Category Archives: Monthly Meeting Minutes

Trustees Report, May 13, 2018

Trustees met on Sunday, May 13 and reviewed the list of outstanding projects, and began the planning for maintenance and repair for the next three years for the meetinghouse and grounds.  In June, we will have a similar process for the parsonage and cemeteries.

Outstanding projects:  Windows in Basement have been installed and Dan Henton will mortar up the windows that sit in the ground and cannot be replaced.

He will also refresh the water softener and replace the filter cartridge in an attempt to increase water pressure.  We have been advised by a plumber that our system is obsolete and we are considering options in our long term planning.

We are still soliciting estimated for the repair and replacement of the ceilings and since the job is “so small”, to add the painting of the walls of the meeting room to the estimate.

We are actively looking for a lawn care provider, and Donna Hutchins will follow up. Cemeteries will be mowed 3-5 times between Memorial Day and end of September, parsonage and meeting grounds more frequently to reduce tick exposure.

We discussed tick control and will research both toxic and nontoxic alternatives, with cost estimates, before next month.

We are still soliciting bids for the horse shed.

A water test conducted at the parsonage show it is within acceptable limits other than the presence of radon.

Donna will work with Margaret on the cemetery accounts and plotting, which Eileen Babcock had previously done.

We are in need of an additional member to replace Eileen and ask Nominating Committee to also consider who might serve.

We remind Friends that the lease for the parsonage will expire in June and that it will go to month to month.  Based on 2017 costs of approximately $11,800 and expected income of $14,400, we recommend that there be no increase in the rent and expressed appreciation for care our tenants show for the parsonage.

We received a request that the meetinghouse be made available to a Native American group for worship, drumming, dinners and fellowship and heartily agree to this.  We do not believe that there should be a cost for worship and recommend that a free will offering of any amount be requested but not required.

We closed in deep gratitude and with silence, and then did a walk around to look at winter damage and identify future tasks, including the hanging of banners.

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, May 20, 2018

Draft

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened in worship for the conduct of business on Sunday, May 20, 2018 with 8 people present, and 2 people joining later, for a total of 10. Clerk Susan (Sukie) Rice opened the meeting with a moment of worship and a prayer from Bede the Venerable:

                         Lord God, our Creator of Light,

At the rising of your sun each morning,

Let the greatest of all Lights – Your Love – Rise,

Like the sun in my heart.

  1. The minutes from April 15, 2018 Monthly Meeting were approved with corrections and edits noted for items 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 13 and 14. Corrections will be made to the minutes currently on file.

2. Margaret Wentworth brought the Trustees Report, which was gratefully accepted. The complete report is attached. Notable items are the development of a 3-year plan for maintenance and repair of the meetinghouse and grounds, including the on-going solicitation of bids for current projects; Dan Henton will complete outstanding projects concerning basement windows that will be enclosed and mortared, as well as servicing the water softener system; Donna Ross will work with Margaret on the cemetery plots.

Friends are reminded that the lease for the parsonage will expire at the end of June, and will change to a month-by-month basis. Trustees recommend that there be no increase in the rent at this time, and expressed appreciation for the care our tenants show for the parsonage.

Trustees have received a request by two local Native American families who would like to use the meetinghouse for worship, drumming, dinners and fellowship to support and develop their cultural traditions. Trustees are still in conversation with this group, but feel a sense of hearty agreement to the request. Trustees believes, if approved, there should be no cost to use the building for worship purposes, but support a request for a free will offering.

The meeting feels united in an anticipated approval of this request, and looks forward to hearing more details as discussions progress and a final recommendation is presented.

. Sarah Sprogell presented a report from the Finance Committee, based on a request from New England Yearly Meeting (NEYM) Finance Committee. NEYM is requesting that all monthly meetings consider approving a “letter of affirmation” that our meeting is affiliated with NEYM and wishes to be included in NEYM’s group exemption listing, which exists under NEYM’s 501c3 non-profit status.

This request is being made based on new IRS rules which govern aspects of non-profit organizations including churches. This status will allow to confirm to any donors that their contributions to the meeting are tax deductible, and will keep us in compliance with current IRS rules.

4. The meeting approved the writing of such a letter, as long as there would be no negative impact in doing so. Sarah will follow-up with Frederick Martin at NEYM, and draft such a letter if no negative impacts are discerned.

5. Sukie Rice reported for Ministry and Counsel regarding the receipt of a membership transfer certificate from Dover (NH) Meeting for Brown Letham, who has requested transferring his membership to Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends.

6. All present joyfully approved this request and welcome Brown into our meeting community.

7. Doug Bennett presented a report from the Ad Hoc working group examining outreach and other needs of the meeting. He reminded us that this group was formed in November 2017 to discern the possibility of developing a paid position for the meeting. The group identified 3 areas needing more strengthening: Pastoral Care, Outreach and Coordination of Information within the meeting. Ministry and Counsel is being asked to examine the area of Pastoral Care; the Clerks Group is being asked to examine its role in Coordination of Information. The Ad Hoc group agreed to look more deeply into Outreach needs and possible solutions. The full report from this group is attached.

. We gratefully accepted the good and faithful work of the Ad Hoc working group.

8. We further approved a plan for next steps moving forward, considering it would be most beneficial for the information in the report to be discussed more widely within the meeting. Therefore, we approved:

a. That committees currently providing pastoral care (M&C), outreach (CE, P&SC, newsletter) and coordination (clerks meeting) consider their roles and effectiveness more deeply;

b. That these groups and committees report back to the Ad Hoc working group with their thoughts by Sept. 17;

c. That the Ad Hoc group organize a time for A Community Conversation about the Way Forward on Sept 30 (5th Sunday) 2018.

9. Tess Hartford brought a report from Christian Education Committee. Children’s Day will be June 3, with a lunch provided by CE. The committee is aware of one (college) graduate this year. The committee is also working on updating the “hand quilt” used in the classroom, to include our current children’s names.

The report was gratefully accepted, with acknowledgement of the excellent work and care provided to the children of the meeting.

10. Margaret Wentworth reported as one of our representatives to Lisbon Area Christian Outreach (LACO) that we will be receiving a sign showing our support for the group. The sign is designed for exterior display.

11. We approved accepting the sign, and also referring its placement to the care of Trustees.

12. Sarah Sprogell reported for Falmouth Quarter, which met on April 28, 2018 at Brunswick Meeting, in Topsham ME. Margaret Wentworth and Sarah Sprogell were appointed representatives from Durham; Leslie Manning and Betsy Muench were also present. Perhaps the most significant item of business was the consideration to begin the process of laying down Lewiston Monthly Meeting; attendance has dwindled to 1 or 2 members, with an occasional visitor; no clerk has been found for the current year; and Bates College will no longer be able to host their meeting for worship. An Ad Hoc group is working with LMM on this concern, and recommends that if a worship group develops in the future, it might likely come under the care of Durham Meeting.

Other decisions were the approval of a Denominational Endorsement of a Portland Friend, Elizabeth Szatkowski, as she begins employment as a chaplain for Hospice of Southern Maine. Also approved was the appointment of Nathan Broaddus, also from Portland Meeting, to the corporate board of Beacon Hill Friends House.

13. Sarah Sprogell brought the 2017 annual statistical report (on file), noting that we approved 6 new members this year, and lost one member through death, for a total of 109 current members. 75% of our members are local residents; 75% are women; 50% are over 65 and 10% are 25 or younger. Average attendance last year was just under 40 each Sunday.

14. After a brief moment of contemplation on the value of families, we adjourned at 2pm.

Respectfully submitted by Sarah Sprogell, recording clerk pro tem

State of Society – Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends – 2017

April 29, 2018

State of Society — Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends — 2017

In 2017 the State of our Society at Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends was strong, vibrant and energetic. Our trust in our community and shared Quaker faith led us to explore new terrain with hopefulness, trusting that more Truth would be revealed to us through expectant waiting, spiritual faithfulness and good stewardship.

We took a risk early in the year, agreeing to explore becoming an un-pastored meeting. Ministry and Counsel guided our path through a number of listening sessions, surveys and called meetings to help chart our course and measure our community needs. While we had grown to see ourselves as ministers among ministers, we wondered whether we were ready to take on this responsibility more fully and without a pastor to guide us. Ministry and Counsel coordinated and arranged for spoken ministry by meeting members and the wider spiritual community. This experience has resulted in a growing number of members of our community feeling led to speak more regularly, which has become a deeply rewarding part of our corporate worship. We continue to be moved and inspired by the variety of voices and messages.

A Clerks’ Committee was developed which met bi-monthly to help support and encourage communication and coordination within the meeting. This group was successful at building stronger connections and mutual support across committees and with the presiding clerk.

Another Spirit-led effort was the successful completion of a project involving the installation of a new roof, a solar installation to meet our electric needs and a heat pump for a portion of the meetinghouse. We are incredibly grateful to the NEYM, Obadiah Brown’s Benevolent Fund and Friends General Conference Green Meetinghouse Fund contributing 60% for the costs of this project, helping us meet our commitment to reducing our carbon footprint and living as an example in our community. The completion of this $50,000 project was recognized with a ribbon-cutting in June. We look forward to many years of sunshine warming both our bodies and our souls!

We were cheered by another year of increasing membership, adding four new members and two children. We are delighted by a growing number of new attenders and families that have become a regular part of the meeting. Attendance at worship was generally 30-40. Peace and Social Concerns Committee took on welcoming many of our new attenders, inviting them to special dinners throughout the year, which were filled with warmth and good conversation.

First Day school for both children and adults continued to meet regularly. The Christian Education Committee offered a number of gatherings and activities to encourage family and inter-generational involvement. Godly Play continued as an inspirational curriculum for the young children, along with First Day School for young Friends. We continued to support our highly capable Youth Minister, involved in family ministry and we also hired a childcare worker to assist with the younger children. The adult hour included a variety of topics including discussions, of NEYM Interim Faith and Practice updates, and a very popular fourth-Sunday series featuring a different member’s spiritual journey each month.

In other areas, our Woman’s Society remains an important catalyst for many good works, including a monthly meal for a local homeless shelter, ministering to our home-bound friends, and supporting projects for the United Society of Friends Women International. A new Men’s Group came together, meeting for discussion and companionship. Energy converged to bring new life into our website, for which we are deeply grateful, and we remain thankful for many individuals in the meeting who are involved in service and action as well as numerous Quaker-affiliated groups.

As the year ended, we drew together once again for a series of listening sessions to guide our discernment of the meeting’s needs and direction. Are we on the right path? What is our vision? How can we best meet our needs and work toward this vision? We look to 2018 with awe and wonder… and with faith we will be led to our unique Truth.

 

 

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, April 15, 2018

April 15, 2018

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened in worship for the conduct of business on Sunday, April 15, 2018 with 10 people present. Martha Hinshaw Sheldon served as clerk and read NEYM Interim Faith and Practice section on corporate discernment.

  1. The March minutes were approved with one correction: June 2 is the correct date for the plant and yard sale.
  2. The Ministry and Counsel report was brought by Martha Sheldon. They met Sunday, April 8 and discussed the following: responsibilities for worship; the clock; Handbook and handout updates; pastoral care needs; Powell House seminar; prayer circle/group; and the State of Society Report. A contemplative prayer group will meet in the Brunswick area on May 9 and June 5, location to be announced.   A prayer circle will be developed. Participants will communicate by emails and phone calls. The Newsletter will include information about these groups.

They presented the State of Society report [which can be found later in the newsletter this month].

  1. This report was approved with gratitude, to be sent to Falmouth Quarterly Meeting.
  2. Kitsie Hildebrandt, Treasurer, handed out the following reports: a list of Accounts, and Income and Expenses for the year’s first quarter (attached).
  3. Sarah Sprogell sent the Finance Committee Report. Sarah attended a New England Yearly Meeting sponsored workshop for finance committees and treasurers on March 13 at Mt. Toby Friends Meeting. There was good sharing of experiences and ideas from the 12 meetings gathered. Some shared their method of planning for future repair and replacement needs, which Sarah will bring to our Finance Committee for consideration. Meetings are being asked to join with NEYM under a group ID number, under new IRS rules. Further information will be forthcoming in the next month or two.

The Finance Committee recommends that the meeting support requests for three camperships for Friends Camp at $315 each for this summer, for a total of $945. The Committee is making this request because they think Friends Camp is an effective way to support and encourage our youth in experiencing and developing Quaker values. They recognize $945 is beyond our planned budget of $500 for 2018. Therefore, we heartily support the idea that this extra amount of $445 will be made up by contributions.

We enthusiastically approved the request that three camperships at $315 each for a total of $945 be our scholarship goal with designated donations of $445, supplementing our Friends Camp scholarship budget item of $500. An item will be included in the Newsletter soliciting donations.

  1. Cindy Wood sent the report for the Peace and Social Concerns Committee. They met April 12 to review feedback received in three adult Sunday school sessions which discussed the Friend Committee on National Legislation booklet, The World We Seek: Statement of Legislative Policy, as well as from the called meeting March 25. The process of discernment was very encouraging to the committee and all those participating in the process. They recommend sending a letter (attached) from the meeting to FCNL, noting our priorities. The letter will be included in the Newsletter.
  2. We approved sending a letter drafted by the Peace and Social Concerns Committee to Friends Committee on National Legislation as edited by Sukie Rice, Edwin Hinshaw and Betsy Muench.
  3. The Peace and Social Concerns Committee reported that while there was no clear leading for our meeting to work together on one particular cause, we perceived a strong sense of commitment to support the many individuals working in a multitude of areas to make our communities, state, country and world a better place. They recommend that we continue doing what we are already doing, but do it better! What we mean by that is to increase awareness through better communication and by using and promoting our website so that Friends in Durham as well as our neighboring Friends Meetings will know what is happening and how they might contribute energy or resources to make a bigger impact.

We would like our website to list all the programs/efforts/projects that individuals at Durham Friends are doing – as a testament to Quaker beliefs and actions and to make more visible our Meeting’s work, therefore inviting others to join with us. They suggest that an outside information kiosk be erected somewhere visible for announcements of upcoming events and information about Quakers. Trustees will be consulted on this matter. Upcoming events are: quilting bee, Sunday June 3; Kakamega supper, June 30; Christening of warship at BIW in June (opportunity for a witness for peace); and a summer fundraising event for Seeds for Peace.

  1. Wendy Schlotterbeck reported for the Christian Education Committee and Youth Ministry. They have seen new children visit and are glad to have Christine as our childcare provider to welcome and care for them as needed.

We thank Leslie Manning, Donna Hutchins and Tess Hartford for offering the Seder Supper on March 29. About 20 people enjoyed the deeply spiritual fellowship and meal together. It was festive and prayerful.   On Easter Sunday, April 1, after a lovely and hearty breakfast, 9 children enjoyed hunting for eggs and choosing some prizes. We give thanks to Katherine Langelier, Dorothy Curtis and Sukie Rice for their hard work organizing and preparing for this special day. The Intergenerational Game Night/potluck on April 7 had 21 participants with a variety of games. They hope to continue hosting this event every month.

           The Adult Sunday School class discussed the FCNL booklet, The World We Seek on three Sundays. Currently the class is reading and discussing the Paradox of the Quaker Minister. Gene Boyington will share his spiritual journey on April 22.

The month of June includes the Annual Yard and Plant Sale on June 2. Please drop off yard sale items and plants in the horse shed the previous week. Children’s Day is June 3 when we celebrate children and youth of our meeting and mark the close of Sunday School for children and youth until the fall. The annual Family Campout at Betsy Muench’s Georgetown home will be held June 16-17.

Some hope to attend the “Healing Turtle Island” ceremony on July 14 in Passadumkeag, Maine, invited by our Wabanaki friends.

The Youth Minister and Christian Education Committee continue to hold spiritual care and nurture of the children and youth of our meeting with much love and tenderness.

  1. Sarah Sprogell and Margaret Wentworth were approved to be our representatives at Falmouth Quarterly Meeting on April 28, 2018.
  2. We approved the amount of $500 from the Charity Account to assist in a member’s home situation.
  3. It was reported sadly that three of our members have died recently: Angelo Pane, Lavada Caton, and Eileen Babcock. Eileen Babcock’s memorial meeting was held on April 1 in the meetinghouse. Remembrances of these members will be shared in the Newsletter.
  4. The New England Yearly Meeting Living Faith gathering was well attended by our members Joyce Gibson, Leslie Manning, Wendy Schlotterbeck and Linda Muller. There was a large contingent of young adult friends.

We closed with a moment of silence.

Dorothy Hinshaw, Recording Clerk

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, March 18, 2018

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened in worship for the conduct of business on Sunday, March 18, 2018 with 18 people present. Clerk, Sukie Rice, opened the meeting with a reading from the 1985 New England Faith and Practice section on The Meeting for Business.

  1. The February minutes were approved.
  2. Martha Hinshaw Sheldon sent a report from Ministry and Counsel.
  3. Speakers are scheduled until mid-April. If you are interested in bringing a message, contact Kristna Evans or James Douglas.
  4. They continued to discuss specific and general issues for pastoral care, and are thankful for those who have helped with pastoral care concerns in the past months. Please contact anyone on Ministry and Counsel about pastoral care concerns you, or someone you know, may have.
  5. “Tending the Flock; a Weekend to Encourage Friends Called to Pastoral Ministry” is the title of a retreat which will be held at Powell House Retreat and Conference Center in Old Chatham, NY April 27-29, to which at least two of our Ministry and Counsel members will attend. Others interested should contact Martha Sheldon or Sukie Rice.
  6. They discussed developing a prayer group and Sukie Rice and Joyce Gibson volunteered to take a lead in this concern. Interested people should speak with one of them about participation.
  7. Ministry and Counsel began a discussion on the flow of worship and giving adequate time for waiting worship. They agreed that the call to worship with prayers of joy and concern would begin very shortly after the second hymn followed by the children’s message if there is one.

We expressed our gratitude for the work of Ministry and Counsel.

  1. We further discussed plans for an ongoing prayer group; suggestions were made and Ministry and Counsel will bring proposals to monthly meeting in April.
  2. Friends World Committee for Consultation would like to send a representative to visit our meeting and we welcome a visit.
  3. Wendy Schlotterbeck gave the Youth Minister and Christian Education Committee report. They plan several spring and summer events: Leslie Manning will host a Passover Seder dinner on March 29; Easter breakfast at 8:30 on April 1 with activities for children; Game Night, April 7; a New England Yearly Meeting Living Faith Gathering will occur April 14 in Portland; Children’s Day June 3; Campout in Georgetown June 16-17; plant and yard sale June 21. See detailed information about these event in the Newsletter. They hope to have a one-day Peace School in July (Bible School format).
  4. We approved that a silent auction conducted by the Woman’s Society be held on April 8 and 15.
  5. Leslie Manning reported for the Trustees. They recommend replacing the heavy wooden tables with lighter plastic ones, 4 this year and 4 more next year. The Finance Committee will be consulted concerning this purchase and Trustees will bring a recommendation. They hope to paint the meeting room this summer.
  6. Ingrid Chalufour reported for Peace and Social Concerns Committee. “The Mother’s Dream Quilt” is a project of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. A quilting bee is being planned and they request that it be held at our meeting in June.
  7. We approved the use of our meeting for the quilt project.
  8. The Finance Committee requested that the meeting up-date the signatures for our Norway Savings Bank accounts.
  9. We approved the following persons to be signatories for the checking account and any other accounts that require a signature: Nancy Marstallar, Sarah Sprogell, and Katherine (Kitsie) Hildebrandt. Barbara (Bobbie) Jordan and Phyllis Wetherall are coming off the signatories list.
  10. The meeting has begun to receive requests for scholarships for Friends Camp this summer. Announcements will be made in meeting and the Newsletter that interested youth need to apply and that camp funds are available in our budget for scholarships.
  11. We approved the suggestion that Friends can make donations to the Camp Fund in order to increase the budgeted $500 so that more financial assistance will be made available to campers.
  12. Clerks Meeting: a meeting of committee clerks met March 14. They meet every 6-8 weeks.
  13. An extended discussion ensued regarding outreach. Doug Bennett as a member of the Next Steps on Strengthening Durham Friends Meeting Working Group led the discussion using colored cards recording our views on the meaning of the word, “outreach”, and our ideas for outreach. A worksheet listing ideas was presented and we added more ideas. This topic was sent back to this “ad hoc” committee for further discernment on how to proceed with the positive ideas presented.
  14. After much discussion about the meeting room clock, it was concluded that we would continue another two weeks with the present quiet clock, and then not have any clock in the room for two weeks. The issue will be brought to Ministry and Counsel for further discernment, and then to April monthly meeting.

The business meeting closed with a circle of quiet prayer.

Dorothy Hinshaw, Recording Clerk

Next Steps on Strengthening Durham Friends Meeting

Second Report of a Working Group – February 2018

[The first report of the ‘Paid Position Working Group’ was presented to Monthly Meeting on January 18, 2018.  This is the Working Group’s second report.]

Doug Bennett, Joyce Gibson, Jo-an Jacobus, Theresa Oleksiw, Sukie Rice, and Martha Hinshaw Sheldon.

At the January Monthly Meeting of Durham Friends Meeting, we brought a report that sketched a number of alternative models for an additional part-time paid position at the Meeting. That was what we had been asked to bring. The Monthly Meeting was unusually well attended, and we are deeply appreciative of the many thoughtful comments and perspectives we heard in the consideration of the report. It seemed to us that those in attendance spoke from depth and listened unusually carefully to one another.

In this report we want to (A) summarize what we heard and (B) tell you how we propose to proceed.

(A) A Summary of What We Heard. Here is a brief summary of what struck us as the most important things we heard. (Of course, we heard a great deal more.)

1. We are a healthy Meeting. We affirmed we are a healthy, strong middle-sized Quaker Meeting. We are still adjusting to not having a pastor.

2. We have some things we need to work on. At the same time, we know there are some things we need to work on doing better, especially pastoral care, outreach, and coordination.

3. An additional paid position? Perhaps it is the way to go, but perhaps it isn’t. The report listed some reasons from having another paid position (confidentiality, reliability and accountability), but in the discussion we also lifted up a reason not to have another paid position: we all need to feel responsible for what the Meeting does, and we should all feel called to contribute.

4. Let’s focus on releasing one another to Ministry. There are lots of gifts in our Meeting. We need to encourage one another. We need to call one another out, call one another into taking initiative where and when someone has a leading. Perhaps this would lead us toward a paid position, but perhaps it wouldn’t. (For those who may not be familiar: A Released Friend is a Friend whose leading to carry out a particular course of action has met with approval from a Meeting which then promises to provide such support as would enable the Friend to follow that leading.)

5. We need to talk together more. This was an important discussion together: a joined discussion in depth. We need to have more of these.

(B) How we propose to proceed. Given the discussion at the January Monthly Meeting, we are reluctant simply to bring forward a single recommendation for a paid position, at least at this point.

We heard affirmation that the Meeting needs to work on all three of these matters: pastoral care, outreach and coordination. These are three important matters. All three need attention, but we do not think we should take the same approach with each. Indeed, we think each needs to be addressed in its own way. So, at this point we propose the following ways to work on each.

(1) Pastoral Care. The pastoral care team has now become part of Ministry and Counsel. Ministry and Counsel has taken responsibility for pastoral care, but has not really had an opportunity to consider how best to make sure we are meeting the needs of Meeting members in this regard.

Approach. We should ask Ministry and Counsel to consider how best to proceed with pastoral care, and to report and make recommendations to Monthly Meeting.

(2) Outreach. At present, Outreach isn’t really any person or committee’s responsibility though there are some good efforts being made, especially by Christian Education and Peace and Social Concerns. We lack a Meeting-wide understanding of what we should be doing about Outreach and who should be doing it.

Approach. This should a topic for discussion at a Monthly Meeting in the near future, perhaps March. Our Working Group would be willing to make preparations for having this discussion.

(3) Coordination. A relatively recent innovation, better known to some than others, is to have a Clerks’ Meeting from time to time: a gathering of the Meeting Clerk with the clerks of the various standing committees. This is one approach to coordination and seems to be doing good things. But is this enough? Does this Clerk’s Meeting connect with all the different parts of the Meeting that need to be coordinated?

Approach. Ask the Clerk’s Meeting to consult broadly about the issue and consider whether there is something more we need to do about coordination or whether our new approach to this is sufficient. 7 of 8

Again, they should report and make recommendations to the Monthly Meeting in the near future.

Perhaps consideration of these three matters, as we’ve sketched them, will lead to a recommendation for a paid position, or perhaps not. Perhaps it will lead to a new standing committee, or perhaps not.

At some point we also believe the Meeting Handbook should be updated and revised, but we believe that should wait until we take these further steps.

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, February 18, 2018

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened in worship for the conduct of business on Sunday, February 18, 2018 with 13 people present. Clerk, Sukie Rice, opened the meeting with a reading from the 1985 New England Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice section on meeting for business, “Sense of Community.”

1. The January minutes were approved.

2. Martha Sheldon reported for Ministry and Counsel: A request was made to assist a home-bound member to safely traverse her walkway; a neighbor volunteered to help with this request at no cost. The committee discussed the pastoral care needs of the meeting with the aim of cultivating an environment for people to volunteer or test callings to meet certain pastoral needs.

3. The ad-hoc working group on Strengthening Durham Friends Meeting presented us with a two-page report (attached) which summarized what they heard at the January monthly meeting, and a proposal on how to proceed. They concluded that three areas need attention: pastoral care, outreach, and coordination. Ministry and Counsel is asked to consider how to best proceed with pastoral care and make recommendations to monthly meeting. It was recommended that the Clerks Committee meet on a regular basis to address coordination of meeting activities and committees, and report to monthly meeting. It was suggested that we have a discussion on outreach at the March monthly meeting.

4. It was approved that we include the full report in the Newsletter and approved that significant time be allotted for discussion of outreach at the March monthly meeting for business, with the hope that many people will be present.

5. Kitsie Hildebrandt, treasurer, brought the 2017 Finance Report. In a nutshell, the meeting spent $40,199 for committees, contributions, meeting expenses, meetinghouse and parsonage physical plants, and youth ministry. The income for our Operating Account totaled $54,021. Capital expense (meetinghouse roof, solar panels and heat pump) were mostly funded by grants and fundraising. Reports included source of funding, accounts list, operating expenses, and other accounts (designated, charity and capital). All these reports will be attached to these minutes. We accepted, with gratitude, this report.

6. The Peace and Social Concerns Committee report was given by Brown Lethem. They wish to initiate a period of exploring our meeting’s heart regarding the Quaker Peace Testimony with three suggestions: they recommend that the Friends Committee on National Legislation booklet, The World We Seek be discussed as a meeting; that we connect with the Seeds of Peace Camp; and discern a whole meeting project that we can support with a corporate mission.

7. It was approved that we discuss the booklet, The World We Seek during the Adult Sunday School hour (9:30) for the first three Sundays in March and conduct a special discussion after meeting on March 25. An announcement will be included in the Newsletter and booklets will be distributed.

8. We received a report from Leslie Manning for Trustees that the basement window installation is partially completed, and the heat pump is repaired and covered.

9. Tess Hartford reported for the Christian Education Committee: the game night/pot luck held on February 10th was enjoyed by all who attended (19) and they hope to continue this activity on a regular basis. There will be an Easter Breakfast April 1st and activities for children.

10. Wendy Schlotterbeck, Youth Minister, reported that she presented two youth stories in meeting, filled in twice for child care, taught Godly Play class for teachers who were away, and helped coordinate the Game Night. She holds all children/families/youth in the meeting in prayer. At least three families are interested in pursuing the question, “How can we prepare our children and youth to stand up for justice in developmentally appropriate ways?”

11. A brief discussion ensued concerning the ticking clock in the meeting room. Although the clock is much loved by some, others find the tick-tock noise to be a real distraction from centering down. Further conversation is needed about this, but it was decided, for a trial period, to replace the clock with a silent one during the month of March.

The clerk closed the meeting, expressing gratitude for worship, love and care in our gathered business meeting.

Dorothy Hinshaw, Recording Clerk

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, January 21, 2018

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened in worship on Sunday, January 21, 2018 with 30 people present. Clerk, Sukie Rice opened the meeting with a reading from the 1985 New England Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice on the meeting for business.

1. Martha Hinshaw Sheldon reported for Ministry and Counsel which met on January 14 with new and returning members present. They agreed to coordinate a meeting prayer circle and will work on how to be mindful of those in need of and requesting prayer. Also, the Pastoral Care Team will now be an integral part of Ministry and Counsel. If F/friends have concerns, questions or pastoral needs, feel free to contact members of Ministry and Counsel: Martha Hinshaw Sheldon, clerk, Sukie Rice, Wendy Schlotterbeck, Joyce Gibson, Doug Bennett, Kristna Evans, and Jim Douglas.

2. Wendy Schlotterbeck reported for the Christian Education Committee and included the Youth Minister’s report. The committee met January 7 and welcomed two new members with enthusiasm and gratitude. They had an energetic discussion of continuing to support families to come together with an inclusionary bent on creating intergenerational activities in the coming year. Most of the discussion centered around meeting the needs of kids and families in the following ways: continuing the richness of Godly Play; family/intergenerational activities; family field trips – with possible connections to people living sustainably including the Maine indigenous communities; a summer week long day program for children and youth, possibly in a “vacation Bible school” format; and developing opportunities for kids and families to participate in activism. Their next family/intergenerational activity will be a potluck and friendly game time on Saturday, February 10 from 4:30 – 6:30. The new members, Amy Kustra and Scott Barksdale, will be a great addition to the work of Christian Education. Their ties to Friends School of Portland will add to the committee’s connection with that community as well. Amy and Scott expressed their appreciation for the Godly Play curriculum and how it has blessed the children.

We expressed our gratitude for the work of the committee and the Youth Minister.

3. Leslie Manning sent a Trustees report, for which we expressed appreciation. The Trustees met and reviewed outstanding work, much of which was put off by weather, and one new project: the freezing of the pipes for the washer at the parsonage. The plumber has offered an estimate, not to exceed $800 to reroute the pipes. It was suggested that the appliances be moved into the house from the room off the 3 of 6

kitchen and place them in the office, tapping into the bathroom pipes. The plumber has not yet responded.

They also affirmed that green burials at the Lunt Cemetery be allowed, since it is at the discretion of the cemetery owner.

The Trustees confirmed that Donna Hutchins has been retained as custodian, since they were going to have a three-month trial to make sure that it worked out for her and for the meeting, and it does.

4. Martha Hinshaw Sheldon has transferred her membership from Wilmington (Ohio) Friends Meeting to Durham Friends Meeting and requests that her recording as a Friends minister also be transferred to Falmouth Quarterly Meeting.

5. The meeting enthusiastically approved this request, and will forward the recommendation to Falmouth Quarterly Meeting.

6. Doug Bennett reported for the Ad Hoc Working Group set up to explore a stipend position for the meeting. An outline of five possible models was read and discussion followed. This first report from the Ad Hoc committee was a basis for discussion among members and attenders of the meeting. The committee intends to bring back a single recommendation for consideration. Attached are their proposals which were sent in advance to meeting members and attenders.

7. The meeting ended with a period of silence.

Dorothy Hinshaw, Recording Clerk

Strengthening Durham Friends Meeting – Working Group Report 1/18

Report and Recommendations of a Working Group            January, 2018

Doug Bennett, Joyce Gibson, Jo-an Jacobus, Theresa Oleksiw, Sukie Rice, and Martha Hinshaw Sheldon.

At the October Monthly Meeting for Business, Durham Friends Meeting approved a recommendation from Ministry and Counsel that we continue as a semi-programmed meeting but without a part-time pastor.

The six of us were appointed by the Monthly Meeting at that same Monthly Meeting for Business as an ad hoc committee to develop a job description for a stipend position to address pastoral and other needs. The committee will explore alternative models to help us discern what might work best for us. The entire community is asked to hold in our hearts the concerns that we have heard for pastoral care, confidentiality, spiritual nurture and outreach.”

This first report from the Ad Hoc Committee we intend to be a basis for discussion among members of the Meeting. As requested, we present a few “alternative models” for consideration. After discussion by the Meeting, we intend to bring back a single recommendation to consider for approval.

The full report can be obtained here.

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, December 17, 2017

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened in worship on Sunday, December 17, 2017 with 12 people present. Clerk Sarah Sprogell opened with a reading from a section on Ministry and Eldering (page 17) from the Interim Faith and Practice of New England Yearly Meeting.

  1. This is the last month that Sarah Sprogell is presiding clerk of Durham Friends Meeting. She has been reflecting on the past five years and she is grateful that her life has allowed her to serve the meeting in this capacity. She has become especially aware of and grateful for the abundance of support and eldering in the meeting.

The meeting expressed great appreciation for Sarah’s clerking and the many ways she has dedication she has given to helping the meeting run well in in the Spirit, providing much time and loving leadership for the meeting.

  1. The Meeting approved the minutes of the November 19th Monthly Meeting for Business with an amendment to minute #10. specifying that Margaret Wentworth and David Dexter will each serve an additional three-year term on the Library Committee, and Jo-an Jacobus will serve an additional three-year term on the Nominating Committee. Also, Martha Hinshaw Sheldon will continue at this time as Interim Archivist/Recorder.
  2. The meeting approved the Nominating Committee report as attached.
  3. Sukie Rice will proceed as being Presiding Clerk, however during the first four months of 2018 she will have a co-clerk to assist with meeting for business and other matters that might arise. The people helping will be as follows: In January, Nancy Marstaller; February, Ron Turcotte; March, Kristna Evans; April: Doug Bennett (pending).
  4. Sukie Rice presented the attached proposed budget for 2018, as created by Finance Committee. We were made aware that, although this budget provides for the operating fund, it does not include moneys needed for repairs and improvements for both the parsonage and meetinghouse. It was suggested that these items be considered as a part of our budget in the future, particularly since we are beginning to rely more heavily on rental income from the parsonage.
  5. The meeting approved the Budget for 2018.
  6. Doug Bennett presented a proposal from the ad-hoc working group for a stipend position. The group has been working on a number of models for such a position.  Members of the committee have been seeking opinions for what the meeting needs from someone in this position.  They believe the meeting at large needs to consider the options of what this position should look like to best serve the meeting, and requests that we devote a major part of the January 21st monthly meeting to this discussion.  The committee will provide an outline of the possible models by emailed or direct mail prior to January 21
  7. The meeting approved designating a major portion of the January 21st meeting to discussion of the stipend position. Appreciation for the work of the committee was expressed and people look forward to reading the overview that the committee will send out prior to the meeting.
  8. Doug Bennett spoke about the work he is doing to bring the meeting website up to date, keep it current with the meeting activities and be a ready resource for us as a meeting as well as a vehicle for outreach.   Friends expressed much gratitude to Doug for the great deal of work he has put into the website. It is very impressive to see the improvements throughout the website now
  9. Martha Hinshaw Sheldon reported for Ministry and Counsel.
  10. a) Pastoral care team coordination will be returned to Ministry and Counsel.
  11. b) Ministry and Counsel approved that Martha Hinshaw Sheldon be its clerk for 2018.
  12. Tess Hartford and Wendy Schlotterbeck reported for the Youth and Christian Education. An intergenerational wreath-making and potluck lunch on December 3rd was a lovely time of fellowship, with increased involvement of families with the youth. The Christmas program on December 16 had a strong spiritual feeling to it, much like a meeting for worship with contributions of stories, poems and songs. The fellowship room was full and it was a warm, happy Advent time together.

The wonder of the Advent story has been brought to life by Jeanne Baker Stinson’s telling of the story through Godly Play during Sunday School.

The meeting thanks members of Christian Education and Wendy Schlotterbeck for all the planning and encouraging activities for youth, families and the meeting community.

  1. Martha Hinshaw Sheldon gave the Adult Sunday school report.
  2. Sarah Sprogell closed the meeting by appreciating the work of Sukie Rice who has served as recording clerk for many years, and will be leaving this role in January to begin serving as presiding clerk for the meeting.  Sarah affirmed the importance and value of the shared cooperation and partnership that she has felt as clerk, working together with Sukie as her recording clerk.
  3. The meeting adjourned in the Spirit at 1:50, with Friends singing the Quaker round, “Dear Friends”, in appreciation for our strong, gathered community.

            Sukie Rice, Recording Clerk

 

Our Aspirations, December 7, 2014

In the early months of 2014, we gathered as a spirit-led community to envision, name and clarify the sense of our current condition, needs and desires. The resulting vision statements are the outcomes of these gatherings

  • Durham Meeting is a circle of Friends who admire, inspire, encouragesupport, and love each other with God at the center.
  • We are a learning community of seekers, teachers, doubters, and believers. With open minds and hearts we seek truth. We support and encourage ministry among us.
  • We are a seasoned community interested in attracting new attenders of all ages because of who we are, what we believe, and how we live peacefully and joyfully in a challenging world.
  • We are a service community who makes the world better with our prayers and our individual and collective actions. We help each other in need and celebrate each other in success.
  • We are a spiritual community guided by Christian principles, Quaker testimonies, and the sense of the meeting.
  • We are a tolerant and humble community that welcomes new and different ways of understanding God blended with our traditional beliefs. We honor the light within each person.
  • We are a responsible community with high standards for financial viabilitystewardship of our land and buildings, good governance, and clear communications.

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, November 19, 2017

November 19, 2017 Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened in worship on Sunday, November 19, 2017 with 17 people present. Clerk Sarah Sprogell read a passage from the Interim New England Faith and Practice spiritual life section on “Inward Retirement.”

1. Dorothy Hinshaw substituted as Recording Clerk in the absence of Susan Rice.

2. Ron Turcotte reported for Ministry and Counsel: a clearness committee for Liana Thompson Knight has met and recommended that she apply to the “Center for Courage and Renewal” founded by Parker Palmer and others, to be trained in their “Facilitator Preparation Program.” Ministry and Counsel will write a letter of support to be included in the application.

3. The meeting approved sending a letter of support for Liana Thompson Knight’s training.

4. Tess Hartford reported for Christian Education Committee: a) Christine Bagilieri, our Child Care Provider, had surgery and Jessica Sheldon has been hired as her substitute to provide childcare whenever Christine is away. b) A wreath making activity and pot luck lunch will be held Sunday, December 3rd . c) An advent candle lighting and song will replace the youth story/song in meeting for worship in December. We will not be telling the Godly Play Advent stories as we have the past few years. d) The annual Christmas program will take place on Saturday, December 16th from 5:00 to 7:00. Soup and sandwiches will be provided after a period of worship, and various offerings of songs, poems and stories. The committee requested that an offering that evening be donated to the Lewiston Immigrant and Refugee Center. A snow date will be posted. e) Martha Sheldon reported that the Adult Sunday School Class is reviewing the Interim Faith and Practice section on Membership. A new class topic will begin in January.

5. The meeting approved that a special offering be taken during the Christmas program to be sent to the Lewiston Immigrant and Refugee Center.

6. Youth Minister Wendy Schlotterbeck reported that she continues to work with the meeting youth who are upper elementary and middle school age. Activities include special events for families, for example the upcoming Wreath and decorating party, Dec. 3. The Halloween party planned for Oct. 30 was canceled due to the storm and power outage.

7. The Durham Meeting “Paid Position” ad hoc committee led by Doug Bennett gave a progress report. They stated that their aim is to make proposals to the meeting about how we can be a better, more vibrant meeting. They developed a template showing the functions and responsibilities of the meeting and are considering which of these functions or responsibilities might be better fulfilled by the addition of a part-time position. A list of tasks/functions and groups responsible is attached. Additional responsibilities were mentioned which might be added to the list. Doug reported that this ad-hoc committee recommends a time table: January monthly meeting, present a draft of 3 or 4 alternative models for a paid position, and present a final version of the alternative models for consideration and decision by the monthly meeting in February at which time this committee will be laid down. E-mail your feedback to Doug.

8. Linda Muller reported for the Peace and Social Concerns Committee: a) Many in Durham Friends Meeting and in the wider community are connecting with folks from other cultures and nations. We are planning an International Welcome Dinner for Friday, January 5 (snow day, January 6). We encourage all connected with Durham Meeting, hosts and exchange students to attend. Invite recent immigrants you have come to know as friends to join us. There will be a sign- up sheet for those attending. b) The committee is concerned as to how they can support those in meeting who are involved in peace and social concerns activities.

9. Margaret Wentworth reported that the Newsletter Committee has reviewed the guidelines for Friendly Notes reaffirming that the Newsletter List is not public; notes should be sent only for urgent reasons, such as: notice of deaths, accidents, or serious illness within the meeting community; previously unannounced special events that will occur before the next newsletter arrives; reminders of very special events; last minute changes; and youth events which need extra publicity.

10. Jo-an Jacobus reported that the Nominating Committee recommends that Margaret Wentworth be added to the committee in the place of Sukie Rice who will be the meeting clerk. The Committee also recommends the following names be approved to be added to the list of committees and officers: Martha Hinshaw Sheldon and Doug Bennett for Ministry and Counsel; Nancy Marstaller for Finance; Nancy Marstaller for Library, Ingrid Chalufour and Brown Lethem for Peace and Social Concerns; Scott Barksdale for Christian Education; Tess Hartford to extend her term on Christian Education for one more year. They recommend that the terms of the following Friends be extended for three years on their respective committees: Margaret Wentworth, David Dexter, and Jo-an Jacobus. A complete report will be made in December.

11. The meeting approved the addition of Margaret Wentworth to the Nominating Committee. It also approved all the other recommendations made for committee appointments by the Nominating Committee. The Minutes will be approved at the December Monthly Meeting.

The meeting adjourned at 1:30. Dorothy Hinshaw, Recording Clerk, pro tem

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, October 15, 2017

October 15, 2017

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened in worship on Sunday, October 15, 2017 with 23 people present. Clerk Sarah Sprogell recalled some of the messages brought during worship this morning, which help us prepare inwardly for today’s meeting.

Sarah expressed appreciation for everyone’s presence.

1. Sarah Sprogell read minutes #1 and #2 from the July 16 Meeting for Business which presented the results from the surveys and listening session regarding the meeting’s experience as a semi-programed meeting without a pastor.

2. Ron Turcotte read the recommendation of Ministry and Counsel that Durham Meeting continue as a semi-programed meeting without a pastor, and that a committee be formed to look in the possibility of a stipend position for unmet needs. A discussion of deep sharing and consideration of important needs followed Ron’s report.

3. The meeting approved the recommendation of Ministry and Counsel to continue as a semi-programed meeting. It was approved that we continue, for the time being, without a part-time pastor as we have had in the past. It was also approved that Monthly Meeting form an ad hoc committee to develop a job description for a stipend position to address pastoral and other needs. The committee will explore alternative models to help us discern what might work best for us. The entire community is asked to hold in our hearts the concerns that we have heard for pastoral care, confidentiality, spiritual nurture and outreach. 3 of 6

4. Monthly Meeting appointed Doug Bennett, Sukie Rice, Martha Hinshaw Sheldon and Jo-an Jacobus for the ad hoc committee to develop a stipend position. Joyce Gibson will be asked if she wishes to join this group as well.

5. Reports from the Youth Minister and Christian Education were read.

a) Christian Education celebrated World Quaker Day on October 1.

b) On October 15, several youth and adults went to Passadumkeag for the Wabanaki Fall Festival to support our Maine indigenous community.

c) October 30 there will be a Harvest-Halloween party.

d) Our childcare worker will be absent during October and most of November. Others with background checks are being asked to help.

e) Christian Ed recommends Saturday, December 16 for the Christmas program. They are developing ideas for Advent and how to mark this season.

6. The Youth Minister and Christian Education reports were accepted, and approval was given for the dates of October 30th for the Harvest-Halloween party and December 16 for the Christmas program.

7. Trustees corrected the September Monthly meeting minute for Trustees. Item #7a, line 9 should read “Money received for the purchase of plots as well as for perpetual care goes into the cemetery fund held by Trustees.

8. Newsletter Committee asks that the editor be informed each month of the following:

a) Names of those bringing messages;

b) Names of those sharing spiritual journeys during the 4th Sunday adult school class;

c) When committees meet;

d) When youth and other meetings and activities occur

“This I believe” will become a featured article again, with David Dexter overseeing it.

9. The meeting approved that Woman’s Society collect donations for the Kickapoo Friends Center during the month of November.

10. Sukie Rice brought the Finance Report for January 1-September 30, 2017. Revenue for the Operating Account was $37,304 (69% of our budgeted amount for the year). Expenses were $28,892 (61% of the budgeted amount).

The balance for the General Fund is $28,414 and the balance for the Capital account is $5617.

The report was approved with much appreciation for the good financial condition we are in this year. Committees are asked to communicate with Finance Committee about their needs for the 2018 Budget.

11. The Woodbury Fund is currently in a bank CD, coming due at the end of October. The meeting approved that the money be taken out of CD when it matures and put into a new savings account. At that time Finance Committee can look into alternatives to a CD for the Woodbury Fund.

12. The meeting adjourned in the Spirit at 2:50.

Sukie Rice, Recording Clerk

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, September 17, 2017

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends, September 17, 2017

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened in worship on Sunday, September 17, 2017 with 10 people present. Clerk Sarah Sprogell read a quote from The Lemon Tree, by Sandy Tolan on “the expansion of the heart” helping us to understand others.

1. Ron Turcotte reported for Ministry and Counsel. a) Ministry and Counsel recommends that the meeting continue without a pastor. They also recommend that we create a committee to look into a part-time stipend position to assist the meeting with its needs. They would like these two recommendations to be considered for decision at the October 15th monthly meeting. b) Ron has begun as a member of the NEYM Puente de Amigos committee and wishes a clearness committee regarding traveling to Cuba in January 2018. Recommendations for people on a clearness committee were offered. c) The application for Durham Meeting to participate in the Hope Gateway Church’s 2018 leadership program, “Growing With Hope” is due November 1. Committee clerks have been asked to reach out to their members to see who might be interested in this program.

2. The meeting approved the recommendation of Ministry and Counsel to have the October 15th monthly meeting for business designated primarily to decide the issue of continuing without a pastor and calling for an ad hoc committee to develop a job description for a stipend position. Friends will be informed about it well in advance so there can be a full attendance of people interested.

3. Tess Hartford reported for Christian Education: a) “World Quaker Day” will be observed on October 1 with a special children’s message and Godly Play. This will be followed by brunch-style refreshments after meeting, during which time Friends can view a video of how Quakers around the world worship and celebrate World Quaker Day. World Quaker Day is an activity of Friends World Committee for Consultation. b) Christian Education is working on new ways to welcome new families and children. c) The Adult Sunday school group will begin “The Freedom and Justice Crier” on racial and social justice which comes from New England Yearly Meeting. The meeting has copies available for the study group. d) Christian Education has reviewed the position of Wendy Schlotterbeck as Youth Minister. They consider the role of the Youth Minister to be very important and recommend that Wendy Schlotterbeck continue in the position.

4. The meeting approved the renewal of our employment agreement with Wendy Schlotterbeck as Youth Minister for the contract year of July 1, 2017-June 30, 2018 at $800 per month for all 12 months.

5. Wendy Schlotterbeck said that with new children/families interested, a new youth group may be formed with children from 5th – 8th grade. The youth group will meet monthly with an intergenerational gathering every other month. Wendy reported there were 9 children in Sunday School today. They look forward to holding a Halloween party. Gratitude was given to Wendy and Christian Education for having such a lovely gathering of families and children in worship today.

7. Leslie Manning reported for Trustees.

a) Trustees have reviewed the price structure for the meeting’s three cemeteries. The average yearly cost to the meeting of the cemeteries for maintenance (perpetual care) is approximately $4500/year. (This includes the lawn mowing of the meetinghouse and parsonage property.) The current rates for perpetual care were last determined in 1997. Trustees recommends doubling the cost of purchasing a single plot for non-meeting members from $75 to $150 and the cost of perpetual care (for everyone) from $100 to $200, beginning in 2018. There is no cost for a plot for members. New rates for multiple plots were also assigned as follows: Plot Perpetual Care Total One 4×10 plot $150 $200 $350 Two 200 400 600 Four 350 650 1,000 People who purchase plots before 2018 will get the current rate. Money received for the purchase of a plot goes into the General Fund whereas money for perpetual care goes into the cemetery fund held by Trustees. People should see Eileen Babcock if interested.

b) There remains a significant amount of space in the Lunt Cemetery. Trustees will be walking the boundaries, and identifying plot spaces. They are also considering a memorial garden for cremation urns.

c) Trustees would like to increase the weekly payment for the meetinghouse custodian from $50 to $60. They would also like to pay overtime for emergency “call out” needs at an hourly rate of $12/hour.

d) Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends wishes to express our deep appreciation and sincere thanks to Charlotte Anne Curtis for her faithful service as our custodian and to wish her” Happy Trails” on her future journeys. Charlotte has served with faithfulness, good cheer and creativity and has made our entire meeting family, not just our beloved meetinghouse, more welcoming and inviting to all. “Thank you, Charlotte Anne. We will hold you in the Light of Love as you take your leave.”

e) Trustees recommends that Durham Meeting hire Donna Hutchins as the new custodian for October through December. f) Trustees wish to hire arborist Joel Dunham (Dunham Landscaping of Lisbon) to continue work on tree cutting that is needed right away. Joel will take stumpage wood, and will clear a number of areas for seeding grass. They have agreed on a fee of $2000 for an extensive job.

8. The meeting approved an increase of the custodian fee to $60/week. It also approved $12/hour extra emergency overtime for the trial period of October through December. Friends also approve Donna Hutchins for this position.

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, July 17, 2017

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends, July 16, 2017

 Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened in worship on Sunday, July 16, 2017 at 12:15 with ten people present. Clerk Martha Hinshaw Sheldon opened with a mantra, “When I am at peace with what is, I am more open to what will be.”

  1. Ron Turcotte reported for Ministry and Counsel. He summarized their “Status Report on the Six-months Experiment.” From the various surveys and the open meeting, they have determined the following:

a) Approximately 30% of the current members and attenders would like to return to having a pastor and 70% would like to continue the experiment without a pastor.

b) Outreach, pastoral counseling and visitation seem to be un-met needs.

c) Various ideas for a part-time or stipend position have been made.

d) Our financial capabilities are important to consider.

Ministry and Counsel would like to give over to Monthly Meeting discernment for our decision on this matter.

2. It was decided that in the autumn we will look more carefully at how we might move forward.

3. Jo-an Jacobus gave the Nominating Committee report. Because Sarah Sprogell is ending her term as Co-Clerk in 2017, the Nominating Committee has decided to get an early start on looking for a Co-Clerk who will start in 2018. After a month of discernment, they recommend Susan (Sukie) Rice as Monthly Meeting clerk beginning in 2018. Nominating Committee also recommends learning more about the practice of two year “term” co-clerking as Portland Friends Meeting has been doing for some time.

4. Monthly Meeting approved the recommendation of Susan (Sukie) Rice as Clerk for 2018.

5. Daniel Henton gave the report for Trustees. At present, the plan is that the parsonage will be empty by September 1. They realize it will take some time for the meeting to decide about a pastor and they do not want the parsonage to be empty through the Fall and Winter. They recommend renting the parsonage to Durham Meeting member Donna Hutchins (Ross) and her husband Daniel Ross.

6. The meeting approved renting to Donna Hutchins and Daniel Ross with the specifics to be worked out between Donna and Trustees.

7. Sukie Rice brought the Finance Committee report.

a) The solar installation/heat pump project expenses were $20,616 and the income from grants was $14,500. Therefore, we need to raise $6,116 for this project.

b) Roof replacement expenses were $31,121 and income from the grant and Dwelly Fund was $19,098. Therefore, we need to raise $12,032 for this project.

c) The General Checking account balance as of June 30 was $26,331.

d) The Capital Account balance as of June 30 was $5,915.

e) The Bernice Douglas Fund is fronting the costs of the roof replacement and solar installation. $18,148 was used from this fund to cover these costs. It is to be reimbursed as the fundraising brings in money. The fund currently has a $14,210 balance. The report was accepted with gratitude.

8. It was decided that the fund-raising letter for the roof/solar projects should go out in early September.

The meeting adjourned in the Spirit at 1:05.

Sukie Rice, Recording Clerk

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, June 18, 2017

Durham Monthly Meeting for Business, Minutes of June 18

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened in worship on Sunday, June 18, 2017 at 12:15 with 10 people present. Clerk Sarah Sprogell opened with a reading on consensus and the sense of the meeting from New England Yearly Meeting’s “Interim Faith and Practice” (page 43).

1. Ron Turcotte reported for Ministry and Counsel.

a) Liana Thompson Knight has requested the transfer of her membership to Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends from Hartford Monthly Meeting. Ministry and Counsel has received a letter of transfer from Hartford Meeting and recommends this transfer.

b) Martha Hinshaw Sheldon has requested that her membership be transferred from Wilmington Friends in Ohio to Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends. Ministry and Counsel recommends this transfer. We have received a letter of transfer from Wilmington Friends including information that Martha was recorded as minister by Wilmington Yearly Meeting. Ministry and Counsel recommends this transfer and will look into the steps needed to transfer her status as a recorded minister.

c) Ministry and Counsel recommends a donation to the Quaker Climate Pilgrimage witness taking place July 9-16, from Portsmouth, NH to the Bow coal fired plant. Ministry and Counsel will consider appropriating money from their budget.

d) Ministry and Counsel is interested in investigating further our participation in the Growing with Hope leadership development program that is offered by Hope Gateway Church. Four to six people from Durham would be expected to participate in this program, which will take place in 2018 if we chose as a meeting to do it. There are a number of Durham Friends who have expressed an interest in participating.

2. The meeting heartily approved the transfers of Liana Thompson Knight and Martha Hinshaw Sheldon to Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends.

3. It was approved that Ministry and Counsel may ask others to contribute to the Climate Pilgrimage fund.

4. The meeting approved proceeding with the plan of participating in Growing with Hope. Ministry and Counsel will find the people to participate in it. It is requested that Finance Committee consider how the meeting will cover the $2000 fee. There will be an article in the newsletter to explain the program.

5. Tess Hartford reported for Christian Education. Children’s Day was a very joyful, special day with eight children with their families in attendance. The Yard and Plant Sale was a great success and raised $950. $500 of this will go to their 2017 sponsorship of Cornelius Magona, a high school student with the Kakamega Orphans Care Centre project.

6. Wendy Schlotterbeck, in her Youth Minister report, gave thanks to Christian Education and others for all their time and very generous contributions to the very successful Yard and Plant Sale. She will be a resource person for Young Friends at the August New England Yearly Meeting Sessions, which will have about 50 Quaker youth for the week.

7. Leslie Manning reported for Trustees.

a) Trustees reminds Friends that proof of insurance is necessary for any contractual work done for the meeting.

b) They are seeking bids for the work needing to be done on trees.

c) Margaret Wentworth will finish the 2016 cemetery books during the summer. On completion, the cemetery books will be passed over to Eileen Babcock. Trustees will be working on a 3 – 5-year plan for the cemeteries.

d) Trustees will also look at replacing the basement windows, which might be over 100 years old!

e) Gratitude was expressed to Craig Freshley for doing the many small but important jobs that Trustees has needed to have done.

f) Cleaning and floor work of the horse shed will be done during the summer.

8. Cindy Wood reported for Peace and Social Concerns. A press release will go out about the Meeting going solar. The new-comers’ dinners are continuing well. The date of the Kakamega fundraising dinner will be Saturday, September 30.

9. Sarah Sprogell reminded Friends of the $2000 donation that Rachel Carey Harper made to the meeting for us to use as we see fit. Sarah reported that the clerks meeting decided to donate the full amount to the Immigrant Resource Center of Maine, run by Fatuma Hussein in Lewiston/Auburn. It will be used by the IRCM as an emergency fund for the many needs of people who come to the center.

10. Jo-an Jacobus expressed the gratitude of the 12 Step group that meets at the meetinghouse on Sunday evenings. They donated a clock for the fellowship room.

11. In keeping with our practice, it was approved that we will meet in July but we will not meet in August. 11. The minutes of Monthly Meeting were approved during the meeting.

The meeting adjourned in the Spirit at 1:50.

Sukie Rice, Recording Clerk

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, May 21, 2017

Durham Friends Monthly Meeting, May 21, 2017

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened in worship on Sunday, May 21, 2017 at 12:30 with 10 people present. Clerk Sarah Sprogell opened by reading the opening paragraph, page 117, of ‘A Peculiar People” from the Interim Faith and Practice of NEYM.

  1. Approval given for the temporary service of Martha Hinshaw Sheldon as Recording clerk.

2. Ministry and Counsel report given by Ron Turcotte.

a) Ron reported on the May 7 Listening Session on how the Meeting community is doing in the 6 months’ discernment period to help evaluate the life of the meeting without a paid pastor.   Issues that arose from the survey are ongoing concerns about how we offer Pastoral care and outreach. A follow up survey will be distributed with 2 questions: Continue as we are or search for a pastor. A summary report and recommendations will be presented at the June Monthly Meeting.

b) A report was given on the All Maine Gathering and Falmouth Quarter May 6. New England Yearly Meeting will be looking at the functions of the Quarterly Meeting in the coming year. In today’s modern world is the Quarterly Meeting needed in the same way?

c) Approval was given to send a letter of appreciation to the leaders of the Quarterly Meeting program on white privilege.

3. The Christian Education report was given by Tess Hartford.

a) Tess shared information on the June 4th Children’s day and Meeting open house. Details and more information will be sent out soon.

b) Brambles on the trail the youth have been working on will be cleared this summer.

c) Five graduates will be honored this spring: Ketty Stinson, Hannah and M Schlotterbeck, Mitch Newlin, and Rachel Wood.

d) Preliminary information and discussion followed on having gravel or crushed stone put down in the horse barn for use in inclement weather. Bid options were presented and shared with Trustees to consider.

e) The committee will be conducting an informal evaluation of Wendy’s youth ministry in the Meeting.

f) Martha is to send an informational note on Adult Sunday School to be included in the next newsletter. The current book is ‘Le Flambeau School of Driving’ by Peggy Senger Morrison who is the founder of Freedom Friends Church in Oregon and has a blog called ‘A Silly Poor Gospel’.

4. Approval was given to a suggestion that the Meeting have a special collection to support Ugandans Safe Passage Sunday June 4th. This is a group mentioned in worship by Diane Dicranian. This group provides safe passage to LBGT Ugandans and their allies, who are under the threat of persecution.

5. Trustees report was given by Leslie Manning.

a) The committee is finalizing the solar project with the work to begin May 30th.

b) Appreciation was expressed for the work of volunteers who helped on ‘Love Your Meeting’ cleanup days May 12 and 13.

c) Further projects to be done are replacing basement window sills, cleaning black mold, painting the fellowship room ceiling, and clearing out the area behind the horse shed of brush and trash. These projects to be done this summer.

d) Work on the cemeteries (3) is another project on the Trustees list. Updating the plot map and putting the map on the Meeting web site will allow for easy access and is another form of outreach.

e) The Durham Comprehensive Plan may lead to making the trails available to the public.

f) This report accepted and approved.

6. A NEYM Friend sent a gift of $2,000 to Durham Friends and other NEYM Meetings to do with as they wish. The Clerks Committee discussed how best to use this gift, and recommend that we donate the money to a local group serving new Mainers in the Lewiston area. This recommendation was approved.

7. New Business. Ron Turcotte presented information on the Hope Gateway program for communities seeking to grow in hope. This is a yearlong program to train 4 to 5 people in a faith community in outreach and engaging the wider community. Ron will write up more information to be included in the next newsletter to allow for further discussion and threshing.

8. The meeting ended with a time of silent listening to final movements of Spirit.

Martha Hinshaw Sheldon, Recording Clerk, pro tem

 

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, April 23, 2017

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends, April 23, 2017

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened in worship on Sunday, April 23, 2017 at 12:30 with 8 people present. Clerk Sarah Sprogell opened with a quote from Rev. William Sloane Coffin: “Let us resolve to be patriots always, nationalists never. Let us love our country but pledge allegiance to the earth and to the flora and fauna and human life that supports it – one planet, indivisible, with clean air, soil, and water; with liberty, justice and peace for all.”

  1. Joyce Gibson reported for Ministry and Counsel.

a) There will be an open Ministry and Counsel Listening Session on May 7 to share the results of our recent survey and to hear from people in the meeting about how they consider things are going without a pastor. The session will be facilitated by Craig Freshley. There will be a “finger food” potluck that day to allow us to move more quickly to the Listening Session.

b) People bringing the message in May: Paul Miller (May 7); Carol Marshburn (May 14) ; Diane Dicranian (from Winthrop Centre Friends) May 21); Sukie Rice (May 28).

c) There was concern about political views being expressed during worship and the importance of being open to all opinions and accepting persons regardless of their political views.

2. Christian Education Committee and the Youth Minister reported together.

a) The Seder Supper (April 6) had 12 people in attendance and went very well. There were many people who attended the delicious Easter breakfast

b) Children’s Day will be Sunday, June 4.   They plan to have a Quaker Open House and invite families with children to stay for a lunch, after which there will be conversation on what families look for in a faith community.

c) Graduates this year will be Ketty Stinson (high school) and Hannah and M Schlotterbeck (from graduate school).

d) The Annual Plant and Yard Sale will be held Saturday, June 3 from 9:00-1:00.

e) The annual Family Campout in Georgetown will be June 17-18.

f) The Youth Group has been renamed to Intergenerational Youth Group. It gathered for a pot-luck on April 19 with 13 people present. They will work on building on a walking trail in the woods next to the parsonage. Big plans are ahead for this!

g) Paul Miller was the speaker as the Spiritual Journey speaker at the Adult Sunday School group on April 23.

3. Kitsie Hildebrandt, Treasurer, reported on our insurance policy with Church Mutual. Christine Baglieri (our childcare worker) is covered under our liability insurance. She is also covered by our workers compensation policy.

The March 31 First Quarter finance report was submitted.   Our income for this period was $13,112 and the Expenditures were $10,205. The checking account balance for the Operating Account is $23,326.  Friends accepted the report with thanks.

4. Trustees report that the roof replacement has been completed with Fairbanks Roofing.   Maine Solar Solutions will begin installation of the heat pump and solar panels in mid-May.

a) Trustees are considering doing some repair and tightening of the basement windows.

b) They hope to donate or sell the big copier.

c) May 12 and 13 will be “Love Your Meeting Days” for our annual clean-up.

d) Trustees will begin looking for a substitute for Charlotte Ann Curtis for when she is away during the 2017-18 winter.

5. Sukie Rice reported for Peace and Social Concerns.

a) On Sunday June 25, Bill Clark from Maine AllCare will show a film about single-payer health care and will lead a discussion. This will follow a potluck lunch.

b) The annual Kakamega benefit dinner will take place on Saturday, September 30th.

c) The committee has held a third “new friends” dinner for people in the Brunswick area. Another dinner will be planned for people in the Freeport/Durham area. If Friends wish to participate in a new friends dinner, please let Cindy Wood know.

6. For the Meeting Directory, it was approved that members and attenders will be merged so that everyone will be listed in one alphabetical order rather than separated as has been the practice. MEMBERS will continue to be listed in capital letters and attenders in non-caps.

7. The All-Maine Gathering will be held on May 6 at Vassalboro Meeting. Representatives will be Sarah Sprogell, Kristna Evans, Tess Hartford, Dorothy Hinshaw and Ed Hinshaw.

8. The minutes of Monthly Meeting were approved during the meeting.

The meeting adjourned in the Spirit at 1:55.

Sukie Rice, Recording Clerk

 

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, March 19, 2017

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends, March 19, 2017

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened in worship on Sunday, March 19, 2017, at 12:35 with 15 people present. Clerk Sarah Sprogell read quotes from George Fox and John Calvi from the section of Darkness and Light in the Revised New England Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice (pages 18 and 23).

  1. Minutes of the February 19, 2017 Monthly Meeting, as printed in the newsletter, were approved with minor amendments.

2. Ron Turcotte brought the report from Ministry and Counsel.

a) An Easter sunrise service is still to be determined and an announcement will be made at the rise of meeting to see if there is interest and energy to organize this event.

b) Ministry and Counsel has distributed surveys to evaluate our current pastor-less practice. They ask that surveys be completed and returned by April 2. There is box in the vestry for completed evaluations.

There will be an open Ministry and Counsel on May 7 to discuss the survey results and gather additional input.

c) A letter to the editor, which had been approved in February, was published in the Times Record. The letter expressed our disapproval of the President Trump’s original executive order on a travel ban of refugees and immigrants.

d) The State of Society Report for 2016 was read.

e) Ministry and Counsel recommends Robert Eaton and Wendy Batson for membership.

f) “Before the Flood,” a movie on climate change will be shown on Sunday, May 28 following a pot-luck.

3. Monthly Meeting heartily approves the membership of Robert (Bob) Eaton and Wendy Batson.

4. The State of Society report was accepted and approved with appreciation.

5. Wendy Schlotterbeck reported for Christian Education and as Youth Minister.

a) Christian Education has approved hiring Christine Baglieri for the job of childcare worker during meetings for worship. However, she has injured her knee and is not able to do the full job until she heals.

b) Christian Education is planning an Easter breakfast at 8:30 with children’s activities following worship.

c) There will be a Passover dinner on Thursday, April 13 at 5:30.

d) A Family Dinner will be held in April during which time a number of activities will be discussed.

e) The youth group will hold a plant and yard sale in May. They also wish to work on a Quaker documentary.

6. Monthly Meeting approved contributing up $500 from the Charity Account for Christine Baglieri’s medical costs.

7. Daniel Henton read the Trustees Annual Report for 2016, a very busy year for Trustees. Many thanks were given for work on the new floor, the cell tower, and the research and fundraising for a new roof, heat pump and solar installation. Special appreciation was given to the many people who have contributed to the work of Trustees and the Meeting, especially Margaret Wentworth and Mildred Alexander whose example and dedication serve as inspiration not just to the committee but to the entire Durham Friends community.

8. Friends accepted with appreciation both the report as well as the work of Trustees.

9. Paul Wood brought the Trustees report on replacement of the roof. Fairbanks Roofing has reduced their bid to $20,000. However, if they need to replace the underlayment, it may go up to $26,000. Approval for this contract was given at the February Monthly Meeting.

10. Cindy Wood brought a report from Peace and Social Concerns.

a) They evaluated their January 21st participation at the Women’s March in Augusta. b) They are pleased to have held two dinners for new people this year in home settings. A third one is set for the end of March, and they will continue as new people come to the meeting.

c) P&SC approved endorsing, as a committee, the Health Care as a Human Right (HCHR) campaign of Maine AllCare.   Linda Mueller is the point-person for this.

11. The meeting accepted the report. It was recommended that P&SC hold an educational meeting so that the full meeting may learn about Health Care as a Human Right and have a discussion on it. The committee is also interested in learning what kinds of outreach work other individuals in the meeting are involved with, and what kind of unified P&SC project the meeting might be able to participate in.

12. Jo-an Jacobus reported that Nominating Committee recommends the following people to join the Newsletter Committee: David Dexter, Liana Thompson and Theresa Oleksiw.

The meeting approved adding David Dexter, Liana Thompson and Theresa Oleksiw to Newsletter Committee.

13. It was approved that Monthly Meeting will be held on April 23rd to avoid meeting on Easter.

14. The minutes of Monthly Meeting were approved during the meeting.

The meeting adjourned in the Spirit at 2:06.

Sukie Rice, Recording Clerk

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, February 19, 2017

Durham Friends Monthly Meeting, February 19, 2017

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened in worship on Sunday, February 19, 2017 at 12:30 with 15 people present. Clerk Sarah Sprogell opened by reading from the Interim Faith and Practice of NEYM extracts on worship.

  1. Approval given for the temporary service of Martha Hinshaw Sheldon as Recording clerk.

2. Youth ministers report given by Wendy Schlotterbeck.

a) In consultation with families in the Meeting, Wendy, plans to create a walking trail on land around the parsonage. The trail may include meditation signs. Wendy will submit a design Trustees for approval and learn what requirements are needed for insurance purposes.

3. Nominating committee, reported by Ron Turcotte.

a) Margaret Wentworth will join the Newsletter committee.

b) The meeting approved the recommendation that Margaret Wentworth be added to the newsletter committee. She will serve primarily in an advisory capacity.

c) Concern expressed that younger members and attenders be encouraged to become active members of committees, allowing long-standing and elder members to retire gracefully.

4. Peace and Social Concerns report given by Cindy Wood.

a) Cindy shared that the Women’s march at the Maine State courthouse January 21 was a big success.

b) The committee is proceeding with dinner gatherings for new attenders and is looking for additional volunteers to host these monthly suppers.

5. Ministry and Counsel report given by Ron Turcotte.

a) Ron submitted a letter of concern regarding the recent ban on refugee resettlement to be sent to local newspapers and elected officials. Discussion, support and concerns were shared and noted. Approval given for Ron to send the letter and for the letter to be included in the Meeting newsletter.

b) Report given and discussion followed on the ‘Draft Report on Leadership of Durham Meeting from January to June 2017’. A proposal was made to approve the report with an openness for ongoing input and to include the report in the Meeting newsletter. Report attached.

c) A survey was distributed for folks to fill out regarding the 6 months’ discernment period to help evaluate the life of the meeting without a paid pastor. The survey will be in the next newsletter, announced at meeting for worship, and will be available in the fellowship room. Survey attached.

d) Expressions of appreciation were given for the labor of Ministry and Counsel and Joyce Gibson on the above report.

e) A proposal was made to have a second open session for members and attenders to express opinions and concerns. M&C suggests April for the meeting. This will be announced when a date is discerned.

f) Ministry and Counsel report was accepted.

6. The Christian Education report was given by Tess Hartford.

a) Jeannie Baker Stinson will be the Recording Clerk.

b) Tess reported that the committee is made up of a good mix of folks with good energy.

c) A candidate for the position of Child Care Provider was present Sunday morning to observe and get to know the children. She was very comfortable with the children. The interview process will continue with further interviews and securing background checks.

d) A Quaker parenting initiative was introduced. The format is an on-line Quaker parent discussion group webinar led by Harriet Heath, an expert on parenting skills and Quaker author. A flyer with information will be posted for those interested in signing up.

e) Christian Ed report was accepted.

7. Finance report given by Kitsie Hildebrandt.

a) The treasurer reviewed funding that we currently have to help pay for the 3 capital projects planned for the meetinghouse: heat pump, solar panels, and roof replacement. we have received $9000 from NEYM Legacy Fund, $5000 (promised) from FGC Meetinghouse Fund, and approximately $9,000 from our capital account. We are waiting to hear from Obadiah Brown’s Benevolent Fund in March, and hopeful of receiving up to $10,000 from this fund.

b) Given these assumptions, we will still need to raise about $17,000 to complete the projects. The Fundraising Committee will work on a campaign to raise these funds.

c) It was approved to borrow from the Bea Douglas fund if necessary, to prevent the work from being put on hold while the fundraising is progressing.

d) Approved with thanks to Kitsie and fundraisers.

8. Trustees report given by Leslie Manning.

a) Trustees will be examining how to better manage the costs for mowing in the coming year. They would also like to have information more readily available for folks wanting to find ancestral plot information.

b) Working on 3 projects: 1. Heat pump, 2. Solar panels, and 3. Roof replacement for the meetinghouse. The heat pump project was approved earlier and the Trustees are eager to get this project done. The cost is approximately $4000.

c) The solar panel project was discussed and approval given for Sam Zuckerman of Maine Solar Solutions, Durham to go forward with the work. Although our electricity use will increase with the heat pump and dehumidifier, our oil use and dependence will decrease, thus achieving a valuable investment for the future. The cost is approximately $17,000.

d) The roof project has received 4 bids and the recommendation is to accept Fairbanks of Topsham. This project needs to be done before the solar panels can be started. Approval was given for the contractor and bid. The cost is approximately $26,000.

e) Leslie encouraged CE and the Youth minister to think about what they can do to help with fundraising for this project. The fundraising committee is made up of Donna Ross, Sukie Rice. However, it will be beneficial for all members and attenders to be attentive to how they can help.

9. Statistical report for 2016 given by Martha Hinshaw Sheldon and accepted.

a) In summary, the average attendance at meeting for worship was 38; number of members as of 12/31 was 104; new members were 4; and 27 members were removed due to discontinuance or resignation. This last large number is due in part to a letter sent to a number of long-absent members. Report attached.

10. Tess Hartford submitted a letter for the Meeting to consider supporting her in an opportunity to attend a workshop on “process painting” that would broaden her use of her gifts in ministry and help participants come into peace.

a) The meeting approved using $600 from our Charitable Account to help cover costs for the workshop. The meeting further requested that Tess’s letter be shared with the meeting so folks can make earmarked donations to further help with costs. Letter attached.

11. Library committee annual report was given by Margaret Wentworth.

a) She urged all to use this valuable resource. Report accepted.

12. Reminder given for other committees to submit an annual committee report.

13. These minutes are to be approved at the March Monthly Meeting.

Monthly Meeting ended with a moment of waiting worship at 2:10 pm.

Martha Hinshaw Sheldon, interim Recording Clerk

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, January 15, 2017

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends, January 15, 2017

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened in worship on Sunday, January 15, 2017 at 12:30 with 16 people present. Clerk Sarah Sprogell opened with a query on Truth and the Inward Teacher (page 67) from the Revised New England Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice.

  1. Ron Turcotte reported for Ministry and Counsel.

a) The pastoral care team will be reconvening to discuss current needs and how best to meet them.

b) Ministry and Counsel has formed a sub-committee to work on guidelines for assessing how the six months of being without a pastor is going.

c) Ministry and Counsel heartily approves the transfer of Martha Hinshaw Sheldon’s membership to Durham Friends from Wilmington Friends Meeting, Ohio. Martha has made the transfer request, and we are awaiting the formal reply from Wilmington Friends to complete the process.

d) Katherine Langelier will be taking over the work of the website. She and Wendy Schlotterbeck recommend changing our website host from Bluehost to Quaker Cloud which offers a number of features that could be very helpful, including good technical support, security, a user-friendly format, and a method of posting addition content and minutes, making the website much more usable. The cost of Quaker Cloud is $240 rather than $177 for Bluehost.

2. The meeting approved exploring the use of Quaker Cloud as the host for our website and gives authority to Wendy Schlotterbeck and Katherine Langelier to make this change if they consider it to be the best move. Many thanks to Katherine for stepping forward on picking up the website.

3. Jo-an Jacobus distributed the attached final report from nominating committee for Durham Meeting Committees and Officers 2017. This report was approved with appreciation for all who will be working on committees.

4. Tess Hartford reported for Christian Education.

a) The Christmas Posada was festive, heartwarming and worshipful. $225 was collected at the Christmas program for the Lewiston Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement Program.

b) Wendy Schlotterbeck and Katherine Langelier will develop a job description and resources for a Sunday childcare person.

c) It is the intention that there will be a childcare person available in the nursery every Sunday of each month and that a children’s message will be possible each Sunday. It is also the intention that there will be Sunday School for children and youth the first and third Sunday of each month during the school years: Godly Play for the younger children and Passages for the older children/youth. Christian Education will be asking individuals to prepare a children’s message for a month at a time so there will always be a message if children are present. On Sundays when children are present, but no message has been prepared, then we will sing an appropriate song for children can participate in such as the George Fox song. If there are no children present, there will not necessarily be a children’s message.

5. Wendy Schlotterbeck reported that, as Youth Minister, her energies are moving more toward the support of families and family activities. She is working to transition much of the responsibility of the website to Katherine Langelier. Wendy is also helping with banners for the Meeting. She reminds us that it is important that we not use the children’s room as storage for non-children’s items.

6. Sukie Rice brought the December 31, 2016 Fiscal Year financial report.

a) We came extremely close to both income and expenditures in our amended budget and it was agreed that amending the budget part-way through the year is very helpful.

Total Operating Income for 2016 was $58,634 and Expenses were $58,042, giving us a net gain of $592. The end-of-the-year check book balance for the operating account was $18,454.

The Capital Account spent $5725 on the new floor. At the end of the year the Capital Account has $9496 which comes from donations and the transfer of the Pennell and Dwelley Funds.

b) It was reported that we have received $2000 from Rachel Carey-Harper of Barnstable Preparative Meeting. She has made a gift of $2000 to each monthly meeting and $1000 to each preparative meeting within NEYM. In her letter, Rachel said that she feels sure that “most of us are working very hard to come to terms with the new political reality in our country… it is important to step up to the challenge of doing something spiritually grounded, positive and effective.” Her way of doing this is to “share resources primarily to groups that protect, and provide something for those ignored or oppressed or threatened; places committed to service.” She gives this gift with trust that each meeting will discern its use as we see fit. She clearly states that there are no requirements for how to spend these funds. We are deeply touched and grateful for Rachel’s generosity. Sarah Sprogell has sent a letter of acknowledgment and gratitude to Rachel. Co-clerks Sarah Sprogell and Martha Hinshaw Sheldon will meet with committee clerks, treasurer and youth minister to create a process for discerning how we might use this money.

7. Leslie Manning reported for Trustees, which will meet on the first Sunday of each month. Leslie has been appointed as clerk of Trustees.

a) The six-month lease has been signed with Ed Norris, our tenant at the parsonage.

b) A grant request for $14,000 has been submitted to Obadiah Brown’s Benevolent Fund to assist with the replacement of the meetinghouse metal roof.

c) Trustees will be talking with Margaret Wentworth, Mildred Alexander and Charlotte Ann Curtis to record the history and practices of the countless aspects of Trustees’ work.

d) Trustees brought a request for rental of the meetinghouse for a facilitated self-help group.

8. The meeting approved moving forward with the rental of the meeting house to the aforementioned group.

9. Sukie Rice brought the report from Peace and Social Concerns. They are organizing a carpooling effort for people wishing to go to the January 21 Women’s Rally in Augusta. A Durham Friends Meeting banner is being painted for this and future demonstrations. Peace and Social Concerns is also wishing to do outreach to new people who have been attending meeting for worship. They will be inviting newcomers to small dinner gatherings to help people get to know each other better and continue to welcome people to the Durham Meeting community.

10. The meeting expressed appreciation for Craig Freshley creating the Make-Shift Coffee House in an effort to reach across the political spectrum for listening and conversation.

11. Tess Hartford and David Dexter were approved as our representatives to the board of directors for the Lisbon Area Christian Outreach.

12. There were expressions of gratitude to Katherine Langelier for her Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s meals and hospitality.

13. The minutes of Monthly Meeting were approved during the meeting.

The meeting adjourned in the Spirit at 2:30.

Sukie Rice, Recording Clerk

 

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, December 18, 2016

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends, December 18, 2016

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened in worship on Sunday, December 18, 2016 at 12:30 with 12 people present. Clerk Sarah Sprogell opened by reading a Christmas meditation on sharing by Levinus Painter (found in New England Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice, page 123).

  1. Dorothy Hinshaw reported for Ministry and Counsel.

a) Ministry and Counsel is inviting Sass Carey to present her work with nomadic Mongolian people after worship on February 26.

b) The Friends United Meeting Chain of Prayer will be held from the beginning of the year until April. Joyce Gibson will coordinate with FUM concerning our day.

c) Ministry and Counsel plans on creating a written plan of how we will address the needs of the meeting as we are pastor-less for six months. Sarah Sprogell, Ron Turcotte, Joyce Gibson and Ed Hinshaw will make up the team that works on this.

d) There has been a request from New England Yearly Meeting for help with the chapter on membership in the revised the Faith and Practice. Sarah Sprogell, Ron Turcotte and Joyce Gibson will work on this together.

e) A group of New England Friends is going to Cuba in January. We will send a letter to our sister meeting in Velasco for them to carry over for us.

f) Ministry and Counsel will have read during worship the minutes on Earthcare and on Racial Justice that were approved at New England Yearly Meeting Sessions 2016.

2. It was approved that a collection be taken at the program for Sass Carey’s healthcare work with nomadic Mongolian people.

3. Doug Gwyn gave his final pastors report. Much of his efforts this month has been to help the transition after he has left.

a) He held a workshop on bringing the message, created a guide for care of worship, and guidelines for bringing the children’s message. He also wrote guidelines on making home and hospital visits. Daphne Clement has been helpful in adding to that.

b) Doug also reported that he has continued a correspondence with a man in Sing Sing Prison which Daphne had begun when she was pastor. Tess Hartford agreed to continue this correspondence.

Friends accepted Doug’s report with much gratitude for it and all that he has brought the meeting for the past two years.

4. Tess Hartford reported for Christian Education.

a) There was a well-attended gathering on December 11 for wreath-making and to decorate the meetinghouse. It was a lively group of children and adults, sharing a good time and a meal together.   The committee looks forward to having future events for families. Jo-an Jacobus expressed appreciation that Christian Education was very flexible and considerate of the 12 Step program that also met that night.

b)   Christian Education has been discussing the possibility of hiring someone to do the childcare on Sunday mornings for about 1 ½ hours each Sunday at $30. When they have specifics on the job description and agreement for such a childcare worker they will bring it to monthly meeting for business.

5. Jo-an Jacobus reported for Nominating Committee. There has been good success in bringing new people onto meeting committees for 2017.

Changes in the Committees and Officers in 2017:

Martha Hinshaw Sheldon will become the co-clerk, confirmed for the first six          months of the year, and archivist/recorder;

Nancy Marstaller will become coordinator of piano/organ;

Renewing her three year term:

Eileen Babcock (Trustees);

New Committee members:

Trustees: Paul Wood, Daniel Henton and Leslie Manning;

Christian Education: Katherine Langelier and Jeannie Baker Stinson;

Fundraising Committee: Donna Hutchins Ross;

Newsletter Committee: Jo-an Jacobus and Susan Wood;

Peace and Social Concerns: Cindy Wood and Linda Muller;

Friends Committee on National Legislation contact: Douglas Bennett;

Website committee members are still in transition.

6. Sukie Rice reported for Finance Committee and brought the proposed budget for 2017.   It is projected that our Income in 2017 will be $54,100 and our Expenses will be $46,000. These projections include the following changes from 2016:

a) a reduction of over $1000 for our electric and oil bills due to the installation of a heat pump and solar array;

b) income from rental of the parsonage;

c) a reduction of the pastor’s line item from $24,000 to $10,000;

d) a reduction of income of contributions.

The meeting approved the 2017 budget.

David Marstaller and Sarah Sprogell have been working out the arrangements for renting the parsonage to begin January, 2017. The lease agreement will be for the first six months of 2017 in which the rent would be $1500 per month. That will include all the utilities, but not cable/internet.

7. Sukie Rice reported that our grant proposal to the New England Yearly Meeting Legacy Gift Fund for $9000 is being very favorably viewed. The Legacy Fund will be making their announcement by the end of the year.

The meeting approved the solar/heat pump project, contracting with Maine Solar Solutions. It was also approved that there would be an open meeting to provide information so friends may learn about the project and meet the contractor, Sam Zuckerman after worship Sunday, January 22, with January 29 as the snow date.

8. The minutes of Monthly Meeting were approved during the meeting.

The meeting adjourned in the Spirit at 2:25pm.

Sukie Rice, Recording Clerk

 

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, November 20, 2016

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends, November 20, 2016 

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened in worship on Sunday, November 20, 2016 at 12:30 with 18 people present. Clerk Sarah Sprogell opened with a few words from the Dalai Lama on opening our hearts and never giving up. She also read from the Advices 1-8 from the Revised New England Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice.

  1. Ed Hinshaw reported for Nominating Committee. At least one, and possibly two new members for the committee are needed.

2.It was recommend and approved that Ron (Ronald) Turcotte and Sukie (Susan) Rice will serve on the Nominating Committee.

3. Ron Turcotte reported for Ministry and Counsel. They have had extensive discussion on the meeting’s becoming a pastor-less, semi-programmed meeting.

a) They recommend that we go forward with a six-month trial as a pastor-less semi-programmed meeting.   They realize that there may need for a part-time, paid administrative position to help with the smooth running of the meeting.

b) Ministry and Counsel will continue to schedule people to bring the message and encourages people to consider bringing a message.

c) Ministry and Counsel will solicit feedback on our experience of being pastor-less.

d) There have been two people who have inquired into the possibility of a pastor position with Durham Meeting. They have been told that, at this time, we are in a trial period and thus hiring a pastor is under discernment.

Concern was expressed about how we review and assess this plan for being without a paid pastor. It was requested that a plan for assessment of this new direction be put into place well before June.   Concerns about the need for pastoral care and spiritual guidance and support were expressed along with how the Pastoral Care Team would take this on. Doug Gwyn said that he will create a complete list of the kinds of situations and needs that he has met over the past two years that Ministry and Counsel will need to address.

4. It was decided that we accept the recommendation of Ministry and Counsel to be a pastor-less meeting for six months and will hold Ministry and Counsel in prayer as they carry this forward in the coming months.  We will need to put trust in Ministry and Counsel that they hold and work with this opportunity to see how well we can all be ministers among ministers, and discern what we need to do to be a strong spiritual community.

It was noted that there are those among us who do not feel enthusiasm for this proposal, but are willing to stand aside.

5. Katherine Langelier has applied for membership and has met with a clearness committee.   Her letter of June 15 was read. Ministry and Counsel recommends that Katherine be approved for membership. She and her husband, Mason, have requested junior membership for their children Remi and Xage Langelier.

6. The meeting approved Katherine Langelier as member of Durham Friends Meeting and approved Remi and Xage Langelier as junior members.

7. Doug Gwyn reported that he has confirmed people to bring the message through early February. He is developing a Care of Worship guide and is giving a workshop on Sunday, December 4 on preparing and giving a message.

8. Tess Hartford reported from Christian Education.

a) There was a very successful family dinner at Jeanne Baker Stinson’s home on November 13. Eighteen people, adults and children combined, were in attendance. Discussion was held on what people feel the spiritual needs are for the children and families.   They agreed they would like to hold this kind of gathering again.

b) Tess reported on the annual evaluation of Wendy Schlotterbeck as Youth Minister. They recommend that she continue as Youth Minister for 2017.

c) Christian Education committee will be discussing with Ministry and Counsel their interest in a working-group that will help re-define the role of the Youth Minister during this coming time of change in the meeting.

9. The meeting accepted the Christian Education report and approved Wendy Schlotterbeck continuing as Youth Minister in 2017 with great appreciation for all that she has brought to the position.

10. Wendy Schlotterbeck gave the Youth Minister report.

a) Wendy and Robbie Bennett are working on a “Water is Life” banner to be sent in support of people at Standing Rock. Durham Friends are invited to sign it.

b) Wendy attended an excellent retreat of the Prophetic Climate Action Working Group of New England Yearly Meeting was held October 28-30 with 30 people attending. The working group will meet in December to further develop action plans. Wendy will bring to her support committee work with this group.

c) There will be an intergenerational craft and wreath making event in December at which time families will be especially welcome.

11. Betsy Muench brought the report from Finance Committee and a preliminary budget proposal for 2017. The final proposal will come in December.

Sukie Rice reported that the Friends Meeting House Fund has favorably reviewed our grant request for $5000 for a solar project and heat pump, with money to come from their Green Meetinghouse Fund.

12. It was approved that the meeting have a heat pump installed by Maine Solar Solutions. We agreed to proceed with this project right away, using money from the Dwelley Fund to finance it at the moment. It will cost approximately $3500 and will save us up to $600 a year in heating oil. An electrician will determine if we need an upgrade to our electric box to accommodate a heat pump.

13. It was approved that we rent the parsonage for six months at rate of $1500 per month, beginning the end of December. This rental amount will include utilities and heat. Negotiations will be done through Trustees.

14. Margaret Wentworth reported that the pellet boiler and chimneys need cleaning.

15. Paul Wood reported for the roof working-group. He and Daniel Henton have been up in the attic and find the large meetinghouse roof very solid.   Because patching and repairing the roof metal would not last for more than a couple of years, they recommend that we replace rather than repair the roof metal. They have quotes from two contractors for $14,000-$18,000 for the replacement of the roof and are seeking a third quote.

16. The meeting approved the roof working group’s request to submit an application to the Obadiah Brown Benevolent Fund for a grant to assist with the cost of replacing the metal roof.

17. Margaret Wentworth reported for Falmouth Quarterly Meeting. The Quarter is in discernment about its future form and function.  It was recognized that gathering for a time of worship, community and program continues to be valuable.  There are also a few business responsibilities that remain relevant.  However, participation at the quarterly level is in serious decline.  Sarah Cushman and Jessica Eller from Portland Meeting will be visiting meetings within the quarter in coming months, to listen and support discernment for the on-going value of the quarter.  The next scheduled Quarterly Meeting will held in May 2017 at the All Maine Gathering in Vassalboro, when further discernment will occur.  If there is business to conduct before that time, a meeting date will be set as needed.

18. The minutes of Monthly Meeting were approved during the meeting.

The meeting adjourned in the Spirit at 3:15.

Sukie Rice, Recording Clerk

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, October 16, 2016

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends, October 16, 2016

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened in worship on Sunday, October 16, 2016 at 12:30 with sixteen people present. Clerk Sarah Sprogell opened with a quote from an article by Howard Zinn expressing optimism as we look at the compassion, sacrifice, courage and kindness in history and how that gives us energy to live now as we believe human beings should live.

  1. Ron Turcotte reported for Ministry and Counsel.

a) Ministry and Counsel will hold an open meeting after worship on October 30 to discuss their recommendation of a six-month trial period of being a pastor-less semi-programmed meeting and the opportunities and ramifications of that.

b) Ministry and Counsel recommends that the meeting’s portion of the income raised at the Rise Again Singing concert of November18 be given to the American Friends Service Committee’s Wabanaki REACH program.

c) Daphne Clement will no longer be on the Pastoral Care Team because of her move to Rhode Island.

d) Ministry and Counsel recommends that four people will be discontinued on the meeting membership list because of long absence from meeting. One member has requested discontinuance, and the others have not responded to correspondence.

2. The meeting approved funds raised at the Rise Again Singing concert be given to the Wabanaki REACH program of AFSC.

3. It was approved that the following non-resident members be removed from our membership list: Karen Jonitis Rhoda, Barbara Wilcox, Elizabeth East and David Atherton.

4. Tess Hartford reported for Christian Education Committee.

a) Because of many changes in families and young people coming to meeting, and because of the changes the meeting is facing with Doug Gwyn’s leaving in December, Christian Education is looking at redefining the role of Youth Minister to consider whether this position can serve the meeting in a broader context. They would like to meet with Ministry and Counsel on this matter. This may be addressed to some extent at the October 30th open M&C meeting.

b) Christian Education conducted an evaluation of the Youth Minister in early summer and a summary will be reported in November.

c) Christian Education has invited families to meet in November at the home of Jeanne Baker Stinson to share what the spiritual needs are for families, with an eye to broadening their community in and outside of worship.

d) Clarabel Marstaller said the adult Sunday School Class is reading The Powers That Be by Walter Wink. Martha Hinshaw Sheldon is the new facilitator of the group.

e) The Adult Sunday School group continues the spiritual journeys program on the 4th Sunday of each month (taking a hiatus in November and December).

5. Wendy Schlotterbeck gave the Youth Minister report.

a) In response the New England Yearly Meeting minutes on Climate Justice and Racial Justice, Wendy has been working on how to teach about these things to youth and will be attending the NEYM workshop of October 28-30, “Prophetic Climate Action.”   She will also be participating in a webinar on “How to teach about racial justice to children.” Meeting youth she currently meets with have expressed interest in these two topics.

b) Wendy is creating the first of several banners on the Quaker testimonies and other themes. These banners will rotate and will be hung outside the meetinghouse.

c) Wendy is coordinating the November 18 and 19 Rise Again concerts at the meeting house and in Auburn. The theme for both concerts will be Racial Justice.

6. Margaret Wentworth reported for Trustees on the open meeting of October 2.

a) Estimates were presented for work needed for the replacement of the roof. A working group will be composed of Paul Wood, David Dexter and Daniel Henton will focus on the issue of the roof.

b) A proposal for solar panels and a heat pump was presented at the meeting, using Maine Solar Solutions as the contractor, the total cost being approximately $20,000-$21,000. She presented the possible ways of meeting the cost, including two grants. Although there was lack of clearness in the open meeting about moving forward with the solar project at this time, the meeting did affirm Monthly Meeting’s approval to proceed with applications for two grants for this project. We will not know the outcome of the grants until the beginning of 2017 at which time we can decide how to proceed.

7. Sukie Rice brought the financial report. In the period of January-September 30, the meeting has received $43,459 in Operating Fund Income, or 73% of our budgeted amount for the year. This is due to a wonderful response to the mid-year appeal which brought in $3565! Thanks to all who helped make this such as successful appeal. During this same period, the meeting expended $46,812, or 76% of our budget for the Operating Account.

It was reported that the new meeting room floor cost $5725. The full $8933 of the Pennell Fund was transferred to the Capital Account, closing out the Pennell Fund. This was used for the floor along with a $300 contribution, which was given for the flooring.

8. Margaret Wentworth is going off the Lisbon-Area Christian Outreach board of directors. There are three people interested in taking her place on the board.

9. Katherine Langelier proposed holding a Thanksgiving meal at 1:00 at the meeting- house November 24, with an open-house in the afternoon. She would like to extend an invitation to the community to expand the reach of who might like to attend. The meeting gave approval for this event.

10. Barbara Simon requested approval to apply for a grant from the Seed Garden Fund for the meeting garden. It would include both “crowd funding” and a merit grant. Grant money would be used to enhance the garden to plant vegetables and fruits for LACO as well as the meeting community. The meeting approved applying for this grant.

11. Falmouth Quarterly Meeting will be held October 22 from 9:00-12:30 at Durham Meeting. Joyce Gibson, Clarabel Marstaller, Margaret Wentworth and Sarah Sprogell will be our representatives. The purpose and future of Quarterly Meeting will be discussed at that time. Durham will provide the coffee and refreshments and attenders will bring a bag-lunch.

12. The meeting approved receiving donations for the Kickapoo Friends Center during the month of November.

13. LACO will be holding their Thanksgiving ecumenical worship on Sunday, November 20 at the West Bowdoin Baptist Church.

14The minutes of Monthly Meeting were approved during the meeting.

The meeting adjourned in the Spirit at 2:35.

Sukie Rice, Recording Clerk

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, September 18, 2016

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends, September 18, 2016

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened in worship on Sunday, September 18, 2016 with 18 people present. Clerk Sarah Sprogell brought us into the spirit of worship with a meditative chant on the words of Isaac Pennington.

  1. Ron Turcotte brought the report from Ministry and Counsel following M&C’s day long retreat on September 17.

As Doug Gwyn is leaving the meeting at the end of December, M&C recommends a six-month trial period of being a semi-programmed meeting, just as we are now, but without a pastor. Worship would still have the singing and messages as we currently do, but there would not be a paid pastor during this period. Ministry and Counsel is planning an open M&C meeting in October for conversation and discernment to consider this recommendation.

At the retreat, they considered what this would mean for the parsonage and the increased role and burdens of the committees and on the Youth Minister. They see that it would give people more opportunities to express their gifts in carrying our increased responsibilities.

2. Annie Paterson and Peter Blood would like to do a concert at the Meetinghouse on either November 18 or 19. The meeting enthusiastically approved that Ministry and Counsel should proceed in making arrangements for this.

3. Tess Hartford reported for Christian Education. They are considering redefining the role of the Youth Minister. There is also discussion about how to bring in more families. Both of these issues are important now with the advent of Doug Gwyn’s leaving the Pastor’s position.

4. For Finance Committee, Kitsie Hildebrant reported that $3386 was received in response to the mid-year appeal. This is especially heartening as we heard from people who live far away but hold us dear in their hearts.

Sukie Rice passed out the attached revision of the 2016 budget for Friends to peruse.

5. Margaret Wentworth gave a report for Trustees, which have a number of projects in the works. There will be a joint meeting of Trustees and Finance Committee on September 27 to prepare for an Open Meeting on October 2nd at which time all will be invited to discuss the information and purpose of solar panels and heat pump, as well as the costs for replacement of the roof, including how we might pay for them.

6. Falmouth Quarterly Meeting will be held on October 22 at Durham. The program will be a discussion of the future of Falmouth Quarterly Meeting. Representatives will be Sarah Sprogell, Joyce Gibson, Margaret Wentworth and Clarabel Marstaller.

7. Sarah Sprogell reported that Friends Committee on National Legislation will be doing a program at Friends School Portland on October 1 from 2:00-4:00.

8. She also announced that New England Yearly Meeting will be holding a series of gatherings, “Living Faith,” bringing together Quakers from across our region for Nurturing Spirituality, Fostering Community and Strengthening Witness. The first of these will be held on Saturday, November 5 at Friends School Portland from 9:30 to 5:30. These semiannual, day-long gatherings will include large group worship, fellowship, relationship-building and workshops. For more information and registration, go to www.neym.org.

9. The minutes of Monthly Meeting were approved during the meeting.

The meeting adjourned in the Spirit at 12:40.

Sukie Rice, Recording Clerk

 

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends July 17, 2016

 

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened in worship on Sunday, July 17, 2016 with 15 people present. Clerk Sarah Sprogell brought us into the spirit of worship with remembrance of those who have recently lost their lives to violence, by reading from Pres. Obama’s recent speech in Dallas, quoting from Paul’s letter to the Romans, ‘Hope is God’s love poured out in our hearts,” and from Ezekiel, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you I will remove your heart of stone and give you an open heart.”

 

  1. Wendy Schlotterbeck brought a request to join other faith communities in signing a letter to the Maine Public Utilities Commission in support of continuing net metering for solar energy. This letter, created by Anne D. Burt of Midcoast Meeting and others, encourages the PUC to preserve net metering until the state legislature can approve a bill that further develops solar energy for Maine.

 

  1. The request to be a signatory on the petition to the Maine Public Utilities Commission was approved.

 

  1. Ron Turcotte brought the report for Ministry and Counsel. They have noted that the Meeting website is far behind. Wendy Schlotterbeck is doing an update for the time being and then will be handing it over to Katherine Langelier. They will develop guidelines for what gets posted onto the site.

 

  1. Doug Gwyn is continuing to arrange for speakers:

August 7 Doug Bennett

August 21 Nancy Marstaller

 

  1. a) He is getting things ready for his six-week absence in September and October, especially in regard to the pastor care team. He is also working with Joyce Gibson on further developing our communications for prayer needs. Joyce will work with Martha Sheldon to make sure prayer requests go through the telephone tree as well as email.
  2. b) Doug is working with a group of Meeting members about the possibility of having a banner to hang on the outside of the building. Inspired by the UCC banners in Brunswick, the banner group sees that we might have a rotation of banners with short messages like the Quaker testimonies written on them. The group wants to convey that we are alive and vital and welcoming of new people. They will season this idea more before bringing a final recommendation.
  3. c) Doug is working on an exhibit on the Meeting for NEYM sessions.

 

  1. Tess Hartford reported for Christian Education. They are working on the evaluation of Wendy Schlotterbeck as Youth Minister and considerations for her continuing contract.

 

  1. Sukie Rice reported for Finance committee. The mid-year January-June finance report shows that our Income for the first 6 months was $24,085 (or 40% of our budget) and the expenditures were $30,787 (or 49% of the budget) for the same period. That means we are currently running at a deficit of $6702 for 2016.

 

  1. Sukie Rice reported for the Fundraising Committee. The Mid-year appeal will be going out in August with a focus on reducing the deficit and encouraging increased weekly contributions.

 

  1. Margaret Wentworth reported for Trustees.
  2. a) They are working on a plan for mowing the cemeteries so that the grounds will be well maintained but not over-expend their funds.
  3. b) It has been decided that, for the integrity of the building, the large green metal roof of the meetinghouse does need to be replaced due to rust development. However, we do not need to go into structural supports for the roof. They are still seeking a couple of other estimates before making a decision on the contractor for the job.
  4. c) At the open Trustees meeting in June, there was a strong feeling that putting solar on the roof is a moral imperative. There is strong interest in a heat pump for the community room (vestry). A meeting subcommittee on solar has met with two solar providers and is currently looking at the new silver roof over the addition ell. It gets the same amount of sun that the large green roof gets (82% efficiency) and needs no support work for a solar array. Further bids for solar will be requested.
  5. d) The new flooring has been completed, is curing and looks beautiful. Trustees wishes to put felt on the bottom of the benches to protect the new floor.

 

  1. It was approved that there be an open Trustees meeting when the solar subcommittee gets all the information it needs to bring a proposal to the meeting. That proposal would include both the costs for a solar array and how we would pay for it.

 

  1. Ministry and Counsel and Monthly Meeting for Business will not be held in August unless something comes up that necessitates such meetings.

 

  1. It was approved that Christian Education will decide on the date and plans for Rally Day.

 

  1. The minutes of Monthly Meeting were approved during the meeting.

The meeting adjourned in the Spirit at 2:20.

Sukie Rice, Recording Clerk

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, June 19, 2016

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends, June 19, 2016

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened in worship on Sunday, June 19, 2016 at 12:25 with 11 people present. Clerk Sarah Sprogell read a prayer written after the horrific shooting in Orlando, Florida by Fritz Weiss, Presiding Clerk, and Sarah Gant, Clerk of Permanent Board of New England Yearly Meeting (NEYM).

  1. Sarah Sprogell corrected item #8 from the minutes of the May 15th Monthly Meeting for Business. The website quoted as New England Yearly Meeting should read Friends General Conference.

2. Doug Gwyn gave the pastor’s report.

a) People bringing the message are as follows: Paul Miller on July 3; Leslie Manning on July 17; Mary Lord on August 7; and Nancy Marstaller on August 21.

b) Doug will be on leave of absence early September through mid-October while teaching a course at Pendle Hill. He is working with the Pastoral Care Team to work on coverage while he is away.

c) There were twelve people present for the June 4th meeting on Friends with the concern for ministry and spiritual nurture led by Brian Drayton.

d) There was a helpful clerks meeting with all the Meeting’s clerks on June 6.

e) Doug will be away from June 28-July 5 visiting family and at a conference at Barnsville, Ohio called Quaker Spring.

f) Doug is looking into the possibility of having banners outside the meetinghouse to help bring awareness of people passing by.

g) Mid-week meetings continue. June 14th worship was focused on the Orlando shooting.

h) Ministry and Counsel is looking at how hymns are selected at the beginning of worship. They ask that the person bringing the message call for a hymn that will help transition to the time of prayers of joys and concerns.

i) Doug drafted a letter from Durham Meeting to Velasco Meeting (our sister meeting in Cuba) which Kristna Evans is bringing with her on her trip to Cuba.

3. Wendy Schlotterbeck’s Youth Minister’s Report was read by Sarah Sprogell

a) The plant/yard sale netted $333 which, when added to the Christmas wreath sale, is enough for the sponsorship of Cornelius of the Kakaemga Orphans Project to go to high school. Thanks to all who helped!

b) The “Children and Youth Day” on June 5 had meaningful worship and message from Tess Hartford and an honoring of graduates. The young Friends group celebrated the end of the school year on June 13.

c) Many children and youth activities are suspended for the summer to resume on Rally Day, September 18.

d) Wendy will again be a full-time resource person for Young Friends and Young Adult Friends coordinator at NEYM sessions in August.

The full report is attached.

4. Jo-an Jacobus reported that Nominating Committee recommends Katherine Langelier to be on Christian Education Committee.

5. The Meeting approved that Katherine Langelier be a member of Christian Education.

6. Margaret Wentworth reported on the well-attended Trustees open meeting on Sunday, June 5. In regard to the flooring, trustees recommends that the floor be refinished and yellow pine be laid down where currently the wood differs. The facing bench flooring would be left as is.

She reported on further Trustees business, stating that an appeal has been filed by a neighbor with the Town of Durham concerning the Town’s approval of the cell tower.

Bids are being sought for the replacement or need for repair of the meetinghouse roof. It was agreed that we find out what the cost of the roof would be for both with and without the solar panels.

7. The meeting approved the Trustees recommendation for the flooring.   The Meeting approved that we contract Travis of T Square Woodworking to do this job.

Three quotes were given for this job.

8. Sukie Rice reported from the Fundraising Committee. The committee recommends that the Pennel Fund (with approximately $9000) and the Dwelley Fund (with about $5000) be used for the Capital fund needs.

Fundraising Committee would like to submit grant applications to the NEYM Legacy Fund (Meetinghouse Fund), the Friends General Conference Meetinghouse Fund (the Green Meetinghouse Fund) and the Philiadelphia Yearly Meeting Meetinghouse Fund. The applications would include our need for roof repair/replacement along with our wish to have solar energy meet much of our electric needs.

9. It was approved that the Pennel Fund money be used to pay for the flooring, and that the Pennell and Dwelley Funds be merged for Capital needs. It was agreed that the Finance Committee should work out the transaction.

10. The Meeting approved that we will seek funds for the repair and replacement of the roof with the intention of putting on a solar installation. It was approved that the Fundraising Committee proceed with applications for grants for these purposes.

11. It was approved that Trustees and the Fundraising Committee hold open meeting informational sessions about the vision of Durham Meeting’s “going solar” with all its ramifications, costs and options.

12. The meeting approved the following representatives to New England Yearly Meeting (NEYM): Sukie Rice, Sarah Sprogell, Doug Gwyn, Wendy Schlotterbeck and Leslie Manning and Joyce Gibson (with their approval)

13. Representatives to Quarterly Meeting on June 25 will be Doug Gwyn, Sarah Sprogell and Betsy Muench.

14. The minutes of Monthly Meeting were approved during the meeting.

The meeting adjourned in the Spirit at 2:20.

Susan Rice, Recording Clerk

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, May 15, 2016

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened in worship on Sunday May 15, 2016 with ten people present.

In Sukie Rice”s absence Martha Hinshaw Sheldon agreed to serve as recording clerk for this meeting.  Minutes will be sent out to those present for adjustments and revisions needed.

Clerk Sarah Sprogell began the meeting with readings from Insight Meditation: The Practice of Freedom by Joseph Goldstein and from NEYM Interim Faith and Practice, 2014.

  1. Minutes from the April Monthly Meeting were approved with corrections.
  2. Ministry & Counsel recommended releasing Doug to take a leave of absence to teach an online class at Pendle Hill for 6 weeks, September 18 to end of October and for 4 weeks in the winter. The Pastoral Care Team will cover pastoral care needs during this time, worship planning to be done in advance. This would be a time for community involvement, nurturing of Doug’s gifts, create a balance of work with the meeting and extend Doug’s ministry outside of the Durham community.  Approved
  3. Pastor’s report given. Doug continues to work with LACO Board.  He joined the newly formed support committee of the Friends Community of New England in Bath.  The midweek meetings continue, recently with the “Experiment with Light” guided meditation and an upcoming DVD about the Penobscot nation’s control of the Penobscot River.  Doug continues to work with Christian Education and Falmouth Quarterly Meeting.    Doug confirmed that June 26 Dorothy Salebwa will speak.  He will attend the next Quarterly Meeting Planning meeting.  Doug’s travels this past month were to Central Philadelphia Yearly Meeting to talk of his latest book, to Indiana to visit his mom and visit with Phyllis Wetherell with the surprise benefit of visiting with Ed & Dorothy Hinshaw. Doug anticipates fewer travels for the next few months.  A suggestion was made and accepted that Doug and Ministry and Counsel write a longer article for the newsletter about Doug’s time at Pendle Hill in the fall. Report accepted.

A concern was shared regarding the potential low attendance at the Brian Drayton workshop on ministry raising the question, will there be enough to still have the event? If you plan to attend let Kristna know.  Kristna will talk to Brian to consider how to proceed.

  1. Kristna Evans will be travelling to Cuba June 15 to 25 for Friends United Meeting General Board meetings. FUM Board meetings are held outside of North America every 3 years.  This year, meetings will be in Cuba.  Kristna has been to Cuba before and speaks Spanish, so she will be an asset.  Velasco Friends Meeting, Cuba, has been a sister meeting with Durham for many years.  This would be an opportunity for Durham friends to send materials, cards and letters to Velasco friends.  Tess will talk to Wendy about the possibility of Durham Friends children and youth sending letters to children and youth at Velasco.  Doug is to write a brief greeting that Ron Turcotte will translate and may be included in a locally produced card.  Kristna will offer a report upon her return.
  2. Tess Hartford gave the youth minister’s report for Wendy.   The annual yard and plant sale is to be May 21 from 9 to 12.  Plans for the June 5 children’s day activities were presented.  Tess is to contact Donna Ross regarding putting details on Facebook.     May we keep Wendy in our thoughts and prayers after the recent death of her mother.  Report accepted as presented.
  3. Treasurer’s Report: Reports are now to be presented quarterly with the next report due in July.  Income tends to be lower than expenses.  All are encouraged to take note and consider how to respond.
  4. Christian Education Report was presented by Tess Hartford. Graduates will be recognized June 5 and given store credit at the Gulf of Maine book store. The youth minister’s annual review was sent out, waiting for returns due May 22 after which a report will be presented to Monthly Meeting. Discussion occurred on how to message to the wider community about what Durham has to offer to youth.  How do we comminicate what is going on?  Other churches have put up banners that say “God is still speaking.”  We could say “We’re still listening”,Or “Listening to God 4 miles that way” at the intersection of 136 and Quaker Rd.  More ideas were shared.  All agreed that this is an important conversation to continue having.  What do we have to offer?  Sarah pointed out that the New England Yearly Meeting  website has an outreach ‘toolbox’ for meetings to use.  The report was accepted with appreciation for the work of CE and for the support Doug gives to the committee clerk.
  5. Trustees report given by Margaret Wentworth. Margaret suggested that a treasurer’s report be posted in the Meetinghouse and reported that the carpet has been taken up in the meeting room.  Discussion followed on next steps and care of the bench cushions.  The cell tower is progressing after receiving approval from the town with some expressing concern that the land not be clear cut for many years.  The Meeting has agreed to this concern.  There will be an open meeting to review and discuss the meeting roof and possible solar panels June 5.
  6. NEYM bound archives are being moved from the Maine Historical society, where conditions have been detrimental, to the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, who would become the owners of the materials. Meetings will continue to have full use of the archives.  Approval was given to this transfer of ownership.
  7. The meeting closed at 2:30.

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, April 17, 2016

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened in worship on Sunday, April 17, 2016 with twelve people present. In Sukie Rice’s absence, Doug Gwyn agreed to serve as recording clerk for this meeting. He will send out draft minutes to all present for additions/improvements. Clerk Sarah Sprogell opened the meeting by reading a quotation from the current revision of New England Yearly Meeting’s book of faith and practice, page 117, on the inward teacher and personal transformation. Doug Gwyn gave his pastor’s report. He continues to arrange for a variety of speakers to bring the message in worship. Sukie Rice spoke April 3 and Nelson Ida, pastor to the Kakamega orphanage, spoke April 10. Craig Freshly will bring the message April 24, while Doug is speaking at Central Philadelphia Meeting. Gene Boyington has agreed to speak May 10 and it is probable that Dorothy Selebwa of Kakamega will speak June 26. A meeting of committee clerks, released ministers and treasurer was a useful conversation held in the parsonage April 6. Midweek meetings have resumed and will utilize a variety of formats. Ron Turcotte reported for Ministry and Counsel. Friendly Eights groups have all met at least once, except for one that is still finding its way. Several other items of business are in process. Youth Minister’s report – Wendy Schlotterbeck is out of town and unable to report. Katharine Hildebrandt gave the treasurer’s report. For the first quarter of this year, she reported $17,008.55 in expenses, against $12,828.93 in income and $2859.43 in transfers, leaving a negative year-to-date balance of $1320.19. She noted that declining interest income from our various funds is impacting our finances. Her report was accepted with appreciation.
a. Sarah Sprogell’s suggestion was approved, that we have treasurer’s report quarterly instead of monthly, with the provision that the treasurer or finance committee can report anything more urgent at any monthly meeting. We will put the quarterly reports, in abbreviated form, in the Meeting newsletter. Tess Hartford brought the report from the Christian Education Committee. Their main business presently is Wendy Schlotterbeck’s annual evaluation. Tess will distribute an evaluation form to members of Christian Ed and Ministry & Counsel, and to the parents of the Meeting’s youth. They hope to renew Wendy’s contract/agreement in June. Tess raised a concern that the Committee is getting smaller. Jo-an Jacobus said she would relay this concern to Nominating Committee. Clarabel Marstaller resigned from the Committee in March. Doug Gwyn read a minute of appreciation from the Committee for her 67 years of service to religious education in our Meeting. The minute was heartily approved. Margaret Wentworth presented the Trustees report. They are obtaining estimates for replacement of the meetinghouse roof and reinforcement of its underlying structure, in order to install solar panels in the future. They plan to approach the Fundraising Committee to explore how to finance this undertaking. They are starting to explore creating guidelines for the interment of cremains, which are becoming a more frequent choice for those using our cemetery. We may need to consider smaller plots accordingly. The horse shed roof needs repainting and repair. Don Goodrich is removing large stones, stumps and seedlings from behind the horse shed so that it may be mowed this year. He is doing this for free, as he plans to use the stones elsewhere. Gene Boyington will continue with tree-removal near the entrance to the parsonage parking lot. Trustees plan to use a sign-up sheet again this year for spring cleaning, rather than to organize a clean-up day. A working party will be formed to remove the carpet from the worship room. Ron Turcotte, Katherine Langelier and Doug Gwyn were approved to work on this. They will see if Paul Wood and Craig Freshley can be recruited for this project as well. The Friends Community of New England has an air purifier they can lend to the Meeting to help with mold issues that are a problem for one attender. The cell tower plan has been presented to the Durham Planning Board and is going through their process. It was suggested that we may need to schedule an open Trustees meeting for concerned members and attenders to discuss issues surrounding solar panels on the meetinghouse roof. This was approved as a useful step. Sarah Sprogell gave some details from our 2015 statistical report to the Yearly Meeting. We gained seven new members (3 new Friends, 4 transfers from other meetings). We lost four by death or by aging out
from junior membership. Our attendance averaged right around 40, showing some slow growth. Falmouth Quarterly Meeting needs a representative to attend the June annual meeting of the Beacon Hill Friends House in Boston. Interested persons can contact Sarah. Clarabel Marstaller reported on the Falmouth Quarterly Meeting held at Windham Friends April 2. The morning was taken up with a worshipful hearing of State of Society reports from our various monthly meetings and a memorial minute for David Hall from Brunswick Meeting. Leslie Manning reported on the work of the Maine Friends Committee on Public Policy and the Maine Council of Churches. After lunch a presentation on Give Kids a Chance was given by two members of Windham Friends. Clarabel also reported for the United Society of Friends Women. The Durham women hosted a meeting for all USFW Friends on April 9, with 10 attending. A USFW Triennial will be held in Iowa in July. Two carloads will go from our Yearly Meeting. Sarah Sprogell reported that Portland Friends Meeting is exploring entering into sister meeting relationship with one of the Cuban Yearly Meeting meetings. One possibility would be for them to share our sister meeting relationship with Velasco Friends. But no definite action or request has been made. Clarabel Marstaller relayed a suggestion from Cynthia Muench that we add signs to the two doors into the worship room, requesting that people silence all electronic devices. Jo-an Jacobus volunteered to work on this. The meeting closed around 2:15.

Christian Education Committee Minute of Appreciation for Clarabel Marstaller’s Contributions

The Christian Education Committee minutes its appreciation for our beloved Friend Clarabel Marstaller’s many years of faithful work in Christian education for Durham Friends Meeting. When she resigned from our Committee in March, she mentioned that she has been involved in the work here since 1949 – 67 years! She has seen our Meeting and its work in religious education go through many changes over the years, and has worked creatively every step along the way. We are grateful for the continuity and resilience she has lent the Committee’s work. She has offered a deep well of experience and knowledge to draw upon. We hope we can continue to draw upon her insights and encouragement in the future. Thank you, Clarabel! For the Christian Education Committee, Tess Hartford, Clerk Approved at Monthly Meeting, April 17, 2016