Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened in worship for the conduct of business on Sunday, October 21, 2018 with 10 people present. Clerk Susan (Sukie) Rice opened the meeting with spoken prayer, expressing gratitude.
- The September minutes were approved.
- Ministry and Counsel: Martha Sheldon reported that Ministry and Counsel continues to be available for support, encouragement and pastoral care of meeting members and attenders. One new concern is that of Ralph and Twila Greene who have serious housing and financial difficulties. Persons from New England Yearly Meeting have written a letter which is being sent to many meetings to ask for financial and prayer support for Ralph and Twila and to enable them to find alternative safe and warm housing for this winter. The letter is attached. Sarah Sprogell reported that funds have been requested from the Obadiah Brown Benevolent Fund to help with this need. The sense of the meeting was that funds would be used to repair their house and find temporary housing for this winter.
- We approved a donation from the Charity Fund for Ralph and Twila Greene, amount to be determined at the November monthly meeting.
- Finance Committee: Sarah Sprogell brought the third quarter finance report, attached to these minutes. We budgeted $52,107 for income for 2018 and have already brought in $40,408, which is 78% of the amount budgeted. The amount budgeted for expenses was $51,320 and we have expended $31,937 by the end of September. The Finance Committee agreed that Durham Meeting/ Treasurer can serve as a conduit for monies donated for the Green Fund, including a grant from the Obadiah Brown’s Benevolent Fund. Their report was accepted with gratitude.
- We approved the request from Peace and Social Concerns Committee to increase their budget to $200 to support their film series, dates and times announced in this Newsletter.
- We approved authorization for the Treasurer to send budgeted contributions to other organizations.
- Member Donna Hutchins reported that indeed, she and her husband Dan Ross will be moving to Bridgeton. She will be finishing her work as Custodian for the meeting at the end of October. Volunteers will be needed until a new custodian is hired by the Trustees.
- Sukie Rice recommended that we have a “heat and doors” tutorial; there has been heat loss due to open doors, and heat exchanger settings. It was recommended that we purchase new secure front doors. An article will be included in the Newsletter regarding this concern.
- The Christian Education Committee and Youth Minister report was given by Wendy Schlotterbeck and Tess Hartford.
- “Media at Meeting” – Movies and videos games have shown up at the Meeting House since we have gotten the TV. We had a far-ranging discussion about electronic media and its place and our role in regulating it. When talking with parents about this concern, they support the children and youth keeping electronics off unless they are part of a purposeful plan. We will also find more discreet location for the TV/VCR to keep the temptation for its use at bay.
- World Quaker Day- We used the occasion of World Quaker Day on October 7 to celebrate the return of Sunday school for the youth. This is an event sponsored by FWCC to encourage a sense of community for all the Quakers in the world. Following Meeting for Worship, where Katherine Langilier brought both the youth and Meeting messages, we sang This Pretty Planet and enjoyed a potluck lunch.
- Children’s Stories are still being offered on first and third Sundays. On second and fourth when children are present we will sing a song.
- Child Care: Christine Baglieri is no longer able to care for the children at Meeting. It was agreed that the presence of a reliable person (whose values and way with children were so in tune with our own!) was well worth the $30 per week (10:15-12:15). The sense of continuity we believe has helped bring back some of the new families who have been visiting. We need to find a new child care provider. Please contact Wendy at email@example.com if you know someone who may be interested.
- Upcoming family events: Halloween Party- Friday Oct 26 from 5:30-8pm at the Meetinghouse. Creative costumes are encouraged. We will have snacks, bobbing for apples, donuts on a string and pumpkin carving. A fun time for all ages! There will be a Family Game Night- Saturday, November 3 from 5-7:30 for our 3rd game night. It will be a potluck followed by games. We found in the past that no other structure is necessary. All are welcome.
- Outreach – We encourage all Durham Friends to invite neighbors and friends to our special family events as well as our regular weekly Meetings. Wendy has been sending e-mail and/or text invitations to people who have shown interest in being part of our community, even sporadically. If you think someone would appreciate being added to the ‘invitation list’, please let Wendy know.”
- Peace and Social Concerns: We were reminded of the “Social Justice Film and Discussion Series.” The dates are November 16 = Criminal Justice; December 7 = “I Am Not Your Negro”; January 4 = Seeds of Peace.
- Falmouth Quarterly Meeting: We approved representatives to Quarterly Meeting which meets October 27 at Windham Friends Meeting, 9:00 – 1:00: Martha Sheldon, Sarah Sprogell, and Margaret Wentworth. The Quarterly Meeting will enter into discernment on how to move forward.
- Nominating Committee: Margaret Wentworth requested that Gene Boyington be added to the Nominating Committee. Another member will be requested to replace Jo-an Jacobus when she is finished in December. Please let the committee or the meeting clerk know if interested and are able to serve.
- We approved the appointment of Gene Boyington to serve on the Nominating Committee. He will finish this year as a member and begin a three-year term in January.
- New England Yearly Meeting Annual 2018 Sessions report, Castleton University in Vermont. Sarah Sprogell gave a personal report of Sessions which is attached.
The 2018 Epistle of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends is included in this newsletter as well as “Talking Points from Sessions”. Both of these documents will be attached to these minutes. Ministry and Counsel is encouraged to schedule speakers who will share these documents in meeting for worship.
- Ad Hoc Committee: Doug Bennett sent a report from the Ad Hoc Committee.
For nearly a year, Durham Friends Meeting has had an Ad Hoc Committee working on developing ideas for strengthening the Meeting. After input and discussion from many Meeting members, we came to focus on three areas where we might try to strengthen ourselves: pastoral care, outreach and coordination. In May, after the Ad Hoc Committee reported, Business Meeting asked that various Meeting committees discuss their current efforts and effectiveness and let the Ad Hoc Committee know how they are doing. More specifically, Ministry and Counsel was asked to consider pastoral care, Christian Education, Peace and Social Concerns, and the Newsletter Committee were asked to consider outreach, and the Clerks Group was asked to consider coordination. These committees of the Meeting were asked to give feedback to the Ad Hoc Committee by September 17, in time for a Meeting-wide discussion on September 30. We POSTPONED the September 30 discussion because we have not yet heard from all the committees to which requests were directed. So, we are renewing the request. A Meeting-wide discussion of what we learn will be scheduled on October 28. Questions? Contact Doug Bennett (firstname.lastname@example.org or 207-721-9575).
The Meeting closed with a moment of silence.
Dorothy Hinshaw, Recording Clerk