Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, August 16, 2020

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends virtually convened via Zoom for the conduct of business on Sunday, July 19, 2020, with 14 people present. Martha Sheldon shared a quote from Howard Thurman: “There is something in every one of you that wants and listens for the sound of the genuine in yourself.  It is the only true guide you will ever have.”

1. The July minutes were approved with one correction: the title of Angie Thomas’s book should read, The Hate U Give in minute no. 6.

2. Sarah Sprogell reported that the Clearness Committee for Ingrid Chalufour’s request for membership felt united in recommending approval of her request.

3. We enthusiastically approved the membership of Ingrid Chalufour and welcomed her as an official member of Durham Friends Meeting.

4. Sarah Sprogell reported for Falmouth Quarterly Meeting which met on July 25, 2020. “Sixteen Friends met by Zoom to share and reflect on experiences of caring for our communities during this time of pandemic restrictions. We found the spirit moving among us as we listened and joined in worship sharing, as each monthly meeting spoke to its condition. We intend to meet again on October 24 for business and a review of our budget. 

             “As a follow-up, a small group of Friends agreed to serve on a Care Committee for Windham Meeting, and will convene on August 18 to begin listening and discerning with Windham Friends regarding their concerns for their future as their numbers grow smaller.”

              We are asked to hold Windham Friends Meeting members in prayer as they consider the future of the meeting.

5.  Sarah Sprogell, auditor, reported that the audit for 2019 is complete, and that significant financial events for the meeting in 2019 were: the receipt of a bequest of approximately $32,000 from the estate of long-time member Janet Douglas (ten percent of the bequest was placed in our Charity Account and the balance was placed in our Capital Account); completed the management and final distribution of funds to support the Greene family, which we carried out on behalf of New England Yearly Meeting; and we received reimbursement for reserve funds that had been approved to help renovate a member’s condo in preparation for its sale.

            In June we transferred our Charity, Capital and Bernice Douglas Funds from savings type accounts to money market accounts which earn more interest and have check-writing capabilities. We also moved the Woodbury Fund and our operational reserve account to two 18-month CD accounts at a promotional interest rate. In October the meeting approved transferring the balances from the Cox and Bailey Funds into the Charity Account; both of these funds were unrestricted and had been unused for a number of years.

            A new hot water heater was purchased for the parsonage in December.

            An audit of the operating records shows that this information, as well as bank statements and related documentation, continue to be well-documented, organized and readily accessible for review.

            Many thanks go to our treasurer who does an excellent job of managing our financial responsibilities and accounts, a knowledgeable and faithful steward of the meetings finances.

We expressed appreciation for Sarah as auditor.

6. Christian Education/Youth Minister: Wendy Schlotterbeck reported that the committee did not meet in August. Wendy participated in the Religious Education discussion at NEYM on August 8 and two sessions of the global Quaker Religious Education Collaborative this past weekend (Aug. 14-16) with participants from three continents. It was especially rich to hear from Friends in Bolivia, El Salvador and Kenya.

            Wendy will be contacting families to offer various possibilities for connections and spiritual formation for Durham Friends children and youth in the coming year.

            Our Durham Friends Game Night August 15 was attended by four valiant Friends and they had a lot of fun. They may offer the Trivia Game at our picnic on August 29. More questions can be submitted for this event!

7. Peace and Social Concerns: Ingrid Chalufour sent a report from the committee. A 5 ´ 3 foot Black Lives Matter banner has been ordered to hang between posts on the horse shed. If you have experience hanging banners and are willing to help, please let Ingrid know.

            The Bangor Daily News was the only paper to publish our letter-to-the-editor and they removed the Durham Meeting signature and replaced it with Ingrid’s name. Next time the committee will embed the Meeting name in the text.

            They hope that you are all picking out readings on racism and planning to participate in their upcoming discussion series. Topics, dates, and times for the Zoom discussions will be in the next [i.e. this] newsletter.

            If you have additional ideas on how we might respond to the “peace & social concerns” of the day, please let them know.

            Wendy Schlotterbeck announced that she has racial justice posters available for use.

8.  Trustees: Donna Hutchins sent a report.  The flooring in the back hall was replaced and the flooring in the front entry was refinished in the meetinghouse. A door was replaced, and posts and doors were painted on the horse shed. They removed pillars and a dead tree at entrance of the cemetery. They are moving a sand pile to the green burial area to make a separate parking area, and designing a new fence.  We expressed our appreciation for Donna’s thoughtful work as trustee.

9. We were sad to hear that Andrew Higgins, who does our plowing and mowing, has had a serious accident which crushed and injured his legs. He has had 10 surgeries, and three weeks in the hospital, and all this alone due to the COVID restrictions. He awaits skin graft surgeries. Friends of his family have set up a “Go Fund Me” page for him, with a goal of raising $20,000 to help cover medical bills and other costs associated with the accident. The meeting was asked to make a contribution to the family of $500 to $1,000 from the Charity Fund. The suggestion will be referred to Trustees for consideration, with a recommendation coming back to Meeting for Business in September. 

            An unusual ending to our meeting occurred when all wished Edwin Hinshaw a happy 86th birthday. 

                                                                                    Dorothy Hinshaw, Recording Clerk 

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, July 19, 2020

            Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened for the conduct of business on Sunday, July 19, 2020, with 19 people present.  Clerk, Martha Hinshaw Sheldon, opened the meeting by quoting the late John Lewis, member of the United States House of Representatives, and civil-rights leader: “Do not get lost in a sea of despair.  Be hopeful, be optimistic.  Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime.  Never, ever be afraid to make some noise. Necessary noise.”

1. The June minutes were approved.

2. Representatives to Falmouth Quarterly Meeting, which meets July 25 at 10:00 a.m., Joyce Gibson and Sarah Sprogell, were approved.

3. We were saddened to learn of the death of Susan (Sukie) Rice who had been ill for some time.  Liana Knight-Thompson, Sarah Sprogell, and Tess Hartford volunteered to write a memorial minute.

4. Trustees:  Donna Hutchins sent a report.  They have an estimate for the cost of repointing the meetinghouse bricks, and we asked that they obtain a second estimate for comparison.  The kitchen has been painted. Window sills have been scraped and painted. Other plans are to refinish the front entry floor and paint the walls; refinish or replace the back hall floor and paint the walls; and paint the horse shed doors and posts. Andy Higgins will be asked to remove some trees too close to buildings, remove dead tree at the parsonage, move sand in Lunt Cemetery to make a parking lot for the green burial area, and fix damage in Lunt Cemetery.

            We discussed the usefulness of the phone land line in the meetinghouse in the era of cell phones.  Kristna Evans will consult with Katharine (Kitsie) Hildebrandt regarding alternates for a phone connection in the meetinghouse. 

5. We approved that KItsie and Kristna will follow up and use their discretion in changing to a less costly phone connection.

6. Peace and Social Concerns Committee: Ingrid Chalufour reported that the committee is planning a forum designed to deepen our understanding of the presence of racism in ourselves and our communities. Using readings as a stimulus for conversation, The committee is planning a series of discussions, each with a different focus. There will be more information about this project in the newsletter and again mid-August. The newsletter will have a list of recommended books and articles. In August they will give dates and topics for the discussions, which will begin in September. They hope many will participate in this important exploration.

            The committee has also written a Letter to the Editor for local papers.  They ask our permission to submit it to Portland, Lewiston, Bangor, and Brunswick newspapers. The letter is as follows:

            “Recent events have shed new light on the many ways racism is embedded in our society. While whites benefit from opportunities; people of color find hurdles, doors closed, and all kinds of barriers. Racism exists in health care, education, housing, policing, and voting rights.

            We recognize that our silence makes us complicit with injustice and violence. To quote Martin Luther King Jr. Nov. 17, 1957 The Trumpet of Conscience, “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends.” We Quakers are called to better understand our complicity and to end it. We ask ourselves how we have supported racism in our communities, our state, and our country. To find the answers we must listen and learn about the experiences of others – people of color, the poor, the incarcerated, and the Native population of our state. Only with new understanding can we effect the changes we are called to make.

            Let us open our hearts and minds to the tragic effects of systemic racism, the loss of generations of black and brown leaders to unjust incarceration and the intractable poverty of the caste system we have allowed to flourish. Let’s let the protestors into our offices and boardrooms, to tell us of their hopes. Attend city/town council meetings to encourage thoughtful responses to the calls for a more just society. With new clarity we can legislate and live our ideals of justice and freedom for ALL Americans.”

            The committee also discussed posting a Black Lives Matter sign at the meetinghouse.

7. We approved sending the above letter to various newspapers, signed by the clerk representing Durham Friends Meeting.

8. We approved posting a Black Lives Matter ready-made sign at the meetinghouse.  Margaret Wentworth suggested that we read The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas.

9.  Meeting Care Coordinator Search Committee:  A positive and interesting all-meeting virtual interview with Mey Hasbrook was held on July 5.  Mey is a Quaker from Kalamazoo, Michigan.

            The committee would like to amend the Meeting Care Coordinator job description to include oversight by a three-person committee.  Martha Sheldon, Leslie Manning, and Wendy Schlotterbeck volunteered to serve.  To further describe the tasks of the MCC, they will meet with the Communications Committee, Ministry and Counsel, the Clerks group, and others as time allows.

            The Treasurer, Katharine Hildebrandt, suggested that the Care Coordinator salary be $10,200 per year.

10. The meeting approved the amendment to the job description, a three person oversight committee consisting of Martha Sheldon, Leslie Manning, and Wendy Schlotterbeck. 

11.  The meeting approved hiring Mey Hasbrook as Meeting Care Coordinator, to begin as soon as practical arrangements can be made, with a salary of $10,200 per year.

12. Finance Committee:  Sarah Sprogell presented the quarterly financial report which is attached.  She reported a total income of $27,696.58, and the total expenses of $17,902. 77 as of June 31, 2020. Our weekly contributions are lower than usual, but we have done well in limiting committee expenses, and there haven’t been any large expenses for the meetinghouse and parsonage.

            We spent almost $10,000 from the capital account for improvements in both the meetinghouse and the parsonage; this doesn’t show up in our operating budget. There is a new water heater at the parsonage, a number of plumbing improvements for the meetinghouse kitchen sinks, replaced the water filter system, and painted the meeting room, kitchen, and exterior windows.

13.  Ministry and Counsel: Doug Bennett presented a report regarding our method of worshiping as a group.

            “Since March 22, Durham Friends Meeting has been conducting worship via Zoom rather than in our Meetinghouse.  We have been gratified to see good participation in Meeting during these months of physical isolation from one another. 

            We know that there are some members of the Meeting who are eager to have us return to the Meetinghouse to worship together.  At the same time, we know there are many among us for whom catching the virus could be life threatening — a risk not worth running. 

            For the foreseeable future we believe the Meeting should continue to worship primarily via Zoom. 

            At the same time, we have started experimenting with a hybrid form of worship in which we will worship via Zoom and some people will worship in the Meetinghouse using electronic devices to connect to Zoom. 

            As we move forward, we will let you know when it is possible for some to return to worship in the Meetinghouse and what you should do if and when you do come to the Meetinghouse.  Everyone who comes to the Meetinghouse will be asked to wear masks and maintain safe social distance from one another.  There will continue to be no shared refreshments. 

            We are likely to continue holding worship primarily via Zoom until a vaccine or proven anti-viral medicines are developed.  All future decisions and formats are dependent on CDC recommendations. 

            Finding ways to worship together and at the same time ensuring the safety of all of our members continue to be our two guiding stars.  We appreciate the assistance New England Yearly Meeting and others have given us as we learn the possibilities and potential pitfalls of such hybrid worship.” 

13.  We approved this plan for the for-seeable future, and thank Ministry and Counsel for their thoughtful consideration of meeting attendance.

14.  Martha Sheldon reported that Leslie Manning, Clerk of the Permanent Board, requests that the meetinghouse be used to view New England Yearly Meeting annual sessions, August 1-9.  Appropriate precautions are required.  Leslie will host many of these sessions..

15. We approved the use of the meetinghouse for viewing NEYM sessions.

16.  Christian Education Committee: Wendy Schlotterbeck, Youth Minister, reported that 9 persons enjoyed the Cox Pinnacle hike last Sunday, July 12th.  She announced a game night on August 15, at 6:30 via Zoom.  Please send her trivia questions. She also reminded us to register for New England Yearly Meeting. Wendy has reported that she is cutting back her hours while the pandemic is ongoing to five hours a week due to the lack of activity, to be reconsidered when social distancing is no longer necessary.

17. Clerk Martha Sheldon reminded us that the Durham Meeting Handbook needs to be updated.  Committees are encouraged and requested to update their sections.  It was suggested that the Clerks Committee tackle this project.  A friendly discussion ensued regarding our need for more Quaker faith and practice education.  Resources were suggested.

            The meeting ended with a short prayer from Clerk, Martha Sheldon.

Dorothy Hinshaw Recording Clerk

Phyllis May Curtis White Wetherell, Memorial Minute, June 21, 2020

Phyllis Wetherell was born in 1936 in Portland, Maine, the first child of John and Mary Curtis.  She grew up in Durham Friends Meeting and remained a member here all her life – one of our many beloved members of the family Curtis.  With many friends in both communities, she oscillated between Durham, Maine and Richmond, Indiana all her life. 

Phyllis May Curtis White Wetherell Obituary

After her first husband, Ira Donald White, and her daughter, Lisa, passed away, she married David Wetherell, the pastor of Durham Friends.  They moved to Richmond, Indiana so that David could attend the Earlham School of Religion.  After David graduated, they moved to Bar Harbor where Phyllis and David helped start Acadia Friends Meeting.  About a decade later they moved back to Richmond, Indiana.

Phyllis became receptionist/secretary at the Earlham School of Religion, a position she held for fifteen years, from 1985 to 2000.  Hers was the first face that prospective students, faculty, and staff encountered.  She welcomed them and treated them graciously and with a kindness that came from her heart.  Phyllis always believed she had “the best seat in the house” at the front desk at ESR.  She wrote,

“What an education to listen to people wrestling out loud about their beliefs or lack of beliefs, to see the profound impact a feisty professor has on someone who finally sees and feels the Light, to watch as a programmed Quaker meets head on an unprogrammed Quaker, when neither one knows anything of the other’s practices. Do you know how exciting it is to listen to folk trying to sort out their beliefs and try and figure out where those beliefs will lead them?”

David passed away in 1990.  When Phyllis retired from ESR she came again to live among us in Maine, and then returned to Friends Fellowship in Richmond, Indiana in 2013 for the last seven years of her life.  We were always glad to see her when she came back to Durham Friends.

A bright presence in all places and seasons, Phyllis will be deeply missed by all who knew her.  She is survived by her children Susan (Dale), Linda (Rick), and David John (Jennifer); her sister Charlotte, brother Johnny (Mildred), and stepdaughter Lynne. Her grandchildren that will carry on all she taught them: Hickory (Trisha), Ryder (Amanda), Rossy, Marjorie, Korey, Brandon (Jenna), Ashton (Wyatt), Nate and Genesee. So, too, her great-grandchildren:  Jack, Mason, Max, Samuel, Lumen, and (due in July), Sawyer. Those already passed on include her parents John and Mary Curtis, brother David, daughter Lisa, and the two loves of her life, husbands Donny and David.

Phyllis passed from this life, in Richmond, on April 25, 2020. 

Edie Whitehead, Memorial Minute, June 21, 2020

Edith Marie Whitehead, 1923-2020

Edith Mary Whitehead May 22,1923 – April 18, 2020
Edie Whitehead died from natural causes, Saturday, April 18, 2020, at Horizons Living and Rehab Center, just a month before her 97th birthday.

Edie Mary Lamb was born on May 22, 1923, in Dublin, Ireland, the youngest of three children. After training as a physical therapist, she came to the United States to care for a cousin. She met Macy Whitehead in Phippsburg through a mutual friend, Albert Bailey, and they were married on April 22, 1952 in the “manner of Friends” at the Quaker meeting in Westtown, in West Chester, Pa. They shared a commitment to each other, family and community for 60 wonderful years; raising four children and numerous dogs, cats and horses. Throughout their lives, they stayed rooted to the simple things.

Her husband’s various positions, as an ordained minister, took them to South Portland (1955-60), Eagle Butte, South Dakota, (1960-73) and Kent, Connecticut, (1973-78). From Connecticut, they moved to New York while Macy earned a pastoral counseling degree, and Edie supported her family by working in a hospital. In 1982 they moved to Bath, Maine.

Edie was an avid quilter and member of Kaleidoscope Quilt Guild in West Bath for many years. She and Macy started attending Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends after they moved to Maine and after several years among us, became a member in 2000. She was active in USFW and in the Durham Friends Women’s Society. We at Durham knew her as an active member and knowledgeable about Quaker History and the Bible. She had an infectious smile, a wry sense of humor, sometimes irreverent, loved to engage in conversation and was not afraid to challenge people.

Edie took hostessing very seriously, and put on a spread of food that was delicious, and also beautifully presented, with every detail attended to carefully. Her dishes, the doilies, the little knife for spreading, and of course flowers, were all perfectly arranged. She delighted in doing it and wanted people to remember her for it. She loved to quilt and shared this love of hers with the women at Durham Meeting.

She and Macy shared a family camp in Brightwater, which is a summer colony in Phippsburg, and they would hold worship time with family and friends in their summer community, which included many hymn sings. Edie is survived by her family- Deirdre, Harris, Heather (Philipand Tom; Camilla and Carla; five grandchildren Celia, Kai, Sam, Bevan and Lionel; and a large extended Irish family.

Edie was a gracious, welcoming and loving person. She was fun to be around – always full of good ideas and projects needing doing. She had a beautiful singing voice and was a creative, talented fabric artist. Her working years involved helping people in need or in creating something beautiful. Her twinkling eyes and capable hands will be sorely missed.

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, June 21, 2020

            Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened via Zoom for the conduct of business on Sunday, June 21, 2020, with 18 people present.  Martha Hinshaw Sheldon, co-clerk, opened the meeting reading two Advices from the New England Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice.

1. The May minutes were approved.

2. Finance Committee: Kathariine (Kitsie) Hildebrandt reported that individual monthly financial giving has decreased and we are encouraged to increase our financial support of the meeting during these months when we cannot physically be present at the meetinghouse.

            The committee presented a revised recommendation for the use of the Charity Fund.  This following recommendation was approved:

           ” The Charity Account is to be administered, after careful consideration of each unique situation, for both Charitable Requests and Supported Ministry (Leadings) purposes.

            “In terms of Supported Ministry (Leadings), coming from members or regular attenders, the request, with an amount included, will be brought to a standing Meeting committee first to prayerfully consider said request for funds. If the Meeting committee finds clearness in the request, the committee can then bring the request to Monthly Meeting, with the request added to an agenda that is distributed ahead of the Monthly Meeting.

           “In considering proposals to support a ministry, we recommend the following criteria:

  • Alignment of the ministry with the faith and practice of Friends, including the Testimonies.
  • The character and integrity of the person or group seeking support.
  • The merit and validity of the request.   In other words, does this ministry help to deepen and promote the life, not only of the individual or group, but the life of the whole Meeting as well?

            “In terms of Charitable Requests, a request, with an amount included, will be brought to a standing meeting committee first to prayerfully consider said request for funds. If the meeting committee finds clearness in the request, the committee can then bring the request to monthly meeting, with the request added to an agenda, distributed ahead of the monthly meeting.

            “In the case of a time sensitive situation, a request for financial assistance, with an amount included, can be brought to the Monthly Meeting by a Meeting Committee, where it would be tended, weighed and prayerfully decided at the next Monthly Meeting. In this case the request would be communicated to the Meeting Community ahead of time.   

            “In the case of a true emergency, a request, with an amount included, can be brought to the clerk of the Meeting, along with the clerk of Ministry and Counsel and the clerk of Finance, who can then direct the allocation of funds from the Charity Account, and report to the next Monthly Meeting.

            “The Charity Account, in general, will not be a source of funding for Quaker organizations and causes such as FCNL, AFSC, QUNO, NEYM, Tedford Housing, or LACO, as these are included in the annual budget as contributions.

            “Requests for funds will generally be no greater than $1,000.00.”

3. Ministry and Counsel: Martha Sheldon reported for the committee. Upcoming meeting speakers were announced.

            Kim Bolshaw and Tess Hartfurd are facilitating a small group of people meeting for worship in the parking lot on Sunday mornings using a media connection to the Zoom worship.  Others may decide to gather in small groups in homes in safe distances sharing technology to connect to the Zoom worship.  They are consulting with professionals to determine a viable blended form of worship to use in the future.

            A virtual prayer group sponsored by Ministry and Counsel met on June 11, and they plan to meet each Monday from 9:00 to 9:30.

            Sukie Rice delights in receiving notes from Friends/friends but requests that only one visitor visit per day.  Call ahead to schedule a visit, or write a note.  She is happy to have a green burial; For more information, contact Martha who recorded part of Sukie’s presentation on green burial a few weeks ago.

            Memorial minutes were presented for Phyllis Wetherell and Edith Whitehead.  These minutes are attached. Much appreciation was expressed for the lives of these members.

            Martha read a letter from Ingrid Chalufour requesting membership with Durham Friends Meeting. The application was received with great pleasure, and Sarah Sprogell, Tess Hartford and Joyce Gibson were appointed as a Committee to visit with Ingrid and report back to the next meeting for business.

4. Peace and Social Concerns Committee: Ingrid Chalufour reported that Brown Lethem, Cindy Wood and Ingrid Chalufour met at Cindy’s house on June 11.  Cush Anthony consulted with us by email and phone. Their Meeting began with a reading of the NEYM statement A Time for Repentance and Transformation, which is on the Durham Meeting website. Two sentences resonated for them. First, “We recognize that our silence in this moment would be collusion with violence.” And, “We…are called with Divine guidance to do the work to understand that complicity and to end it.” They agreed that they would make plans to work, with meeting, to deepen our understanding of white privilege, institutionalized racism, and to examine the concept of being an antiracist.

            They discussed resurrecting the plan to write a letter-to-the-editor, using the ideas in the NEYM statement as a basis for the message. Meeting clerks have supported the idea so they plan to have a letter for review and approval at the July Monthly Meeting. It will be sent out to everyone by email a week ahead of time so they can have a review and edit process before monthly meeting.   

            Their next discussion was about planning and leading a Meeting-wide book reading. Ingrid shared a review of a book titled, How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi. Other books and articles were suggested. In particular they discussed The Case for Reparations by Ta-Nehisi Coates (Atlantic Monthly, June 2014). This article is on the Meeting website now. They decided that they would offer a few suggestions to participants, but the discussion would be guided by a common set of questions examining white privilege and institutional racism.  Liana Thompson-Knight has volunteered to join them in the planning of this activity. 

            Several expressed interest in a meeting-wide book reading on the subject. We thanked the committee for their report.

5. Christian Education and Youth Minister:   The Plant Salewas a great success- thanks to everyone who contributed plants, stopped by to water, and/or purchase plants. Special thanks to Kim Bolshaw for all her help! We made $650.

            On Wednesdays, they continue to hold “Storytime” between 6:30-7:15 pm using the Durham Meeting zoom login. Log in any time after 6:30 pm on Wednesdays to check in, and chat. The activities begin at 6:45. This past month they have played charades and trivia in addition to reading stories, one of which was Planting the trees of Kenya: the Story of Wangari Maatnai.

            Children and Youth Sunday took place on Sunday June 7. 13 Durham kids were invited to the meeting house horse shed to participate in a scavenger hunt created by Amy Kustra and Julien Barksdale. Prizes and seeds were donated by Dorothy Curtis and Kim Bolshaw. Wendy Schlotterbeck made prayer flags for each, and each child/youth was invited to select 2 flowers or plants to take home. A special photo tribute of Durham children/youth was played and 2020 graduates were honored. The special gifts were delivered to children who were unable to participate at the Meeting House yard.

            The faith journey sharing was postponed until fall after discussion at the clerk’s meeting on June 18,

.           The following Durham Friends graduated this spring. Congratulations to the following amazing young adults:

  • Emily Carr- Harpswell Coastal Academy
  • Cleo Carrera- Pratt Institute
  • Joey Reed- University of Maine at Orono
  • Libbey Masse´- UMO
  • Acadia Weinberg-Wellesley College
  • Emma Nagler- Clark University

             Wendy was a Resource Person (RP) for the NEYM Young Friends retreat June 12-14

            Upcoming opportunities were listed: Friends Canp, Friends General Conference gathering, New England Yearly Meeting sessions, and a game night for the entire Durham Meeting community for which  Wendy is asking for fun trivia questions from everyone.  See details in the Newsletter. 

6. Trustees:  Donna Hutchins reported for the committee. Daniel Henton has replaced front door knobs and locks at the meetinghouse and parsonage, and replaced the porch light at the parsonage.   C & Z plumbing fixed a water issue at the parsonage. Chimneys at both the parsonage and meetinghouse have been checked and cleaned.

            Andy Higgins cleared tree branches and fixed the gate at the Jones Cemetery. Andy will be moving the sand pile located in the old section of Lunt Cemetery.

            The green burial area at Lunt Cemetery has been gridded and staked, work done by Michael Lord, charging a minimal fee for the work and supply costs: $300.

            We had a lengthly discussion regarding Lunt Cemetery needs: landscaping:a section torn up by vandals, entrance pillar damage replacement, and a fence with gates. Our concerns were registered by the committee members and will have recommendations at the July monthly meeting.  Kristna Evans volunteered to meet with the Trustees with her concerns.

            Appreciation was expressed for the fine job of painting the meeting room by Tess Hartford. 

7.Meeting Care Coordinator Search Committee is made up of representatives from committees with which that the Meeting Care Coordinator would be working. Committee members are: Martha Sheldon (Ministry and Council), Dorothy Curtis (Christian Education) Ingrid Chalufour (Peace and Social Concerns), and Liana Thompson Knight (Communication).

            On May 21 Martha received a strong application for the Meeting Care Coordinator position from a Quaker who lives in Michigan and who is planning to move to Maine.   After reviewing the application the committee decided to meet and consider how (or if) to proceed. Martha, Ingrid, and Dorothy met on May 26 and decided to proceed and interview her. This decision was based on two facts. First, Martha expressed great need for someone working on ministry and council needs with her. M&C tasks are greater than most Quaker meetings due to being semi programmed without a pastor. Second, the applicant is an active Quaker who appears to have the knowledge and skills that would greatly benefit Durham Friends. On June 5 the committee interviewed the applicant via Zoom. Soon thereafter two references were called. Both the interview and the references reinforced our feeling that she would serve to strengthen the Durham Meeting in all the ways that the job asks.

            The applicant considers this job a one-year experiment, as it is a new position and the specifics are yet to be defined.  The meeting expressed a positive response and requested a Zoom interview with interested members/attenders prior to the July monthly meeting at which time we would make a decision.  Additional fund raising will be needed to support the position because that line item was removed from the budget; a suggested special plea would be in order. 

8.Communication Committee:  Thank you Liana Knight for becoming the interim Newsletter Editor.

            Martha Sheldon closed the meeting with quiet reflection; “go in peace; the Light in us is from the Light of the Spirit. 

            Dorothy Hinshaw, Recording Secretary

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, May 24, 2020

            Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened via zoom for the conduct of business on Sunday, May 24, 2020, with 17 people present in their own homes.  Martha Hinshaw Sheldon, co-clerk, opened the meeting with a quote from New England Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice on corporate discernment.

1.The April minutes were approved.

2. Finance Committee:   Sarah Sprogell reported that the attached budget has a highlighted column reflecting the reduced expenses that were approved at last month’s business meeting.  Total income for the quarter was $16,338.07.

            We received $2000 in “end of year giving” from 2019, which made up for a reduction in weekly giving in March and will help in future months.  Our quarterly disbursement from NEYM pooled funds was received at its expected level of about $3500.  Overall we have met 26% of our projected annual income as of March 31st.

            Total expenses for the quarter were $9,881.49.  Most areas were under-budget as we hoped, with the exception of fuel oil.  Overall we have paid 16% of our projected annual expenses as of March 31st.  This figure is in keeping with our 30% reduction in expenditures, based on the expected impact of Covid19 restrictions.

             Treasurer, Katharine Hildebrandt, reported that expenses for April were $5035 and our income was $6200.

3. Peace and Social concerns Committee: Ingrid Chalufour reminded us to visit the meeting web site for information on upcoming events of the committee. 

4. Charity Account ad-hoc Committee:  Katharine Hildebrandt reported for the committee and presented proposed guidelines concerning the uses and criteria for the Charity Account:

            “The Charity account is to be administered, after careful consideration in each unique situation, for both Charitable Requests and Supported Ministry (Leadings) purposes.

            In terms of Supported Ministry (Leadings), coming from members and regular attenders, the request will be brought to a standing meeting committee first to prayerfully consider said request for funds. The meeting committee will then bring the request to monthly meeting, with the request added to an agenda that is distributed ahead of the monthly meeting.

            In considering proposals to support a ministry, we recommend the following criteria:

  • Alignment of the ministry with the faith and practice of Friends, including the testimonies. 
  • The character and integrity of the person or group seeking support.
  • The likely effectiveness (not just good intentions) of the effort.

In other words, does this ministry help to deepen and promote the life, not only of the individual or group, but the life of the whole meeting as well? 

            In terms of Charitable Requests, the request will be brought to a standing meeting committee first to prayerfully consider said request for funds. The meeting committee will then bring the request to monthly meeting, with the request added to an agenda, distributed ahead of the monthly meeting.

            In the case of emergencies, a request for financial assistance could be brought to the monthly meeting by a meeting committee, where it would be tended, weighed and prayerfully decided on by that monthly meeting. In this case the request would be communicated to the meeting community ahead of time.    

            The Charity Account, in general, would not be a source of funding for other Quaker organizations and causes such as FCNL, AFSC, QUNO, NEYM, Tedford Housing, or LACO, as these are included in the annual budget as contributions.

Requests for funds will generally be no greater than $1,000.00.”

              A thoughtful discussion ensued with suggestions for revisions; the result was that final approval of these guidelines will be made at the June monthly meeting.

5. Trustees:  Donna Hutchins sent a report which stated that they are looking into developing a green burial space at the Lund Road Cemetery.  Tess Hartford is currently painting the meeting worship room. Katharine Hildebrandt reported that Andy Higgins has been hired to do some grounds maintanence.

6. Christian Education Committee and Youth Minister: Wendy Schlotterbeck reported that Storytimes are being held each Wednesday evening via Zoom.  Books read so far are: The Wolf’s Chicken Stew, Malala’s Magic Pencil, Moon watchers, and The Tree House.  A Plant Sale will be held June 5th through June 8.  Children and Youth Sunday will be June 7th when meeting for worship via zoom will include content directed at our younger participants.  The committee will sponsor the popular Faith Journey sharing on the second and fourth Sunday mornings, 9:30-10:15.

            Fridays from 5-6pm Wendy is on zoom with New England Yearly Meeting Young Friends during their weekly affinity group check-ins.

            Wendy will be clerking the Committee for this year.

7. Snap Re-Boot project: Although the Charity Fund guidelines are yet to be approved, we reconsidered the request for funds to support this project, which are still needed.  The meeting discussed donating the amount of $1000, with appreciation for the two committees that have recommended support of the project.

8.  We approved the amount of $1000 for the Snap Re-Boot project, with two members standing aside, noting their hesitation to approve the project at this time.

9. Carbon Footprint Ad Hoc Committee: Kim Bolshaw, Katharine Hildebrandt, and Ingrid Chalfour attended a web-based workshop focused on greening meetinghouses, sponsored by New England Yearly Meeting Finance Committee.  John Reuthe from Vassalboro Meeting made the presentation.  John suggested that we, as a meeting, discuss what we mean by greening our meetinghouse.  In the absence of an opportunity to have this discussion, the committee is working on the assumption that our goal is to lower use of carbon fuel.  John’s presentation has influenced our development of a three-phase plan for our meetinghouse regarding insulation, cold air from the basement, and window inserts for the winter.

10. Ministry and Counsel:  Martha Hinshaw reported that at their next meeting they will look at how to safely return to gathering in the meetinghouse.

            The meeting recently received the sad news that member Phyllis White Wetherell died on April 25, in Richmond, Indiana where she had retired at Friends Fellowship Retirement Home.  Ministry and Counsel is preparing a draft memorial minute to be approved in June.

            Martha Hinshaw closed the meeting with the admonition: Go in Peace! 

Dorothy Hinshaw, Recording Clerk

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, April 19, 2020

            Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened via Zoom (electronically) for the conduct of business on Sunday, April 19, 2020 with approximately 19 people present in their own homes, due to the pandemic coronavirus crisis.  Martha Hinshaw Sheldon, co-clerk, opened the meeting reminding us that the meeting is located on Wabanaki land; and that people are the church, and not the building.

1. The February and March minutes were approved.

2. Ministry and Counsel:  Martha Sheldon reported for the committee:

            The State of Society Report (attached) was read with appreciation to Douglas Bennett who drafted the report.

            Memorial Minutes for Clarabel Marstaller and Eileen Babcock were presented.  All expressed gratitude for their long lives of service in the Society of Friends and Durham Friends Meeting. These minutes are attached.

            Ministry and Counsel discussed end of life issues, political expressions in meeting, and pastoral care concerns.  Please inform Ministry and Counsel of those in need. 

            The meeting learned with sadness that member Edith (Edie) Lamb Whitehead died April 18, 2020. 

3. We approved the State of Society Report which will be reported to Falmouth Quarterly Meeting.

4. We approved Memorial Minutes for Clarabel Hadley Marstaller and Eileen Babcock.

5.   Peace and Social Concerns: Ingrid Chalufour reported that the committee was asked to review and bring forward a recommendation made in February for funds to support the SNAP ReBoot project.  It was sent to Peace and Social Concerns because requests for Charity Fund Account money is best to come from a standing committee.   Peace and Social Concerns Committee researched additional information about this project and, being fully satisfied with Theresa Oleksiw’s answers and having received a letter of strong support from the Maine Equal Justice Project for the project, they recommend that the meeting support the project to the level of $3000.  The full committee report is attached. 

             We then revisited the February 2020 monthly meeting decision to use the Charity Fund for this project.  A lengthly discussion ensued, with a number of options how we might proceed.  One option was to proceed with assistance to the project but at a level of $1000.   We will revisit this option at the May monthly meeting to give the meeting time to season the decision.  If anyone wishes to contribute to the Project at this time, they are encouraged to send donations to the Durham treasurer who will send them on directly to Theresa.  Notice of this will appear in the Newsletter.  

6.  We approved the following persons to serve as an ad-hoc committee for reviewing guidelines for the Charity Account:  Joyce Gibson, Tess Hartford, Katharine Hildebrandt and Brown Letham. 

            The Peace and Social Concerns Committee urges us to visit their posts on the Durham Friends Meeting web site.

7. Christian Education:  Wendy Schlotterbeck reported for the committee. CE met on March 1 and discussed the the Annual Plant and Yard Sale, tentatively set for May 23, Children’s Day, usually the first Sunday in June (June 7), and the Annual Family Campout June 13-14 or June 20-21.  The committee will re-evaluate whether/how these events might happen because of the stay at home order.   Easter was none the less celebrated: Wendy ordered chocolate Easter bunnies and gummy carrots from a local candy shop and had them sent to 7 Durham families with children. In addition, Amy Kustra drew a coloring page of Durham Meeting house and “hid” Easter eggs in the picture for the kids to color. Wendy created blank stamped and addressed postcards for the kids to color and send to a Durham friend. The postcards and coloring pages were sent to the Durham children along with a letter from Wendy.

We have a need for substitute Sunday School teachers for the Godly Play and youth classes; if anyone would be willing to help out if a teacher is sick or unable to teach on a particular Sunday, please see Wendy Schlotterbeck.

Ashley Marstaller informed us that due to staffing changes at her work, she can no longer be the Childcare worker on Sunday mornings. We are looking for a replacement. In the meantime Amy Kustra volunteered to be present from 10:15-12:15 on 2nd, 4th and 5th Sundays to take care of children until we find a replacement.

Wendy has met 3 times with Durham youth over Zoom to check in during March/April, and checked in with families by phone, text and/or e-mail.  She has met via zoom at the weekly NEYM leadership meetings, and will continue to join the calls,

and staffed the Young Friends virtual retreat held Friday-Saturday April 17-18. Twenty-three youth attended and seemed especially grateful for the chance to be together with other NEYM youth and adults.

8. Finance:  Sarah Sprogell reported for the committee which outlined major sources of income which stand to decrease, and the committee recommended steps to reduce the meeting expenses.  A full report with recommendations is attached. 

9. We approved an adjusted budget, and accepted with gratitude the Finance Committee report.

10 Trustees: Katharine Hildebrandt and Donna Hutchins reported that C & Z Plumbing installed a new water heater and a new toilet at the Parsonage. Plumbers checked the building and no other issues were noted.  The electrician installed a new breaker for the new hot water heater and the bathroom outlets. He inspected wiring and said there are no issues and the building is up to code. Dan Henton installed a new lock and door knob on front door. These repairs thus far have cost $ 2731.29.

Meetinghouse repairs::The electrician installed a new outside security LED light at the Meetinghouse, and put in a new pull switch over the piano. C & Z Plumbing installed new faucets and cleaned up and replaced old plumbing under the five sinks. A water test has been done and a system was recommended to address mineral issues. The water is safe to drink. A backwash filter system has been installed in the basement and all other existing, outdated and/or malfunctioning filter systems were removed. Trustees recommend that Tess Hartford continue her painting in the meetinghouse. These repairs thus far have cost $ 4150.00.

The cell phone tower has recently been approved by the town. The company, Northern Pride, is ready to install the tower.

The balance of the Capital Account is now $24,311.80 which includes the Efficiency Maine rebate for the new water heater in the parsonage.  This is a corrected balance which was reported as $41,765 in the Newsletter.  A complete report is attached. 

Trustees would like to recommend that Craig Freshley be added to Trustees.

11.  We approved the addition of Craig Freshley to Trustees.

12.  We approved that Tess Hartford perform painting tasks in the meetinghouse

13.  Martha Sheldon reminded us that Falmouth Quarterly Meeting will be held this Saturday, April 25, via Zoom. Representatives are Martha Sheldon and Sarah Sprogell.

14.  .Sarah Sprogell presented the 2019 Statistical Report which is attached.  Sarah reported that we have 106 members, with 44 active.  We had two new members and 2 deaths for 2019.

15.  Sarah Sprogell, auditor, presented the 2016-2017 audit for Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends.  This report was accepted with appreciation.

16.  With regret, the United Society of Friends Women International and Friends United Meeting triennials have been canceled for this summer.  Funds donated to our representatives for travel and participation will be refunded to the meeting.

            Our monthly meeting lasted longer than usual with much discussion about various matters, so we departed without much ado; we bade each one farewell until the next time!   Walk in the Light.

 Dorothy Hinshaw, Recording Clerk

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, March 15, 2020

DURHAM MONTHLY MEETING OF FRIENDS
March 15, 2020

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends met, with 16 people present, on Sunday,
March 15, 2020, for a single item of business.

Monthly Meeting approved giving authority to Ministry and Counsel to make decisions for Monthly Meeting as the meeting finds its way through the current coronavirus crisis. As events are unfolding rapidly, and the meeting will need to adjust to weekly “new realities,” it was agreed to give the lead to Ministry and Counsel to guide us through these times.

Library News, February 2020

We have a large collection of Pendle Hill Pamphlets, which a
short and always relevant on a myriad of subjects. Please note that
we just received a very helpful index of the pamphlets, 1934-2018,
listed by number, author, title, and subject! The latest one is titled:
“On Vocal Ministry.”
Anonymous gifts include A Permeable Life, Poems and Essays, by Carrie Newcomer (Quaker songwriter); Our Endangered Values, by Jimmy Carter; and a highly recommended book, A Dangerous New World, Maine Voices on the Climate Crisis.

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, February 16, 2020

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened for the conduct of business on Sunday, February 16, 2020, with 14 people present.  Co-Clerk, Susan (Sukie) Rice, opened the meeting with quiet waiting.

1.The January minutes were approved.

2. Sarah Sprogell reported that the balance in the Charity Account is $16.321.63; this report was requested due to projects which might use this account.

3. Katherine Hildebrandt reported that the Woman’s Society requests funds from the Charity Account to support Durham Meeting representatives to the United Society of Friends Women International triennial conference which meets in Kenya in July.  The amount requested is $600 each to cover registration, food and lodging.

4. We approved the amount of $1200 from the Charity Account ($600 each) for Martha Sheldon and Dorothy Curtis who are attending the USFWI conference.  The clerk will prepare traveling minutes for Martha and Dorothy and will plan a “prayer sendoff” late in June.

5. Finance Committee: Sarah Sprogell handed out the 4th quarter finance report which includes income and operating expenses for 2019. She also circulated a list of Designated Accounts,

Saving Accounts, and investments and CD figures. These reports will be attached to the minutes.

            Sarah gave a 2019 yearend report: We received a bequest of $32,352 in the early part of 2019, and approved tithing 10% ($3,235) for our Charity Account, and put the balance into our Capital Account ($29,117), based on the long-standing history of the giver’s family having encouraged and supported good stewardship and care of our buildings and property.

  In addition to tithing $3,235 to the Charity Account, the meeting also approved moving the balance of the Bailey and Cox Funds, totally about $11,000 to this account, increasing its balance to $19,000.  This increased our ability to support worthy causes brought before the meeting through committees.  Through this process we made contributions of close to $3000 in 2019.

 After the above actions were taken, we ended the year with a surplus of $20,590.15

The primary reasons for this surplus are described below:

  1. An unexpected increase of approximately $3000 in our interest income from the NEYM invested funds, due to a new formula in the distribution policy.
  2. A savings of about $2000 in committee expenses.
  3. A savings of about $700 in meeting expenses for advertising, copier expenses, and similar costs.
  4. A savings of about $1300 in youth ministry expensesfor conferences and youth activities.
  5. A savings of $10,000 in expenses which had been set aside for the possibility of hiring someone into a new ministerial type position.
  6. An insurance reimbursement of approximately $3000 for our expenses to repair damages to the parsonage from the freeze in December 2018.

 Some actions have already been taken in response to this surplus. 

  1. Most significantly, we have committed to hiring a Meeting Care Coordinator for an annual stipend of $10,000, and a search committee is already working on this. 
  2. We also committed to increasing our giving to several national Quaker organizations by about $1000 annually.
  3. With the addition of a Meeting Care Coordinator, we may find that committees and our youth minister are able to find ways to spend more of their budgets.  I think we can agree that this would be a happy occurrence!
  4. It should also be noted that some of these savings may not be repeated in coming years, in particular the $3000 insurance reimbursement. 

It is with a deep sense of gratitude for the many people who give of themselves so generously to the care of the meeting, that we find ourselves in a strong position to steward our meeting community spiritually, to provide responsible care for our buildings and property, and to engage with the broader community as advocates for “an earth restored.”

 We received these reports with gratitude.

6. Peace and Social Concerns:  Ingrid Chalufour reported that the committee held a forum on January 26th to discuss the U.S. Military carbon footprint and to write letters to our legislators.  The meeting was well attended and they were encouraged to continue to conduct activities that address our outsized military and their contribution to the climate crisis, and to voice our thoughts widely.  There were several suggestions which will guide the committee’s planning for the future.

 The ad-hoc Carbon Footprint Committee brought two contractors into the meetinghouse to assess our insulation needs and gave estimates for work they recommend to lower our fuel use.  We have vermiculite insulation in the attic to be tested for asbestos; one contractor recommend its removal; the other to keep it in place.  The committee will bring a proposal to monthly meeting for the best way forward regarding our carbon footprint.

7. Margaret Wentworth reported that an ad-hoc support committee (Margaret Wentworth, Margaret Leitch Copeland, and Sukie Rice) has been formed to support Theresa Oleksiw who has felt drawn to work on issues of poverty and food insecurity in Maine and to raise the realities of this issue to law-makers with hopes of increasing the funding for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program).    Theresa met with a clearness committee from Portland Friends Meeting to develop a clear picture of how to proceed, and they developed plans for the SNAP ReBoot Project that personalizes and addresses food insecurity.  She has received grants from Portland Meeting, New England Yearly Meeting, and the Lyman Foundation to fund the project through April.  She is applying for further grants to complete this project.  Because of a two-month funding gap between grants, the support committee recommends that Durham Meeting grant her $3000 for these two months, May and June.  A full report of this project is attached. 

8. The meeting approved the grant of $3000 from the Charity Fund for the SNAP ReBoot Project.  We look forward to a report from Theresa regarding this project, and a financial report of expenses.

9. Christian Education and Youth Minister:  Wendy Schlotterbeck is staffing the Young Friends Retreat at Woolman Hill this weekend and thus sent a report.  Sunday School classes are going well. The preschool

Elementary age class taught by Tess Hartford averages 3-5 children and is continuing to use Faith and Play and Godly Play stories.  Feedback from parents indicate that this curriculum is much appreciated.  The middle/high school class taught by Wendy Schlottebeck averages 2-3 youth, and uses the Quaker Affirmations curriculum from the religious Education Collaborative.  The Adult class continues to meet every Sunday at 9:30.  It is facilitated by Martha Hinshaw Sheldon and they are currently reading “White Fragility” by Robin DiAngelo.  Martha reported having incredible, intense, and lively discussions.  “Waking Up White” by Debby Irving was the previous book the class read and discussed.  This class averages 3-5 participants.

            Upcoming events: family game night March 14; Easter breakfast April 12; and Faith and Play/

Godly Play training on May 8-10.

10: Nancy Marstaller brought a concern regarding the organ in the meeting room which unfortunately has not been used for some time; it was approved that it be sold or given away to another church. 

We closed in gratitude for the present and the past. 

Dorothy Hinshaw, Recording Clerk

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, January 19, 2020

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened for the conduct of business on Sunday, January 19, 2020 with 11 people in attendance.

1. Nominating Committee: Margaret Wentworth reported for Nominating Committee. They recommend that appointments remain the same as 2019, with the following changes:
Presiding Clerk: Add Martha Hinshaw Sheldon, so she and Susan (Sukie) Rice will be Co-Clerks.
Trustees: Remains the same, keeping Paul Wood on the committee.
Ministry and Counsel: Add Renee Cote.
Finance: No changes.
Christian Education: Katherine (Qat) Langelier is going off the committee.
Communications: Change Newsletter Editor from Qat Langelier to Sukie Rice.
P & SC: Linda Muller is going off. New members are very much needed.
Next month the full list will be attached to the Newsletter.

2. The Nominating Committee report was approved. Martha Sheldon continued to preside over the Meeting for Business as a duly approved co-clerk.

3. The minutes of December 15, 2019 were approved as printed in the Newsletter.

4. Ministry and Counsel: Martha Sheldon reported that Doug Bennett will draft the State of
Society Report. Upcoming speakers will be Ingrid Chalufour, Joyce Gibson, Tess Hartford, Heather Augustine, Peter Crysdale, Fritz Weiss, Doug Bennett, and Leslie Manning.

5. Christian Education: Wendy Schlotterbeck submitted the report.

Dorothy Curtis will be the CE representative for the search committee for the Meeting Care Coordinator position.
(b) The committee decided to nurture relationships and connections with the Maine Native American community as their theme for the year, including learning more about Native American history. They hope to collaborate with Heather Augustine’s youth group and will encourage Durham Friends to attend Healing Turtle Island in July.
(c) They will continue family game nights and aim for the next one to be on March 14.
(d) Faith and Play/Godly Play training has been confirmed for May 8-10 at Durham Friends. Portland Friends and possibly several other NEYM Friends will join us. Melinda Wenner Bradley from Philadelphia Yearly Meeting will bring the training.
(e) They discussed naming a clerk for the committee, but decided at this time to rotate the role among members. Wendy has agreed to bring the CE/youth minister report to Monthly Meeting.

Youth Minister Report:
(a) Wendy Schlotterbeck has begun visiting Durham Friends families with children to get a sense of their needs.
(b) Wendy is participating in “Noticing Patterns of Oppression and Faithfulness,” an online training sponsored by NEYM and facilitated by Lisa Graustein, on January 16 and March 12. This training focuses on informing our work with youth.
(c) Wendy attended an all-day reflection and planning session for the Young Friends program of NEYM on January 18 and will continue to help staff with upcoming Young Friends and Junior High Young Friends retreats. The report was accepted gratefully.

6. Communications Committee: It was reported that Sukie Rice will be the CC representative for the search committee for the Meeting Care Coordinator position.

7. Martha Sheldon reported that the first meeting of the search committee for the Meeting Care Coordinator will occur this coming week. The search committee will now be under the care of Monthly Meeting rather than Ministry and Counsel. It was suggested that there be a deadline for applications. Dorothy Curtis, Ingrid Chalufour, Sukie Rice, and Martha Sheldon will be on that committee. Notice of the job advertisement will be sent out as a Friends Note and include the deadline.

8. Finance Committee: Sarah Sprogell brought the report, which included the 2020 budget. There was discussion about our giving to Quaker organizations, specifically to increase the amounts we give to them in 2020. From this discussion, we raised the original $100 budgeted for each of them to the following: AFSC: $250; Velasco Friends: $250; FCNL: $300; QUNO: $200.

9. The Budget 2020 was approved to include the aforementioned changes, with appreciation to the Finance Committee. Our projected income for 2020 is $60,826 and expenses are $60,690. 

10. Meeting Auditor: Sarah Sprogell, the Meeting Auditor, brought her report for the years 2014 and 2015. The Auditor states that the books for both years are in very good order, and noted that we have a gem in our Treasurer, Kitsie Hildebrandt, in her navigation of the funds of the Meeting. These reports are attached.

11. Monthly Meeting accepted the Auditor’s reports with appreciation for the work Sarah has done. It was noted how Sarah and Kitsie’s work on these reports has assisted the Finance Committee in a number of ways to better oversee the finances of the Meeting.

12. Brunswick Friends Meeting continues their process of finding a future place for Meeting for Worship. Martha Sheldon will reach out to them regarding the possible use of the Meeting house.

The meeting ended with a moment of quiet reflection in gratitude for the Spirit being present with us.

Sukie Rice, temporary Recording Clerk

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, December 15, 2019

            Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened for the conduct of business on Sunday, December 15, 2019 with 13 people present.  In the absence of Clerk Susan Rice, we approved the appointment of Sarah Sprogell to serve as clerk.  Sarah opened the meeting by reading a quote from Caroline Stephen from Light Arising, published in 1908.

1. The November minutes were approved.

2. Ministry and Counsel:  it was sadly reported that, after a brief illness, Clarabel Marstaller died peacefully on December 2nd, 2019.  Dorothy and Edwin Hinshaw who had served with the Marstallers in New England Yearly Meeting many years were approved to work with Ministry and Counsel regarding a memorial minute for Clarabel Marstaller.

             Martha Hinshaw Sheldon shared a list of speakers in meeting for worship for the next few weeks.

            An updated proposal for a Meeting Care Coordinator was presented.  It was suggested that a search committee be made up of representatives from four committees: Peace and Social Concerns, Christian Education, Ministry and Counsel, and Communications, plus the Clerk, Susan Rice.  Ministry and Counsel will ensure the formation of the committee.

3.  The meeting approved hiring a Meeting Care Coordinator as well as the formation of the search committee, which will limit its search to the New England area. 

4.  Finance committee: Sarah Sprogell presented the budget for 2020 and it is attached to these minutes. 

5. Peace and Social Concerns Committee:   Ingrid Chalufour reported that a new temporary group (Footprint Subcommittee) has formed to propose ways the carbon footprint of the meetinghouse can be lowered.  The group is made up of representatives from three committees: Sarah Sprogell (Finance), Robert Eaton (Trustees), Ingrid Chalufour (Peace and Social Concerns), and Kim Bolshaw, custodian.  They are researching a variety of ideas and proposals.

6.  Christian Education and Youth Minister:  Wendy Schlotterbeck reported that about 7 people from Durham and Portland meetings are interested in Godly Play training, tentatively planned for the weekend of April 3-5 at Durham Meeting.  Others from New England Yearly Meeting are invited at the cost of $150 per person.  Melinda Wenner Bradley, Director of Communications and Training (Faith and Play Stories, Inc., Godly Play Trainer) can offer the training.  The Quaker version of Godly Play is Faith and Play. 

            Wendy Schlotterbeck staffed the Junior High retreat at Woolman Hill the weekend of December 6-8.  A Young Friends retreat was also held the same weekend in Providence, RI.  Three young friends from Durham meeting attended retreats that weekend.

            The Christmas event on December 20th will include a labyrinth in the parking lot, soup, cider, cookies, carols and campfire, 4:30-7pm.  Parking will be across the street. 

7.  Betsy Munch announced that Brunswick Friends Meeting is losing their meeting place, and wonders if we might share our space with them.

8.  We approved the suggestion that Brunswick Friends Meeting consider using our facility for their meeting for worship on Sunday morning, suggesting a time of 9:00 to 10:15, specifics and shared financial arrangement to be further explored.

We closed in quiet reflection.

Dorothy Hinshaw, Recording Clerk

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, November 17, 2019

            Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened for the conduct of business on Sunday, November 17, 2019 with 12 people present.  Clerk Susan Rice read from the 1985 New England Faith and Practice, p. 117: “the Search for Unity.”

1. The October minutes were approved.

2. Christian Education Committee and Youth Minister: Wendy Schlotterbeck sent their report.

 Seven people from Durham and Portland Meetings are interested in Godly Play training which would involve a weekend in the spring. Please let Christian Education Committee know if interested in this training.  The committee and the Finance Committee will consult concerning the cost of this training. 

The committee made a slight change to the Sunday School plan.  Parents may drop off a child with Ashley Marstaller, our “baby sitter” at 10:30 or bring them into the meeting room for singing, then quietly go to Godly Play class which will begin around 10:40.  Children will stay in the class until meeting for worship is over.  Middle and high school age youth will meet at 10:30 in their space and return to meeting for worship at 11:15.

Wendy will be staffing the New England Yearly Meeting Junior High Retreat at Woolman Hill on the weekend of December 6-8.

Upcoming events include attending the “Day of Mourning” event on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 28) in Plymouth, MA; Wreath making on Dec. l; and a Christmas gathering on Dec. 20.  Details will be included in the Newsletter. 

3. Peace and Social Concerns Committee:  Ingrid Chalufour reported that the committee is exploring a variety of ways that the meeting could reduce its carbon footprint. 

4. Finance Committee: Attached is the third quarter finance report.  Our current budget income and spending has continued to be healthy and stable through the end of September 2019.  Total regular income year to date was $43,968.72 which is 76% of our annual goal.  Our expenses during this period were $33,900.89 which is 59% of our annual goal, resulting in a net difference of $10,067.83.

Items that were higher than expected are fuel oil, and maintenance and supplies for the meetinghouse.  Trustees have overseen several important carpentry repairs and repainted the addition this year, and they are still within their annual budget request.  Unfortunately, the price of fuel oil is unpredictable.  These additional expenses, however, have been offset by lower spending by committees and various other meeting expenses, so on balance, we are in a good position to finish the year without needing an annual appeal.

 Sarah Sprogell completed the transfer of funds from the Bailey and Cox Funds to the Charity Account, as approved and requested by the Monthly Meeting in October.  These two funds had been in low interest CDs, and have increased the balance in the Charity Account to $16,339.21

The Finance Committee will be meeting very soon to draft a proposed budget for 2020 and encourages committees to submit their requests for 2020 as soon as possible.

5. Ministry and Counsel:  Martha Sheldon reported that there will be Christmas Eve candlelight service at the meetinghouse facilitated by Jo-an Jacobus.

            At their retreat on November 2nd, they considered recommendations and suggestions from a number of members and attenders concerning adding a paid position of Meeting Care

Coordinator which would provide assistance and support to committees and volunteer activities.   They propose that it be a quarter time position to be paid $10,000 a year, supervised by a support committee. The Meeting Care Coordinator would include pastoral care, ministry, outreach and coordination of activities. Other descriptions mentioned for this position were: facilitator, encourager, and enabler.  The full proposal will be in the newsletter, and an informal discussion will occur after meeting on November 24.  Approval of the proposal will be considered at Monthly Meeting for Business in December.  We discussed ways to advertise this position.  We expressed our appreciation for the work of Ministry and Counsel, and accept their recommendation.

6. We recommended that the Finance Committee consider including charitable giving to Quaker organizations currently not included in our budget: Friends Committee on National Legislation, American Friends Committee, and Quaker United Nations Organization. 

            We closed in a centering stillness. 

Dorothy Hinshaw, Recording Clerk

Library News, October 2019

NEW BOOKS (and one CD and two pamphlets) added to the library collection:

—Buckley, Paul: Primitive Quakerism revived: living as Friends in the twenty-first century, 2018.

—Canto, Francisco: The line becomes a river: dispatches from the border, 2018. Canto joined the U.S. border patrol determined to experience what was happening on the Mexican border first hand.

—Cobb, Wayne: Quakers in early Falmouth and Portland, Maine, 1740-1850, 2019.

—Dawnland (CD): a documentary about cultural survival and stolen children, 2018.

—Gulley, Philip: Unlearning God: how unbelieving helped me believe, 2018. This book is extremely readable, written with humor, and is a thoughtful study on the nature of God.

—Hockett, Eloise and John Muhanji: Lessons from cross-cultural collaboration, 2017. Quaker projects mainly in Kenya are described through the lens and perspective of an American and a

Kenyan.

—Humphries, Debbie L.: Seeds that change the world: essays on Quakerism, spirituality, faith and culture, 2017. Debbie Humphries traveled in the ministry among Friends under the care of Hartford Meeting.

—Johnson, David: The workings of the Spirit of God within (Pendle Hill Pamphlet), 2019.

—Johnson, Elizabeth A.: Creation and the Cross: the mercy of God for a planet in peril, 2018. The proper focus is not humanity but creation in its entirety.

—Jones, Rufus M.: A call to a new installment of the heroic Spirit. NEYM, 1947.

—Jones, Rufus M.: Quakers in the American Colonies, 1911.

—Muench, Elizabeth: Friendly audits, 1990.

—O’Sullivan, Elizabeth: Building bridges: four stories from the Bible (Pendle Hill Pamphlet), 2019.

—Quaker religious thought, 2019 (a periodical of modern Quaker thinking issued twice a year).

—Trueblood, Elton: While it is day: an autobiography.

—Tutu, Desmond: Made for goodness, and why this makes all the difference, 2010.

These books were gifts to the library or purchased as recommended by Friends Journal and the United Society of Friends Women International. You will find most of these books on the NEW BOOK SHELF!

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, October 20, 2019

            Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened for the conduct of business on Sunday, October 20, 2019 with 10 people present.  Clerk Susan Rice opened the meeting by reading a quote from Eckhart Tolle on Stillness and Wisdom.

1. The September 15th minutes were approved.

2. Ministry and Counsel: Martha Sheldon reported that Ministry and Counsel will have a retreat on November 2nd to discuss a paid ministry position. 

3. It has been the intention of the meeting to have further discussion on outreach and how that might be developed, possibly with a stipend position.  Kristen Evans and Sukie Rice volunteered to participate in an ad hoc group to discuss outreach.  This was approved.

4. Finance:  Sarah Sprogell sent the Finance Committee report:

The Finance Committee convened on Sept 18, 2019 at Norway Savings Bank in Brunswick to review our accounts and consider making some changes.  Treasurer Katherine Hildebrandt, Nancy Marstaller and Sarah Sprogell were present.

 They agreed to move both the Charity Account and the Bernice Douglas Account from savings accounts to money market accounts.  This change allows our treasurer to write up to 6 checks per month from each account.  It increases the interest rate for the Charity Account from 0.03% to 0.1%; and increases the interest rate for the Bernice Douglas Account from 0.03% to 0.2%. 

 The committee considered moving the Woodbury Fund from a savings account to an 18 month CD being offered at 2.15%.  After bringing this suggestion to the Clerks Committee and hearing their approval, we followed up with the bank to make this change.  We felt this was a good opportunity to increase the value of this account.

 The committee transferred a recently acquired CD to a new 18 month CD earning 2.15%.  This CD holds a reserve of $25,000 from our checking account.  The original CD only earned 0.25% so they felt this change was a good way to increase our earnings, despite paying a small transfer penalty of $30.

 The committee reviewed our 2 remaining CDs, The Bailey Fund and the Cox Fund.  Both are currently in 5 year CDs earning 0.95% and will renew in about 15 months.  The Bailey Fund is about $1909 and currently the interest is designated (not restricted) for the support of the minister.  The Cox Fund is about $9338 and has no restrictions or designations.

The Finance Committee recommends that they move the funds from both of these accounts into the Charity Account.  This could be done as they mature, or could be done earlier resulting in a penalty of about $150.  Moving these funds would increase the Charity Account from $5,227 to about $16,320.

5. The meeting approved moving the Bailey Fund and the Cox fund into the Charity Account, at a time deemed appropriate by the Finance Committee for the transfer.

6. Christian Education:  Wendy Schlotterbeck reported for the committee. They decided to switch the time when children and youth join Meeting for Worship on days we hold Sunday School on the first and third Sundays. In response to encouraging a less interrupted waiting worship and wanting the younger friends to participate in some aspect of Meeting for Worship, Sunday School will be held from 10:30-11:15 and will join the larger meeting at 11:15.

Tess Hartford will be teaching the Godly Play class (ages 3-11) with help from Ashley Marstaller. Wendy will be teaching the middle/high school class Quaker Affirmations.

Ashley Marstaller is interested in attending Godly Play training. CE will research when/where a training is happening and provide funds for her to attend. They are also asking for other Durham Friends to consider attending Godly Play training, with the intention of possibly helping teach the Godly Play class.

World Quaker Day was celebrated at Durham Friends Meeting as Homecoming on Oct 6, 2019. Postcard invitations were mailed out to members and attenders we hadn’t seen in a while. The theme was “sustainability” and during the youth message, Wendy recounted meeting Emma Mamani, a Bolivian Friend, at New England Yearly Meeting. Wendy showed the slideshow Quaker Bolivian youth made about the water crisis in their country and how they are helping their community by constructing simple water filters from sand and gravel. Several others brought messages of gratefulness for clean water and the beauty of our state. After Meeting for Worship, most people lingered over an abundant meal including soups, salads, cornbread, apple crisps, and ice cream! We were happy to have 7 children in attendance; many shared lively reminiscing and conversations.

Wendy staffed the Young Friend’s October retreat in Framingham, Mass. and plans to continue to staff Young Friends retreats. She also plans to offer to staff Junior High Young Friends retreats.

Wendy travelled to Washington, DC Oct 15 as a religious leader to lobby for The Clean Economy bill along with 4 other religious leaders from other states.

7. Brown Lethem brought the Peace and Social Concerns Committee report. They will be meeting on Monday, October 28th to discuss how to build on the climate crisis events they had this fall, including the possibility of adding additional solar panels to the Meeting House.

They would like to recognize the energy and thoughtfulness shared with us by the three youth, Lucia Daranyi, Riley Stevenson and Ellie Douglas at the “youth speak out “in September. The budgeted committee funds for 2019 are spent, so they ask the monthly meeting to fund a $100 donation to the Changemakers Program of which both Riley and Lucia are a part. This is a leadership development program that is run by the Maine Environmental Education Association. The committee would also like to purchase (for the library) the book, A Dangerous New World: Maine Voices on the Climate Crisis, in which a poem by Ellie Douglas will be published.

8. We approved sending a donation of $100.00 to the Changemakers program, and also purchase the book, A Dangerous New World: Maine Voices on the Climate Crisis from the General Fund.

9. Nominating Committee: Margaret Wentworth reported that they are nominating Katherine (Qat) Langelier to become the Newsletter Editor.  Qat will be added to the Communication Committee as an ex officio member; they also nominate Sukie Rice to serve on the Communication Committee as an advisor to the new editor.

10. We approved the nomination of Qat to become the Newsletter Editor and Sukie Rice to be a member of the Communication Committee.

11. Trustees:  Kim Bolshaw reported that the septic tanks for both the meetinghouse and parsonage have been pumped.

12. We were reminded of the discussion which will take place on October 27th concerning priorities and the use of our funds.

The meeting ended in gratitude for all and the Presence within. 

Dorothy Hinshaw, Recording Clerk

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, September 15, 2019

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened for the conduct of business on Sunday, September 15, 2019 with 10 people present. Martha Hinshaw Sheldon served as clerk in the absence of Susan Rice, reading a quote from the Journal of George Fox. We did not meet in August.

1. The July minutes were approved.

2. Christian Education Committee: Wendy Schlotterbeck reported for the committee and included her report as Youth Minister.

Three Durham youth attended Friends Camp this summer and reported having a great time. Thanks to Durham Meeting for your continued support through scholarships enabling these young people to attend.

Ashley Marstaller continues to staff childcare every Sunday from 10:15-12:15. She is loving and competent, and engages well with our children. Thanks so much, Ashley! She also provides care during Monthly Meeting until 1:15.

Sunday School for children and youth began the third Sunday of September, and will be held the first and third Sundays until June, except for October 6, when we will all be observing World Quaker Day with a special Homecoming celebration

This October 6 on World Quaker Day, Durham Meeting is inviting past, present, and new friends to our Homecoming celebration. Meeting for Worship begins at 10:25, followed by a meal prepared by the Christian Education committee. Please invite interested neighbors and encourage friends we haven’t seen for a while to come.

Please consider whether you may be called to teach in the Durham Friends Meeting Sunday School program.  We are looking for at least two teachers for the age 3-12 class.  Wendy will continue to teach the middle/high school class. As we begin another school year, you can find great information on the NEYM website about youth programs: https://neym.org/events/Youth%20Programs. Wendy Schlotterbeck will be staffing many of the Young Friends retreats. New England Yearly Meeting has been blessed with spiritually robust, well- attended, and fun year-round youth retreat programs, covering a span of ages from 7 to 35. A description of these retreats will be included in the newsletter.

The Permaculture Seminar at Pendle Hill scheduled for September 15-27 was unfortunately cancelled due to low enrollment.  The scholarship given to Qat Langelier to help her attend will be refunded.

3.  Ministry and Counsel: Martha Hinshaw Sheldon announced that a Ministry and Counsel retreat will be held on October 13. Ministry and Counsel continue to discuss pastoral care needs and Meeting for Worship.

4.  Peace and Social Concerns Committee: Ingrid Chalufour reported that the committee met on September 12 to continue planning for our fall activities. We will be launching our climate crisis events on September 29 with a youth panel here at the meetinghouse. We hope everyone will be able to stay after Meeting on that day. Other activities will be announced on October 6. These include Brunswick- based house parties for the film Paris to Pittsburg, which addresses the immediacy of the climate crisis and how some local communities are responding. Parties are scheduled at Ingrid Chalufour’s home on October 17 and Linda Muller’s home on November 1st. A sign-up sheet will be available on October 6. If anyone wants to host a party in another location, talk to Ingrid.

5.  Margaret Wentworth reported that the library has added several new books. A list of titles will be included in the newsletter.

6.  Communications Committee: Liana Knight reported that the Communications Committee met on September 13. Doug Bennett, Sukie Rice, and Liana Knight were present. The newsletter editor role remains unfilled. Sukie Rice is filling in temporarily, but does not plan to continue as the long-term editor. If the Meeting wants the newsletter to continue, someone needs to come forward to handle the newsletter. On Sunday, September 22, the Committee will hold a discussion about the newsletter from 12:00-12:30. We are seeking input about what parts of the newsletter are most important, and about whether or not people actually read the newsletter. Donna Hutchins asked the group to consider whether someone else could take over the Facebook page. Liana Knight agreed to take it over.

7.  The meeting approved a request by Nancy Marstaller from the Woman’s Society to hold a silent auction in November.

8.  Sarah Sprogell reported that Falmouth Quarterly Meeting will be held at Durham Friends Meeting on October 26, and the following persons were approved to be representatives: Sarah Sprogell, Margaret Wentworth, and Leslie Manning (upon her consent).

The meeting ended in record time: 12:45, after a brief silence.

Dorothy Hinshaw, Recording Clerk

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, July 21, 2019

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened for the conduct of business on Sunday, July 21, 2019 with 10 people present.  Clerk Susan Rice read a quote by Parker Palmer from the New England Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice pp. 123-124.

1. The June minutes were approved.

2. Christian Education Committee:  Katherine (Qat) Langelier brought the following report submitted by Wendy Schlotterbeck: The committee met on July 7.  They reminded us that personal hygiene stations are now available in each of the adult bathrooms for anyone needing them.

    They discussed more ways to make our meetinghouse and grounds a welcoming place for newcomers, especially families with young children. They plan to contact Trustees about putting up fencing that has been donated to keep the play area safe for active children.

    The plant and yard sale netted $549.11. Special thanks to everyone who donated plants, clothes, and items, and a big shout-out to those who helped take all the extras away!! The youth will use $500 to support Cornelius, our Kakamega sponsee. The Durham Young Friends Account at Central Maine Credit Union has a balance of $1,000.31.

    The committee is planning Sunday School for the next school year, and is reaching out to invite more Durham Friends to become trained in Godly Play. They ask, “Are you being led to participate in the lives of our children in this way, occasionally if not regularly?”  If there is enough interest, the committee hopes to host a training workshop.  They are also looking for more Doorkeepers, a special role that involves meeting each child before they enter the Godly Play space and helping them to be ready for the story. The Doorkeeper also “holds” the children and story time in a similar way to those who have Care of Meeting for Worship.

    With the change in the flow of Meeting for Worship, they discussed moving the start of Sunday School to 10:30 and having the children rejoin Meeting for Worship just before Joys and Concerns around 11:20.

    The committee discussed the value of gardening for children, and the ways they might include this activity in our Sunday School/youth programming.  Qat Langelier is planning to attend the Permaculture Design Certification Course at the Pendle Hill retreat and conference center in Wallingford, PA, Sept. 15-27, 2019. This course will enable Qat to learn valuable gardening skills and be certified to teach and share those skills with Durham Friends of all ages. She has been given a scholarship of $700 from Pendle Hill, which reduces her cost to $1,450.  The Christian Education Committee is requesting that an amount of $500 be given to her from Durham Meeting to help with the cost.  Qat will also need help with childcare for some of the days while she is away. Please contact Wendy Schlotterbeck if you are willing to help with childcare.

     Wendy will be a Resource Person for the Young Friends program at NEYM Sessions August 2-8 in Castleton, Vermont.

    Sunday School for children and youth will resume on Sunday, September 15.

    World Quaker Day will be celebrated on Sunday, October 6 as Homecoming for former and current Durham Friends; it will be the official opening of Sunday School and youth programming for the 2019-2020 school year.

    Qat Langelier reported that 15 people attended the weekend on the beach at the Georgetown home of Betsy Muench.  Much appreciation was expressed for Betsy’s hospitality.

3. We approved the donation of $500 from the Charity Account as requested by the Christian Education Committee to help support Qat Langelier’s attendance at the Pendle Hill Permaculture Design Certification Course.

4. Finance Committee: Sarah Sprogell gave the six-month financial statement (attached) and reported that we are on target for income and expenses to date. We thanked Katharine Hildebrandt and Donna Hutchins for securing insurance coverage for parsonage damage.

5.  Margaret Wentworth reported that the Nominating Committee recommends that Katharine Hildebrandt become a Trustee, and the meeting heartily approved.

6. Peace and Social Concerns Committee: Brown Lethem reported for the committee. They have three young women who will participate in the conversation about the climate crisis on September 29 at 12:30 at the meetinghouse. They hope everyone can come.

    The documentary film Paris to Pittsburgh, mentioned in last month’s minutes, was donated to the committee by Interfaith Power and Light. The film is about the climate crisis and what some local activists are doing. They will show this film in house parties during October and November. Let Ingrid Chalufour know if you would like to host a party.

    The committee requests that Durham Meeting be a sponsor of the annual Peace Fair on the Brunswick Mall on August 3.  Our meeting name would be on the Peace Fair materials, and they plan to have a handout on the fair table from 10:00 to 2:30. A thank-you letter was received for our participation in last year’s fair.

7. We approved the suggestion that we be a sponsor of the Peace Fair and that our meeting name be on the Peace Fair materials, as well as providing handouts regarding Durham Friends Meeting.

8. Craig Freshley sent a thank-you letter for our contribution and support of the Make Shift Coffee House program.  The spiritual oversight committee for Craig’s ministry includes Katharine Hildebrandt, Tess Hartford, Kristna Evans, and Wendy Schlotterbeck. 

9. Trustees: Donna Hutchins sent the report.  Trustees met on July 7. They report that the meetinghouse heat pump is not working, and Kim Bolshaw met with the installer to resolve the problem.  Daniel Henton has replaced the children’s toilet that was malfunctioning.

10.  We decided that we will not hold a monthly meeting in August and there will not be an August newsletter. 

11.  A discussion ensued regarding contributions to Quaker organizations and we were reminded that we are meeting on October 27 to discuss priorities and the use of our funds.  A follow-up discussion is suggested for the fourth Sunday in November to continue our consideration of how we use our assets to contribute and support various Quaker organizations. 

12.  Sarah Sprogell, Auditor, reported that she has completed the audit for 2013, which was a very challenging year financially.  Steps were taken to remedy the situation and a successful campaign at the end of the year helped us break even. Her report is attached.

Susan Rice, Clerk, thanked us for our presence as the meeting ended in handshakes all round.

                                                                                    Dorothy Hinshaw, Recording Clerk

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, June 16, 2019

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened in worship for the conduct of business on Sunday, June 16, 2019 with 11 people present.  Clerk Susan Rice opened the meeting by reading a quote from Marcus Aurelius.

1. The May minutes were approved with the following addition to minute 13 that Falmouth Quarterly Meeting will have “rotating clerks and recording clerks, as led; Marian Dalton and Sarah Sprogell will serve as co-conveners and contact persons for the quarter.”

2.  Finance Committee and Treasurer: Katherine Hildebrandt reported that the Tom Fry apartment renovation loan has been repaid to the Bernice Douglas Fund. 

   The committee is interested in donating an amount from the Charity Fund Account to Craig Freshley for his Make Shift Coffee house events, a program which brings together persons in civil discourse and sharing across political lines.

   The meeting has received an additional amount from the Janet Douglas estate.  The committee recommends that we designate this money in the same way we did the first amount: 10% to the Charity Account, and the rest into the Capital Account.

  Discussion ensued concerning our use of the Charity Fund and social concerns needs that we might more be able to support. It was decided that we would have an all meeting discussion about our priorities and the use of our funds, in consultation with the Trustees concerning the Capital Fund needs, on Sunday, October 27th.

3.  The meeting approved the amount of $2000 be granted to Craig Freshley from the Charity Fund for the Make Shift Coffee House events.

 4.  Ministry and Counsel:  Martha Hinshaw Sheldon reported that Ministry and Counsel met on June 9th.  They discussed meeting for worship and pastoral cares.  They will be appointing a representative to New England Yearly Meeting Ministry and Counsel at sessions this August.  They hope to have a ministry and counsel retreat this September.  The theme they offer for the meeting in July, August and September is “How do we get our light leadings out into the world?”

They propose the following for meeting for worship order of service slightly revised from the April monthly meeting minutes: hymns, a reading or prayer, children’s story on the first and third Sundays, message (out of waiting worship) joys and concerns, offering, announcements, visitors, final hymn, and handshake.  We accepted their report with appreciation in the experiment of a different order of service.

5.  Peace and Social Concerns:  Cindy Wood has stepped down as clerk for the time being and Ingrid Chalufour will be filling in. Ingrid reports that “we have had two meetings in the past month, making plans for upcoming events.

  After the generative discussions at Meeting on April 28, we selected the climate crisis as a focus for our work in the coming year. We have three initiatives in the planning stages at this point. 1) An interactive panel with 3 or 4 youth focused on what they think we should be doing to address the climate crisis. This will be Sunday Sept. 29, after Meeting for worship. We will be inviting other Meetings to participate. 2) Show a film, Pittsburg to Paris, that looks at local community climate activists across the country. We are going to try a “house party” format for showing this film during October and November.  3) We will have regular posts in the newsletter with information about local climate events and state legislation.

  There is another christening at BIW on June 22 and Brown will be there. We are hoping others from Meeting will join him.

  We discussed the Kakamega fundraiser that we have been organizing in recent years. We are a small committee with a lot planned and we do not feel we can add that to our agenda this year. We are hoping there might be a few others in the Meeting who can take it over.

  Finally, we are aware of the many needs of the asylum seekers who are in and coming to Portland. We are requesting Meeting make a $500.00 contribution to support the asylum seekers. The donation can be made up of contributions from friends with the remaining, up to $500.00, from the charity account.”  The meeting expressed appreciation for Wendy Schlotterbeck’s involvement in this concern.

6.  The meeting approved a donation of $500 from the Charity Fund to the City of Portland in support of the asylum seekers.  An article will be included in the newsletter regarding this concern and information on how to contribute to this need.

7.  Liana Knight sent a report from the new Communications Committee which met on May 31, 2019.  Liana Knight agreed to be clerk. Members are Doug Bennett (maintaining DFM website), Donna Hutchins (control of DFM Facebook account), David Dexter (phone tree initiator), Margaret Wentworth (mailing paper newsletters), and temporarily Sukie Rice (interim newsletter editor and copier).  They will meet at noon on the first Friday of September, November, January, March, and May.  Sukie is filling in as newsletter editor until a new newsletter editor can be found. 

  The newsletter comes together as a result of three tasks: collecting information, editing the information submitted, and distributing the newsletter (by email and on paper).  Sukie will pass along committee reports submitted by clerks to Doug and Liana. Doug has set up an email address that will forward messages to Sukie, Liana and Doug. The address is DurhamQuakerMeeting@gmail.com.

  The web site is intended to be a resource for both members and the general public to get timely information about the meeting. Doug will put any meeting-related information he receives on the website within 24 hours of receiving it. The website currently has several static pages with information, and one blog page where news and messages are posted on an ongoing basis. The communications committee believes that for information to be publicized on the website or on Facebook it should be about Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends-sponsored events.

  The committee holds a question about Durham Friends Notes, which were started by Daphne Clement, then handled by Sarah Sprogell and Doug Gwyn, and most recently handled by Jo-An Jacobus. They would like to revisit the topic of Friends Notes at Monthly Meeting and have the meeting determine who should generate a Friends Note.  Their recommendation is that as our communication improves, Durham Friends Notes would be reserved for deaths, crises, and any other information of immediacy and importance.

  Doug Bennett has also started a “This Week @ DFM” email that goes to local Friends and contains whatever information he has about who is taking on the various roles of Meeting for Worship (greeting, care of worship, message, refreshments) that week. He will also include information about events happening for that week. 

  The Communications Committee would like a 4th Sunday discussion on September 24th for the meeting to learn about the website, and solicit information from the community about what kinds of information we want in the Newsletter.

8.  The meeting approved meeting on September 24th to discuss the meeting’s communication concerns.

9.  It was approved that the clerk and Ministry and Counsel clerk serve as supervisors of appropriate Friends Notes.

10.  Nominating Committee: Margaret Wentworth reported that it is recommended that Brown Letham be a member of Ministry and Counsel instead of Trustees, and that Donna Hutchins be an official member of Trustees.  

11.  We approved the above recommendations of the Nominating Committee.

12.  Clerk Susan Rice has received a letter from Ellis and Merrill Bolshaw requesting funds to attend Friends Camp.  We approved that the amount in the budget of $1000 be granted to Ellis and Merrill for camp expenses.

13. Recorder Sarah Sprogell gave the 2018 statistics which are attached.  She reports that we have 106 members, gaining one member and losing 2 through resignation and 2 through death.  The attendance at worship remained steady, averaging 39 each Sunday.

14.  Auditor Sarah Sprogell reported that she has audited the records for 2018 and found them to be well organized and in good order.  The job was made easy by the good record-keeping of our treasurer!  She has begun auditing the records for 2013 and hopes to complete the additional years up to 2018. 

15.  We appointed Sarah Sprogell and Martha Sheldon to be representatives to New England Yearly Meeting sessions.

  The meeting ended in quiet worship and a thank you from the clerk. 

Dorothy Hinshaw, Recording Clerk

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

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, April 21, 2019

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened in worship for the conduct of business on Sunday, April 21, 2019 with 14 people present.  Clerk Susan Rice opened the meeting by reading a verse from a hymn, “Christ Be Our Light.”

1.  The March 17, 2019 minutes were approved.

2. Ministry and Counsel:  Martha Hinshaw Sheldon reported for the committee. At their April meeting they discussed a proposal for a change in the order of worship: Hymns – Call to worship – Children’s message (1st and 3rd Sunday) – The message – Open worship – Joys and Concerns – Offering – Final Hymn – Handshake – Announcements.  They also discussed a concern shared from New England Yearly Meeting (NEYM).  More information will be posted in the Newsletter with further discussion planned in following weeks.  Pastoral care concerns were shared.  One was a report on the housing upgrades for Ralph and Twila Greene.  Nat Shed sent a second request to Obadiah Brown Fund for funds for renovations on the house the Greens moved to recently.  While it is better than the previous house it still needs a few repairs to make it more comfortable.  If you are led to help financially with this project or want to help with the renovation work, contact the team who have been working on this concern – Nat Shed, Edwin Hinshaw, Dorothy Hinshaw, and Nancy Marstaller.  There are other such pastoral care teams throughout Durham Friends Meeting who have been laboring tirelessly to share ministry and support for many who have been in need in the past few months.  “As clerk I am very appreciative of these individuals and groups as they shine the light and love of God to many in our meeting,” Martha added.  

    The meeting thanked Ministry and Counsel (M&C) for their careful consideration of our worship hour and suggested that we try their changed format during the months of May and the first two weeks of June, with further discussion on this new plan at the June Monthly Meeting.

3.  Christian Education: Wendy Schlotterbeck reported that an egg hunt was held this morning for Easter Day, and we enjoyed a delicious breakfast prepared by Katherine Langelier, Dorothy Curtis, and Kim Bolshaw, with other tasty donations by attenders.  They announced that the annual yard sale will be June 1.

4.  Peace and Social Concerns:  Four members of the committee met on April 9 at Brown Letham’s apartment: Linda Muller, Cush Anthony, Brown Letham and Ingrid Chalufour.  They discussed upcoming events.  Linda and Ingrid reported that the group planning the climate panel had their third meeting at the UU church, and Ron Turcotte, the moderator of the panel, attended.  The group outlined an agenda and talked through all the details of the evening.  Brown volunteered to get a climate change banner and to be on the clean-up crew. All will distribute posters.

  Ingrid reported on her first Brunswick Area Interfaith Council meeting, where she passed out a preliminary flier about the climate panel. 

   They discussed the April 27 Bath Iron Works vigil. They will car pool from Brunswick and hope others will join them.  Brown has printed a handout showing research on the costs of war.

   Plans were made concerning the message and potluck discussion on April 28.  Linda will deliver the message planned by the group and Ingrid will organize small and large group discussions. 

5.  Trustees: Kitsie Hildebrandt reported for the Trustees. Katherine Langelier has asked that parents of home school children schedule the meetinghouse and grounds for a regular Gentle Parenting Meeting. 

    Trustees have asked Rick’s Pump Service to make recommendations to update our water system; Dan Henton will carry out a “dump run” with trash from the horse shed; and they will begin having a trash pick-up at the meetinghouse.

6.  We approved the scheduling of the Gentle Parenting Meeting group using the meeting house social room area partitioned off from the library.

7.  Finance Committee:  Kitsie Hildebrandt handed out the first quarter financial report (attached) which we accepted with gratitude.  The parsonage pellet boiler damage was repaired, and the insurance payment received.  We were reminded that the Ralph and Twila Greene fund is a project of the NEYM, but that Durham Friends Meeting is a conduit of financial contributions received for their house repair.  More information may be gained from the ad hoc “Greene Care Team” mentioned above in the M&C report.

   We are very thankful for a generous donation from Janet Douglas’ gifts and memorials. It was suggested that 10% of this fund be added to the Charity Account, and that the remainder be used for the capital account for upkeep of buildings and grounds. 

8.  We approved the above use of the Janet Douglas Fund: 10% be added to the Charity Fund account, and the rest for buildings upkeep. 

   The meeting closed with a short period of worship. 

            Dorothy Hinshaw, Recording Clerk 

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, March 17, 2019

            Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened in worship for the conduct of business on Sunday, March 17, 2019 with 20 people present.  Clerk Susan Rice opened the meeting by reading from the 1985 New England Faith and Practice, “The Quaker Method of Making Decisions,” paragraph 2.

            1.The February 17, 2019 minutes were approved.

            2. Ministry and Counsel:  Martha Hinshaw Sheldon reported that they met in March to share pastoral care concerns and discuss possible changes to meeting for worship. A few new modalities will be introduced over the next few months to get a sense of what if any changes might be made.  Feel free to share concerns and responses with the committee.  The opening theme of “Leadings” will continue through March shared by the Care of Worship person at the beginning of worship in the form of a reading or prayer.  The theme for April through June will be “Attending to the Light.”  More information on this theme will be included in the Newsletter.   

            A welcoming dinner happened with Cush and Maureen Anthony and Bruce Ludders.  Other dinners will occur as needed.

            The State of Society Report was shared, and we expressed appreciation for this report.

            3.  The State of Society Report was approved with revisions; it is attached.

            4. Christian Education and Youth Minister: Katherine Langelier sent her report and reported that the committee met on March 3rd.  The intergenerational game night and potluck supper on March 9th was very enjoyable.  They thank everyone who came: 19 in attendance. Wendy Schlotterbeck reported that there will be a Ukrainian egg painting on April 6 at 2:00, and an Easter breakfast with children’s activities on April 21.

            5. Trustees: Leslie Manning reported that they met with Kim Bolshaw, our custodian and with Kitsie Hildebrandt our treasurer to get caught up on recent events at the parsonage and expressed gratitude for all the work done to handle the freeze up and problems with the pellet boiler.  The tenants are concerned about energy use and Kitsie’s son, Willis Beazley, who does this for work, has agreed to look at the parsonage with an eye toward weatherization.  Things seem stable now.  They will be looking at alternatives for the laundry pipes placement soon.

            The water filtration system in use at the Meetinghouse is 15 years old and obsolete.  The installer, who is still in the business, will come to consult and make a recommendation.  The water is safe but does contain minerals and has a brackish taste.  We are using a Brita filter and continue to use water jugs brought from home to keep us supplied.  We hope to have this all resolved later this year.

            The lock on the front door has been replaced by Dan Henton; if you need a key, please see Kim. 

            They are pleased with the repair work on the ceilings and will get an estimate from the same painter for the painting of the walls of the meeting room, which they will have done this spring, after Easter.

They appreciate that everyone is cooperating with the closing of the Meetinghouse at the end the day or meeting.  Please keep it up so that we can continue to reduce our heating costs.

They ask the Nominating Committee to name replacements for Trustee vacancies.

Everyone expressed satisfaction and gratitude for the custodial work being done by Kim Bolshaw and the plowing and sanding being done by Andy Higgins who continues to donate his services.

             6. Finance Committee:  Sarah Sprogell brought the year-end report for 2018: revenue income for the year, expenses listed by category totals, a breakdown of designated accounts, and a breakdown of our savings and investments.  A second page listed detailed expenses line by line for each category. We ended the year with total income of $57,047.79 and total expenses of $45,409.96.  Attached are these reports. We expressed gratitude for this detailed report.

            7. Nominating Committee:  We approved the appointment of Margaret Copeland to serve on the Lisbon Area Christian Outreach Board.

            8. Peace and Social Concerns Committee:  Brown Letham reported for the committee.  Upcoming events were announced for April:   April 27 – vigil at BWI at the christening of a destroyer; April 28 – the committee will bring the message, have a finger food potluck, and following worship a discussion on the meeting’s corporate discernment for the committee’s direction.  Brown brought a brochure regarding the call for a conversion to peacetime production at Bath Iron Works.  The committee recommends that Durham Friends be a co-sponsor of the vigil for conversion of BIW to peacetime production at the warship christening. 

            On May 10, the committee is cooperating with the Brunswick Unitarian Church to hold an event on climate change and how congregations can get involved on different levels of action.

            Details and information about these events will be included in the Newsletter.

            9.  We approved supporting the April 27 vigil at Bath Iron Works as a co-sponsor, including our meeting name on a flyer, and possibly displaying a banner. 

            10. We approved the following persons to be representatives at Falmouth Quarterly Meeting which is meeting on May 4 in conjunction with the All Maine Gathering: Sarah Sprogell, Wendy Schlotterbeck and Betsy Muench. 

            11. New England Yearly Meeting Permanent Board has asked to meet at our Durham Meeting on May 11, and we approved.  Sukie Rice will be the point person for arrangements for our hosting them.

            12. It is with sadness that we report that our member Julianna Fogg died at age 56 on February 22, 2019.

            The meeting closed with expressions of love and appreciation for our time together. 

            Dorothy Hinshaw, Recording Clerk

Report from Peace and Social Concerns, March 17, 2019

By Brown Letham

Upcoming events:

April               Lenten Saturday vigils at Bath Iron Works

April 27          Vigil at BIW for the christening of a destroyer          

April 28          P&SC give message, and sponsor potluck and discussion at Durham Friends Meeting

May 10           Co-sponsoring a panel discussion of climate change action at the Brunswick  Unitarian Universalist (UU) Church

May 11           New England Yearly Meeting Permanent Board will meet at Durham Meetinghouse

May 11            Game Night to follow

May 17           Peter and Annie Blood concert at Portland UU church

Ingrid Chalufour reports that she will be attending meetings of the Brunswick Interfaith Council. Cush Anthony is involved with the Maine Council of Churches.

Planning of the Friday, May 10 climate change action panel discussion: Panelists will be Sen. Brownie Carson, Rev. Sylvia Stocker, and Ann D. Burt. There might also be a Bowdoin student.  The purpose of the panel and the activity below is not to describe climate change or debate its existence but to talk about actions that people can take on an individual, legislative , and most importantly, organizational level.

Sunday April 28 Worship, potluck and discussion: The P&SC committee is generating queries to prompt thinking and discussion about corporate witness as a Meeting. A short First Day message may spring out of the queries that will be brought into worship.  Finger food potluck followed by discussion.

Peace vigils at BIW: Brown mentioned that the next destroyer christening at BIW was planned tentatively for April, as well as the remaining Saturday Lenten vigils there. He brought a pamphlet about a call for a conversion to peacetime production at BIW and asked if Durham Friends would consider endorsing/sponsoring it.

The Minute reads: “Peace and Social Concerns Committee recommends to Monthly Meeting that Durham Friends be a co-sponsor of the vigil for conversion of Bath Iron Works to peacetime production at the upcoming warship christening.”

Sponsorship would entail permission to print our name in the flyer, display the banner at the vigil, but no financial obligation.

[Editor’s note: the destroyer’s christening has been scheduled for April 27 at BIW.]

Library News for March 2019

By Dorothy Hinshaw

Hal Tucker was an ordained United Church of Christ (UCC) minister and a mentor to many students at Bangor Theological Seminary (BTS) and in the UCC tradition.  He was one of “Bee’s Boys” and learned to love our Quaker way during his years at Bowdoin College while rooming with Bernice (Bee) Douglas. He also served our meeting as a pastor while a student at BTS.  He and his wife, Bettina, have given us many valuable Quaker books from their collection. 

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading one of these donated books, Living in a Larger World, the Life of Murray S. Kenworthy, who grew up in the Midwest (as did I). Kenworthy became a well-loved Quaker pastor, teacher at Earlham College, and served with the American Friends Service Committee.  This book gives an insight into the development of the Quaker pastoral system and programmed meetings, and the AFSC feeding program in Russia.   His son, Leonard, was a prolific writer about Quaker subjects; several of his pamphlets are on the pamphlet shelf. 

“Check out” these valuable books and pamphlets!

Attending to the Light — Worship Theme April to June 2019

Quakers have an unusual way of talking about what we are seeking: we are seeking “the Light.” 

The Gospel of John, long a favorite of Quakers, begins by saying “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”  That’s an arresting way of talking about what we are seeking, but quickly John moves to speaking of the Light.  John says the Word was “the light of all humankind.”  Moreover, “the light shines in darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”  Of the coming of Jesus, John says “the true light that gives life to everyone was coming into the world.” John 1:1-9.  And later John quotes Jesus as saying “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12. 

The early Quaker James Naylor said  “Art thou in the darkness? Mind it not, for if thou dost thee will feed it more. Stand still, act not, and wait in patience till light arises out of darkness and leads thee.”

The early Quaker theologian Robert Barclay said “That for this end God hath communicated and given unto every [person] a measure of the Light of his own Son, a measure of grace, or a measure of the Spirit.”

And in worship we often ask that we hold someone “in the Light.”

What a remarkable gift is “the light.” How can we awaken the Light within us?  How can we wait in patience till light arises out of darkness and leads us?

Worth watching is this QuakerSpeak video: 

State of Society, Durham Friends Meeting, 2018

In 2018 the State of our Society at Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends was healthy and thriving. We gather at our old brick Meetinghouse from towns north, south, east and west from Durham, forming a community grounded in a vital worship life that that both gives and receives strength from a range of other activities in the Meeting.  We are still feeling our way, but more confidently, in our second full year of proceeding without a paid pastor. 

Ministry and Counsel has accepted new responsibilities both for the worship life of the Meeting and for pastoral care of members and attenders.  We love receiving messages from one another, sometimes in linked themes across weeks, and also as each individual is led. We also have been much enriched by invited message-bringers from outside the meeting.  We continue to reserve 5th First Days in a month, when there is one one, for unprogrammed worship.  We have been adjusting our regular schedule to accommodate expressed needs for more gathered silence during Meetings for Worship. 

All of us are still not completely comfortable proceeding without a pastor, but we are finding ways to have various committees and individuals do what a pastor once did for us.  An ad hoc committee appointed in 2017 led a yearlong consideration of the issues in proceeding without a pastor.  We asked ourselves, what can we do to strengthen the Meeting?  We came to focus on three needs to which we need to be attentive:  pastoral care, outreach and coordination.  Without a pastor, each of these areas is an important function with which we may struggle if we do not fresh approaches.  An adult Sunday school meets regularly and we have been experimenting with prayer circles. 

Our membership numbers have stayed relatively constant with a few passings and a roughly equal number of new members.  Nearly every week we have visitors.  We average 30 to 40 in worship each week except in the summer when, with one and another of us scattered to other Maine pleasures, numbers are a bit lower.  We meet for business regularly and appreciate an excellent monthly newsletter. 

Ministry Counsel has taken on responsibility for pastoral care of members.  Having this as a committee responsibility rather that mostly relying on a pastor has been an important challenge.  We have developed an organized approach to seeing that we are attending to all expressed needs.  Some of us are still learning to see a visit from a fellow member rather than a pastor as pastoral care. 

We take delight in the presence of children among us and are grateful for the creativity and care of our Youth Minister.  We provide childcare every Sunday, and children’s programs on 1st and 3d Sundays.  Our Christian Education Committee continues to be a source of vitality for the whole Meeting.  It has developed an inter-generational approach to reaching out to families and provides spiritual nurture to youth through Godly Play and Young Friends seeking.  CE also arranged a series of Game Nights for children of all ages and these will continue.  Through our budget and extra efforts we arranged support for several children to attend Friends Camp.

We aim to make a difference in this world guided by the Spirit, love and our understanding of scriptures. Our Peace and Social Concerns Committee has new members and new energies for a variety of initiatives.  The Kakamega Orphan Care Center, Lisbon Area Christian Outreach’s food bank, witnessing for peace at Bath Iron Works, a quilting project to address gun violence, the American Friends Service Committee and Seeds of Peace camp all received our attention and support. Towards the end of the year, P&SC arranged a thought-provoking social justice film series. 

Our Trustees have been faithfully attentive to caring for our Meetinghouse, horse shed, parsonage burial grounds, and phone/internet service.  Each has needed and received attention.  Our Finance Committee and our Treasurer have the Meeting’s financial house in good order.  We vexed ourselves with disagreements about whether and which clock to allow in the Meeting room but we appear to have found a solution.  We share the Meetinghouse regularly with a 12-step Group and a Native American fellowship group. 

Outreach has been a question on our minds.  How can we reach out beyond ourselves to bring our message and the delights of our community to others?  We have taken this on as a challenge for all of us, as we turn to a new year. 

Approved by Monthly Meeting, March 17, 2019

Christian Education Committee Report, February 2019

Katherine Langelier reported that the committee is very grateful for Ashley Marstaller’s presence and skill in providing childcare.The Intergenerational Game Night on January 12th was very enjoyable, and the next one will be on March 9th, starting at 5pm with a potluck supper.  

The committee has cleared with Trustees adding a “menstruation station” to the bathroom. This will include personal supplies such as tampons, pads, wipes, and paper towels and a more hygienic means of collection like a small, covered, and lined container for disposal of used items.

Adult Sunday School is covering the book Waking Up White by Debbie Irving.

Durham Friends have been given the opportunity to co-sponsor an event with Friends’ School of Portland in their Parenting For Peace series, “Tell Me The Truth: Exploring the Heart of Cross-Racial Conversations” between Debbie and Shay Stewart Bouley on May 1st. Christian Ed requested funds to share in the cost of co-sponsoring, and it was suggested and approved that the $100 be split equally between the budgets of Christian Education and Peace & Social Concerns. Leslie Manning volunteered to sit at a table representing Durham at the event. 

Christian Ed will be coordinating with other committees including Ministry & Counsel to plan a Homecoming Sunday on World Quaker Day, the first Sunday in October. A key feature of the day will be sharing stories from the life of the meeting in the past. The committee invites everyone to help with preparations for this special occasion.

Library Committee Annual Report, 2018

By Ellen Bennett

We appreciate the addition of Nancy Marstaller to the committee in 2018 and look forward to the addition of Ellen Bennett in 2019.

Many Quaker books were added to the library, donated from a retired Friend, and four books were purchased from the United Society of Friends Women International reading list. We included Library News in the Durham Friends Newsletter and continue to receive Pendle Hill Pamphlets and Quaker Religious Thought pamphlets.

We will compile a list of books we would like to have in the library and ask Friends either to purchase or donate any they can. We always appreciate recommendations and look for special books that people would like to donate. A good place to look for possible additions to our library is Friends’ Journal annual book review issue.

In addition, we thinned the collection some, giving a few books to Kristna Evans for the Vintage Quaker Books collection, and selling a few, taking in $50.00.

As with last year, we are looking for a table on which to put the card catalog to make it easier to use. And we hope people will take advantage of this singular meeting resource, as well as continue to make suggestions for how we can best serve you.

Margaret Wentworth, Dorothy Hinshaw, Ellen Bennett, Nancy Marstaller, and David Dexter.


Peace and Social Concerns Meeting, February 13, 2019

By Ingrid Chalufour

            The committee met with all members present, welcoming new members Bob Eaton and Cush Anthony. We discussed possible spring events and made several decisions:

  • We discussed the importance of addressing climate change, the real crisis right now.
  • We would like to put together a panel to help us move toward taking collective action.
  • We would like to collaborate with another group(s) on this and are looking for partners.

            Ingrid Chalufour has volunteered to represent the Meeting in the Brunswick Area Interfaith Council. The recently revived group meets monthly. This might be a path to finding collaborators.

            As a follow-up to the American Friends Service Committee discussion about action priorities we are planning events for April 28, the last Sunday in April. Our committee will give the message that day and facilitate an after-Meeting discussion.

            We have agreed to host a Peter and Annie Blood concert in May at the Meeting House. They have a new Pete Seeger songbook they will be using for the concert.

P

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, February 17, 2019

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened in worship for the conduct of business on Sunday, February 17, 2019 with 16 people present.  Clerk Susan Rice opened the meeting by reading from the 1985 New England Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice, “The Quaker Method of Making Decisions”, p. 115.  There was no monthly meeting in January due to snow.

1. The December 16, 2018 minutes were approved.

2. Ministry and Counsel:  Martha Hinshaw Sheldon reported that Ministry and Counsel met in January and February to discuss worship, pastoral care concerns and opportunities, and new members.

            They received a letter requesting membership from Cushman Anthony who had been a member of Portland Friends Meeting in the past.  A clearness committee met with Cush and recommend that he be received into membership at Durham Friends Meeting.  Ministry and Counsel enthusiastically approved this recommendation and sent it on to monthly meeting for final consideration and approval.

            They will continue to suggest a theme for worship.  Those bringing a message may choose the theme, “Leadings” for February and March. 

            They report that Ralph and Twila Greene have found a stable home into which they moved this month.  They are thankful for those who stepped in to help resolve this concern: Nat Shed, Nancy Marstaller, and Edwin Hinshaw.

3. We enthusiastically approved welcoming Cushman Anthony as a member of Durham Friends Meeting.

4. Nominating Committee: Margaret Wentworth and Jo-an Jacobus reported that the list of committees and officers is almost complete with a few changes and corrections.  The corrected report will be included in the Newsletter and attached to these minutes.  We expressed our thanks to the committee and to Jo-an who is leaving the committee.

5. We approved the Nominating Committee report with corrections.

6.  Trustees: Leslie Manning reported that there is no report this month; Kitsie Hildebrandt, Treasurer, reported trouble with the heating system at the parsonage which has been resolved thanks to the help of Craig Freshley.  An insurance claim has been filed.

7. Communications Committee:  The committee met on Wednesday Feb. 13, 2019. Jo-an Jacobus will be stepping down as Newsletter Editor. Her last month as Newsletter Editor will be April 2019, when she will assemble the May 2019 newsletter. The committee does not yet have a replacement. Jo-an reported that the hardest tasks of getting the newsletter out are 1) getting information from the meeting and 2) getting messages for the first page. Doug Bennett will assist in getting all the needed information from the various individuals and committees through April.

            We expressed much appreciation for the hard work that Jo-an has performed as editor of our newsletter: The Best of Friends!

8. Christian Education Committee:  Katherine Langelier reported that the committee is very grateful for Ashley Marstaller’s presence and skill in providing childcare. 

            The Game Night (afternoon) on January 12 was very enjoyable, and the next one will be March 9.  Plans are being made for an Easter celebration.  They plan to participate in an event with Portland Friends School’s Parenting for Peace series, and request funds to co-sponsor the program. Leslie Manning volunteered to sit at a Durham Friends Meeting table at the event. We endorsed the exciting plan of a World Quaker Day Homecoming Sunday on October 6.   Plans for these activities will be included in detail in the Newsletter. 

            The committee expressed appreciation for the joyful noise of small children.

            The Adult Sunday School Class has been and continues to read Waking up White by Debbie Irving.

9. We approved the expense of $50.00 each from Christian Education and Peace and Social Concerns Committees to cover the cost of co-sponsoring the Parenting for Peace event.

10.  Peace and Social Concerns: the committee welcomed new members Bob Eaton and Cush Anthony.  They reported that the film series and the Seeds of Peace events were very meaningful but not well attended.

            They discussed possible spring events and the importance of addressing climate change, the real crisis right now.  They hope to put together a panel to help move toward taking collective action.  They would like to collaborate with another group(s) on this and are looking for partners.

            Ingrid Chalufour has volunteered to represent the meeting at the Brunswick Area Interfaith Council which meets monthly.

            They are planning an event for April 28 as a follow-up to the American Friends Service Committee discussion about action priorities.  The committee will give the message that day and facilitate an after-meeting discussion.   

11.  The Library Committee gave their annual report which is attached to these minutes.

12.  A thank you letter was received from Lisbon Area Christian Outreach for $355 donation to the food pantry from the parsonage garden profits; they report that they serve between 250-300 families a month. 

13.  Leslie Manning reminded us that members are needed from our meeting to serve on the New England Yearly Meeting Nominating Committee and the Yearly Meeting Ministry and Counsel. 

14.  Much appreciation was expressed for Andy Higgins who has been offering his services to plow and mow for us without any charge. 

            The meeting closed at 1:58 p.m. in the Spirit, in appreciation for God’s guidance. 

            Dorothy Hinshaw, Recording Clerk