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By Brown Letham
April Lenten Saturday vigils at Bath Iron Works
April 27 Vigil at BIW for the christening of a destroyer
April 28 P&SC give message, and sponsor potluck and discussion at Durham Friends Meeting
May 10 Co-sponsoring a panel discussion of climate change action at the Brunswick Unitarian Universalist (UU) Church
May 11 New England Yearly Meeting Permanent Board will meet at Durham Meetinghouse
May 11 Game Night to follow
May 17 Peter and Annie Blood concert at Portland UU church
Ingrid Chalufour reports that she will be attending meetings of the Brunswick Interfaith Council. Cush Anthony is involved with the Maine Council of Churches.
Planning of the Friday, May 10 climate change action panel discussion: Panelists will be Sen. Brownie Carson, Rev. Sylvia Stocker, and Ann D. Burt. There might also be a Bowdoin student. The purpose of the panel and the activity below is not to describe climate change or debate its existence but to talk about actions that people can take on an individual, legislative , and most importantly, organizational level.
Sunday April 28 Worship, potluck and discussion: The P&SC committee is generating queries to prompt thinking and discussion about corporate witness as a Meeting. A short First Day message may spring out of the queries that will be brought into worship. Finger food potluck followed by discussion.
Peace vigils at BIW: Brown mentioned that the next destroyer christening at BIW was planned tentatively for April, as well as the remaining Saturday Lenten vigils there. He brought a pamphlet about a call for a conversion to peacetime production at BIW and asked if Durham Friends would consider endorsing/sponsoring it.
The Minute reads: “Peace and Social Concerns Committee recommends to Monthly Meeting that Durham Friends be a co-sponsor of the vigil for conversion of Bath Iron Works to peacetime production at the upcoming warship christening.”
Sponsorship would entail permission to print our name in the flyer, display the banner at the vigil, but no financial obligation.
[Editor’s note: the destroyer’s christening has been scheduled for April 27 at BIW.]
By Dorothy Hinshaw
Hal Tucker was an ordained United Church of Christ (UCC) minister and a mentor to many students at Bangor Theological Seminary (BTS) and in the UCC tradition. He was one of “Bee’s Boys” and learned to love our Quaker way during his years at Bowdoin College while rooming with Bernice (Bee) Douglas. He also served our meeting as a pastor while a student at BTS. He and his wife, Bettina, have given us many valuable Quaker books from their collection.
I have thoroughly enjoyed reading one of these donated books, Living in a Larger World, the Life of Murray S. Kenworthy, who grew up in the Midwest (as did I). Kenworthy became a well-loved Quaker pastor, teacher at Earlham College, and served with the American Friends Service Committee. This book gives an insight into the development of the Quaker pastoral system and programmed meetings, and the AFSC feeding program in Russia. His son, Leonard, was a prolific writer about Quaker subjects; several of his pamphlets are on the pamphlet shelf.
“Check out” these valuable books and pamphlets!
In 2018 the State of our Society at Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends was healthy and thriving. We gather at our old brick Meetinghouse from towns north, south, east and west from Durham, forming a community grounded in a vital worship life that that both gives and receives strength from a range of other activities in the Meeting. We are still feeling our way, but more confidently, in our second full year of proceeding without a paid pastor.
Ministry and Counsel has accepted new responsibilities both for the worship life of the Meeting and for pastoral care of members and attenders. We love receiving messages from one another, sometimes in linked themes across weeks, and also as each individual is led. We also have been much enriched by invited message-bringers from outside the meeting. We continue to reserve 5th First Days in a month, when there is one one, for unprogrammed worship. We have been adjusting our regular schedule to accommodate expressed needs for more gathered silence during Meetings for Worship.
All of us are still not completely comfortable proceeding without a pastor, but we are finding ways to have various committees and individuals do what a pastor once did for us. An ad hoc committee appointed in 2017 led a yearlong consideration of the issues in proceeding without a pastor. We asked ourselves, what can we do to strengthen the Meeting? We came to focus on three needs to which we need to be attentive: pastoral care, outreach and coordination. Without a pastor, each of these areas is an important function with which we may struggle if we do not fresh approaches. An adult Sunday school meets regularly and we have been experimenting with prayer circles.
Our membership numbers have stayed relatively constant with a few passings and a roughly equal number of new members. Nearly every week we have visitors. We average 30 to 40 in worship each week except in the summer when, with one and another of us scattered to other Maine pleasures, numbers are a bit lower. We meet for business regularly and appreciate an excellent monthly newsletter.
Ministry Counsel has taken on responsibility for pastoral care of members. Having this as a committee responsibility rather that mostly relying on a pastor has been an important challenge. We have developed an organized approach to seeing that we are attending to all expressed needs. Some of us are still learning to see a visit from a fellow member rather than a pastor as pastoral care.
We take delight in the presence of children among us and are grateful for the creativity and care of our Youth Minister. We provide childcare every Sunday, and children’s programs on 1st and 3d Sundays. Our Christian Education Committee continues to be a source of vitality for the whole Meeting. It has developed an inter-generational approach to reaching out to families and provides spiritual nurture to youth through Godly Play and Young Friends seeking. CE also arranged a series of Game Nights for children of all ages and these will continue. Through our budget and extra efforts we arranged support for several children to attend Friends Camp.
We aim to make a difference in this world guided by the Spirit, love and our understanding of scriptures. Our Peace and Social Concerns Committee has new members and new energies for a variety of initiatives. The Kakamega Orphan Care Center, Lisbon Area Christian Outreach’s food bank, witnessing for peace at Bath Iron Works, a quilting project to address gun violence, the American Friends Service Committee and Seeds of Peace camp all received our attention and support. Towards the end of the year, P&SC arranged a thought-provoking social justice film series.
Our Trustees have been faithfully attentive to caring for our Meetinghouse, horse shed, parsonage burial grounds, and phone/internet service. Each has needed and received attention. Our Finance Committee and our Treasurer have the Meeting’s financial house in good order. We vexed ourselves with disagreements about whether and which clock to allow in the Meeting room but we appear to have found a solution. We share the Meetinghouse regularly with a 12-step Group and a Native American fellowship group.
Outreach has been a question on our minds. How can we reach out beyond ourselves to bring our message and the delights of our community to others? We have taken this on as a challenge for all of us, as we turn to a new year.
Approved by Monthly Meeting, March 17, 2019
Currently there are 3 of us who take turns playing the piano during meeting for worship: Dot Hinshaw, Sue Wood, and Nancy Marstaller.
Dot started taking lessons when she was 6 years old. She could play by ear and found it harder to learn to read music. When she was taking lessons, her teachers would remind her to play the notes on the page! She practices all the hymns in our books, concentrating on those that might be called for in the current season. She didn’t play for worship services until coming to Durham. We’re lucky to have her with her lively playing style, especially as she can transpose a piece to make it easier to sing, and add chords and flourishes to pieces with only the melody written down.
Sue also started taking lessons as a young girl. She fell in love with the organ and started playing for churches when she was in her teens. She doesn’t practice particular hymns for meeting, and likes to work on classical pieces at home. We are fortunate to have her accompany the choir too; she plays with such feeling.
Both Dot and Sue choose pieces to play during the offering based on what’s said or arisen in worship.
I also started taking piano lessons at an early age. I’m glad sight-reading was one of the skills the teacher stressed. When I first started playing at Durham Meeting, mostly filling in for Mary Curtis or another pianist, the pastor picked the hymns, and I chose a piece with the same theme for the offering. Now, of course, we don’t know what will be called for. It may be a piece we really don’t know, and I’m grateful no one points out all my mistakes! I practice a few pieces with the offering in mind, and may play one of them or another that seems called for by worship. I miss playing organ/piano duets with my mom.
We’d love to have others play, for the hymns or for the offering. Speak to any of us if you are interested.
My mom (Clarabel) and I are still collecting stamps. In January we sent off a large envelope full of your donations, and plan to send more in May.
A group at Indianapolis First Friends collects the stamps and prepares them for sale to collectors. Money raised goes to the Right Sharing of World Resources program. This program works with groups of women in Kenya, India, and Sierra Leone, giving loans to start and run micro-businesses. The women pay back the loans and more groups can benefit. Check out their website to learn more.
Here are the latest guidelines:
The stamp program accepts stamps of all issue dates and countries, both used and unused stamps, sheets of stamps, albums or boxed collections of stamps. Foreign stamps (excluding Canada) may be left on the postcard or envelope, especially if the envelope has some special drawing or indication of the country. There are collectors who like to receive a whole envelope or postcard with a foreign stamp.
USA and Canada stamps: Cut the stamp(s) off the envelope or postcard. Leave the perforations on the stamps. Leave 1/4 inch to 1/8 inch around the stamp so the whole stamp is preserved, including the perforations. When there is more than one stamp, treat the group as a unit.
Peelable stamps: Please leave these on the envelope paper. If you try to peel them off of the paper, they stick to other stamps, and damage both.
Nonprofit and presorted mail stamps: All stamps are acceptable, but we want to be financially effective. If you already have a group of stamps that includes a lot of nonprofit and/or presorted stamps, just leave them and send them to us. However, as you are assembling new shipments, we recommend you leave out the nonprofit ones and the presorted ones, so you are not paying postage for something of little value.
There is a box on the library table for your stamps. Keep saving them and we’ll keep sending off what we have a few times during the year.
Thanks for your help!
Katherine Langelier reported that the committee is very grateful for Ashley Marstaller’s presence and skill in providing childcare.The Intergenerational Game Night on January 12th was very enjoyable, and the next one will be on March 9th, starting at 5pm with a potluck supper.
The committee has cleared with Trustees adding a “menstruation station” to the bathroom. This will include personal supplies such as tampons, pads, wipes, and paper towels and a more hygienic means of collection like a small, covered, and lined container for disposal of used items.
Adult Sunday School is covering the book Waking Up White by Debbie Irving.
Durham Friends have been given the opportunity to co-sponsor an event with Friends’ School of Portland in their Parenting For Peace series, “Tell Me The Truth: Exploring the Heart of Cross-Racial Conversations” between Debbie and Shay Stewart Bouley on May 1st. Christian Ed requested funds to share in the cost of co-sponsoring, and it was suggested and approved that the $100 be split equally between the budgets of Christian Education and Peace & Social Concerns. Leslie Manning volunteered to sit at a table representing Durham at the event.
Christian Ed will be coordinating with other committees including Ministry & Counsel to plan a Homecoming Sunday on World Quaker Day, the first Sunday in October. A key feature of the day will be sharing stories from the life of the meeting in the past. The committee invites everyone to help with preparations for this special occasion.
By Martha Hinshaw Sheldon
Eight women gathered in the home of Clarabel Marstaller on Monday evening, February 18. Appreciation was expressed for those who ventured out in the snowy weather. Devotions were read from an article Mimi Marstaller wrote in The Blueprints on unending learning and God’s faithfulness. All shared from their own experiences further enriching the discussion. The treasurer reported that $200 was earned from the silent auction held recently at the meetinghouse. Practicalities of the monthly Tedford meals were discussed. (Tedford meals are meals that many in the greater community put together and take to Tedford Adult Shelter for those staying in the shelter. If you are interested in knowing more talk to Dorothy Curtis, president of Woman’s Society.)
After devotions and business discussions we continued sharing informally and enjoying refreshments provided by Clarabel and Nancy Marstallar.
By Ellen Bennett
We appreciate the addition of Nancy Marstaller to the committee in 2018 and look forward to the addition of Ellen Bennett in 2019.
Many Quaker books were added to the library, donated from a retired Friend, and four books were purchased from the United Society of Friends Women International reading list. We included Library News in the Durham Friends Newsletter and continue to receive Pendle Hill Pamphlets and Quaker Religious Thought pamphlets.
We will compile a list of books we would like to have in the library and ask Friends either to purchase or donate any they can. We always appreciate recommendations and look for special books that people would like to donate. A good place to look for possible additions to our library is Friends’ Journal annual book review issue.
In addition, we thinned the collection some, giving a few books to Kristna Evans for the Vintage Quaker Books collection, and selling a few, taking in $50.00.
As with last year, we are looking for a table on which to put the card catalog to make it easier to use. And we hope people will take advantage of this singular meeting resource, as well as continue to make suggestions for how we can best serve you.
Margaret Wentworth, Dorothy Hinshaw, Ellen Bennett, Nancy Marstaller, and David Dexter.
Event Date & Time: March 6, 2019 11:30 am until April 20, 2019 11:30 am
More information? Contact Brown Lethem: firstname.lastname@example.org
By Katherine Langelier
The next intergenerational game night will be Saturday, March 9, 2019.
We will begin with a potluck supper at 5pm. This has been a lot of fun for everyone whether playing games or getting a chance to hang out and visit. Hope to see you there! Contact Katherine Langelier if you have any questions.
Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened in worship for the conduct of business on Sunday, February 17, 2019 with 16 people present. Clerk Susan Rice opened the meeting by reading from the 1985 New England Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice, “The Quaker Method of Making Decisions”, p. 115. There was no monthly meeting in January due to snow.
1. The December 16, 2018 minutes were approved.
2. Ministry and Counsel: Martha Hinshaw Sheldon reported that Ministry and Counsel met in January and February to discuss worship, pastoral care concerns and opportunities, and new members.
They received a letter requesting membership from Cushman Anthony who had been a member of Portland Friends Meeting in the past. A clearness committee met with Cush and recommend that he be received into membership at Durham Friends Meeting. Ministry and Counsel enthusiastically approved this recommendation and sent it on to monthly meeting for final consideration and approval.
They will continue to suggest a theme for worship. Those bringing a message may choose the theme, “Leadings” for February and March.
They report that Ralph and Twila Greene have found a stable home into which they moved this month. They are thankful for those who stepped in to help resolve this concern: Nat Shed, Nancy Marstaller, and Edwin Hinshaw.
3. We enthusiastically approved welcoming Cushman Anthony as a member of Durham Friends Meeting.
4. Nominating Committee: Margaret Wentworth and Jo-an Jacobus reported that the list of committees and officers is almost complete with a few changes and corrections. The corrected report will be included in the Newsletter and attached to these minutes. We expressed our thanks to the committee and to Jo-an who is leaving the committee.
5. We approved the Nominating Committee report with corrections.
6. Trustees: Leslie Manning reported that there is no report this month; Kitsie Hildebrandt, Treasurer, reported trouble with the heating system at the parsonage which has been resolved thanks to the help of Craig Freshley. An insurance claim has been filed.
7. Communications Committee: The committee met on Wednesday Feb. 13, 2019. Jo-an Jacobus will be stepping down as Newsletter Editor. Her last month as Newsletter Editor will be April 2019, when she will assemble the May 2019 newsletter. The committee does not yet have a replacement. Jo-an reported that the hardest tasks of getting the newsletter out are 1) getting information from the meeting and 2) getting messages for the first page. Doug Bennett will assist in getting all the needed information from the various individuals and committees through April.
We expressed much appreciation for the hard work that Jo-an has performed as editor of our newsletter: The Best of Friends!
8. Christian Education Committee: Katherine Langelier reported that the committee is very grateful for Ashley Marstaller’s presence and skill in providing childcare.
The Game Night (afternoon) on January 12 was very enjoyable, and the next one will be March 9. Plans are being made for an Easter celebration. They plan to participate in an event with Portland Friends School’s Parenting for Peace series, and request funds to co-sponsor the program. Leslie Manning volunteered to sit at a Durham Friends Meeting table at the event. We endorsed the exciting plan of a World Quaker Day Homecoming Sunday on October 6. Plans for these activities will be included in detail in the Newsletter.
The committee expressed appreciation for the joyful noise of small children.
The Adult Sunday School Class has been and continues to read Waking up White by Debbie Irving.
9. We approved the expense of $50.00 each from Christian Education and Peace and Social Concerns Committees to cover the cost of co-sponsoring the Parenting for Peace event.
10. Peace and Social Concerns: the committee welcomed new members Bob Eaton and Cush Anthony. They reported that the film series and the Seeds of Peace events were very meaningful but not well attended.
They discussed possible spring events and the importance of addressing climate change, the real crisis right now. They hope to put together a panel to help move toward taking collective action. They would like to collaborate with another group(s) on this and are looking for partners.
Ingrid Chalufour has volunteered to represent the meeting at the Brunswick Area Interfaith Council which meets monthly.
They are planning an event for April 28 as a follow-up to the American Friends Service Committee discussion about action priorities. The committee will give the message that day and facilitate an after-meeting discussion.
11. The Library Committee gave their annual report which is attached to these minutes.
12. A thank you letter was received from Lisbon Area Christian Outreach for $355 donation to the food pantry from the parsonage garden profits; they report that they serve between 250-300 families a month.
13. Leslie Manning reminded us that members are needed from our meeting to serve on the New England Yearly Meeting Nominating Committee and the Yearly Meeting Ministry and Counsel.
14. Much appreciation was expressed for Andy Higgins who has been offering his services to plow and mow for us without any charge.
The meeting closed at 1:58 p.m. in the Spirit, in appreciation for God’s guidance.
Dorothy Hinshaw, Recording Clerk
All Friends are warmly invited to come together for Vassalboro Quarterly Meeting hosted by Midcoast Friends on February 2. The afternoon program will focus on climate change.
8:30 am Welcome with coffee, tea, and light snacks
9:00 – 10:00 Meeting for Worship
10:00 – 10:15 Break
10:15 – 11:45 Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business and Sharing Joys and Concerns of Our Meetings
12:00 – 1:15 Lunch: Bread and Soups will be provided, others are invited to bring salad or dessert to share.
1:30 – 3:30 Program: Hope made visible over climate change
1:30 pm: Jason Wentworth’s comic routine, Climate change is no laughing matter…or is it?”
2:00 pm: Anne D. Burt’s short solutions film, “Maine Roadtrip to the Future” released in January to all members of the Maine Legislature. (Find out more here: http://www.downtoearthstories.org/ )
2:30 pm: Guy Marsden: Tips and tricks for improving energy efficiency of your meeting and home.
3:00 pm: Q&A and sharing of intentions.
3:30 pm: Join hands in gratitude for the day and adjourn to help clean up.
Hospitality is available at the Friends House in Bath. Contact Diane Dicranian at: email@example.com Also, Guy Marsden has a guest room available. It’s listed on airbnb, but free to Friends. Call Guy at 207 443 8942 or firstname.lastname@example.org: Renewable Rural Retreat
Contact Guy Marsden: 207 443 -8942, email@example.com
SAVE THE DATE – All-Maine Gathering, for Quakers from FQM, VQM (and beyond) To be hosted by Falmouth QM at Friends School of Portland on May 4, 2019 Falmouth Quarterly Meeting has begun planning for the All Maine Gathering this year on May 4. There will be time for Friends from around the State to meet together for worship, fellowship, and for a program focused on Native Maine Tribes. There will also be time for FQM and VQM to meet separately for business. Ann Dodd (Portland)-Collins and Christine Holden (Brunswick) are heading up the planning team. More information will follow. All are welcome!
Ongoing legacy of Native American Boarding Schools Friends may be interested in this opportunity to learn from Native American researchers about the history and ongoing impacts of the Indian boarding schools, through monthly webinar conversations. This website has info about these and other important resources: boardingschoolhealing.org (Shared by Paula Palmer, Boulder Friends Meeting. Paula has done extensive research into Quaker Indian Boarding Schools.)
~Janet Hough, clerk VQM
There will be no Meeting for Worship, Sunday School classes, or Monthly Meeting at Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends tomorrow, Sunday, January 20, 2019.
They have been canceled due to the severe weather expected.
Portion of a 1782 map showing Quaker Meetings in New England. Among the Meetin gs shown is Royaltown or Durham. It is on a road 25 miles north north east of Presumpscot or Falmouth Meeting, and 17 miles west north west of Georgetown Meeting. Just to the north of Durham Friends Meeting is Lewiston Meeting.
from Henry J. Cadbury, “A Map Of 1782 Showing Friends Meetings In New England, Recently Acquired By The John Carter Brown Library, Brown University,” Quaker History, Vol. 52, No. 1 (Spring 1963), pp. 3-5.
By Scott Barksdale
There will be a gathering of men on Monday, January 14 at 7 p.m. Location: 64 Birch Point Road, Freeport (Scott’s house). Topic: justice. We’ll have a reading or two beforehand that we’ll be discussing, so please email Scott (firstname.lastname@example.org) to get a copy of it.
If there are slippery conditions, we’ll be meeting at the Meetinghouse instead (we’ll decide by meeting the day before). Thanks!