Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened via Zoom (electronically) for the conduct of business on Sunday, April 19, 2020 with approximately 19 people present in their own homes, due to the pandemic coronavirus crisis. Martha Hinshaw Sheldon, co-clerk, opened the meeting reminding us that the meeting is located on Wabanaki land; and that people are the church, and not the building.
1. The February and March minutes were approved.
2. Ministry and Counsel: Martha Sheldon reported for the committee:
The State of Society Report (attached) was read with appreciation to Douglas Bennett who drafted the report.
Memorial Minutes for Clarabel Marstaller and Eileen Babcock were presented. All expressed gratitude for their long lives of service in the Society of Friends and Durham Friends Meeting. These minutes are attached.
Ministry and Counsel discussed end of life issues, political expressions in meeting, and pastoral care concerns. Please inform Ministry and Counsel of those in need.
The meeting learned with sadness that member Edith (Edie) Lamb Whitehead died April 18, 2020.
3. We approved the State of Society Report which will be reported to Falmouth Quarterly Meeting.
4. We approved Memorial Minutes for Clarabel Hadley Marstaller and Eileen Babcock.
5. Peace and Social Concerns: Ingrid Chalufour reported that the committee was asked to review and bring forward a recommendation made in February for funds to support the SNAP ReBoot project. It was sent to Peace and Social Concerns because requests for Charity Fund Account money is best to come from a standing committee. Peace and Social Concerns Committee researched additional information about this project and, being fully satisfied with Theresa Oleksiw’s answers and having received a letter of strong support from the Maine Equal Justice Project for the project, they recommend that the meeting support the project to the level of $3000. The full committee report is attached.
We then revisited the February 2020 monthly meeting decision to use the Charity Fund for this project. A lengthly discussion ensued, with a number of options how we might proceed. One option was to proceed with assistance to the project but at a level of $1000. We will revisit this option at the May monthly meeting to give the meeting time to season the decision. If anyone wishes to contribute to the Project at this time, they are encouraged to send donations to the Durham treasurer who will send them on directly to Theresa. Notice of this will appear in the Newsletter.
6. We approved the following persons to serve as an ad-hoc committee for reviewing guidelines for the Charity Account: Joyce Gibson, Tess Hartford, Katharine Hildebrandt and Brown Letham.
The Peace and Social Concerns Committee urges us to visit their posts on the Durham Friends Meeting web site.
7. Christian Education: Wendy Schlotterbeck reported for the committee. CE met on March 1 and discussed the the Annual Plant and Yard Sale, tentatively set for May 23, Children’s Day, usually the first Sunday in June (June 7), and the Annual Family Campout June 13-14 or June 20-21. The committee will re-evaluate whether/how these events might happen because of the stay at home order. Easter was none the less celebrated: Wendy ordered chocolate Easter bunnies and gummy carrots from a local candy shop and had them sent to 7 Durham families with children. In addition, Amy Kustra drew a coloring page of Durham Meeting house and “hid” Easter eggs in the picture for the kids to color. Wendy created blank stamped and addressed postcards for the kids to color and send to a Durham friend. The postcards and coloring pages were sent to the Durham children along with a letter from Wendy.
We have a need for substitute Sunday School teachers for the Godly Play and youth classes; if anyone would be willing to help out if a teacher is sick or unable to teach on a particular Sunday, please see Wendy Schlotterbeck.
Ashley Marstaller informed us that due to staffing changes at her work, she can no longer be the Childcare worker on Sunday mornings. We are looking for a replacement. In the meantime Amy Kustra volunteered to be present from 10:15-12:15 on 2nd, 4th and 5th Sundays to take care of children until we find a replacement.
Wendy has met 3 times with Durham youth over Zoom to check in during March/April, and checked in with families by phone, text and/or e-mail. She has met via zoom at the weekly NEYM leadership meetings, and will continue to join the calls,
and staffed the Young Friends virtual retreat held Friday-Saturday April 17-18. Twenty-three youth attended and seemed especially grateful for the chance to be together with other NEYM youth and adults.
8. Finance: Sarah Sprogell reported for the committee which outlined major sources of income which stand to decrease, and the committee recommended steps to reduce the meeting expenses. A full report with recommendations is attached.
9. We approved an adjusted budget, and accepted with gratitude the Finance Committee report.
10 Trustees: Katharine Hildebrandt and Donna Hutchins reported that C & Z Plumbing installed a new water heater and a new toilet at the Parsonage. Plumbers checked the building and no other issues were noted. The electrician installed a new breaker for the new hot water heater and the bathroom outlets. He inspected wiring and said there are no issues and the building is up to code. Dan Henton installed a new lock and door knob on front door. These repairs thus far have cost $ 2731.29.
Meetinghouse repairs::The electrician installed a new outside security LED light at the Meetinghouse, and put in a new pull switch over the piano. C & Z Plumbing installed new faucets and cleaned up and replaced old plumbing under the five sinks. A water test has been done and a system was recommended to address mineral issues. The water is safe to drink. A backwash filter system has been installed in the basement and all other existing, outdated and/or malfunctioning filter systems were removed. Trustees recommend that Tess Hartford continue her painting in the meetinghouse. These repairs thus far have cost $ 4150.00.
The cell phone tower has recently been approved by the town. The company, Northern Pride, is ready to install the tower.
The balance of the Capital Account is now $24,311.80 which includes the Efficiency Maine rebate for the new water heater in the parsonage. This is a corrected balance which was reported as $41,765 in the Newsletter. A complete report is attached.
Trustees would like to recommend that Craig Freshley be added to Trustees.
11. We approved the addition of Craig Freshley to Trustees.
12. We approved that Tess Hartford perform painting tasks in the meetinghouse
13. Martha Sheldon reminded us that Falmouth Quarterly Meeting will be held this Saturday, April 25, via Zoom. Representatives are Martha Sheldon and Sarah Sprogell.
14. .Sarah Sprogell presented the 2019 Statistical Report which is attached. Sarah reported that we have 106 members, with 44 active. We had two new members and 2 deaths for 2019.
15. Sarah Sprogell, auditor, presented the 2016-2017 audit for Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends. This report was accepted with appreciation.
16. With regret, the United Society of Friends Women International and Friends United Meeting triennials have been canceled for this summer. Funds donated to our representatives for travel and participation will be refunded to the meeting.
Our monthly meeting lasted longer than usual with much discussion about various matters, so we departed without much ado; we bade each one farewell until the next time! Walk in the Light.
Dorothy Hinshaw, Recording Clerk