Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, July 15, 2018

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened in worship for the conduct of business on Sunday, July 15, 2018 with 13 people present. Clerk Susan Rice opened the meeting with a reading from the New England Yearly Meeting website statement, “The Quaker Way.” We did not meet in June.

  1. Sukie Rice reported that Eileen Babcock’s will states that a significant bequest will be made to the New England Yearly Meeting pooled invested funds, to benefit our meeting. These funds are unrestricted in their use.

Tom Frye is moving to North Carolina to be with family. A group of volunteers (Gene Boyington, Sukie Rice, and Sarah Sprogell) have been cleaning his condominium in Freeport. It will be renovated and sold. It was suggested that the Bernice Douglas fund be used to pay the costs of renovation for up to $20,000; this amount would be reimbursed by Tommie C. Frye at the closing of the sale of his property at 17 Linwood Road, Freeport, Maine. A letter from the clerk (Sukie Rice) regarding this agreement, also signed by the treasurer, Katharine Hildebrandt, will be given to Tom Frye for his signature. Gene Boyington is Tom Frye’s Power of Attorney and is managing Tom’s affairs in his absence.

  1. We approved a loan from the Bernice Douglas Fund be used to renovate Tom Frye’s condominium, with an agreement as stated above.
  2. Finance Committee: Sarah Sprogell presented the January l-June 30, 2018 finance report of Income and Expenditures   Income for this period was $25,851, and expenses were $23,591, Both figures close to 50% of the budgeted amounts. This report is attached. It was noted that the need for Friends Camp Scholarships has exceeded our budget. It was suggested that we ask for donations to meet this need.
  3. We approved fund raising for the extra amount needed for Friends Camp Scholarships. An appeal will be included in the Newsletter.
  4. Youth Minister/Christian Education Report: Wendy Schlotterbeck reported about several events. “June 2nd was the Annual Yard and Plant sale which earned $750.00. June 3rd was Children’s Day when we celebrated the children and youth of our meeting and marked the close of Sunday School for kids. In addition of many adults present, we were happy to have 10 children/youth among us for the hot dog, mac and cheese and ice cream picnic. A special treat was rainbow fruit kabobs made by Katherine Langelier. We started a quilt of Durham Children’s hand prints and planted a pumpkin patch. We signed cards for 3 graduates in the Durham Family: Elliott Nagler, Andrew Wood and Hannah Wood.

The annual family campout at Betsy Muench’s home in Georgetown, June 16-17 was a great success. 25 people enjoyed the sea air, water and beach. We held meeting for worship on the beach under sunny, blue skies, giving thanks for the beautiful world God created, each other and the Muench family’s generosity sharing this treasure with us.

On Saturday July 14, seven Durham Friends attended ‘Healing Turtle Island’ at Nibezun, in Passadumkeag, Maine at the invitation of our Wabanaki friends. The 2 Durham children were entranced by the Sacred Water Ceremony and the Mother Earth Ceremony led by indigenous elders from around the world. One highlight was the song/dance circle by the children, and the Blessing of the Children Ceremony that followed. Each of the approximately 30 children was blessed by an elder gently touching their head, face, and heart with a giant eagle feather while another elder fanned a smudge pot as the rest of the gathering sang, ‘Children, this is for you.’ After a shared lunch, our youngest Durham Friend chose to sit on the front bench with the head Penobscot elder, Sherri Mitchell (wena’hamu’gwasit) during the lengthy Mother Earth Ceremony. She was taken by hand and welcomed to participate by adding tobacco to the sacred fire to close the ceremony. It was a special privilege to witness the deep spirituality of the people, spend unhurried hours praying and feel the warm welcome to share in their grief and their deepest longing to heal the earth.”

  1. Leslie Manning reported for the Trustees. Donna Hutchins has informed the Trustees that she and Daniel Ross will be moving from the parsonage. She will not continue as custodian. The Trustees ask that the Nominating Committee appoint Donna as a member of Trustees. They would like another member as well. Membership in the meeting is required to be a Trustee. They will informally ask people about a new tenant and the position of custodian. They will not advertise at this time. They recommend that the current rental agreement for the parsonage continue.   They recommend a rental agreement of $1200 per month to include electric usage; renter would pay for lawn care within the fenced area, plowing, and heat. The meeting would fill the pellet furnace hopper; a new tenant would refill as needed and leave it full.

Outstanding projects:

  • Cemetery: Trustees received an estimate from Andy Higgins for mowing grass using his own equipment, and report that they will pay a salary of $15.00 per hour from the cemetery fund for all locations. Andy will also do the repair work on the columns at Lunt Cemetery. No checkbook has been located for the Cemetery Fund. Donna Hutchins and Margaret Wentworth will go to the credit union and order a new set and void the number series for the lost book. Donna will replace Eileen Babcock on the cemetery checking account which will give us two signers. The second signer is Katherine (Kitsie) Hildebrandt. Donn will serve as the Cemetery Fund bookkeeper and be the record keeper delineating cemetery plots. She will prepare the accounts for auditing.
  • Parsonage: A plumber will be asked to schedule repairs to the toilet and the outside faucet at the parsonage. The gutter on the parsonage porch will be removed.   It was recommended that a community wide discussion concerning the future of the parsonage be held, either as an item of business at monthly meeting or at a special called meeting. The clerk will schedule this discussion.
  • Meetinghouse and horse shed: basement windows will season before being painted in the fall. Andy Higgins has agreed to do work on the horse shed, along with the repair and painting of the ceilings in the meetinghouse; he will submit proof of insurance and W-9 form for payment. Andy Higgins made a trash run from the parsonage and storage shed; Wendy Schlotterbeck cleaned the horse shed. Some valued items might be listed on Craigslist or shown to an appraiser for sale. Daniel Henton has installed a system for raising and lowering banners on the south side of the meetinghouse. Many thanks to Dan.

Long Term Projects:

  • Parsonage: investigate a filtration system for water; conduct a radon test; replace storm door and door to patio; monitor pipes in laundry area (insulation, heat lamp, relocation?); clean attics in garage and house; paint porch floor and ceiling; do electrical inspection.
  • Replace shed roof.
  • Grounds: Donna Hutchins will check with the Durham Town Office and an appraiser regarding a woodlot plan and tree growth tax reduction.

Items listed in the Trustees’ report concerning the meetinghouse and horse shed will be discussed at a later date. Trustees announced a “Love Your Meetinghouse Day” on October 13.

  1. We approved the request that Donna Hutchins be added as a Trustee.
  2. We approve that the current rental agreement for the parsonage continue, that a rental agreement would include rent of $1200 per month and electric usage; renter would pay for lawn care within the fenced area, plowing, and heat. The meeting would fill the pellet furnace hopper; a new tenant would refill as needed and leave it full.
  3. We approved refunding the security deposit to the current renters of the parsonage.
  4. Peace and Social Concerns: Sukie Rice reported that proceeds from the Friends of Kakamega Dinner amounted to $1000, plus a $2000 donation with a total of $3000 for the event!
  5. We approved scheduling a Seeds of Peace fundraising event, date to be determined.
  6. A concern was raised concerning the presence of dogs in the meetinghouse as that might discourage persons of other faiths to feel welcome.
  7. Joseph and Alexandrine Godleski have requested that their name be removed from membership as they now live in Florida and attend a local church. We approved, and the clerk will send a letter of appreciation for their active participation in our meeting and that they will be missed.
  8. We approved the following persons as representatives to New England Yearly Meeting sessions: Kristna Evans (also representative to NEYM Ministry and Counsel), Sukie Rice, and Sarah Sprogell.
  9. A request for financial assistance to attend New England Yearly Meeting Sessions was received and since we don’t contribute to the Equalization Fund, travel expense in the form of gas receipts can be submitted to the meeting treasurer. We were reminded that we “pay as led.”
  10. The Treasurer, Kitsie Hildebrandt, asked Jo-an Jacobus who initially set up the phone/internet system in the meetinghouse for advice on how to lower our costs.   Jo-an researched our account with Consolidated Communications regarding phone and internet service, phone book listing, and repair of the outside line. Jo-an reported that the line will be repaired without cost. She recommends that we move to a two-year plan that would cost approx. 80.00 per month (less than the $117 per month if we don’t change the plan). Our phone listing was moved back from the Lewiston phone book to Brunswick phone book. Jo-an recommends that we buy a backup power source due to power outages. Her research is attached.
  11. We approved changing our phone/internet service to the two-year plan at $80.00 per month and that we purchase a backup power source, not exceeding $80.00.
  12. We approved May’s monthly meeting minutes, with corrections noted.

The meeting adjourned at 2:15.

Dorothy Hinshaw, Recording Clerk

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“Joy in Unexpected Places,” by Leslie Manning

Message given at Durham Friends Meeting, June 24, 2018

I want you all to see my coffee cup, which says “It’s a tough world, stay Prayed Up”. Most days, coffee and prayer get me through the day. Alright, coffee, prayer and the love of a good dog.

This cup is a gift and came from a very important Christmas tradition in my family – the Yankee Swap. I see this tradition is familiar to a lot of you. Every year, about 30 of us gather in my mother’s living room with a gift, costing no more than 20 bucks, and we wrap them up and pile them up in the middle of the floor.

Then, after drawing numbers we choose one gift for our own. If we don’t like what we have drawn, we can exercise the right to take someone else’s, until the last person has drawn, and then the first person can look them all over and choose any one they want. The Elvis Presley cookbook? Lottery tickets? A pair of Jesus socks? (Not socks that Jesus actually wore.) Wine and a couple of glasses? All yours–except the chocolate body paint. That was drawn by my then 80-year-old widowed mother–and she wouldn’t give it up. (She later said it was delicious over ice cream.)

And what, may you ask has that got to do with my studies at the Chaplaincy Institute of Maine? Well, my dear friends, every day at ChIME, every monthly weekend of intense study and practice, every weekly class, is a spiritual Yankee Swap. But in our version, every one of us gets not only the present that we want, but the present that we need.

I have invited some of my classmates to join us in worship today, and I hope you get to visit with them later. They are all remarkable , ordinary people.
The kind of people who show up without being called, who speak up, who stand up and who sometimes dance. It’s called chaplaining, — who knew chaplain was a verb? And it is becoming my life’s work and the work of a lifetime.

Chaplaincy Institute of Maine is an interfaith program with the intention of turning us out into the world, as called and led, to offer hope, healing and a listening presence for people at some of the darkest and most joyful occasions in their lives; and to be available, on spiritual stand-by, for all the moments in-between.

In between, that liminal space where we find grace, sorrow and joy. Today I want to concentrate on the joy. Liminal space is occupying a position at, or on both sides of, a boundary or threshold. For example: “While doctors operate, she hangs suspended in liminal space”. In other words, G-d space.

The ChiME website says, “ChIME educates and ordains interfaith leaders who serve with integrity, spiritual presence, and prophetic voice.”

As part of our studies, we learn about the world’s religions, about our own vulnerabilities, our dark and golden shadows; we learn to listen and go deep to the source of all grace, sorrow and joy. We learn the difference between forgiveness and forgiving; to hang on and to let go; to open ourselves and allow ourselves to be opened. And we are only in the first phase of this work and calling, as we go together into the “classwomb” and are churned as we are chimed.

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Want to Stay Aware of What’s Happening in Quakerdom?

One way to stay aware of what’s happening around the Quaker world is to subscribe to Martin Kelly’s Quaker Ranter Daily, a nearly-daily blog and e-mail service.  Kelly reads dozens and dozens of blog posts by Quakers around the U.S. and beyond, and posts links to what he thinks are the most interesting ones.

Today, for example, he links to a post from Emily Provance, a member of 15th Street Meeting in New York, about Generational Strategies for Quaker Outreach.  nEmily believes we need different communication strategies for those over and those under age 45.

He also links today to a blog post from J. J. Lund, the rising clerk of Wilmington Yearly Meeting, which is experiencing a schism broadly similar to what has happened recently in Indiana Yearly Meeting and in North Carolina Yearly Meeting.  Lund closes on a hopeful note, one that I believe will resonate with members of Durham Friends Meeting:

The Wilmington Yearly Meeting that emerges will be smaller.  It will still be diverse, including a range of views on same gender marriage and Biblical authority.  It will consist of meetings that have chosen Christian fellowship over dogma, the Gospel of Love over the letter of the law.

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“Quaker Values?” by Doug Bennett

Excerpt for a message at Durham Friends Meeting on July 1, 2018

Quakers often talk about Quaker Values in terms of ‘testimonies’ many of us remember with this mnemonic SPICES: Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, Equality and Stewardship.

Where did the SPICES list come from?  That’s a complicated story, probably one for another day.   Let’s just note this: you won’t find this list or anything like it in any Yearly Meeting’s Faith and Practice before about WWII. The SPICES list is of relatively recent origin. Nevertheless, this list of Quaker Values has come to define us – or we have slipped into letting them define us.

We say, “Let Your Life Speak.” That’s a Quaker phrase I like. By it, we mean our beliefs should be active, not inert. We should live out our values, even when it is difficult – like the difficult week or year we’re having now. These Quaker Values, these Testimonies, are orientations to action.

So where did the SPICES list come from? I like to think of it this way.

Quakers believe that God speaks to each and every one of us — if we’ll still ourselves to listen. We believe there is ‘that of God’ in each and every one of us — that allows us to hear God. And thus,

  • If there is that of God in each and every one of us, then we are all fundamentally equal. No one will be better than another.
  • We are all called to community, because we hear what God is saying better in community.
  • We are called to be peaceable one with another because all lives are sacred – all having that of God within.
  • We are all called to be truthtellers and people of integrity because we carry God’s sacred hopes within us.
  • And we are called to stewardship of the earth because that too is a gift from God.

And so we have SPICES list: Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, Equality, Stewardship. It’s a good shorthand list – perhaps a Quaker rosary.

But — here’s the but. Are these values our values in the sense that we own them, or have a special claim on them – a claim that others don’t? Are they especially ours? Are they our brand? Is that why we call them ‘Quaker Values?’

Are these our Spices, and other people use different flavorings? Do these values make us special? Set us apart? Do they make us better? (Heaven forbid!)

If we are to let our life speak, do we think that other people’s lives should speak in different ways – upholding war or selfishness or deceit or waste? How do we expect to persuade anyone of anything if we few think we have a corner on goodness, because ours are ‘Quaker Values?’

Or are these values for everyone?

Are these values for everyone because they speak to something fundamentally right about being human, about living a good life? Some would add: Are these values for everyone who is listening to God?

Aren’t these the values of the Sermon on the Mount?

Put another way, do Quakers hold these values because they are Quaker, or do we hold them because they are the right values – right for everyone?

If they are right for everyone, and I’m pretty sure they are; if they are right for everyone because these commitments are what God expects of all us, what should we call them? Not “Quaker values,” I think.

One more question.   If we should not call these Quaker values, if we shouldn’t think that these values are what makes us distinctive, what does make us distinctive?

+++

You can find the entire message, “Quaker Values” on Doug Bennett’s blog, River View Friend 

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Latest Library News, June 2018

By Dorothy Hinshaw

The latest addition to the meeting library is a very interesting book: “Memories of Milton Hadley” who was a Quaker pastor at meetings in Illinois, Indiana, North Carolina, and Florida, serving both programmed and unprogrammed meetings. His Quiet approach as a servant pastor/meeting secretary is a fine example of serving a variety of Quaker meetings. He also taught physics and coached sports teams at the Vermilion Academy (Friends Secondary School) in Illinois, 1920-1924, incidentally where Clarabel Marstaller was born.

At one time Milton Hadley was New England Yearly Meeting northern section Field Secretary and instrumental in the establishment of China Camp (Friends Camp) in China, Maine. He also served as pastor of our meeting!

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Woman’s Society Report, June 18, 2018

By Katherine Langelier

Woman’s Society met on Monday, June 18 at the home of Dorothy and Ed. After the lovely tea hosted by Dorothy H. and Martha, we began meeting shortly after 6 with discussion of a baby quilt and the card ministry.

Martha led the devotions and program on “Serving Others” by Adis Beeson. She mentioned the song “He Leadeth Me” and 1 John 2:28, Proverbs 22:6, and a poem “Loving Jesus” by Charles Wesley. How do we follow callings we feel in our lives? We never know what the future holds.

The treasurer’s report and giving opportunities were discussed. We approved giving $100 to the United Society of Friends Women International Children and Youth Projects. Nancy passed around newsletters from Kickapoo and Tedford.

We decided to switch our August dinner out to the September meeting date.

Next month’s meeting is at Helen’s home. We are experimenting with starting at 6 pm. Dorothy C. is doing devotions and Theresa is bringing the program.

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Ramallah Friends School Potluck & Presentation, June 25

On Monday, June 25, Durham Friends Meeting will be hosting a potluck and presentation about the Ramallah Friends Schools in Ramallah, Palestine.  We will be hosting Adrian Moody, the new head of Ramallah Friends Schools, and Eden Grace, the Global Ministries Director of Friends United Meeting.

Potluck will begin at 6 pm, program at 7 pm.

Adrian Moody, Director, Ramallah Friends School.  Adrian Moody comes to the Friends School with an extensive background in international education, having served in school leadership positions in Australia, New Zealand, Tanzania, Thailand, Kazakhstan, Vietnam and India. His depth of experience with the International Baccalaureate and his masters-level specialization in teacher assessment will allow him to shepherd the implementation of the RFS Board’s new strategic plan which focuses on strengthening the academic programs. His professional expertise in the management of large multi-campus schools will facilitate a thorough analysis of long-term financial and physical needs and the development of strategies for sustainability.

A committed Roman Catholic with a master’s degree in theology, Adrian feels deeply called to the particular witness of a Friends School under occupation. As he shared with the school when he visited: “I am drawn to RFS for so many reasons. It has a long history of shared communities. It has a strong academic program and is able to offer its students wonderful opportunities. But RFS is not just a school – it is much more than that. I look at RFS and I see that the grace of God is working within your community. I see God carrying us all on a journey, together through moments of success and challenges which strengthens our lives and our bonds with each other and God.”

Adrian, an Australian national, and his wife Gillian, a New Zealander, will took up residence in Ramallah at the beginning of August while their teenage daughter continues in boarding school in New Zealand.

Eden Grace, Global Ministries Director.  Eden Grace has served as FUM’s Global Ministries Director since July, 2013. From 2004 through mid-2013, Eden served as the Field Officer for FUM in the Africa Ministries Office in Kisumu, Kenya. Eden is responsible for shepherding FUM’s programmatic work in 11 countries on 4 continents. She has a passion for the holistic and transformational witness of Friends that arises from deep worship in the gathered body. She thinks of her role specifically, and that of FUM in general, as a ligament in the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:15-16 and Colossians 2:19).

Eden holds a Masters of Divinity degree from Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and a Certificate in International Mission and Ecumenism from the Boston Theological Institute. Her undergraduate degree is from Brown University in Providence Rhode Island, where she studied drama literature and semiotics.  In addition to Eden’s extensive involvement with Friends’ organizations, she has also served in leadership roles in the World Council of Churches and the Massachusetts Council of Churches, and carries a deep concern for Christian unity.

Eden Grace is a member of Beacon Hill Friends Meeting (Boston, Massachusetts, USA) in New England Yearly Meeting. She and her husband Jim have two young adult sons, are the host family for a Kenyan college student, and have taken in a Richmond teen. Eden loves to travel, sing, read fiction and make quilts using African fabrics.

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“Continuing Revelation,” by Bruce Neumann

Message given at Durham Friends Meeting, May 18, 2018, by Bruce Neumann, Rising Clerk of New England Yearly Meeting

I’ve been thinking lately about continuing revelation.

            This is one of our basic Quaker tenets, that while there is only one TRUTH, our understanding of it is incomplete. And that we expect to see a little more of that TRUTH from time to time, whether through sudden insight during meeting for worship or personal prayer, or whether dragged kicking and screaming over a period of time in business meeting. The revelation can be a relatively small or personal thing, like William Penn asking whether he needed to abandon his sword, and George saying, “wear it as long as you can.” Presumably Penn woke up one morning and felt or saw the change in himself and put the sword in the closet. I also remember marvelling at a story in “Lighting Candles in The Dark” about a Quaker who was in the English navy and came to the truth that he could no longer fight. The peace testimony seems such a basic part of Quakerism, yet it was not fully understood in the earliest days of the movement.

This reflection on continuing revelation was initiated by an activity at a recent Salem Quarter meeting. In groups of 3, we were asked to reflect on various passages. My group was given a Woolman quote. I actually don’t remember what it was, but I jumped to thinking about Woolman’s concern, not just for slaves, but also for the spiritual health of slave owners. It’s easy from the moral high ground of our current vantage to be dismissive of slave owning Quakers. Yet I know all too well that I have my own blind spots and areas of my life that I choose to not look at too closely. There is a way in which I can relate to the slave owners saying, “Wait, WHAT? You’re telling me that this essential part of my daily life is wrong?” I imagine that this was a slow process for them: coming to understand the issue, coming to terms with the effect that change would have, and living into the new personal reality, like cooking and cleaning, and less profit on their business.

The query that came to me a couple of weeks ago in that Salem Quarter workshop is “How is my spiritual life a prisoner of comfort and profit?” Or “What are the behaviours and practices in my life, which stunt my spiritual growth, keep me from greater oneness with God, and from doing all I can to build the kingdom of heaven on earth?”

There are three areas that come to mind which I feel unsettled about, where I feel in need of continuing revelation to provide some clarity.

1). My wife and I have been saving for years, hoping to have a reasonably secure and comfortable retirement, but I hear the echo of Jesus’ words whispering in my ear “where your treasure is, there is your heart.” While I can argue that we give money away every year, and do a lot of work for good causes, and say that we’re not overly attached to this retirement fund, I also know that the idea of giving it all away makes me feel incredibly anxious, so I think perhaps my heart IS where my treasure is. It seems that my faith is not strong enough to believe that God and social security will be enough.

2) Most of us are committed on some level to working for the health of our planet. And yet I suspect that we are not consistent in our approach. I drive a hybrid, but am flying to San Diego for a wedding in June – in a few hours of plane travel I will use up all the gains I made over the year with my car. And I use – most of the time – reusable shopping bags, but If I need a new phone or tablet, do I use as much thought about the impact on the earth?

3) Finally, with minimal awareness, I benefit every day from institutionalized white supremacy. I had no trouble getting college loans years ago, Pat and I had no trouble getting a mortgage for our house, or any challenge from our prospective neighbours. When I get stopped by a cop I am embarrassed, but I do not fear for my life. I am not followed if I go into a nice department store. If I was guilty of some minor crime like possession of drugs (pretty unlikely for me) I could probably avoid going to prison. While I can say the words “I’m not a racist”, and can say that I had no part in setting up these systems of oppression, is my conscience clear? Would Jesus be content with the little things I do?

And these are just three things that I can see into, if through a glass darkly. Are there other things that I have no clue about? 30 years ago many of us were only beginning to understand the impact of our behaviours on the planet. Even 10 years ago, while I understood that people of color had a hard time, I was not clued into my tacit participation in a system of oppression.

So, again, my query is:

What are the behaviours and practices in my life, which stunt my spiritual growth, keep me from greater oneness with God, and from doing all I can to build the kingdom of heaven on earth?

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Durham Friends Meeting Campout, June 16-17

You are invited!

Please come to part or all of the 24 hours (or more) we will be “camping” on the ocean   at Betsy Muench’s family paradise- 710 Bay Point Road in Georgetown

Noon Saturday,  June 16 to Afternoonish Sunday, June 17

What to bring?

1. Bathing suit, towel and sunscreen

2. Change of clothes, jacket for evenings and bug spray

3. Sleeping bag, optional-tent (there are several beds and floor spaces inside)

4. Board games/ outdoor games

5. Friends! We welcome your friends.

6. Water- Please bring a jug of drinking water- they are having a few issues with their plumbing.  Some water will be available through a hose. FYI- we may be using Wendy’s lovely sawdust composting toilets

  1. Food:

Saturday lunch- bring you own

Saturday supper- something to grill and a dish to share

Saturday campfire time- Snacks, drinks to share

Sunday breakfast- Wendy will bring eggs and pancake mix, we need fruit, milk, and other breakfast yummies as desired

Sunday lunch- POTLUCK bring something to share (Wendy will bring ice cream and cones)

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Memorial Minute: Richard Reeve Wood, Jr.

January 18, 2015

Memorial Minute: Richard Reeve Wood, Jr.

March 30, 1932 – June 5, 2010

Screen Shot 2018-06-11 at 10.22.24 AMRichard Reeve Wood Jr. was born March 30, 1932, to Richard R. and Nancy Morris Wood in Moorestown, New Jersey. He grew up surrounded and seasoned by Philadelphia Friends. He attended Moorestown Friends School and received a B.A. in English from Haverford College while it was still an all male school. He loved playing soccer at Haverford or anywhere else he could round up a game!

Richard’s fascination with farms, farm animals and aesthetics of the land grew ever more important when he began working summers on a Quaker farm along the Delaware River. As a Conscientious Objector he served two years at the Earlham College dairy farm.

Following his stint at Earlham, Richard married Elizabeth Hoag. They bought the Goddard farm, a small farm in Brunswick, Maine, which had been bequeathed to Durham Monthly Meeting. There they had four children: Rebecca, Gilbert, Anna and Susan. They also built a Jersey herd of some note. After their divorce Richard continued to farm and provide hospitality to folks from various walks of life who were passing by. His was a compelling and welcoming presence and he connected easily with all sorts of people.

Richard loved cows and spent much of his time as he worked in the barn thinking and dreaming of the emerging contemporary small farm movement. He was ahead of his time, like Wendell Berry whose writings inspired him. Later he was given an opportunity, when hired by the Maine Department of Agriculture as coordinator for the Agriculture Viability Program, to travel and write on behalf of the small farm movement in Maine. Richard was a gifted writer and published articles in Small Farm Journal, Maine Times, Times Record. There was a memorable piece in the Boston Globe reporting on Richard’s visit to war torn Nicaragua as part of an Oxfam delegation.

Richard was a beloved and active member of Durham Friends Meeting, serving in various capacities including Monthly Meeting Clerk, Trustee, on Ministry and Counsel, and occasionally giving the message. He was Clerk of Falmouth Quarterly Meeting for a time.

One First Day at Durham Friends Meeting, Richard and Susan McIntire rose in the midst of silent worship and he declared, “Before God, my family and friends, I, Richard, take thee Susan to be my wife. With divine assistance and help from my friends, I will be unto thee a loving and faithful husband.” Susan responded in kind. The clerk read the marriage certificate aloud and invited each of us there to sign as witnesses. Those present witnessed a traditional Quaker wedding, and Richard and Susan went on to have a real Quaker marriage.

Richard and Susan eventually sold the Brunswick farm, moved to Western New York in 1990, and bought another farm. This one had Holsteins and draft horses. Here they continued raising their children Reeve and Isaac. They were assisted in this new venture by local farm folks including those in the nearby Amish community.

In 2000 Richard was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, which he managed with characteristic grace and optimism. Richard and Susan returned to Maine in 2003 to be closer to family and friends.

Those of us who are privileged to have known him and listened to his deep penetrating voice, marveled at the almost effortless way he established close rapport with others. His Quaker roots and seasoning were embedded in his presence. He was profoundly steady and comfortable. Children loved him. He loved dogs. He wrote mystery stories. He loved his family. For many of us he was a compassionate listener. There are myriad tender memories of cups of tea with him at the kitchen table.

Richard Wood

No Hallmark Angels,

they asphyxiate me.

Send me one like

Richard Wood in

floppy rubber boots.

His large hands

cracked and gnarled

from washing cow’s

udders on winter days.

This cold Maine morning

The barn smells of burnt

rushes. A holstein heifer

is down dead in her stall.

He backed the old John

Deere into the barn and

dragged the carcass past

the restless herd, breath

rising like incense smoke.

He kicked a heap of snow.

“At least she’ll freeze out here

in the dooryard till I can think

of some place to put her”.

Inside we had a dirty mug of

tea and were as close as

those cows in the barn.

pbc (1995)

Approved by Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends, Meeting for Business, January 18, 2015, Sarah Sprogell, Presiding Clerk.

An obituary can be seen here.  An appreciation of his life by his daughter in law, Hannah Burroughs, can be seen here.

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Kakamega Orphan Care Benefit Dinner, June 30 @5:30

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Recommendations on Outreach, April 27, 2018

Recommendations of the Ad Hoc Committee on Strengthening Durham Meeting, presented to May Monthly Meeting

A. Framing Thoughts. Three large ideas have emerged to frame our thinking about how to strengthen outreach for Durham Friends Meeting. We should bear these in mind as we consider what specific efforts we might want to undertake.

  1. Strengthening the worship life of Durham Friends Meeting should be the main concern of our outreach efforts in the future. We believe we should focus on those outreach efforts that have promise to draw more people to worship regularly with us. (Holding events that draw new people to the Meetinghouse but that draw none of these people to come to worship with us on Sunday should not be high among our priorities.)

2. Attend to deepening community as well as outreach. We want to strengthen not just our outreach to newcomers or those who do not yet know us; we also want to strengthen the relationships among those of us who are already members or regular attenders. We want to know each other better. A fair number of us still feel relatively new.

3. Also pay attention to Pastoral Care. Though perhaps not outreach per se, as we have sought ideas for outreach, people keep mentioning the need to strengthen what we are doing with regard to pastoral care. (We do not pursue this here. The Committee on Ministry and Counsel is currently considering how to strengthen Pastoral Care at Durham Friends Meeting.)

B. Possible Initiatives. While we have considered a large number of possibilities, these seem like the most fruitful ones to pursue. We are already doing many of these things, but the suggestion is that we do more.

  1. Make more and better use of media.

a. We should try to place more articles in local print newspapers, especially the Brunswick Times Record, but also others. We might also consider placing paid advertisements in newspapers.

b. We should make greater use of electronic media, especially our website and Facebook or other social media, trying to make these work together and to reach out beyond our current members and attenders.

c. Signage out front of the Meetinghouse. We should have signs or banners outside our Meetinghouse visible to traffic that passes by.

2. Hold more regular family events. We have had good success with intergenerational game nights, and similar events. We should do more of these and more regularly. We should also work on extending invitations to these more broadly.

3. Hold more Potluck Suppers with a speaker or panel. Again, regularly, we should consider having a series of events, widely publicized, each featuring a speaker (might or might not be a member). Peace and social concerns issues might be the focus of these.

4. Pursue some special Durham-focused efforts. We should try to make ourselves better known to our immediate neighbors in Durham, where we have a declining number of members. We might do a town-wide mailing inviting them to visit. We might do an open house. We might sponsor a forum on a topic of interest to Durham residents.

5. Make a more sustained effort to follow up with new visitors. We should be sure we get contact information from visitors and be sure we follow up via phone, mail, e-mail, invitations to potlucks and the like. We should also provide more opportunities for newcomers to learn more about Quakerism, perhaps through a Seekers and Sojourners class or gatherings.

C. How to pursue these initiatives. Whichever of these initiatives we pursue, there are two broad options for how we pursue them. We can see these options as alternatives, or we could see them as complementary. We especially seek the Meeting’s advice on which way to proceed.

  1. We could see Outreach as everyone’s responsibility. Perhaps we should see outreach as something to which every part of the Meeting and everyone should contribute. On this option, we’d all try to face outward a little more. For example,

a. We could ask each regular committee of the Meeting to be sure to undertake some Outreach activities. Christian Education could do game nights, Peace and Social Concerns could hold potluck suppers with speakers, Ministry and Counsel could follow up with visitors and hold Seekers and Sojourners sessions.

b. In addition, we could expand the charge and perhaps size of the Newsletter Committee giving it responsibility for our website and Facebook page as well as print media possibilities, making it a Communications Committee.

2. We could place responsibility for Outreach in a particular place in the Meeting. On this option we focus responsibility within the Meeting.

a. We could make Outreach the focus of a regular committee – an Outreach Committee that would pursue many of the ideas sketched in section B.

b. We could have also have a paid, part-time Meeting Secretary or Coordinator who would work on communications and outreach activities, under the direction of an Outreach Committee.

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Trustees Report, May 13, 2018

Trustees met on Sunday, May 13 and reviewed the list of outstanding projects, and began the planning for maintenance and repair for the next three years for the meetinghouse and grounds.  In June, we will have a similar process for the parsonage and cemeteries.

Outstanding projects:  Windows in Basement have been installed and Dan Henton will mortar up the windows that sit in the ground and cannot be replaced.

He will also refresh the water softener and replace the filter cartridge in an attempt to increase water pressure.  We have been advised by a plumber that our system is obsolete and we are considering options in our long term planning.

We are still soliciting estimated for the repair and replacement of the ceilings and since the job is “so small”, to add the painting of the walls of the meeting room to the estimate.

We are actively looking for a lawn care provider, and Donna Hutchins will follow up. Cemeteries will be mowed 3-5 times between Memorial Day and end of September, parsonage and meeting grounds more frequently to reduce tick exposure.

We discussed tick control and will research both toxic and nontoxic alternatives, with cost estimates, before next month.

We are still soliciting bids for the horse shed.

A water test conducted at the parsonage show it is within acceptable limits other than the presence of radon.

Donna will work with Margaret on the cemetery accounts and plotting, which Eileen Babcock had previously done.

We are in need of an additional member to replace Eileen and ask Nominating Committee to also consider who might serve.

We remind Friends that the lease for the parsonage will expire in June and that it will go to month to month.  Based on 2017 costs of approximately $11,800 and expected income of $14,400, we recommend that there be no increase in the rent and expressed appreciation for care our tenants show for the parsonage.

We received a request that the meetinghouse be made available to a Native American group for worship, drumming, dinners and fellowship and heartily agree to this.  We do not believe that there should be a cost for worship and recommend that a free will offering of any amount be requested but not required.

We closed in deep gratitude and with silence, and then did a walk around to look at winter damage and identify future tasks, including the hanging of banners.

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Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, May 20, 2018

Draft

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened in worship for the conduct of business on Sunday, May 20, 2018 with 8 people present, and 2 people joining later, for a total of 10. Clerk Susan (Sukie) Rice opened the meeting with a moment of worship and a prayer from Bede the Venerable:

                         Lord God, our Creator of Light,

At the rising of your sun each morning,

Let the greatest of all Lights – Your Love – Rise,

Like the sun in my heart.

  1. The minutes from April 15, 2018 Monthly Meeting were approved with corrections and edits noted for items 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 13 and 14. Corrections will be made to the minutes currently on file.

2. Margaret Wentworth brought the Trustees Report, which was gratefully accepted. The complete report is attached. Notable items are the development of a 3-year plan for maintenance and repair of the meetinghouse and grounds, including the on-going solicitation of bids for current projects; Dan Henton will complete outstanding projects concerning basement windows that will be enclosed and mortared, as well as servicing the water softener system; Donna Ross will work with Margaret on the cemetery plots.

Friends are reminded that the lease for the parsonage will expire at the end of June, and will change to a month-by-month basis. Trustees recommend that there be no increase in the rent at this time, and expressed appreciation for the care our tenants show for the parsonage.

Trustees have received a request by two local Native American families who would like to use the meetinghouse for worship, drumming, dinners and fellowship to support and develop their cultural traditions. Trustees are still in conversation with this group, but feel a sense of hearty agreement to the request. Trustees believes, if approved, there should be no cost to use the building for worship purposes, but support a request for a free will offering.

The meeting feels united in an anticipated approval of this request, and looks forward to hearing more details as discussions progress and a final recommendation is presented.

. Sarah Sprogell presented a report from the Finance Committee, based on a request from New England Yearly Meeting (NEYM) Finance Committee. NEYM is requesting that all monthly meetings consider approving a “letter of affirmation” that our meeting is affiliated with NEYM and wishes to be included in NEYM’s group exemption listing, which exists under NEYM’s 501c3 non-profit status.

This request is being made based on new IRS rules which govern aspects of non-profit organizations including churches. This status will allow to confirm to any donors that their contributions to the meeting are tax deductible, and will keep us in compliance with current IRS rules.

4. The meeting approved the writing of such a letter, as long as there would be no negative impact in doing so. Sarah will follow-up with Frederick Martin at NEYM, and draft such a letter if no negative impacts are discerned.

5. Sukie Rice reported for Ministry and Counsel regarding the receipt of a membership transfer certificate from Dover (NH) Meeting for Brown Letham, who has requested transferring his membership to Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends.

6. All present joyfully approved this request and welcome Brown into our meeting community.

7. Doug Bennett presented a report from the Ad Hoc working group examining outreach and other needs of the meeting. He reminded us that this group was formed in November 2017 to discern the possibility of developing a paid position for the meeting. The group identified 3 areas needing more strengthening: Pastoral Care, Outreach and Coordination of Information within the meeting. Ministry and Counsel is being asked to examine the area of Pastoral Care; the Clerks Group is being asked to examine its role in Coordination of Information. The Ad Hoc group agreed to look more deeply into Outreach needs and possible solutions. The full report from this group is attached.

. We gratefully accepted the good and faithful work of the Ad Hoc working group.

8. We further approved a plan for next steps moving forward, considering it would be most beneficial for the information in the report to be discussed more widely within the meeting. Therefore, we approved:

a. That committees currently providing pastoral care (M&C), outreach (CE, P&SC, newsletter) and coordination (clerks meeting) consider their roles and effectiveness more deeply;

b. That these groups and committees report back to the Ad Hoc working group with their thoughts by Sept. 17;

c. That the Ad Hoc group organize a time for A Community Conversation about the Way Forward on Sept 30 (5th Sunday) 2018.

9. Tess Hartford brought a report from Christian Education Committee. Children’s Day will be June 3, with a lunch provided by CE. The committee is aware of one (college) graduate this year. The committee is also working on updating the “hand quilt” used in the classroom, to include our current children’s names.

The report was gratefully accepted, with acknowledgement of the excellent work and care provided to the children of the meeting.

10. Margaret Wentworth reported as one of our representatives to Lisbon Area Christian Outreach (LACO) that we will be receiving a sign showing our support for the group. The sign is designed for exterior display.

11. We approved accepting the sign, and also referring its placement to the care of Trustees.

12. Sarah Sprogell reported for Falmouth Quarter, which met on April 28, 2018 at Brunswick Meeting, in Topsham ME. Margaret Wentworth and Sarah Sprogell were appointed representatives from Durham; Leslie Manning and Betsy Muench were also present. Perhaps the most significant item of business was the consideration to begin the process of laying down Lewiston Monthly Meeting; attendance has dwindled to 1 or 2 members, with an occasional visitor; no clerk has been found for the current year; and Bates College will no longer be able to host their meeting for worship. An Ad Hoc group is working with LMM on this concern, and recommends that if a worship group develops in the future, it might likely come under the care of Durham Meeting.

Other decisions were the approval of a Denominational Endorsement of a Portland Friend, Elizabeth Szatkowski, as she begins employment as a chaplain for Hospice of Southern Maine. Also approved was the appointment of Nathan Broaddus, also from Portland Meeting, to the corporate board of Beacon Hill Friends House.

13. Sarah Sprogell brought the 2017 annual statistical report (on file), noting that we approved 6 new members this year, and lost one member through death, for a total of 109 current members. 75% of our members are local residents; 75% are women; 50% are over 65 and 10% are 25 or younger. Average attendance last year was just under 40 each Sunday.

14. After a brief moment of contemplation on the value of families, we adjourned at 2pm.

Respectfully submitted by Sarah Sprogell, recording clerk pro tem

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“Finding Simplicity in My Life,” by Robert Bennett

From the May 2018 issue of Friends Journal, The Student Voice Project 2018 on “What Are Quaker Values Anyway?”

robert-bennett

Finding Simplicity in My Life

As many people’s lives become more cluttered with events and activities, we become more and more reliant on physical items. I spend a large amount of time thinking about this during the summer. My family spends about a month on Southport Island in Maine. We stay in a cottage that my dad’s grandparents purchased during the Depression. It has electricity and running water, but we have no access to the Internet, and we are forced to spend time away from our electronics. As a result of this, we are kept away from the clutter caused by our digital lives.

I am rarely thrilled to put down my cell phone and spend time outside, but once I get over the initial shock of being separated from my electronics, I realize how much more we are able to take in when we aren’t looking at the world through a screen. It makes life simpler to only be interacting with people in person and be out of touch with everything that is happening everywhere except for what is right around you. It is hard not to enjoy the simple and straightforward life I am forced to live there; it is always a very refreshing month for me. I think a lot afterward about what I could do to change my day-to-day life to make it more similar to my time on Southport, but I find with school and other activities it is hard to live without many of the things that previously thought were essential. My parents grew up in a time when people were not consumed the way we are by portable electronics. I think about how they got on just fine without it all.

I have found that to reduce my usage, everyone around me would need to as well, and I think that is something that we can’t just do overnight. I love the simplicity of living without my phone, and will continue to look forward to that month every summer.

I feel that simplicity is a testimony that is not particularly clear as others. What is meant to be more simple? I find that my digital life is the most complicated part of my day-to-day life. This might not be true for everyone, but I think for the majority of people I know, especially people my age, it is a big, complicated aspect of their lives. This is easily the testimony I think of, and struggle to practice most in my life.

 Robert Bennett, Grade 9, Westtown School, member of Durham (Maine) Meeting

 

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Remembering Eileen Babcock and Lavada Caton & Angelo Pane

By Sukie Rice

We need to mark the passing of three members of Durham Monthly Meeting.

It is with real sadness that we announce the passing of Eileen Babcock, who had been a member of Durham Friends Meeting for the greater part of her life.  Eileen grew up in the meeting as a part of Sunday School, vacation Bible School and then, as an adult, leading Meeting youth in these same activities.   She participated in most of the committees of the Meeting and was consistently committed to doing the best job she could for the Meeting and seeking God’s will.  She will be especially remembered as a team leader for the Tedford Shelter meals, her contributions to the Meeting’s benefit dinners for the Kakamega Orphans Care Centre, and for always being there to lend a hand in whatever was needed.   Eileen died of cancer at the age of 66 on March 20.

We also want to recognize the passing of Lavada Caton and Angelo Pane, both beloved members of the Meeting.   Angelo, who for years fixed the leaky faucets, doors and windows, pounded hammers and tended lovingly to the meetinghouse, died in September in Florida with his family close by.  Lavada passed away on April 9 in North Port, Florida where she lived with her husband, Don.  Lavada was known for her kindness, generosity, strength of spirit, and real spunk.  Durham Meeting wishes the God’s comfort and love for the Pane and Caton families.  We have no doubt that Angelo is up there with his measuring tape and plans to build a new wing on the angel’s canteen where Lavada has everyone entranced by her sweetness and stories.

Don Caton, Lavada’s husband, can be reached approximately through July at: c/o Laurie Caton-Lemos, 770 Pinkham Brook Rd, Durham, ME 04222

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“Photons Don’t Fail Us Now,” Song Lyrics by Doug Gwyn

April 30, 2018

Former Pastor Doug Gwyn writes, “I’ve been reconnecting with First Friends Meeting in Richmond, where I was pastor for seven years. They have just finished installing solar panels on their roof.  They celebrated the completion of the project last Sunday (April 22).  I was asked to write a song for the occasion.  It went over well.  I thought since Durham Friends has recently been through the same process, people there might enjoy the song.”

Photons Don’t Fail Us Now!

it would be foolish to vote on the nature of a photon

as Quakers we simply approve

you can argue to the grave it’s a particle or wave

we just want to let it hit our roof

‘cause you can’t catch a paradox and lock it up in a box

you can only let it pass right through ya

it feels more like a current, as it were and as it weren’t

and it makes you sing Hallelujah!

photons, calling all photons

photons, don’t fail us now!

 

try as we might, we cannot see the light

we only see what the light illuminates

like Jesus and Moses, it sees us and shows us

where we are and how to navigate

like the light of the sun, there’s a light in every one

if we’ll only tune in to that channel

and if you need any proof, just stand on our roof

and learn from our solar panels

photons, calling all photons

photons, don’t fail us now!

 

like the Old and New Testaments, this major investment

is somehow divinely inspired

to live more sustainable is surely attainable

‘cause that’s what the Lord requires

all those thousands of dollars might make some folks holler

it might even bring them to tears

but as the sun shines, it rains nickels and dimes

and will pay off in twenty-two years

photons, calling all photons

photons, don’t fail us now!

 

Doug Gwyn, April 2018

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Friends Camp for Durham Meeting Young People

April 28, 2018

By Sukie Rice

This year three children from Durham Meeting will attend Friends Camp at China Lake, in part through the scholarships the Meeting is giving to make it possible for these children to go.  We believe that “investing” in Friends Camp scholarships is one of the best ways of giving young people the fun, loving, experience of Friends values and community that Friends Camp offers.

However, to reach the amount needed for the three scholarships, we need an additional $445 to add to our budgeted amount.  We ask Friends to consider making a special donation to the Meeting to help us share the costs of this rich and exciting two-week camp for the children in our Meeting’s care.   Checks can be sent to the Meeting at the above address or added to the offering plate on Sunday mornings and should be earmarked for Friends Camp.

Questions should go to Wendy Schlotterbeck or Sukie Rice.

Thank you!

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State of Society – Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends – 2017

April 29, 2018

State of Society — Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends — 2017

In 2017 the State of our Society at Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends was strong, vibrant and energetic. Our trust in our community and shared Quaker faith led us to explore new terrain with hopefulness, trusting that more Truth would be revealed to us through expectant waiting, spiritual faithfulness and good stewardship.

We took a risk early in the year, agreeing to explore becoming an un-pastored meeting. Ministry and Counsel guided our path through a number of listening sessions, surveys and called meetings to help chart our course and measure our community needs. While we had grown to see ourselves as ministers among ministers, we wondered whether we were ready to take on this responsibility more fully and without a pastor to guide us. Ministry and Counsel coordinated and arranged for spoken ministry by meeting members and the wider spiritual community. This experience has resulted in a growing number of members of our community feeling led to speak more regularly, which has become a deeply rewarding part of our corporate worship. We continue to be moved and inspired by the variety of voices and messages.

A Clerks’ Committee was developed which met bi-monthly to help support and encourage communication and coordination within the meeting. This group was successful at building stronger connections and mutual support across committees and with the presiding clerk.

Another Spirit-led effort was the successful completion of a project involving the installation of a new roof, a solar installation to meet our electric needs and a heat pump for a portion of the meetinghouse. We are incredibly grateful to the NEYM, Obadiah Brown’s Benevolent Fund and Friends General Conference Green Meetinghouse Fund contributing 60% for the costs of this project, helping us meet our commitment to reducing our carbon footprint and living as an example in our community. The completion of this $50,000 project was recognized with a ribbon-cutting in June. We look forward to many years of sunshine warming both our bodies and our souls!

We were cheered by another year of increasing membership, adding four new members and two children. We are delighted by a growing number of new attenders and families that have become a regular part of the meeting. Attendance at worship was generally 30-40. Peace and Social Concerns Committee took on welcoming many of our new attenders, inviting them to special dinners throughout the year, which were filled with warmth and good conversation.

First Day school for both children and adults continued to meet regularly. The Christian Education Committee offered a number of gatherings and activities to encourage family and inter-generational involvement. Godly Play continued as an inspirational curriculum for the young children, along with First Day School for young Friends. We continued to support our highly capable Youth Minister, involved in family ministry and we also hired a childcare worker to assist with the younger children. The adult hour included a variety of topics including discussions, of NEYM Interim Faith and Practice updates, and a very popular fourth-Sunday series featuring a different member’s spiritual journey each month.

In other areas, our Woman’s Society remains an important catalyst for many good works, including a monthly meal for a local homeless shelter, ministering to our home-bound friends, and supporting projects for the United Society of Friends Women International. A new Men’s Group came together, meeting for discussion and companionship. Energy converged to bring new life into our website, for which we are deeply grateful, and we remain thankful for many individuals in the meeting who are involved in service and action as well as numerous Quaker-affiliated groups.

As the year ended, we drew together once again for a series of listening sessions to guide our discernment of the meeting’s needs and direction. Are we on the right path? What is our vision? How can we best meet our needs and work toward this vision? We look to 2018 with awe and wonder… and with faith we will be led to our unique Truth.

 

 

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Two New Prayer Opportunities

April 28, 2018

Ministry and Counsel Announces Two New Prayer Opportunities

A new Contemplative Prayer group will meet at the Meetinghouse on Wednesday, May 9 and Tuesday, June 5 from 7:00-8:00pm.  Once the group gets started we’ll figure out where the meeting place should best be held.  Contact Joyce Gibson jetrag64@gmail.com or 978.501.6194 if you have questions or if you’d like to be part of it but are unable to make these dates.   

A Prayer Circle of people who wish to make a commitment to daily or regular prayer is beginning.  Members of the prayer circle will be praying on their own (rather than in a meeting) but will be in communication about people and situations we wish to hold in the Light. Ministry and Counsel will be guiding this group.  Contact Sukie Rice sukierice45@gmail.com or 207.865.3768 if you are interested in being a part of this group.

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Friends School Portland Presents Rebecca Traister

This event is part of Friends School of Portland‘s ongoing Parenting for Peace lecture series, representing the school’s commitment to providing its larger community with opportunities for inquiry and discernment.

 

Rebecca Traister is currently writing a book about women, anger, and social/political change.  She asks herself:  How do I view the reality of women’s anger–as a nation-shaping catalytic, often progressive social force-with my Quaker education that complicated my feelings about the use of aggression?  This talk is about the process of trying to fit the anger so many of us are feeling about power imbalances and injustice into a Quaker framework.  What is at odds with it?  What makes sense?  A discussion period will follow.
Rebecca Traister is writer at large for New York magazine and a contributing editor at Elle. A National Magazine Award finalist, she has written about women in politics, media, and entertainment from a feminist perspective for The New Republic and Salon and has also contributed to The NationThe New York ObserverThe New York Times and The Washington Post. Traister’s first book, Big Girls Don’t Cry, about women and the 2008 election, was a New York Times Notable Book of 2010 and the winner of the Ernesta Drinker Ballard Book prize. Rebecca’s most recent book, All the Single Ladies, is described as “a nuanced investigation into the sexual, economic, and emotional lives of women in America.”
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This event is generously cosponsored by Bernstein Shur and USM’s Department of Women and Gender Studies.

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This event is part of Friends School of Portland‘s ongoing Parenting for Peace lecture series, representing our commitment to providing our larger community with opportunities for inquiry and discernment.Have questions? Please visit Friends School of Portland’s website or email info@friendsschoolofportland.org.
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“The Light In Winter” by Jo-an Jacobus

Message at Durham Friends Meeting, April 22, 2018

Today is Earth Day.  The synchronicity of that being the day I give the message was an unexpected fluke.  I was to have given the message last week but things shifted to meet other needs, and I was flexible.  So, here we are…

I live with major depression, and it cycles, but only below the midline. I do not go into the mania.   Usually, I cycle right around the midline.  That is not too bad.  I can live there and manage in the world, doing the things that need doing, enjoying the world around me.

This winter it has been very bad, the worst in many years.

I have had a hard time feeling my usual connection with the Spirit, the God of my understanding.  In that regard, I’ve bumbled along “acting as if”, as they say in 12 Step programs, acting as though I still felt the connection with my Higher Power: saying prayers as best I could. Prayers asking for help for myself and others. Prayers of thanks were harder.  Sometimes prayer became short indeed, something along the lines of, “I’m still here.  It’s awful in this skin.  Please don’t forget me.”  Or even, “G’morning Goddess.  Help!”  But I always tried for more.

When I am this depressed I do not manage to keep commitments – to myself or others.  My self-care suffers, often feeling insurmountable to me: keeping my world running smoothly, or running at all, even doing the basic daily care people take for granted seems beyond my reach.

Sometimes I don’t make it to Meeting, or anywhere else, or if I get out, I don’t interact with Friends, with people all that well.  Being with people is sometimes too much.   Yet, in these worst times, I sometimes rise above to have moments of laughter and good interactions but those moments do not mean all is lightness and joy in my world.  Everything seems to be going along just fine, until… it’s not.

In March, for the first time in over twenty years, I went back on antidepressants.  They have been added to the medications I take for the cycling.

The saving Grace of the winter was unexpected and came in small instants offering blessings of Love every time I drove my car.  What a strange place for the darkness to lift, but there it was.

The Light this brought into my life carried me through this darkest of winters.  As I drove I noticed Nature in all Her glory.  The small field of hills behind the tree farm.  The trees nestled up next to the road hugging me tightly.  The stream that roared over the small dam as I passed.  The smaller and smaller lines of the tree branches against the sky.  The mist and fog slowly moving between the trees, around the houses, over the hills.  The rays of light flashing from the diamonds stuck on all the trees, the roof lines, on the stone walls, the power lines, and street signs.  All standing quietly available for my glance. Fortunately, I was able to see.  My eyes, my soul soaked in the beauty, the wonder.  It carried me through the darkness of each day.

Most important, I was able to be thankful for living in this world of beauty.  I couldn’t say prayers in the forms I was used to. I could not say thank you for the life I had been given.  But I could say, “Thank you for this world”.

Happy Earth Day, Friends. 

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Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, April 15, 2018

April 15, 2018

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened in worship for the conduct of business on Sunday, April 15, 2018 with 10 people present. Martha Hinshaw Sheldon served as clerk and read NEYM Interim Faith and Practice section on corporate discernment.

  1. The March minutes were approved with one correction: June 2 is the correct date for the plant and yard sale.
  2. The Ministry and Counsel report was brought by Martha Sheldon. They met Sunday, April 8 and discussed the following: responsibilities for worship; the clock; Handbook and handout updates; pastoral care needs; Powell House seminar; prayer circle/group; and the State of Society Report. A contemplative prayer group will meet in the Brunswick area on May 9 and June 5, location to be announced.   A prayer circle will be developed. Participants will communicate by emails and phone calls. The Newsletter will include information about these groups.

They presented the State of Society report [which can be found later in the newsletter this month].

  1. This report was approved with gratitude, to be sent to Falmouth Quarterly Meeting.
  2. Kitsie Hildebrandt, Treasurer, handed out the following reports: a list of Accounts, and Income and Expenses for the year’s first quarter (attached).
  3. Sarah Sprogell sent the Finance Committee Report. Sarah attended a New England Yearly Meeting sponsored workshop for finance committees and treasurers on March 13 at Mt. Toby Friends Meeting. There was good sharing of experiences and ideas from the 12 meetings gathered. Some shared their method of planning for future repair and replacement needs, which Sarah will bring to our Finance Committee for consideration. Meetings are being asked to join with NEYM under a group ID number, under new IRS rules. Further information will be forthcoming in the next month or two.

The Finance Committee recommends that the meeting support requests for three camperships for Friends Camp at $315 each for this summer, for a total of $945. The Committee is making this request because they think Friends Camp is an effective way to support and encourage our youth in experiencing and developing Quaker values. They recognize $945 is beyond our planned budget of $500 for 2018. Therefore, we heartily support the idea that this extra amount of $445 will be made up by contributions.

We enthusiastically approved the request that three camperships at $315 each for a total of $945 be our scholarship goal with designated donations of $445, supplementing our Friends Camp scholarship budget item of $500. An item will be included in the Newsletter soliciting donations.

  1. Cindy Wood sent the report for the Peace and Social Concerns Committee. They met April 12 to review feedback received in three adult Sunday school sessions which discussed the Friend Committee on National Legislation booklet, The World We Seek: Statement of Legislative Policy, as well as from the called meeting March 25. The process of discernment was very encouraging to the committee and all those participating in the process. They recommend sending a letter (attached) from the meeting to FCNL, noting our priorities. The letter will be included in the Newsletter.
  2. We approved sending a letter drafted by the Peace and Social Concerns Committee to Friends Committee on National Legislation as edited by Sukie Rice, Edwin Hinshaw and Betsy Muench.
  3. The Peace and Social Concerns Committee reported that while there was no clear leading for our meeting to work together on one particular cause, we perceived a strong sense of commitment to support the many individuals working in a multitude of areas to make our communities, state, country and world a better place. They recommend that we continue doing what we are already doing, but do it better! What we mean by that is to increase awareness through better communication and by using and promoting our website so that Friends in Durham as well as our neighboring Friends Meetings will know what is happening and how they might contribute energy or resources to make a bigger impact.

We would like our website to list all the programs/efforts/projects that individuals at Durham Friends are doing – as a testament to Quaker beliefs and actions and to make more visible our Meeting’s work, therefore inviting others to join with us. They suggest that an outside information kiosk be erected somewhere visible for announcements of upcoming events and information about Quakers. Trustees will be consulted on this matter. Upcoming events are: quilting bee, Sunday June 3; Kakamega supper, June 30; Christening of warship at BIW in June (opportunity for a witness for peace); and a summer fundraising event for Seeds for Peace.

  1. Wendy Schlotterbeck reported for the Christian Education Committee and Youth Ministry. They have seen new children visit and are glad to have Christine as our childcare provider to welcome and care for them as needed.

We thank Leslie Manning, Donna Hutchins and Tess Hartford for offering the Seder Supper on March 29. About 20 people enjoyed the deeply spiritual fellowship and meal together. It was festive and prayerful.   On Easter Sunday, April 1, after a lovely and hearty breakfast, 9 children enjoyed hunting for eggs and choosing some prizes. We give thanks to Katherine Langelier, Dorothy Curtis and Sukie Rice for their hard work organizing and preparing for this special day. The Intergenerational Game Night/potluck on April 7 had 21 participants with a variety of games. They hope to continue hosting this event every month.

           The Adult Sunday School class discussed the FCNL booklet, The World We Seek on three Sundays. Currently the class is reading and discussing the Paradox of the Quaker Minister. Gene Boyington will share his spiritual journey on April 22.

The month of June includes the Annual Yard and Plant Sale on June 2. Please drop off yard sale items and plants in the horse shed the previous week. Children’s Day is June 3 when we celebrate children and youth of our meeting and mark the close of Sunday School for children and youth until the fall. The annual Family Campout at Betsy Muench’s Georgetown home will be held June 16-17.

Some hope to attend the “Healing Turtle Island” ceremony on July 14 in Passadumkeag, Maine, invited by our Wabanaki friends.

The Youth Minister and Christian Education Committee continue to hold spiritual care and nurture of the children and youth of our meeting with much love and tenderness.

  1. Sarah Sprogell and Margaret Wentworth were approved to be our representatives at Falmouth Quarterly Meeting on April 28, 2018.
  2. We approved the amount of $500 from the Charity Account to assist in a member’s home situation.
  3. It was reported sadly that three of our members have died recently: Angelo Pane, Lavada Caton, and Eileen Babcock. Eileen Babcock’s memorial meeting was held on April 1 in the meetinghouse. Remembrances of these members will be shared in the Newsletter.
  4. The New England Yearly Meeting Living Faith gathering was well attended by our members Joyce Gibson, Leslie Manning, Wendy Schlotterbeck and Linda Muller. There was a large contingent of young adult friends.

We closed with a moment of silence.

Dorothy Hinshaw, Recording Clerk

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Quakerism = Hope

April 17, 2018

“As the stillness of Quaker Meeting unfolds,

it opens up a space in which we can listen and wait — both comfortable and uncomfortable, holy and ordinary, still and dynamic. And whilst I don’t pretend Quakerism has all the answers, sitting in collective quietness with other Quakers has been profoundly healing for me because the silence has made way for something else in my life: hope. The radically kind and egalitarian foundations of Quakerism, coupled with this weekly practice of stillness, has sparked a flicker of hopefulness that I can make a difference, in whatever small and mundane ways I am able. That it is ok to rest. That it is ok to fail. That it will all be ok.

“Regardless of whether you are young or old, atheist or faithful, I would encourage you to take some time for silence today. Sit down, let the quiet wash over you, and breathe.”

From Jessica Hubbard-Bailey, Life Is Tough for Young People But Being a Quaker Has Given Me Hope

h/t Martin Kelley, Quaker Ranter Daily

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Woman’s Society Report, March 19, 2018

Woman’s Society Report March 19, 2018

By Angie Reed, Secretary

Six women met the evening of March 19 at Theresa Oleksiw’s home. Theresa presented the program and devotions on our need to be stewards of the environment,

In business, the Treasurer and Secretary reports from last month were reviewed and accepted with minor revisions. The card ministry was completed, and Nancy reported that the Monthly Meeting approved Woman’s Society holding a Silent Auction prior to and ending at our next meeting. Gently used items appropriate for an auction can be brought to the Meetinghouse on April 8 and 15. The final bids will be accepted at our next meeting on April 16. Prayers were asked for the new principle of Ramallah Friends School, Adrian Moody. There was a discussion about the Tedford teams and a list was made of people to ask to join teams. Theresa agreed to make these calls. There was also a discussion about the status of the tablecloths at the Meeting house. Both items will be discussed further at our next meeting.

We ended the meeting with a poem read by Dorothy Curtis and refreshments provided by Theresa.

All are welcome to join us at our next meeting which will be on April 16 at 7pm at the Meetinghouse. We will start the program with the auction and have the program and business meeting after it.

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Silent Auction in April: Come Join the Fun

Silent Auction

By Angie Reed

Please join Woman’s Society for this fund raiser. Bring your gently used items, jewelry, household items, children’s games, and other items that someone may want to bid on.

Items can be brought to the Meetinghouse on April 8 and 15.

There will be a list near each item for your bids. Minimum starting bid is 50 cents, and minimum continued bid is 25 cents.

Items will be rewarded at our next Woman’s Society meeting which will be held April 16 at the Meetinghouse. COME JOIN THE FUN!!!

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New Book By Doug Gwyn

Library News, By Dorothy Hinshaw

Our library has added a new book to the library by Doug Gwyn, our former pastor: “The Call to Radical Faithfulness, Covenant Quaker Experience”, an interesting and readable historical overview.

+++

You can also see a new QuakerSpeak video on Queries featuring Doug Gwyn.

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Powell House Pastoral Ministry Event

Tending the Flock:  A weekend to encourage Friends called to pastoral ministry

April 27–29, 2018  Powell House Retreat and Conference Center,  Old Chatham, NY

This is a workshop for those:

  • Who feel called to pastoral concerns for the wellbeing of the Meeting as a body.
  • Who walk alongside individuals and encourage them in their spiritual development.
  •  Who Friends turn to when there are difficulties to untangle, trusting their guidance and care.

Martha Hinshaw Sheldon and Sukie Rice will be attending the conference for Ministry and Counsel.  Others interested should be in contact with one of them.

In keeping with the Powell House commitment to welcome Friends regardless of financial means, this is a Pay-As-Led event.

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Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, March 18, 2018

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened in worship for the conduct of business on Sunday, March 18, 2018 with 18 people present. Clerk, Sukie Rice, opened the meeting with a reading from the 1985 New England Faith and Practice section on The Meeting for Business.

  1. The February minutes were approved.
  2. Martha Hinshaw Sheldon sent a report from Ministry and Counsel.
  3. Speakers are scheduled until mid-April. If you are interested in bringing a message, contact Kristna Evans or James Douglas.
  4. They continued to discuss specific and general issues for pastoral care, and are thankful for those who have helped with pastoral care concerns in the past months. Please contact anyone on Ministry and Counsel about pastoral care concerns you, or someone you know, may have.
  5. “Tending the Flock; a Weekend to Encourage Friends Called to Pastoral Ministry” is the title of a retreat which will be held at Powell House Retreat and Conference Center in Old Chatham, NY April 27-29, to which at least two of our Ministry and Counsel members will attend. Others interested should contact Martha Sheldon or Sukie Rice.
  6. They discussed developing a prayer group and Sukie Rice and Joyce Gibson volunteered to take a lead in this concern. Interested people should speak with one of them about participation.
  7. Ministry and Counsel began a discussion on the flow of worship and giving adequate time for waiting worship. They agreed that the call to worship with prayers of joy and concern would begin very shortly after the second hymn followed by the children’s message if there is one.

We expressed our gratitude for the work of Ministry and Counsel.

  1. We further discussed plans for an ongoing prayer group; suggestions were made and Ministry and Counsel will bring proposals to monthly meeting in April.
  2. Friends World Committee for Consultation would like to send a representative to visit our meeting and we welcome a visit.
  3. Wendy Schlotterbeck gave the Youth Minister and Christian Education Committee report. They plan several spring and summer events: Leslie Manning will host a Passover Seder dinner on March 29; Easter breakfast at 8:30 on April 1 with activities for children; Game Night, April 7; a New England Yearly Meeting Living Faith Gathering will occur April 14 in Portland; Children’s Day June 3; Campout in Georgetown June 16-17; plant and yard sale June 21. See detailed information about these event in the Newsletter. They hope to have a one-day Peace School in July (Bible School format).
  4. We approved that a silent auction conducted by the Woman’s Society be held on April 8 and 15.
  5. Leslie Manning reported for the Trustees. They recommend replacing the heavy wooden tables with lighter plastic ones, 4 this year and 4 more next year. The Finance Committee will be consulted concerning this purchase and Trustees will bring a recommendation. They hope to paint the meeting room this summer.
  6. Ingrid Chalufour reported for Peace and Social Concerns Committee. “The Mother’s Dream Quilt” is a project of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. A quilting bee is being planned and they request that it be held at our meeting in June.
  7. We approved the use of our meeting for the quilt project.
  8. The Finance Committee requested that the meeting up-date the signatures for our Norway Savings Bank accounts.
  9. We approved the following persons to be signatories for the checking account and any other accounts that require a signature: Nancy Marstallar, Sarah Sprogell, and Katherine (Kitsie) Hildebrandt. Barbara (Bobbie) Jordan and Phyllis Wetherall are coming off the signatories list.
  10. The meeting has begun to receive requests for scholarships for Friends Camp this summer. Announcements will be made in meeting and the Newsletter that interested youth need to apply and that camp funds are available in our budget for scholarships.
  11. We approved the suggestion that Friends can make donations to the Camp Fund in order to increase the budgeted $500 so that more financial assistance will be made available to campers.
  12. Clerks Meeting: a meeting of committee clerks met March 14. They meet every 6-8 weeks.
  13. An extended discussion ensued regarding outreach. Doug Bennett as a member of the Next Steps on Strengthening Durham Friends Meeting Working Group led the discussion using colored cards recording our views on the meaning of the word, “outreach”, and our ideas for outreach. A worksheet listing ideas was presented and we added more ideas. This topic was sent back to this “ad hoc” committee for further discernment on how to proceed with the positive ideas presented.
  14. After much discussion about the meeting room clock, it was concluded that we would continue another two weeks with the present quiet clock, and then not have any clock in the room for two weeks. The issue will be brought to Ministry and Counsel for further discernment, and then to April monthly meeting.

The business meeting closed with a circle of quiet prayer.

Dorothy Hinshaw, Recording Clerk

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“Follow the Bad Guy?” by Doug Bennett

In a message on an Easter that was also April Fool’s Day, Doug Bennett retold a crime story in which the suspect escaped — and leaves us all with important questions.  Should we follow this ‘bad guy?’  If we do, will we escape, too?  You can read the message on Doug’s blog, River View Friend.  

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