Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, June 20, 2021

            Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends met virtually via Zoom for the conduct of business on Sunday, June 20, 2021 with 13 people present.  Bob Eaton, Clerk, opened the meeting with quiet worship.

1.The May minutes were approved as printed in the Newsletter.

2. Handbook:  the final draft of the Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends Handbook was approved, adding an additional introduction which states that “Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends is a member meeting of New England Yearly Meeting.  New England Yearly Meeting has a Faith and Practice which communicates to members and inquirers the historic and continuing faith of Friends and to outline procedures to be followed by meetings regarding membership, organization, the conduct of their affairs, and the concerns of the Society.  This Handbook states the particular policies and procedures of Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends within the overall guidance of the Faith and Practice of the New England Yearly Meeting of Friends.

3.Trustees: Katharine Hildebrandt reported that a threshing session to consider the selling of the parsonage was held on April 25, 2021.  There were approximately 20 people in attendance, either on Zoom or in the backyard behind the meetinghouse, six feet apart and wearing masks.  A detailed report of that meeting will be attached to the minutes.  A thoughtful discussion ensued regarding this matter.    Trustees recommend that the meeting move forward with a decision on the future of the parsonage at the July monthly meeting.  We expressed our appreciation for the work of the trustees. 

4.  Ministry and Counsel: Renee Cote brought a report regarding future hybrid meetings for worship.  Hope was expressed that we return to meeting in the meetinghouse in the fall, maintaining some virtual attendance, as well as continuing to have speakers from away, and keeping in mind those who cannot come to the meetinghouse.   It was noted that the CDC recommendations have changed over time, and that we ought to use the most current guidelines.  The question of requiring vaccinations was raised.  We accepted the report with appreciation and look forward to continued study of hybrid worship.  Renee Cote reported that the Meeting OWL device has been checked for use in the meetinghouse and is recommended.

            Nancy Marstaller is planning a hymn sing on August 22nd, working with Ministry and Counsel on arrangements.

            Wendy Schlotterbeck recommended that we donate the amount of $1000 to Jay O’Hara in support of his ministry with the Climate Disobedience Center. 

5.  We approved purchasing the Meeting Owl for use in the meetinghouse. 

6. We approved the donation of $1000 to Jay Ohara for the Climate Disobedience Center, using the Charity Fund.

7. Clerk’s Report: Bob Eaton reported that the May meeting laid over the report of the ad hoc Meeting Care Coordinator Oversight Seasoning Group to June.  Following Wendy’s recent resignation as Youth Minister, Christian Education Committee is reviewing this role. Since the first-year anniversary of the Meeting Care Coordinator position is nearing, meeting will want to evaluate this position as we move forward.  Therefore, the clerk recommends that an ad-hoc group composed of clerks of committees, and others who wish to volunteer, review the Christian Education Committee recommendation, and conduct a review of the MCC position to see if there is potential synergy between the two positions as we define them for the future. Also, consideration of the ad hoc Meeting Care Coordinator Oversight Group be further laid over pending the result of the review of the two positions.

8. Christian Education Committee/Youth Minister: Wendy Schlotterbeck reported that the Annual Plant Sale had another successful year. Warm thanks to Kim Bolshaw and many others who donated, watered and tended the plants. So far, they  have netted $900. 

            On Children’s Day, June 6, slideshow of Durham children/youth was shared via zoom near the end of Meeting for Worship that day. A copy of the photos will be sent to attenders who did not have video access (Lyn, David, Margaret, Renee).  The Noonday Children’s Day gathering outside in the Meeting House yard was attended by 15 Durham Friends. It was a wonderful experience seeing people in-person and sharing laughter around the picnic table in the horse shed.

            On Saturday, June 12, 17 Durham Friends gathered at the Hinshaw-Sheldon’s camp on Labrador Pond in Sumner, Maine. They delighted in each other’s company, sat around the picnic table under a large shade tree, and shared food and conversation. Some made use of the kayaks and canoes and paddled the pond on the glorious, sunny day.  

            Youth Minister, Wendy Schlotterbeck, helped facilitate the evening sessions of the June NEYM Young Friends retreat June 11-13.

9. Clerk Bob Eaton wrote the following Minute of Appreciation: “Wendy Schlotterbeck joined Durham Friends Meeting in 2009 and within a year the meeting asked her to take on the responsibility of Youth Minister.  Wendy had filled this role with quiet competence ever since.  The size of the meeting’s youth group had varied over the years, but never Wendy’s careful attention to each member.  A generation of meeting children have grown in the love and concern that Wendy has shared so generously.  Wendy’s ministry to our youth reminds us of George Fox’s admonition to us: “Then you will come to walk cheerfully over the world, answering that of God in everyone; whereby in them ye may be a blessing, and make the witness of God in them to bless you.”  Wendy, you have, indeed, walked cheerfully and lightly with us as Youth Minister.  We thank you, dear friend.”

 10. Peace and Social Concerns Committee: Ingrid Chalufour reported that the committee will be focused on reparations for the summer. They will be posting readings on the website and hosting a discussion of reparations in September. They will also be encouraging you to support the federal bill HR 40: Commission to Study and Develop Reparations Proposals for African Americans Act. Their fall agenda will return to issues of Indigenous Sovereignty in Maine. Shirley Hager, one of the authors of The Gatherings, will join us for Meeting for Worship and a discussion in October. The books for New Mainer children will be given to families on June 30. Cindy Wood, from the committee, will be present for the distribution, which will be in conjunction with an Art Van visit, at Brunswick Landing where many of the families live. The committee continues to work on recruiting 8 teachers for the Social Justice Enrichment Project. Elementary schools in Durham and Topsham are definitely in the program and they hope to have two other schools very soon. The committee has compiled an impressive list of books that they will use in making a selection for each teacher. You will hear more about this project in the months to come. Ingrid expressed appreciation for working with those on the committee. 

11.  Velasco Friends Meeting: Nancy Marstaller reported that contact with Cuban Friends in Velasco is sporadic due to more covid cases; more restrictions are noted.  Donations cannot be sent at present.  There will be a pot-luck lunch September 26 with Portland Friends who share a sister relationship with Velasco Friends Meeting.

12. Finance Committee:  Sarah Sprogell presented a draft proposal for procedures for contracting services for the meeting. They recommend that a check list be used in order to gather adequate information whenever a person is hired for contracted work or services.  This information would be included in a written contract, signed and dated by the appropriate people. This checklist will be used as a reference for committees and the monthly meeting.  This list will be attached to these minutes. It was suggested that we add a procedure for resignation or completion of service.

            Bob Eaton, Clerk, closed the meeting with quiet waiting, and anticipation for a great afternoon outside!

            Dorothy Hinshaw, Recording Clerk

Handbook of Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends Handbook, March 2021

            Durham Friends Meeting is a member meeting of New England Yearly Meeting.  New England Yearly Meeting has a Faith and Practice which communicates “to members and inquirers the historic and continuing faith of Friends and outlines procedures to be followed by meetings regarding membership, organization, the conduct of their affairs, and the concerns of the Society.”

            This Handbook states the particular policies and procedures of Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends within the overall guidance of The Faith and Practice of the New England Yearly Meeting of Friends.

Purpose and Goals

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends is a community discerning and serving the will of God.  Our understanding of God comes through corporate worship, study of the Bible and other literature, a sense of God through Jesus Christ, through continuing revelation, and in confirming experiences, many of which we share with one another.  The Meeting seeks to provide opportunities for the individual to grow in faith and in expressing that faith.  For these purposes it is important for us to attend Meeting for Worship and Monthly Meeting for Business, to support the Meeting financially, to serve on committees as time and energy allow, and to take part in opportunities provided by the Meeting for worship, study, and fellowship with others. 

The Meeting strives to be a supportive community for those in it.  Those in the Meeting should be aware of its involvement in Friends groups at many levels beyond our own community: i.e., Falmouth Quarterly Meeting, Friends Committee on Maine Public Policy, New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, Friends United Meeting, Friends General Conference, American Friends Service Committee, Friends Committee on National Legislation, Friends World Committee for Consultation, and United Society of Friends Women International.  The Meeting is a member of the Brunswick Area Interfaith Council and the Lisbon Area Christian Outreach. 

Membership

Membership in the Society of Friends is in a Monthly Meeting.  Anyone who has faith in God and understands the precepts of the Bible, who wants to follow the life and teachings of Jesus under the guidance and authority of the Light Within, and who feels comfortable in the Meeting community is encouraged to apply for membership.  If already a member of another Friends Meeting, the person should write for a letter of transfer to be sent to the Clerk of Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends.  If an individual has been a member of another faith group, that connection and an appropriate communication with that group will be discussed in the clearness process.  The Monthly Meeting acts on the recommendation of Ministry and Counsel after it has acquainted itself with the person and his/her religious/spiritual experience.

Monthly Meeting for Business

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends meets once a month for business in accordance with Friends’ custom as stated in Faith and Practice of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends (1985).  These meetings are held the third Sunday of each month after worship.  Business of the Monthly Meeting includes minutes, treasurer’s reports, Ministry and Counsel reports, reports of committees as appropriate, and consideration of other concerns as they arise.  Fund raising beyond the budget requires the approval of the Monthly Meeting. Committees, both standing and ad hoc, are appointed to help conduct and carry out the business of the Monthly Meeting.  Concerns, issues raised, and proposed actions may be assigned to appropriate committees for “seasoning” and careful consideration.  Such committees then report their recommendations back to Monthly Meeting for further action.  Committees also present to Monthly Meeting concerns that they have discerned, and proposed actions.

It is recommended that an agenda be sent out previous to Monthly Meeting; and that substantive materials (reports, proposals, etc.), from committees and individuals be sent as email attachments or made available on the website.  The Meeting will generally consider only matters that have been first considered and brought forward by a committee appointed by the Meeting.  Generally the Meeting will not make a decision the first time a matter is brought forward but rather allow it to season for a month.

Clerk

The Clerk or a Co-Clerk of the Monthly Meeting develops an agenda, presides at the Monthly Meeting for Business, and takes care of correspondence and the details of the business items unless such responsibilities are delegated to others.  The Clerk or Co-Clerks must also be members of the Monthly Meeting.

Recording Clerk

The Recording Clerk makes a record of the minutes and reports of the Monthly Meeting.  In preparation for archival storage the minutes are recorded on acid-free paper.  Periodically the minutes are bound and copies are made for Durham Monthly Meeting, the New England Yearly Meeting Archives, and the originals are deposited at the Maine Historical Society in Portland. 

Ministry and Counsel

Monthly Meeting appoints at least six members to Ministry and Counsel.  Members of Ministry and Counsel must also be members of the Meeting.  The Youth Minister, Meeting Care Coordinator, and Meeting Clerk meet with the committee.  Recorded ministers who are members of the Meeting are ex officio members of M&C.  Representatives are appointed to attend and report back on Quarterly Meeting and New England Yearly Meeting Ministry and Counsel sessions. 

The primary functions of Ministry and Counsel are to oversee and to nurture the spiritual life of the Meeting.  Visiting within the Meeting community, especially but not limited to those who have a particular need, shall be a high priority.  Ministry and Counsel shall encourage, nurture, and support visiting by others in the Meeting community.  Ministry and Counsel shall encourage members and attenders to develop their skills and leadings in the many facets of the mission of the Meeting. 

M&C oversees Meeting for Worship, encouraging members and attenders to share messages and care of worship.   M&C oversees the instruction of attenders and others who show an interest in the Meeting and considers applications for membership and, if favorable, recommends that the Monthly Meeting accept the applicant as a member.  M&C prepares an annual state of the society report, which is forwarded to the Monthly Meeting for its consideration by April and then sent on to the Yearly Meeting Ministry and Counsel and Falmouth Quarterly Meeting.

M&C should appoint annually one of its members to be clerk to preside at its meetings and a recording clerk to keep minutes of proceedings.  Meetings are held regularly each month.  Special meetings may be called by the clerk of M&C on request of three members of Ministry and Counsel.   

Meeting Care Coordinator

The Meeting Care Coordinator and members of M&C share responsibility for attending to individual pastoral care needs of the Meeting.  The Meeting Care Coordinator would help ensure that those needing visits or special care have their needs met, and help maintain connection with those who may seem to be drifting away.  The Meeting Care Coordinator would assist M&C or take the lead in contacting members to find message givers for each Sunday worship.  The MCC helps coordinate prayer groups and prayer partners, as needed. The MCC also maintains coordination with the Youth Minister.  The MCC provides assistance, as needed, in scheduling and communicating about these events and in coordinating with other churches or organizations with similar concerns.  The MCC would also provide follow-up with visitors to the Meeting.  Committee meetings to attend to gain clarity on the above are Clerks Committee, M&C, Monthly Meeting, and Peace and Social Concerns.

Pastor

In the past the Meeting hired pastors who have inspired, encouraged, and challenged the community.  After an extended trial period beginning in 2017, we explored the feasibility of continuing as a semi-programmed Meeting without a pastor and found that we continued to experience the life of the spirit within the Meeting, without having a paid pastor.  We have adopted this practice for now, allowing financial resources to be used in other ways as the Meeting is led.

Christian Education Committee

The Christian Education Committee provides the leadership and resources for each participant in the Meeting community to grow in the knowledge, understanding, and commitment to his/her personal faith and our shared faith tradition. 

Specific committee responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Oversight of the youth minister role as consistent with the agreement, which includes the committee’s responsibility for assessing whether the youth minister has met the expectations in the agreement.  This includes appointment and responsibility for the Youth Minister Care and Oversight committee and support for the youth minister.
  • Responsibility for Sunday School for all ages, with an appropriate planned or purchased curriculum in consultation and with support from the youth minister.  Support for Sunday school teachers, including: providing opportunities for leadership training relating to Christian Education, maintaining necessary supplies, and maintaining a directory of all the children in the Meeting.
  • Encouragement for the use of resources of the Meeting for study (library and curriculum library), different methods of instruction (flannel boards, maps, audio-visual equipment), grounds around buildings (cemetery, trails). 
  • Utilization and dissemination to the Meeting of resources from the Yearly Meeting (e.g., through its Christian Education Committee), Friends General Conference and Friends United Meeting.
  • Communication with the Meeting at large regarding the Sunday School programs, special programs, providing Bibles or devotional books for each child in middle elementary school and/or graduates.
  • Study groups as the need arises.
  • Education about and opportunities for involvement in Friends work outside the local Meeting, including overseas work.

The Christian Education Committee is made up of approximately six named members and all of the Sunday school teachers.  The youth minister is an ex officio member.  The committee choses a clerk from among its members and prepares an annual report for the January Monthly Meeting for Business.

Youth Minister

The Youth Minister has a flexible function within the Meeting.  Within set priorities, the youth minister may shift emphasis over time to address the varying needs of our children and changing capacity of the Meeting to address those needs.  Work is done with the Christian Education Committee, Ministry and Counsel, and interested individuals to support the children of the Meeting in their spiritual growth and connection to the Meeting.  The youth minister works on a variety of activities for children, including the Sunday School, a youth group, camp outs, participation in New England Yearly Meeting, etc., and helps others who are led to develop their ministry with children. 

The youth minister participates in Monthly Meeting and regional Meetings and workshops concerning Christian Education and youth ministry.  Reports are made to the Christian Education Committee, and support is received from a Care and Oversight Committee made up of members from Christian Education, Ministry and Counsel, and the Meeting at large.

Peace and Social Concerns Committee

The task of the Peace and Social Concerns Committee is twofold: discernment and taking action. 

The process of discernment consists of:

  • Determining what issues confronting our present social order pertain to Friends’ traditional testimonies of equality, peace and non-violence, stewardship, and civic and community responsibility.
  • Hearing the concerns of the Monthly Meeting or individual members of the Meeting and those brought by other religious, service and legislative bodies that address these issues. 

As action is considered the committee seeks to make recommendations to Monthly Meeting for supportive action in order to:

  • Educate the Meeting regarding Friends’ traditional testimonies and their application in the world, especially addressing the issues of violence, discrimination, addictions and poverty.
  • Enable the Monthly Meeting and individuals to take action regarding their concerns.
  • Support those who are suffering because of actions they have taken in support of their concerns.
  • Act in solidarity with those who are affected by our failure to achieve a society of non-violence, equality, economic justice and equal opportunity.

The committee seeks to work in cooperation with other committees of the Monthly Meeting, other Monthly Meetings and community groups that work constructively on these issues.  The committee choses a clerk from among its members and prepares an annual report for the January Monthly Meeting for Business.

Communications Committee

The Communications Committee oversees several forms of communication within the Meeting community and reaches out to the wider world. The Meeting has a monthly newsletter called The Best of Friends, a website, a Facebook page, a phone tree, and an email list for of-the-moment updates called Friends Notes. Committee members update the website, assemble, edit, and distribute the newsletter, post to Facebook, initiate the phone tree, and send Friends Notes when needed.

The newsletter and website both carry news of the Meeting, with a more limited amount of information shared on Facebook. The newsletter is published monthly. The website is updated regularly as information, news, messages, and articles become available. Both contain information about Sunday Meeting for Worship, other scheduled events, and outside events of interest, as well as reports from committees, personal news about members and attenders, news of the financial state of the Meeting, any applicable artwork or photographs, and any articles that members or attenders may to submit. 

Committee members each take on a role with the newsletter, the website, the Facebook page, or the phone tree. Those working with the newsletter and website solicit and collect Sunday messages, articles, news, and other information for dissemination. The newsletter is distributed in both electronic and print formats by the committee. Extra copies of the printed newsletter are available at the meetinghouse. The newsletter is also edited for personal identifying information and posted to the website. 

The committee choses a clerk from among its members and prepares an annual report for the January Monthly Meeting for Business.

Library Committee

In 1833 Durham Friends realized the value of reading Quaker histories and biographies if a firm foundation was to be laid for continuance of Friends’ ideals.  A librarian was appointed, and a library started.

            The continued purpose of the library is to provide reading and teaching materials. The library has grown to be a well-rounded collection of Quaker-related materials as well as religious, socially concerned, children/youth and fiction books.  Books should be signed out and brought back in a timely manner.  All members and attenders should find the library a source of enrichment. All gift books and other materials should be given to the Library Committee.  The Library Committee is responsible for maintaining the library by purchasing, receiving, and processing new books, discarding worn copies as needed, and keeping the bookshelves and card catalog in order and up to date, so that specific books can be easily found.

The committee choses a clerk from among its members and prepares an annual report for the January Monthly Meeting for Business.

 Music Committee

The Music Committee coordinates music (choirs, etc.), accompanies hymn singing, and provides offertory music for Sunday Meeting for Worship. 

Committees for Special Purposes

The Monthly Meeting may appoint committees for special purposes.  A Clearness Committee is a unique and essential part of Quaker process, used to assist in the following of a leading or in a period of transition. Clearness Committees for membership or marriage are the responsibility of Ministry and Counsel. All other requests for a Clearness Committee can be made to Monthly Meeting or to Ministry and Counsel.

Woman’s Society of Durham Friends

All resident women members of the Monthly Meeting are members of the Woman’s Society, plus other women who choose to participate.  The Society meets once a month for worship, program, business and fellowship.  The Society seeks to provide inspiration, education, and opportunity for women to share in the mission of the Meeting.  The Society gives spiritual and financial support to a number of domestic and international programs and projects.  The Society is a part of United Society of Friends Women International.

Contact Persons to Wider Quaker Organizations

A contact person is named to be a liaison with Friends Committee on Maine Public Policy, Friends Committee on National Legislation, Friends United Meeting and Friends General Conference.  This person receives information on relevant issues and updates from the respective organization and passes this information on to the members of the Meeting in ways most appropriate; e.g., posted or spoken announcements, individual contact or newsletter articles.  The contact person keeps available pamphlets and newsletters. 

Recorder

The Recorder keeps a record of each member and of all changes in membership, such as births, marriages, deaths, applications, and transfers.  Records should be kept in a form approved by New England Yearly Meeting.  No recorder’s pages are destroyed but are kept for archival purposes.  A statistical report is prepared each year for the Monthly Meeting and the Yearly Meeting.  It is recommended that the Recorder issue annually to the membership an up-to-date list of names and addresses of all members.  Once every tenth year an up-to-date list of the membership is to be attached to the Recording Clerk’s records (started in 2007).

Nominating Committee

The Nominating Committee makes nominations to the December Monthly Meeting for officers, committees, and others as directed by the Monthly Meeting and other nominations as necessary throughout the year.  Nominees are named on a three-year rotating basis so that not all appointments must be renewed or filled each year.  An appointee may serve two consecutive terms on a committee.  After one year off the committee, that person may be re-appointed to that committee.   

The committee members confer with proposed nominees before names are presented to the Monthly Meeting for appointment.  Any member of the Meeting may suggest changes in the nominations.  Nominees are members or regular attenders of the Monthly Meeting.  Only members may be appointed to Trustees, Ministry and Counsel, and as Clerk. 

The Nominating Committee does not remove any member with an unexpired term without approval of Monthly Meeting.

The Nominating Committee is appointed directly by the Monthly Meeting.  There are three members, one of whom is appointed each year for a three-year term.  A member may serve for a second consecutive three-year term.  Members of the Nominating Committee are chosen with regard to their discernment, seasoned judgment, and general knowledge of the membership of the Meeting.  The committee choses a clerk from among its members.  Their roster of committee members, officers and others represents the work they have accomplished for the year.

Finance Committee

The Finance Committee prepares a budget for consideration and approval at the January Monthly Meeting, to be in effect for the calendar year.  The approved budget will be circulated to the members and attenders.  The committee keeps records of all financial transactions (except cemetery funds).  The treasurer, appointed by Monthly Meeting, takes direction from the Finance Committee. The committee choses a clerk from among its members and prepares an annual report for the January Monthly Meeting for Business.

Treasurer

The Treasurer receives and disburses funds as the Meeting directs, keeps the account books of the Meeting and reports regularly to it.  These accounts are to be audited annually.  The Treasurer may pay current bills under the budget without further approval of Monthly Meeting.  All other bills are to be presented and approved by Monthly Meeting.  With the approval of the Finance Committee, the Treasurer may open and close bank accounts.  The Monthly Meeting shall appoint an alternate signer of all bank accounts.

Auditor

Books of the Treasurer and of the Trustees are audited.  The Auditor reviews the documentation and bank statements to ascertain that vouchers, checks and deposits agree with the Treasurer’s statements.  If such records are in agreement, organized and accessible, then the Auditor certifies to the Monthly Meeting for Business the correctness of the accounts.

Tax Exempt Status

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends, of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), is recognized by the IRS as exempt from federal income tax under IRC Section 501(c)(3), and is included in the group exemption ruling of the New England Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends. Detailed information is filed at the meetinghouse.

Durham Monthly Meeting Funds: Funds managed by the Meeting.

  • Charity Account:  Established by the Meeting by tithing 10 percent of the sale of various stocks owned by the Meeting, to be used for unique charitable requests and to support ministry or leadings within certain guidelines.  Money is added to the fund when our financial situation permits.  See below for a detailed description of guidelines.
  • Capital Account: Used to pay for major repairs and capital improvements on the meetinghouse and the parsonage.  The Monthly Meeting has authorized deposits into this account from income received beyond the budgetary needs of the Meeting.  Examples are the income from the harvesting of the woodlot, and the sale of property.
  • Bernice Douglas Fund: Established by the Douglas family to honor Bernice Douglas, a long-time member of Durham Meeting.  She also left money to the Meeting, which was deposited in this fund. The funds are not restricted or designated.  However, the Monthly Meeting has often drawn on this fund to support capital type improvements, or as loans to ourselves for such purposes, in recognition of the Douglas family’s dedication to good stewardship of our properties.
  • Woodbury Fund: Established with funds given to the Meeting by Vivian Woodbury, a long-time member of Durham Meeting. The funds are not restricted, but the Monthly Meeting has designated this fund for Youth work, a tribute to her love of and devotion to the youth in our Meeting.

New England Yearly Meeting Pooled Funds: Stock funds managed by New England Yearly Meeting of Friends:

  • Goddard Fund: Established to receive funds left to Durham Meeting by the Goddard family.  The original bequest was restricted. The amount was not clear, as the funds were distributed to Durham over time.  The principal has been established as approximately $85,000.00.
  • Douglas Fund: Established by the Douglas family to honor Bernice Douglas.  The fund is not restricted or designated by the Meeting.

Charity Account Guidelines

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 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.

In general, the Charity Account 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.

Trustees

Trustees have charge of the property of the Monthly Meeting.  They are responsible for the care of the buildings and grounds, cemeteries, and any special funds for the care of the cemeteries.  The Trustees’ financial records are to be audited annually.  Periodically the Trustees review the Meeting’s insurance coverage and make recommendations to the Monthly Meeting.  The Trustees, in conjunction with the Finance Committee and Auditor, will prepare a detailed report of all assets (including invested funds, property, and cemetery funds) and present to Monthly Meeting and New England Yearly Meeting at least every ten years (start in 2011). 

The Trustees plan for workdays to accomplish cleaning, outside clean up, and special projects.  They hire work done when that is necessary, asking in advance for any funds needed above budgeted amounts, except in emergencies.  They arrange to have the lawns at the meetinghouse and parsonage mowed, as well as the cemeteries, and arrange for snow to be plowed.  The Trustees contract for custodial service with continuing oversight, and perform other duties as assigned by the Monthly Meeting.

 Members of Trustees must be members of the Meeting. The committee choses a clerk from among its members and prepares an annual report for the January Monthly Meeting for Business.

Custodian

The janitor is responsible for keeping the meetinghouse neat and ready for regular and special events, turning up the heat when needed.  The janitor may also call, from the list approved by the Trustees, for the service people to attend to emergencies. 

Guidelines for Use of Durham Friends Meetinghouse

The Trustees of Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends are delegated the responsibility for the use of the meetinghouse. All meetings should be recorded on the calendar on the bulletin board at the entry to the worship room and on the Meeting Google calendar.  Regular meetings for worship and groups within the Meeting may use the meetinghouse as a meeting place without further authorization (e.g., Ministry and Counsel, Monthly Meeting, Woman’s Society, youth fellowship, and other committees of the Meeting).  A request for the use of the meetinghouse for a single occasion should be made to the Trustee(s) delegated to receive this request.  The Trustee(s) will consult the calendar and two other Trustees before permission is granted.

A request by a group outside the Meeting for use of the meetinghouse on a fairly regular basis over a period of time should be made to the Clerk of the Monthly Meeting, or the delegate Trustee(s), who will bring the matter before the Monthly Meeting. The Monthly Meeting will make the decision.  For use of the building and grounds, the Trustees ask that a donation be given to a Trustee member or put in the committee depository (piano bench).  No smoking and no alcoholic beverages are permitted in buildings or on the property.

Instructions Regarding How to Leave the Meetinghouse

The meetinghouse must be left as found, replacing everything used, and cleaning, taking down all but two tables in the fellowship room.  When heat is on in cold weather, before leaving read and follow directions near the thermostats.  The children’s room thermostat should be set at 55 degrees.  Leave doors open to the children’s rooms, children’s bathroom, kitchen and hallway bathrooms.  Leave both divider curtains in the fellowship room open.  Check stove to be sure all burners are off.  And be sure all faucets are turned off and that no toilet is running.  Turn off all lights.  Emergency lights will come on automatically.  Lock back and front doors.

Lunt Memorial Cemetery of Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends

Single, two, and four-grave lots are available in Lunt Memorial Cemetery. For members of Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends, the charge is only the cost of perpetual care. For non-members who are residents of the community of the Friends Meeting and for certain other non-members under special circumstances allowed by the Trustees of Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends, lots are available at prices shown below.

Lot Price          Perpetual Care            Total

Single grave lot (4′´10′)          $  150.00         $  200.00                     $   350.00

Double lot (10′´10′)                $  200.00         $  400.00                     $   600.00

Large lot (10′´20′)                  $  350.00         $  650.00                     $ 1,000.00

Family lot (20′´20′)                  $  600.00         $  900.00                      $ 1,500.00

A lot may be transferred from the owner to another only with the approval of the Trustee in charge of the Cemetery.  If a lot is unused and a written request to return the lot is sent to the Trustees of Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends within ten years of purchase, all of the Perpetual Care cost and half of the purchase price (Lot Price) will be refunded.

Green Burial Lot Agreement

Single lots are available for purchase in Lunt Memorial Cemetery. Each lot measures 4′´8′, allowing room for a small marker and flowers. The charge for members of Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends is $200.00; the charge for non-members is $350.00.

A lot may be transferred from one owner to another, only with the approval of the Trustee in charge of the Cemetery. If a lot is unused and a written request to return the lot is sent to the Trustees of Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends within ten years of purchase, half of the purchase price will be refunded. 

A green burial is an unencumbered burial. There is no embalming and no need for a commercial casket. The body may be wrapped in a cotton shroud or other decomposable fabric and placed directly in the ground or placed in a plain wooden box and placed in the ground. The required depth for the green burial is three feet.

Care of Lots

  • Simple stones and monuments will be in keeping with the Cemetery, and should be oriented parallel to Lunt Road.
  • Simple decorations are permissible. Decorations should be in good taste and in keeping with the Cemetery. Decorations deemed not in keeping with the Cemetery will be removed.
  • Seasonal decorations and silk/plastic flowers will be removed periodically.
  • Lot owners may bury multiple urns on a lot, with or without professional assistance.
  • Lot owners may spread ashes as they choose.
  • No woody plants may be planted on lots (existing woody plants will be handled on a case-by-case basis).
  • Plantings by owners should be in good taste and plantings of any kind that become overgrown will be removed.
  • Perpetual Care provides for six mowings per year, trimming and edging as needed and grading and seeding when necessary.  

CEMETERY LOT AGREEMENT

Lot #  ________________      Member___________            Non Member ______________

Date__________________                           

I have read the cemetery guidelines and accept the provisions of this agreement:

Signed: ______________________________________________________________________

Print Name:     __________________________________________________

On the date of _­­­_________________,           Received $ __________________________

Contact Information: 

Address_______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

Phone_______________________________ email________________________________________________

Trustee Signature 

___________________________________________________________

What’s Next in Worship at Durham Friends Meeting?

Ministry and Counsel, June 20, 2021

For the past fifteen months, we at Durham Friends Meeting have been worshipping together each Sunday via Zoom rather than worshipping together in our Meetinghouse.  We have done this, of course, because of the risk of infecting one another with the COVID-19 virus which has taken 600,000 lives in the U.S. and 3.8 million lives across the globe.  With the recent successes of vaccination, we believe it is time to begin planning to return to worship in the Meetinghouse. 

We emphasize: time to begin planning.  We believe there are important steps to take first before we all return to worship in the Meetinghouse.  We believe if we begin taking these steps now, it will be possible to return to regular worship in the Meetinghouse in the fall. 

We believe these four considerations need to be kept foremost in our minds:

(1) safety: we need to be sure we are keeping everyone safe.

(2) access for all: we need to be sure we are providing access to worship for all, and that includes children who cannot yet be vaccinated, and any among us who cannot be vaccinated.

(3) announcement: we need to be sure we have communicated to all how we are worshipping together.

(4) messages: we need to recognize that after we return to the Meetinghouse, we will not be as able to have worship messages brought by those at a distance.

We believe Durham Friends Meeting should make preparations for a hybrid form of worship as we return to the meetinghouse.  Under this arrangement, most people would attend the Meeting in person at our meetinghouse; others would participate via Zoom.  In April, we held a threshing session in which this hybrid approach had broad support (notes attached).  In May, we tested a Meeting OWL Pro Device that proved quite satisfactory to support this hybrid form of worship (notes attached).  Using this device, especially in the meeting room itself, will require some improvements in the Meeting’s internet connection.  (Without such improvements, to use the Meeting OWL Pro for hybrid worship we would need to hold worship in the social room.)

Here are the steps we believe we should take next in approximate order:

(1) Have the Meeting authorize purchase now of a Meeting OWL Pro, approximate cost $1000. 

(2) Have Ministry and Counsel develop a plan that considers the following, and bring this to the Meeting for approval: 

(a) Explore options for improving the Meeting’s internet connection. 

(b) Think through protocols for ensuring the safety of all who come to worship.  (How about children? How about those who cannot be vaccinated? What about visitors?  What do we do about ventilation and air quality in the meetinghouse?  Etc.)

(c) Think through what it will take each Sunday to support hybrid worship, both equipment and people support. 

(d) Set a tentative date for returning to worship in the meetinghouse and communicate this to all members and attenders of Durham Friends Meeting well in advance. 

+++++

NOTES from Threshing Session on 4/11/21 about Worship Options After COVID

DCB 21.4.14

Here are some notes from our threshing session.  At the end, I’m appending three thoughtful responses that came via e-mail.

We had good participation in the threshing session: more than 20 participants.  Mostly those gathered were folks we also see fairly regularly on ZOOM worship sessions.  We may want to reach out to some of those we are not regularly seeing on Zoom. 

On the whole, there was a good deal of agreement that we should be especially attentive to the health and safety of Meeting members.  We were reminded that there are quite a number in the Meeting who would especially be at risk from a viral infection.

Several people said that they were surprised to find worship over Zoom to be better than they expected, even if they preferred to be in the meetinghouse. 

There were a number of expressions of discomfort with allowing too much technology into our worship together.

Nevertheless, these expressions of discomfort were nearly always paired with a recognition that Zoom was making possible something good, and that we probably want to be heading toward some kind of hybrid solution.  Such a hybrid solution would allow us to return to the meetinghouse and yet allow those not able to attend in person (for health or for distance reasons) to worship with us. 

People seem interested in trying the OWL device. 

Several people voiced discomfort with a large screen in the meetinghouse.

We were encouraged to see what other Quaker meetings are doing.  We can learn from them. 

We were reminded that we’ll need some protocols for addressing who can come to the meetinghouse in person:  only those vaccinated?  With masks?  What distances, etc. 

A possibility voiced for an interim step:  gathering people in small, safe groups at various locations connected via Zoom. 

A big issue to wrestle with:  how much does ‘being a Quaker meeting’ require being in one another’s presence?  If we allow the technology in the future, will we be altering the terms of ‘worshipping together’ and ‘making decisions together?’

From Sarah Sprogell

Good Morning Doug,

I won’t be at the threshing session today, but I wanted to offer my input for consideration on the topic of hybrid worship.  I think it’s good that we’re taking some time to reflect and discern on how we can come together in worship safely post-pandemic, and continue to have wider participation.

If we go to a hybrid model, I think it would be beneficial to find a way to greatly enlarge the image of zoom participants – either by investing in a very large TV screen or be devising a system to project a large image onto a blank wall.  Our sound system might need to be improved also, for best results.

Obviously, we will also need some technical expertise to get anything set up.  There may be knowledge within the Meeting, and there may also be help available through NEYM. We do not need to re-create the wheel on our own!

Let’s look at what other meetings within the Yearly Meeting are doing. 

For example, Allen’s Neck Meeting is using a screen, but it is too small to see the faces from a distance.  Some feel that the screen itself is distracting.  Thus, placement of the screen is important.  Peter Crysdale or others at that meeting can provide more insight to their experience. 

Another example is Cambridge Meeting, which has used a projector to put an enlarged image onto a blank wall.  I saw this on an Instagram post by Kathleen Wooten.  She may be a good resource for more information on this method.

Thanks for taking this input Doug, and thanks to M&C for shepherding this forward,

Sarah

+++

From Ingrid Chalufour

Doug,

I regret I will miss the Threshing on Sunday. Our family is visiting, and they come first. I expect you understand that. For what it is worth I would like to share my thoughts with you. I think having a hybrid option for the long term is a good idea. I realize that we do not really know how this will impact the experience in the Meetinghouse, but there are advantages to having it. First, we do not know what our future is in relation to pandemics. We don’t even know when we might be COVID safe completely. Second, we have benefited from the participation of Friends from other places, including with message giving.

Originally, I thought that we might want to start modestly to see how it goes. After a conversation with Sarah I understand that this is likely to be an inferior experience and it would not give us a good understanding of what the experience might be.

That is the extent of my thinking for the moment. Zoom certainly has been a life saver in the past year. It has given us Sunday worship and the possibility of continuing committee work.

I look forward to hearing how all of this plays out. I long to return to the Meetinghouse but have some difficulty with wearing a mask for extended times so I have to figure that out first.

Many thanks for your efforts to guide us in figuring this out.

Ingrid

+++

From KJ Williams

The focus seemed drawn into if hybrid makes sense to explore. We didn’t touch on where my thoughts were headed, more about when we should start gathering together again. I’ve thought a great deal about this, as I’ve been to work every day, answering screening questions, having my temperature taken, and now having Ag testing 2 times a week.  We wear masks, stay apart, meet more still on Microsoft teams. When I think of the meeting house, I think of it as a pretty open space, fairly easy to have people sit in bubbles spread out. While singing would still be limited, the chance to be together in the space should become possible in the next 1-2 months I hope. I think the healing of being together balances out some of the safety risk. Findings of less viral spread on surfaces helps much of this feel safer.  I do want people to be safe, so having the zoom option continuing is important. I am hoping that some who are more comfortable setting up zoom might help others in person.  

The Wisconsin Council of Churches have a guide they call Holding Our Plans Loosely where they offer some guidance in thinking about opening.  It might be useful as we think this through.  It includes ideas about a blend of % of population vaccinated, positivity rate, and cases per 100,000. 

I do support the hybrid model, in part given my living both in Brunswick and Oxford.  I hadn’t planned on spending so much time in Oxford when I landed in Maine, but we are finding that the better way to work things. With the hybrid, I think I can stay a committed member of Durham Friends over time. 

I was thinking about that balance of local, in person connection and distant connections.  I have been visiting my previous congregation less, shifting to being more present here. I value being part of local activities, when I have time and energy.  That is limited now, with me needing time with the community more to help me get ready for the week ahead.  I value that support. I think there can also be a way of engaging those who are part of the community farther away, finding what captures their attention, their passion and gifts. 

+++++

TO:                   Interested Folks at Durham Friends Meeting

FROM:              Doug, Ellen, Renee, Joyce, Tess, Wendy

RE:                   Test of the OWL Pro

DATE:               May 18, 2021

Today we tried a test of the OWL Pro device that New England Yearly Meeting lent us for a short while.  On the whole, it was a successful trial, but not everything we tried worked. 

Test Site: Social Room.  The OWL connects to a laptop which becomes the host computer for the ZOOM session.  We put the OWL on a table in the Social Room, plugged it in to Doug’s laptop, connected it wirelessly to the Meeting WiFi, and started up a meeting.  (Durham Meeting has its internet connection from Spectrum, via DSL.)  Doug, Ellen and Renee were present in the Social Room; Joyce, Tess and Wendy were logged in remotely.  You can see a 14-minute recording of what this looked like here

We could see and hear one another without difficulty.  The OWL always shows one speaker in the room and also a panoramic 360-degree view of everyone in the room.  Sometimes it would show a few people (separate images) in addition to the panoramic view.  We did notice that the OWL’s camera was slow to move towards a new speaker; it took perhaps three sentences before that new speaker showed on camera (there was no delay in picking up the sound). 

We did succeed in hooking up the Meeting’s TV to the laptop using a Chromecast device, but we did not figure out how to cast the Zoom session from the laptop to the TV monitor.  This is surely a solvable problem. 

Test Site:  Meeting Room.  We tried moving the whole set-up into the Meeting Room.  This was not successful because we could not pick up a WiFi signal in this location.  We tried wirelessly, first, and then tried running an ethernet cable from the cable modem/router in the kitchen across the floor of the Social Room into the Meeting Room.  This too, did not work.  The problem might be with the ethernet cable we used or with the cable modem/router.

Conclusions.  Here are some tentative conclusions:

1.  The OWL Pro (costs about $1000) could be a way to have the Meeting do hybrid worship – most people in the Meetinghouse and some logging in via Zoom.  The sound and video are good, though the camera takes a bit of time to react and turn toward a new speaker. 

2. Of course we could also use it for business meetings and committee meetings with some participants logged in from remote sites. 

3.  For starters, we would have to hold Meeting for Worship in the Social Room. 

4.  Using the OWL Pro in the Meetinghouse would require some upgrade of our internet capabilities.  This upgrade would involve a stronger signal than we now have or a dedicated (and working) ethernet cord from our cable modem/router to the computer that is hosting the OWL.  If we use ethernet, perhaps an electrician could find a way to run the connection from the kitchen to the Meeting Room via the basement. 

5.  Would we want a TV monitor in use during Meeting for Worship to see remote participants?  That is a question for discussion.

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, May 16, 2021

            Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends met virtually via Zoom for the conduct of business on Sunday, May 16, 2021 with 16 people present.  Bob Eaton, Clerk, opened the meeting with quiet and expectant worship.

1.The April minutes were approved as printed in the Newsletter. 

2. Clerk Bob Eaton sadly reported that he had received a letter from Wendy Schlotterbeck submitting her resignation/retirement as Youth Minister. Her letter follows:

            “I have been the Youth Minister for Durham Friends for 12 years. I have felt honored and extremely blessed by getting to know our children and youth. And have known the support and love of the Meeting community.

            “Over the past several months I have been discerning if/when I should step aside from the Youth Minister position and allow newer, younger energy to infuse this role. Also, it will allow me to focus more of my energy in other areas important to our Meeting and New England Yearly Meeting. 

            “I am part of a “Quaker faithfulness group” that meets bi-weekly and was able to process this with them. Please accept this letter as my notice of resignation starting July 1, 2021.

            “I intend to stay on as clerk of Christian Education until the end of the calendar year, and would like to continue planning activities for children/youth/families in that capacity and of course help in the transition to a new Youth Minister. I especially want to communicate that the care of families, children and youth will continue as a high priority and that our support will remain constant during this transition.  With much care and love to all of you!  Wendy”

            We accepted her resignation and expressed our thankfulness and appreciation for her tireless work for several years in supporting and caring for the meeting’s youth.  The clerk will draw up a minute of appreciation to be included in the June minutes. 

3. Christian Education Committee: Wendy Schlotterbeck reported that more members are needed for the committee. They met via Zoom on May 4th.  They are waiting confirmation for participation in the Wabanaki Reach Education program.  They discussed the upcoming Annual Plant Sale beginning June 3rd at 4:00 pm, which will be ongoing until sold out.  Sales will be “self service” with donations dropped in the meeting mailbox.  They planned Children’s Day for the June 6th gatheringoutside the meetinghouse, and Family Beach Day June 12th to be held at Hinshaw’s camp on Labrador Pond.  

4. Bob Eaton, as clerk, brought forward a report from an ad hoc Meeting Care Coordinator Oversight Seasoning Group he had appointed.  Members are Joyce Gibson, Linda Muller, Renee Cote, and Leslie Manning.  After considerable discussion focusing on how recently the report had been made available to members of the meeting, all matters put forward in the report (contractual agreements, the composition of a support group, and the question of an oversight committee) were held over for consideration at the June monthly meeting for business.

            Before the next meeting for business, the MCC will meet with the MCC Support Committee, and the clerk suggested that the Oversight Seasoning Group might meet to further develop a proposal to bring to meeting in light of the meeting of the MCC Support Committee.

5. Meeting Care Coordinator Mey Hasbrook read a quote from the book, Broken for life by Jocelyn Burnell which speaks to her condition.  In order to focus on her relationship with Durham Friends Meeting as a sojourning member, she plans to transition out of the MCC job.  Tender and trying experiences emerging amid the MCC work since mid-March, including impact personally/relationally, have played an important part in her discernment.  A “meeting for healing” is scheduled for May 24th.  She will continue to explore a future for Café Corners during a brown-bag lunch on May 23rd

6. Liana Knight reported for the Communication Committee:  The phone tree has faded away over the past year(s) and they will be working to identify who still needs to be on a phone tree and who the contact person at the ‘top’ of the tree should be. If you or someone you know needs to be on the phone tree, please let Liana know (207-737-9781).

            They discussed the parameters of what should go on the Meeting website, particularly regarding events. Given that the website is a public-facing platform that is accessible to anyone, they agreed on three parameters for posting events on the Meeting website. We should post events that are: (a) sponsored or lifted up by Durham Meeting or a Durham Meeting committee (e.g. Ministry and Counsel or Peace and Social Concerns), (b) sponsored by a Quaker organization that the Meeting supports or recognizes (e.g. NEYM, FCNL), or (c) sponsored by a neighboring Quaker Meeting in Maine. They wish to encourage Friends to seek committee support for events and programs with which they are  connected  if they wish to have these on the Meeting website.

            They discussed the parameters of what should go in the newsletter, and agreed that the newsletter editor(s) will have a good deal of latitude for exercising judgment about what can and should go in the Newsletter.

            They discussed the Meeting Facebook page, and expressed gratitude for Mey’s excellent tending of that space. We are holding a question around what the parameters for sharing events should be via the Facebook page—whether it should be handled similarly to the website or similarly to the Newsletter, or somewhere in-between. A concern was raised regarding the simple existence of a Facebook page for Durham Friends given Facebook’s policies and management. They think that at some point the Meeting should consider whether we want to continue to maintain a presence on Facebook as a Meeting.

7. The Handbook revision was mentioned and folks are urged to read the edited copy on our web site, to be considered for approval in June.

8. Ministry and Counsel: Renee Cote reported that Jay O’Hara has sent a letter providing information about his work with the Climate Disobedience Center which is involved in a campaign to close coal-fired plants in New England.  Three persons of deep faith have created the center.  The center had covered all costs for those involved in civil disobedience in this area.   The report and the request for funds will be on the June meeting’s agenda.  Kitsie Hildebrandt, Treasurer, reminded us of the Charity Account guidelines.

            Doug Bennett has received the meeting OWL from New England Yearly Meeting, and they plan to try it as soon as possible.  

            Pastoral care: Sarah Sprogell and Gene Boyington have reported that they are thankful that many have answered the call to help Tom Frye.

            Message bringers are scheduled into July.

            They are considering rules regarding vaccination status when we begin meeting in person.  

            Clerk, Bob Eaton closed the meeting with quiet waiting, and thankfulness. 

Dorothy Hinshaw, Recording Clerk

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, April 18, 2021

Durham Monthly Meeting Friends met virtually via Zoom for the conduct of business on Sunday, April 18, 2021 with 21 people present. Robert (Bob) Eaton, Clerk, opened the meeting with a short period of silence expressing gratitude for those present.

  1. The March minutes were approved, with a small correction: the Christian Education Children’s Day will be June 6 (minute # 8).

2. Clerk’s Report: Bob Eaton raised the question of term limits for the Clerk. It was approved that Bob Eaton be Clerk for this calendar year, i.e., April through December 2021. The clerk reported that he will ask the Communications Committee to review the guidance regarding posting on the meeting website and report back to meeting. He will ask the Finance Committee to review current practice and to propose to meeting a general procedure on contracting services for the meeting.

3. Ministry and Counsel: The State of Society Report was presented with much thanks to Doug Bennett who composed the report. This report will be attached and included in the Newsletter. We especially thank Katharine Hildebrandt for her poem at the end of the report.

Renee Cote submitted a written report for Ministry and Counsel on their discussion about the Threshing Session held April 11th regarding our hybrid worship options. Participants expressed the advantages of Zoom, especially for those with physical limitations; the realization that there may not be a post-pandemic; the meaning of corporate worship as a physical gathering; the opportunity to see our membership grow; and the value of the simple, non-electronic physical space of the meetinghouse. They considered non-vaccinated individuals and offering small group worship for those unable to be present, either over Zoom or in the meetinghouse. When establishing small groups for in-person worship, they will focus on keeping everyone as part of the “real” meeting. It was suggested that we try the “Meeting Owl,” which New England Yearly Meeting has available to facilitate both “in house” and remote worship. 

4. We Approved the State of Society Report, which will be presented to Falmouth Quarterly Meeting.

5. We approved using the “Meeting Owl” when it becomes available.

6. Christian Education Committee/Youth Minister: Wendy reported that the Durham Friends hike on the paved Papermill Trail in Lisbon on Sunday, March 28 was attended by hearty souls, 4 adults and 2 youth. They had a lovely time and were pleased that the rain forecasted held out until the very end. Some of the Easter grass grown by Kim Bolshaw and treats were distributed.

The Youth Minister delivered Easter packages of candy and wheat grass to the homes of 11 families with children and several adults. In addition, several coloring packets were mailed to families with younger children.

The collaboration (as mentioned in the March minutes) with Central Maine SURJ (Showing up for Racial Justice) participating in a Wabanaki Reach Educational program led by Heather Augustine plans to meet June 5 or 12 from 3-5 p.m. Peace and Social Concern and the Christian Education Committees will contribute $100 each to help cover the cost of $500.

Tess Hartford brought a Godly Play message to meeting for worship on Easter Sunday and explained a little about this curriculum that Durham Friends had been using until last March when we switched to virtual meeting. Ellis Noetzel sang a lovely version of Adore You by Harry Styles, which was a special treat for all.

Upcoming events include the Annual Plant Sale, beginning June 4, and Children’s Day, June 6.

7. Meeting Care Coordinator: Mey Hasbrook reported that Jeri Kemple is asking for relief persons in her full-time care of Tom Frye. Her plan is to take some camping trips and she needs volunteers to substitute for her when she is on vacation. Please email her with offers.

The Café Corner series began in December as a “social experiment in revelry.” Six gatherings offered varied formats and altering weeknights. Participants explored creative themes with informal conversation. The final session of this first phase invited community guests. Reflections from participants are welcome as the next phase is being planned.

Mey reported that she will be out-of-state April 19 to May 4 at a residence without access.  She can be reached by e-mail. Phone communications should focus on urgent matters, likely to be returned with a lag. 

8. Peace and Social Concerns Committee: The Social Justice Curriculum Sub-committee has purchased the books for the New Mainer children and plans to give them to the children at the end of the school year. They have begun to plan the project that will give social justice books to early elementary school teachers. They have the draft of a one-page introduction to the project and are in the process of recruiting four teaching teams to help launch the project.

The ad-hoc committee (Sarah Sprogell, Ingrid Chalufour, Katharine Hildebrandt, and Bob Eaton) working to lower the carbon footprint of the meetinghouse has placed the meeting on the Window/Dressers list to make window inserts for the worship room next fall. These inserts will decrease the air leaking into the room from the windows.

9. The Nominating Committee reports that they have yet to replace the Recording Clerk who has consented to continue until a replacement is found. The meeting thanks the Recording Clerk for continuing.

10. Handbook revision report: Martha Sheldon and others are working on this project and are almost ready to submit a final draft; they have postponed approval until our May monthly meeting. Margaret Wentworth made several suggestions and corrections to be added to the document. They reminded us that it is a “living” document and not cast in stone. 

11. Finance Committee: Sarah Sprogell reported that for the first quarter, our income is $14,102.77, and expenses are $9,668.85, which reflects that our finances are in good condition. The weekly offering is down by about half of what we projected; the bank interest is high because it includes interest from all of our locally held accounts, not just our checking accounts. We received a designated donation of $1,000 for replacement of the pillars at the Lunt Cemetery. The full report is attached.

12. Nancy Marstaller sent a report on our Sister Meeting relationships with Velasco, Cuba. We share this relationship with Portland Meeting. The report will be included in the Newsletter, and attached to these minutes.

We ended monthly meeting with a period of silence. Dorothy Hinshaw, Recording Clerk

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, March 21, 2021

            Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends met virtually via Zoom for the conduct of business on Sunday, March 21, 2021 with 14 people present.  Martha Hinshaw Sheldon, Clerk, read words of inspiration from the Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends Handbook section under Purposes and Goals, and led us in prayer.

  1. The February minutes, as printed in the Newsletter, were approved.

2. Handbook: Renee Cote and Sarah Sprogell made some minor changes/corrections to the Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends Handbook. After sharing the edited version on line, the final draft will be presented for approval at our April monthly meeting.

3. Falmouth Quarterly Meeting: Sarah Sprogell announced that the next meeting will be April 24 at 9:00 a.m. We approved Sarah Sprogell and Robert Eaton as representatives. The agenda for April includes State of Society Reports, memorial minutes, and recognition of those in the ministry.

4. Memorial Minute for Susan Rice: Sarah Sprogell presented the final version and it was approved, adding the death date.

5. Trustees: Katharine Hildebrandt reported that the threshing session for the consideration of selling the meeting parsonage will be April 25, in person, outside, at the meeting parking lot, following the Covid-19 safety guidelines (masks and socially distanced). The rain date is May 2. No decision will be made at this meeting.

The meetinghouse has been reserved on June 12 for the memorial service for Ann Bernice Douglas Huffsmith, who died February 10, 2021. The Douglas family were active members of meeting several years ago. Ann was the sister of James Douglas, meeting member and former pastor.

6. Peace and Social Concerns Committee: Ingrid Chalufour reported that they have made several plans in response to the discussion of the NEYM Apology. Believing the most important thing we can do is to support state and federal legislation that leads to Indigenous sovereignty, they have created two documents to help with lobbying. These are on the Meeting website. They will provide updated information as these bills move through the legislative process. There was also a strong interest in better educating ourselves on issues of importance to the Wabanaki people in Maine. They will plan a series of talks that will follow and build on the Wabanaki Reach workshop that is being planned for this spring. They will also provide a bibliography of resources, and work with the library committee to set up a section of resources in the meeting library. There is also an interest in increasing the awareness in Durham of sites important to the Wabanaki. They wonder if a few of us would like to volunteer to do some research on what these sites might be in preparation for a meeting with the Durham Historical Society?

They are also wondering if Monthly Meeting would give the committee permission to submit letters to the editor on behalf of the committee (not the Meeting) without Monthly Meeting approval.

The book subcommittee has selected the books for the New Mainer children and will be ordering them at the end of the month. We have also begun to map out the project that will give social justice books to kindergarten, first, and second grade teachers.

Wendy Schlotterbeck volunteered to research Wabanaki sites; Douglas Bennett has the book The Wabanakis, with valuable information. Ingrid Chalufour has the book, The Wabanakis of Maine and the Maritimes.

7. We approved the request that the committee may submit letters to the editor on behalf of the committee without Monthly Meeting approval, with the discernment of the Meeting clerk.

8. Christian Education Committee: Wendy Schlotterbeck reported for the committee. “We met on March 9 via Zoom, with Kim Bolshaw, Tess Hartford and Wendy Schlotterbeck, clerk.

The Durham Friends Skating party on Sunday, Feb 28 was transformed into a parking lot party due to the warm temperatures. The 6 attendees had warm conversation and hot cider, compliments of Kim Bolshaw!

We discussed another activity for Durham Friends to gather and decided to plan an easy hike—on the paved Papermill Trail in Lisbon—on Sunday March 28 at 1:30 p.m. https://www.mainetrailfinder.com/trails/trail/papermill-trail  

There was no further update regarding collaborating with Central Maine SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice) participating in a Wabanaki REACH educational program led by Heather Augustine in April or May, via Zoom. This would be open to Durham Friends. We will share the cost to participate and cost will not be a barrier to anyone’s attendance. The topic will be Wabanaki history and decolonization.

We had lively discussion regarding plans for Easter Sunday Meeting for Worship (April 4) and connecting with the children and youth of our Meeting. A small gift of Easter candy will be mailed to each family with children. Kim will grow small containers of wheatgrass for anyone who would like one. Friends can pick up a small pot of wheatgrass on March 28 at the hike or at the Meetinghouse. Contact Wendy or Kim if you have questions. Christian Education will hold care of worship on April 4. 

Upcoming activities include an annual plant sale—June 3, Children’s Day—June 4, and Family Beach Day—June 19 or 20.”

9. Youth Minister: Wendy Schlotterbeck attended the Antiracist Training for NEYM Youth Workers on Feb. 27.

Wendy will be staffing the NEYM Young Friends retreat on Sexuality, Gender, and Relationships April 23-25 as an RP (Resource Person).

10. Ministry and Counsel: Tess Hartford reported that Mey Hasbrook has found message bringers through May. They report that pastoral care continues with various members and attenders.

Discussion regarding the Educational Media Project is ongoing with Craig Freshley, Andy Burt, Mey Hasbrook, videographer Charlie Hudson, and Joyce Gibson. The length of each biography and expense with professional editing is under consideration. A pilot project will be created.

A threshing session to discuss hybrid worship options will be held April 11, after meeting for worship. 

The State of Society Report will be presented to monthly meeting on April 18.

We noted that clarification is needed in order to proceed with a contribution to Jay O’Hara’s work supporting indigenous people. More information will be provided, to be discussed in April.

11. Meeting Care Coordinator: Mey Hasbrook sent a report regarding her work with The Center for Wisdom’s Women’s Sophia’s House in Lewiston. She has spent many hours helping to prepare a benefit weekend. Some members are actively supporting this ministry, and Mey was encouraged to join in the effort as a form of outreach. Some persons noted that the Meeting does not have a formal role with Sophia’s House nor is a community partner. Discussion ensued concerning appropriate announcements on the website which are outside of Meeting activity. The incoming Clerk suggested that he work together with the Clerks Committee to review guidelines for the website and clarify supervision for the Meeting Care Coordinator, in consultation with Mey.

12. Finance Committee: Sarah Sprogell reported that the meeting has two CDs that are coming due at the end of March; the renewal rates are very low so it may be better to put them back into money market accounts. They would like Monthly Meeting’s approval to make this decision at their discretion.

13. We approved the request that the Finance Committee make decisions regarding the CDs at their discretion.

14. Sarah Sprogell presented the 2020 Statistics Report. The report recorded two new members, four deaths, and the number of members: 103. 37 of these members are active in the life of the meeting. Our typical attendance in Meeting for Worship is 33; two are younger than 18. Average attendance at Meeting for Business is 15. Compared to 2019, the number of individuals active in the Meeting is about the same.

15. Tess Hartford mentioned that there are five youth who have shown interest in attending Friends Camp. Scholarship money may be requested if space is available. The Meeting heartily supported their attendance and suggested that each receive $500 toward camp costs. We requested that the Finance Committee increase the scholarship budget to meet this need. 

16. We approved the amount of a $500 scholarship per camper if space is available, upon receiving a letter from the potential camper requesting the funds.

We expressed our appreciation to Martha Hinshaw Sheldon for her service as Meeting Clerk and Co-Clerk. We welcome Robert Eaton, our new Durham Friends Meeting Clerk!

Martha Sheldon ended the meeting with a very meaningful prayer of gratitude.

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, February 21, 2021

            Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends met virtually via Zoom for the conduct of business on Sunday, February 21, 2021 with 16 people present. Clerk Martha Sheldon opened the meeting with a quote from Stories That Heal by Rachel Naomi Remen: “We are all here for a single purpose: to grow in wisdom and to learn to love better.” 

1 .The January minutes were approved as printed in the Newsletter.

2. Ministry and Counsel: Renee Cote reported that Doug Bennett has developed three options for moving into hybrid worship, considering how we might meet again in the meetinghouse with the possibility of continuing to offer a digital option. Much discussion ensued, and the topic was referred back to Ministry and Counsel for further study.  These options are attached, and will be discussed in an up-coming “threshing meeting” to be scheduled by Ministry and Counsel.

            A sub- committee continues to develop the Educational Media Project, consulting with Andy Burt (Midcoast Meeting), and are working on a pilot, to be presented next month.

            Traveling Friend, Jay O’Hara, requests funds to support his work with a Midwest coalition supporting indigenous peoples’ attempt to stop the Line 3 pipeline in Minnesota. Jay has been involved in climate change work and direct action around water protection.  Ministry and Counsel recommends that the meeting donate $1000 toward this ministry.   More information regarding this request will be researched and brought to the March monthly meeting for approval. 

3. Nominating Committee: Kristna Evans reported for the committee. They recommend that Barbara Simon be added to the Communications Committee, and that Robert Eaton become Monthly Meeting Clerk.  A complete report will be presented in March.

4.  We approved these recommendations, extending our appreciation to Martha Sheldon for her years as clerk. 

5. Finance Committee: Sarah Sprogell presented an Accounts Report, and a well prepared FY 2020 Year End Report:

            “The year 2020 was unusual for the meeting, and indeed for the world in general, because of the world-wide corona virus pandemic that developed in the early months of the year.  Beginning in March, we closed the meetinghouse to all group gatherings, and held meeting for worship, business and committees on the digital zoom platform.  We adjusted our budget, in the expectation that many Friends might find themselves in difficult financial circumstances.

            Despite our financial concerns about uncertainty, we ended the year on very solid footing, with a total income of $71,348.46 and total operating expenses of $37,153.61.  This unexpected surplus of $34,194.85 allowed us to transfer $25,000 into our capital account, leaving us with a healthy cushion of $9,194.85.

Our income for the year was about $8000 more than expected for several reasons.

  • Our members and attenders gave generously this year, increasing our weekly and monthly contributions by about $4000.
  • The quarterly distributions from our NEYM investment funds were about $2000 higher than expected.
  • The sale of a small, unusable piece of property on Rt. 1 in Brunswick brought in $2000.

Our expenses were significantly lower than expected primarily because of our absence from the meetinghouse due to the year-long pandemic restrictions.  Thus, our operating expenses were about $20,000 less than expected for a number of reasons.

  • Committees spent very little of their budgets.
  • Our Youth Minister and Custodian offered to reduce their income based on their reduced work schedules.
  • Although we hired a Meeting Care Coordinator, the start date was late-summer, resulting in a reduced salary for the year.
  • Our fuel oil and regular building maintenance expenses were quite low because we didn’t use the building as usual. 
  • The parsonage had very few maintenance expenses this year.

            Significant events of the year included the approval to hire Mey Hasbrook as our Meeting Care Coordinator in August, and she began work in September.  We were very pleased that this long-desired goal was met in a year filled with the unexpected challenges of a pandemic.  Mey has already been a blessing in so many ways.

            Other notable financial actions included significant work being done on the meetinghouse, and the installation of a new water heater at the parsonage.  These expenses were paid from our capital account.  Together, these tasks came to about $37,000.  After approving the transfer of $25,000 from our operating surplus, we ended the year with about $20,000 remaining in our capital account.  The meetinghouse improvements, organized and carried out by Trustees include:

  • The repair and painting of the walls in the meeting room. 
  • The painting of the kitchen, the back hallway and several outside areas.
  • The removal of the old carpet in both hallways, the refinishing of the front entry floor and replacement of the back hall floor.
  • The installation of a new water treatment system and the re-plumbing of both kitchen sinks.
  • The repointing of the south-facing brick wall of the building and repairing exterior windows when needed. The complete repointing of the meetinghouse exterior will be a multi-year project.

            Our Charity account remains healthy with a balance of $13,445.86.  We were pleased to give $3600 to causes approved by the meeting in 2020.”

            A chart listing all of our accounts can be forwarded upon request.  Please contact Sarah Sprogell at sarahsprogell@gmail.com if you would like a copy.

6. Trustees:   Katharine Hildebrandt reported for the Trustees.  They have received a number of estimates for the replacements of the two oil furnaces at the meetinghouse.  They are considering options, including an additional heat pump, or maybe two.  They are hoping to have a proposal next month and plan to include the Greening of the Meetinghouse Committee in their discussion, but in the meantime, the furnaces are functioning and the building seems to be adequately heated.

            They have a report from the Modern Pest technician regarding the Parsonage.  The mouse infestation is significant and being treated.  The technician is concerned about numerous holes and rot in the foundation. The prospects of addressing the extent of the repairs needed is daunting.  Although the rental income of last year was $13,200, the expenses were approximately $8590.00, and this included the very few repair expenses.  This left a net result of approximately $4600.00.  We are very fortunate to have young tenants who do not complain very much and seem very happy living there.            

          We discussed the possibility of selling the parsonage.  There is a significant amount of expense in maintaining the property.  Concerns expressed were: being landlords is not part of our mission, a lot of work and effort is involved in looking after two old buildings, and those living there have felt isolated.  Employees (pastor, etc.) would probably prefer a housing allowance in order to purchase their own property. It was suggested that the Trustees convene a “threshing” meeting to discuss this matter in order to involve more participation.

7. Christian Education Committee:  They met on February 9th with all present. The committee includes Kim Bolshaw, Scott Barksdale, Tess Hartford, and Wendy Schlotterbeck, clerk.  They discussed the coming year, and plan to continue social distancing, meeting outside only, and masked in- person gatherings until at least September 1st unless the monthly meeting decides that they can resume gathering in the meetinghouse.  They made plans for a February 28th skating party.  They discussed collaborating with Central Maine SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice), and participating in a Wabanaki Reach Educational program at which the topic will be Wabanaki history and decolonization.

8. Youth Minister: Wendy Schlotterbeck will attend anti-racist training on February 27th.

9. Peace and Social Concerns Committee: Ingrid Chalufour presented the committee’s annual report: “Peace and Social Concerns is charged with the tasks of discernment and taking action. We seek to identify current issues of importance to the Meeting and plan ways to address the issues through reflection, education, and action. We began 2020 with a continued focus on the climate crisis and an event focused on the military’s outsized carbon footprint. We provided educational materials and guidance in writing letters to our federal legislators. Soon after COVID shut us down. The committee took a break as we focused both personally and collectively on how we would stay safe and maintain our spiritual community.

            In June we regrouped on Zoom to consider how we could respond to the issue of police violence toward Blacks that was gaining new attention through the power of video footage. We planned and facilitated a series of discussions titled Becoming Antiracist. Along with the discussions, readings were posted on the Meeting website. Two paths of action grew out the third discussion and these continue to be the focus of our activities. The first, a strong interest in Indigenous sovereignty has led us to both educate ourselves and to look for ways to support the activities of the Wabanaki population in Maine. The second focus is on the social justice education of the children in our part of Maine. To meet this focus a subcommittee of P&SC was formed. Both of these sets of activities have drawn new membership to the committee and we are strongly committed to an active 2021.”

9. Mey Hasbrook, Meeting Care Coordinator, reported.  She continues to schedule meeting message bringers and is preparing a special youth-centered or intergenerational Easter worship; collaborating with Sophia’s House of Lewiston on their planning team for special event benefits and promoting these events; and is working with the Education Media Project sub-committee of Ministry and Counsel. She continues leading the Café Corner virtual meetings.         Mey is attending New England Yearly Meeting leaders’ meetings, and had conversations with NEYM Faith and Practice Revision Committee about the position of Meeting Care Coordinator.

10. Nancy Marstaller gave a report regarding our sister relationship with Velasco Meeting in Cuba. “Since Portland Friends Meeting and Durham Friends Meeting approved Portland joining in the sister relationship with Velasco and the formation of a joint committee to care for and nurture the relationship, the new committee has met three times. Nancy Marstaller and Fritz Weiss are co-clerks.

            Durham has noted and appreciated that there is new energy in the relationship with Velasco.  Our two meetings in Maine are building a stronger relationship.  Committee members are now receiving newsletters from both meetings and recognize that the first experience of inter-visitation may well be Durham and Portland visiting each other.

            An invitation to Friends in Portland and Durham is to hold Velasco in prayer as they gather.  Velasco Meeting meets on Sunday at 9:00, on Tuesdays at 7:30 the ladies meet, and on Saturdays at 8:30 pm the youth meet.  We can hold them in prayer at those times.

 Communication with Velasco is via facebook messenger.  Nancy Marstaller and Wendy Schlotterbeck from Durham and Hannah Colbert and Sydney McDowell from Portland are able to send messages; if you have messages you might like to send, please share with them.

Our meetings are open; if you are interested in being involved, please contact one of the co-clerks. Con amor, Nancy Marstaller, Wendy Schlotterbeck, Hannah Colbert, Doug Malcom, Ann Dodd-Collins, Sydney MacDowell, Fritz Weiss.”

            They have received a letter from the pastor of Velasco Friends Meeting which requests prayers for their annual assembly during the pandemic and their financial challenges regarding raised salaries required by the state.

11. Clerk Martha Sheldon received a friendly letter from our former member and pastor, Ralph Green.

12. The revision of the Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends Handbook has been circulated and was approved.  Sarah Sprogell and Renee Cote will edit the booklet for errors, etc.

Clerk Martha Hinshaw ended the meeting with spoken prayer. 

Dorothy Hinshaw, Recording Clerk

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, January 17, 2021

            Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends met virtually via Zoom for the conduct of business on Sunday, January 17, 2021 with 12 people present.  Clerk Martha Sheldon opened the meeting with the query: How do you seek leadings of the Light in meeting for business as you do in meeting for worship?

1. The December minutes were approved as printed in the Newsletter.

2. Peace and Social Concerns Committee: Ingrid Chalufour reported for the committee:

            Both branches of the committee are actively working on projects that they have described previously. The committee is educating themselves on the Indigenous history of Maine, preparing a couple of events for the Meeting, and also preparing legislative information for those who want to do some lobbying. 

            The subcommittee focusing on books for children is in the process of selecting the books for the New Mainers. They have decided to use the generous budget they have been given as seed money. Once they purchase the books they will put a price on the books going to each of the 20 families and ask for sponsors for each family. They will do something similar when they start to purchase books for classrooms. They ask permission from the Monthly Meeting to put plates in the books for New Mainers saying “Welcome to Maine! Durham Friends Meeting”.

3. We approved the request to add book plates with the statement, “Welcome to Maine! Durham Friends Meeting.”

4. Youth Minister: Wendy Schlotterbeck reported that she will be staffing the NEYM Young Friends virtual retreat as a Resource Person, January 29-31.

5. Christian Education Committee: The committee acknowledges the tremendous wisdom and love from Dorothy Curtis, Amy Kustra and Jeanne Baker-Stinson who will be stepping off the committee.  The committee now includes Kim Bolshaw, Scott Barksdale, Tess Hartford and Wendy Schlotterbeck.

6. Ministry and Counsel: Renee Cote reported that Ministry & Counsel continues to explore the possibilities for involving young people in an educational program that will document the witness of members of Durham Meeting, particularly with the technology aspects.  We discussed sources for IT and video-editing.

            A hybrid worship proposal will be forthcoming. One of the aims of hybrid worship would be to engage those members and attenders who do not participate via Zoom. The hybrid strategy could be for a transition period before pandemic is under control, or for a long-term period. The committee discussed the usefulness of a survey, which could be conducted online or by phone.

7. Trustees: Donna Hutchins sent a report.  The hardwood floor is down in the back hall.  The ¼ round finish molding will be installed shortly.  The molding in the front hall was installed. They are looking into an alternative to the furnace used for the worship room.  The furnace blower had to be replaced.  They are receiving quotes for a new heating system.

8. Finance Committee: Sarah Sprogell reported that Friends were very generous and the expenses were lower than expected due in part to the fact that we didn’t use the building for meetings.  The year ended with a surplus, and $25,000 was transferred to the capital account for much needed work on the meetinghouse.  The end of year finance report is attached.  We expressed our gratitude for their work.

9. Nominating Committee: Kristna Evans reported that a final report will be presented in February. Many committees need additional members.

            The meeting concluded with quiet reflection and prayer for the meeting, larger community, and future national events. Clerk Martha Sheldon read a quote from Martin Luther King Jr.: “I have decided to stick with love; hate is too great a burden to bear.”

Dorothy Hinshaw, Recording Clerk

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, December 20, 2020

            Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends met virtually via Zoom for the conduct of business on Sunday, December 20, 2020 with 17 people present.  Clerk Martha Sheldon opened the meeting by reading a Howard Thurman poem: “The Work of Christmas.”

1. The November minutes were approved as printed in the Newsletter.

2.  Ministry and Counsel:  Martha Sheldon reported that Mey Hasbrook has requested sojourning membership in Durham Meeting.  Kalamazoo Friends Meeting sent a supporting letter for Mey, stating that Mey has a minute of religious service among the Religious Society of Friends.

            Memorial minutes were prepared for Susan (Sukie) Rice and Mildred Alexander.  The minute for Sukie was written by Tess Hartford, Sarah Sprogell, and Liana Thompson, using material from Sukie’s obituary, written by Lee Chisholm.  Mildred Alexander’s minute was written by Martha Sheldon with the help from Margaret Wentworth and Charlotte Ann Curtis.  Helpful suggestions were made. These minutes are attached and will be included in the Newsletter and sent to Falmouth Quarterly Meeting which then sends them on to New England Yearly Meeting.  We also requested that Sukie’s memorial minute be sent to the Kakamega Care Center in Kenya. 

3. We approved the request that Mey Hasbrook become a sojourning member in Durham Friends Meeting.

4.  We approved the memorial minutes for Susan Rice and Mildred Alexander.

5. Nomination Committee: Margaret Wentworth reported that Martha Sheldon will be meeting clerk for the first half of the year while they find a replacement, Sarah Sprogell will be added to the Peace and Social Concerns Committee, and the rest of the report will be presented in January. 

6. We approved their report.

7. We approved the addition of Linda Muller to the Nominating Committee.

8. Finance Committee: Katherine Hildebrandt presented the 2021 budget which was approved and will be included in the Newsletter and attached to these minutes.

            The committee requests that $1000 be donated from the Charity Account to a meeting member who is experiencing financial hardship.

9.  We approved the donation of $1000 from the Charity Account to a meeting member.

10.  Trustees: Katharine Hildebrandt reported that the meetinghouse furnace needs to be replaced.  We look forward to an annual financial report from the Trustees.

11.  Christian Education Committee: Wendy Schlotterbeck reported that the wreath making party on November 28 was enjoyed by 9 hearty individuals.  A very special thanks go to Dorothy Curtis who made 2 wreaths for the meetinghouse doors.  At the December 19th advent candlelight spiral in the parking lot Tess Hartford spoke meaningfully about the meaning of light while walking the spiral.  A highlight for many was singing carols together around the candlelit spiral.  They formed a caravan bringing goodies and a few songs of cheer much to the delight of those they visited.

12.  Youth Minister: Wendy Schlottebeck continues to staff New England Yearly Meeting youth activities, and helped with the December 12th Young Friends virtual retreat.  She plans to help staff winter retreats. 

13.Ingrid Chalufour reported for the  Peace and Social Concerns Committee:  The committee is pursuing the leadings identified in the third anti-racist discussion on Oct. 27. To accomplish this ambitious agenda they now have a sub-committee with new members. The committee is working on supporting the sovereignty of the Indigenous people of Maine and beyond. The nature and scope of this work will evolve over the coming months. The subcommittee will focus on the two book projects as reported last month. The committee is planning a series of events to guide us in identifying the collective actions we want to take in relation to Indigenous sovereignty. On January 24 Alicia McBride from FCNL will give the message in meeting and join us after meeting to discuss the FCNL publication, A Theological Perspective on Quaker Lobbying which will be available on the web site; hard copies are also available. Alicia will also share FCNL current work on legislation related to the Native American population. Their second event, February 28, will focus on the New England Yearly Meeting Apology to Native Americans. The apology and suggested actions will be offered as a query in the unprogrammed Meeting with a discussion following at 11:30. They are looking for ways to respectfully include the Native voice in our work.

            We expressed appreciation for this committee’s work.

14. Martha Sheldon reminded us that Falmouth Quarterly Meeting will virtually meet on January 23rd and we approved the following representatives: Sarah Sprogell, Ingrid Chalufour, Ann Ruthsdottir and Joyce Gibson.

15.  Regarding posters and Banners as mentioned in the November minutes: we were reminded that there already is an approved procedure in place: committees are to present their suggestions for messages to be displayed in public to monthly meeting for business for approval.   

16. Meeting Care Coordinator: Mey Hasbrook and Mimi Marstaller facilitated a virtual workshop on the subject of decolonizing.  

            The meeting ended in quiet waiting and a prayer was offered by the clerk, Martha Sheldon.

Recording Clerk, Dorothy Hinshaw

Susan Bellows (Sukie) Rice, 1945-2020

Memorial Minute for Susan (Sukie) Bellows Rice, 1945-2020

            Susan (Sukie) Rice was born in New Rochelle, NY on November 1, 1945 to Charles D. and Winifred Rice. She grew up in an old farmhouse in the countryside, about an hour by train from Manhattan. There, her love of music, theater, cats, dogs, and the world of nature took root in the warmth of a loving home. In the 1960’s, after earning a BA in Psychology at Hiram College, she went to work for an advertising agency in New York City. Simultaneously, she immersed herself in the Morningside Heights Friends Meeting.

The Society of Friends became a lifelong source of strength and inspiration for Sukie. As the Quaker values of simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality and stewardship grew in importance for her, her work in commercial advertising held less and less allure. In 1969 she left New York City and moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she worked at two Boston area hospitals during the 1970s. Here, she threw herself into a host of nonviolent civil disobedience actions against the Vietnam War, some of which led to her arrest, and one to a couple of weeks in jail. As the Vietnam War was ending, she joined the staff of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). There, she allied AFSC with the anti-nuclear Clamshell Alliance, and helped train protesters and organize successive nonviolent occupations of the construction site of the Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant.

In 1971 Sukie met and fell in love with Lee Chisolm. Later, they would acknowledge to each other that it was indeed love at first sight. Through Lee she was introduced to Anthroposophy, the spiritual philosophy and teachings of Rudolph Steiner. From that seed, planted early in her consciousness and cultivated through study motivated by her deep love and admiration for Lee, together they formed a shared spiritual path. Steiner’s teachings came to be the cord that strengthened and infused their lives as a couple and produced meaning and purpose in their work together in the world. Anthroposophy, along with Quaker faith and practice, became the foundation from which Sukie grew in spirit and presence. And in Lee’s own words, “she drew ideas from the ozone. She was a natural conduit for spiritual inspiration.” 

In the late 1970s Sukie and Lee moved to Maine, where Sukie joined the Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends in 1979. In the 1980s Sukie and Lee moved to Freeport, where they started a family. When their first child, Adam, was not quite three, Sukie and Lee resolved to start a Waldorf School. For the next several years, Sukie worked indefatigably. She held informational and fundraising events, pulling together a nucleus of founding parents, a teacher, and eventually a class. What began as a little kindergarten of a dozen students continues today as a mature K-12 school known as the Maine Coast Waldorf School.

As her children grew older, Sukie enrolled in the University of Southern Maine in the 1990s for a degree in music education, and for the next twenty years she was a full time K-5 music teacher in the Portland Public Schools. She also acted with the Freeport Community Players, later becoming their musical director. In this role, she worked on a handful of plays and annual performances of Amahl and the Night Visitors for seven years. Stepping away from the Freeport Community Players, Sukie next founded the Greater Freeport Community Chorus, which she directed for six years.

Sukie was an active member of Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends for four decades. She served the meeting in a variety of roles over the years, sometimes wearing multiple hats. For many years she was the music director for the meeting’s annual Christmas and Easter choirs. She also served on Ministry and Counsel, Peace and Social Concerns Committee, Finance Committee, and as both Recording Clerk and Presiding Clerk. 

In 2001 Sukie was inspired by a small group of Quaker women from Kenya who were providing a feeding program to AIDS orphans in their community of Kakamega. Sukie volunteered her time extensively to support this program, ultimately founding Friends of Kakamega, a New England based program that partners with its Kenyan counterparts to support their grassroots mission. Through her work with Friends of Kakamega, Sukie spent the last two decades of her life helping to support the well-being and education of vulnerable children in western Kenya, giving hope to hundreds of young Africans. True to her character, she grew to know, love, and individually connect with both the children served by the project, and the Americans who embraced the opportunity that Sukie gave them to help. Her son John has continued that work at the Kakamega Care Center.

Trailblazer that she was, later in life Sukie also devoted time to exploring the topic of death and dying and the spiritual journey of the soul during this final passage. This in turn led her to the next frontier of green burial for herself as well as others. With the assistance of family, close friends and members of the Durham Friends Meeting, she realized her desire to be buried in this manner and so opened the way for others to follow in the newly dedicated lot for green burials in the Lunt Cemetery.

Sukie’s great energy, compassion, and integrity guided her life in remarkable ways. As one Friend described her so well, “Sukie has been the spark and flame of a better life for so many.” While her work and life were always filled with purpose and encouragement, particularly memorable was her joy. Sukie asked us to remember her joy. We do, Sukie. We surely do.

Sukie passed from this life on July 17, 2020.  She is survived by her husband, Lee Chisholm, and sons Adam, Ian, and John Chisholm.

Mildred Alexander, 1930-2020

Mildred Alexander, long time member of Durham Friends Meeting, passed from this life on September 18, 2020.    She was a resident of Pinkham Brook Rd. Durham and was born in Lisbon Falls, daughter of the late Louis and Annette (Boultbee) Dumas. She was educated in local schools.  Mildred married Andrew Alexander in January of 1949, and they spent many happy years together until he passed in 2009.  Mildred enjoyed jigsaw puzzles, her cats and most of all time spent with her great grandchildren.  Mildred was an active member of the Meeting Trustees.  While a trustee she was the Meeting janitor and went the extra mile to keep the building in good shape.  One friends fond memory of Mildred was that she was good-natured with a great sense of humor.  ‘Once when there was a jug of Babcock’s apple cider in the meeting frig Mildred drank a cup.  I love cider, she said.   The friend said, especially when it is about to turn.  Mildred replied.  ‘Me too!  Look at us! Drinking hard cider in the Meetinghouse!’  Mildred was one of many from the Meeting who worked at the Maine Idyll for many years. 

She is survived by her sister Laurette Chapman of Lewiston, four grandchildren: Thomas St.Germain of Durham, Carrie St.Germain of Lewiston, Angela Loucka of Tampa, FL and Johnell Ramos of Costa Rica, four great grandchildren and seven great-great grandchildren. She was predeceased by a daughter Pauline (Alexander) Harvey in 2006 and three sisters, Annette Tibbets, Beverly Craig and Bernice Curtis.

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, November 15, 2020

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened virtually via Zoom for the conduct of business on Sunday, November 15, 2020 with 15 people present. Martha Hinshaw Sheldon opened the meeting with a quote by Cai Quirk, who brought the message today in meeting: “How do we recognize that of God in all? When it shows up uniquely, how can we create a place of wholeness for all?”

  1. The October minutes were approved as printed in the newsletter.

2. Martha Sheldon presented a revised edition of the Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends Handbook, which will be sent out via e-mail to members and attenders for discernment, seeking approval in December.

3. Peace and Social Concerns: Ingrid Chalufour reported that over three evenings the committee met to discuss Becoming Antiracist, and leadings to take action. A number of action ideas were generated and the committee asks for your approval to move forward on these in the name of the meeting. Below they describe three sets of actions. Each has a subcommittee interested in doing the work involved.

Supporting sovereignty of the Indigenous people of Maine: This will involve several sets of activities, including conducting research to learn more about the meeting land and its use by Wabanaki and the land currently called the 250 Anniversary Park in Brunswick. We will propose new wording for our acknowledgement of our Wabanaki land. We also seek to build stronger relationship with the Native youth group that uses the meetinghouse. Finally, we want to lobby for state and federal legislation that supports the sovereignty of Indigenous populations. To do this, we will build relationships with Friends Committee on Maine Public Policy and FCNL.

Getting social justice books to children: The committee will research where there is need, create a list of books focused on the 5- to 8-year-old age, and ask for donations to purchase the books. We are also going to donate books as holiday gifts to the 50 children in New Mainer families in Brunswick. We are asking for donations to help pay for this project.

Building stronger relationship with FCNL: We have invited Alicia McBride (FCNL staff) to attend Meeting on Jan. 24 and talk to us about their paper titled, The Theological Perspective in Quaker Lobbying. She will also share the current work of FCNL and be asked to bring a message in meeting.”

We expressed our support and approval for these actions and expressed appreciation for the committee’s work. 

4. Christian Education Committee: Wendy Schlotterbeck reported that the Halloween party on October 30 was greatly enjoyed by 20 people! Ten kids and ten adults pressed cider, tried their turn at donuts on a string, maneuvered a fun obstacle course and cooked hot dogs over our fire pit. A very special thanks goes to KJ Williams for serving the condiments, and to Kathy Williamson, who managed the cider pressing and baked some amazing homemade cookies and donuts!

There will be a wreath making party on November 28, 1-3 p.m. in the horse shed. Dress warmly! Bring greens and pruners if you have some. Other materials will be provided. 

5. Youth Minister: Wendy continues to staff NEYM Young Friends activities, and the bi-weekly Art Group. She will be a Resource Person (RP) for the December Young Friends Virtual Retreat.  She ends her reports with this statement: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”  —Martin Luther King Jr.

6. Ministry and Counsel: Renee Cote reported for the committee. They noted the need to be tender and inclusive with all members and attenders with different political views.

They reported that the fifth Sunday of this month (November 29), usually unprogrammed, will have a speaker who could only speak on that date. Some would prefer more unprogrammed time; others find extended silence difficult if they are Zooming on the phone. With the thought that unprogrammed meetings may encourage more vocal ministry, they will try, for three months, December through February, possibly into March, to have unprogrammed worship on the last Sunday of the month, with the Care of Meeting person offering a query on that day.

We were informed that people can now access the meeting calendar on Google. We were reminded that approval of the monthly meeting is needed for regular, weekly or monthly use of the meetinghouse as a place of gathering by outside groups, and CDC guidelines are followed. One group (Reiki) has already scheduled a meeting in November which we approved today. Research will be sought regarding outside groups using the meetinghouse.

It was noted with sadness that Jane Walters died on October 27, 2020. A Friends Note was sent regarding Bob Walters’ ongoing health issues and the need for a non-toxic environment.

7. Finance Committee: Katharine Hildebrandt requested that $25,000 be transferred from the Checking Account to the Capital Account to cover repairs and improvements to the meetinghouse. 

8. We approved the transfer of funds ($25,000) from the Checking Account to the Capital Account.

9. Treasurer: We approved splitting the $1,500 contribution in memory of Clarabel Marstaller and Susan Rice, as reported last month, in half, $750.00 donated to the Charity Account for Susan Rice, and $750.00 to the Capital Account for Clarabel Marstaller.

10. Trustees: Donna Hutchins sent a report and stated that brick pointing is finished on the east side of the meetinghouse, and a new window has been installed in the meetinghouse gable. The front drainage has been addressed. They have received recertification for tree growth until January 2030. There is ongoing work in the two entry halls.

11. Meeting Care Coordinator: Mey Hasbrook is seeking more interviews with members and attenders via Zoom. She is looking for future Sunday worship message bringers. 

12. The Carbon Footprint ad hoc committee reported that John Reuthe of Vassalboro Meeting, who is a volunteer with the Sustain Mid-Maine Coalition environmental action group, presented a proposal for lowering the carbon footprint of the meetinghouse. They emphasize working from the basement up, reducing the entrance of cold air, and propose immediate actions and a series of future actions in three phases. These details will be shared with Trustees, and attached to these minutes. Ezra Smith volunteered to help with these projects. We expressed appreciation for the work of this committee.

13. A concern was raised regarding banners and posters displayed outside the meetinghouse and the need for monthly meeting approval. Ministry and Counsel and committees will discuss this issue, and the proper way of proceeding will be discussed in December. 

14. The Nominating Committee does not currently have a full committee, and some of the committees need new members.

            Martha Sheldon closed the meeting with the same quote she read at the beginning of these minutes, and said, “Go in peace; blessings to you.”

Dorothy Hinshaw, Recording Clerk

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, October 18, 2020

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends virtually convened via Zoom for the conduct of business on Sunday, October 18, 2020, with 10 people present. Martha Hinshaw Sheldon opened the meeting with a quote by Jeff Foster: Let Yourself Rest, from the Contemplative Monk blog.

1. The September minutes were approved as printed in the newsletter.

2. Sarah Sprogell announced that Falmouth Quarterly Meeting will meet on Saturday, October 24, at 10:00 a.m. on Zoom. Sarah Sprogell and Leslie Manning (upon her assent) were approved as representatives from Durham Meeting.

3. Clerks Committee: Martha Sheldon reported that the meeting Handbook revision is ongoing; Martha read a proposed revision of the section on “Pastor,” which will be edited with suggestions and approved in November.

4. Communications Committee: Liana Thompson Knight is currently serving as both clerk of the Communications Committee and interim newsletter editor. The committee asks that she be replaced as interim newsletter editor because she has a very full plate. Mey Hasbrook volunteered to lend a hand while a replacement is sought. 

Doug Bennett has been serving as the meeting’s website editor for the past three years. During this time, Mason Langelier has provided technical services. Doug requests that he now handle both the content and technical sides of the website, believing this would be smoother and more efficient. We expressed much appreciation to Mason Langelier for his efforts.   

5. Finance Committee: Sarah Sprogell brought the third quarter finance report, which recorded that the total operating revenue is $49,039.36, and total operating expense is $26,943.73 as of the end of September. 

6. Treasurer: Katharine (Kitsie) Hildebrandt reported that a memorial contribution for Susan Rice and Clarabel Marstaller of $1,500.00 has been received. She suggests splitting this amount in half with a donation to the Charity Fund (from Susan Rice) and the General Fund (from Clarabel Marstaller), for approval next month.

Andrew Higgins was given $1,000 from the Charity Fund to help with expenses incurred due to an accident, as reported last month.

7. Trustees: Katharine Hildebrandt suggested that ongoing work to the physical plant be funded by both the Capital Fund and the General Fund. A decision about this funding was delayed until next month.

Donna Hutchins reported that Sam Miller, Durham resident and mason, will be pointing meetinghouse bricks and replacing windows in gable and basement. 

8. Peace and Social Concerns Committee: Nancy Marstaller raised a concern about our connection to Velasco, Cuba, Friends Meeting and that Portland Meeting would like to join us as a sister meeting relationship. We suggested that Nancy Marstaller and Wendy Schlotterbeck collaborate with Portland Friends Meeting members to form a committee to continue contact with Velasco Meeting. Nancy Marstaller volunteered to write an article for the newsletter regarding this new collaboration and with information about our relationship with Velasco Friends.

Ingrid Chalufour sent a report which stated that the committee is focused on the Becoming Antiracist discussion series, and hopes future activities will grow out of these discussions. They are looking for new committee members to help grow a bigger agenda for the coming months.

The committee reviewed their entry in the Handbook and agreed that it did not need any changes.

9. We approved a joint committee to collaborate with Portland Meeting regarding communication with Velasco Friends Meeting, with Nancy Marstaller and Wendy Schlotterbeck as committee members.

10. Christian Education Committee: Wendy Schlotterbeck reported that the committee met October 8 via Zoom and spent most of the time planning the Halloween party; detailed information was in the newsletter.

The first art/music kids/youth gathering was held the afternoon of October 17.They built musical instruments (xylophones and wind chimes) using sticks, bamboo, corks, and string.

Tess, Wendy, and Kim constructed an outdoor fire pit in the meetinghouse back yard, hung the refurbished Black Lives Matter sign, and tied festive corn stalks to the porch walkway posts.

Trustees gave permission to “landscape” the area behind the horse shed to make a nature space friendly to all ages.

11. Youth Minister: Wendy Schlotterbeck continues to staff NEYM Young Friends activities. She was a resource person for the October 7-9 Young Friends Virtual Retreat and the October 16 virtual “Art Group.”

Wendy plans to have monthly gatherings for kids/youth throughout the coming year on Saturday afternoons outside the meetinghouse.

12. Ministry and Counsel: Renee Cote, recording clerk of Ministry and Counsel, reported that there have been occasional problems with Zoom access for meeting for worship and the Monday morning prayer group. There have been issues with the “waiting room” and the “passcode.” Wendy Schlotterbeck, Mey Hasbrook, and Doug Bennett will work on solving Zoom problems, and see if anything needs to be changed on the website. Ministry and Counsel is considering applying to the New England Yearly Meeting Legacy Fund to support hybrid (in house) worship. NEYM has suggested a number of options. Doug Bennett will research these options to consider which setup might work for us.

They announced two forthcoming speakers: October 25, Johan Maurer, former General Secretary of Friends United Meeting, member of Eugene Friends Church, Sierra Cascades Yearly Meeting; and November15, Cai Quirk, Ithaca Friends Meeting, New York Yearly Meeting.

With sadness, we learned of the death of member Mildred P. Alexander on September 18, 2020. Her obituary is on the website. Several persons will be asked to help the clerk write a memorial minute for Mildred.

Doug Bennett took down the calendar on the website as it was not being used. Google Calendar is suggested as a possibility, if the ability to add to the calendar can be limited. This calendar would pertain to use of the meetinghouse. A first step is to set up Google Calendar just for use of the clerks of the different committees. Anyone interested and knowledgeable in helping is very welcome.

13. Meeting Care Coordinator: Mey Hasbrook reported that more Zoom sessions with her will be forthcoming with attenders and members; at this time, though, requests have come to a standstill. Additionally, local volunteers to bring messages are fairly silent. Speakers are scheduled for most of November. Names of speakers will be posted in the newsletter and on the website upon confirmation. She encourages Friends here at Meeting for Business to consider bringing a message in meeting. She thanks us for our discernment.

Martha Sheldon, Clerk, closed the meeting by reading a letter from former member and pastor Ralph Greene, who expressed appreciation for and support of Durham Friends Meeting.

Dorothy Hinshaw, Recording Clerk

Passing of Mildred Alexander

Our longtime member Mildred Alexander passed from this life on September 18, 2020. Below is an obituary and notice of her services.

Mildred P. Alexander 89, a longtime resident of Pinkham Brook Rd. Durham died Friday September 18, at Mid Coast Senior Health, with her family at her side. She was born in Lisbon Falls a daughter of the late Louis and Annette (Boultbee) Dumas. She was educated in local schools.
Mildred married Andrew Alexander in January of 1949, and they spent many happy years together until he passed in 2009.
Mildred enjoyed her jigsaw puzzles her cats and most of all enjoyed time spent with her great grandchildren.
She is survived by her sister Laurette Chapman of Lewiston, four grandchildren: Thomas St.Germain of Durham, Carrie St.Germain of Lewiston, Angela Loucka of Tampa, FL and Johnell Ramos of Costa Rica, four great grandchildren and seven great-great grandchildren. She was predeceased a daughter Pauline (Alexander) Harvey in 2006 and three sisters, Annette Tibbets, Beverly Craig and Bernice Curtis.
The family would like to send a very big thank you to the entire staff at Mid Coast Senior Health for the exceptional care given to Mildred, especially in her last days.

You are invited to offer condolences and pay tribute to Mildred’s life by visiting her guest book at www.crosmanfuneralhome.com

Visitation Crosman Funeral Home Thursday 9/24 from 10-11:30 am, with a graveside service to follow at Pleasant View Cemetery at 12 Noon. Those wishing to make memorial donations in her memory may do so to Midcoast Humane Society 30 Range Rd, Brunswick, ME 04011.

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, September 20, 2020

            Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends virtually convened via Zoom for the conduct of business on Sunday, September 20, 2020 with 18 people present.  Clerk, Martha Hinshaw Sheldon opened the meeting with two quotes from Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court Justice who recently passed away:

“Fight for the things that you care about but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.”

“Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time.” 

  1. The August minutes were approved.
  2. Ministry and Counsel:  Martha Sheldon reported that Amelia Mae Marstaller (Mimi), who has been a junior member of the meeting, was recommended by the Meeting on Ministry and Counsel for adult membership.  Friends enthusiastically approved the change to adult membership and look forward to seeing her via Zoom and in person in the future.
  3. Meeting Care Coordinator:  Mey Hasbrook reported that she has been meeting with her support committee, Clerks Committee, and Ministry and Counsel.  She now has the task of finding speakers.  She has been meeting members and attenders via Zoom in small groups. She has been especially busy with the transition to Maine and we expressed our support and understanding as she and her family make the move.
  4. Christian Education Committee: Wendy reported that the committee met September 9 via zoom.  They decided to continue nurturing relationships and connections with the Maine Native American history and community. They hope to collaborate with Heather Augustine’s Native American youth group. 

      Family game nights are on hold for now.  They discussed spiritual connections for the children and youth of our meeting. Virtual meetings have not been working for most of the families. Starting in October they will be organizing 2 events per month- both outside, wearing masks and keeping social distance. One will be focused on art and nature, the other including drums and music. Children and youth will be invited according to interest with mixed ages encouraged. 

      Halloween party: since masks are a natural part they will be having an outdoor Halloween Party at the meetinghouse with masks and social distance on FRIDAY, OCT 30. Everyone is invited- safe, social distance games will be available. And, a special incentive: each child or youth will be asked their favorite candy so they can make individual “COVID- safe” treat bags. Stay tuned for the time- likely late afternoon.

5. Youth Minister:  Wendy reported that she will continue checking in with Durham Friends families to get a sense of their needs.

             She will continue to participate in the Young Friends program of NEYM and will continue to help staff/offer help with upcoming Young Friends retreats. The next Young Friends retreat will be the weekend of Oct 2-4. Durham Young Friends are encouraged to participate!! See link- https://neym.org/online-retreat-registration

              Wendy will be researching and building a safe outdoor space at the Meeting House for gatherings including a fire pit, with approval from Trustees.

6. Treasurer: Katharine (Kitsie) Hildebrandt expressed appreciation for financial support of the meeting (checks are being received) during this time of our virtual meetings. 

      Kitsie reported that the current contract that she negotiated with Consolidated Communications for the phone and internet is a better rate than for the internet alone.        

7. The Trustees have been busy with many projects regarding the meeting property previously mentioned in the minutes, i.e., paint, hallway floors, and horse shed repairs.  Thank you, Tess for washing the fleece blankets in the meeting room, and airing bench cushions.  Contact Trustees for a detailed list of completed work and future projects. 

       The Trustees recommended a donation of $1000 from the Charity Fund to Andrew Higgins who has suffered injuries from a serious accident. 

8. We approved a donation of $1000 to Andrew Higgins from the Charity Fund.

9. Jo-an Jacobus thanked the meeting for the use of the meetinghouse for the Sunday night 12 step group as they resume meeting together when it is safe to physically gather.

10. Peace and Social Concerns Committee launched a discussion series on Becoming Antiracist on Sept. 15. Twelve attenders participated in a thoughtful discussion. The next discussion is on Oct. 6 and you can attend even if you did not attend the first one. If you have any feedback on the first discussion please share it with Ingrid.

       Ingrid has begun attending the Bath Brunswick Hub meetings of the Poor Peoples Campaign. She will cautiously look for ways Durham Meeting can be involved. The goals of the campaign are very aligned with Quaker values. If you are interested in learning more about the campaign there is a link to information on the Meeting website.

      The committee is losing Brown (Richard Lethem) as a member due to his moving away. He has been an active member for several years. They are looking for two new members to help take on the many peace and social concerns we all share.

11. Carbon footprint:   Kitsie Hildebrandt and Ingrid Chalufour reported that they are consulting with John Ruthe from Vassalboro Meeting regarding our effort to reduce our carbon footprint.

12. The Clerks Committee is working on updating our Handbook and will present a draft of their suggestions next month. 

Martha Sheldon closed the meeting expressing appreciation for those who have assumed various responsibilities.  She repeated the quote: “Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time,” and said that as a community, we are taking steps toward change as we follow the Spirit’s guide.

Dorothy Hinshaw, Recording Clerk

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

Memorial in Solitude — Remembering Phyllis Wetherell

Memorial in Solitude — From Derek Parker, Pastor, First Friends Meeting, Richmond, Indiana — April 26, 2020

            Saturday night Nancy Tyndall phoned me, to let me know that Phyllis Wetherell had died.  Phyllis died in hospice care at Reid Hospital, from non-Covid causes.
            As of the morning of Sunday, April 26 about 54,000 people in the United States have died from the coronavirus.  Other people like Phyllis also die of non-Covid causes.  If you are reading this you may only be one or two degrees removed from somebody who has died from coronavirus, or from other causes.  With social distancing, funerals will likely be limited to small groups of 5-10 people, outdoors, and graveside.  It can hurt to be apart when we need our family and friends; and when we need an opportunity to say goodbye.
            Many of us say, “I will pray for you.”  And I have no doubt that we do that.  But most Protestants get little instruction about how to do this.  It is easier to follow through on our prayers, when we have a plan.
            So today I got out the prayer-books in my office to make a plan for how to pray for Phyllis, and for others whose memorials I may not be able to attend.  I recommend finding a quiet place to make your plan, and then carry it out.

O Thou kind Lord!  Thou hast created all humanity from the same stock.  Thou hast decreed that all shall belong to the same household.  In Thy Holy Presence they are all Thy servants, and all humankind are sheltered beneath Thy Tabernacle; all have gathered together at Thy Table of Bounty; and all are illuminated through the light of Thy Providence. – Amen           

After that first prayer I’m going to take a silent moment to think about Phyllis.  I’ve known her for a long time.  She was finishing her employment at ESR when I was a prospective student over 20 years ago.  As a student at ESR we had a picnic table dedicated in celebration of her years of service.

            She was a member of West Richmond Friends Meeting, but I reconnected with Phyllis through the Thursday First Friends Book Group that met at Friends Fellowship.  Her thinking about the books was sharp, and her humor was bright.  I can still picture her sitting in her chair at Book Group.  Her sudden departure from this world is a bit of a shock.

            At some point I will need to end my silence.  And close with another prayer.

O Lord, support us all the days of this life, until the shadows lengthen, the evening comes, the busy world is hushed, the fever of life is over, and our work is done.  Then in Your mercy grant us a safe lodging, a holy rest, and peace at the last.  AMEN

I plan to pray this way.  I would even appreciate somebody else praying for me this way, after my life comes to an end.  I suggest that you make a plan for how to pray in memory of others who have died.  You don’t need to use the same prayers I used.  You could substitute the Lord’s Prayer, or Psalm 23, or Psalm 24, or a more spontaneous prayer.  In the face of terrible news in a time of solitude, respond with faith and prayer.

            May God give us strength in times of sorrow, whenever those times come.  And wherever we are, may we be inspired to pray with those who mourn.

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