Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends virtually convened via Zoom for the conduct of business on Sunday, September 20, 2020 with 18 people present. Clerk, Martha Hinshaw Sheldon opened the meeting with two quotes from Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court Justice who recently passed away:
“Fight for the things that you care about but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.”
“Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time.”
- The August minutes were approved.
- Ministry and Counsel: Martha Sheldon reported that Amelia Mae Marstaller (Mimi), who has been a junior member of the meeting, was recommended by the Meeting on Ministry and Counsel for adult membership. Friends enthusiastically approved the change to adult membership and look forward to seeing her via Zoom and in person in the future.
- Meeting Care Coordinator: Mey Hasbrook reported that she has been meeting with her support committee, Clerks Committee, and Ministry and Counsel. She now has the task of finding speakers. She has been meeting members and attenders via Zoom in small groups. She has been especially busy with the transition to Maine and we expressed our support and understanding as she and her family make the move.
- Christian Education Committee: Wendy reported that the committee met September 9 via zoom. They decided to continue nurturing relationships and connections with the Maine Native American history and community. They hope to collaborate with Heather Augustine’s Native American youth group.
Family game nights are on hold for now. They discussed spiritual connections for the children and youth of our meeting. Virtual meetings have not been working for most of the families. Starting in October they will be organizing 2 events per month- both outside, wearing masks and keeping social distance. One will be focused on art and nature, the other including drums and music. Children and youth will be invited according to interest with mixed ages encouraged.
Halloween party: since masks are a natural part they will be having an outdoor Halloween Party at the meetinghouse with masks and social distance on FRIDAY, OCT 30. Everyone is invited- safe, social distance games will be available. And, a special incentive: each child or youth will be asked their favorite candy so they can make individual “COVID- safe” treat bags. Stay tuned for the time- likely late afternoon.
5. Youth Minister: Wendy reported that she will continue checking in with Durham Friends families to get a sense of their needs.
She will continue to participate in the Young Friends program of NEYM and will continue to help staff/offer help with upcoming Young Friends retreats. The next Young Friends retreat will be the weekend of Oct 2-4. Durham Young Friends are encouraged to participate!! See link- https://neym.org/online-retreat-registration.
Wendy will be researching and building a safe outdoor space at the Meeting House for gatherings including a fire pit, with approval from Trustees.
6. Treasurer: Katharine (Kitsie) Hildebrandt expressed appreciation for financial support of the meeting (checks are being received) during this time of our virtual meetings.
Kitsie reported that the current contract that she negotiated with Consolidated Communications for the phone and internet is a better rate than for the internet alone.
7. The Trustees have been busy with many projects regarding the meeting property previously mentioned in the minutes, i.e., paint, hallway floors, and horse shed repairs. Thank you, Tess for washing the fleece blankets in the meeting room, and airing bench cushions. Contact Trustees for a detailed list of completed work and future projects.
The Trustees recommended a donation of $1000 from the Charity Fund to Andrew Higgins who has suffered injuries from a serious accident.
8. We approved a donation of $1000 to Andrew Higgins from the Charity Fund.
9. Jo-an Jacobus thanked the meeting for the use of the meetinghouse for the Sunday night 12 step group as they resume meeting together when it is safe to physically gather.
10. Peace and Social Concerns Committee launched a discussion series on Becoming Antiracist on Sept. 15. Twelve attenders participated in a thoughtful discussion. The next discussion is on Oct. 6 and you can attend even if you did not attend the first one. If you have any feedback on the first discussion please share it with Ingrid.
Ingrid has begun attending the Bath Brunswick Hub meetings of the Poor Peoples Campaign. She will cautiously look for ways Durham Meeting can be involved. The goals of the campaign are very aligned with Quaker values. If you are interested in learning more about the campaign there is a link to information on the Meeting website.
The committee is losing Brown (Richard Lethem) as a member due to his moving away. He has been an active member for several years. They are looking for two new members to help take on the many peace and social concerns we all share.
11. Carbon footprint: Kitsie Hildebrandt and Ingrid Chalufour reported that they are consulting with John Ruthe from Vassalboro Meeting regarding our effort to reduce our carbon footprint.
12. The Clerks Committee is working on updating our Handbook and will present a draft of their suggestions next month.
Martha Sheldon closed the meeting expressing appreciation for those who have assumed various responsibilities. She repeated the quote: “Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time,” and said that as a community, we are taking steps toward change as we follow the Spirit’s guide.
Dorothy Hinshaw, Recording Clerk