Agenda and Materials for Durham Friends Business Meeting, May 19, 2024

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends Meeting for Business, May 19, 2024, noon

Materials for the May 19, 2024 Business Meeting can be found HERE.

AGENDA

                        Gather and Centering

                        Opening

                        Approval of Minutes from April Business Meeting

                        Finance – Nancy Marstaller

                                                First quarter report, attached

                        M&C – Renee Cote

                        P&SC – Ingrid Chalufour

                                                Report attached

                        Second consideration of divestment letter to MEPERS

                        Other

                        Close

AFSC Save the Date, June 29, 2024, 3:30 pm

Save the date!

A conversation with 

Joyce Ajlouny General Secretary, AFSC

Keith Harvey, Director, AFSC Northeast Region

Saturday, June 29, 2024, 3:30 p.m.

Friends School of Portland

11 US-1, Cumberland Foreside, ME

Learn about AFSC’s life-saving aid in Gaza, support for immigrant rights, and ongoing commitment to confront injustice and promote healing among the Wabanaki communities in Maine.

Stay tuned for more details

Getry Agizah at Durham Friends on Sunday, May 19 and again on Monday, May 20

Getry Agizah will bring the prepared message to Durham Friend’s semi-programmed worship this Sunday at 10:25 

and

visit with Woman’s Society Monday evening at 7 PM.  Both events are available by Zoom or at the Meetinghouse, durhamfriendsmeeting.org.  FMI contact durham@neym.org

Getry is the Programme Coordinator for FUM’s Africa Ministries Office in Kisumu. She coordinates the work of the Friends Church Peace Team, as well as overseeing the Girl Child Education Programme, and guiding the formation of the new Shepherd Boy Scholarship program. She also manages FUM’s relationships with Turkana Friends Mission and Samburu Friends Mission.  Her ministry has been financially supported by the Falmouth QUarter for many years.

Getry’s will and heart are in peace work. She has spent the past fifteen years working for peace, both in and outside Kenya in countries like Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Southern Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, China, South Africa, Guatemala, and Ireland. She has also traveled within the U.S.A. to raise support for Friends Church Peace Teams, visiting Quaker churches and Meetings in many of the States. Her hobbies are traveling, doing reconciliation work, and helping her society to know real peace.

Meetinghouse Clean Up Day, June 1, 9am to 3pm

The Meeting Trustees (Sarah Sprogell, Dan Henton, Kim Bolshaw, Doug Bennett) would like to invite one and all to a Meetinghouse clean up day on Saturday June 1, 9am to 3pm. Come when you can, leave when you must.

We expect we’ll have things to do inside and outside. Bring a lunch with you. We’ll have fun! and a cleaner meetinghouse, too.

Woman’s Society Meeting Minutes, April 15, 2024

Durham Friends Woman’s Society Meeting Minutes 4.15.2024

We gathered at the Meeting House. WIFI for ZOOM was not available.

Present: Dorothy Curtis, President, Nancy Marstaller, Treasurer, Susan Gilbert, Secretary, Kim Bolshaw, Qat Langelier, Stevie Dutton.

Cards: For Friends.

Program and Devotions: We took turns reading from Blueprints, “God’s Eternal Love” by Natoo Sabina. Scripture: Ephesians 3:17-21.  In 2001 Natoo was inspired in her faith by hearing Pastor John Moru of the Turkana Friends Mission preach on the wonders of God. Natoo’s story is of overcoming loss and hardship to achieve education, marriage and children, with the help of prayer and God’s love. She is a primary school teacher in Turkana County, Kenya, presiding clerk of Kanamkemer village meeting, a part of Lodwar Monthly Meeting, and chair of the USFW sales group in the village.

Minutes: Susan read the 3.18.’24 minutes.

Treasurer’s Report: The account balance is $85.96.We received $20. in March.

Prayers: For Friends.

Tedford Meal: Prepared by Team E: Ham, sweet potatoes, green salad, and chocolate chip cookies. The meal on May 6 will be brought by Leslie Manning’s Team F. Volunteer contributions of food or donations are welcome. 

Other Business: The Woman’s Society will hold another plant sale this year, to be set up on May 22 for a start on Memorial Day weekend. We ask Friends use caution to avoid donating invasive species of worms and plants.

Dorothy closed the meeting with a reading:

God’s grace is too big, too great to understand fully. So we must 

take the moments of His grace throughout the day with us: the 

music of the songbird in the morning, the kindness shown in the afternoon, and the restful sleep at night.

-Anonymous

Respectfully Submitted, Susan Gilbert

Durham Friends Meeting Minutes, April 21, 2024

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends met for the conduct of business on Sunday, April 21, 2024, with 15 people in attendance at the Meetinghouse and one attending by Zoom. Sarah Sprogell clerked the meeting.

1.     Meeting Opening

        Clerk opened the meeting with the following readingfrom the Interim Faith and Practice 2014, Section 3 on Corporate Discernment in Meetings for Business, p. 37.

        “The heart of Friends’ business process is the nurturing of spiritual openness and deep listening that allows the sense of the meeting to emerge.  At times, there may be unanimous agreement that a proposed action should be carried out.  However, when those gathered are not in simple agreement, careful consideration will be given to each speaker, and silent worship may be requested.  If all in attendance draw on their disciplines of worship and stay mindful that the purpose is to seek the will of God for the gathered body, unity can be found and acted upon.” … “The sense of the meeting emerges from the committed efforts of a loving community and strengthens its bonds.”

2.     Approval of Minutes from March 17, 2024 — Sarah Sprogell

        Note: It was requested that committee reports should include the first and last names of the people who are referenced. Recording Clerk will make those changes.

               With these changes, the minutes were approved, with gratitude.

3.     Peace and Social Concerns — Ingrid Chalufour

Please see attached report. The response to FCNL’s request monthly meetings to share feedback on its legislative priorities was read aloud.

A request was made for Meeting to add its signature to letter requesting Maine’s Public Employee’s Retirement System to divest retirement funds from fossil fuels. Members are able to look at the P&SC report and access a link to the letter, which people may also sign individually. 

Meeting agreed to hold this issue over until next month, giving everyone an opportunity to read the entire letter before approving that Meeting as a whole add its signature.

4.     Trustees Report — Kim Bolshaw

        Trustees Request that Meeting approve the following requests:

              a. Quotes from MaineHome (business that removed furnaces)

              – 2 dehumidifiers for the basement $3,264

              – replace bulkhead $6,210

              Meeting approved these 2 projects.

b. Premier Contracting to paint the exterior addition of the Meetinghouse, including trim as well as trim on the brick portion of the building: $5,204.

              Meeting approved this project pending positive reference checks.

It was noted that Trustees reviewed past capital expenditures and agreed that allocating approximately $15K/year is sustainable.

5.     Ministry and Counsel — Tess Hartford and Renee Cote

        Please see attached report. No actionable items.

Reviewed the situation with respect to continuing Zoom during Meeting for Worship. M&C will take up this topic and return with a proposal for continuing discussion.

LACO is being evicted from their current location. Last year, LACO served 40,000 households, the large number due in part to Covid. LACO serves families in Bowdoin, Lisbon and Durham, and expect to serve 30,000 this year. They are looking for an additional person from Meeting to serve on their board, which meets quarterly for one hour. Leslie Manning will be serving in this capacity in the interim. As a reminder, the annual Harvest Supper/potluck, has been a fundraiser for LACO, but has not taken place since Covid.

6.     Woman’s Society — Dorothy Curtis and Nancy Marstaller

Dorothy read the memorial minute for Helen Clarkson. A sentence was added describing when Helen met her husband Vernon — on their first day of college.

      With this addition, Meeting approved the minute.

The Woman’s Society requests permission to hold its annual plant sale, with set-up to start                      Wed. May 22, and the official start of the sale on Sun. May 26. The sale will continue 2-3                                                        weeks, or until there are no more plants.

A portion of the proceeds will go to the United Society of Friends Women International               Children & Youth projects, and a portion to one or more local organizations, to be decided at our next Woman’s Society meeting.

       Meeting approved, with gratitude.

7.     Clearness Committee Letters for Kristna Evans and Mimi Marstaller travel to Cuba

Wendy Schlotterbeck read the letter prepared for Mimi Marstaller, which included text written by Mimi expressing her interest.

Clearness Committee asks Meeting to approve Mimi’s travel in 2025 as part of NEYM delegation to Cuba.

       Meeting approved.

Sarah Sprogell read the letter prepared by the Clearness Committee for Kristna Evans.

Clearness Committee asks Meeting to approve Kristna’s travel in 2025 as part of NEYM delegation to Cuba.

       Meeting approved.

8.     New Business

It was noted that one of the people who worked hardest in the state legislature this session was Margaret (Peggy) Rotundo. The request was made to send a letter of love and support to her, particularly in light of the tragedy in her hometown and district of Lewiston. M&C will take responsibility for writing and sending the letter.

               The Meeting approved sending a card or letter of appreciation and support.

8.     Closing Worship

Respectfully submitted,

Ellen Bennett, Recording Clerk

Attachments available here

Recommended Social Justice Resources for Teachers and Others

The Social Justice Book Project, at Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends in Maine, has produced the materials in this folder for use by teachers of young children and organizations wishing to establish similar projects in their communities. These materials are available to you to print and share. By October 1, 2024 all of the materials will be available and they include:

Guide Books

A Guide to Building a School Justice Book Project

Creating an Anti-Bias Classroom Community – the Role of Books

Exploring the Black Experience in America – the Role of Books

Exploring Wabanaki History and Culture with Attention to Care of the Environment – the Role of Books

Booklists:

Anti-bias Classroom Community Books

Black Experience in America Books

Books By and About Indigenous Peoples

Books About Diverse Families

Books About Social Justice Activists

Immigrant Stories

Stories About Inspirational Figures

Books About Appreciating and Caring for the Environment

Resources:

A List of Other Recommended Resources

Agenda and Materials for Durham Friends Business Meeting, April 21, 2024

The Agendas and materials for the April 21, 2024 Durham Friends Business Meeting can be found HERE.

Agenda, Monthly Meeting for Business, April 21, 2024

Gather and Center

Opening

1. Approval of Minutes from March 17, 2024

2. Peace and Social Concerns – report attached

3. Trustees – report attached

4. Ministry and Counsel – report attached

5. Women’s Society – draft memorial minute for Helen Clarkson

6. Clearness Committee letters for Kristna Evans and Mimi Marstaller to travel to Cuba in 2025

7. Other

Walk for Historical and Ecological Recovery (WHERE2024), May 9, 5:30pm

Peace and Social Concerns calls these events to our attention:


Dear friend,

Over the course of 2024, partners committed to surfacing the truths of colonization and oppression in the place known for millennia by the Wabanaki people as the Dawnland will engage with local communities on a journey across land and water, shining a light on the ways that Indigenous, Black, and settler-descendent populations are represented—or not—in Maine’s commemorative landscape.Convened by the public history nonprofit Atlantic Black Box, the Walk for Historical and Ecological Recovery (WHERE2024) is a broad-based and community-engaged effort carried out in partnership with Wabanaki REACHIndigo Arts AllianceCommunity Change Inc., and In Kinship Collective.
Join WHERE2024 partners on Thursday, May 9 at 5:30 pm for a launch event hosted by the Land We Live Onto kick off this epic collective journey.

Click HERE to RSVP
Over seven months, a series of walks and programs situated in seven locations throughout the state will engage the public in surfacing suppressed stories of genocide and survival, enslavement and resistance, displacement and represencing.Walking in solidarity to forward ongoing processes of truth-seeking and transformation, our aim is to catalyze creative and embodied approaches to antiracist and decolonial historical recovery efforts across the state and the region.Please join us on May 9 as we move to reckon with all that has happened here and to engage in dialogue around the ways that our past continues to shape our present-day relationships and our possible futures.CLICK TO RSVP OR JOIN MAILING LIST
Atlantic Black Box is dedicated to expanding the field of historical recovery. We empower communities throughout the Northeast to research and reckon with the region’s active role in colonization and slavery while recentering the stories of its historically marginalized groups. 
Atlantic Black Box is a 501c3 public charity
EIN 86-2963335

P.O. Box 8771, Portland, ME 04104
www.atlanticblackbox.com
info@atlanticblackbox.com
Copyright © 2024 Atlantic Black Box, All rights reserved.




“Transformation,” by Jan Collins

Jan Collins, assistant director of the Maine Prisoner Advocacy Coaltion (MPAC), brought the message at Durham Friends Meeting on April 7, 2024

Greetings and welcome.

Thank you for inviting me to your house of worship and into your lives. The topic of my message is transformation. Before I begin, I would like each of us to take just a moment to reflect on our own transformation. You may have changed slowly, or as the result of an event, often a trial by fire or a time of great suffering. As a result of that tribulation you became a different person. Try to recall how you were before and how you changed. How did your thinking change?

I chose “Amazing Grace” as our first hymn because of its tale of transformation. The song was written in 1772 by a former captain of a slave ship, John Newton who, by his own words, labelled his young life as depraved; filled with greed, violence and debauchery.

On March 2, 1748 at age 22, his ship the Greyhound was caught in a violent storm and was about to sink. He watched shipmates wash overboard. When he took the helm he began to pray for God’s mercy. He remained at the ships wheel for 11 hours while his crew attempted to staunch leaks in the hull. Gradually the storm eased and the ship survived.

He began changes to his life immediately, but they were gradual. He left his life aboard ship in 1754, began studying Hebrew, Greek, scripture and the ministry. He was ordained in the Church of England and was appointed to a church in Olney, England where he wrote Amazing Grace for a Sunday service to compliment his scriptural reading of first Chronicles 17:16-17 in which King David looks back on his life and asks, “Who am I that God hast brought me here?”

”Amazing Grace” is about redemption, the joy of receiving God’s grace, even when you have done terrible things. John Newton wrote the song at age 47. He had already been a pastor for 18 years, yet he reflected daily on his previous life of wretchedness and the path before him.

But how do we get from a life of complacency to one of transformation?

I decided to Google it. Although Google is a fount of information, it is lacking in wisdom.

According to several articles, you can achieve transformation in seven easy steps… or six… or five, depending on which site you consult.

If you follow “7 Steps to Transformation: How to Radically Change Your Life …” You must – “identify your goals; visualize your future; create an action plan; take small steps; overcome challenges; celebrate success; and live a transformed life”. Sounds simple.

Certainly some of those steps apply to John Newton’s life, take small steps, overcome challenges, live a transformed life, but there are essential ingredients missing in this recipe.I have found that transformation chooses us, not the other way around. John Newton did not choose to be in a life threatening storm, or to watch his shipmate be washed overboard never to be seen again. When faced with his and his crews mortality he became keenly aware of his own powerlessness and the fragility of life.

That awareness and the pain that accompanied it provided an opening, a hole for grace to slip in.

The process of transformation is as much about giving up things that no longer serve us as it is about learning new things.

It can be extremely painful to give up those things, those beliefs that may have insulated us from pain or given us great comfort. A person seeking sobriety, must give up the comfort of addiction…a good friend that protected them from deep pain.

When we give up racism or sexism, we must give up the comfort of believing that we are somehow superior to those around us and instead accept the humanity of others.

I spent most of the first decades of my life believing that I could erase the pain of my early childhood and my father’s incarceration by being a great student and a hard worker. I avoided people who were troubled or trouble makers. When my husband and I adopted three children ages 7, 8, and 9 from foster care, we truly believed that our love could make up for the years of abuse they had suffered in there biological home and the trauma of being in 5 foster homes in 5 years.

But at age 21, my son was arrested for a terrible crime and sentenced to 20 years in prison. I felt like I was on a sinking ship.That experience opened up a hole in me, a terrible pain that allowed grace to step in. I stopped running, stopped building protective walls.

I learned several lessons –

1. Good people can do terrible things. John Newton could participate in the violent, inhumane and heartless slave trade. My son could commit a violent crime.

2. The answer to violence is not more violence, and the answer to inhumanity is not more inhumanity. It is love.

3. We are all capable of transformation. We are all capable of redemption.

4. An environment of support and nurturance encourages transformation. A trauma filled environment stifles it. John Newton found his support in the friends he found in the church and in slavery’s abolition. I in the community of folks affected by incarceration.

In his transformation John Newton eventually became instrumental in the f ight to end slavery in England, a fight that was achieved just months before his death.

For my part, I am fighting to end our system of mass incarceration in Maine and the US. I recognize that it does more harm than good, that it is a war against the poor, the sick and the black, and that it perpetuates the very harms that John Newton saw in slavery.

The parallels are uncanny. Both an enslaved person and an incarcerated person lose everything, including their family. The state may take their children and give them to someone else. Others will lose family members to death, never having the opportunity to say goodbye. In prison you are expected to work for free or next to nothing, Your clothing will be of the poorest quality, as will your food and your medical care. Punishment will be your daily lot with very little support for real change in your life. It is no wonder so few succeed upon release and almost 700 individuals have died in Maine in the last 10 years while on probation.

Just as abolition of slavery was the cause of the nineteenth century, abolition of the carceral system should be the cause of this century. The thirteenth amendment of the US constitution, ended slavery in the United States except for those who are incarcerated. Now it is time to end incarceration.

I would ask you to join me in recognizing that fight. We heal in community, not in isolation.

In closing, it is not enough for to us believe in our own ability to transform, our own redemption: we must also believe in the transformation and redemption of others.

Thank you for believing in the humanity of those in prison and their ability to change. Please join me in making the abolition of prisons a reality. It is not an easy task, but it is a just one that our faith demands of us.

“Let the Mystery Be,” by Craig Freshley

Craig Freshley brought the message at Durham Friends Meeting on April 14, 2024. An audio recording is HERE. The message started with Craig playing a song by Iris Dement, “Let the Mystery Be.” Below are the lyrics.

“Let The Mystery Be,” Song by Iris DeMent

Everybody is wondering what and where they all came from
Everybody is worrying ’bout
Where they’re gonna go when the whole thing’s done
But no one knows for certain and so it’s all the same to me
I think I’ll just let the mystery be

Some say once you’re gone you’re gone forever
And some say you’re gonna come back
Some say you rest in the arms of the Savior if in sinful ways you lack
Some say that they’re coming back in a garden
Bunch of carrots and little sweet peas
I think I’ll just let the mystery be

Everybody is wondering what and where they all came from
Everybody is worrying ’bout
Where they’re gonna go when the whole thing’s done
But no one knows for certain and so it’s all the same to me
I think I’ll just let the mystery be

Some say they’re going to a place called glory
And I ain’t saying it ain’t a fact
But I’ve heard that I’m on the road to purgatory
And I don’t like the sound of that
I believe in love and I live my life accordingly
But I choose to let the mystery be

Everybody is wondering what and where they all came from
Everybody is worrying ’bout
Where they’re gonna go when the whole thing’s done
But no one knows for certain and so it’s all the same to me
I think I’ll just let the mystery be

I think I’ll just let the mystery be

Source: Musixmatch

Let The Mystery Be lyrics © Universal Music Corp., Songs Of Iris

“Common Ground” to be Shown at Meetinghouse, April 26, 7pm

Peace and Social Concerns Committee will be showing a film, “Common Ground” at the Meetinghouse on April 26 at 7:00 PM.  More on the film HERE.

From the film’s website:

From the filmmakers of ‘Kiss the Ground’ (Netflix) comes the follow-up documentary ‘Common Ground’, winner of the Tribeca Film Festival. Common Ground is an important new documentary film featuring Laura Dern, Jason Momoa, Woody Harrelson, Ian Somerhalder, Donald Glover, Rosario Dawson, Mark Hyman, Gabe Brown, and many others.

Directed by Josh and Rebecca Tickell, Common Ground provides hope for future generations with concrete ways to fix a broken planetary system. The film explores how regenerative agriculture can help heal the soil, our health and the planet.

Setting Priorities for FCNL, Sunday, April 14, Noon

From Peace and Social Concerns Committee:

We know elections matter, and we know that our voices matter.  That is why Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) asks us to identify the top priorities that they will focus on in the next Congress, convening in January, 2025.

On Sunday, April 14 at 12 noon, our Peace and Social Concerns Committee will lead us in a meeting wide discussion and discernment. If you cannot attend, in person or by Zoom, please reply to this email (durham@neym.org) with your thoughts.  

“We may all feel at times that we stand alone and are helpless as single individuals to influence issues that we have a driving desire (leading) to improve and/or change. Please recognize that if you accept this invitation to provide input to FCNL you will be joining hundreds of others pushing for a better world. The success of FCNL’s 80 years of advocacy work has always depended on persistence, patience and the support of caring people (examples: 2016 US-Iran Nuclear Agreement, 2023 repeal of 2002 Iraq War Authorization, 2024 advocacy for passage of Bill S.1723 Truth and Healing Commission on Indian Boarding School Policies Act).” 

On April 14 we will prepare a message from Durham Friends, letting FCNL know what is most important to us right now. Please help us do that by attending our meeting or sending your thoughts by email. 

Here’s a list of current priorities, feel free to add yours under Other Issues

Economic Justice:

Sustainable Energy and Environment:

Justice Reform and Gun Violence Prevention:

Just Migration:

Native American Concerns:

Middle East Policy:

Nuclear Nonproliferation:

Pentagon Spending:

International Peace Building:

U.S. Wars and Militarism:

Voting and Elections:   

Other Issues:

Meal Train for Ezra, Laura and Gabriel Smith

Gabriel was born to Ezra and Laura Smith on March 28, and is going to need an extended stay in the hospital.  Please hold them all in your prayers and thoughts. 

Ezra writes: “Thank you so much for holding us all in your prayers and keeping meeting members informed. My co-worker set up a meal train for us which will start in several weeks. It would be great if you can also pass around the link for people who are interested. The link is here: https://mealtrain.com/0m7ll4

Folks can drop stuff at our house, or at my school. There is also a section for donations. 

And thank you again for your prayers, 

Ezra Smith

Durham Friends Woman’s Society Meeting Minutes, March 18, 2024

Present: Dorothy Curtis, President, Nancy Marstaller, Treasurer, Susan Gilbert, Secretary, Kim Bolshaw.

We met at Dorothy Curtis’ home. We visited her sewing room, and admired the hand embroidered quilt squares based on nursery rhyme characters created by Durham Friends for an expected birth, the quilt to be finished by Dorothy. As we conducted our meeting, we enjoyed hot tea, cookies, cheese and crackers and chocolate. 

Cards: For Friends

Program and Devotions: We worked on Helen Clarkson’s Memorial Minute, writing organized by Nancy Marstaller.

Minutes: Susan read the 2.19.’24 minutes.

Treasurer’s Report: The account balance is $115.96. Nancy examined our 2023 WS donations, looking for a charity we had not donated to. We chose Tedford Housing for a $50. donation.

Prayers: For Friends 

Tedford Meal: Team D provided hot dogs, potato salad, broccoli slaw, and woopie pies. Team E will bring the April 1 meal, with Nancy Marstaller as contact person. Volunteers to contribute food or donations are welcome. 

Other Business: Jane Dough of USWFI sent a reading list for the upcoming Blueprints edition, on the theme “ God Still Speaks”. We discussed books to purchase for our library. Marion Baker informed us that there will be a North East gathering of US Friends Woman’s Society International over Memorial Day weekend at Oakwood Friends School in Poughkeepsie, NY.

We closed the meeting listening to the Cambridge singers perform:

God Be In My Head

God be in my head and in my understanding

God be in my eyes and in my looking

God be in my mouth and in my speaking

God be in my heart and in my thinking

God be at my end and in my departing.

Respectfully Submitted, Susan Gilbert

Falmouth Quarter to Meet, April 27, 9:30 to 2:30, Curtis Library

[Updated April 10, 2024] How does Truth prosper among us?

Falmouth Quarter will meet on 4/27 from 9:30-2:30 at the Curtis Library in Brunswick. Brunswick Meeting will host us.

How does Truth prosper among us?

Falmouth Quarter will meet on 4/27at the Curtis Library in Brunswick. Brunswick Meeting will host us. We can gather for conversation at 9; the meeting will start at 9:30. We expect to finish before 3:00.

In April we receive any State of Society reports prepared by the meetings in Falmouth Quarter, any Memorial Minutes from the past year and hear reports from those in our Quarter with recognized or named gifts of ministry. 

We will also receive two minutes concerning the crises in Gaza – one from Portland and one from Durham and considering endorsing them and forwarding them to the Yearly Meeting.

Please let us know if there are particular concerns that you would like included as we plan for the day.

All are welcome and all are needed.

Love Fritz Weiss and Wendy Schlotterbeck, co-coordinators Falmouth Quarter

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, March 17, 2024

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends met for the conduct of business on Sunday, March 17, 2024 with 8 people in attendance at the Meetinghouse and 6 attending by Zoom.

  1. Meeting Opening

Nancy Marstaller opened the meeting with a poem “How Good to Center Down”, from the book Meditations from the Heart by Howard Thurman.

  1. Approval of Clerk and Recording Clerk pro tem
  2. Nancy Marstaller was approved as Clerk of the day.
  3. Sarah Sprogell was approved as Recording Clerk pro tem.
  1. Approval of Minutes of February 2024

Meeting approved the February minutes.

  1. Schedule of presiding clerks

The clerks group set up a rotation for presiding clerks for the year 2024.  Clerks will preside over monthly meetings, review clerk’s mail, and be available as needed to work with members and others on issues that arise during those months.  The schedule is as follows:

Jan. thru Mar. – Nancy Marstaller

April thru June – Sarah Sprogell

July thru Oct. – Tess Hartford

Nov. thru Dec. – Ingrid Chalufour

  1. Clearness Committees for Mimi Marstaller and Kristna Evans to travel to Cuba in 2025

Mimi read her letter of interest, and requested a clearness committee for her intent to travel to Cuba with the Puente de Amiga delegation. The letter is attached.

Kristna was not present, but has also expressed interest in traveling with the same delegation and would like a clearness committee.

  1. The Meeting approved a clearness committee for Mimi with Kim Bolshaw, Sarah Sprogell and Wendy Schlotterbeck serving on the committee.
  2. The Meeting also approved a clearness committee for Kristna with Kim Bolshaw, Tess Hartford and Mimi Marstaller serving on the committee.
  3. First reading of Charlotte Anne Curtis Memorial Minute

Dorothy Curtis read the memorial minute aloud.  It is also available as an attachment.

  1. Meeting approved the minute with appreciation.
  1. Second reading of Sue Wood Memorial Minute

Tess read the memorial minute aloud.  It is also available as an attachment.

  1. Meeting approved the minute with appreciation.
  1. Peace and Social Concerns report and letter to Brunswick Topsham Land Trust

The report and letter are attached.

Ingrid gave an update on the book project. The first guidebook on creating an anti-bias classroom has been completed and sent to Martha Hinshaw Sheldon for editing.  The next guidebook is in process.  It focuses on how to set up a book project like this one, and will be sent to each monthly meeting within NEYM.

The session to discern FCNL priorities is rescheduled for April14 at rise of meeting.

A film titled Common Ground film will be shown at the meetinghouse on April 26 at 7pm.  It is made available by Interfaith Light and Power.  It explores agricultural practices that can help heal the soil, our health and the planet.

The committee is asking approval of a letter to Brunswick/Topsham Land Trust requesting their support for renaming the 250th Anniversary Park in Brunswick.    Ingrid read the letter aloud.  Once approved, Ingrid will send the letter via email.

  1. The meeting approved the letter, and felt that it was masterfully written.
  1. Finance Committee report

The report is attached.

Nancy highlighted that  our new bookkeeper, Amanda Whidden, will start this month.

The financial review for 2022 and 2023 was completed by Marian Dalton and Robb Spivey for 2022.  They found that the records were in good order.  They recommended some changes that will be implemented by the committee.  If anyone wants to see the full report, they should contact Nancy.

  1. Ministry and Counsel report

The Easter Service on March 31st will include Zoom access.  The program will include readings of the Easter story and related hymns.

Nancy read the State of Society Report, which included two possible opening paragraphs.  The report was well-received by all. The report is attached.

  1. The meeting approved the report using the first opening paragraph.
  2. The meeting also approved substituting the last sentence of the alternative paragraph in place of the one originally used in the first paragraph.

Nancy read the proposal from the MCC search committee, recommending the composition and role of an oversight committee for Meeting Care Coordinator.  Please see the attached report for more details.

  1. The meeting approved the proposal.  Rene, Ingrid, someone from Communications, and the rotating clerk will serve on this committee.

The clearness committee for Diana White’s membership is in full support of transferring her membership from Portland Meeting to Durham.  They recommend that the meeting approve her transfer. Diana was present and told us that her health has taken a serious turn, and that she will be moving in with her daughter who lives in Fayette, ME.

  1. The meeting approved Diana’s transfer with warmth and loving care.
  1.  Consideration of letter re Israel and Palestine

Leslie Manning, our Meeting Care Coordinator, drafted a proposed Minute on Palestine and Israel.  Nancy read the letter aloud.  It is also attached.  The letter was well-received, with a few suggestions made, and some discussion that it could be too long for a letter to the editor.

  1. The meeting approved the Minute, adding Ramallah Friends School as a correction, and re-wording the last sentence to say “We pray that this not be done in our name.”
  2. We approved that Leslie make adjustments as needed for public distribution.
  1. Trustees report

Sarah reviewed the attached report, highlighting the financial review and suggestions made by Robb Spivey and Marian Dalton who carried out the review.  Trustees will be following up on their suggestions. 

  1.  Statistical report

Sarah reviewed the attached report that will also be forwarded to Quarterly Meeting and the Yearly Meeting.  In 2023 we received one resignation and one new member, for a total membership of 96.  Our numbers have been reducing gradually over the years, but for now are remaining relatively stable.  There are usually about 20-24 members and attenders at meeting for worship in the meetinghouse and on zoom, and an average of 13 people at meeting for business.

  1.  Library Committee

Nancy reported that Dot says the library is running out of space.  She asks that if anyone finds a book they think should be removed, please pull it out and set it aside for Dot to review.

  1.  Closing

Clerk closed with a reading from Dwight Wilson’s book Modern Psalms of Solace and Resistance.   During the pandemic, Dwight wrote a psalm each day.  This psalm was written on March 17.

You are a connoisseur of beauty.

May we use Your taste as our pattern.

Even Your smallest surprises bring joy.

You let them flow in rivulets instead of waiting

For days that we designate as holidays.

Patience is the key to living beside You.

Not always do we rejoice as the road turns.

But when we keep the faith,

We notice that wonderful things happen every day.

Your design shines through the darkest moments.

We celebrate Your love as we celebrate

Our lives as enthusiastic servants.

You bring eternal joy, the prize that

Mitigates meanness and transforms oppression.

Respectfully submitted by Sarah Sprogell, recording clerk pro tem.

Agenda and Materials for Durham Friends Business Meeting, March 17, 2024

Reports and other materials for the business meeting can be found HERE

Agenda for DMMF Monthly Meeting March 17, 2024

Opening reading

Approval of Nancy Marstaller as clerk for meeting

  1. Approval of last month’s minutes
  2. Schedule of presiding clerks
  3. Clearness committees for Mimi and Kristna re Cuba trip
  4. Reading of Charlotte A. Curtis memorial minute
  5. Reading/approval of Sue Wood memorial minute
  6. P&SC report- letter to Land Trust
  7. Finance Comm. report
  8. Ministry and Counsel report: Easter service plan (includes Zoom), State of Society, MCC oversight comm., membership clearness comm. report
  9. Consideration of letter re Israel and Palestine
  10. Trustees report
  11. Statistical report- Sarah
  12. Library- Dot H.
  13. Other

Woman’s Society Meeting Minutes, February 19, 2024

Present: Dorothy Curtis, President, Nancy Marstaller, Treasurer, Susan Gilbert, Secretary, Kim Bolshaw.

Cards: For Friends.

Program and Devotions: We brainstormed writing Memorial Minutes for Sue Wood and Charlotte Ann Curtis, ideas organized and typed up by Nancy Marstaller. 

Treasurer’s Report: Previous balance $70.96. January offering  $20.  February 19 offering $45. Currant balance $115.96.

Prayers: For Friends.

Tedford Meal: Team C prepared chili, tortilla chips, cole slaw, cornbread, biscuits, ice cream, cookies and strawberries. March 4 meal team D contact person is Dorothy Curtis.Volunteers to contribute food or donations are welcome. 

Susan brought a hymn to read as a prayer, with which we closed the meeting:

God Be In My Head

God be in my head and in my understanding

God be in my eyes and in my looking

God be in my mouth and in my speaking

God be in my heart and in my thinking

God be at my end and in my departing.

Respectfully Submitted, Susan Gilbert

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, February 18, 2024

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends met for the conduct of business on Sunday, February 18, 2024, with seven people in attendance at the Meetinghouse and five attending by Zoom. Nancy Marstaller clerked the meeting.

Meeting approved Nancy Marstaller as Clerk of this meeting for business. Meeting also approved flexibility in scheduling those who will serve as Clerk to conduct meetings.

  1.    Meeting Opening

Clerk opened meeting with a reading from the Interim Faith and Practice, 2014, of New England Yearly Meeting.

“Friends express the importance of being patient, being willing to hear each other fully and openly. When we take into account our knowledge of one another in community, when we ask ourselves to listen deeply, to release our own individual opinion and surrender our individual will, we find profound connection with others and with the divine. We are all separate ingredients in a pot, each carrying our individual flavors, but simmering together until we create a flavorful soup. This unified creation can be a difficult but amazing process. It brings us closer to one another and to God.” – Mt. Toby Monthly Meeting, 2008

2.     Approval of Minutes of January  2024 — Ellen Bennett

       Meeting approved the January minutes.

3.     Approval of Margaret Wentworth Memorial Minute

Margaret Wentworth’s memorial minute was read aloud. Recommendations were made to add more detail about Margaret’s life outside of Durham Meeting, including her service on the Board of Lisbon Area Christian Outreach, teaching local children, and serving as select person for Lisbon.

      Meeting approved the minute with the above additions/changes.

The amended minute will be distributed to Meeting members before being sent to New England Yearly Meeting.

4.     Reading of Sue Wood Memorial Minute

Clerk read the first draft of Sue Wood’s Memorial Minute. It was suggested that the minute include specific birth and death dates, note that she served as co-clerk for several years, and that Sue was very good at holding a group in prayer, possessing great depth of spirit.

5.     Finance Committee — Nancy Marstaller

        * 2023 End of year budget report

Summary: Operating revenue exceeded budget. Expenses were lower than budgeted, largely because the MCC position and youth minister positions were not filled. The Meeting is in good financial shape.

        * 2023 Annual report

Please see attached report.

       Meeting accepted the report with appreciation for the work of the committee.

6.     Ministry and Counsel — Tess Hartford and Renee Cote

M&C asked for feedback regarding Leslie Manning maintaining the DFM Facebook page. It was suggested the page be maintained for special events and services notices only. Note the DFM website has a link allowing for transfer of information from the website to a variety of social media sites.

Some members lifted up the problem of using/supporting a platform built by an organization that has shown itself to be dishonest and corrupt.

Meeting discussed the support and oversight groups for Leslie’s roles as a recorded minister, as well as Meeting Care Coordinator. The sense is that there are/should be two groups: one for Leslie’s role as a recorded minister and her ministry beyond the meeting, and one for her role as MCC. The MCC search group will bring forward a proposal for creating an oversight committee.

Meeting approved the current ministry support committee take on renewed purpose for Leslie’s work as a recorded minister. The committee will report annually for Quarterly Meeting its sense of Leslie’s ministry work. Joyce Gibson agreed to join Leslie’s support committee for ministry. This was met with great appreciation from the Meeting.

7.     Trustees Report — Sarah Sprogell

The Meeting was reminded that Trustees prioritized reducing moisture, evaluating supports under meeting room, painting the exterior of the addition, and weatherizing the exit doors as upcoming tasks.

Meeting approved Trustees using up to $3000, from the capital account, to purchase and install a commercial dehumidifier for the basement.

Meeting approved that the Clerk of Trustees initiate conversations with pertinent parties to bring the issue of Eileen Babcock’s bequest to resolution.

8.     Peace and Social Concerns — Ingrid Chalufour

One addition to the submitted report was presented. A group met with Nat Shed, a Brunswick town counselor, to ask for assistance in bringing the renaming of the Brunswick park to honor the Wabanaki people back to the town council.

               Meeting accepted the report with gratitude.

8.     Library Committee Annual Report

               Meeting accepted the report with gratitude.                                                                 

9.    Other Business

It was reported that our sister meeting in Velasco can no longer meet in their meeting room due to rotting beams. Friends from Falmouth Quarter will be headed back to Cuba in July. Between now and then, the Meeting is asked to assist Velasco Meeting in finding what can be done to ensure that their meeting space is safe and secure. Important, as well, to confer with FWCC as to the best way to be helpful.

10.   Closing Worship

Clerk closed the meeting with worship and a reading from the Interim Faith and Practice.

“Spiritual discernment seems to flourish best from this contemplative, reflective, nonlinear state of mind, which is a wide, non-judgmental, almost non-attached but very alert attentiveness. Being in the Mind of Christ, however, does not mean being “spaced out,” for the analytic faculties are not suppressed; they are cushioned by a more vast mind which takes all things into account. Indeed, our analytical faculties are at least as sharp, if not sharper, in the Mind of Christ than they are at other times; the difference is that there we know that we are not just our surface mind, as we Westerners tend to assume, and the difference is that this surface mind is no longer the master, but the tool, of the more integrated person we become in the Mind of Christ.” — Bill Taber, 1985

Respectfully submitted, Ellen Bennett, Recording Clerk

Attachments

Letter Writing Party for Maine Gun Safety, via Zoom, February 29, 7pm

Portland Friends Meeting (and others) invite us to participate in a Zoom Letter Writing Party for Maine Gun Safety — to be held on Leap Day, February 29, 2024.

Here are the details:

(to avoid zoom bombing you’ll have to quickly take a moment to register)

  • Not sure what to say in your letter? We’ll send you a template you could use, or you can write your own if you feel inspired! More materials HERE.

Come spend an hour with Quakers and others throughout Maine by writing letters to your legislators, Janet Mills, or the newspaper, to promote the four priorities of the Maine Gun Safety Coalition.

Make it even more of a party by invite friends to join you in person at your home, and then log on together!

Can’t make the party? That’s ok, you can write a letter on your own time. Attached is a Letter to the Editor Toolkit, and you can also use that to help you reach out to Janet Mills or your legislator. Find your legislators here: https://nrcm.salsalabs.org/mainelegislatorlookup/index.html.

Also, we’re attaching a list of high-priority legislators who could use more nudging on this issue. Most of them are outside of Greater Portland (although one is in part of Westbrook and Windham). But please take a few minutes with the list, and if you know someone who lives in one of these towns, please reach out to them to contact their legislator, and invite them to this zoom party. This is how the work gets done!

Hosted by members of Portland Friends Meeting and Durham Friends Meeting, open to all!

Rob Levin and Heather Denkmire and Valerie Todd and Leslie Manning

Questions: email rob@roblevin.net.

Swearing an Oath, by Doug Bennett

Message given at Durham Friends Meeting, February 18, 2024

“He swore an oath.”  What does that mean and why does anyone do it? “He swore an oath.”   That’s what’s on my mind this morning. 

Notice that “he swore an oath” could mean two quite different things.  It could mean, he said a lot of bad words in frustration or anger, words that no one should say and certainly not in a bad, loud tone of voice.  Or “he swore an oath” could mean he mean that, on a solemn and important occasion, he assured us that he would do all that was expected of him.  Like when the newly elected President stands on the steps of the Capitol and says certain words with his hand on the Bible in front of the Supreme Court Chief Justice and tens of thousands of others.  “He swore an oath:”  oddly, two quite different meanings. 

This morning, it’s the second meaning I have in mind: the solemn and important occasions, the assurances that are  given, the magic words that are spoken.  Just the second meaning. 

Here’s an example, an oath a witness in a criminal trial is likely to be asked to give:  “I swear that the evidence that I shall give shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God.”

Notice, of course that God is invoked here.  The oath is given knowing that God is right there as a witness.  The implication is that if I swear this oath and don’t do what I’m swearing I’ll do, there be divine punishment.  (That’s why it is a solemn occasion when we swear an oath. The original – 14th century – meaning of solemn” is “performed with due religious ceremony or reverence.”)

Of course, we Quakers know – don’t we – that God is always right at hand, paying attention to all that we do.  So what’s the point of an oath?  And you probably know that Quakers from our earliest days have refused to swear oaths.  We have often gotten in trouble for it.  In the 17th century, many Quakers went to jail simply because they would not swear an oath that was asked of them. 

Why is that?  Well, because of Matthew 5:37:  37 All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.” 

Or James 5:12:  “12 Above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. All you need to say is a simple “Yes” or “No.”

And because of these two verses in the Bible, and because of  how Friends understand what God is saying through them, Quakers have a testimony against swearing oaths.  Here’s how the Advices from NEYM’s F&P puts it:  )  “Let us maintain integrity in word and deed.  Holding to the simplicity of truth, let us keep free of oaths”  (p 207).  

And here’s how Philadelphia Yearly Meeting’s 1955 Faith and Practice put it:  “Friends regard the custom of taking oaths as not only contrary to the teachings of Jesus but as implying the existence of a double standard of truth.  Thus, on all occasions when special statements are required, it is recommended that Friends take the opportunity to make simple affirmations, thus emphasizing that their statements are only a part of their usual integrity of speech” (p20).

This admonition against swearing oaths is a part of our Testimony of Integrity.  To swear an oath to tell the truth, Friends have believed for hundreds of years, is to imply that you might not be telling the truth when you do not swear an oath.  That’s the ‘double standard.’  We believe we should always be telling the truth and telling it straightforwardly.  Let your yes be yes and your no be no.  Instead, we make simple affirmations when expected to ’swear an oath’, and we remind people that we endeavor always to speak the truth. 

So Quakers don’t swear oaths, but other people do.  What do these other people think they are doing in swearing an oath?  I agree we shouldn’t swear oaths, but there’s something in oath swearing worth noticing.  What do people think they are doing?

I want to acknowledge, in truth, that all this is on my mind and on my heart because the business of swearing oaths has been much in the news.  And that’s because oath swearing is in the U.S. Constitution in several places. 

The President is asked to swear this oath before taking office:  “I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States” (Article II, section 1, clause 8).

For members of Congress, the Constitution provides that they “shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation to support this constitution.”  The exact words of that oath are up to Congress and here’s the current version:  I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.

This business of swearing oaths seems a little quaint, doesn’t it, a little old-fashioned.  Maybe it made sense back when people really worried that God would strike them dead on the spot (maybe a lightning bolt?) if they had their fingers crossed when they swore an oath, or simply thought, ‘who is this God; this God will never catch me?’

So, again, why do we do this?  Or more bluntly, if someone isn’t going to support the Constitution, why wouldn’t they just lie?  Why does saying the words matter?  Wouldn’t someone who lies be prepared to lie while taking the oath? 

Think of what’s happening when you swear an oath.  You are speaking in front of others, probably a crowd of people, some of them holding positions of importance.  You know they will hear you say this oath.  Maybe that puts you on your best behavior.  Maybe even for selfish reasons, you care what they think.  So shaming is at work. 

You are also hearing yourself say the words.  Maybe that doesn’t mean much, but maybe it does.  It reminds you that you are promising to do the right things.  So embarrassment is at work here. 

And of course you are speaking out loud to God.  Maybe that means something to you.  If it does, then fear and awe, and the promise of redemption are at work here.

There’s an understanding of human nature bound up in our having this requirement to swear oaths in the Constitution.  It’s an understanding that knows that people sometimes act selfishly or meanly.  It’s an understanding that realizes people sometimes just do what’s best for themselves and the hell with anyone else.  

But it’s also an understanding that knows that people can act honestly and generously, with the welfare of others fully in mind.  The oath is an effort to call people to their best selves.  The oath is sworn to draw someone to that best self.  It’s an occasion to remember God is listening, and will remember.  There’s a religious backdrop, no doubt about it, no matter what God you believe in. 

I’m not trying to make a narrowly political or partisan point here, really, I’m not.  I’m asking us to notice that in this business of oath swearing is a view of human nature that has a religious underlay that our Founders thought important, even as they also believed in the religious liberty voiced in the First Amendment.  This view of human nature is far from cynical.  I know there are days I can slip into thinking ‘everyone is just in it for himself.’  ‘What did I expect?  Of course all politicians are corrupt’ always, always.

That’s not my best self, however, and it doesn’t expect that others have their own best selves.  A different understanding of human nature is far more accurate.  We Quakers believe that God can and will speak to each of us if we still ourselves and listen. 

This business of oath swearing is a reminder that the Founders of our nation believed that people could stoop to selfish, corrupt behavior but also believed that people could be called to their best selves.  Swearing an oath is one way to do that.  There’s nothing magic about it; it doesn’t always work.  We shouldn’t elect people who will swear a false oath.  But when we elect someone who can act honestly and generously, let’s also ask them to swear an oath that they will promise to act out of their best selves.  It nudges them in the right direction. 

What else nudges us to be our best selves?  We should think about that, even as we Quakers reject the swearing of oaths.  We, too, believe, maybe more than most people, that we can all be called to our best selves, and we probably need nudges, too. 

I believe we all have worst selves and best selves, selfish selves and loving selves.  How do we find it in ourselves, regularly, to be at our best?   That takes effort.  It takes nudges,  If oath swearing doesn’t do it for us, what does?  For me, I know coming here on Sundays helps.  I know prayer helps.  I know our Quaker advices and queries help.  I know having a spouse and friends with high expectations helps. 

This is a challenge for each of us. 

Also posted on River View Friend

God Has No Hands But Yours, Teresa of Ávila

At the opening of worship at Durham Friends Meeting on February 18, 2024, Diana White read the following, from Teresa of Ávila

God has no body now on earth but yours,

No hands but yours, 

No feet but yours, 

Yours are the eyes through which he is to look out 

God’s compassion to the world; 

Yours are the feet with which he is to go about 

Doing good; 

Yours are the hands with which he is to bless people now.

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, January 21, 2024

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends met for the conduct of business on Sunday, January 21, 2024, with ten people in attendance at the Meetinghouse and two attending by Zoom. Nancy Marstaller clerked the meeting.

1.     Meeting Opening

Clerk opened the meeting by reading a prayer by Douglas Steere.

“O Blessed Companion, place on our souls a holy bridle by which we may be held back when it is right to pause, and touched forward when it is right to move. And give us the grace to heed Thy gentle touch. Make us willing to leave gladly to others what are their tasks and to buckle on quietly and for the duration, those things that have been laid upon us to carry as far as we are able. May we carry these things with easy minds, knowing well that the giver of the task is also the giver of the strength to fulfill it. Amen.”

2.     Approval of Minutes of December 2023 — Ellen Bennett

          Meeting approved the minutes.

3.     Finance Committee — Nancy Marstaller

        Committee is asking for Meeting approval for the following two items:

That Doug Bennett and Sarah Sprogell have electronic access to Norway Savings for the purpose of approving the automatic payments of offerings to our checking account and producing a list that will be given to our bookkeeper to record in Quickbooks.

               Meeting approved.

Adding Doug Bennett as an additional person authorized to sign checks, and approved keeping Sarah Sprogell as an additional signer.                                                                                                                                                            Meeting approved.

4.     Charity Fund Request 2nd Approval — Nancy Marstaller

Second request for approval for $1,000 from the Charity Fund to be donated to Warm Thy Neighbor.

               Meeting approved.

5.     Ministry and Counsel — Tess Hartford and Renee Cote

Woman’s Society will be working on Memorial Minutes for Charlotte Ann Curtis and Helen Clarkson. M&C will reach out to Kitsie Hildebrand’s family to ask about writing and submitting a Memorial Minute for her.

Tess read a draft Memorial Minute for Margaret Wentworth. It was suggested that the Minute include her work with Falmouth Quarter and add some basic biographical material.

Covid protocol update: People are reminded to err on the side of caution. Mask-wearing is encouraged, and people are requested not to attend Meeting if ill. Current strain is not as virulent, but more contagious.

Meeting Care Coordinator will report to M&C monthly, which in turn will bring any concerns to Meeting for Business. Co-Clerks of M&C are responsible for bringing MCC report to Monthly Meeting.

The MCC Search Committee will bring a suggestion to Monthly Meeting regarding the composition of the oversight/support committee and it’s relationship to M&C.  The Search Committee is asked to bring the recommendation in March.

6.     Trustees Report — Sarah Sprogell

        Annual Report was summarized. Please see attachment.                                                     

7.     Peace and Social Concerns — Ingrid Chalufour

        Annual Report was read. Please see attachment.

The Meeting expressed its deep appreciation to this Committee for the amazing work it has done, with respect to both education and outreach.

8.     Website 2023 Report — Doug Bennett

Much of this annual report includes data on website use, visit and views. Note that the website is a form of outreach for the Meeting. People who would like to see something on the website are asked to submit what they would like to see in writing. People are also encouraged to link to the Durham Friends website from their own social media sites to add to the Meeting’s outreach.

Ease and accessibility of the site have been noticed and lauded by others. It was suggested that we revisit our Facebook page. Should we have one and have the focus be on events? Review this question again next month.

9.     Nominating Committee — Linda Muller

The attached report was read. Note that Nancy Marstaller is stepping off of the committee. Please bring ideas for potential nominees to the Meeting. The committee is looking for one more person. The Meeting expressed its gratitude for the work of the committee, and for Linda as Clerk. Linda has stepped out of the role of Clerk of Nominating; a new Clerk has not been determined.

        Tess Hartford will be Clerk of the Meeting next month.

10.   Other Business

Craig Freshley is planning a concert to raise money for New Mainers. Meeting members agree to help with set-up and clean-up of space and refreshments, as well as the website.

                 Meeting approves sponsoring the concert, with support from Meeting members.     

11.   Closing Worship

Respectfully submitted,

Ellen Bennett, Recording Clerk

Attachments:

Agenda and Materials for Durham Monthly Business Meeting, February 18, 2024

The agenda, reports and other materials for the February 18, 2024 business meeting of Durham Monthly Meeting can be found HERE

Agenda for DMMF Monthly Meeting Feb. 2024

Opening reading

Approval of Nancy Marstaller as clerk for meeting

  1. Approval of last month’s minutes
  2. Approval of Margaret Wentworth memorial minute
  3. Reading of Sue Wood memorial minute
  4. Finance Committee
    • 2023 End of year budget report
      • 2023 Annual report
  5. Ministry and Counsel report
  6. Trustees report
  7. P&SC report
  8. Library Committee Annual Report
  9. Other