Durham Friends Meeting sits on land that is a homeland for the Wabenaki for centuries. Nearly all of us who regularly worship at Durham Friends live and work and play in this Wabenaki homeland.
We are in the homeland of the Wabanaki, the People of the Dawn. We extend our respect and gratitude to the many Indigenous people and their ancestors whose rich histories and vibrant communities include the Abenaki, Maliseet, Micmac, Passamaquoddy, and Penobscot Nations and all of the Native communities who have lived here for thousands of generations in what is known today as Maine, New England, and the Canadian Maritimes. We make this acknowledgement aware of continual violations of water, territorial rights, and sacred sites in the Wabanaki homeland. [from the Abbe Museum website]
At its 2020 Annual Session, New England Yearly Meeting brought forward a draft Apology to Native Americans, to be considered at the 2021 Annual Session.
Below are some resources for better understanding of the Wabenaki people.
Resources at the Abbe Museum Educator Hub
The 2020 Annual Meeting of the Brunswick Topsham Land Trust featured presentations by Joseph Hall (a Bates College professor) and Kerry Hall (author of Notes on a Lost Flute).
- Blood Memory
- Penobscot: Contested River
- Bruce Bourque, Twelve Thousand Years: American Indians in Maine
- Lisa Brooks, Our Beloved Kin and The Common Pot
- Kerry Hall, Notes on a Lost Flute
- Jeanne Morningstar Kent, The Visual Language of Wabanaki Art
- Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass
- Barry Lopez, The Rediscovery of North America
- Henry Lorne Masta, Abenaki Indian Legends, Grammar and Place Names
- Alice Mead, Giants of The Dawnland: Ancient Wabanaki Tales
- Frederick Matthew Wiseman, The Dawn: An Autohistory of the Abenaki People
- Wheeler, History of Brunswick, Topsham and Harpswell (1878), chapter 1, “Aboriginal Inhabitants”
- Colin Woodward, Unsettled
Durham Friends Woman’s Society met October 19, in the evening, via Zoom. Nine women listened to a program given by Qat Langelier on “Go and Tell all the Nations, a call to tell and listen.” We were encouraged to speak with humility and to listen to others from other lands who can teach us. Qat also shared from the book Bread for the Resistance by Donna Barber on ongoing conversion, or what Quakers call continuing revelation.
David Dexter made a donation to Humane Society via the Woman’s Society in honor of Mildred Alexander. Thank you, David!
Prayers were shared for Friends throughout the world dealing directly with COVID-19. The monthly Tedford house meal was delivered to a smaller group at the house due to COVID-19. Groceries are accepted at the family shelter by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. Conversations and sharing of stories ended the meeting as we continue to grow in our journeys.
The next meeting is Monday, November 16, at 6:30 p.m. on Zoom. All are welcome to attend.
Durham Friends are invited to join an ongoing series of Meetings for Healing, hosted by Portland Friends Meeting on Thursdays at 7 p.m. From the convenors: “Meeting for Worship for Healing is an old Quaker tradition. Our goal with this meeting is to focus on the physical and spiritual illnesses of the current world. It’s not intended to be the same as a full meeting for worship but instead is meant to be focused communal prayer. We may be blessed with a time of deep silence. Messages may arise but should be de-centered from our ego.”
Meetings are held via Zoom. Because of changes to Zoom you may be in a waiting room. Don’t worry, someone will let you in soon. (https://zoom.us/j/91925135193,Meeting ID: 919 2513 5193)
On the night of October 27 Jane Walters passed from this earth leaving her family and beloved husband Bob.
More information to be sent out when details are learned of a memorial celebration of life.
May we keep Bob and his family in our prayers.
— Martha Sheldon
Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends virtually convened via Zoom for the conduct of business on Sunday, October 18, 2020, with 10 people present. Martha Hinshaw Sheldon opened the meeting with a quote by Jeff Foster: Let Yourself Rest, from the Contemplative Monk blog.
1. The September minutes were approved as printed in the newsletter.
2. Sarah Sprogell announced that Falmouth Quarterly Meeting will meet on Saturday, October 24, at 10:00 a.m. on Zoom. Sarah Sprogell and Leslie Manning (upon her assent) were approved as representatives from Durham Meeting.
3. Clerks Committee: Martha Sheldon reported that the meeting Handbook revision is ongoing; Martha read a proposed revision of the section on “Pastor,” which will be edited with suggestions and approved in November.
4. Communications Committee: Liana Thompson Knight is currently serving as both clerk of the Communications Committee and interim newsletter editor. The committee asks that she be replaced as interim newsletter editor because she has a very full plate. Mey Hasbrook volunteered to lend a hand while a replacement is sought.
Doug Bennett has been serving as the meeting’s website editor for the past three years. During this time, Mason Langelier has provided technical services. Doug requests that he now handle both the content and technical sides of the website, believing this would be smoother and more efficient. We expressed much appreciation to Mason Langelier for his efforts.
5. Finance Committee: Sarah Sprogell brought the third quarter finance report, which recorded that the total operating revenue is $49,039.36, and total operating expense is $26,943.73 as of the end of September.
6. Treasurer: Katharine (Kitsie) Hildebrandt reported that a memorial contribution for Susan Rice and Clarabel Marstaller of $1,500.00 has been received. She suggests splitting this amount in half with a donation to the Charity Fund (from Susan Rice) and the General Fund (from Clarabel Marstaller), for approval next month.
Andrew Higgins was given $1,000 from the Charity Fund to help with expenses incurred due to an accident, as reported last month.
7. Trustees: Katharine Hildebrandt suggested that ongoing work to the physical plant be funded by both the Capital Fund and the General Fund. A decision about this funding was delayed until next month.
Donna Hutchins reported that Sam Miller, Durham resident and mason, will be pointing meetinghouse bricks and replacing windows in gable and basement.
8. Peace and Social Concerns Committee: Nancy Marstaller raised a concern about our connection to Velasco, Cuba, Friends Meeting and that Portland Meeting would like to join us as a sister meeting relationship. We suggested that Nancy Marstaller and Wendy Schlotterbeck collaborate with Portland Friends Meeting members to form a committee to continue contact with Velasco Meeting. Nancy Marstaller volunteered to write an article for the newsletter regarding this new collaboration and with information about our relationship with Velasco Friends.
Ingrid Chalufour sent a report which stated that the committee is focused on the Becoming Antiracist discussion series, and hopes future activities will grow out of these discussions. They are looking for new committee members to help grow a bigger agenda for the coming months.
The committee reviewed their entry in the Handbook and agreed that it did not need any changes.
9. We approved a joint committee to collaborate with Portland Meeting regarding communication with Velasco Friends Meeting, with Nancy Marstaller and Wendy Schlotterbeck as committee members.
10. Christian Education Committee: Wendy Schlotterbeck reported that the committee met October 8 via Zoom and spent most of the time planning the Halloween party; detailed information was in the newsletter.
The first art/music kids/youth gathering was held the afternoon of October 17.They built musical instruments (xylophones and wind chimes) using sticks, bamboo, corks, and string.
Tess, Wendy, and Kim constructed an outdoor fire pit in the meetinghouse back yard, hung the refurbished Black Lives Matter sign, and tied festive corn stalks to the porch walkway posts.
Trustees gave permission to “landscape” the area behind the horse shed to make a nature space friendly to all ages.
11. Youth Minister: Wendy Schlotterbeck continues to staff NEYM Young Friends activities. She was a resource person for the October 7-9 Young Friends Virtual Retreat and the October 16 virtual “Art Group.”
Wendy plans to have monthly gatherings for kids/youth throughout the coming year on Saturday afternoons outside the meetinghouse.
12. Ministry and Counsel: Renee Cote, recording clerk of Ministry and Counsel, reported that there have been occasional problems with Zoom access for meeting for worship and the Monday morning prayer group. There have been issues with the “waiting room” and the “passcode.” Wendy Schlotterbeck, Mey Hasbrook, and Doug Bennett will work on solving Zoom problems, and see if anything needs to be changed on the website. Ministry and Counsel is considering applying to the New England Yearly Meeting Legacy Fund to support hybrid (in house) worship. NEYM has suggested a number of options. Doug Bennett will research these options to consider which setup might work for us.
They announced two forthcoming speakers: October 25, Johan Maurer, former General Secretary of Friends United Meeting, member of Eugene Friends Church, Sierra Cascades Yearly Meeting; and November15, Cai Quirk, Ithaca Friends Meeting, New York Yearly Meeting.
With sadness, we learned of the death of member Mildred P. Alexander on September 18, 2020. Her obituary is on the website. Several persons will be asked to help the clerk write a memorial minute for Mildred.
Doug Bennett took down the calendar on the website as it was not being used. Google Calendar is suggested as a possibility, if the ability to add to the calendar can be limited. This calendar would pertain to use of the meetinghouse. A first step is to set up Google Calendar just for use of the clerks of the different committees. Anyone interested and knowledgeable in helping is very welcome.
13. Meeting Care Coordinator: Mey Hasbrook reported that more Zoom sessions with her will be forthcoming with attenders and members; at this time, though, requests have come to a standstill. Additionally, local volunteers to bring messages are fairly silent. Speakers are scheduled for most of November. Names of speakers will be posted in the newsletter and on the website upon confirmation. She encourages Friends here at Meeting for Business to consider bringing a message in meeting. She thanks us for our discernment.
Martha Sheldon, Clerk, closed the meeting by reading a letter from former member and pastor Ralph Greene, who expressed appreciation for and support of Durham Friends Meeting.
Dorothy Hinshaw, Recording Clerk
Falmouth Quarterly Meeting will meet on Saturday, October 24, 10am to Noon. The Meeting will take place via ZOOM. Link information:
- Meeting Link https://zoom.us/j/2814426094
- Phone number 301-715-8592
- Meeting ID 281-442-6094
- Password Ask your Quarterly Meeting representative or e-mail dougb AT earlham DOT edu
Mark your calendars! Teens from Southern Maine who are Quaker or curious about the Quaker way are getting together for an afternoon of fellowship and fun in person.
We’ll meet outside at Durham Friends Meeting and spend time playing games, going for a short hike, and enjoying meaningful discussion with a small group of youth and staff.
RSVP here and use that form to let us know your ideas for more things we could do together.
For more information, contact Maggie Nelson, Young Friends Events Organizer, at email@example.com or at 978-382-1850.
Woman’s Society members gathered via Zoom on Monday, September 21, with seven in attendance.
We shared prayer requests of our local and extended community and Nancy Marstaller shared a program based on John 15:12-17 — love one another, care for those near and far, and cultivate our internal mission field. This internal reflection is looking at our motivations for helping others.
We then discussed one of our most important outreach programs of bringing monthly meals to the Brunswick Tedford House. Many within and connected to the Meeting share in this task.
The treasurer’s report listed donations to Good Shepherd, Midcoast Hunger Prevention Program, Kickapoo Friends Center in Oklahoma, and New Beginnings. Dorothy Curtis made and delivered baby quilts to Wendy Schlotterbeck for her granddaughter Eva and to Paul Miller for his grandchild.
Our next meeting will be Monday, October 19, at 6:30 on Zoom. All women of the meeting are most welcome! — Blessings, Martha Hinshaw Sheldon
Our longtime member Mildred Alexander passed from this life on September 18, 2020. Below is an obituary and notice of her services.
Mildred P. Alexander 89, a longtime resident of Pinkham Brook Rd. Durham died Friday September 18, at Mid Coast Senior Health, with her family at her side. She was born in Lisbon Falls a daughter of the late Louis and Annette (Boultbee) Dumas. She was educated in local schools.
Mildred married Andrew Alexander in January of 1949, and they spent many happy years together until he passed in 2009.
Mildred enjoyed her jigsaw puzzles her cats and most of all enjoyed time spent with her great grandchildren.
She is survived by her sister Laurette Chapman of Lewiston, four grandchildren: Thomas St.Germain of Durham, Carrie St.Germain of Lewiston, Angela Loucka of Tampa, FL and Johnell Ramos of Costa Rica, four great grandchildren and seven great-great grandchildren. She was predeceased a daughter Pauline (Alexander) Harvey in 2006 and three sisters, Annette Tibbets, Beverly Craig and Bernice Curtis.
The family would like to send a very big thank you to the entire staff at Mid Coast Senior Health for the exceptional care given to Mildred, especially in her last days.
You are invited to offer condolences and pay tribute to Mildred’s life by visiting her guest book at www.crosmanfuneralhome.com
Visitation Crosman Funeral Home Thursday 9/24 from 10-11:30 am, with a graveside service to follow at Pleasant View Cemetery at 12 Noon. Those wishing to make memorial donations in her memory may do so to Midcoast Humane Society 30 Range Rd, Brunswick, ME 04011.
Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends virtually convened via Zoom for the conduct of business on Sunday, September 20, 2020 with 18 people present. Clerk, Martha Hinshaw Sheldon opened the meeting with two quotes from Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court Justice who recently passed away:
“Fight for the things that you care about but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.”
“Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time.”
- The August minutes were approved.
- Ministry and Counsel: Martha Sheldon reported that Amelia Mae Marstaller (Mimi), who has been a junior member of the meeting, was recommended by the Meeting on Ministry and Counsel for adult membership. Friends enthusiastically approved the change to adult membership and look forward to seeing her via Zoom and in person in the future.
- Meeting Care Coordinator: Mey Hasbrook reported that she has been meeting with her support committee, Clerks Committee, and Ministry and Counsel. She now has the task of finding speakers. She has been meeting members and attenders via Zoom in small groups. She has been especially busy with the transition to Maine and we expressed our support and understanding as she and her family make the move.
- Christian Education Committee: Wendy reported that the committee met September 9 via zoom. They decided to continue nurturing relationships and connections with the Maine Native American history and community. They hope to collaborate with Heather Augustine’s Native American youth group.
Family game nights are on hold for now. They discussed spiritual connections for the children and youth of our meeting. Virtual meetings have not been working for most of the families. Starting in October they will be organizing 2 events per month- both outside, wearing masks and keeping social distance. One will be focused on art and nature, the other including drums and music. Children and youth will be invited according to interest with mixed ages encouraged.
Halloween party: since masks are a natural part they will be having an outdoor Halloween Party at the meetinghouse with masks and social distance on FRIDAY, OCT 30. Everyone is invited- safe, social distance games will be available. And, a special incentive: each child or youth will be asked their favorite candy so they can make individual “COVID- safe” treat bags. Stay tuned for the time- likely late afternoon.
5. Youth Minister: Wendy reported that she will continue checking in with Durham Friends families to get a sense of their needs.
She will continue to participate in the Young Friends program of NEYM and will continue to help staff/offer help with upcoming Young Friends retreats. The next Young Friends retreat will be the weekend of Oct 2-4. Durham Young Friends are encouraged to participate!! See link- https://neym.org/online-retreat-registration.
Wendy will be researching and building a safe outdoor space at the Meeting House for gatherings including a fire pit, with approval from Trustees.
6. Treasurer: Katharine (Kitsie) Hildebrandt expressed appreciation for financial support of the meeting (checks are being received) during this time of our virtual meetings.
Kitsie reported that the current contract that she negotiated with Consolidated Communications for the phone and internet is a better rate than for the internet alone.
7. The Trustees have been busy with many projects regarding the meeting property previously mentioned in the minutes, i.e., paint, hallway floors, and horse shed repairs. Thank you, Tess for washing the fleece blankets in the meeting room, and airing bench cushions. Contact Trustees for a detailed list of completed work and future projects.
The Trustees recommended a donation of $1000 from the Charity Fund to Andrew Higgins who has suffered injuries from a serious accident.
8. We approved a donation of $1000 to Andrew Higgins from the Charity Fund.
9. Jo-an Jacobus thanked the meeting for the use of the meetinghouse for the Sunday night 12 step group as they resume meeting together when it is safe to physically gather.
10. Peace and Social Concerns Committee launched a discussion series on Becoming Antiracist on Sept. 15. Twelve attenders participated in a thoughtful discussion. The next discussion is on Oct. 6 and you can attend even if you did not attend the first one. If you have any feedback on the first discussion please share it with Ingrid.
Ingrid has begun attending the Bath Brunswick Hub meetings of the Poor Peoples Campaign. She will cautiously look for ways Durham Meeting can be involved. The goals of the campaign are very aligned with Quaker values. If you are interested in learning more about the campaign there is a link to information on the Meeting website.
The committee is losing Brown (Richard Lethem) as a member due to his moving away. He has been an active member for several years. They are looking for two new members to help take on the many peace and social concerns we all share.
11. Carbon footprint: Kitsie Hildebrandt and Ingrid Chalufour reported that they are consulting with John Ruthe from Vassalboro Meeting regarding our effort to reduce our carbon footprint.
12. The Clerks Committee is working on updating our Handbook and will present a draft of their suggestions next month.
Martha Sheldon closed the meeting expressing appreciation for those who have assumed various responsibilities. She repeated the quote: “Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time,” and said that as a community, we are taking steps toward change as we follow the Spirit’s guide.
Dorothy Hinshaw, Recording Clerk
From Peace and Social Concerns Committee:
The Poor People’s Campaign is now launching a Moral Policy Agenda to Heal and Transform America: The Poor People’s Jubilee Platform. This platform proclaims that moral policy is also economically sound policy, because the 140 million are not only the hope of the poor. The least of these, who are, in actuality, most of us, can lead this country out of the pain we have been suffering. The rejected are leading a moral and economic revival to save the heart and soul of this nation. Forward together, not one step back!
The Platform is grounded in five principles:
- We need a moral revolution of values to repair the breach in our society. This platform abides by our deepest Constitutional and moral commitments to justice. Where harm has been done, it must be acknowledged and undone.
- Everybody in, nobody out. Too many people are hurting and we can’t be silent anymore. Everybody is deserving of our nation’s abundance.
- When you lift from the bottom, everybody rises. Instead of “trickle-down,” we start with the bottom up.
- Prioritize the leadership of the poor, low-income and most impacted. Those who are on the frontlines of these crises must also be in the lead in identifying their solutions.
- Debts that cannot be paid must be relieved. We demand freedom from servicing the debts we cannot pay.
For more on the Jubilee Platform, go here.
By Twila Greene, August 2, 2020
It’s been a lonely season and I hunger for my friends,
And I find my thoughts reverting to the past.
For last night I took a journey, that gave my soul delight,
As I walked across an old familiar path.
Elated, I surveyed the scene that was in front of me,
For all my Friends were gathered there in peaceful harmony.
All the women of the group were gathered in the Meeting,
Together for our fellowship, with pleasure in our greeting.
Bee was sitting by the bookcase, with Margaret in the loop,
Sue Wood suggested one to use for our discussion group.
She had read it and it touched her heart,
It would benefit all if we read it from the start.
Lida, Eileen and Sylvia were putting out the dishes,
With lots of festive goodies that all looked so delicious.
Dorothy, Mary and Charlotte Ann were in the kitchen with the food.
Something from the oven was smelling mighty good.
Dotty, Susan and Norma were in the Nursery Extension,
Reading to some little ones too numerous to mention.
This was the winter of ’88 with lots of little tots,
To love and teach and sing to them the joyous Meeting thoughts.
Nancy, Linda and Charlotte were decorating the tree,
With homemade socks and mittens for those who were in need.
Clarabel was trying to peacefully end a squabble
Syretha and Tess vied for the privilege to hang the treetop bauble.
Kitsie and Muriel were leading in devotions,
Giving us things to ponder and asking for our notions.
Elizabeth and Mabel were engaging in a chat,
Remembering all the old times and discussing this and that.
Dorothy Henton and Ruth Graham and also Del Weed,
Were inviting Helen Clarkson to join them for the feed.
Mildred had come early to make coffee and fruit punch,
Such were the events that made our Christmas lunch.
Everyone was gathered in contentment and accord,
Lunch was ready and everyone paused to thank the Lord.
Dorothy, from the Henton House, insisted on saying grace,
And a happy smile was seen to come on to Gracie’s face.
After gifts were open and we all had had our fill,
Sukie had a gift for us which was our closing thrill.
She had brought her harp with her, we all joined voice in song
I’m sure the angels joined with us in singing right along.
Such a pleasant time I spent with all the women there,
I woke up then refreshed and joyous music filled the ‘air,’
What a joy and gift I found in reliving that delight,
All was so realistic as I pondered on that night.
That was such a pleasure, a joy that was all mine,
Such a glorious meeting, such a glimpse of Love divine.
What I wouldn’t give if I could visit just once more,
And share that joy of entering through that meeting door.
I sure do miss those days and all the women that were once involved. Wish we lived closer, so I could continue in worship and get to know the newer members. When this pandemic is over I hope to visit. Durham is my heart’s home. Love to all, Twila
Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends virtually convened via Zoom for the conduct of business on Sunday, July 19, 2020, with 14 people present. Martha Sheldon shared a quote from Howard Thurman: “There is something in every one of you that wants and listens for the sound of the genuine in yourself. It is the only true guide you will ever have.”
1. The July minutes were approved with one correction: the title of Angie Thomas’s book should read, The Hate U Give in minute no. 6.
2. Sarah Sprogell reported that the Clearness Committee for Ingrid Chalufour’s request for membership felt united in recommending approval of her request.
3. We enthusiastically approved the membership of Ingrid Chalufour and welcomed her as an official member of Durham Friends Meeting.
4. Sarah Sprogell reported for Falmouth Quarterly Meeting which met on July 25, 2020. “Sixteen Friends met by Zoom to share and reflect on experiences of caring for our communities during this time of pandemic restrictions. We found the spirit moving among us as we listened and joined in worship sharing, as each monthly meeting spoke to its condition. We intend to meet again on October 24 for business and a review of our budget.
“As a follow-up, a small group of Friends agreed to serve on a Care Committee for Windham Meeting, and will convene on August 18 to begin listening and discerning with Windham Friends regarding their concerns for their future as their numbers grow smaller.”
We are asked to hold Windham Friends Meeting members in prayer as they consider the future of the meeting.
5. Sarah Sprogell, auditor, reported that the audit for 2019 is complete, and that significant financial events for the meeting in 2019 were: the receipt of a bequest of approximately $32,000 from the estate of long-time member Janet Douglas (ten percent of the bequest was placed in our Charity Account and the balance was placed in our Capital Account); completed the management and final distribution of funds to support the Greene family, which we carried out on behalf of New England Yearly Meeting; and we received reimbursement for reserve funds that had been approved to help renovate a member’s condo in preparation for its sale.
In June we transferred our Charity, Capital and Bernice Douglas Funds from savings type accounts to money market accounts which earn more interest and have check-writing capabilities. We also moved the Woodbury Fund and our operational reserve account to two 18-month CD accounts at a promotional interest rate. In October the meeting approved transferring the balances from the Cox and Bailey Funds into the Charity Account; both of these funds were unrestricted and had been unused for a number of years.
A new hot water heater was purchased for the parsonage in December.
An audit of the operating records shows that this information, as well as bank statements and related documentation, continue to be well-documented, organized and readily accessible for review.
Many thanks go to our treasurer who does an excellent job of managing our financial responsibilities and accounts, a knowledgeable and faithful steward of the meetings finances.
We expressed appreciation for Sarah as auditor.
6. Christian Education/Youth Minister: Wendy Schlotterbeck reported that the committee did not meet in August. Wendy participated in the Religious Education discussion at NEYM on August 8 and two sessions of the global Quaker Religious Education Collaborative this past weekend (Aug. 14-16) with participants from three continents. It was especially rich to hear from Friends in Bolivia, El Salvador and Kenya.
Wendy will be contacting families to offer various possibilities for connections and spiritual formation for Durham Friends children and youth in the coming year.
Our Durham Friends Game Night August 15 was attended by four valiant Friends and they had a lot of fun. They may offer the Trivia Game at our picnic on August 29. More questions can be submitted for this event!
7. Peace and Social Concerns: Ingrid Chalufour sent a report from the committee. A 5 ´ 3 foot Black Lives Matter banner has been ordered to hang between posts on the horse shed. If you have experience hanging banners and are willing to help, please let Ingrid know.
The Bangor Daily News was the only paper to publish our letter-to-the-editor and they removed the Durham Meeting signature and replaced it with Ingrid’s name. Next time the committee will embed the Meeting name in the text.
They hope that you are all picking out readings on racism and planning to participate in their upcoming discussion series. Topics, dates, and times for the Zoom discussions will be in the next [i.e. this] newsletter.
If you have additional ideas on how we might respond to the “peace & social concerns” of the day, please let them know.
Wendy Schlotterbeck announced that she has racial justice posters available for use.
8. Trustees: Donna Hutchins sent a report. The flooring in the back hall was replaced and the flooring in the front entry was refinished in the meetinghouse. A door was replaced, and posts and doors were painted on the horse shed. They removed pillars and a dead tree at entrance of the cemetery. They are moving a sand pile to the green burial area to make a separate parking area, and designing a new fence. We expressed our appreciation for Donna’s thoughtful work as trustee.
9. We were sad to hear that Andrew Higgins, who does our plowing and mowing, has had a serious accident which crushed and injured his legs. He has had 10 surgeries, and three weeks in the hospital, and all this alone due to the COVID restrictions. He awaits skin graft surgeries. Friends of his family have set up a “Go Fund Me” page for him, with a goal of raising $20,000 to help cover medical bills and other costs associated with the accident. The meeting was asked to make a contribution to the family of $500 to $1,000 from the Charity Fund. The suggestion will be referred to Trustees for consideration, with a recommendation coming back to Meeting for Business in September.
An unusual ending to our meeting occurred when all wished Edwin Hinshaw a happy 86th birthday.
Dorothy Hinshaw, Recording Clerk
An Invitation from Peace and Social Concerns
In Ibram X. Kendi’s book, How to be an Antiracist, he says, “Antiracism is a powerful collection of antiracist policies that lead to racial equality and are substantiated by antiracist ideas.” Join the Peace and Social Concerns Committee in an examination of racist ideas and policies with a goal of moving our thinking and actions toward an antiracist future.
Meet with us on Zoom on the following Tuesdays at 7:00:
September 15 – Where are you in your journey toward antiracism? What are you reading and thinking about? Where do you see, through reading or lived experience, racism in our society and our communities? Have you had new insights into the way systemic racism has played out in our country?
Readings: Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Case for Reparations, The Atlantic, June 2014. Nikole Hannah-Jones, What Is Owed, NYTimes, June 26, 2020. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, The Danger of a Single Story (TED Talk). Leonard Pitts, The Appraisal of How Little a Black Life Is Worth Begins at Birth
October 6 – Where do we see change happening? What do you understand about making change happen? Can attitudes and beliefs be changed or is policy the route to change? Does changed policy lead to changed attitudes and beliefs?
October 27 – Where are you feeling called to act? What is your leading at this time? Do you feel complicit? How? What would lead you being more antiracist?
Readings: Catherine Besteman and Joseph N. Jackson, Maine Voices: Want to help remedy racial inequity in Maine? Here are places to start, Portland Press Herald, June 13, 2020. Bill Brown, What Do Quakers Owe Blacks? Tools for Racial Justice, July 2002.
November 17 – Hold the date for a possible follow-up discussion
**Please prepare for the first discussion by reading one or both of the double-starred articles on the list below. Both are available on the Durham Meeting website. We recommend other readings in addition (see list below), particularly Ibram X. Kendi’s book.
- *How to be an Anti-Racist, by Ibram X. Kendi
- The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander
- So You Want to Talk About Race, by Ijeoma Oluo
- White Fragility, by Robin DiAngelo
- The Warmth of Other Suns, by Isabel Wilkerson
- Cast: The Origins of Our Discontents, by Isabel Wilkerson
- Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates
- Me and White Supremacy, by Layla F. Saad
- The Color of Law, by Richard Rothsein
- Waking Up White, Debby Irving
- The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas
- The Fire Next Time, James Baldwin
- **The Case for Reparations, by Ta-Nehisi Coates in The Atlantic Monthly 6/2014
- **What is Owed, by Nikole Hannah-Jones in the New York Times Magazine 6/24/2020
- America’s Enduring Cast System, in the New York Times Magazine 7/1/2020
Links to other readings are on the Peace and Social Concerns page of the Durham Friends Meeting website.)
The most recent Friends Journal, August 2020, is organized around the theme “Pastoral Friends,” an unusual topic for Friends Journal. The articles are worth reading. Especially interesting is “Pastoring Without a Pastor,” by Kathleen Costello Malin, about the experience of Smithfield Friends Meeting, which, like Durham Friends Meeting, is part of New England Yearly Meeting. And, like Durham Friends, Smithfield is trying pastoral worship without a pastor. I recommend the whole article. Likely you’ll need a subscription to read it, but here’s a snippet or two:
“We continue to try things to keep our pastoral meeting’s tradition alive. We had several volunteer “pastors” and have also tried to share the duties of presenting messages among our members. We know that we have people who come to our meeting for the programmed worship. They have alternatives that offer sermons and hymns, including a welcoming Old Catholic church that some of our members also attend. Pastoral care for the members of the meeting was certainly the hardest thing to replicate when we tried it on our own. Not everyone is suited to this type of ministry, and the duty usually falls on those most willing to help.
“After our last pastor retired, our Ministry and Counsel Committee met to explore our options. …
“[F]or several years we took turns giving messages from the lectern during our meetings for worship. We would start with a song and follow with sharing our joys and concerns of the week. After some silent worship, the volunteer would give a message, and then after another period of open worship, we ended with a song.