussion on the possibility of the meeting adopting a corporate concern. On May 10 the meeting co-sponsored an event titled “What Can We Do About Climate Change?” with the Unitarian Universalist Church in Brunswick. Approximately 100 people attended this panel discussion.

13. Falmouth Quarterly Meeting met during the All Maine Gathering of Friends held at the Friends School of Portland on May 4, 2019. Martha Sheldon reported that Falmouth Quarterly Meeting met with 26 Friends from throughout the Quarter in attendance. Co conveners were Marian Dalton and Sarah Sprogell. A proposal was presented and approved that the Quarterly Meeting:

-have business meetings twice a year; May and October for the purpose of reading state of society reports, memorials, pastoral care and other business that promotes, encourages, and supports caring and mutuality among area monthly Meetings,

-have rotating clerks and recording clerks, as led (Marian Dalton and Sarah Sprogell will serve as co-conveners and contact persons for the quarter),

-continue the present treasurer,

-notes that with fewer gatherings pastoral care can be informal with the help of Ministry and Counsels in Monthly Meetings taking on some of the concerns that arise,

-programs would occur when and if possible,

-worship would be a vital part of the Quarterly Meeting agenda.

Two letters of transfer from Lewiston Friends Meeting were read and accepted, one to Durham Friends Meeting and one to Portland Friends Meeting.

Memorial minutes, Treasurer’s and State of the Society reports were read and accepted.

The following minute regarding Lewiston Monthly Meeting of Friends was read:

“Thankful for the prayers, guidance and fellowship of Falmouth Quarterly Meeting and New England Yearly Meeting, members of Lewiston Monthly Meeting attended a called Meeting for Worship for the Conduct of Business at The Center for Wisdom’s Women in Lewiston on 12th Day, First Month, 2019.

In sadness, but with appreciation of our many years of worshipping together, and after prayerful discernment, we agreed to dissolve Lewiston Monthly Meeting, which began in 1972 as a Worship Group under the care of Durham Monthly Meeting and became a Monthly Meeting in 1980. We further agreed that our remaining funds of just under $2,200 be allocated as follows: $1,000 to New England Yearly Meeting, whatever amount is necessary for the administrative costs of dissolution, and the remainder to Trinity Jubilee Center, Lewiston, Maine. Approved 12th Day, First Month, 2019 Christine Holden, Recording Clerk.”

Four immigrant students are asking for support to attend Friends Camp. Approval was given for Falmouth Quarterly Meeting to allocate $100 for this purpose and to encourage individual donations.

The next meeting will be October 26, 2019 at Durham Friends Meeting.

14. We approved a request brought by Kitsie Hildebrandt that two of her Muslim friends use the meetinghouse for a wedding.

15. We approved a request that the Wabanaki Youth Group utilize a portion of our meeting garden.

The meeting ended in quiet worship.

Dorothy Hinshaw, Recording Clerk

2018 Epistle of New England Yearly Meeting

Sep 21, 2018

We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;

Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;

—II Corinthians 4:8-9, 17

To Friends Everywhere,

Greetings from the 358th New England Yearly Meeting Sessions. We sit on lands once cared for by Abenaki ancestors and appropriated by European settlers centuries ago. Today this is the home of Castleton University and dedicated to our use for five days.

Green mountains surround us. The many trees on campus drink in the intermittent heavy rainfalls. It is hot and humid. And we have struggled with this evidence of climate change: The unusual has become usual.

We are 620 Friends, including 109 children and youth and 56 young adults. We are queer and straight, physically challenged and able-bodied, trans- and cis-gender, are descended from the peoples of most continents of our globe, and are of various income levels. Each of us, in our own way, strives for blessed communion of family, old friends, and newly encountered friends.

We are renewed in our connectedness to the wider Quaker world, through visitors and epistles and our own travels. We affirm our commitment to the life of the Religious Society beyond our Yearly Meeting, and we grieve that the US government prevented our Cuban Friends from joining us this week.

Our Session theme is: “In Fear and Trembling, Be Bold in God’s Service.”

We are struggling with our own contribution to the white supremacy that has formed a blood-drenched thread in the fabric of this country, since the beginnings of its colonization by Europeans: contributions to systemic racism by us as individuals and by us as the body, assumptions, priorities, and practices of New England Yearly Meeting.

The unusual becomes usual as we bring our margins—particularly those people of color among us and those economically challenged—to the center of our attention.

And we are afraid for our future: the future of the earth that our domination is making uninhabitable and the future of our society, whose government manipulates us into fear by its lies and dysfunction. In dynamic tension with our affliction is our love and commitment to each other. We hope and pray that this difficult process of repair and renewal becomes an opportunity for transformation, swelling into the flood tide of Grace.

Our day begins early. Two Friends head across the lawn to early morning worship—a decades-long tradition for this pair. A member of sessions committee carries material for a photo frame. Memories of this time together. Golf carts emerge to carry some to early breakfast. A fleet of kids on scooters sails by. Life ordinary and Life extra-ordinary at Sessions.

Friends testify to the nature of God and our world, to help us in these challenging times. Sometimes, our God is a subtle God, who nudges us from the margins in a quiet voice. We have been learning to listen at those margins. And we are reminded that the enemy is no person, no matter their position, but within each of us. The norms and values of our culture (the system) hold us all in thrall.

Our business sessions have been challenging and have served as a microcosm of the work we are called to do as a faithful people. We have heard from our Development Committee and the ad-hoc Challenging White Supremacy Working Group. Their reports have begun to reveal the extent to which the orientation of our yearly meeting manifests the culture of white-centeredness and middle-class values in which we sit.  Both Friends of color and white Friends have named these examples from their own experiences. We are struggling to honor and begin to assuage the real pain felt in the moment by Friends of color, as well as the fear of loss of privilege felt by white Friends. We see that we are teachable. We are not where we were three years ago. Nevertheless, we must accept and acknowledge that real healing is long-term work.

Healing is spiritual work. Even if salvation comes as sudden epiphany, the cross must be taken up daily. We must turn our whole selves over to God, letting every nook and cranny of our culture and expectations be illuminated.

We have been reminded over and over again this week that the heart of our faith is paradox—that while we struggle we will not be paralyzed. Growing our faithfulness inwardly and being faithful to our outward work in the world are equal imperatives.

In social action, particularly about immigration and climate change, we are gaining coherence and momentum, working together as a body across our region. Friends with strong calls, in these and other concerns, are providing leadership to our Yearly Meeting to manifest the Kingdom of God, in new working groups and in revitalized committees. For these gifts and this boldness we rejoice.

The fire of the week has brought us closer together in love. Our deepening unity is based on ever more shared knowing of one another, and we find such sweetness together in our struggles to be faithful. We are tearing apart and rebuilding a ship at sea. The new ship may not look like the one we came here in, but it will be built with the strong timbers of our tradition.

Conversation and reports during our attention to business show the ties that bind our home meetings. Our memorial meeting bathed us in joy and love for those still on earth, as well as those who are present only in the hearts of those left behind. Ministry arose that halted time and made place irrelevant. We were gathered in the Eternal Now.

We have heard prophetic ministry about the meaning of money in our religious society. We know that money is not the measure of our faithfulness. Rather, we are called to turn our whole lives over to God.

How much do we hold each other accountable? How much are we able to show our full vulnerable lives to one another and place ourselves in the hands of our Meetings, as we struggle to be faithful to God? For example, are we ready to know, hold and support those who are food insecure in our meetings?

Our work challenging white supremacy in our culture and ourselves is difficult, at times jarring and messy. Friends have prophesied boldly. Early Friends were intimately aware of the discomfort of God working in us. A print of Margaret Fell’s words appeared on our podium Tuesday: “Friends, let the eternal light search you, and try you, it will rip you up, lay you open. Provoke one another to Love.”

We are feeling our way towards repentance, imperfectly and, at times, haltingly, but moving nonetheless. We feel God’s mystery working among us, and we know the fear and trembling.

We go forth with a charge to share the good news we have found. In this turbulent week we have known experientially the rock—the inward teacher, the inward Christ, the little bird—upon which we can rely. As we labor against the powers and principalities to manifest God’s kingdom, we turn our lives over to the still, small voice, finding that we, as a community, have everything we need, that we have been given the time we need in which to do our work, and that God can guide us every step of the way. All we have to do is follow.

We receive ministry. We are humbled. We wait in awe, yearning that “all may be lifted up to thrive and flourish in the shared, Life-giving fellowship of the Spirit.” [1]

Yours in God’s Everlasting Grace,

New England Yearly Meeting of Friends
Frederick Weiss, presiding clerk

[1] The quoted phrase is in Susan Davies, ”Challenging White Supremacy Working Group.” Advance Documents – 2018 New England Yearly Meeting. p.34

Remembering Eileen Babcock and Lavada Caton & Angelo Pane

By Sukie Rice

We need to mark the passing of three members of Durham Monthly Meeting.

It is with real sadness that we announce the passing of Eileen Babcock, who had been a member of Durham Friends Meeting for the greater part of her life.  Eileen grew up in the meeting as a part of Sunday School, vacation Bible School and then, as an adult, leading Meeting youth in these same activities.   She participated in most of the committees of the Meeting and was consistently committed to doing the best job she could for the Meeting and seeking God’s will.  She will be especially remembered as a team leader for the Tedford Shelter meals, her contributions to the Meeting’s benefit dinners for the Kakamega Orphans Care Centre, and for always being there to lend a hand in whatever was needed.   Eileen died of cancer at the age of 66 on March 20.

We also want to recognize the passing of Lavada Caton and Angelo Pane, both beloved members of the Meeting.   Angelo, who for years fixed the leaky faucets, doors and windows, pounded hammers and tended lovingly to the meetinghouse, died in September in Florida with his family close by.  Lavada passed away on April 9 in North Port, Florida where she lived with her husband, Don.  Lavada was known for her kindness, generosity, strength of spirit, and real spunk.  Durham Meeting wishes the God’s comfort and love for the Pane and Caton families.  We have no doubt that Angelo is up there with his measuring tape and plans to build a new wing on the angel’s canteen where Lavada has everyone entranced by her sweetness and stories.

Don Caton, Lavada’s husband, can be reached approximately through July at: c/o Laurie Caton-Lemos, 770 Pinkham Brook Rd, Durham, ME 04222

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends

November 17, 2013
Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened in worship on Sunday, November 17, 2013, at 12:40 p.m. with 13 people present. Clerk Sarah Sprogell read from the New England Yearly Meeting of Friends Faith and Practice (page 102): “Group Worship Differs from Private Devotion — Those who persevere in group worship know that is differs from private devotion, as the music of an orchestra differs from the music of a single player.”
1.) Susan Rice brought a preliminary budget for 2014 as prepared by Finance Committee. This draft raises a number of questions, which we will continue to discuss in December. At this time we look toward adopting the 12-month interim pastor budget option, with the understanding that it will be modified when we come to clarity on the permanent arrangement. It was suggested that we separate out the annual appeal from monthly contributions in our income projections.
2.) Betsy Muench reported that the Finance Committee brings the question “What percentage of full-time ministry can we afford given the past three years’ history of our income flows?” 3.) Sarah Sprogell is talking with potential members for the pastoral search committee, but the committee has not been filled yet. Names will be brought to the December meeting.
Friends have suggested that before we begin the search process that we take time to discern what we hope for the future of the meeting, for a new minister, where we see ourselves going as a meeting, what kind of financial remuneration can we offer, and other questions. This is a moment of opportunity for the meeting as a whole to help guide us forward with our visions and dreams. It was decided that we ask Ministry and Counsel to formulate a process and shepherd us through this discernment.
4.) Nancy Marstaller reported for Ministry and Counsel.
a. A new telephone tree is available.
b. Isaac Wood has requested to be removed as a junior member
5.) It was approved that Isaac Wood be removed as a junior member.
6.) Daphne Clement gave her pastoral report. (Her move from the parsonage to her new home in Brunswick is complete.) Everyone she has been visiting is doing well.
7.) David Marstaller reported for Trustees.
a. The loggers plan to be finished in the woods by the end of November.
b. One of the abutters to the Lunt Road property is very interested in purchasing the land.
Negotiations are in process for a sale of the land for $31,500.
8.) The meeting approved the recommendation made by Christian Education Committee that the Christmas Program be held in the evening of Sunday, December 22, with a pot-luck (time to be decided). It was further approved that the offering taken at the Program be given to Ramallah Friends School. Monday, December 23, will be the storm date.
9.) Edwin Hinshaw made a preliminary report for Nominating Committee.
10.) The appointment of David Marstaller to the Nominating Committee to begin in 2014 was approved.
11.) Clarabel Marstaller reported that Durham Meeting’s three representatives to Quarterly Meeting were in attendance there. A more complete report will be in the newsletter.
12.) The minutes of Monthly Meeting were approved during the meeting.
The meeting adjourned in the Spirit at 2:45 p.m.
— Susan Rice, Recording Clerk

AFTER MEETING REFRESHMENTS SCHEDULE

December 2013 to February 2014
Thank you for being willing to prepare refreshments!
Please switch if needed.
Directions are posted in the kitchen. Supplies need to be donated- check what is already available in the kitchen. “Basic” refreshments are coffee, milk and/or half & half, tea, juice, and crackers. People appreciate having cheese, sweets, veggies, or fruit, but it can be as simple as you like. The Woman’s Society makes this schedule with people who come to Meeting regularly and have been willing to prepare refreshments in the past. We have not checked with each person regarding dates. If you would like to be added to or taken off this list, see Nancy Marstaller. Thanks!

December

1 Kathy & Harmony Brown
8 Jeannie Baker Stinson & family
15 Linda Muller & Jim McCarthy
22 Eileen Babcock, Mildred Alexander
29 Nancy Marstaller, Jo-an Jacobus
January

5 Margaret Wentworth, David Dexter
12 Dorothy & Ed Hinshaw
19 Brenda Masse, Wayne Hollingworth
26 Kitsie Hildebrandt, Sarah Sprogell
February

2 Sukie Rice, Don Goodrich
9 Dotty DeLoach, Susan Wood
16 Angie & David Reed
22 Dorothy Curtis, Daphne Clement

Volume 2013 Issue 11 November 2013

From our Pastor:

The medieval theologian and mystic Meister Eckhart said that the most real kind of prayer is the prayer of gratitude.
For the past three years I have stood on the Facing Bench, most Sundays, and offered to Durham Meeting a message (a number of them have been published here in our Durham Friends Newsletter). Most of my life, before coming to Durham, was spent in preparation — in getting ready to be a part of Durham Friends Meeting. There were years of life experience, nearly a decade as a Hospice Chaplain, and nine years of post-graduate theological study. Once I arrived — quite quickly — almost immediately, I could say: I am at home, at home in the parsonage, at home spiritually in Durham Meeting, at home in Maine.
Now that it is time for me to retire, I’d like to say a little about what it’s been like to prepare and to rise in Meeting for Worship to offer a message. I’d like to say something about where these messages have come from.
The clearest thing that I can say about vocal ministry — the Sunday messages — is that each of them has been a surprise … a gift. I’d sit down to prepare, thinking: “I’ll say this or that …” only to be surprised, again and again, by a completely unforeseen direction taken. Once mid-message I even found myself suddenly wondering what the astronauts felt when they gained God’s perspective, seeing the whole Earth — as one. How amazing!
Many of you have heard me say that after eight or so months I had really said all that I had to say. There was a time of learning to be willing to have no idea what the next message would be; a time of learning to wait and to listen. And, of course, to pray. So I am full of gratitude … and coming to understand that it is from the deep well of our Worship together that I have been drawing the spiritual sustenance to rise and offer a message. Our covered Worship together is where the messages come from.
And so, during the transition in our Meeting, I invite us all to enter a time of being willing to wait, to listen and to pray together as we are led toward a future that will no doubt be full of surprises … and, of course, gratitude.

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends

October 20, 2013
Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened in worship on Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013, at 12:20 p.m. with 14 people present. Clerk Susan Wood read “Living Fellowship Needs Fresh Forms” by Anna Thomas and E.B. Emmet from the Meeting as a Caring Community section of the New England Yearly Meeting of Friends Faith and Practice (page 121).
1.) Wendy Schlotterbeck gave the Youth Pastor Report. Durham Young Friends gatherings have begun for the new school year. They meet on the third Friday night of each month, and started it off with a campfire and harvest party. Almost all the young people in the group will be going to the NEYM Youth Retreat in November in Portland.
2.) Susan Rice brought the Finance Report for September. It was noted that there was a transfer of $6000 from the Bernice Douglas Fund to the General Fund, as approved by Monthly Meeting to keep us from overdrawing the account. There was also a transfer of $1,750 from the Student Loan Fund into the General Fund, as approved by Monthly Meeting. Income for September was $4,319 and expenses were $4,838. The end of the month balance for September was $3,009.
a.) Finance Committee will bring a draft budget for 2014 to the November Monthly Meeting. It was requested that all committees let members of Finance Committee know their needs for 2014.
b.) We plan to review our expenditures for all paid ministry to discern what we believe we can afford in 2014.
3.) It was confirmed that the Meeting will pay all our budgeted obligations for 2013.
4.) It was approved that we spend up to $190 to print and distribute the annual appeal. This is in addition to the current budget.
5.) Nancy Marstaller reported for Ministry and Counsel.
a.) A welcoming letter has been written to send to visitors with a lovely drawing of the Meetinghouse created by Ketura (Ketty) Stinson.
b.) The Maine Council of Churches is encouraging all churches to hold prayer meetings for civility in public discourse on Nov. 1 at 7 p.m., a few days before the election. It was approved that we hold one here at the Meetinghouse at that time.
6.) Margaret Wentworth reported for Trustees.
a.) Trustees recommend that Jeff Goodman and his wife Christie be invited to come to live at the parsonage during an interim period. They would pay for electricity, heat and propane, including the current pellet bill. They would be asked to make a contribution to the meeting of a minimum of $100 a month.
b.) The septic system needs to be pumped. This will be a capital expense.
c.) The water has been tested for drinking at both the parsonage and the Meetinghouse (through the filters). Although the water is safe to drink in both places, there are many tiny black flecks in the water at the parsonage. It was recommended that Trustees ask Eric Oransky to evaluate this problem.
7.) It was approved that Jeff and Christie Goodman be invited to live in the parsonage as recommended.
8.) It was approved that the septic system be pumped.
9.) It was approved that the Treasurer be authorized to pay the water test bill from the Capital Account.
10.) It was reported that the Sept. 26 Pig Roast Harvest Dinner netted $740 for the LACO Food Pantry.
11.) A Search Committee for a new pastor of up to six people needs to be created. Possible names were suggested and those people will be asked by our clerks.
12.) Quarterly Meeting will be held Saturday, Oct. 26, at Windham Meeting. Representatives will be Margaret Wentworth, Daphne Clement and Clarabel Marstaller.
13.) It was approved that there be an opportunity for contributions to be made in November for the Kickapoo Friends Indian Center in McCloud, Oklahoma.
14. The minutes of Monthly Meeting were approved during the meeting.
The meeting adjourned in the Spirit at 2:10 p.m.
— Susan Rice, Recording Clerk

AFTER MEETING REFRESHMENTS SCHEDULE

November 2013 to February 2014
Thank you for being willing to prepare refreshments!
Please switch if needed.
Directions are posted in the kitchen. Supplies need to be donated- check what is already available in the kitchen. “Basic” refreshments are coffee, milk and/or half & half, tea, juice, and crackers. People appreciate having cheese, sweets, veggies, or fruit, but it can be as simple as you like. The Woman’s Society makes this schedule with people who come to Meeting regularly and have been willing to prepare refreshments in the past. We have not checked with each person regarding dates. If you would like to be added to or taken off this list, see Nancy Marstaller. Thanks!

November

3 Sarah Sprogell, Eileen Babcock
10 Sue Wood, David Marstaller
17 Betsy Stivers & family
24 Charlotte Anne Curtis, Clarabel Marstaller

December

1 Kathy & Harmony Brown
8 Jeannie Baker Stinson & family
15 Linda Muller & Jim McCarthy
22 Eileen Babcock, Mildred Alexander
29 Nancy Marstaller, Jo-an Jacobus

January

5 Margaret Wentworth, David Dexter
12 Dorothy & Ed Hinshaw
19 Brenda Masse, Wayne Hollingworth
26 Kitsie Hildebrandt, Sarah Sprogell

February

2 Sukie Rice, Don Goodrich
9 Dotty DeLoach, Susan Wood
16 Angie & David Reed 22 Dorothy Curtis, Daphne Clement

22 Dorothy Curtis, Daphne Clement

From Our Pastor:

Feb. 13 marked the first of the 40 days before Easter. And as modern Friends, we understand why our spiritual ancestors, early Friends, had small regard for the liturgical calendar: each and every day is indeed just as Holy as the next. Early Friends resisted letting their lives be prescribed by the liturgical year because that calendar was enforced not by the Power of God but by the power of the church. It was the power of the church that dictated how one could or could not worship, and it was the civil power of the church that Friends resisted.
But, I wonder what they would say today, now that our society has become almost completely secular? Since the power of the church that George Fox protested is now gone, I wonder what he might say about our bending a bit toward the liturgical year?
So, right now it’s Lent, the 40 days before Easter and what might that mean for us as Friends today?
I think that because in theory, at least, we do recognize that every day IS Holy, but in practice most of our lives are so full, so full to overflowing with commitments that even George Fox might approve the potential turning inward, the spiritual preparation that Lent may offer.
He might like it that we take time to hold in our intention the Holiness of these days: Taking time to focus our attention on the spiritual, taking time to open to the deeper wisdom of our biblical tradition.
For instance, when Moses encountered God for the first time at the burning bush, he asks, “What shall I call you?” The answer he gets is “Yahweh” meaning “I will be.” What kind of a name is that? It’s not exactly a name at all. Maybe we can imagine it with three dots following it: “I will be …” many things to many people. “I will be …” understood and experienced in lots of different ways. “I will be …” the power within all possibility.
In the Old Testament God’s name could not really be spoken, it was understood that the ultimate power behind all that is and all that will be is really beyond definition. We cannot really name God, for to do so turns the verb “I will be …” into a noun, a known entity. You might notice that some translations of the Bible try to do this by subtly translating “I will be” as “I am.”
In the New Testament, Jesus reveals to us what knowing this Living Dynamic Presence, this “I will be,” intimately looks like. He models a new way of being in relationship with Yahweh, the Living Presence, verb to Be. He models a new way of living, relating, and Being with each other, and living lives centered in the potential of God’s active Living Presence. He asks that his followers step off the path that must reduce and define the Living Presence.
And, to do this experimentally, because it is our own firsthand experience of this Living indefinable, Yahweh, this verb to be, it is out of knowing God this way, that our own confusion about who we are, about our own real identity is born. And Jesus hoped, I imagine, that we too could learn to live lives engaged as he did with the Living Dynamic Presence.
This way of knowing the Living Presence of God, Yahweh, was something that George Fox really understood. It was “this” he knew “experimentally.” When early Friends found unique metaphors for sharing their faith, for describing their relationship with Yahweh, with this verb to Be, they used words like the “Motion,” “the Principal,” the “pure and Living seed,” the “Inward Teacher.” Do you see how all of these words, these names for God have vitality and more Power than any noun. When we are asked to “sink down into the Living seed” this suggestion is more dynamic and alive than any static definition that has mostly been used throughout history to speak about God. Early Friends borrowed from the Old Testament understanding of the “Light” and used this image of Light to express their first-hand experience of the Living Christ.
Faith for early Friends was a powerful first hand way of knowing God, Yahweh. They did not confuse verbs for nouns, in the way that can reduce and take the life of the Living Presence out of our human spiritual experience. When they used words like “silence,” as in expectant waiting in silence, they did not mean “the silence,” the kind of silence that is a noun, the kind of silence that is just empty. They meant waiting in Living Silence, the Living Being of God, Yahweh, as a Way to meet with and interact with the “Motion,” the action of the Living verb, to BE, Yahweh.
So, during this 40 days, let us take the practice of waking up to the Living Presence, as a dynamic real relationship, let us during this 40 days begin to ponder the difference between what the Church has called “the resurrection,” clearly a noun, and let us, instead, during this Lent, wonder.

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends

Feb. 17, 2013
Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened on Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013, at 12:20 p.m. with nine people present. Clerk Sarah Sprogell read “The Meeting for Business” from New England Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice (page 114).
1. David Marstaller reported for the Treasurer.
a) The complete list of Account Balances for FY 2012 was distributed. It was noted that between $5000 and $6000 in interest from the Goddard Fund is added annually to our General Fund.
b) All the money from the General Fund Savings Account has been transferred into the Checking Account to keep the account solvent.
c) It was noted that we have changed our insurance carrier from Rogers to Church Mutual Insurance Company.
The Treasurer’s Report was accepted with special thanks for all the explanations that accompanied the report.
2. Approval was given to the Treasurer to “borrow” from the Bernice Douglas Fund at this time to meet operating expenses. Finance Committee can work out recommendations to resolve the cash-flow situation.
3. On Trustees’ matters: Daphne Clement reported that burst pipes in the Parsonage are being repaired. The water filter that was very clogged has been removed so there is a full flow of water at this time.
David Marstaller reported that many trees have been marked by the forester on the parsonage land, but it is not likely that logging will happen during this winter.
4. The Meeting recommends that Trustees have the logging done as soon as possible when the condition of the land makes it feasible. The proceeds from the logging will go into the Capital Fund.
5. Clarabel Marstaller reported for Ministry and Counsel.
a) Our co-clerks attended a clerking workshop at Powell House.
b) In regard to our speaker system, there will be one microphone on the facing bench and one will be used as a “roving” mic.
6. A memorial minute for Glenice Hutchins was read and approved and will be forwarded to Falmouth Quarterly Meeting.
7. A memorial minute for Muriel Marston was read and approved and will be forwarded to Falmouth Quarterly Meeting.
8. Daphne Clement gave her Pastor’s Report
a) The visit of Will Bontrager in March has been moved to Sunday, April 28.
b) Daphne will be away from March 24 to March 29.
9. Because Wendy Schlotterbeck is at the Washington, D.C., Keystone Pipeline / “Climate Forward” demonstration, Sarah Sprogell read Wendy’s Youth Minister’s report for January. There were many activities of the Durham Young Friends and the Youth Group listed in the report.
10. Christian Education Committee presented its Annual Report for 2012. The report was accepted with great thanks to the Committee for all the work and fulfilling activities of the Committee.
11. The schedule for Easter Sunday, March 31, will be as follows:
6:30 a.m. Sunrise service at Weed Simpson Cemetery off the River Road.
8:00 a.m. Pancake breakfast from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. prepared by the men of the meeting.
9:00 a.m. Children’s activities, coordinated by Christian Education.
10:25 a.m. Meeting for Worship
12. The minutes of the Monthly Meeting were approved during the meeting. The meeting was adjourned in the spirit at 1:58 p.m.
— Susan Rice, Recording Clerk

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends Minutes of May 20, 2012

The meeting opened at 12:30 p.m. with 17 people present. Clerk Edwin Hinshaw opened with a reading
from Thomas Kelly’s Testament of Devotion (page 124, “Life from the Center”).
1. It was noted that dear Friend, and member, Macy Whitehead passed away on May 16th. A service to
celebrate his life will be held at the Phippsburg Center Church on Friday, May 25th
Page 8 of 14
2. Daphne Clement read a memorial minute for Barbara (Bobbie) Jordan. The minute was accepted with
appreciation. The minute will be published and forwarded to Falmouth Quarterly Meeting.
3. Leslie Manning will be traveling this summer with a concern for our sisters and brothers in Indiana
and Western Yearly Meetings. She requested a travel minute from Durham. It was approved that the Clerks
will write a travel minute, which will be sent on to New England Yearly Meeting.
4. Sarah Sprogell reported for the Ad-Hoc Fundraising Committee. The committee sees as its task ways
to address the operational budget and has planned a presentation as a part of meeting for worship, which
will happen May 27. The need to replenish the capital fund will be addressed in the autumn. The Meeting
accepted the report.
5. Katharine Hildebrandt brought the Treasurer Report for April. The total General Fund Income for
March was $7,191.32 and the Expenditures were $4,661.65. The year-to-date finances for the Operational
Fund shows that Income for January 1 – April 30 period was $20,074.22 and the Expenses were $21,760.48.
This means we are running a deficit of $1,686.26 for this four-month period for the Operational Budget.
(This does not include the $22,600 parsonage heating system, which was a capital expense in the General
Fund.) Her report was accepted with gratitude.
6. Dorothy Hinshaw reported for Christian Education. Children’s Day will be held on June 3rd.
Meeting youth will prepare a breakfast for all and will conduct the whole service that morning. The youth
group is requesting a second offering that day for the United Society of Friends Women International
Children and Youth Project. This request was approved. Gift certificates will be given to the Meeting’s
graduates. They are Mitch Newlin, Jessica Sheldon, Reeve Wood, Erik Brooks and Katherine Perkins. An
evaluation of the Youth Minister is in process.
7. Nancy Marstaller reported for Ministry and Counsel. Nancy is now Clerk and Phyllis Wetherell is
now recording clerk. Christian Education, Library Committee, Ministry and Counsel and Peace and
Social Concerns are all now a part of the children’s story rotation.
Scott Barksdale has researched a Sound System (that includes hanging microphones) that should meet
the needs of everyone in meeting. It will have earphones for anyone needing receiver assistance. The total
cost of this system will be between $1,600 and $1,760. Scott and Joe Godleski will install the system and
Scott will help to maintain it and be our contact person for questions. The Woman’s Society is ready to
provide the funds for this up to $2000. This proposal was approved. We are very grateful that a sound
system will finally be happening.
8. Daphne Clement gave her pastor’s report. The contemplative prayer and reading groups that have
been meeting mid-week through the year will be laid down for the summer. Her report was received with
appreciation.
Minutes of the meeting were approved during the meeting.
The Meeting adjourned at 2:05 p.m. with a period of worship.
Respectfully submitted,
Susan Rice

From our Pastor

Two weeks ago Carl Williams sent the devotion copied below …
A prayer:
“God, the farmer of my soul, who sows fields of possibility and gardens of loving-kindness make me your
seedling (Psalm 1:3):
— call me to be your root, reaching deep into the earth, drawing nurture and substance from the deep well of
your Spirit.
— and the stem, pushing out the green, green leaves of compassion and bright blossoms of understanding.
— and then to return to your source, to compost and break down, to nurture others and to prepare for new
growth.”
— cdw
I share it with you here because so many of us (Durham Meeting Friends) are in the garden now. We may
be planting only a small flower box on the front-door step, or we may be small farmers laboring on a huge plot
full of veggies and flowers, or perhaps somewhere in between, working a modest-sized bit of earth with just a
couple of tomato plants. But, most of us will notice how we relate to our gardens, how lovingly we connect to
the plants and our garden tasks. How we protect young plants from pests, and hover nearby energetically.
Usually, I walk in the garden at dawn, even before my tea, and at night before I fall asleep I check to see what
the day has done.
I think God is just like this, the farmer of our soul, watching over, protecting, loving. The gardener of the
spiritual life of all people, everyone, everywhere – the garden of God’s care … our soul life tilled and planted.
Early Friends loved farming / gardening images. Isaac Pennington says: “… sink down to the seed which God
sews in thy heart and let that be in thee, and grow in thee, and breathe in thee, and act in thee, and thou shalt
find by sweet experience that the Lord knows that and loves and owns that, and will lead it to the inheritance of
life …”

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends Minutes of June 17, 2012

The Meeting opened with 11 people present.
Clerk Susan Wood read from the section on Integrity (Consistency in Word and Deed) from the
American Friends Service Committee’s booklet, “An Introduction to Quaker Testimonies.”
l. Clerks’ correspondence and business was brought forth by the Clerks.
a) The travel minute for Leslie Manning, written by the Clerks (as requested at the May Monthly
Meeting) was read and received with appreciation.
b) American Friends Service Committee sent an acknowledgement of a gift made to the AFSC by
Amelia Marstaller in memory of Friend Macy Whitehead..
2. A request from Abigail Fortune for assistance from the Equalization Fund to go to New England Yearly
Meeting this summer was received and approved.
3. The Treasurer submitted the May 31, 2012 report. Income for May was $2,481. Expenses were
$4,205.37. The Meeting deficit at this point for 2012 is $4,010.63.
4. The Clerks received a request for $1,000 (to be taken from the Charity Fund) for the Friends of
Kakamega to put lime and cover crop into a much-depleted soil at the Children’s Farm. The Children’s Farm is
six acres and has grown food for the Orphans’ Care Centre. However, because of fertilizer practice there, the
soil is much depleted and needs rebuilding. This request was approved.
5. Dorothy Hinshaw reported for Christian Education Committee.
a) They thank Erin Martin and Wendy Schlotterbeck for the wonderful Children’s Day breakfast and
the meeting for worship conducted by the youth.
b) Next year, starting in September, they plan to have two Sunday School classes of children and youth
that will meet every 1st and 3rd Sundays. Adult Sunday School will continue as is. Daphne Clement and Wendy
Schlotterbeck will share oversight of the children and youth classes.
c) They are looking into two public concerts this fall to help raise money for a possible trip to England
next year. The first concert would be September 8 with Tom Nielson, a folk singer from Monadnock Friends
Meeting and might include a song-writing workshop for teachers on September 9. The second concert would be
in the late autumn with Tom Whitehead. The Nielson concert was approved and it was suggested that they
explore further the options for the concert and workshop. It was approved that we proceed with the Tom
Whitehead concert.
6. The meeting thanks Betsy Muench and Wendy Schlotterbeck for a terrific camp-out for the youth and
families at Betsy’s home in Georgetown over the weekend of June 8-10.
7. David Reed reported that the meetinghouse large furnace is working very well, just in time for the
summer. The electrician will be coming in to fix the phone when he comes as a part of other work on the
speaker system and other electrical needs.
8. Monthly Meeting requests that Trustees proceed to sell the current large stove in the meetinghouse
kitchen and explore the purchase of two propane stoves to replace it. David Reed agreed he will find out from
the stove company how much they will give us for the stove and will look into advertising it in other places.
9. Susan Rice reported for Peace and Social Concerns. They plan on doing two Saturday evenings this
summer, as a mini “Summer Conversations Series.” The first will be on “Acidification of the Oceans and
Climate Change” with Ray Sirois, who works with a local engineering company. It will be held on Saturday,
July 28. The second evening will be on Saturday, Aug. 25, and the focus will be on Community Gardens. Eric
and Laura Evans, who run the community gardens in Camden, will be the guest speakers.
10. Margaret Wentworth reported that Falmouth Quarterly Meeting will be held on Saturday, July 28, here
at Durham Meetinghouse. It was agreed that we will ask Quarterly Meeting’s Committee on Planning and
Revitalization to hold the gathering in the afternoon with a picnic supper, so that their program can be the
3 of 10
program presented by Ray Sirois. This will be especially helpful, as Peace and Social Concerns was hoping that
friends from the Quarter might attend the evening. Margaret will check with CPR to make sure that this plan
will work.
11. We agreed on the following as representatives for New England Yearly Meeting: Daphne Clement,
Nancy Marstaller, Theresa Oleksiw and Wendy Schlotterbeck. We approve the person that Ministry and
Counsel chooses to serve on the Yearly Meeting M&C.
12. Ministry and Counsel reported that Daphne Clement will be at Friends General Conference on Sunday,
July 1. Peter Crysdale will bring the message that day.
13. Thank-yous were received from Erik Brooks and Jessica Sheldon for the book gift certificates they
were given from the Meeting for graduation.
The meeting ended at 2:10 p.m. with a period of worship and with upon their acceptance thanks to the
Clerks for a job well done.
Recording clerk,
Susan Rice

Eagle Poem

To pray you open your whole self
to sky, to earth, to sun, to moon
to one whole voice that is you
and know there is more
that you can’t see, can’t hear
can’t know except in moments
steadily growing; and in languages
that aren’t always sound, but other circles of motion.
like eagle that sunday morning
over salt river; circled in blue sky
in wind, swept our hearts clean
with sacred wings.
we see you, see ourselves and know
that we must take the utmost care
and kindness in all things.
breathe in, know we are made of
all this, and breathe, knowing
we are truly blessed, because we
were born, and die soon in a
true circle of motion
like eagle rounding out the day
inside us.
we pray that it will be done
in beauty.
in beauty.
Joy Harjo

From our Pastor

From our Pastor’s message of Sunday, April 15, 2012
Rufus Jones grew up near here in South China, Maine. In his book “Trail of Life through the Early Years,” he wrote about what it was like to grow up as a Friend, to grow up “Quaker.” In the following quote, he is talking about what going to Meeting was like when he was just about 10 years old. He says: “Very often in these meetings for Worship, there were long periods of silence … I do not think that anyone ever told me what the silence was for. It does not seem necessary to explain Quaker silence to children. They feel what it means …”
Then on the next page he says: “Sometimes a real spiritual wave would sweep over the Meeting in these silent hushes, which made me feel very solemn and which carried me – careless boy that I was – down into something deeper than my own thoughts, gave me a momentary sense of that Spirit who has been the life and light of people in all ages and in all lands.”
It is that same “something deeper” that we are gathered this Easter in family Worship to recognize and to celebrate. What we are actually doing is FEELING … in the same way that Rufus Jones says Quaker children feel and just know why they’re sitting here together even without explanation. We are feeling our way down to the place where we get it that God is with us. Since that first Easter morning when Mary sees that the stone has been rolled away, when she meets and recognizes Jesus there in the garden; since that very morning we have all had direct access to the Light of the risen Christ. And Friends have always seemed to know that we find it in our own hearts. From the oldest of us to the youngest it is this that we come to know in Meeting for Worship.
But, until George Fox made his great discovery on Pendle Hill in England, until he had his direct experience of God — of the inward teacher — the risen Christ; until then, for nearly 1,500 years (and sometimes even today) this kind of knowing was almost forgotten. It got hidden, locked away really, in church ritual. And for most people hope got postponed, put off to the distant future … till the end of time.
Hope postponed reminds me of our human tendency of putting off until tomorrow what might be better done today. Why? Because moving the very present reality of God close at hand, into the future, into another time … a second coming … could be a way of saving the actual practice of Christianity for later. If we say “Christ is risen” but continue to see this spiritual reality only as a metaphor, something that is not real and certainly not very practical, we may be able to convince ourselves that it’s OK to cut some corners where justice is concerned. We may be able to rationalize slashing budgets for social programs, but continue to spend countless billions on armaments. These are the sort of corners that we might not cut so easily, if we knew, really deeply knew, felt from our own experience, that Christ is risen, eternally present among us. Would knowing this deepen our integrity and compassion?
At Easter we do this every year — we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection — but what, I wonder, does this inner resurrection actually look like? I know myself that I have been slow to understand and receive the guidance
of this Light. I think this is largely because the inner experience can be quite subtle, and because the Light of the inner resurrection shows up in the most ordinary places and times. It shows up in the everyday events of our lives.
Remember how from time to time you’ll have a flash of insight or a wise moment when you perceive some deeper truth, perhaps a truth that once you see it you just know and have always known it to be true?
Or perhaps you are working on a problem and suddenly you see your way forward, you just know how to proceed? These are, I think, gifts … gifts of the spirit to our better selves. But, for so much of my life I misunderstood them to be the product of my own mind. I did not understand the source of that still small voice within — I did not understand just how intimate God is, or what part Spirit plays in our daily lives. I do not think that I often realized just how much help we really receive. This is how it is: the inner resurrection helps us trace the footsteps of God as they wind their way through the ordinary moments of our lives.
The resurrection lets the Truth of God’s Presence shine.
So, it’s Easter and we celebrate the beauty of God’s world. We celebrate the shining Truth of the Resurrection, and we give thanks … for all the help we do receive.
For, He is, indeed, Risen this day.

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends Minutes of April 15, 2012

The meeting opened at 12:30 p.m. with 12 people present.
Clerk Sue Wood opened with a reading from New England Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice: “No Bond But Love and Fellowship” by Rufus Jones (page 122) followed by a period of worship.
1. Clarabel Marstaller reported for Ministry and Counsel. They are working on an Inquirer’s Packet, which should be ready April 22.
2. David Reed reported for Trustees. The windows for the nursery room doors are in and look great. The stove in the meetinghouse kitchen has been serviced and is working now. The pilot lights have all been turned off so there is no propane gas usage except when we are using the stove. The result is that air quality in the meetinghouse is dramatically improved, as well as reducing our use of fuel. People will need to be shown how to light the burners and oven. Please see David for instructions.
3. Susan Rice, Daphne Clement and Wendy Schlotterbeck reported for Peace and Social Concerns (P&SC): a.) Lisbon Area Christian Outreach (LACO): We will have a monthly “shopping list” of the LACO food-
pantry needs that will be available for when friends do their shopping. This April/May we are asking for hearty soups, crackers, brown rice, cereals and cans of fruit. The Meeting will hold a pig-roast benefit dinner for LACO on Sept. 29. There is a spaghetti dinner to benefit LACO on May 19 at the Holy Trinity Church in Lisbon Falls. Friends are being asked to contribute desserts.
b.) There will be a benefit dinner for the Kakamega Orphan Project on Saturday, June 23. It will be a BBQ chicken and strawberry shortcake dinner.
c.) The community garden at the parsonage is coming along very well. David Marstaller has agreed to build a trellis there. P&SC is also planning to have a bench, which we will dedicate in memory of Louis Marstaller. We hope to have this completed by Memorial Day weekend so we can dedicate it after Worship on May 27.
d.) 350.org is calling for a global “Connect the Dots” action on May 5 and May 6, envisioned as a world- wide “action” which calls for a reduction of carbon fuels and for care for our environment. Durham Friends Youth Group and Peace and Social Concerns will be organizing a photo of the Meeting participating in this campaign after worship on May 6. Our environmental action will be to begin planting the community garden on that day, and to plant some fruit trees. We will also encourage carpooling and bicycling to the meeting on May 6, as a first step to further carpooling.
4. It was approved that we should build a commemoration bench using P&SC funds. 5. It was approved that we plant two peach trees and put out a basket to receive contributions to pay for them. 6. Margaret Wentworth reported for the Library Committee. Old periodicals have been recycled. We will save
the boxes for future use. Library Committee would like to hold its meetings on the 5th Sundays.
7. Katharine Hildebrandt brought the Finance Report for March. The total General Fund Income for March was $3,561.89 and the Expenditures were $5,461.94. The year-to-date finances for the General Fund shows that Income for January 1 – March 31 period was $12,881.55 and the Expenses were $17,098.83. This means we are running a $4,217.28 deficit for the first three months of 2012. Her report was accepted with gratitude. 8. Daphne Clement gave her pastor’s report. It has been an active April, especially around Easter time. The
reading group that has been meeting on Wednesdays has been rich. The community garden is proceeding very nicely. Contemplative prayer will be held on Tuesdays in May.
9. Registration has opened for the Friends General Conference Gathering at the University of Rhode Island in Kingston (July 1-7). People planning to go are encouraged to sign up early to get their choice of workshops.
10. Jo-an Jacobus reported for the Website Committee. Wendy Schlotterbeck will be helping on the technical level to get information onto the website. The Committee is very appreciative of this help she is giving.
11. Susan Rice reported that the Ad-Hoc Fundraising Committee is actively meeting. They see that raising consciousness around the operating budget deficit is an important part of raising money to meet that deficit.
12. Quarterly Meeting will be held on April 28 at Portland Friends Meetinghouse. Approved for representatives are Leslie Manning, Clarabel Marstaller and Susan Wood.
Minutes of the meeting were approved during the meeting. The Meeting adjourned at 1:55 p.m. with a period of worship.
By Nancy Marstaller
Fourteen women met at Muriel and Karen Marston’s. Their recent work on the house makes the place just glow.
Margaret Wentworth led the program and devotions on the theme “God Speaks Through Others.” The author of the lesson in our Blueprints quoted Psalm 46: “As the deer panteth for water, so my soul panteth for you, oh God.” We shared how God can speak to us through others or in ways we might not recognize.
We sent many cards: thinking of you, birthday, get well, and thank you. Our treasurer reported a balance of $2,140.94, with $2,000 dedicated to a meetinghouse sound system. The April Tedford meal was chicken and rice, green salad, fruit, brownies and
cheesecake. Angie and her team will provide the May meal.
We are asked to pray for all Friends attending the Friends World Committee for Consultation world conference in Kenya. We planned details of the NE USFW meeting to be held at the meetinghouse on May 12 and the Yard Sale on May 26 (see related articles!). In closing our meeting, we held in prayer all those who could not join us for the evening.
We enjoyed Karen’s fabulous refreshments, the antics of their dog, and each other’s company before heading into the night. Our next meeting will be Monday, May 21, at Nancy’s house, with Angie leading devotions and Dot Hinshaw leading the program. Hope you can come!
Woman’s Society April Meeting Notes
Respectfully submitted, Susan Rice

From Glenice Hutchins:

On April 20 I will be one-third into my radiation treatments. So far I feel well but tire quickly. All your support and prayers have been such a blessing. The healing service sustains me as I lie under the mask. Thanks to all.
Peace, Glenice

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends Minutes of March 18, 2012

The meeting opened at 12:35 p.m. with 19 people present.
Clerk Sue Wood opened with a reading from New Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice: “Sense of Community.” In it, Fox writes, “Friends are not to meet like a company of people about town or parish business…” but to wait on the Lord. George Selleck writes, “It is important that the meeting for business should begin with a genuine period of worship, with an awareness of the real presence and direction of Christ in the worshipping fellowship.”
1.) Clerk Sue Wood read a letter from Tess Hartford requesting tuition assistance for her granddaughter Ariana Andrews for Friends Camp. This request was approved.
2.) A letter was read from Dorothy Grannell of Friends World Conference for Consultation-New England regarding the April “Salt and Light” Conference in Kenya. There will be people from New England attending that conference who would like to visit Monthly Meetings to share their experiences.
It was approved that we extend an invitation to join us on Sunday, May 13, for a potluck and gathering. This will be following the Saturday United Society of Friends Women-New England meeting during which there will be a report from some of these people.
3.) Katharine Hildebrandt brought the Treasurer’s Report both for February and year to date. It was noted that Income for the two months was $9,318.35. But she will need to dip into the General Savings Account to meet the expenses for March. Income for February was $4,128.67 and expenditures were $6,742.92 for the General Fund. Capital expenses for February were $15,066 which completed the purchase of the pellet boiler system; this came out of the Capital Fund.
4.) Wendy Schlotterbeck reported that Ministry and Counsel will be co-sponsoring a Seder Supper with Christian Education on April 5 at 6:00. All are welcomed. Families especially are invited. There will be an Easter sunrise service at the Weed Simpson Cemetery on River Road in Brunswick this year at 6 a.m. A request is being made that people wear their name tags as there is an increase in new people coming to the meeting.
5.) The Meeting approved that Trustees should use the $100 needed to fix the land-line telephone in the Meeting. Trustees remind people not to park under the basketball net, especially now that the weather is good.
6.) Susan Rice reported for Peace and Social Concerns. They were very happy with the workshop on Transitional Communities that Steve Chase and Katy Locke gave and look forward to continuing with some of the ideas and the spirit of the Transitions movement.
Peace and Social Concerns plans to have two fund raising dinners this year: one for Kakamega at the end of June and one for the Lisbon/Auburn Christian Outreach Food Pantry in the autumn. Holding these two dinners for “sharing the wealth” were approved.
7.) Daphne Clement brought the Pastors’ Report. Reading group will be held on Wednesdays in April at 6:30 p.m. (reading the Gospels of Thomas and Mary Magdalene) and Contemplative Prayer gatherings will continue again at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesdays in May.
Daphne is looking forward to the Meeting’s having a community garden by the parsonage. She has great plans for it and looks forward to a large participation by Meeting members and attenders.
It was approved that Markus Schlotterbeck be invited to bring the message on April 22 following his three and a half month visit to Palestine. He will be asked to speak at a pot-luck on that date. We hold Markus in prayer for his safety.
8.) Sally Skillman reported that Special Events Committee is preparing for Easter.
9.) Wendy Schlotterbeck reminds us that that Jonathan Vogel-Borne has resigned as Secretary of New England Yearly Meeting, effective as of the end of December. Wendy is on the search committee for a new Secretary and welcomes ideas and applications for the position.
Minutes of the meeting were approved as the meeting was held. The Meeting adjourned at 1:55 p.m. with a period of worship.
Respectfully submitted, Susan Rice

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

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

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.

From our Pastor, Daphne Clement

“The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.”

John 1:9

“I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business.  Instead I call you friends, for everything that I learn from my Father I make known to you.”

John 15:15

It’s Easter!  The Eternal Christ is revealed anew!  It is not only the mystics and poets who share in this… we all do.  The word ‘eternal’ has more than one meaning: it means both the Light of God that has been with us since the 1st day of creation and ‘eternal’ means a single moment in time that has particular quality … it is a Presence full, Light filled moment.  George Fox & John Woolman share such moments often in their Journals, as do Whittier, Wordsworth and Elizabeth Vining in their poetry.

Light filled eternal moments are available to us all; but sometimes I think that the mystics and poets describe them too well.  So well that when we ordinary folks experience these sweet and simple moments, the heart lifted Light filled moments, we tend to discount them.  Somehow our own moments don’t quite measure up.  Most of us when asked: “So when was your last experience of the Eternal?” … will shake our heads doubtfully … and wonder … wonder if we are valuable enough …

But Easter is here … and though we may have only fleeting glimpses of the resurrection … the Eternal Christ Light within … the love of Jesus that is alive and always with us. When we honor these ‘eternal’ moments and understand them to be our spiritual sustenance .… our ‘soul food’ .… gifts of God … blessings … we will begin to notice them more and more often.

So, let our prayer this season be for that other kind of wonder … a prayer of noticing … Let us gaze, oh God, upon all your creation with wonder … seeing everywhere your Eternal Presence.

Thus, our relationships – with God and with each other – will deepen and grow.  Eternal Presence filled moments awaken us intuitively and emotionally to God and to each other.  They resurrect us.  So, look for and notice with wonder your glimpses (no matter how humble) … for it is by their Light that we are refreshed and made whole.

Minutes Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends

April 17, 2011

 

for every family in every part of the earth, and also for people who are poor and their governments.  Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened on Sunday April 17, 2001 at 12:30 with 12 present. Co-Clerk, Edwin Hinshaw, read from Daily Readings from Quaker Writings Ancient and Modern, an article by James Newby, p. 84, ed. Linda H. Renfer: “We live in a world of mystery;… deeper faith will produce deeper questions…”

 

Dorothy Hinshaw was approved as recording Clerk for the day.

 

1. Margaret Wentworth circulated the Statistical report, prepared by Dorothy DeLoach.  The report was accepted with appreciation, to be forwarded to New England Yearly Meeting of Friends [NEYMF].  It was noted that parents need to request junior membership for their children so that they may be counted in the meeting’s annual statistics.

2. A letter from NEYM Young Adult Friends concerning climate change was received and referred to Peace and Social Concerns Committee.

3. Carried over from March Monthly Meeting, the need for a land telephone line was discussed. The Meeting approved a three year contract with FairPoint Communications for $420 per year which enables unlimited calls to numerous towns in this area, provides 911 emergency service and facilitates in-coming calls.  The towns included in this calling area are Durham, Lisbon, Lisbon Falls, Brunswick, Freeport, Topsham, Bath, Bowdoin, Bowdoinham, Harpswell, Phippsburg, Woolwich and Georgetown.  No long distance calls will be able to be made. Jo-an Jacobus will follow through on this matter.

4. It was reported that a letter of introduction for Markus Schlotterbeck to Philadelphia Yearly Meeting was prepared and given to him by the Co-Clerks.

5. Joseph Godleski for Katharine Hildebrandt, Treasurer, distributed the monthly financial and year-to date reports. They were received with appreciation and are attached.

6. Daphne Clement, Pastor, suggested that we facilitate automatic transfers from a donor’s bank account to the Meeting bank account. It was approved that the Treasurer be asked to arrange for this procedure.

7. A request was received for Ariana Andrews for a campership to Friends Camp. It was approved to provide $250.

8. In response to a letter and photos of Durham Meeting, a letter was received from our sister meeting, Velasco Monthly Meeting, Cuba. This letter was read in Meeting for Worship and Monthly Meeting.

“A thousand thanks for this wonderful Bridge of Love which you share with us Cubans – and more importantly, Quakers – in Velasco.  This session of the yearly meeting has been full of love and that is why I’m writing, to extend that love to you all.  We never forget you and we pray We hope a group of you will be with us this year, if God permits.”

9. Leslie Manning reported for Ministry and Counsel:

a. In response to NEYM’s request that we consider Friends United Meeting’s personnel policy, Durham Ministry Counsel reports: “Prior to 1988, Friends United Meeting did not have a Sexual Ethics portion of their personnel process. After prayer, discussion and discernment, we recommend that it be replaced with the following:

Recruitment.

Application with references.

Applicant asks for a Clearness Committee from Monthly Meeting where membership is held, which provides a letter of recommendation to Yearly meeting, if approved.

Yearly Meeting (or its interim body) provides a letter of recommendation, if approved.

Friends United Meeting makes final decision in conjunction with applicant.”

The above was approved in principle to be forwarded to NEYMF for further consideration and to QM for their information. Monthly Meeting recommended that the above policy change be set in context of the FUM policy.

b. Friends General Conference Gathering of Friends will be held at Grinnell College, Iowa, July 3-9, 2011. “Yes to the Joy of Love,” Friends General Conference’s 2010 annual report, was circulated.

c. Special mugs will be used to identify members of Ministry and Counsel at “coffee” hour to facilitate inquiries about Friends and Durham Meeting.

10. Peace and Social Concerns Committee reported on the concern from Friends Committee on National Legislation about the fact that 39 cents of every tax dollar goes to war and militarization.  The Committee’s major effort will be devoted to supporting Lisbon Area Christian Outreach.  Monthly Meeting approved selling tickets to LACO events held at Durham Friends meetinghouse and other local churches.

11. The All Maine Gathering and Falmouth Quarterly Meeting will be held at Friends Camp on April 30, 2011. Representatives approved are Clarabel Marstaller, Daphne Clement, Alexandrine and Joseph Godleski.

12. Daphne Clement, Pastor, reported attending the spring gathering of New England United Society of Friends Women, NEYMF and New York Yearly Meeting of Friends Ministers and Clerks conference, on local pastoral visits, and meeting with Young Friends at “Aunt Bee” Bernice Douglas’ home. She also volunteers at LACO and attends LACO Board Meetings.

13. Clarabel Marstaller reported for the Adult Sunday School Class on a discussion of the Yearly Meeting “Minute of Sending Forth.” The class concluded that the minute was too abstract, that the four priorities were something we can take hold of and work on: the call to forgiveness; the call to strengthen our ability to love and to build our community; the call to name, cultivate, and exercise gifts of ministry, eldership, and leadership; and the call to undertake clear leadings for witness. The following was also suggested by the Class for NEYM consideration:

The call to work together as a Society to become better able to serve the world and to be faithful to the Gospel of love and peace.

 

Since we are non-creedal and we come from so many different faith backgrounds, we might try to learn more about our Quaker faith, suggesting that for the year ahead each Meeting have a study of George Fox’s Journal and of one of the Gospels.

The Adult Sunday School class will be considering Bill Taber’s pamphlet, Four Doors to Worship in May.  Meeting members are encouraged to attend.

The meeting closed with prayer, keeping in mind controversial issues and concerns facing our Meeting and the Society of Friends.

Dorothy Hinshaw, Recording Clerk, pro tem