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.

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.

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.

Woman’s Society Report for April

By Margaret Wentworth

The Durham Friends Woman’s Society met on April 18 at Clarabel Marstaller’s home.  Ten women attended.  Bee Douglas led devotions, emphasizing the many ways she has felt cared for by her family and f/Friends.  Theresa Oleksiw gave the program on care of the elderly.  Her presentation of the Blueprints information led to much sharing among the group.

In business, we were asked to pray for Ann Riggs, Principal of Friends Theological College, and her excellent work in Kenya.  We had no report on the April Tedford meal.  Team F has the May meal.  Five Easter pies were ordered.  Their baking and delivery to meeting was coordinated.  The Yard Sale is set for Saturday, May 28.  The plans for advertising were discussed.  We noted that the box of toiletries for Japan is filling nicely.  Jo-an Jacobus presented information about the Durham Friends Meeting website and we clarified contact information to be used on the site for our group.  We appreciate the good work Markus Schlotterbeck and the website committee have done in setting it up, and are grateful for Jo-an’s willingness to keep it up to date.

Six women from our Meeting attended and enjoyed the USFW NE Spring Gathering in Portland.  USFWI has asked if New England could host the 2016 Triennial.  After discussing the information laid out in the Handbook on hosting those events, as the only organized Woman’s Society in New England, we decided we are not ready to attempt the task.  The 2011-2012 Blueprints have arrived and are available from Margaret for $5 each.  Our next meeting will be May 16 at the home of Nancy Marstaller.  Theresa will lead devotions and Sarah Sprogell will lead the program.

Dorothy closed the meeting with some wildly hilarious quotes from church bulletins, and we adjourned to feast on Clarabel’s delicious goodies.

State of the Society, 2010

Prepared by Ministry and Counsel, approved at Monthly Meeting
March 20,2011

“Let us cherish the seed of God in ourselves and in others, that we may be open to new revelations of truth. Let us look to our meetings to guide and stimulate our spiritual growth.” Advices on Spiritual Life, F and P, NEYM, 1985

How have we been open to truth and how has our meeting guided and stimulated us? At the end of the first decade of the twenty-first century after the birth of Jesus, what do we offer to our families, our community and our world that speaks to “that of God” in each of us?

Our spiritual community has been deeply enriched by the work and messages from our interim pastor, Andrew Grannell. Our Pastoral Search Committee worked diligently and deliberately to call the best qualified Friend to our midst, Daphne Clement. Our Youth Minister and her able assistants provide a rich array of resources and opportunities to our beloved youth. They made a field trip to Philadelphia, worshipped with our Shaker neighbors and visited the Heifer Project. Attendance at Sunday School, Youth Passages and adult religious education has been consistent and strong.

The Woman’s Society has been active, raising more money in their annual yard sale than ever, and thus has more to give away. Our worship time is enlivened by the gifts of music, ministry and silent waiting. We offered Quaker Quest to our neighbors to let them know that they are welcome among Friends.

We have been ably led by our co-clerks, and the faithful stewards of all our gifts, spiritual, financial and material. We have completed extensive work on our buildings, making them more energy efficient, welcoming and as well ordered as resources allowed. We welcomed new attenders and mourned the passing of several of our members who were inspiring in their lives of grace and faithfulness. We grow older and bolder, but take time to offer each other fellowship and support in times of illness and duress. We know the power of love and tenderness and have heard repeatedly the calls to forgiveness.

We need to take the love and concern we experience in our meeting and pour it out in the rest of our lives. We have benefited from the ministry of traveling Friends, from our deepening connections with our Quarter through Quaker Quest. We are distressed to find ourselves without unity in matters that speak directly to our testimonies and pray that unity with all Friends, everywhere, may be found. We rejoice in our connections to Kakamega, Cuba, Kaimosi and Ramallah. We wish to offer more to the needy in our own neighborhoods, to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless and clothe those in need. We pray for peace.

We have found comfort in the metaphor of the potluck. Each of us brings what we are able, and we gather joyfully to share the bounty. It does not matter if we have little or nothing to bring, there is always enough. And being with each other, in light and laughter while giving thanks, is our deepest blessing. We are grateful.

Woman’s Society Report for March

By Angie Reed

The Woman’s Society met on March 21 at the Meeting House.  Twelve individuals gathered a few minutes early on that snowy night for a Silent Auction, and meeting.  Angie Reed presented the Devotions on letting God’s plan for you reveal itself over time and read a story about a Salt Doll and the Sea.  Nancy Marstaller presented the program from Blueprints and discussed how we can learn to forgive others and, with more difficulty, ourselves.  Those who attended shared experiences related to both topics.

In Business, prayers were asked for Libya, Japan and for Getry Agizah who is coordinator of Friends Peace Teams in Kenya and is currently traveling in the US.  The Tedford Meal for March was chicken and gravy, squash, rice, a veggie or salad dish, garlic bread and a desert.  We approved a request from a member to gather toiletry items for Japan.  We discussed the need for more juice glasses for the Meeting House.  The date of May 28th was set for the Yard Sale.  Kitsie ended the meeting with inspirational kitchen quotes.  Phyllis Wetherell prepared gingerbread and other goodies. The next meeting will be on April 18 at Clarabel Marstaller’s home. All are welcome to attend.

Please do not t forget to order your pies!

Woman’s Society Report for February

By Angie Reed
The Durham Friends Woman’s Society met on February 21 at the home of Dorothy
Curtis. Twelve women attended. Theresa Oleksiw did a devotional reading. Susan Wood
presented the program. The topic was answering the call to do a new thing in life, and many of us shared times in our lives when that has happened.

In other business, we were asked to pray for Sylvia Graves who has just retired as the
General Secretary of FUM and for Colin Saxton who has just started in this position. The
Tedford meal for February was Beef Stew, Minestrone Soup, a green salad, rolls and apple
berry soup. Funds were allocated for the “Adopt a Nurse” program, and plans were approved for fundraisers for this and other programs supported by Woman’s Society. The annual Treasurer’s report, prepared by Margaret Wentworth, was distributed. Woman’s society received $6980.18 and distributed $5017.50.

The majority of funds were acquired through memorial donations, and the annual yard sale.
Money, $2000.00, is in reserve for the new Meeting Room sound system.
A silent auction will be held at the Meeting House at our next meeting on March 21. We will also be conducting an Easter Sunday Pie Sale. Please see separate article for details. Many of these funds will be earmarked for the Adopt-a-nurse program. Angie Reed requested and received support from Woman’s Society for our first intergenerational book discussion to be held on May 22. Please see related newsletter article. Kitsie Hildebrandt closed the meeting with a quote on peace. Our next meeting will be on March 21 at the Meeting House. All invited to attend.