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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The meeting approved the Nominating Committee report as attached.
- 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).
- 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.
- The meeting approved the Budget for 2018.
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- Martha Hinshaw Sheldon reported for Ministry and Counsel.
- a) Pastoral care team coordination will be returned to Ministry and Counsel.
- b) Ministry and Counsel approved that Martha Hinshaw Sheldon be its clerk for 2018.
- 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.
- Martha Hinshaw Sheldon gave the Adult Sunday school report.
- 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.
- 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