Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, November 17, 2019

            Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened for the conduct of business on Sunday, November 17, 2019 with 12 people present.  Clerk Susan Rice read from the 1985 New England Faith and Practice, p. 117: “the Search for Unity.”

1. The October minutes were approved.

2. Christian Education Committee and Youth Minister: Wendy Schlotterbeck sent their report.

 Seven people from Durham and Portland Meetings are interested in Godly Play training which would involve a weekend in the spring. Please let Christian Education Committee know if interested in this training.  The committee and the Finance Committee will consult concerning the cost of this training. 

The committee made a slight change to the Sunday School plan.  Parents may drop off a child with Ashley Marstaller, our “baby sitter” at 10:30 or bring them into the meeting room for singing, then quietly go to Godly Play class which will begin around 10:40.  Children will stay in the class until meeting for worship is over.  Middle and high school age youth will meet at 10:30 in their space and return to meeting for worship at 11:15.

Wendy will be staffing the New England Yearly Meeting Junior High Retreat at Woolman Hill on the weekend of December 6-8.

Upcoming events include attending the “Day of Mourning” event on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 28) in Plymouth, MA; Wreath making on Dec. l; and a Christmas gathering on Dec. 20.  Details will be included in the Newsletter. 

3. Peace and Social Concerns Committee:  Ingrid Chalufour reported that the committee is exploring a variety of ways that the meeting could reduce its carbon footprint. 

4. Finance Committee: Attached is the third quarter finance report.  Our current budget income and spending has continued to be healthy and stable through the end of September 2019.  Total regular income year to date was $43,968.72 which is 76% of our annual goal.  Our expenses during this period were $33,900.89 which is 59% of our annual goal, resulting in a net difference of $10,067.83.

Items that were higher than expected are fuel oil, and maintenance and supplies for the meetinghouse.  Trustees have overseen several important carpentry repairs and repainted the addition this year, and they are still within their annual budget request.  Unfortunately, the price of fuel oil is unpredictable.  These additional expenses, however, have been offset by lower spending by committees and various other meeting expenses, so on balance, we are in a good position to finish the year without needing an annual appeal.

 Sarah Sprogell completed the transfer of funds from the Bailey and Cox Funds to the Charity Account, as approved and requested by the Monthly Meeting in October.  These two funds had been in low interest CDs, and have increased the balance in the Charity Account to $16,339.21

The Finance Committee will be meeting very soon to draft a proposed budget for 2020 and encourages committees to submit their requests for 2020 as soon as possible.

5. Ministry and Counsel:  Martha Sheldon reported that there will be Christmas Eve candlelight service at the meetinghouse facilitated by Jo-an Jacobus.

            At their retreat on November 2nd, they considered recommendations and suggestions from a number of members and attenders concerning adding a paid position of Meeting Care

Coordinator which would provide assistance and support to committees and volunteer activities.   They propose that it be a quarter time position to be paid $10,000 a year, supervised by a support committee. The Meeting Care Coordinator would include pastoral care, ministry, outreach and coordination of activities. Other descriptions mentioned for this position were: facilitator, encourager, and enabler.  The full proposal will be in the newsletter, and an informal discussion will occur after meeting on November 24.  Approval of the proposal will be considered at Monthly Meeting for Business in December.  We discussed ways to advertise this position.  We expressed our appreciation for the work of Ministry and Counsel, and accept their recommendation.

6. We recommended that the Finance Committee consider including charitable giving to Quaker organizations currently not included in our budget: Friends Committee on National Legislation, American Friends Committee, and Quaker United Nations Organization. 

            We closed in a centering stillness. 

Dorothy Hinshaw, Recording Clerk

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