SEPTEMBER 4: THERESA OLEKSIW
SEPTEMBER 11: WENDY SCHLOTTERBECK
SEPTEMBER 18: MARTHA HINSHAW and Rally Day
SEPTEMBER 25: SUKIE RICE
OCTOBER 2: SUSAN DAVIS (FROM MID-COAST FRIENDS MEETING)
OCTOBER 9: DAPHNE CLEMENT
OCTOBER 16: JOYCE GIBSON
We have this exciting line-up of message-bringers ahead, during my leave of absence. Be sure to attend, to support these Friends and hear what they will offer for our worship experience.
JOURNEYS SERIES RESUMES: After the great start last January, Daphne Clement has resumed lining up speakers to share from their personal journeys on fourth Sundays at 9:30 in the months ahead. Dorothy Hinshaw will share September 25. Ed Hinshaw will share October 23. After a holiday break, Martha Sheldon will share February 26. Stay tuned for January’s speaker.
ADULT EDUCATION CLASS: we continue to find good challenge and discussion generating from Walter Wink’s book, The Powers That Be, on the spirituality of institutions and how they shape our lives. Join us at 9:30 every Sunday except fourth Sundays for lively conversation.
POTLUCK-FORUMS: Our fourth Sunday potluck and forum speaker series continues, with Doug Bennett speaking September 25 on international peacebuilding work by the Quaker United Nations Office. (More information below) Then Kristna Evans will speak October 23 on her travels this summer among Friends in Cuba. Bring something for the potluck lunch and join us.
RADICAL SPIRITUALITY Woodbrooke Quaker History Coruse Online – Free.
Offered by Lancaster University (UK) in conjunction with Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre.
Teachers include Ben Pink Dandelion and Stuart Masters.
Almost 1,000 people from all over the world have already signed up. You can do so here: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/quakers/1
Whether you decide to follow the program on your own, or join with others, give it a try. It takes three hours of study time per week, over three weeks, Monday.October 3 – Saturday October 22.
No papers to write! No tuition to pay! Just a great introduction to Quaker history and early spirituality.
September 25, 2016 – Program presented by Doug Bennett
This forum will provide a look at peacekeeping and peacebuilding efforts of the United Nations, and of the work of Quakers to support and strengthen those efforts through the Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO). We will also consider what we can do to build peace.
Doug Bennett is a member of QUNC, the Quaker United Nations Committee, which oversees the work of QUNO. QUNC members are appointed by the American Friends Service Committee and by Friends World Committee for Consultation.
http://www.durhamfriendsmeeting.org/ ~~~ Facebook – Durham Friends Meeting
Minister: Doug Gwyn, 207.407.3211 firstname.lastname@example.org Clerk: Sarah Sprogell, 207.865.4899
Youth Minister: Wendy Schlotterbeck, 207.777.1980 Treasurer: Katharine Hildebrandt
Newsletter Committee: David Marstaller, Donna Ross, Martha HinshawSheldon, 618.320.0693
Pastoral Care Team: Sarah Sprogell, Ron Turcotte, 649.8433, Doug Gwyn, Daphne Clement, 353.6354
Volume 8 August 2016
This is one of the stories I’ve been preparing for the New England Yearly Meeting sessions this month, about early Friends answering the call to radical faithfulness.
Ann Audland is one of the lesser known early Quaker prophets. She and her husband John were in their early 20s and among the hundreds of Seekers that responded to George Fox’s preaching around northern England in May and June of 1652. That was the ground-zero moment when the Quaker movement became a recognizable phenomenon. Ann and John Audland became part of the Valiant Sixty, a band of wandering prophets spreading the Quaker message. They clearly understood themselves as a latter-day version of the seventy disciples that Jesus sent out in pairs to preach the gospel (see Luke 10). They understood themselves as starting the Church all over again, from the ground up, as it began in the first place, by the power and leading of the Spirit.
John Audland paired up with his friend John Camm. In 1654, they invaded Bristol with the Quaker message. Bristol was the second largest city in England at that time and a hotbed of seeking groups. The two Johns, Camm and Audland, had spectacular success there.
Ann Audland teamed up with Mabel Camm, wife of John, and they began their own itinerant ministry. They were preaching in the streets of the Oxfordshire town of Banbury in 1655, when Ann was physically assaulted by some ruffians. She later told the local parish priest that this outbreak of violence was a symptom of his spiritual influence. For this and other provocative statements, she was arrested and charged with blasphemy. Someone posted bail for her and she resumed preaching around the area for some months before her trial. Many were convinced and local meetings were started.
But the local establishment was outraged by “that prating woman Audland.” It was reported that those who listened to her quaked and foamed at the mouth. Some said she was a witch and should be burned. But the judge at her trial was a more moderate man. He offered to free her if she would swear to stop causing trouble. But as a Quaker, she could neither swear an oath nor promise to desist from preaching. So she was sentenced to eight months in prison, kept in an underground cell that “did stink sorely; besides frogs and toads did crawl in,” she later wrote.
Like other Quaker prophets in these situations, Ann took her imprisonment not as a defeat but an opportunity to lay siege to the town with the truth. Other Quaker leaders converged there to nurture newly convinced Friends, to agitate among local sympathizers, and to protest Ann’s imprisonment. Richard Farnworth was also arrested and imprisoned. He preached to crowds through the grate of his prison window and many more Seekers became Friends. As her imprisonment wore on, Ann wrote to Margaret Fell, saying, “This is indeed a place of joy, and my soul doth rejoice in the Lord. I continue a prisoner in Banbury, but I witness freedom in the Lord.” Doug
I wrote last month about the phoebes (a species of flycatchers) that had nested under the parsonage porch roof. They had successfully launched four nestlings and were already starting a second family by then. Just this past week the four new nestlings took flight. Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Phoebe! Doug
Doug will teach an online course for Pendle Hill this fall (the reason for his leave of absence September 1 to mid-October). The course is 12 weeks long in all (September 5 to November 20) and has just been posted on the Pendle Hill website. It’s based on his book, A Sustainable Life: Quaker Faith and Practice in the Renewal of Creation (FGC, 2014) but includes other readings and webinar conversations with leading Friends in the work for sustainability. Interested? The link is:
Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened in worship on Sunday, July 17, 2016 with 15 people present. Clerk Sarah Sprogell brought us into the spirit of worship with remembrance of those who have recently lost their lives to violence, by reading from Pres. Obama’s recent speech in Dallas, quoting from Paul’s letter to the Romans, ‘Hope is God’s love poured out in our hearts,” and from Ezekiel, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you I will remove your heart of stone and give you an open heart.”
- Wendy Schlotterbeck brought a request to join other faith communities in signing a letter to the Maine Public Utilities Commission in support of continuing net metering for solar energy. This letter, created by Anne D. Burt of Midcoast Meeting and others, encourages the PUC to preserve net metering until the state legislature can approve a bill that further develops solar energy for Maine.
- The request to be a signatory on the petition to the Maine Public Utilities Commission was approved.
- Ron Turcotte brought the report for Ministry and Counsel. They have noted that the Meeting website is far behind. Wendy Schlotterbeck is doing an update for the time being and then will be handing it over to Katherine Langelier. They will develop guidelines for what gets posted onto the site.
- Doug Gwyn is continuing to arrange for speakers:
August 7 Doug Bennett
August 21 Nancy Marstaller
- a) He is getting things ready for his six-week absence in September and October, especially in regard to the pastor care team. He is also working with Joyce Gibson on further developing our communications for prayer needs. Joyce will work with Martha Sheldon to make sure prayer requests go through the telephone tree as well as email.
- b) Doug is working with a group of Meeting members about the possibility of having a banner to hang on the outside of the building. Inspired by the UCC banners in Brunswick, the banner group sees that we might have a rotation of banners with short messages like the Quaker testimonies written on them. The group wants to convey that we are alive and vital and welcoming of new people. They will season this idea more before bringing a final recommendation.
- c) Doug is working on an exhibit on the Meeting for NEYM sessions.
- Tess Hartford reported for Christian Education. They are working on the evaluation of Wendy Schlotterbeck as Youth Minister and considerations for her continuing contract.
- Sukie Rice reported for Finance committee. The mid-year January-June finance report shows that our Income for the first 6 months was $24,085 (or 40% of our budget) and the expenditures were $30,787 (or 49% of the budget) for the same period. That means we are currently running at a deficit of $6702 for 2016.
- Sukie Rice reported for the Fundraising Committee. The Mid-year appeal will be going out in August with a focus on reducing the deficit and encouraging increased weekly contributions.
- Margaret Wentworth reported for Trustees.
- a) They are working on a plan for mowing the cemeteries so that the grounds will be well maintained but not over-expend their funds.
- b) It has been decided that, for the integrity of the building, the large green metal roof of the meetinghouse does need to be replaced due to rust development. However, we do not need to go into structural supports for the roof. They are still seeking a couple of other estimates before making a decision on the contractor for the job.
- c) At the open Trustees meeting in June, there was a strong feeling that putting solar on the roof is a moral imperative. There is strong interest in a heat pump for the community room (vestry). A meeting subcommittee on solar has met with two solar providers and is currently looking at the new silver roof over the addition ell. It gets the same amount of sun that the large green roof gets (82% efficiency) and needs no support work for a solar array. Further bids for solar will be requested.
- d) The new flooring has been completed, is curing and looks beautiful. Trustees wishes to put felt on the bottom of the benches to protect the new floor.
- It was approved that there be an open Trustees meeting when the solar subcommittee gets all the information it needs to bring a proposal to the meeting. That proposal would include both the costs for a solar array and how we would pay for it.
- Ministry and Counsel and Monthly Meeting for Business will not be held in August unless something comes up that necessitates such meetings.
- It was approved that Christian Education will decide on the date and plans for Rally Day.
- The minutes of Monthly Meeting were approved during the meeting.
The meeting adjourned in the Spirit at 2:20.
Sukie Rice, Recording Clerk
Seventeen women gathered at Helen Clarkson’s home in Freeport on Monday July 18 to share devotions, progress through business and to hear of struggles and joys. Two were visitors from Kenya – Margaret Namiloye Musalia, pastor and Agneta Injairu-Malara, student at the Friends Theological College. Both gave words of inspiration and joy. Dorothy Curtis gave a presentation on her trip to and participating in the recent USFWI conference held in Iowa. Other attendees were Leslie Manning and Miriam Baker (visiting from Weare, Vermont). Prayers were offered for all those involved and attended USFWI and that the follow up will be as God would have it. The next USFWI meeting will be in 2020. Dorothy expressed appreciation in being able to attend the conference. Prayers were shared by many in the evening gathering. The next Women’s Society meeting will be Monday, August 22nd. All welcome! Location to be announced.
Humbly submitted by Martha
Hi all, thanks for being willing to help care for our youngest children during Meeting for worship after the youth story. Here is the updated rotation. If you know you will be away, please check with others about switching. I am also willing to fill in if I’m not playing piano that month.
1st Sunday- Martha
2nd Sunday- Mason (back up Wendy)
3rd Sunday- Daphne
4th Sunday- Sukie
5th Sunday- Betsy
Thanks so much! Nancy
~~~ Facebook – Durham Friends Meeting
Minister: Doug Gwyn, 207.407.3211 email@example.com Clerk: Sarah Sprogell, 207.865.4899 Youth Minister: Wendy Schlotterbeck, 207.777.1980 Treasurer: Katharine Hildebrandt Newsletter Committee: David Marstaller, Donna Ross, Martha HinshawSheldon, 618.320.0693 Pastoral Care Team: Sarah Sprogell, Ron Turcotte, 649.8433, Doug Gwyn, Daphne Clement, 207.353.6354 http://www.durhamfriendsmeeting.org/ ~~~ Facebook – Durham Friends Meeting Minister: Doug Gwyn, 207.407.3211 firstname.lastname@example.org Clerk: Sarah Sprogell, 207.865.4899 Youth Minister: Wendy Schlotterbeck, 207.777.1980 Treasurer: Katharine Hildebrandt Newsletter Committee: David Marstaller, Donna Ross, Martha HinshawSheldon, 618.320.0693 Pastoral Care Team: Sarah Sprogell, Ron Turcotte, 649.8433, Doug Gwyn, Daphne Clement, 207.353.6354 Volume 7 July 2016
I’ve enjoyed hosting a family of phoebes, a species of flycatchers, on the parsonage porch. I noticed them one day in May trying to build a nest on an impossibly narrow ledge under a corner of the porch ceiling. So I cut a triangular piece of corrugated cardboard and fastened it there. Within an hour, they were busy building their nest on this makeshift platform. Soon Mrs. Phoebe was sitting on her eggs. Before very long, both she and Mr. Phoebe were busy feeding their hatchlings all day long. Some warm weather in early June made the porch pretty hot, and one afternoon I could see a hatchling with its head resting against the edge of the nest in an open-beaked daze. But the weather cooled and they survived. Like a loaf of bread puffing up in the oven, the mass of baby birds kept rising higher above the top of the nest, constantly jostling. I wondered just how many small flying insects it took to grow these little birds. But I do know I’ve not been bothered by mosquitos anywhere near the house so far this summer. Caroline was here with me for this part of the drama. We watched and wondered when the crowding would get to be too much, or if the babies would just start spilling out of the nest. One day we decided to help them by putting a staging area near the nest, a place to flutter to. Caroline carried a small step-ladder to lean against the wall near the nest. But as she approached, all four baby phoebes bolted from the nest at once. Being flycatchers, I guess they were expert fliers from the start, because there was no fluttering around, just very competent flight. While three of them headed out into the open, one of them flew into the house through the door we had left open. But didn’t take long for me to chase it out to join the others. Knowing that some of our families at Durham Friends are moving into that empty-nest phase of life, I thought I would tell a story of successful transition. But wait – there’s more! A week or so later, I noticed a bird sitting in the nest again. At first I assumed it was one of the young phoebes. Perhaps a phoebe version of today’s millennials coming back to live with their parents, into their 30s. But now I think it’s Mrs. Phoebe. Could she be sitting on another batch of eggs? I thought birds raised only one family per year. Or is she experiencing empty nest denial? She’s still there as I write. Stay tuned. Doug Gwyn
Midweek meeting will continue this summer as opportunities and needs arise. It appears that the midweek meeting is not meeting a need, at least as a regular offering. So we will just announce and hold them when a situation arises or when someone has a leading to lead it. If you have an interest in leading one, contact Doug.
Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened in worship on Sunday, June 19, 2016 at 12:25 with 11 people present. Clerk Sarah Sprogell read a prayer written after the horrific shooting in Orlando, Florida by Fritz Weiss, Presiding Clerk, and Sarah Gant, Clerk of Permanent Board of New England Yearly Meeting (NEYM). 1. Sarah Sprogell corrected item #8 from the minutes of the May 15th Monthly Meeting for Business. The website quoted as New England Yearly Meeting should read Friends General Conference. 2. Doug Gwyn gave the pastor’s report. a) People bringing the message are as follows: Paul Miller on July 3; Leslie Manning on July 17; Mary Lord on August 7; and Nancy Marstaller on August 21. b) Doug will be on leave of absence early September through mid-October while teaching a course at Pendle Hill. He is working with the Pastoral Care Team to work on coverage while he is away. c) There were twelve people present for the June 4th meeting on Friends with the concern for ministry and spiritual nurture led by Brian Drayton. d) There was a helpful clerks meeting with all the Meeting’s clerks on June 6. e) Doug will be away from June 28-July 5 visiting family and at a conference at Barnsville, Ohio called Quaker Spring. f) Doug is looking into the possibility of having banners outside the meetinghouse to help bring awareness of people passing by. g) Mid-week meetings continue. June 14th worship was focused on the Orlando shooting. h) Ministry and Counsel is looking at how hymns are selected at the beginning of worship. They ask that the person bringing the message call for a hymn that will help transition to the time of prayers of joys and concerns. i) Doug drafted a letter from Durham Meeting to Velasco Meeting (our sister meeting in Cuba) which Kristna Evans is bringing with her on her trip to Cuba. 3. Wendy Schlotterbeck’s Youth Minister’s Report was read by Sarah Sprogell a) The plant/yard sale netted $333 which, when added to the Christmas wreath sale, is enough for the sponsorship of Cornelius of the Kakaemga Orphans Project to go to high school. Thanks to all who helped! b) The “Children and Youth Day” on June 5 had meaningful worship and message from Tess Hartford and an honoring of graduates. The young Friends group celebrated the end of the school year on June 13. c) Many children and youth activities are suspended for the summer to resume on Rally Day, September 18. d) Wendy will again be a full-time resource person for Young Friends and Young Adult Friends coordinator at NEYM sessions in August. The full report is attached. 4. Jo-an Jacobus reported that Nominating Committee recommends Katherine Langelier to be on Christian Education Committee. 5. The Meeting approved that Katherine Langelier be a member of Christian Education. 6. Margaret Wentworth reported on the well-attended Trustees open meeting on Sunday, June 5. In regard to the flooring, trustees recommends that the floor be refinished and yellow pine be laid down where currently the wood differs. The facing bench flooring would be left as is. She reported on further Trustees business, stating that an appeal has been filed by a neighbor with the Town of Durham concerning the Town’s approval of the cell tower. Bids are being sought for the replacement or need for repair of the meetinghouse roof. It was agreed that we find out what the cost of the roof would be for both with and without the solar panels. 7. The meeting approved the Trustees recommendation for the flooring. The Meeting approved that we contract Travis of T Square Woodworking to do this job. Three quotes were given for this job. 8. Sukie Rice reported from the Fundraising Committee. The committee recommends that the Pennel Fund (with approximately $9000) and the Dwelley Fund (with about $5000) be used for the Capital fund needs.
Fundraising Committee would like to submit grant applications to the NEYM Legacy Fund (Meetinghouse Fund), the Friends General Conference Meetinghouse Fund (the Green Meetinghouse Fund) and the Philiadelphia Yearly Meeting Meetinghouse Fund. The applications would include our need for roof repair/replacement along with our wish to have solar energy meet much of our electric needs. 9. It was approved that the Pennel Fund money be used to pay for the flooring, and that the Pennell and Dwelley Funds be merged for Capital needs. It was agreed that the Finance Committee should work out the transaction. 10. The Meeting approved that we will seek funds for the repair and replacement of the roof with the intention of putting on a solar installation. It was approved that the Fundraising Committee proceed with applications for grants for these purposes. 11. It was approved that Trustees and the Fundraising Committee hold open meeting informational sessions about the vision of Durham Meeting’s “going solar” with all its ramifications, costs and options. 12. The meeting approved the following representatives to New England Yearly Meeting (NEYM): Sukie Rice, Sarah Sprogell, Doug Gwyn, Wendy Schlotterbeck and Leslie Manning and Joyce Gibson (with their approval) 13. Representatives to Quarterly Meeting on June 25 will be Doug Gwyn, Sarah Sprogell and Betsy Muench. 14. The minutes of Monthly Meeting were approved during the meeting. The meeting adjourned in the Spirit at 2:20. Susan Rice, Recording Cler
We were glad to have Julie Krejsa back with us at Durham Friends on Sunday, June 12. She hopes to stay into the autumn. Dick continues in California, still struggling with back pain and limited movement, despite last November’s surgery in Portland. He misses us here and welcomes our calls. If you would like to ring him sometime, the number there is 805 544 3399 (but remember the three-hour time difference!).
Plant and yard sale The plant and yard sale held Saturday May 21, netted $333.30 which along with the funds raised from selling Christmas wreaths, will enable us to continue sponsorship of Cornelius, from Kakamega, Kenya who is now in high school. Thank you to all the many Durham Friends for your generous support! Children’s Day The annual “Children and Youth Day” was held on June 5, 2016. After a meaningful worship and a message from Tess Hartford about Godly Play, we honored the graduates with cards and bookstore gift cards and all the children and youth with a flower to plant. Then we were treated to an amazing array of picnic food. Special thanks to Dorothy Curtis, Dan Henton and Katherine Langelier in addition to the many yummy treats brought by others. Don Goodrich brought his human-sized “hamster wheel” which was enjoyed by many of the 11 children and youth. We also took a group photo to send with Kristna Evans on her visit to Cuba. Durham Young Friends Durham Young Friends gathered on June 13 for a dinner to celebrate the end of the school year and congratulate the high school seniors on their graduations. Annual family campout Durham families gathered June 18-19 at the summer home of Betsy Muench in Georgetown, Maine on the beautiful Atlantic ocean. This is a highlight of each year for many of us. Thank you Betsy for this special gift! School year 2016-17 Many children and youth activities are suspended for July and August. Sunday School and Durham Young Friends will begin again in full on our annual Rally Day which will be Sunday, September 18, 2016. In preparation for the new year, we plan to gather interested parents and children/youth to discuss what each child/youth/family needs to further their spiritual growth and connection to the Durham Friends community. Stay tuned for more information about this important process. NEYM Wendy Schlotterbeck, as youth minister, attended a day long retreat/workshop in Amesbury, Massachusetts on June 12, 2016 led by Nia Thomas, the New England Yearly Meeting Young Friends and Young Adult Friends coordinator. It was a very rich time for all participants. The group of 12 reflected on the joys and challenges of working with the youth of NEYM and discussed plans for the upcoming Yearly Meeting in Vermont August 6-11. Wendy will again be a full-time resource person (RP) for this gathering of about 50 high school youth from New England. All ages are encouraged to attend this annual event which provides amazing programs for all ages from birth to 100+. Check out <http://neym.org/sessions> for more information and to register
Hi all, thanks for being willing to help care for our youngest children during Meeting for worship after the youth story. Here is the updated rotation. If you know you will be away, please check with others about switching. I am also willing to fill in if I’m not playing piano that month. 1st Sunday- Martha 2nd Sunday- Mason (back up Wendy) 3rd Sunday- Daphne 4th Sunday- Sukie 5th Sunday- Betsy Thanks so much! Nancy
March 2016 to August 2016 Thank you for being willing to prepare refreshments. Please switch dates if needed. Directions are posted in the kitchen. Supplies need to be donated- check what is already available in the kitchen. “Basic” refreshments are coffee, milk and/or half & half, tea, juice, and crackers. People appreciate having cheese, sweets, veggies, or fruit, but it can be as simple as you like. The Woman’s Society makes this schedule with people who have been willing to prepare refreshments. If you would like to be added to or taken off this list, see Nancy Marstaller.
July 3 Ed & Dorothy Hinshaw 10 Margaret Wentworth, David Dexter 17 Helen Clarkson, Gene Boyington 24 Sarah Sprogell, Betsy Stivers 31 Martha Sheldon, Katherine Langelier August 7 Julie Krejsa, Leslie Manning 14 Barbara Simon, Lyn Clarke 21 Dorothy Curtis, Sue Wood 28 Daphne Clement, Paul Miller
Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened in worship on Sunday May 15, 2016 with ten people present.
In Sukie Rice”s absence Martha Hinshaw Sheldon agreed to serve as recording clerk for this meeting. Minutes will be sent out to those present for adjustments and revisions needed.
Clerk Sarah Sprogell began the meeting with readings from Insight Meditation: The Practice of Freedom by Joseph Goldstein and from NEYM Interim Faith and Practice, 2014.
- Minutes from the April Monthly Meeting were approved with corrections.
- Ministry & Counsel recommended releasing Doug to take a leave of absence to teach an online class at Pendle Hill for 6 weeks, September 18 to end of October and for 4 weeks in the winter. The Pastoral Care Team will cover pastoral care needs during this time, worship planning to be done in advance. This would be a time for community involvement, nurturing of Doug’s gifts, create a balance of work with the meeting and extend Doug’s ministry outside of the Durham community. Approved
- Pastor’s report given. Doug continues to work with LACO Board. He joined the newly formed support committee of the Friends Community of New England in Bath. The midweek meetings continue, recently with the “Experiment with Light” guided meditation and an upcoming DVD about the Penobscot nation’s control of the Penobscot River. Doug continues to work with Christian Education and Falmouth Quarterly Meeting. Doug confirmed that June 26 Dorothy Salebwa will speak. He will attend the next Quarterly Meeting Planning meeting. Doug’s travels this past month were to Central Philadelphia Yearly Meeting to talk of his latest book, to Indiana to visit his mom and visit with Phyllis Wetherell with the surprise benefit of visiting with Ed & Dorothy Hinshaw. Doug anticipates fewer travels for the next few months. A suggestion was made and accepted that Doug and Ministry and Counsel write a longer article for the newsletter about Doug’s time at Pendle Hill in the fall. Report accepted.
A concern was shared regarding the potential low attendance at the Brian Drayton workshop on ministry raising the question, will there be enough to still have the event? If you plan to attend let Kristna know. Kristna will talk to Brian to consider how to proceed.
- Kristna Evans will be travelling to Cuba June 15 to 25 for Friends United Meeting General Board meetings. FUM Board meetings are held outside of North America every 3 years. This year, meetings will be in Cuba. Kristna has been to Cuba before and speaks Spanish, so she will be an asset. Velasco Friends Meeting, Cuba, has been a sister meeting with Durham for many years. This would be an opportunity for Durham friends to send materials, cards and letters to Velasco friends. Tess will talk to Wendy about the possibility of Durham Friends children and youth sending letters to children and youth at Velasco. Doug is to write a brief greeting that Ron Turcotte will translate and may be included in a locally produced card. Kristna will offer a report upon her return.
- Tess Hartford gave the youth minister’s report for Wendy. The annual yard and plant sale is to be May 21 from 9 to 12. Plans for the June 5 children’s day activities were presented. Tess is to contact Donna Ross regarding putting details on Facebook. May we keep Wendy in our thoughts and prayers after the recent death of her mother. Report accepted as presented.
- Treasurer’s Report: Reports are now to be presented quarterly with the next report due in July. Income tends to be lower than expenses. All are encouraged to take note and consider how to respond.
- Christian Education Report was presented by Tess Hartford. Graduates will be recognized June 5 and given store credit at the Gulf of Maine book store. The youth minister’s annual review was sent out, waiting for returns due May 22 after which a report will be presented to Monthly Meeting. Discussion occurred on how to message to the wider community about what Durham has to offer to youth. How do we comminicate what is going on? Other churches have put up banners that say “God is still speaking.” We could say “We’re still listening”,Or “Listening to God 4 miles that way” at the intersection of 136 and Quaker Rd. More ideas were shared. All agreed that this is an important conversation to continue having. What do we have to offer? Sarah pointed out that the New England Yearly Meeting website has an outreach ‘toolbox’ for meetings to use. The report was accepted with appreciation for the work of CE and for the support Doug gives to the committee clerk.
- Trustees report given by Margaret Wentworth. Margaret suggested that a treasurer’s report be posted in the Meetinghouse and reported that the carpet has been taken up in the meeting room. Discussion followed on next steps and care of the bench cushions. The cell tower is progressing after receiving approval from the town with some expressing concern that the land not be clear cut for many years. The Meeting has agreed to this concern. There will be an open meeting to review and discuss the meeting roof and possible solar panels June 5.
- NEYM bound archives are being moved from the Maine Historical society, where conditions have been detrimental, to the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, who would become the owners of the materials. Meetings will continue to have full use of the archives. Approval was given to this transfer of ownership.
- The meeting closed at 2:30.
The Woman’s Society met at the home of Nancy Marstaller with 9 present. Margaret Wentworth led the devotions and program from “Blueprints.” The author spoke of how during a family health crisis she learned to remember God’s presence in her life. She remembered little things that had happened in better times, which prepared her and helped ease the way during the stressful times. Those little things made a huge difference, for which she was grateful.
Dorothy Curtis presided at our business meeting. Next month we will meet at Dot Hinshaw’s in Sumner on June 20 at 5 PM. We signed several cards, including one for Jocelyn Wilkinson- granddaughter of Lon Fendall who is consultant at Friends Theological College in Kenya. The minutes were approved as corrected. Our treasurer, Clarabel Marstaller, reported that the April offering was $104. After donating $20 to the USFWI conference offering, our balance is $527.99. Her report was accepted with gratitude.
We will pray for the pastoral team in Samburu, Kenya, as they help resolve conflicts in the area.
The Tedford meal in May was Sloppy Joes, macaroni and cheese, coleslaw, rolls, fruit cobbler, and blondies. Team A will prepare the June meal.
Martha Sheldon agreed to be the point person for the nomination process. Current office holders were queried as to their willingness to continue for the coming year, which starts in September. Others will be asked and the slate finalized in the next month or two. Clarabel does not wish to continue as treasurer. We will do the program schedule at our next couple meetings, and then fill out the booklets as a group.
We ended the meeting by sharing personal prayer requests and joys, and then Dorothy read a nursery rhyme reminding us to give thanks. We enjoyed each other’s company during refreshments.
Nancy Marstaller, secretary pro tem
Because Jo-an Jacobus is the contact person between the Meeting and the 12 Step meeting that calls Durham Meetinghouse home she has become aware of the importance of the Trustees’ calendar that hangs in the entry way. When events, regular or not, are not entered on that calendar it is as though those events do not exist. And the whole process actually starts one step earlier than entering your event on the calendar.
If you have an event that is not a regular Durham event – a committee meeting or a scheduled time for worship – but rather a one-time event, or something non-Durham related, you must check with the Trustees for approval for use of the building. Margaret Wentworth is the clerk of Trustees. Once that has happened then your event, and the date and time need to be entered into the calendar. If those things haven’t been done, other events may be happening during the time you expected to be able to use the meetinghouse.
Whether or not your event is regular it needs to be listed on the Trustees’ calendar in the entry way. This allows Friends to schedule meetings around yours rather than on top of them.
Jo-An Jacobus and Margaret Wentworth
Phyllis Wetherell’s knee surgery May 16 went well and she returned to Friends Fellowship Community in Richmond, Indiana the next day. She will begin the rehab process there. Please keep Phyllis in your prayers for a full recovery of strength and renewed mobility.
Saturday, June 4, At Durham Friends Meetinghouse, From 10:30 to 1:00
Brian Drayton, from Weare, (NH) Meeting, has a concern to gather Friends from Falmouth and Vassalboro Quarters who are feeling a calling to ministry, to provide an opportunity for worship and fellowship. If you have a concern for Gospel Ministry, if you sense a calling to being a spiritual nurturer, if you find yourself often called to vocal ministry in worship, or if you hunger for deep Spirit-led fellowship, please come to join us.
We will follow a simple format: after introductions, Brian will share the concern that led to the gathering. Then we will have a period of worship, followed by conversation. Friends of all ages are encouraged to attend.
For more information and to RSVP contact Doug Gwyn, pastoral minister, Durham Friends, at email@example.com or 207-407-3211. Bring a bag lunch.
Hi all, thanks for being willing to help care for our youngest children during Meeting for worship after the youth story. Here is the updated rotation. If you know you will be away, please check with others about switching. I am also willing to fill in if I’m not playing piano that month.
1st Sunday- Martha
2nd Sunday- Mason (back up Wendy)
3rd Sunday- Daphne
4th Sunday- Sukie
5th Sunday- Betsy
Thanks so much! Nancy
March 2016 to August 2016
Thank you for being willing to prepare refreshments. Please switch dates if needed. Directions are posted in the kitchen. Supplies need to be donated- check what is already available in the kitchen. “Basic” refreshments are coffee, milk and/or half & half, tea, juice, and crackers. People appreciate having cheese, sweets, veggies, or fruit, but it can be as simple as you like. The Woman’s Society makes this schedule with people who have been willing to prepare refreshments. If you would like to be added to or taken off this list, see Nancy Marstaller.
June 5 Kitsie Hildebrandt, Linda Muller
12 , Jeannie Baker Stinson
19 Daphne Clement, Nancy Marstaller
26 Jo-an Jacobus, Joyce Gibson
July 3 Ed & Dorothy Hinshaw
10 Margaret Wentworth, David Dexter
17 Helen Clarkson, Gene Boyington
24 Sarah Sprogell, Betsy Stivers
31 Martha Sheldon, Katherine Langelier
August 7 Julie Krejsa, Leslie Manning
14 Barbara Simon, Lyn Clarke
21 Dorothy Curtis, Sue Wood
28 Daphne Clement, Paul Miller
John Woolman said in his journal on one of the days he spent travelling in earnest pursuit of God’s will for him, that “Love was the first motion,” after which “a concern arose to spend some time with the Indians, that I might feel and understand their life and the spirit they live in, if haply I might receive some instruction from them, or they might be in any degree helped forward by my following the leadings of truth among them.”
I appreciate that Woolman’s words give precedence to the instruction he will gain from the people whose land and culture he visits. I like how humbly he hopes that his presence and witness to truth among them might “in any degree” be helpful to them. Living in Palestine has made me keenly aware of the margin for harm that is possible when outsiders arrive thinking they have the balm that will sooth whatever ails people here (before they have any idea what ails them). It seems if more people were like Woolman, and arrived keen to be instructed by the Palestinians’ remarkable resilience, solidarity and forgiveness, the rest of the world would benefit greatly.
I’ve been wondering about my own return home. I wonder what I will say when prompted to speak about Palestine. When I was in the courtyard with 11th graders the other day I asked them what they would want Americans to hear about them. This is a paraphrase of what they said:
“We express ourselves in the many ways. We dance, and sing, and play music, and write, and act. There is so much more to us than violence, violence is not the only way we respond to the Occupation. We live like the rest of the world, but for us there is a piece missing.”
“That piece that’s missing, it doesn’t overtake our whole lives. Sometimes the media shows it like we’re being bombed and shot every day. We live normal lives, but we do feel that piece missing.”
“And we don’t let it depress us. We don’t get depressed and sad living under occupation, we are still happy and living good lives. We don’t let it prevent us from having a good time and being happy.”
“And we don’t want any harm for the other side. I want to be able to go back to my home town, but I don’t want other people to be harmed in the process. I just want to have my right to my land acknowledged.”
These students had, earlier that day, analysed a passage from a novel by Yashar Kemal, providing their own witness to the truth embedded in literature through discussion and questioning. That is the strongest impression I have of these students: their remarkable ability to collaborate to create meaning around a text.
I wonder what John Woolman meant when he wrote that “Love was the first motion.” In literature, and it seems in life, the first motion is usually accusatory, or defensive, or dishonest. The first motion is often rooted in fear, and I can think of nothing more contradictory to love than fear. Woolman says this right before he felt a concern for the Indians. That makes me think the first motion was God’s motion, not anything coming from Woolman. God makes the first motion, and we are asked to follow through. That first motion is love. When the job at RFS became available, and I felt the tug, it must have been the tug of the motion of God’s love.
I hope to continue making a life of following through on that motion of love, big or small, close to home or far. Love’s motions can be tiny, as when a colleague asks me how a class went or a person in the street returns something I’ve dropped. I believe God gives us opportunities to follow his love’s motion every day, and that it is in following those motions that the world progresses toward greater peace. We can as profoundly change the world by turning toward a neighbor as by crossing an ocean.
Mimi Marstaller, Ramallah Friends School
I’ve been reading a biography of Elizabeth Fry (1780 – 1843) that I bought from the USFW used book table in the meetinghouse. The biography is itself a century old and USFW used book table in the meetinghouse. The biography is itself a century old and better ones have probably been written since. But I’ve been inspired by reading it. I’m only about half-way through it at the time of this writing, but here are some interesting points so far. Elizabeth Gurney grew up in a wealthy Quaker banking family in Norwich, England. She was one of eleven children, mostly sisters. But a brother, Joseph John Gurney, would become a key actor in the evangelical renewal of Friends. His travels in America in the 1830s were a watershed event that strongly influenced Friends, including here in New England. Elizabeth and her sisters were “gay Friends” – which in those days meant that they rejected the traditional plain dress, speech and lifestyle of Friends. They enjoyed literature, “mirth,” singing and even dancing(!) Betsy wore purple boots with scarlet laces, even to meeting for worship. The family were members at the Goat’s Lane Meeting in Norwich. She and her sisters disliked going to meeting – or what they called being “goatified.” Elizabeth’s story reads something like a Jane Austen novel that goes off the rails. At age fourteen she asked her father to take her to see the women in the Norwich House of Correction. The conditions she saw there horrified her, causing her to ask, “If this is the world, where is God?” She became a religious skeptic, but still caught between her love of diversion and her grief at social conditions outside her comfortable home. A major turning-point came when she was seventeen and William Savery, a traveling Quaker minister from America, spoke at her meeting. His message (two and a half hours long!) reached her powerfully. He came to the Gurney home for breakfast the next morning and prophesied great things about Elizabeth. She wrote that Savery’s “having been gay and disbelieving only a few years ago makes him better acquainted with the heart of one in the same situation.” Her sisters were annoyed by the changes in Elizabeth in the following months. She became more serious, kind, and charitable to the poor. She preferred reading the Bible to dancing, became more patient, humble and plain. What a drag! During a trip to London, a “weighty” elder Friend, Deborah Darby, also prophesied great things of her. Elizabeth wondered, “Can this be?” At age twenty, she married Joseph Fry, of another Quaker banking family in London. She started a school for girls and did various works of charity. But her greatest work would take place at the Newgate prison in London. Its terrible conditions had claimed the lives of some Friends in the early days of persecution in the
1600s. On average, five deaths occurred there every month from lack of ventilation and overcrowding. The criminal and mentally ill were thrown together. Men, women and even minors were executed for offenses as minor as theft and forgery. About four executions occurred daily. The French evangelical Friend Stephen Grellet visited Newgate in 1813 and went at once to Elizabeth Fry to ask her to help the 300 women prisoners and their children there. The degrading conditions of the prison (and the alcohol available to anyone with money to buy it) led to degraded behavior, outright mayhem at times. Fry spoke to that of God in the women and children by treating them with respect, assuring them of God’s love and her own for them, and offering education for the children along with productive work for the women. The results were immediate and profound. The ventilation didn’t improve but the overall atmosphere among the prisoners did. Fry also campaigned against capital punishment for theft and forgery, arguing that it showed a higher regard for property than for human life. Stay tuned for more on Elizabeth Fry in the next newsletter. Doug