Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, December 20, 2020

            Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends met virtually via Zoom for the conduct of business on Sunday, December 20, 2020 with 17 people present.  Clerk Martha Sheldon opened the meeting by reading a Howard Thurman poem: “The Work of Christmas.”

1. The November minutes were approved as printed in the Newsletter.

2.  Ministry and Counsel:  Martha Sheldon reported that Mey Hasbrook has requested sojourning membership in Durham Meeting.  Kalamazoo Friends Meeting sent a supporting letter for Mey, stating that Mey has a minute of religious service among the Religious Society of Friends.

            Memorial minutes were prepared for Susan (Sukie) Rice and Mildred Alexander.  The minute for Sukie was written by Tess Hartford, Sarah Sprogell, and Liana Thompson, using material from Sukie’s obituary, written by Lee Chisholm.  Mildred Alexander’s minute was written by Martha Sheldon with the help from Margaret Wentworth and Charlotte Ann Curtis.  Helpful suggestions were made. These minutes are attached and will be included in the Newsletter and sent to Falmouth Quarterly Meeting which then sends them on to New England Yearly Meeting.  We also requested that Sukie’s memorial minute be sent to the Kakamega Care Center in Kenya. 

3. We approved the request that Mey Hasbrook become a sojourning member in Durham Friends Meeting.

4.  We approved the memorial minutes for Susan Rice and Mildred Alexander.

5. Nomination Committee: Margaret Wentworth reported that Martha Sheldon will be meeting clerk for the first half of the year while they find a replacement, Sarah Sprogell will be added to the Peace and Social Concerns Committee, and the rest of the report will be presented in January. 

6. We approved their report.

7. We approved the addition of Linda Muller to the Nominating Committee.

8. Finance Committee: Katherine Hildebrandt presented the 2021 budget which was approved and will be included in the Newsletter and attached to these minutes.

            The committee requests that $1000 be donated from the Charity Account to a meeting member who is experiencing financial hardship.

9.  We approved the donation of $1000 from the Charity Account to a meeting member.

10.  Trustees: Katharine Hildebrandt reported that the meetinghouse furnace needs to be replaced.  We look forward to an annual financial report from the Trustees.

11.  Christian Education Committee: Wendy Schlotterbeck reported that the wreath making party on November 28 was enjoyed by 9 hearty individuals.  A very special thanks go to Dorothy Curtis who made 2 wreaths for the meetinghouse doors.  At the December 19th advent candlelight spiral in the parking lot Tess Hartford spoke meaningfully about the meaning of light while walking the spiral.  A highlight for many was singing carols together around the candlelit spiral.  They formed a caravan bringing goodies and a few songs of cheer much to the delight of those they visited.

12.  Youth Minister: Wendy Schlottebeck continues to staff New England Yearly Meeting youth activities, and helped with the December 12th Young Friends virtual retreat.  She plans to help staff winter retreats. 

13.Ingrid Chalufour reported for the  Peace and Social Concerns Committee:  The committee is pursuing the leadings identified in the third anti-racist discussion on Oct. 27. To accomplish this ambitious agenda they now have a sub-committee with new members. The committee is working on supporting the sovereignty of the Indigenous people of Maine and beyond. The nature and scope of this work will evolve over the coming months. The subcommittee will focus on the two book projects as reported last month. The committee is planning a series of events to guide us in identifying the collective actions we want to take in relation to Indigenous sovereignty. On January 24 Alicia McBride from FCNL will give the message in meeting and join us after meeting to discuss the FCNL publication, A Theological Perspective on Quaker Lobbying which will be available on the web site; hard copies are also available. Alicia will also share FCNL current work on legislation related to the Native American population. Their second event, February 28, will focus on the New England Yearly Meeting Apology to Native Americans. The apology and suggested actions will be offered as a query in the unprogrammed Meeting with a discussion following at 11:30. They are looking for ways to respectfully include the Native voice in our work.

            We expressed appreciation for this committee’s work.

14. Martha Sheldon reminded us that Falmouth Quarterly Meeting will virtually meet on January 23rd and we approved the following representatives: Sarah Sprogell, Ingrid Chalufour, Ann Ruthsdottir and Joyce Gibson.

15.  Regarding posters and Banners as mentioned in the November minutes: we were reminded that there already is an approved procedure in place: committees are to present their suggestions for messages to be displayed in public to monthly meeting for business for approval.   

16. Meeting Care Coordinator: Mey Hasbrook and Mimi Marstaller facilitated a virtual workshop on the subject of decolonizing.  

            The meeting ended in quiet waiting and a prayer was offered by the clerk, Martha Sheldon.

Recording Clerk, Dorothy Hinshaw