Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, October 20, 2019

            Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened for the conduct of business on Sunday, October 20, 2019 with 10 people present.  Clerk Susan Rice opened the meeting by reading a quote from Eckhart Tolle on Stillness and Wisdom.

1. The September 15th minutes were approved.

2. Ministry and Counsel: Martha Sheldon reported that Ministry and Counsel will have a retreat on November 2nd to discuss a paid ministry position. 

3. It has been the intention of the meeting to have further discussion on outreach and how that might be developed, possibly with a stipend position.  Kristen Evans and Sukie Rice volunteered to participate in an ad hoc group to discuss outreach.  This was approved.

4. Finance:  Sarah Sprogell sent the Finance Committee report:

The Finance Committee convened on Sept 18, 2019 at Norway Savings Bank in Brunswick to review our accounts and consider making some changes.  Treasurer Katherine Hildebrandt, Nancy Marstaller and Sarah Sprogell were present.

 They agreed to move both the Charity Account and the Bernice Douglas Account from savings accounts to money market accounts.  This change allows our treasurer to write up to 6 checks per month from each account.  It increases the interest rate for the Charity Account from 0.03% to 0.1%; and increases the interest rate for the Bernice Douglas Account from 0.03% to 0.2%. 

 The committee considered moving the Woodbury Fund from a savings account to an 18 month CD being offered at 2.15%.  After bringing this suggestion to the Clerks Committee and hearing their approval, we followed up with the bank to make this change.  We felt this was a good opportunity to increase the value of this account.

 The committee transferred a recently acquired CD to a new 18 month CD earning 2.15%.  This CD holds a reserve of $25,000 from our checking account.  The original CD only earned 0.25% so they felt this change was a good way to increase our earnings, despite paying a small transfer penalty of $30.

 The committee reviewed our 2 remaining CDs, The Bailey Fund and the Cox Fund.  Both are currently in 5 year CDs earning 0.95% and will renew in about 15 months.  The Bailey Fund is about $1909 and currently the interest is designated (not restricted) for the support of the minister.  The Cox Fund is about $9338 and has no restrictions or designations.

The Finance Committee recommends that they move the funds from both of these accounts into the Charity Account.  This could be done as they mature, or could be done earlier resulting in a penalty of about $150.  Moving these funds would increase the Charity Account from $5,227 to about $16,320.

5. The meeting approved moving the Bailey Fund and the Cox fund into the Charity Account, at a time deemed appropriate by the Finance Committee for the transfer.

6. Christian Education:  Wendy Schlotterbeck reported for the committee. They decided to switch the time when children and youth join Meeting for Worship on days we hold Sunday School on the first and third Sundays. In response to encouraging a less interrupted waiting worship and wanting the younger friends to participate in some aspect of Meeting for Worship, Sunday School will be held from 10:30-11:15 and will join the larger meeting at 11:15.

Tess Hartford will be teaching the Godly Play class (ages 3-11) with help from Ashley Marstaller. Wendy will be teaching the middle/high school class Quaker Affirmations.

Ashley Marstaller is interested in attending Godly Play training. CE will research when/where a training is happening and provide funds for her to attend. They are also asking for other Durham Friends to consider attending Godly Play training, with the intention of possibly helping teach the Godly Play class.

World Quaker Day was celebrated at Durham Friends Meeting as Homecoming on Oct 6, 2019. Postcard invitations were mailed out to members and attenders we hadn’t seen in a while. The theme was “sustainability” and during the youth message, Wendy recounted meeting Emma Mamani, a Bolivian Friend, at New England Yearly Meeting. Wendy showed the slideshow Quaker Bolivian youth made about the water crisis in their country and how they are helping their community by constructing simple water filters from sand and gravel. Several others brought messages of gratefulness for clean water and the beauty of our state. After Meeting for Worship, most people lingered over an abundant meal including soups, salads, cornbread, apple crisps, and ice cream! We were happy to have 7 children in attendance; many shared lively reminiscing and conversations.

Wendy staffed the Young Friend’s October retreat in Framingham, Mass. and plans to continue to staff Young Friends retreats. She also plans to offer to staff Junior High Young Friends retreats.

Wendy travelled to Washington, DC Oct 15 as a religious leader to lobby for The Clean Economy bill along with 4 other religious leaders from other states.

7. Brown Lethem brought the Peace and Social Concerns Committee report. They will be meeting on Monday, October 28th to discuss how to build on the climate crisis events they had this fall, including the possibility of adding additional solar panels to the Meeting House.

They would like to recognize the energy and thoughtfulness shared with us by the three youth, Lucia Daranyi, Riley Stevenson and Ellie Douglas at the “youth speak out “in September. The budgeted committee funds for 2019 are spent, so they ask the monthly meeting to fund a $100 donation to the Changemakers Program of which both Riley and Lucia are a part. This is a leadership development program that is run by the Maine Environmental Education Association. The committee would also like to purchase (for the library) the book, A Dangerous New World: Maine Voices on the Climate Crisis, in which a poem by Ellie Douglas will be published.

8. We approved sending a donation of $100.00 to the Changemakers program, and also purchase the book, A Dangerous New World: Maine Voices on the Climate Crisis from the General Fund.

9. Nominating Committee: Margaret Wentworth reported that they are nominating Katherine (Qat) Langelier to become the Newsletter Editor.  Qat will be added to the Communication Committee as an ex officio member; they also nominate Sukie Rice to serve on the Communication Committee as an advisor to the new editor.

10. We approved the nomination of Qat to become the Newsletter Editor and Sukie Rice to be a member of the Communication Committee.

11. Trustees:  Kim Bolshaw reported that the septic tanks for both the meetinghouse and parsonage have been pumped.

12. We were reminded of the discussion which will take place on October 27th concerning priorities and the use of our funds.

The meeting ended in gratitude for all and the Presence within. 

Dorothy Hinshaw, Recording Clerk

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