Christmas Gift Bags

By Angie Reed

Please bring in notepads, pens, pencils, calendars, hygiene items, various small gift items and candies to help the Woman’s Society fill its Christmas Gift Bags. This will help continue the tradition of providing a package stuffed with goodies to people in our meeting community who are unable to share in the holiday festivities at the Meetinghouse. If you have someone in mind that may benefit from a bag, please let a Woman’s Society member know and we will try to honor the request. Donations for the bags will be accepted from now until Sunday, December 15. Thank you for your help!

Mitten Tree

By Angie Reed

Please bring in any homemade or purchased mittens, hats and scarves and pin them to the Christmas Tree Banner in the vestry of the Meetinghouse. After the Woman’s Society’s December meeting the gathered items will be donated to local groups whose clients are in need. Donations will be accepted from now until December 15. Let’s warm those fingers and ears!

Woman’s Society May 21 Meeting Report

By Angie Reed
Ten women met on May 21, 2012, at Nancy Marstaller’s house for this month’s meeting. The Devotions
and Program were presented by Angie Reed. This month’s topic was “Waiting for God’s Leading.”
A report was given on the luncheon and program put on by the United Society of Friends Women –
International. Prayers were requested for the African Ministry Office, which includes Eden Grace, John
Munhanji, Judith Ngoya, and for Belize Friend’s School. The Tedford Meal for this month was a Chicken
Cheesy Casserole, Meatballs, Tomato Sauce and Italian bread, a green salad and dessert items. Plans were
made for refreshments for the Celebration service of Macy Whitehead’s life, and for the final set up for this
week’s yard sale. A suggestion was made to avoid planning the Yard Sale during Memorial Day Weekend in
future years due to the limited volunteer support this year. Money was put aside for this coming year’s adult and
youth reading program. Angie Reed and Dorothy Curtis were appointed to this year’s nominating committee. A
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meeting schedule was passed around for women to begin to sign up for next year’s Woman’s Society Programs,
the year of September 2012-September 2013. Plans were made to have our annual eat-out the week of August
20 at the Fairground Cafe. Further details will be in upcoming newsletters.
Our next meeting will be on June 18 at 7 p.m. The location will be announced.

Woman’s Society Meeting June 18, 2012

By Angie Reed
Fourteen women met at Linda Muller’s home for this month’s meeting. Devotions and the program were led
by Jo-an Jacobus, who read Psalm 47 and presented a program on “Stillness in the 21st Century.” She discussed
how difficult it is to find stillness in this world where we are bombarded with visual, auditory, and internal
stimuli, and gave us examples on ways to achieve stillness and examples where the program’s writer and Jo-an
had found this. After a moment of silence, attendees also discussed how centering into silence affects them.
In business, it is estimated that $1,600 was raised at this year’s Yard Sale. Our treasurer, Margaret
Wentworth was unable to attend this meeting, so accurate accounts will be available next month. We discussed
how to spend this money, including plans to continue to support the “Adopt-A-Nurse Program.” We also
discussed supporting Eden Grace for her ministry as it is severely lacking funding at this time. Prayers were
also requested for Eden Grace. It was also discussed that we need to continue to pray for our fellow Woman’s
Society Members, especially Bee Douglas, Edie Whitehead and Muriel Marston (among others… I apologize if
I’ve forgotten anyone). We discussed how the Yard Sale went this year and tabled additional discussion to
another month. A suggestion was made to change the way we do our Christmas Gift Box ministry and it was
decided to use Christmas Stockings instead of shoe-boxes this year. It was suggested that we change the type of
items in the boxes to be more practical and also gift-wrap each individual item. A committee of two (so far)
was set up to shop for these boxes throughout the year. If anyone in the greater Meeting has any thoughts on
this Christmas Box ministry or has been a recipient of one and would like to give us feedback on their
experience, it would be helpful to assist us to make changes as appropriate to this Meeting Community.
The Tedford Meal for June was Sliced Ham and Turkey, Potato Salad, a Big Green Salad, and various
We made plans for the refreshments before the upcoming Memorial Service for Stuart Muench and the
serving of refreshments after the service. The Woman’s Society hopes that their offerings of help have been
comforting during times like these.
The Woman’s Society Annual Eat Out will be Monday, Aug. 20, at 6 p.m. at the Fair Ground Café in
Topsham Fair Mall. All are invited; please join us!
Dorothy Curtis ended the meeting with a poem from her favorite cookbook. We then enjoyed refreshments
of rhubarb cake, cookies, and watermelon provided with grace by Linda Muller. Our next meeting will be July
16 at 7 p.m. See you all there!

Woman’s Society April Meeting Notes

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!

Reminder: We need Plants for the Woman’s Society Yard Sale!

We have a loyal following at our plant sale section, so please, if you are dividing/growing plants and have extra, consider donating them to the yard sale. We have pots available in the entryway and the horse shed and could use extras if you have pots to donate. Just leave them with the others. Wayne Hollingworth has brought soil if anyone needs extra to pot up their plants. It’s in the horse shed too.
The sale will be on May 26 this year, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. We ask that you bring plants no earlier than May 20, and you may bring them up to the morning of the sale. Please label with type, color if you know it, and any special growing considerations (shade, sun, vigorous spreader, etc.).
Thanks for all your past support. If you have questions, see Nancy Marstaller.

Woman’s Society March 19 Meeting

By Angie Reed
On March 19, 17 women and one young woman met at the Meeting House for this month’s meeting. Kitsie Hildebrandt opened the meeting, asking for Devotions to begin. Devotions were given by Dotty DeLoach, who led us in singing “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.” Angie Reed led the program using the reading program book “Praying in Color.” All who attended had the opportunity to create a personal “praying in color” and share in a group coloring activity.
The Annual Treasurer’s Report for 2011 was presented by Margaret Wentworth. This past year the Woman’s Society raised $3,689.21 and gave away $3,300.06 to many worthy causes — including the “Adopt a Nurse” Program.
The remainder was spent on group expenses, including our annual national dues and books for the Adult and Young Friends reading programs.
Prayers were asked for the Friends Theological College Program, which, in addition to other services, provides ministry to the Kakuma Refugee Camp. This Camp serves more than 90,000 refugees who have been forcibly displaced from countries in East Africa because of war.
The Tedford meal for March was salad, sloppy joes, lasagna, a casserole, buns and chocolate chip cookie bars.
A date was set for the yard sale: It will be on the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend. Items can be donated NO EARLIER THAN MAY 13. Concern was expressed by members about the difficulty cleaning up at the end of the yard sale. This is because of large items that have been donated, despite our annual request that no items larger than a microwave be donated.
Various ideas were discussed about how to make this policy more clear to people who donate items to the yard sale. This yard sale is primarily organized and run by the female members of the Meeting who have difficulty handling large items. Often, Woman’s Society gets charged a disposal fee to get rid of large items, which decreases revenue raised by this yard sale.
If people who have donations have any questions or concerns about this, please see a Woman’s Society Member.
At the end of the business meeting all gathered to enjoy the refreshments provided by Theresa Oleksiw and Abby Fortune.
To end the meeting Kitsie read a Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem. The next meeting will be on April 16 at 7 p.m. All are welcome to attend.

Plants for the Woman’s Society Yard Sale

Wow, what an early spring we are having! If you are dividing/growing plants and have extra, please consider donating them to the yard sale. We have pots available in the horse-shed. This year’s sale will be on Saturday, May 26, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. We ask that you bring plants no earlier than May 20, and you may bring them up to the morning of the sale. Please label with type, color if you know it, and any special growing considerations (shade, sun, vigorous spreader, etc.). Thanks for all your past support. If you have questions, see Nancy Marstaller.

Spring Gathering of New England USFW

By Dorothy Grannell, of Portland Meeting and USFW-NE
The Spring Gathering of United Society of Friends Women – New England is being held at Durham Friends Meetinghouse on Saturday, May 12.
The schedule is:  10 a.m. Welcome  10:15 a.m. Worship  11 a.m. Program (Several women who
have returned from the 6th World Conference of Friends at Nakuru, Kenya, will speak.)
 12 p.m. Business meeting, including: Plans for gathering at NEYM Sessions and fall gathering; previous minutes and other items from officers of USFW; decide on special appeal for next newsletter; news from Cuba and other women’s groups in New England.
 12:30 p.m. Lunch
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 1:30 p.m. Program continues  3 p.m. Closing
All are welcome!

Yard Sale!

By Angie Reed
The Woman’s Society annual yard sale is right around the corner. The date this year is Saturday, May 26. As usual, it runs from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. It is a major event in the calendar of the Meeting and Woman’s Society. It takes the whole meeting to pitch in and work together to make this event the success it always is. A signup sheet for volunteers will be hung closer to the date.
Donations will be gratefully accepted beginning Sunday, May 13. We have a large gathering at the Meetinghouse on Saturday, May 12, and there just won’t be room for donations until Sunday.
It is now time to think about clearing out those knick-knacks that have been stored away … or, perhaps, still usable items from the children’s array of playthings, or from the utensil drawer of the kitchen. Books and other media are welcome.
Your imagination has no bounds, with one
exception: We cannot stress enough, please do not donate things that are not smaller than a small microwave. This year we are putting out the word more than ever before. This means, among other things, no furniture. We cannot take microwaves either. Most, if not all, of them are still on the table at the end of the day. This policy and notice have been made stronger because large items have been donated despite our annual request.
This yard sale is primarily organized and run by the female members of the Meeting who have difficulty handling large items. Often, Women’s Society gets charged a disposal fee to get rid of large items which decreases revenue raised by this yard sale.
If people with donations have any questions or concerns about this, please see a Woman’s Society Member.

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.

2011 Annual Woman’s Society Yard Sale

Jo-an Jacobus

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

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

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

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

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.

Yard Sale 2011 in May 28

By Angie Reed

The Annual Woman’s Society Yard Sale will be Saturday, May 28, 8-1. This is Memorial Day weekend, and please plan to share some time with us that weekend. Remember, please save your “yard sale” items to donate.  They can be dropped off at the meetinghouse no earlier than Sunday, May15. Plants can be dropped off up to the morning of the sale. Plant pots are available in the vestry and horse shed. Unsold donated items larger than a small microwave are the responsibility of the donor and must be removed if unsold. Volunteer sign-up sheets are up.  Sorting and pricing will take place during the week before (see sign up sheet for times). Sign up now for your favorite volunteer spots.

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.

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.

Easter Pie Sale

By Angie Reed
Orders are currently being taken for pies of all types to be distributed Easter Sunday morning. Pies will be sold for a suggested donation of $15.00. To order please contact Theresa Oleksiw at either 449-0700, or 865- 6495. Types of pies available for order include Pecan, Apple-berry, Chocolate Cream, Banana Cream, or Blueberry. Other types of pie may be available upon request. This is a Woman’s Society fundraiser, with a portion of these funds earmarked for the Adopt-a-Nurse program.

Woman’s Society Silent Auction

By Angie Reed
On Monday, March 21st there will be a Silent Auction at the Meeting House at 6:30PM
before the start of our Woman’s Society Meeting at 7;00 PM. Please contribute home
baked goodies, fudge, your gently used items, and hand made items for our silent auction. We would like items to be available for a preview on Sunday, March 20. Early bids accepted at that time.
Because of the concert Young Friends are hosting on Saturday night, we ask that you do
not bring your items earlier than Sunday. If this is inconvenient, please see a Woman’s Society Member so storage arrangements can be made.
A portion of these funds goes to the Adopt-a- Nurse program.