What to do with the Parsonage? Threshing Session, April 25, 2021, 12:30 pm, Meetinghouse Parking Lot

The Trustees of Durham Friends Meeting will hold a threshing session on April 25, 2021, at the Meetinghouse, outdoors in the parking lot. The topic will be what to do about the parsonage. Should we continue to own it? Or should we sell it?

Possibilities for participation in the threshing session via Zoom are currently being explored. Updates here as available.

Worship Options After COVID, Threshing Session, April 11, 2021 at noon (after Meeting for Worship)

On Sunday, April 11, 2021 at noon, Ministry and Counsel will hold a threshing session on worship options post-COVID that were presented at Monthly Meeting for Business in February. We welcome thoughts, questions, and concerns regarding how we should move forward. We plan to devote about an hour to the process. Below are questions we invite you to consider.

We are all agreed that we want to return to the meetinghouse as soon as possible, but we also want to put a priority on the health and safety of all who participate. During this past year, we have been joined by many people at a geographical distance who have been able to participate via Zoom. At the same time, some regular participants in Meeting have been absent because they do not feel comfortable with Zoom meetings. 

1.  In balancing between return to the meetinghouse and safety, should we lean more toward returning as soon as we can, or more toward ensuring safety?

2.  As we return to the meetinghouse, do we want to use some hybrid solution in which some are present at worship in the meetinghouse and others are present via Zoom? 

3.  Which should we be aiming at: (a) or (b)?

(a)  An eventual return to having worship in the way we have had it in years past, that is, worship in the meetinghouse without use of Zoom.

(b) A new form of worship (a hybrid solution) in which we have both (a) people present in the meetinghouse and (b) people present via Zoom. 

4.  If we opt for a hybrid solution, should we think of this mostly as a transitional or short-term solution, or should we be planning on using a hybrid solution long into the future as our normal way of doing meeting for worship? 

Some options presented at Monthly Meeting in February are outlined below, as well as a few words about a device that is currently being used in some other Meetings in New England. You may want to refer to these in the threshing session. 

True Hybrid – Option 1: Commit to long-term hybrid worship. Work out a tech solution: big screen, cameras (costs $$). Seating arrangements in meetinghouse. Staffing arrangements for tech on a regular basis. Move toward a situation that has Zoom primary AND some people in the meetinghouse. Then move toward meetinghouse primary AND with Zoom a nearly-as-good option

Temporary Hybrid – Option 2: For the next several months, Zoom remains primary, with option to come to the meetinghouse. Each person in the meetinghouse brings their own electronic device (a smart phone or a tablet). Later: drop the Zoom option.

Hybrid with Secondary Zoom – Option 3:. Like Option 1 but without a good Zoom option. Do a good-enough Zoom set-up but much less effort. Some weeks perhaps not available. Perhaps eventually drop the Zoom option. 

The Meeting OWL is a thousand-dollar device that has 360 degree visual and full audio capability that some New England meetings are using. About the size of a table lamp, it can swivel around (like an owl) to pick up the speaker. The device may project better going out from the meeting than for bringing speakers in. It is used via Zoom. Use of this device could be integrated into Option 3.

Falmouth Quarterly Meeting, April 24, 9am to noon

Falmouth Quarter is gathering on April 24th from 9:30 to 12:00. We will be celebrating ministry and the life of the Spirit in our meetings throughout the morning in each of the concerns before us.

The ZOOM link is here (the same link that Durham Friends uses for First Day worship). .

We will hear Memorial Minutes sharing the lives and witness of Friends we have known and loved.  If there are minutes I have not yet received, please send them to me

We will hear the State of Society reports, sharing our experience of Spirit in the life of our meetings.  If there is a SoS I haven’t yet received, please send it to me.

We will hear reports and sharing about and from individuals with recognized ministries in Falmouth Quarter.

To help prepare, I am sharing the following from Carl Williams, Plainfield meeting, as one expression of Friends understanding of ministry:

Love Fritz [Fritz Weiss is Co-Clerk of Falmouth Quarter]

Living Close to the Center
Carl Williams, Plainfield (VT) Friends Meeting
My prayer time has felt a bit chaotic recently. Not uncentered, really, but there’s been a sense of swirling and disjointed divergence, seemingly with no common thread. And then during worship on Sunday—wham. I  imagine I share the experience with many Friends—the startling epiphany, that moment of clarity, when understanding is laid suddenly bare and you’re presented with a gift you didn’t even know you wanted. 

For me, this time, there was a renewed understanding, a reminder, of the depth of one of Friends’ pivotal concepts, often encased in the phrase “that of God,” or “the seed of Christ.”  I confess I use these a lot—both out loud and in my head. In their overuse, they’d become hollow and trite. I’d lost my awareness of the essential importance they carry in my day-in-day out life. 

And as I sat in virtual worship, this refreshed understanding brought me around to the practical aspect of carrying the Seed of Christ—our ministry. I know that the idea of ministry among Friends is sometimes a challenge for many of us. I think, in part, because it’s one of those terms that looks the same but whose meaning is different “in the world” than in our Friendly understanding. The world’s definition has proven only a short walk to hierarchy and exclusion, certainly antithetical to the path of Friends. 

My Quaker understanding of ministry comes (in part) from its Latin root, “to serve.” Friends ministry holds primarily an active engagement with that Divine Spark that we each carry. And as we embrace that Spark, a path of service opens. It’s not just doing things we are good at or like to do, but the things—which are sometimes hard and not infrequently inconvenient—that God calls us toward. Yes, vocal and Gospel ministry are part of it, but there are many and varied ministries, from baking to eldership, expressions of being the hands and feet, the eyes and ears and mouth of God.
Ministry is the reverberation of the “that of God” we each carry. It grows and is nurtured in community. We find it by living close to the Center. Genuine ministry involves waiting and listening as well as giving and receiving. Our ministries rise, are recognized, nurtured, and challenged within our worship communities. While it’s the role of the community to identify a Friend’s ministry and encourage it, ministry grows from the Spark, the Seed, the “that of God.” 

It’s easier said than done for me, this living into the Center. How do I step into that place? It requires surrender, it requires stepping into places I might not normally step into. It requires openness to God’s whispering call. In my seeking I join in prayer with Flursey, a 7th-century Irish monk, and his protection prayer (lorica):

May the guiding hands of God be on my shoulders,
may the presence of the Holy Spirit be on my head,
may the sign of Christ be on my forehead,
may the voice of the Holy Spirit be in my ears,
may the smell of the Holy Spirit be in my nose …
may the work of the church of God be in my hands,
may the serving of God and my neighbor be in my feet,
may God make my heart his home …

In the joy of listening to God’s call,

Carl Williams
Plainfield (VT) Friends Meeting

All-Maine Gathering of Friends, May 1, 2021, 8:30 – noon

For additional information about each of the workshops, contact the leaders below.
*Wabanaki  Sovereignty: Kay Carter  <KayCarter08@gmail.com>
*Racial Justice: Hank Washburn <washburnhank@gmail.com >
Holly Weidner <weidnerholly@gmail.com>
*Earthcare: Carole Beal <carolebeal@gmail.com>, Wendy Schlotterbeck <wendy.schlotterbeck@gmail.com>

Draft Schedule:

8:30 am: Gather. Each person puts name, meeting, and email in chat.

9:00 am: Welcome to all recognizing the work Friends through Monthly Meetings, NEYM and individuals have devoted to these issues. What do we hope for today? We hope to listen intently to every idea with respect: honoring imagination, creative thinking,
and remembering that today we will not be able to solve all issues, but we will focus on one step at a time.

9:05 am: Worship.

9:20 am- 10:50 am Break-Out Groups. (1 1/2 hours)

10:50 am – 11 am Everyone takes a short break.

11:00 am: Summary from each group with follow up questions. A group may offer a recommendation to the group for further action. 15 minutes each group.

11:45 am: Worship.

12:00 Noon, adjourn. Those who wish to stay and have informal conversation are invited to do so.

AFSC Corporation Sessions in April

This year, taking advantage of our recent ability to gather Friends from all corners, the American Friends Service Committee Annual Corporation Meeting will be preceded by an exciting series of afternoon/evening seminars on a number of important topics in peace and justice.  The presenters will be a mix of AFSC staff and external partners/colleagues.  AFSC does peace and justice work in your name—come learn about what they are doing.  ALL ARE WELCOME!  

If you are interested in any of these events, you can get further information and register here: https://www.afsc.org/corpprogram

Sunday, April 11, 7-8:30pm:  Quakers, AFSC, and abolition:
Then and now

Monday, April 12, 8-9:30pm: #FreeThemAll: How we are living into
the call to free folks in the context of COVID-19 and beyond

Tuesday, April 13, 8-9:30pm: Pursuing freedom for Palestine: A
campaign for Palestinian children’s rights

Wednesday, April 14, 4pm: Global migrant justice: Manifesting
the joint Quaker migration statement

Wednesday, April 14, 8-9:30pm: Restorative Justice: What does it
look like/feel like in our communities?

Thursday, April 15, 1:30-3pm: Making new worlds: Creating a
society based on care and a solidarity economy—what to divest from/what to
invest in?

Thursday, April 15, 7-9pm: KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Plenary session on Abolition with Nyle Fort

Nyle Fort is a minister, activist, and scholar based in Newark, New Jersey. He has worked in education, criminal justice, and youth development for over a decade in various capacities including: the national director of Communities Against Militarized Police; founder and co-director of the Organizing Praxis Lab at Princeton University; and lead trainer at Momentum, an activist incubator that builds large-scale social movements in the United States and around the world.

Earthcare, Call to Action, Empowerment and Engagement, February 27, 8:30/9:00 to Noon

Vassalboro Quarterly Meeting and Acadia Friends Monthly Meeting invites Falmouth Quarterly Meeting and NEYM Young Adult Friends to an interactive workshop via Zoom.

Earthcare, Call to Action, Empowerment and Engagement

Saturday, February 27, 2021, 9:00 a.m. — noon (8:30 a.m. to gather)

Speakers: Andy Burt, Jay O’Hara, Peter Garrett, Gray Cox

Facilitators: Margaret Marshall and MaineBob O’Connor

Maine Activist Earthcare Friends will speak about their personal journeys including moments of insight, and anecdotes of success and failure. There will also be two break-out groups (3-5 people) in which each attender will share their own journeys, and hope and intentions for 2021.

If interested, please reach out to Carole Beal (carolebeal@gmail.com) to make sure you get the Zoom link (to be sent out a few days before the event) and for a document with a personal witness prepared by each speaker, plus information about the facilitators, and queries and levels of climate concern prepared by the NEYM Earthcare Committee.

Join Zoom Meeting with this Long Link
Meeting ID: 961 0969 4747
Passcode: 207207
By Phone Dial by your location
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
+1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
Be sure to press # after the Meeting ID and Passcode.

Information about Speakers and Facilitators and Useful Materials for the Session

*8:30 am log in, gather, request sign in of name, meeting, email address into chat for distribution
to participants only. (welcome individual by Margaret)
*9:00 Welcome by Margaret. (5 minutes.)
*9:05 Worship for 15 minutes. (15 minutes.) (Margaret)
*9:20 Gray introduces speakers by name and asks them to speak out of the silence in this order:
Jay O’Hara, Peter Garrett, Andy Burt. They share their personal journeys for 15 minutes each.
Bob will announce 1 minute left. (45 minutes plus time for silent transition between speakers.)
*10:15: Breakout groups of 3 random individuals:
“Where am I in my personal journey? What gifts do I bring?
(Gray will put in chat) (10 minutes.)
*10:25: Chat: Bob invites all to write a word or two or short phrase reflecting your journeys and
gifts in the chat and Margaret reads them as they come after a pause to give all a chance to think
about ideas.
(3-5 minutes)
*10:30: Gray invites all for10 minute break. Short music Earthcare theme (Bob). (10 minutes)
*10:40: Speaker: Gray Cox. (15 minutes)
*10:55: Breakout groups sharing out of the silence with 4-5 participants assigned randomly.
Query: What am I led to do? What might my meeting be led to do? What action do I imagine?
What is the next step? How do we remain engaged on behalf of the Earth beyond good
(Gray will enter these in Chat) (screen prompt will be provided halfway through. (20 minutes.)
*11:15 Bob invites all to write short phrases of leadings into chat out of the silence. Candle or
fireplace on screen. (5 minutes.) Chat read out loud by Margaret after a pause to give participants
and chance to contemplate ideas…
*11:20 Query: What am I led to as a next step for us? Gray invites all to take three breaths as we
enter Worship Share: things that rise up out of the silence. (40 minutes)
*12:00 Gray offers gratitude to participants with an invitation to linger with an explanation of the
breakout room options. After thoughts?
MaineBob opens up chat to private sharing. Also optional breakout rooms would be available for
people to talk in small groups for as long as they wish (one hour?). Bob will ask for titles to go
with numbered breakout rooms. 1.Pine Tree Amendment, 2.Citizens Climate Lobby 3…

Café Corner, December 30, 7-8pm, via ZOOM

Cafe Corner is an online social experiment hosted by Durham Friends. We’ll revel in fellowship and creative sharing.  The debut is Wednesday, Dec 30th, from 7pm to 8pm (Eastern Time) for a special edition, ” Holiday Cheer.” 

We’ll continue periodically on select Thursdays;  please read the newsletter and visit the web site for future listings. The Zoom link for Sunday worship will be used to join.

The gathering is facilitated by Mey Hasbrook, Meeting Care Coordinator

“Decolonizing in Everyday Life,” December 10, 7:30 to 8:45 pm

“Decolonizing in Everyday Life” is a worship-focused discussion hosted by Durham Friends Meeting on Thursday, December 10th, from 7:30pm to 8:45pm (Eastern Time). The event will use the Zoom link from Sunday worship. We especially invite local and area Friends to join us for a time of deep listening and self-examination.

The evening is a springboard from a recent series on anti-racism. A common point of reference will be Sacred Instructions: Indigneous Wisdom for Living Spirit-Based Change by Sherri Mitchell, Weh’na Ha’mu Kwasset.  A land acknowledgement and introduction will be made by Ingrid Chalufuour, clerk of the Peace and Social Concerns Committee. An extended time in small groups will be offered.

Contributors are Mimi Marstaller, member of Durham Friends currently residing in Salt Lake City; and Mey Hasbrook, a Durham attender and member of Kalamazoo Friends Meeting (Michigan). Mimi will share experiences as a teacher about the “throes of labor pains” within the education community around de-centered collective action, racism, and equity. Mey will offer reflections as a person of mixed lineage (Cherokee-Irish Descent) and a traveling minister among the Religious Society of Friends.

Meetings for Healing, Thursday Evenings at 7pm

Durham Friends are invited to join an ongoing series of Meetings for Healing, hosted by Portland Friends Meeting on Thursdays at 7 p.m. From the convenors: “Meeting for Worship for Healing is an old Quaker tradition. Our goal with this meeting is to focus on the physical and spiritual illnesses of the current world. It’s not intended to be the same as a full meeting for worship but instead is meant to be focused communal prayer. We may be blessed with a time of deep silence. Messages may arise but should be de-centered from our ego.”

Meetings are held via Zoom. Because of changes to Zoom you may be in a waiting room. Don’t worry, someone will let you in soon. (https://zoom.us/j/91925135193,Meeting ID: 919 2513 5193)

Falmouth Quarterly Meeting, Saturday, October 24, 10am to Noon

Falmouth Quarterly Meeting will meet on Saturday, October 24, 10am to Noon. The Meeting will take place via ZOOM. Link information:

  • Meeting Link        https://zoom.us/j/2814426094
  • Phone number     301-715-8592
  • Meeting ID           281-442-6094
  • Password            Ask your Quarterly Meeting representative or e-mail dougb AT earlham DOT edu

Passing of Mildred Alexander

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

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

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

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

Becoming Anti-Racist, A Discussion Series

An Invitation from Peace and Social Concerns

In Ibram X. Kendi’s book, How to be an Antiracist, he says, “Antiracism is a powerful collection of antiracist policies that lead to racial equality and are substantiated by antiracist ideas.” Join the Peace and Social Concerns Committee in an examination of racist ideas and policies with a goal of moving our thinking and actions toward an antiracist future.

Meet with us on Zoom on the following Tuesdays at 7:00:

September 15 – Where are you in your journey toward antiracism? What are you reading and thinking about? Where do you see, through reading or lived experience, racism in our society and our communities? Have you had new insights into the way systemic racism has played out in our country?

Readings: Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Case for Reparations, The Atlantic, June 2014. Nikole Hannah-Jones, What Is OwedNYTimes, June 26, 2020.  Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, The Danger of a Single Story (TED Talk). Leonard Pitts, The Appraisal of How Little a Black Life Is Worth Begins at Birth

October 6 – Where do we see change happening? What do you understand about making change happen? Can attitudes and beliefs be changed or is policy the route to change? Does changed policy lead to changed attitudes and beliefs?

Readings: Zona Douthit, OK, Boomer, It’s Time To Fund ReparationsFriends Journal, September 1, 2020. Parker Palmer, The Broken Open HeartWeavings, March/April 2009.  

October 27 – Where are you feeling called to act? What is your leading at this time? Do you feel complicit? How? What would lead you being more antiracist?

Readings: Catherine Besteman and Joseph N. Jackson, Maine Voices: Want to help remedy racial inequity in Maine? Here are places to start, Portland Press Herald, June 13, 2020. Bill Brown, What Do Quakers Owe Blacks? Tools for Racial Justice, July 2002.

November 17 – Hold the date for a possible follow-up discussion

**Please prepare for the first discussion by reading one or both of the double-starred articles on the list below. Both are available on the Durham Meeting website. We recommend other readings in addition (see list below), particularly Ibram X. Kendi’s book.

  •  *How to be an Anti-Racist, by Ibram X. Kendi
  • The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander
  • So You Want to Talk About Race, by Ijeoma Oluo
  • White Fragility, by Robin DiAngelo
  • The Warmth of Other Suns, by Isabel Wilkerson
  • Cast: The Origins of Our Discontents, by Isabel Wilkerson
  • Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • Me and White Supremacy, by Layla F. Saad
  • The Color of Law, by Richard Rothsein
  • Waking Up White, Debby Irving
  • The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas
  • The Fire Next Time, James Baldwin
  • **The Case for Reparations, by Ta-Nehisi Coates in The Atlantic Monthly 6/2014
  • **What is Owed, by Nikole Hannah-Jones in the New York Times Magazine 6/24/2020
  • America’s Enduring Cast System, in the New York Times Magazine 7/1/2020

Links to other readings are on the Peace and Social Concerns page of the Durham Friends Meeting website.)

Clarabel Marstaller Memorial Service — Saturday, August 8 at 1:30 p.m.

Clarabel Marstaller’s Memorial Service will be held at the meetinghouse and on Zoom on August 8, 2020, at 1:30 p.m. We look forward to celebrating her life and sharing memories with as many people as possible.

            As we are still in a pandemic and are limited in how many can physically be present at the meetinghouse, we encourage people to attend by Zoom. If you do want to attend in person, please let Nancy Marstaller at marstallern@gmail.com or 207 725-4294 know so she can make sure we are following current guidelines. Face masks will be required to enter the meetinghouse and there will be no refreshments after the service.

            To join the meeting by Zoom you may log on through the Durham Friends Meeting website: http://www.durhamfriendsmeeting.org/.

You can log on after 1 p.m. on August 8.

            The family thanks everyone for all their support.

Durham Meeting Contemplative Prayer Group

On Monday mornings from 8:45 am through 9:45 am you are welcome to join us for prayer.  The Zoom details are below.

During this period, we experience a corporate attention to God through silence, intercessory prayer, exercises of gratitude and communion with each other.  Though we are not tied to a particular order of practice, we include a brief time for greetings, prayer requests, followed by 30 minutes of waiting worship, and close with about 15 minutes of fellowship and final thoughts.

Join us!

Durham Friends is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Join Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/2814426094

Passcode: ask if you don’t know it: dougb AT earlham DOT edu

Dial by your location
+1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
+1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
+1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
Meeting ID: 281 442 6094
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kbozXBQ0OI

A Message from Ministry and Counsel About Worship at DFM During the Pandemic

Since March 22, Durham Friends Meeting has been conducting worship via Zoom rather than in our Meetinghouse.  We have been gratified to see good participation in Meeting during these months of physical isolation from one another.  We know that there are some members of the Meeting who are eager to have us return to the Meetinghouse to worship together.  At the same time, we know there are many among us for whom catching the virus could be life threatening — a risk not worth running. For the foreseeable future the Meeting will continue to worship primarily via Zoom.  At the same time, we have started experimenting with a hybrid form of worship in which we will worship via Zoom and some people will worship in the Meetinghouse using electronic devices to connect to Zoom.  As we move forward, we will let you know when it is possible for some to return to worship in the Meetinghouse and what you should do if and when you do come to the Meetinghouse.  Everyone who comes to the Meetinghouse will be asked to wear masks and maintain safe social distance from one another.  There will continue to be no shared refreshments. We are likely to continue holding worship primarily via Zoom until a vaccine or proven anti-viral medicines are developed.  All future decisions and formats are dependent on CDC recommendations. Finding ways to worship together and at the same time ensuring the safety of all of our members continue to be our two guiding stars.  We appreciate the assistance New England Yearly Meeting and others have given us as we learn the possibilities and potential pitfalls of such hybrid worship.

We will be adapting and adjusting as we proceed. It is our hope that this format will allow for more people to be a part of our worshiping community.  It is our hope that we can come together to support, encourage and walk with each other in this time of challenge and unknowingness.   May the spirit of love and peace be our guide.  — From Members of Ministry and Counsel: Martha Hinshaw Sheldon, clerk, Doug Bennett, Renee Cote, Joyce Gibson, Tess Hartford, Brown Lethem, Wendy Schlotterbeck.

Sukie Rice Has Passed; Invitation to a Vigil

From her husband, Lee:

Dear Friends,

Sukie passed on at noon today. Her last hours–from early this morning forward–went quickly. Even though she was unconscious, or turned deeply inward, during much of that time, there was a determination about those hours, a focus, like that of the long-distance runner who will not stop or be stopped till the finish line is crossed.

 Her last days–there have been eighteen of them since she ceased eating and drinking–were punctuated again and again by the surprising and generous idea, the loving suggestion, the gentle imperative, and the general putting in order of virtually all things within her reach (of course, because she’s never hesitated to call upon others to lend a hand, her reach remained very long indeed). 

As most of you know, Sukie staunchly believed in the reality of a spiritual world. She did not have a fear of death, perhaps intuiting, as Walt Whitman said, 

            “All goes onward and outward, nothing collapses,
            And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier.”

As I sit here writing this, I find myself convinced that some confirmation of that intuition can probably be found in the radiantly peaceful, beautiful expression on the face of her body–which, thanks to Sarah, Pat, and Joan, lies freshly washed, dressed, and at rest now under a purple Kenya cloth in the next room.

But enough. Other than to let you know that the end of her life happened today, I have no more important thing to say than this: She loved you. You enriched her life. She was profoundly grateful for that. And she wouldn’t mind my adding that (as I think some of you may already have been reminded by her) not only will she not miss you, she will be with you, now and in times to come.   — Lee

From her friend, Sarah Hyde:

Our dearest Sukie crossed the threshold today [July 17]. She took flight with such beauty and courage!  

Now we begin a three-day Vigil in which we honor her passing, her extraordinary life. We welcome you to come and visit her body in her home for the next three days. Our experience in being a part of a vigil is to visit, to come and sit at her kitchen table, laugh, cry, share your stories of Sukie and what you loved about her, Then, if you wish, go and sit with her in Silence, prayer, singing a song she loved, reciting or reading a poem or scripture… .whatever you are moved to do with her for 5-15 minutes. We consider this Vigil a period of time that helps to carry Sukie across the waters to the next world. Someone will be at her home throughout the day- the Chisholm family at night, Pat Chanterelle, Joan Mueller and I will be there during the day from 10 am-7 pm. We welcome anyone who would like to visit with Sukie.

We ask that you please wear masks and dress warmly. Though it is supposed to be quite warm this weekend, we will have the room very cold with an air conditioner to help her body and its 3-day passage. We have made a Google Doc  that you can use to sign up for a specific time slot identifying when you would like to visit. Here is the link.  Thank you all for your kind words and support of Sukie throughout the past few months. She looks beautiful and peaceful; she’s heading home.

Below is a description written by Lee with regard to a 3-day Vigil- it is beautiful. If you would like more information beyond this click on the link he offers- it is very helpful. Much Love and Reverence for Sukie and this very sacred time together, — Sarah Hyde

The Three-Day Vigil

As many of you have heard, Sukie and I all this winter, spring, and summer have been feeding—and watching—the birds. Just as each species has its own look, flight pattern, song, so too each also has its own way of eating at our bird feeder. My personal favorite is probably the chickadee. Nothing greedy there. The little fellow alights, takes one plump seed, pauses (just for a second), and springs into the air, gleefully victorious, with its prize in its beak.

That may be a helpful image—chickadee version—of a brief time that follows death. Sukie and I believe that, with the last breath, the soul detaches from the body, but it does not simultaneously or instantaneously detach from its life. Indeed, all the people, places, things, and events it has encountered during its life lie before it—or so we have come to believe– in a vast panorama.  A panorama, or tableau, that one experiences over the course of approximately three days…and from the fruits of this experience, one takes (makes, shapes, and creates as well, perhaps) a “seed.”

If all this is so (and many a cultural tradition as well as the teachings of Rudolf Steiner, who founded among other things the first Waldorf School, say that it is so), these three days are very special. Vigil or no vigil, each of us who knew Sukie—who have brought to her (and I quote her last letter, “great happiness as you have traveled your journey intermingling with mine”—is clearly a part of that retrospective tableau.

And during the vigil—whether you sit for a time in the room where her physical body rests or, from a distance, picture her as you knew her in life, and think of her (or read a poem to her,  sing to her, remember something you did together with her, speak to her of what she has meant to you in your life, etc—you help her. You support her. You become as if part of the pole or perch upon which the chickadee pauses, ever so briefly (three days is not a long time where eternity is concerned), before it springs into the light-filled air with that seed in its beak.

For more on the three-day vigil from another’s perspective, check out Nancy Poer’s article from an old issue of Lilipohhere.

Planning for an Active Prayer Group – June 18 at 8:30am


Conversations about an ongoing, active prayer group or practice have been happening for several months now, and it is time to act!  A meeting to discuss how we are to proceed will take place via Zoom and telephone on Thursday, June 18 at 8:30 am.  Please bring your experience, ideas and your spirit to help us launch another way for us to pray together.  

Praying has always been important to the Society of Friends and in the life of Friends in Durham Meeting.  Prayer chains, contemplative prayer groups, healing circles, for local and world needs are examples of our involvement in prayer.  Individual prayer and requests for special prayer from within the Society of Friends are ongoing ways we seek the Light.

Remember to join the meeting by Zoom on the Durham Meeting site, or by telephone.  We are looking forward to our time together. Information on how to connect is here.

Joyce Gibson

Join the Poor People’s Campaign Now and on June 20!

On June 20th, there will be the largest digital and social media gathering of poor and low-wealth people, moral and religious leaders, advocates, and people of conscience in this nation’s history. A global pandemic is exposing even more the already existing crisis of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, the war economy and militarism, and the distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism. On June 20, the 140 million poor and low-income people across this nation will be heard!
Dear Friends,
Hope you are staying well during these challenging times. We are at a crucial moment in history when we could go back to “business as usual” with its racism, militarism, poverty and ecological devastation or we could use this as an opportunity to build a build a new society – with justice for all, peace with the rest of the world, and living in harmony with Mother Earth. A massive peoples movement is already underway and we all have an opportunity to join in this effort. 
I am very impressed with the Poor Peoples Campaign: a National Call for a Moral Revival (PPC).  Led by Co-Chairs Rev. Dr. William Barber and Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, the PPC has organized a people power movement in 45 states to challenge what Martin Luther King called the triple evils of racism, militarism and poverty (building on MLK’s last campaign, known as the Poor Peoples Campaign, in which I had the opportunity to be involved back in 1968).   You can join the Mass Poor People’s Assembly and Moral March on Washington Digital Justice Gathering  by tuning in live to June2020.org at 10am EST on Saturday June 20 – or join the rebroadcast at 3pm PST ( 6pm EST) the same day or at 6pm EST on Sunday, June 21.
More than 100 organizations will participate, along with 16 religious denominations, and national figures and celebrities including Al Gore, Danny Glover, Wanda Sykes, Debra Messing and Jane Fonda.  But the core of the program will be the words and experiences of poor and impacted people from across the country.
Please invite your friends, family and your networks to join us as well. See the list of  Demands and the Moral Budget of the Poor Peoples Campaign at their website:  poorpeoplescampaign.org.
Warm Greeting and Peace,
David Hartsough

WHATThe Mass Poor People’s Assembly and Moral March on Washington will be the largest digital gathering of poor, dispossessed and impacted people, faith leaders, and people of conscience on June 20, 2020.The increasing urgency of a broad movement led by the poor and most impacted is more apparent every day. Now is the time to organize towards collective action to enact a moral agenda for the nation. As our ranks grow in the coming months due to COVID-19 and the ongoing crisis of poverty, building a platform for the plight, fight, and insight of the poor is even more urgent.We are marshaling our collective voices to demonstrate the power of our communities. We demand that both major political parties address the interlocking injustices of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, militarism and the distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism by implementing our Moral Agenda.
WHENThis 2 hour program will be broadcast live on Saturday June 20th at 10:00am EST and again at 6:00pm EST.  You can also listen in on Sunday, June 21st at 6:00pm EST.   Adjust all to your time zone.
WHERE The Mass Poor People’s Assembly & Moral March on Washington is going digital! We will gather from all 50 U.S. states and territories, and from across the world.  Visit June2020.org to tune in.
WHY We are gathering on June 20, 2020 to dramatize the pain and prophetic leadership of the poor and build power to enact our demands.We are waking the nation to the interlocking injustices facing 140 million poor and low-income people, 43% of the nation.But it’s not enough just to be awake. It’s not the waking, it’s the rising. On June 20, 2020, we rise together!If the rejected millions—the poor without health insurance, without living wages, without clean water, without voting protections—unite, we can move the moral and political imagination of this country and revive the heart of our democracy!
WHO The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival is made up of people of all backgrounds, we are Black, Brown, White, Native, and Asian; we are old and young; we are Christian, Sikh, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim; we are people of faith and not of faith; we are people of all sexual orientations and gender identities; we are led by poor people and we are a cross-class movement; we are people of all abilities; and we live across this nation, from Alabama to Alaska, from Maine to California to Mississippi.
HOW We will gather online on June 20, 2020 from across the country and world.We will launch a robust accessibility campaign to ensure those of us most affected by poverty and its interlocking injustices are able to participate fully.To begin, go to www.june2020.org to let us know you will join us on June 20, 2020.Spread the word in your networks and social media.Get connected to your state’s coordinating committee. 
—David Hartsough, author of WAGING PEACE: Global Adventures of a Lifelong Activist,
PM press 2014. Available through Peaceworkers for $20 at 721 Shrader St., San Francisco, CA 94117. 
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world: 
Indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead
Our mailing address is:
Peaceworkers721 Shrader StreetSan Francisco, CA 94117

Children’s and Youth Sunday – Sunday June 7

Plans are being developed to celebrate Durham Friends’ Meeting children and youth on our traditional Children’s Day on the first Sunday of June (June 7).

We will be inviting families to come to the horse shed sometime before June 7 and while observing physical distance (if others are present) complete activities and choose some gifts including a plant or flower to plant June 7. Meeting for Worship via Zoom on June 7 will include content directed at our younger participants. Stay tuned for more information!

“We Cried Power” About the Poor People’s Campaign to Air May 29 at 7pm and June 3 at 7pm

The Poor Peopler’s Campaign will be hosting two facilitated discussions of We Cried Powera documentary about the PPC. The first discussion will be Friday, May 29th at 7 and the second will be Wednesday, June 3rd at 7.The PPC is committed to the structural change of systemic racism, poverty, the war economy, ecological devastation, and the warped moral narrative that allows these problems to continue. If you are not familiar with the PPC, please visit https://www.poorpeoplescampaign.org/
These showings/discussions will be a lead-in to a huge virtual event the PPC will be holding on June 20th and we are looking for the support of Maine people of faith. June 20th will be the largest digital gathering of poor, dispossessed and impacted people, faith leaders, and people of conscience. 

More information about the Poor People’s Campaign follows:

What is the Poor People’s Campaign?

  • The PPC is committed to the structural change of systemic racism, poverty, the war economy, ecological devastation, and the warped moral narrative that allows these problems to continue.
  • Learn more about PPC principles and demands at: https://www.poorpeoplescampaign.org/about/our-principles/

Are you looking for a way to get involved in the Poor People’s Campaign?

  • Register HERE  for our nationwide  June 20th,  virtual mass meeting!
  • Follow PPC Maine social media 
    •  Like Poor People’s Campaign Maine on Facebook!
      • Faith leaders are encouraged to join the “Maine PPC Faith Groups” Facebook group, where we will be posting more info on getting involved 
    • maineppcampaign on Instagram
    • @MainePPCampaign on Twitter
  • Join the Selfie Campaign!
    • Send a selfie video explaining why you signed up for June 20th to Hannah Smith-Erb, Maine PPC student fellow, at hsmith21@colby.edu. The video will be reposted on PPC social media.
    • Post the video on your personal social media. Use #PoorPeoplesCampaign and #PPCMainers. See examples on our social media.
  • Join us for a discussion of “We Cried Power”, a documentary about the PPC
    • View on your own with discussion on Friday, May 29th at 7 and Wednesday, June 3rd at 7
    • RSVP at hsmith21@colby.edu. Hannah will send you the link to the documentary and the zoom link for the discussion. 
  • To be added to our email list, please visit https://www.poorpeoplescampaign.org/ or email hsmith21@colby.edu 
  • Sign the petition