Falmouth Quarter Summer Gathering, July 16, 2022

Falmouth Quarter will gather on July 16th (the third Saturday in July) at Ed and Dot Hinshaw’s Camp at Labrador Pond in Sumner! The summer gathering is a time for celebrating our community, and catching up on all that has been happening in our meetings and our lives this year.  This will be an outdoors, in-person, no zoom party.

The camp has a beach, some kayaks, & space to play. Friends are invited to come from 10:00 – 4:00.  We will gather for a whole community worship at 11:00 followed by a brown bag lunch. there are things to do for the Young Friends, and for families and children. 

All are welcome! We would like a rough idea who will be there; please let us know if you plan to come.  Or just come.

Rain date is Sunday, July 17.

“Rise Up Singing” Authors Coming to Brunswick, July 9, 2022

There will be a Sing-Along Concert with Quaker folk singers Annie Patterson and Peter Blood on Saturday, July 9* from 5:30pm to 7:30pm at Growing to Give in Brunswick**.

Address: Growing to Give Farm, 30 Coxon Road, Brunswick, ME

It’s a fundraiser to help grow food for people in need. Advance tickets are required.

Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Individuals, 18 and below in age, are FREE.

Visit https://growingtogive.farm/ for details more information about the farm and to see the poster for this event.  Hope to see you there! – Craig Freshley

*Rain date is July 10.

Woman’s Society Hybrid Meeting Minutes, May 16, 2022

By Susan Gilbert, Secretary

Present: Dorothy Curtis/President, Nancy Marstaller/Treasurer, Susan Gilbert/Secretary, Helen Clarkson, Charlotte Anne Curtis, Martha Sheldon, Kim Bolshaw, Qat Langelier, Marion Baker

Cards: We chose people to send cards to, and decided to no longer name them in the meeting notes.

Devotions and Program: The Bluprints program by Nancy McCormick ‘’Resting In His Shadow’’ was read by Kim. Scripture – Psalm 91:1 – 2, Hymn – ‘Great is Thy Faithfulness’’. Nancy and Mike McCormick and their ministry teams have made several trips to Belize City Friends Center, assisting with maintenance of buildings and grounds, helping the teachers as needed, and holding an after school program for Friends School students as well as local children.  Nancy described this service as an exchange of care and learning between the visiting Friends and the local community. We sang ‘’Great is Thy Faithfulness’’. 

Next Meeting: The next WS meeting will be brought by Helen on June 20 – ‘‘Strength and Courage From the Lord’’. Dorothy asked if we might take August 15 off and we decided to have a picnic gathering that day instead of a meeting. 

Minutes: Susan read the meeting notes from April 18.

Treasurer’s Report: Nancy said we had a $5 donation. After $31.88 was spent on books, we have a balance of $51.18. We have a CD invested for expenses to send Dorothy Curtis to Kabarak, Kenya to attend the 2023 USFWS International Triennial. Nancy will investigate rates and times – possibly 6 or 9 months – to reinvest.

Prayers: Prayers were asked for individuals.

Tedford Meal: June’s meal will be prepared by Kitsie’s Team A.

Other Business: Nancy has designed a decorative quilt as a gift to bring to Velasco, Cuba, on the trip there at the end of September. She asked if anyone wanted to make a square by August 15. Marion suggested a depiction of Durham Meeting House in the center. Fabric paint or embroidery are possibilities for our designs.

Marian said the NE Region of USFWI would have an update on the upcoming International Triennial, with info on what’s happening locally.  A grant has been finished to bring Joyce Machaha and Judith Nandikove of Donholm Friends Church,   Nairobi Yearly Meeting to visit women in New York, New England and Quebec ’ and possibly Western Region USFWI Woman’s Society groups. The Meeting House in Donholm holds 1500 to 2000 people and has programmed meetings. Joyce may be available to attend our August 15 gathering.

Dorothy ended the meeting with a quote from Helen Keller, ‘’The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched but must be felt by the heart’’.

Respectfully Submitted, Susan Gilbert

Georgetown Ocean Paradise Gathering, June 18-19

Yea- the school year is almost over and summer is upon us!!
Please come join Durham Friends in Georgetown at Betsy Muench’s ocean paradise! We are invited anytime on Saturday, June 18 AND Sunday June 19

Saturday is a day for play.

On Sunday, Falmouth Quarter Friends have been invited to join us! We will hold a family friendly Meeting for worship on the beach at 10:30 and the rest of the day is at your pleasure! 
Let me know your plans if you can, but come anyway and surprise us if you decide to come last minute!!(wendy.schlotterbeck@gmail.com)

Directions are at the end of this message- I will fasten a balloon by the driveway! Everyone is warmly invited. Betsy loves to share this beautiful place with us and it is a lovely gift. Wendy Schlotterbeck’s cell# is 513-9187. The house phone is # 371-2237

Note: Durham Monthly Meeting for Business this month will be June 26, not June 19.

What to bring?

1. Bathing suit, towel and sunscreen.

2. Change of clothes, jacket  and bug spray.

3. Food- bring a picnic lunch, drinks and snacks- there is water at the house.

4. Mask- please bring a mask to wear if you use the bathroom inside Betsy’s house, and wear one outside if you wish.

5. Betsy has several kayaks, life jackets… to share but feel free to bring your own.

6. Friends! We welcome your friends.

7. As always, please come only if you are Covid symptom free to keep our community safe.

8. If it’s bad weather we will likely cancel- call Wendy if in doubt.

Directions to the Holt-Muench property at 710 Bay Point Road in Georgetown:

Take Rt. 127 south from where it crosses Rt. 1 in Woolwich (just across the river from Bath, Maine) and follow it 8.8 miles to Georgetown center. On the right, after you pass the Georgetown Pottery, post office, Country Store and firehouse, Bay Point Road will turn off just before you start down the hill. After about 3 miles Bay Point Road will cross a marsh and make a fairly sharp bend to the left, then start watching for a white feldspar driveway on the left. Our mail box may or may not be out on the right. After you turn in to the driveway a white sign on a tree to the left of the gate says Holt. Follow the driveway down to the end and park on the feldspar circle by the house. Total distance is about 12 miles from Rt. 1. 

“This I Know Experimentally,” by Doug Bennett

Message given at Durham Friends Meeting, June 5, 2022

I want to begin this morning with a story familiar to Friends.  It’s the story of George Fox’s epiphany.  It’s about a moment in his life in 1647 when he was at a place called Pendle Hill.  It’s the moment he realized that God could and would speak to him in the present.  It’s the story of when he came to realize that he did not need priests or preachers or pastors.  It’s the story of when he came to realize the power of the Light Within.

He had been  seeking help in his spiritual journey from various learned and supposedly wise people.  None of them seemed to be able to help him.  He was in despair.  And then he realized something unexpected and wonderful.  Here’s how he tells the story in his Journal.  Speaking of the priests and preachers and pastors from whom he had been seeking assistance, he said,

I saw there was none among them all that could speak to my condition. And when all my hopes in them and in all men were gone, so that I had nothing outwardly to help me, nor could tell what to do, then, oh, then, I heard a voice which said, ‘There is one, even Christ Jesus, that can speak to your condition;’ and when I heard it my heart did leap for joy. Then the Lord let me see why there was none upon the earth that could speak to my condition, namely, that I might give Him all the glory; for all are concluded under sin, and shut up in unbelief as I had been, that Jesus Christ might have the pre-eminence who enlightens, and gives grace, and faith, and power. Thus when God doth work, who shall prevent it? and this I knew experimentally.”    — George Fox, 1647

I think the words we mostly remember from this are these:  “I heard a voice which said, ‘There is one, even Christ Jesus, that can speak to your condition;’ and when I heard it my heart did leap for joy.”

Those are striking words, no doubt about it.  But today it’s the last phrase that is on my mind.  “And this I knew experimentally.”  “And this I knew experimentally:”  what did Fox mean by this?

I’m not a linguist or a philologist, but I think Fox’s use of the word “experimentally” is a very early use of that word in English.  It’s a newish word when he spoke it.  We don’t yet have in 1647 ‘the scientific method’ as we know it today.  Galileo had just died, still convicted of heresy by the Pope.  And Isaac Newton was just age 5 in 1647.  We shouldn’t think the word ‘experimental’ had precisely the same narrow meaning then that it might today. But it did have a meaning roughly like the way we use it today

Broadly speaking, to know something “experimentally” is to know it “by experience.”  Fox doesn’t mean that he had conducted a formal experiment with randomized groups or controls or double-blind procedures, the way scientists might speak about experiments today.  But in saying he knew this “experimentally” he does mean he had direct experience. 

When we speak of “experience” we mean direct observation of or participation in events as a basis of knowledge.  Normally, we mean seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, touching – knowledge we gain through our senses.  Most of us today think of our senses as external senses: they are how we perceive or experience the world ‘out there’.  What Fox is saying, I think, is that we can have internal experience.  There is another sense beyond the five we mostly count.  It’s an internal sense.  I think this is what Fox is speaking about when he says, “And this I knew experimentally.”

I felt it.  I heard it.  It touched me.  I felt it within. 

This is all on my mind because I’ve found myself thinking about what this ‘direct experience’ feels like.  What does it ‘feel like’ when God or Jesus or the Holy Spirit – however you want to name the Divine — ‘speaks to my condition?’  What do I know when I know experimentally?

Fox heard a voice.  There are some who have quite a forceful experience.  The Apostle Paul was one.  Acts 9:3-4 tells the story:  As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”  He saw a light. 

In 1559 (about a century before Fox’s epiphany) Teresa of Avila, a Carmelite Nun had a quite direct experience with a seraph – a kind of angel:

I saw in his hand a long spear of gold, and at the point there seemed to be a little fire. He appeared to me to be thrusting it at times into my heart, and to pierce my very entrails; when he drew it out, he seemed to draw them out also, and to leave me all on fire with a great love of God. The pain was so great, that it made me moan; and yet so surpassing was the sweetness of this excessive pain, that I could not wish to be rid of it … She felt a touch that pierced her. 

 Most of us don’t have experiences as dramatic as these.  So, again, what does it feel like?  That’s a question for each of us to answer.  Each of us might give a somewhat different answer. For most of us, it’s less like piercings of the heart and more like glimpses and nudges.  Over the centuries, Quakers have recorded what it felt like in journals and in letters to one another.  The glimpses and nudges are so gentle that most of us have to learn to notice them.  They can be subtle; they can be easy to miss. 

This spring, along with a dozen or two others, I’ve been in a Midweek Meditation group led by Brian Drayton.  He’s been having us read and reflect on some of the letters and essays of Isaac Penington, a contemporary of Fox who was drawn to Quakerism.  

In one, Penington speaks of the “breathings” of the Lord leaving a living presence in him. 

In the same essay, he asks, “Dost thou feel the ease which comes from the living arm, to the heart which is joined to it in the light of the gospel?”  And he asks, “Dost thou feel the life and power flowing in upon thee from the free fountain?”  The direct experience he’s talking about is a breath, now it’s a touch, and now it’s a taste of water.

What strikes me in these passages is that Penington is not saying, authoritatively, ‘This is what it feels like.’  He’s not telling; he’s asking: “Dost thou feel?”  He is suggesting; he is coaching.  He is asking, did it feel something like this? 

He is directing our attention to what it might feel like.  But it is up to us to say.  We have to figure it out.  We have to feel it; we can’t be told what we should feel. 

In these suggestions he offers – “Dost thou feel?” – he mentions all of the familiar external senses as what it might feel like internally.  It might be something we see, or it might be a voice we hear.  It might be a body touch – a nudge that leads us down a path.  It might be a lingering smell, or a taste of something refreshing that gives us guidance. 

Penington has a language for the external senses, but not really the words that communicate what it might feel like within.  Nor really do any of us.  So Penington offers a variety of analogies: it might feel like this; it might feel like that, it might feel like this. 

Penington is assuring us, with Fox, “this we know experimentally.”  We can have direct experience.  He is also telling us, the experience may be subtle; we may have to search for it; we may have to quiet ourselves and still ourselves to feel the experience. 

Nevertheless, we can do this.  This we know experimentally.  So, Friends: dost thou feel?

Also posted on Riverviewfriend

Durham Friends Meeting Minutes, May 22-23, 2022 (DRAFT)

 

Ellen Bennett — Recording Clerk

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends met for the conduct of business on Sunday, May 22, 2022, with 8 people attending in the Meetinghouse.

Due to technical problems, those members waiting to attend by ZOOM were not able to attend.  Those at the Meetinghouse agreed to hold a brief meeting to hear a member’s concern and to then adjourn the meeting until Monday, May 23, at 7pm by ZOOM.

Meeting of 22 May 2022.

  1. Concern of member

Dan Henton shared a deep concern that the former trustees had been criticized of improper behavior.  He wanted the meeting to specify charges against the former Trustees.  Dan further felt that the current clerk of Trustees had exceeded her authority on several expenditures.  Dan then excused himself from Meeting.

Clerk of Trustees apologized for moving too quickly in seeking to expedite several items concerning maintenance of the existing heat pump and an issue concerning the cemetery.  Clerk of Trustees, after consultation with the Trustees and the Clerk of Meeting reversed the decision regarding the heat pump and submitted a request to the March monthly meeting.  No action has been taken, to date, on the cemetery expenditure.  Clerk of Meeting noted Trustees were now in conformance with the Meeting Handbook and thanked Dan for raising the issue and the Clerk of Trustees correcting the mistake.  Meeting was united in expression of confidence in the current and prior trustees.

       Meeting asked the clerk to draft a minute expressing the meeting’s fulsome support and trust in  the integrity and work of the prior Trustees.

Clerk pointed out that the rupture in the prior Trustees that led to two resignations had not healed.  The role of Trustees is still not fully clear.  Meeting needs to address this question directly.  It was noted that Trustees have begun the useful work of drafting a charge for Trustees that will eliminate ambiguity.  Finance Committee volunteered to help in this work.

       Meeting asked Trustees to continue its work drafting a charge for the Trustees and to report on its progress.

This Meeting is adjourned until Monday, 7pm, 23 May 2022.

Meeting of 23 May 2022.

Bob opened the meeting by Zoom with a moment of silent centering and preparation. Sixteen members joined.

  • Review of Agenda — Bob Eaton                                                                                          

Clerk began with a review of the agenda, noting the addition of the review of the minutes of the Sunday afternoon Meeting for Business at the Meetinghouse.

Items that require approval and/or seasoning

  • Approval of Minutes of April 2022 — Ellen Bennett

        The April minutes were approved as submitted with the agenda.

  • Approval of Minutes of May 22 meeting — Bob Eaton

Bob read the minutes of this first part of the Meeting for Business which took place Sunday May 22, 2022.

With one amendment for clarification concerning the use of funds, the minutes of this portion of the Meeting for Business were approved.

Pursuant to request of the Sunday session, Meeting approved the following minute:

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends reaffirms its full confidence in the integrity and competence of the prior and current Trustees of Meeting.

  • Nominating Committee Report — Linda Muller

The following individuals were brought forward by the Nominating Committee to serve in support of the Meeting:

               Meeting members approved Cush Anthony to serve on Ministry and Counsel

               Meeting members approved Dorothy Curtis to serve on the Finance Committee

               Meeting members approved Kim Bolshaw to serve on the Library Committee

               Meeting members approved Mey Hasbrook to serve as Treasurer Assistant

               Meeting members approved the description of the Assistant Treasurer.

Meeting members approved a special meeting to convene this fall to review the overall work of the Meeting Treasurer.

Meeting members approved Finance Committee actively seek a bookkeeper, assuming that all Meeting members will read these minutes and thus be aware of this opportunity.

Meeting members expressed their appreciation for the work that Nominating Committee has done.

6.     Ministry and Counsel Report — Tess Hartford and Renée Cote

Meeting members approved the transfer of membership of Mey Hasbrook from Kalamazoo Friends Meeting to Durham Friends Meeting. 

                                                                                                                                               Trustees will take up the question of remuneration for use of the Meetinghouse for weddings, etc. Wendy will send information from Portland Friends Meeting concerning rental of the Meetinghouse for comparison purposes.

7.     Covid Guidelines — Nancy Marstaller

The new recommendations remove the vaccination requirement. Clerk of the Meeting pointed out that there is no need for expediency regarding a decision. A thoughtful and clear discussion followed with people commenting on both sides of this issue. Clerk asked for a period of silent reflection. Clerk noted that regardless of the outcome, some members will be attending Meeting by Zoom.

The Meeting accepted the recommendation of the Committee to remove the vaccination requirement from the Covid Guidelines. Meeting members are appreciative of the care and work that the Committee has put into thinking through this issue.

It was noted that the use of technology in the Meetinghouse, allowing hybrid worship, will require more individuals be trained in how to use and troubleshoot tech issues so that all might participate in worship without difficulty.

Reports for information and comment

8.    Finance Committee — Nancy Marstaller

9.     Peace and Social Concerns Committee Report — Ingrid Chalufour

10.   Trustees Report — Sarah Sprogell

The above three reports were accepted by the Meeting and are attached.

11. Verbal report on Falmouth Quarterly Meeting — Wendy Schlotterbeck.

Wendy shared information about the upcoming plant sale, and the logistics of bringing and buying plants. 

Respectfully submitted,

Ellen Bennett, Recording Clerk

Attachments:

        DMM Business Mtg 22 05 22 Agenda.docx

        DMM Business Mtg 22 05 22 Draft Minutes of 22 04 24.docx

        DMM Business Mtg 22 05 22 Report Covid Guidelines Rationale.docx

        DMM Business Mtg 22 05 22 Report Covid Guidelines.docx

        DMM Business Mtg 22 05 22 Report Ministry and Counsel.docx

        DMM Business Mtg 22 05 22 Report Nominating Committee.docx

        DMM Business Mtg 22 05 22 Report Peace and Social Concerns.docx

        DMM Business Mtg 22 05 22 Report Trustees.docx

LACO Food Pantry Benefit Car Show, June 4, 2022

The annual LACO (Lisbon Area Christian Outreach) car show will be held Saturday, June 4th from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Shiloh Church in Durham (12 Beulah Lane). Shiloh Church is one of the LACO partner churches (as is Durham Friends Meeting).

Proceeds of the car show benefit the LACO Food Pantry. Breakfast and lunch available. Margaret Copeland writes, “I hope people will come at lunch time since that is when we make most of our money.”

Please direct questions to Margaret Copeland.

Renaming a Park: Letter to Brunswick Town Council

 Durham Friends Letter to the Brunswick Town Council (same text below)

Durham Friends Meeting (Quaker)

532 Quaker Meeting House Road, Durham, MAINE 04222

May 27, 2022

To the Town Councilors of Brunswick,

We write to urge the Town of Brunswick to change the name of its 250th Anniversary Park to Pejepscot Park, and to use the occasion of the renaming to begin telling a truer, more inclusive history of human habitation along the lower Androscoggin River.  

Those signing this letter are residents of Brunswick (11 of us) and residents of adjoining towns (another 22).  We are all members of Durham Friends Meeting, the Quaker Meeting just over the border from Brunswick in Durham.  

We believe that it is important to remember that Indigenous people have lived in this region for thousands of years.  They have fished, hunted, and grew food throughout the Androscoggin watershed. At the site of today’s park, they came seasonally to catch salmon and alewives and others as these fish moved upriver to spawn.  Likely they had an encampment where the park is now sited.  European settlers wanted to make the same use of the fishery, and so they constructed a fort overlooking the lower falls of the Androscoggin, and they built a road from the fort to Maquoit Bay – along a pathway that the Abenaki people portaged their canoes – the same road that is today’s Maine Street and Maquoit Road.  

Because of the importance of this site for both the Abenaki and the European settlers, it is simply not right to call this park by a name suggesting that its history began in 1739.  There are important stories about this human settlement well before that date, and the precise location of this park is especially important in these stories for both the Abenaki and the European settlers.

There is a plaque in the park today that reads “Historic Site: When the Abenaki were the sole inhabitants of this land, the water here was called Ammoscoggin. The word means ‘Fish coming in Spring.’” This is one form of recognition, but we urge additional recognition by renaming the park.  Pejepscot is what the Abenaki called the Androscoggin River below the last falls, the stretch of river for which the park provides a splendid view.  Early maps by Europeans also call this stretch of the river the Pejepscot.  

For these reasons, and in recognition of the complexity of our mutual history with the Abenaki, we respectfully urge you to consider the name Pejepscot Park, a name that honors and raises up the first inhabitants of this area.

                                                      Approved by Durham Friends Meeting,

                                                      At its Business Meeting, April 24, 2022

Contact person: Ingrid Chalufour,

clerk of Durham Friends Meeting’s Peace & Social Concerns Committee

ichalufour@gmail.com, 207-483-2620

Some of the individual members of Durham Friends Meeting are the following, who asked that their signatures be included: 

Residents of Brunswick:

Kim Bolshaw

Ingrid Chalufour

Charlotte Anne Curtis

Craig Freshley

Theresa Hartford

Mey Hasbrook

Linda Muller

Ann Ruthsdottir

Kathy Jo Williams

Cindy Wood

Paul Wood

Residents of Topsham: 

Douglas Bennett

Ellen Bennett

Residents of Auburn

Reneé Coté

Wendy Schlotterbeck

Residents of Bath

Margaret Leitch Copeland 

Leslie Manning

Residents of Bowdoinham

M. Jo-an Jacobus

Residents of Durham

Laurie Caton-Lemos

Ezra Smith

Residents of Freeport

Helen Clarkson

Sarah Sprogell

Residents of Harpswell

Wendy Batson

Robert Eaton

Nancy Marstaller

Residents of Norway

Patti-Ann Douglas 

James R. Douglas 

Residents of Portland

Lyn Clarke

Residents of Richmond

Liana Thompson-Knight

Residents of South Portland

Barbara Simon

Residents of Sumner

Dorothy Hinshaw

Edward Hinshaw

Residents of Yarmouth

Cushing Anthony

Currently residing Out-of-State

Joyce Gibson (Massachusetts)

Brown Lethem (California)

Durham Friends Meeting Use Guidelines

Proposed May 22, 2022

ENTRY and USE

Vaccinations are encouraged but not required.

If you feel even the slightest bit unwell, please stay home and join Meeting for Worship on zoom. 

Masks should be worn at all times inside the meetinghouse, such as when giving the message, announcements, or speaking during worship or other inside events. 

KN95, N95, or surgical masks are preferred. Well-fitting cloth masks are acceptable if 2 or 3 layers, especially with a filter insert or surgical mask added. Plastic shields, kerchiefs, gators, or buffs are not acceptable. 

We have a supply of masks available at the entrances to the meetinghouse.

Please maintain 6-foot distancing with people not in your family group or “pod.” We do not have any attendance cap or reservation system.

INFORMATION SHARING

All are asked to sign in when attending meetings, adding your name, phone number and email address to a dated sheet. These will be placed outside each door to the worship room for worship. Clerks or convenors of other meetings will keep their own lists. If you come down with Covid within 3 days of attending a meeting at the meetinghouse, contact the meeting clerk, Bob Eaton, if it was after attending meeting for worship, or the clerk or convenor of any other meeting you attended.

Fellowship before and after meetings is encouraged. Masks must be kept on when inside. Feel free to unmask when outdoors. No food will be served indoors but may be served to eat outdoors.

Air purifiers are used in the worship room. Please use them for other meetings and events. You may temporarily move one from the worship room to another room that you are using for a smaller meeting. 

Turn on overhead fans when using the worship room. When weather permits, open windows in any room that you are using, including the bathroom. Keep windows open for at least 20 minutes after use, if possible, to replace air flow, but please remember to close windows when you leave.

COMMITTEE AND OTHER MEETINGS

ZOOM meetings will continue to be available.

Meetings and events should be scheduled on the Durham Friends Meeting calendar. Committee clerks can schedule meetings; others need to contact our Trustees for scheduling events. At present the trustee to contact is Sarah Sprogell. There is a link to the calendar on the Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends website. Note if it is a Zoom meeting, in person, or hybrid.

These guidelines apply to all members and attenders, as well as families or any group seeking to hold memorial services or similar events.

Please limit your visit to as few rooms as possible.

Fellowship before and after meetings is encouraged. Masks must be kept on when inside. Feel free to unmask when outdoors. No food will be served indoors but may be served to eat outdoors.

Air purifiers are used in the worship room. Please use them for other meetings and events. You may temporarily move one from the worship room to another room that you are using for a smaller meeting. 

Turn on overhead fans when using the worship room. When weather permits, open windows in any room that you are using, including the bathroom. Keep windows open for at least 20 minutes after use, if possible, to replace air flow, but please remember to close windows when you leave.

COMMITTEE AND OTHER MEETINGS

ZOOM meetings will continue to be available.

Meetings and events should be scheduled on the Durham Friends Meeting calendar. Committee clerks can schedule meetings; others need to contact our Trustees for scheduling events. At present the trustee to contact is Sarah Sprogell. There is a link to the calendar on the Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends website. Note if it is a Zoom meeting, in person, or hybrid.

These guidelines apply to all members and attenders, as well as families or any group seeking to hold memorial services or similar events.

Please limit your visit to as few rooms as possible.

Woman’s Society Hybrid Meeting Minutes, April 18, 2022

By Susan Gilbert, Secretary

            Present: Dorothy Curtis, President, Nancy Marstaller, Treasurer, Susan Gilbert, Secretary, Charlotte Anne Curtis, Kim Bolshaw, Dorothy Hinshaw, Helen Clarkson, Kitsie Hildebrandt

            Card Ministry: Kim will send cards to Margaret Wentworth’s brother Jim and his wife Vera, and their niece, Alex, saying we are “thinking of you.” She will send a thank you card to Kitsie in appreciation of her hard work for the Meeting over the years, as a trustee, treasurer, organizing historical records, and many other contributions.

            Devotions and Program: Brought by Dorothy Curtis, who read from the month’s Blueprint offering on “Resting in His Shadow.” This was by Nairobi Kenyan Judith M’maitsi Nandikove on how God provides rest in times of trial, quoting Psalm 91, Isaiah 44.

            Next Meeting: May 16, Program will be brought by Kim Bolshaw.

            Minutes: Susan read the newsletter version and will email present members the long archive version for everyone to check for corrections.

            Treasurer’s Report: Nancy said the WS received a $40 donation, bringing the balance to $70.68.

            She suggests we make a reading list for 2022-2023. Mary Glen Hadley’s book Led By The Light and Marty Grundy’s A Call to Friends—Faithful Living in Desperate Times could be bought together for a discount. Midcoast Hunger could receive a donation of $30 or $40. We discussed buying Blueprints and Calendars for the new year, counting who wants one and buying a few extra.

            Prayers: For Margaret Wentworth and her brother and his family. For Kim’s friend Merrill Noetzel. Kim and Merrill recently lost their friend, Clarence David, of Lunt Road.

            Tedford House: Nancy’s Team E prepared a meal of meat, mac and cheese, salad, bread, cookies, fruit and juice. Leslie Manning’s Team F will cook next month.

            Leslie Manning has asked if WS members are interested in Adult Sunday School starting up again.

            Dorothy Curtis ended the meeting, reading a Spring poem from a children’s book.

“Tree of Life,” by Jane Field

Message given by Jane Field of the Maine Council of Churches at Durham Friends Meeting, May 1, 2022

I bring you greetings from the Maine Council of Churches, where I serve as the Executive Director. We are an ecumenical coalition of seven Protestant denominations in the state, including yours, the Religious Society of Friends. Together, we have 441 congregations with more than 55,000 members who live out their faith in towns from Kittery to Fort Kent, from Rumford to Eastport. The Quaker representative who sits on our Board is Diane Dicranian; a member of your Meeting, Cush Anthony, is an at-large member of the Board; and we work with the Clerk of the New England Yearly Meeting, Bruce Neumann, and consult with him on major issues before the Council. In fact, we are the grateful recipients of a Prejudice and Poverty Grant from the Yearly Meeting that is funding our upcoming event in Brunswick, “Saying Peace, Peace When There Is No Peace: How Demanding Civility Risks Protecting White Privilege,” next Thursday, May 5, from 11am to 1pm in-person at the UU Church and streaming online—we hope you’ll join us!

Your own Leslie Manning almost single-handedly held the Council together during some difficult days of restructuring about 10 years ago, and continued to serve on our Public Policy Committee for years after the boat stopped rocking. Another Quaker in MCC’s Hall of Fame is Tom Ewell, who served as Executive Director in the 80’s and 90’s and remains on my speed dial even today as a trusted colleague and faithful supporter of the Council. 

We are a small (but scrappy!) nonprofit organization whose mission is to inspire congregations and Mainers of faith and goodwill to unite in working for the common good, building a culture of justice, compassion and peace, where peace is built with justice and justice is guided by love. We carry out that mission by offering statewide educational programs and resources, and through faith-based legislative advocacy in Augusta—promoting policies that:

  • Reduce poverty, hunger and homelessness
  • Protect and restore the environment
  • Increase equitable access to health care and education
  • Defend the rights and dignity of the vulnerable and marginalized (particularly LGBTQ+ and New Mainers, people of color, and our Wabanaki tribal neighbors)
  • And ensure that Mainers can live together harmoniously with equity, peace, and safety for everybody.

If you would like to learn more about our work, you’re welcome to take a copy of our most recent newsletter or visit our website (mainecouncilofchurches.org).  You can sign up to receive our newsletters and emails—either via our website, our Facebook page, or by phone.

You could say that we at the Maine Council of Churches are all about making connections—and this morning I’d like us to spend some time thinking about how and why God’s dream is for us to be … connected.  

We’re going to do that by looking at the hidden life of trees. That’s the title of a wonderful book by Peter Wohlleben, a forester who works deep in the forests of Germany, and who has learned astonishing things about trees—trees just like the ones outside this building, just like the ones in your own backyards. As I describe his extraordinary findings, I invite you to think about a favorite tree of yours (we all have one, don’t we? Mine is a Japanese pine that stands at the water’s edge near my family’s camp; my whole life it has been framed perfectly in the camp’s picture window that looks out on the lake).

Picture your tree’s trunk. Did your mind’s eye automatically look up? Now look down to where your tree’s trunk meets the earth, and let your imagination envision the intricate root systems that are lying underground below your tree.

In his book, Wohlleben describes something miraculous going on in those roots that we humans can neither see nor hear: trees are communicating with one another. He has discovered they depend on a complicated web of cooperative, interdependent relationships, alliances and kinship networks. Wise old mother trees feed their saplings and warn neighbor trees when danger is approaching. Reckless teenagers take foolhardy risks chasing the light and drinking excessively, and usually pay with their lives. Crown princes wait for old monarchs to fall, so they can take their place in the full glory of sunlight. It’s all happening in the ultra-slow motion that is tree time. [Smithsonian, “Do Trees Talk to Each Other?” by Richard Grant, March 2018]

A revolution has been taking place in the scientific understanding of trees, and the latest studies confirm what Wohlleben and his colleague Suzanne Simard of British Columbia have long suspected: Trees are far more alert, social, sophisticated—and even intelligent—than we thought. There is now scientific evidence showing that trees of the same species are communal, and often form alliances with trees of other species, too, living in cooperative, interdependent relationships, maintained by communication and a collective intelligence similar to an insect colony. 

These soaring columns of living wood draw our eyes upward, but the real action is taking place underground, just a few inches below our feet. Wohlleben jokes that we could call this underground communication network “the ‘wood-wide web.” It connects trees to each other through a web of roots and fungus. Trees share water and nutrients through the network, and also use it to communicate. They send distress signals about drought, disease, or insect attacks, and other trees alter their behavior when they receive these messages.  

Scientists call these “mycorrhizal” (my-core-eyes-all) networks. The fine, hairlike root tips of trees join together with microscopic fungal filaments to form the basic links of the network. Trees pay a kind of fee for network services (like a cable or cell phone bill!) by allowing the fungi to consume about 30 percent of the sugar that the trees photosynthesize from sunlight. The sugar is what fuels the fungi, as they scavenge the soil for mineral nutrients, which are then absorbed and consumed by the trees. One teaspoon [hold up a teaspoon] of forest soil contains several MILES of these fungal filaments!

For young saplings in a deeply shaded part of the forest, the network is a lifeline. Lacking the sunlight to photosynthesize, they survive because big trees, including their parents, pump sugar into their roots through the network. For elderly trees, it serves as nursing care. Once, Wohlleben came across a gigantic beech stump, four or five feet across. The tree was felled 400 or 500 years ago, but scraping away the surface with his penknife, he found something astonishing: the stump was still green with chlorophyll. There was only one explanation. The surrounding beeches were keeping it alive, by pumping sugar to it through the network. “When beeches do this, they remind me of elephants,” he says. “They are reluctant to abandon their dead, especially when it’s a big, old, revered matriarch.”  

To communicate through the network, trees send chemical, hormonal and slow-pulsing electrical signals, which scientists are just beginning to decipher. Some trees may also emit and detect sounds, a crackling noise in the roots at a frequency inaudible to humans.

Trees also communicate through the air, using pheromones and other scent signals. In Africa, when a giraffe starts chewing acacia leaves, the tree notices the injury and emits a distress signal in the form of ethylene gas. Upon detecting this gas, neighboring acacias start pumping tannins into their leaves. In large enough quantities these compounds can sicken or even kill large herbivores—like giraffes. (Giraffes are aware of this, however, having evolved with acacias, and this is why they browse into the wind, so the warning gas doesn’t reach the trees ahead of them. Giraffes seem to know that the trees are talking to one another!)

Trees can detect scent and taste through their leaves. When elms and pines come under attack by leaf-eating caterpillars, they detect the caterpillar saliva, and release pheromones that attract wasps who lay their eggs inside the caterpillars. The wasp larvae eat the caterpillars from the inside out. “Very unpleasant for the caterpillars,” says Wohlleben. “Very clever of the trees.”

A recent study shows that trees recognize the taste of deer saliva. When a deer is biting a branch, the tree brings defending chemicals to make the leaves taste bad so the deer will stop. If, on the other hand, a human breaks the branch, the tree knows the difference, and brings in substances to heal the wound.

Why do trees share resources and form alliances with trees of other species? Doesn’t the law of natural selection—“survival of the fittest”—suggest that they should be competing? “Actually, it doesn’t make evolutionary sense for trees to behave like resource-grabbing individualists,” botanist Simard says. “They live longest and reproduce most often in a healthy stable forest. That’s why they’ve evolved to help their neighbors.”

But this isn’t a high school biology class—why talk about this in a worship service? I can think of at least two reasons. The first is just the sheer miracle of it all—how amazing is God’s creation?!  

The second reason to talk about this in worship is because it is a beautiful metaphor from nature about how we are meant to exist in community, especially within the church, both at the local level, and in the broader, wider church, as we are, you and I, through the Maine Council of Churches. We are meant to be connected, just like trees are. We, too, are meant to love and help our neighbors. As Paul taught the Corinthians, “If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.”  

It is our hope and prayer at the Council that we can be a sort of “mycorrhizal network” connecting local congregations like yours here at Durham Meeting with others all around the state. Like trees who are connected through vast root systems, we can share what nourishes us. We can send distress signals when someone among us is in danger or under attack so that all of us can rally around and take action. We can look out for young ones and our elders, and we can learn from each other.

Because, like trees, it doesn’t make evolutionary sense for us to behave “like resource-grabbing individualists,” either. We, too, live longest and best in a healthy, stable “forest”—a community where we love our neighbors, even as we love ourselves.

So this morning, while I am here as your guest, let us give thanks for the “mycorrhizal” system that connects us to each other, to the wider faith community (including the Maine Council of Churches), and to our neighbors of every faith, a system that connects us to creation, and to God. Let us celebrate how we, like the trees, thrive in a network of trust, shared language, and deeply interdependent relationships that are shaped by faith, hope and love, justice, compassion and peace. May it be so. Amen.

Durham Friends Meeting Minutes, April 24, 2022

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends met in hybrid format for the conduct of business on Sunday, April 24, 2022, with 18 people attending: 11 via Zoom and 7 in the Meetinghouse.

Bob Eaton began with meeting with a moment of silent preparation.

  1. Review of Agenda — Bob Eaton

Items that require approval or seasoning

2.     Approval of Minutes of March 2022 — Ellen Bennett

        The minutes were approved as distributed with the agenda.

3.     Nominating Committee — Linda Muller

Please refer to attached report for proposed options to assume the responsibilities of Treasurer on an interim basis. An important consideration is the importance of people assuming leadership responsibilities for our Meeting.

The recommendation was made that we move ahead with approving the proposed option for a temporary bookkeeper while continuing to search for a Treasurer. We will review this situation in six months (the end of the calendar year). 

        The recommendation was approved.

The attached report also emphasized the need for meeting members and attenders to step forward and assume responsibility for seeing to the health and functioning of the Meeting.

4.     Trustees Report — Sarah Sprogell

Please refer to the attached report for details.

The Meeting approved expenditure of funds for upgrading the electrical panel, up to $5,000, and authorizes Trustees to commit those funds.

The Meeting approved expenditure of approximately $14,000 for removal of asbestos, as well as remaining ductwork and furnaces.

5.     Ministry and Counsel — Renee Cote, Tess Hartford

Please refer to the attached report.

        The Meeting approved moving Monthly Meeting from May 15th to the 22nd.

The Meeting approved Leslie’s use of the Meetinghouse and equipment when she delivers five, half-hour Bible sessions in July.

        State of the Society Report

Please refer to the attached report. (Corrections will be made by Renee for number of New Mainers reached by our book project.)

        The Meeting approved the State of Society Report.

6.     Peace and Social Concerns — Ingrid Chalufour

Please refer to the attached report.

The Meeting approved the letter addressed to the Town Council of Brunswick on behalf of the Meeting, asking recognition of the Abenaki people through renaming 250th Anniversary Park, Pejepscot Park.

The Meeting approved use of $1,000 from charity funds to support Qat’s project “Riverside Friends JustPeace Collaborative.”

Reports for Information and Comment

7.     Finance Committee — Nancy Marstaller

Please refer to the attached first quarter financial report.

        The Meeting accepted the Finance Report with thanks.

8.     Meetinghouse Use Guidelines — Nancy Marstaller

Please refer to the attached document. The Meeting engaged in a thoughtful and diverse discussion around vaccinations, masking and testing, for access to the Meetinghouse. The Meeting did not find unity, and the topic will be a part of the agenda at May’s Monthly Meeting for Business. We recognize the challenge and are committed to continue working on it.

Respectfully submitted,

Ellen Bennett, Recording Clerk

Attachments: available here

DMM Business Mtg 22 04 24 Agenda.docx

DMM Business Mtg 22 04 24 Draft Minutes of 22 03 20.docx

DMM Business Mtg 22 04 24 Report Ministry and Counsel State of Society.docx

DMM Business Mtg 22 04 24 Report Nominating Committee.docx

DMM Business Mtg 22 04 24 Entry proposal.docx

DMM Business Mtg 22 04 24 Report Finance 1st Quarter.xlsx

DMM Business Mtg 22 04 24 Report Ministry and Counsel Committee.docx

DMM Business Mtg 22 04 24 Report Peace and Social Concerns.docx

DMM Business Mtg 22 04 24 Report Trustees.docx

Interested in Visiting Friends in Cuba? [Now with an Update]

Update, May 7, 2022:

Rebecca Leuchak, Mary Hopkins and Chris Jorgenson, who travelled to Cuba for the annual sessions of Cuba Yearly Meeting in February, will be speaking at Durham’s meeting for worship on Sunday, May 15. They will be available for a short time to answer questions at the rise of meeting.

These Friends will then go to Portland Friends Meeting for an informational and organizational meeting starting at 1:00 to start planning the fall trip to Velasco, Cuba.  Rebecca, Mary, and Chris will answer questions; then we will organize folks to work on various aspects for the trip including funding, logistics, coordination with Puente and CYM, clearness for travelers, communication, spiritual support, and any other needs. The meeting will be in-person only and may last about 2 hours.

Interested in visiting Friends in Cuba? Or supporting those who go?

We’re so excited that Durham and Portland Meetings will be sending a delegation to Cuba in early November. If you are interested in going or helping those who go, or just want to find out more, please contact Nancy Marstaller by March 31.

The Portland/Durham/Velasco Sister Meetings committee will organize an informational session in April, to talk about details, and hope to have one of the recent travelers to Cuba join us. I hope to hear from many of you by March 31. Thanks!

Nancy Marstaller

marstallern@gmail.com

Materials for Business Meeting, April 24, 2022

Reports and other materials for the 22.4.24 Durham Friends Business Meeting can be found at this link.

AGENDA:  Durham Monthly Meeting Business Meeting, April 24, 2022

Note:  Meeting for Business will be held at the Meeting House.  Zoom will be available.

  1. Review of Agenda                                                                                                     Bob Eaton

Items that require approval and/or seasoning

  • Approval of Minutes of March 2022                                                                       Ellen Bennett
  • Nominating                                                                                                         Linda Muller
  • Trustees Report is attached                                                                                 Sarah Sprogell
  • Ministry and Counsel                                                                    Tess Hartford and Renée Cote

State of the Society Report for approval

  • Peace and Social Concerns                                                                                Ingrid Chalufour

At our March meeting we heard a request for a disbursement from the Charity Fund.  Per our guidelines this reqest is coming for a second reading.  Please refer to the P & SC report of last month for details.

Reports for information and comment

  • Finance Committee                                                                                         Nancy Marstaller

AttachmentsAvailable by clicking here

Minutes, 22.03.20

Finance Committee Report, First Quarter 2022

Committee on Ministry and Counsel Report 22.04.24

State of Society Report 2021, Draft

Nominating Committee Report, 22.04.24

Peace and Social Concerns Committee Report, 22.04.24

Trustees Report, 22.04.24

Falmouth Quarterly Meeting Minutes, April 16, 2022

Co-convenors: Wendy Schlotterbeck, Fritz Weiss; Clerk: Fritz Weiss

Twenty five Friends from all five Meetings in Falmouth Quarter with one visitor from Lawrence Meeting gathered on April 16, 2022 for the Spring Quarterly Meeting. Two Friends sent regrets.

 Martha Sheldon offered an opening prayer noting that we are gathered together to hear stories from our lives, our hearts and our souls.

FQ 2022-1. Land Acknowledgment: 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. We make this acknowledgement aware of continual violations of water, territorial rights, and sacred sites in the Wabanaki homeland.

FQ 2022-2. The agenda for this quarterly meeting was to receive reports from those in the quarter with recognized ministries, to receive and forward memorial minutes and to receive the state of society reports.

FQ 2022-3. Elizabeth Szatkowski (Portland) has been recognized for her ministry working with people from marginalized populations and advocating to change the inequities created by classism, racism and poverty. Much of her work has been with people facing homelessness, mental illness, addiction and trauma. She practices deeply seeing that of God in each person and reflecting that back to them in an active way to contribute to their empowerment and self-actualization. She was granted a denomination endorsement by Falmouth Quarter in 2018 to support her work supervising the chaplains, social workers, and bereavement department at Hospice of Southern Maine. In this role she works to create and hold space in a medical model organization for psycho social and spiritual experiences.  Elizabeth  reported that the way her ministry was used this year was not something she really welcomed. In her chaplaincy role at Southern Maine Hospice, she found herself supporting a beloved colleague through her hospice journey.  This colleague had developed an aggressive cancer unexpectedly. Elizabeth found this both hard and rich, as she witnessed her colleague growing and helping others grow; helping her friends to be present and celebrating her mortality.  Elizabeth stated that she felt able to receive Spirit, share with others and make space in a public workplace for this to happen. Elizabeth has a ministry support committee from Portland which has been important in her faithfulness.  She closed with a quote from Anne Lamott: “I do not understand the mystery of grace — only that it meets us where we are and does not leave us where it found us.”

FQ 2022-4. Leslie Manning reported for Maggie Fiori’s (Portland) Ministry Care Committee.  Maggie will be sharing about her ministry on zoom on May 9th; we are all invited.  Maggie’s ministry extends beyond her work with the Young Friends of New England Yearly Meeting to include an invitation to Friends to meet each other with love where we are and encourage us to move towards where we need to go.  Friends shared how they have experienced Maggie’s ministry in both her work with Young Friends and in her broader engagement with Friends in the world.

FQ 2022-5. We received the State of Society from Windham Meeting read by Julieanne Moore – The report noted that the meeting has met the challenges of the past year with Faith Gratitude and Perseverance.  The report is attached to these minutes.

FQ 2022-6. Report from Janice Beattie (Windham) on her ministry – Janice reported that she has been called to pastoral ministry at Windham Meeting for 25 years, noting that “God brought me to it, I did not plan it.” The ministry is expressed through the community as everyone contributes in their own way. Janice expressed gratitude for all the community gifts and talents and noted that “God is always in the lead.”

FQ 2022-7. In their reports, Windham noted that they had joined the other meetings in Falmouth Quarter in advocating for the Tribal Sovereignty legislation which is before the Maine legislature.  We shared that the bill had been approved by both the house and the senate and has been forwarded to the Governor.

FQ 2022-8. In her report on her ministry, Leslie Manning (Durham) asked us to consider what Friends mean by “ministry”. She shared her call to service among Friends, to build up, nurture, and challenge faithfulness among friends and to help us realize our prophetic vocation. Leslie reported that after decades of supporting those who have experienced violence, she is finding herself accompanying incarcerated women who have been perpetrators of violence.  She provides care, advocacy and support to the women, their families and the staff who work with them.  Leslie expressed appreciation for Durham Meeting which is appointing a support committee for her.

FQ 2022-9. Southern Maine Meeting has not written a State of Society this year. Sarah Moore reported that the meeting feels God’s presence mostly through the connections and care for each other in their small meeting.  Southern Maine is meeting together outside when the weather allows.

FQ 2022-10. We received and heard the Memorial Minute for Linda J Lyman read by Sarah Moore. The minute will be forwarded to the Yearly Meeting.

FQ 2022-11. Craig Freshley (Durham) shared that after more than 20 years of conceiving and writing, his book Together We Decide is being published.  The book is grounded in a lifelong concern for bringing people of different opinions together in dialogue. When Craig first encountered Friends at Durham meeting, he realized that the Quaker process of listening and discernment was a powerful tool for this work.  Durham meeting has provided concrete and spiritual support for the book project and for the “Make Shift Coffee House”  project which brought people together for conversations among Republicans and Democrats across the polictical divide.  In order to finish the book, Craig has had to let the coffee house languish. His hope with the book is to bring Quaker principles into the mainstream.  Craig shared his fear of being too attached to the success of the book and a fear of seeing the work as an expression of his own ego.  He also shared his awareness of and gratitude for the privileges he has of being white, relatively affluent and male which made it easier for him to do this work.

FQ 2022-12. Martha Sheldon, reported that she continued to feel that her recording in the ministry has life. She feels a deep conviction and purpose for supporting, nurturing and leading worship, and for supporting, sustaining and challenging communities.  Martha emphasized the importance of the clearness process in recognizing ministry, and the importance of recognizing the breaks we receive due to our privilege.  She also noted that she was recorded in the ministry at a time when many churches did not generally recognize or support women in ministry.  The carrying of ministry involves both being open to opportunities and every so often taking breaks. Martha has moved to Northern Ireland, she reports: “Clarity of purpose and ministry callings are, as yet, not manifest in Northern Ireland.   I continue to be present for ministry opportunities at Durham via zoom.  Before the move my ministry included my work with autistic children and their teachers.  All are welcome to visit [Ireland]!  [To share} conversation, healing walks, cobweb removing windy days, reflection…..” She is looking forward to the next stage of her ministry with exhilaration and with uncertainty.

FQ 2022 -13. Brunswick Meeting did not write a state of society report this year.  The meeting is coming together in person again at 10:00 on Sundays at the Curtis Public Library in Brunswick and welcomes visitors. It is a joy to be together again.  Brunswick expressed gratitude for the support they receive from the wider Quaker fellowship.

FQ 2022-14. We received three memorial minutes from Portland Meeting and will forward them to the Yearly Meeting.

  • Arthur Fink
    • Ed Robinson
    • Anne Harwood

FQ 2022-15. Diana White has been recognized by Portland Meeting in 2021 as carrying a ministry of healing.  Diana was diagnosed with cancer in early 2020. When her cancer had been treated and her scans were clear, she asked what she was to do with the life she had been given. Diana’s profession was nursing and nursing instruction, with an interest in supporting families and working in the community. She has continued to deepen her spiritual focus in her healing work as she is developing her gifts, and working regularly with a group of Nashviille Quakers who are Reiki practitioners.  Diana shared that part of living with serious illness is learning to live each day fully. She shared that she has recently developed slow growing metastatic cancer in her lungs, while feeling healthier than she has for years.

FQ 2022-16 Jay O’Hara began his report reading an excerpt from Dr. King’s letter from a Birmingham jail where Dr. King expressed his grave disappointment with the white moderates who are more devoted to order than to justice.  Jay has been recognized for a prophetic outward ministry confronting the climate crises.  He is feeling strongly that he is also called to the uplift and rejuvenation of our Religious Society of Friends. He feels that there is a role that Quakers have in the transformation of the world which is so necessary now. This year Jay has felt at a crossroads. His confidence was shattered and he has been reeling from this experience. He has had two concrete expressions of his ministry over the past year – offering the Bible half-hours at the 2021 annual sessions of New England Yearly Meeting and a public trial with four colleagues for their action blocking a coal train bringing coal to the Bow power plant in New Hampshire.  Jay described his current condition as lonely, confused, distanced and unsettled, but trusting in God’s presence and praying for the rejuvenation of ministry in ways that are clear, humble and perhaps powerful and different from the past.

FQ 2022-17. Theresa Oleksiw shared the story of how she recognized and accepted her calling to ministry and a brief summary of how God is working through her. Theresa described her experience of being called using the phrase from Rufus Jones as “the warm intimate Touch of a guiding hand.”  This Touch began with a clarity that she was to take a break from her career as a city planner and go to Music School. However, once she had earned her degree in music, she was unable to find another job in city planning in spite of her training, experience, connections and credentials. Instead, there were opportunities to work in youth ministry and to begin writing.  The intimate touch seemed to be consistently guiding her to the writing.  In accepting the call, Theresa’s spent her savings and found herself with her child living in poverty.  At times she was lonely, frustrated and angry with God.  However, once she finally accepted that this was the path she was to travel, she was able to get funding from a number of sources. Theresa shared how she felt most clearly seen by the impoverished women she met and shared stories and dinner with at community dinners. She had to learn to trust the inner voice and the inner guide in the face of people who judged her for her poverty.  She is continuing to write and share the stories of those she has met in her journey, to share with food banks handbooks she has written and to advocate for the disposed in Maine.

FQ 2022-18. The State of Society report from Portland Meeting is attached to these minutes.

FQ 2022-19. We closed with Prayer grateful for the remarkable and varied ministries alive in the quarter.

Attachments: State of Society reports from Windham, and Portland. (Durham’s State of Society is not yet finalized and will be shared with the quarter when it is ready.

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Windham Monthly Meeting of Friends, State of Society Report 2021

            In considering the content of this report, three words came to the forefront: FAITH, GRATITUDE and PERSEVERANCE. Faith is the trusting in our Creator and His abilities and His promises as made through Christ and the Scriptures by which mankind is justified or saved. We stand by Him as faithful believers and loyal members of His house of worship, ready to serve our calling by way of our gifts and talents as His children, ready to meet the challenges and to endure.  Gratitude is feeling or being thankful, which comes from the benefits received by way of our Creator, Redeemer and friend, through life experiences and the gift of the Holy Spirit.  Perseverance is a steady course of action or purpose or state of circumstances, to hold on, to continue on course and to maintain in spite of difficulties … tenacity.

            Scripture gives us plenty of examples of this:  i.e., Abraham’s consistent faith was rewarded (Genesis 12:10) and Daniel gives an example of being faithful regardless of circumstance (Daniel 3:16-18).  Faith!

            When the giving of thanks is an integral part of life, we find that our attitude toward life will change, i.e., being more positive, loving, gracious and humble. (Ps 92:1,2). Gratitude!

            Because Christ lives in us, as believers  we can remain courageous and hopeful and endure the hard times.  It’s our faith revealed: True Christians vs. fair-weather believers.  Perseverance!

            Our meeting has been confronted with many challenges in recent years, among which are a shrinking congregation (due to losses by way of deaths, relocations, illnesses) and the upkeep of a historic Meetinghouse.  The Pandemic and other situations have affected everything from participation to finances which affect us personally and as a group. 

            We are meeting all this with faith, gratitude and perseverance, remaining faithful to God’s provision, to a desire to continue as a Meeting for worship, and to being open to ways to continue on.  We seek opportunities to introduce the community to our past history and ways, keeping in touch with the greater Quaker community as much as possible via Falmouth Quarterly Meeting ZOOM meetings, annual contact with our Quaker Ridge brethren, and continued support of the Girl Scout Troop that gathers in our Meetinghouse weekly.  We remain prayerful with sharing Bible Study times and being grateful for opportunities to work together to increase our finances by replacing the semiannual bean suppers with a Christmas Fair in the fall.  We recently received a grant from the Obadiah Brown Benevolent Fund for needed repairs to the building addition which are scheduled to begin the end of May.  We welcome guests to our times of worship throughout the year and are thankful for God’s ever present help through the work of the Holy Spirit.  One of our new attendees was responsible for drafting a letter to the Maine Legislature and Governor Mills voicing our support of LD1626,  the Maine Indian Tribes request for more autonomy.  We accept all this as God’s presence among us.

            To quote Charles R. Swindoll: “God designed us to live in friendship and fellowship and community with others.  That’s why the church – the body of Christ, is so very important, for it is there that we are drawn together in love and mutual encouragement.  We’re meant to be a part of one another’s lives .”         

            This concludes the review of our thoughts and outlook as for the State of our Society here in Windham, Maine, for the year of our Lord 2021,

                                                                        Respectfully submitted, Janice L. Beattie, Pastor,

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Portland Friends Meeting, State of Society Report 2021

A Rough Draft Year

Last year as the pandemic continued, we gathered to listen to God in new ways. Spirit is alive and singing amongst us, sometimes by its joyful presence, or too often by the sensation of its absence. We know that to be a community of faith is to piece together glimpses of God that each of us receives until together we see the whole, and this is hard to do right now. It’s hard to see God’s whole vision for us when we can’t find a way that we can gather all together that works for every person. Sometimes, finding ways to be together as one and feel Spirit’s presence takes so much creativity and energy and hope that we get tired or lonely, and we forget our unconditional belovedness.

Sometimes Spirit’s presence (or our awareness of it) flows with ease and grace, even while the pandemic continues to surprise and disappoint us. Hope rose through the spring that vaccination would open the door to join together again in our Meetinghouse as a gathering of Faith. Our opportunities for whole meeting worship on zoom made us grateful to be able to hold worship during the pandemic for those able to be there, and sometimes Spirit would burst forth through the computer screen. We experimented with hybrid worship, but found that there was not life in it for us. This fall we had the gift of outdoor intergenerational worship and fellowship gatherings at Friends School of Portland. We were grateful for the chance to be with so many families that we have missed for the last few challenging years. The trees swayed and the clouds sashayed with joy. Some of us found just what our hearts needed in the sanctuary of a small group, often in person, like faithfulness groups or a weekday worship or a spontaneous opportunity for fellowship, where we could nurture fresh connections with each other and the Divine. Too many of us have not been able to find a way to be present with our community and this pains us.

As the cold weather arrived, we moved to zoom for first Sundays with the whole community invited to worship together to do business and to be in waiting worship. We are experimenting with nurturing new fluid small gatherings, hoping to build new connections even as we are separated.

Spirit nudges us to continue to engage in big questions even in these times when it can feel hard to hold the center. We’re not yet sure what these questions are but we’re working on finding them. We feel invited to explore: What is our purpose as a community? What is our role in the wider community? What is our responsibility to our  neighbors?  Two examples are our work with Family Promise helping to provide support for our neighbors in need of housing, and another is advocating for sovereignty for our Wabanaki neighbors.

We’re doing hard work on an empty belly. We are hungry for connection. We’re praying to receive the nourishment we need each day to put one foot in front of the other, together.

Portland Friends Meeting is being shaped and reshaped by the Ever-changing  and the Eternal.

“The Light, The Seed, The Tree of Life,” by Doug Bennett

Message given at Durham Friends Meeting, April 10, 2022

How do we talk about a God who is beyond our knowing?

The opening hymn we sang this morning, “Immortal, Invisible God Only Wise,” praises a God beyond our comprehension: “immortal, invisible God only wise, in Light inaccessible hid from our eyes.”  That’s one way to talk about God: to acknowledge that God is so far beyond us we can’t begin to comprehend.  Walter Smith, who wrote the hymn doesn’t even try. 

We Quakers often take a different path.  Sometimes we talk about ‘that of God within.’  That’s pretty inspecific.

Often we speak often of the Light, or the Light Within.  (And it isn’t a ”Light inaccessible hid from our eyes” that we’re talking about.)  We often ask that people be “held in the Light,” and we ask that others “hold us in the Light” in difficult times.  This is Light we claim to be able to experience, and this has become our preferred way of talking about God or Spirit or Jesus. 

Of course, it’s a metaphor.  We don’t literally mean we worship Light in the same way we might imagine a group of people worshipping a volcano or fire; it’s not even like worshipping the great and powerful Oz.  We know words will fail us when we speak of God.  Words can’t really capture the power or the majesty of God.  Words can’t really convey the fullness of God’s love for us.  So, we use a term that gestures at some of what we comprehend about God.  As I say, it’s a metaphor. 

Early Friends (and not just Friends) found this idea of God as Light in the Bible.  It’s often a metaphor there.  Here are some familiar verses

Isaiah 9:2      The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined. 

Matthew 4:16    The people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned.”

Goodness!  There’s Matthew showing us Jesus quoting Isaiah!

John 8:12      Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” 

Ephesians 5:8     For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.

Drawing from that passage, early Friends called themselves The Children of the Light. 

It’s a very powerful and suggestive metaphor.  When it’s there, Light makes things clear to us.  Light warms us and comforts us.  Light is everywhere.  These are features of Light: that it comforts us, and that it can be anywhere.  We’re saying God is something like this too.  But it’s a metaphor; again, it’s not Light that we worship. 

I find this metaphor of the Light most helpful when I bring to mind that Light can be searching, that it can reveal what is in dark corners, that it can strip us bare, reveal what we would like to conceal.  But we use it less often this way. 

God is more than we can ever wrap our minds around.  That’s a reason we resort to metaphors.  When we resort to a metaphor we’re saying ‘God is sort of like this, in some ways. 

This use of a metaphor, it seems to me, is akin to Jesus’s use of parables.  Most of Jesus’s teaching come to us as parables rather than as rules to follow or dos and don’ts.  We’re meant to learn something from the parable, and we do, but sometimes the parable helps us see that what we’re to learn is more complicated than any simple rule.  We’re learning a way of thinking and learning a way of being that’s beyond simple laws or rules.  Teaching us through parables is a better way to learn that.  But it’s also a warning that we shouldn’t think the lesson can be reduced to something simple or clear-cut. 

It’s the same with a metaphor.  When we remember it’s just a metaphor, we need to remember not to take it too literally – not to settle into thinking that God IS Light – or that’s the totality of God.

I’ve been reading some writings of early Friends.  Here is Isaac Penington, an important early Quaker, and a wonderful writer.  In one of his works, shortly after he began considering himself a Quaker, he wrote of the Savior in this way:

He is the tree of life … whose leaves have virtue in them to heal the nations. He is the plant of righteousness, the plant of God’s right hand. Hast thou ever known such a plant in thee, planted there by the right hand of God?

“He is the tree of life.”  That is another wonderful metaphor – the tree of life planted inside us.

It puts me in mind of another marvelous metaphor much used by early Friends, used perhaps as often as they spoke of the Light.  This is the idea of talking about an indwelling God, the God within, as The Seed.  This metaphor, too, has Biblical roots. 

Here is Matthew 13:31-32   He presented another parable to them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven  is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field; and this is smaller than all other seeds, but when it is full grown, it is larger than the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.”

Many of us will remember the parable of the sower that is in three gospels — Mark, Matthew and Luke.  That, too, is about God as “The Seed.”

Here is another take on the Seed:

John 12:23-25    Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal.

Here is 1 John 3:9       No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

Just like the Light, or the Light Within, the Seed is a powerful image.  It, too, is just a metaphor, but it calls out or suggests different aspects of the nature of God and of our possible relationship with God.  I think that’s one reason early Friends didn’t just settle on one metaphor, but shifted from metaphor to metaphor: the Light, the Seed, the Tree of Life, and many others. 

This metaphor of the Seed helps us see God in a different way.  The Light is just there.  But the Seed needs to be tended.  That’s like the tree of life.  It’s just a seed unless it is given the right kind of attention.  If it’s not given the right kind of attention, it may dry up. 

Early Friends sometimes talked, too, of another Seed; this one they called the Seed of the serpent.  Human beings could give their attention to one or to the other.  One of those Seeds would grow, and the other would not.  It’s a choice you make.  Without care and attention from you, it’s the Seed of the serpent that will flourish in you. 

This is very different from Light and Darkness.  There are two Seeds.  We can tend one or we can tend the other will decide which will grow.  If we give ourselves over to greed or envy or hatred, it is the Seed of the Serpent that will grow. 

The metaphor of the Light has been a familiar one since I first encountered Quakers.  I think it has become so common, so used, so overworked, that it’s become a little unhelpful.  It has less potency to help me see God.  These other metaphors are helping me other aspects of God, and thus becoming more useful to me in my spiritual life. 

And I’m finding these three images together, these metaphors of the Light, the Seed and the Tree of Life very helpful to me.  Together, the three metaphors, bring to mind something growing, changing, life-filled.

also posted on Riverview Friend

Falmouth Quarterly Meeting Gathering, April 16, 9am to noon

Falmouth Quarter will meet on April 16th on zoom from 9 – noon.  We will be celebrating ministry and the life of the Spirit in our meetings throughout the morning in each of the concerns before us.

We will hear Memorial Minutes sharing the lives and witness of Friends we have known and loved.

We will hear the State of Society reports, sharing our experience of Spirit in the life of our meetings.

We will hear reports and sharing about and from individuals with recognized ministries in Falmouth Quarter.

ZOOM Link:

Join Zoom Meeting
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Meeting ID: 859 3088 6777
Passcode: 754382
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Rally for Clean Drinking Water for Passamaquoddy Citizens of Sipayik, April 11, 10am at the State House

The Durham Friends Meeting Peace and Social Concerns Committee encourages participation:

Rally for Sipayik Water and LD 906

The rally starts at 10, but you can attend the preparatory session with Wabanaki leaders and Wabanaki Alliance staff starting at 8:00 a.m. in the back room of the Cross Building Cafeteria (in the basement), and plan to stay after the rally to lobby your legislators:
The public water supply delivered to the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Sipayik contains high levels of carcinogens and is brown at certain times of year. Over the years, the state and a neighboring town have impeded tribal attempts to access water located on tribally-owned lands to bring clean water to a new elementary school and the larger community. LD 906 would remove those barriers, provide financial assistance to the local water district, and help the Passamaquoddy Tribe access clean drinking water at Sipayik. 

Please join Passamaquoddy Tribal leaders and citizens, the Wabanaki Alliance and supporters next Monday, April 11 at 10 AM outside the State House in Augusta for a Rally and March for Clean Drinking Water for the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Sipayik!

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER 

WHERE: Park at the State Office Building Parking Garage for free. Walk across the street to the outdoor area between the Burton M. Cross Office Building and the State House

WHEN: Monday, April 11 from 10 AM – 12 PM.

WHO: All are encouraged to attend! Masks are no longer required in the State House, but we ask that all Lobby Day participants please still wear a mask when indoors and make the best decision for your health and those around you when outside.

WHAT: A rally and march to show widespread support for clean drinking water for the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Sipayik. Please consider staying after the rally to lobby your State Senator and State Representative! We’ll give you the instructions and materials you need. 

Please click here for homemade sign guidance and remember to register here if you plan to attend.

Clean-Up Day, April 23, 10am to noon and noon to 2pm

Trustees are planning an outdoor work day. 

When: Saturday April 23, 10-12 and 12-2.  Come for the morning or afternoon; bring a picnic lunch.

What:  Cleaning up the outdoor area around the meethinghouse.

Tasks will include: raking, cleaning up sticks and branches, cleaning up behind the horse shed, bucking up fallen trees as needed, washing outside windows.

Please bring a rake, clippers and/or hand saw, tarps for moving leaves.  Also gloves. Dan will bring a small chain saw.

“Desmond and the Very Mean Word,” by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Douglas Carlton Abrams, pril 3, 2022

The April 3 message at Durham Friends Meeting was a reading of this book by Cindy Wood. The book is one of those distributed by the Meeting to teachers in this area as part of the Meeting’s Social Justice Enrichment Project.

Desmond and the Very Mean Word, by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Douglas Carlton Abrams, illustrated by A. G. Ford

An actual event from the Nobel Peace Prize winner’s childhood forms the heart of a story about the difficulties and rewards of forgiveness. Young Desmond proudly rides his new bike through the streets of the township when he encounters a group of aggressive boys who taunt him with a “very mean word.” Desmond struggles with his own feelings of anger and retribution, but, after wise counsel from trusted mentor Father Trevor, finds his way to forgive. 

Worship Sharing on the Peace Testimony, April 2, 4pm

Peace & Social Concerns invites you to a 

Worship Sharing on the Peace Testimony

 April 2 at 4:00 p.m. EDT, via ZOOM (prior registration required).

Friends are invited to join to share their thoughts and discernment about the Peace Testimony of Friends and how the events in Ukraine have affected them.
Hosted by Quaker House, in Fayetteville, N.C. (near Fort Bragg).

Please note: an RSVP is required to receive Zoom connection details.

Quaker House is hosting a second Worship Sharing session on Saturday, April 2 at 4:00pm EDT. Friends are invited to join to share their thoughts and discernment about the Peace Testimony of Friends and how the events in Ukraine have affected them. The Worship Sharing will be unprogrammed and we will wait for messages to rise from the silence. As a time of
worship, we will not record the session.

If you wish to participate, send an email to wayne.finegar@quakerhouse.org or call 910-323-3912 and the connection information will be sent to you. This will allow us to have a sense of how many will be joining in worship. After the time of worship, we will discuss next steps in this discernment. Some options already suggested include:

  1. Additional worship sharing opportunities.
  2. More formal presentations from Friends who have written or spoken on these topics (suggestions of names with contact information are very welcome).
  3. Discussion groups (probably with smaller numbers) focused on topics of interest. These might well
    include materials for review prior to the sessions.
  4. Activism sharing with a focus on how to achieve real change in an era of social media.
    Friends are encouraged to bring other suggestions for consideration

Durham Friends Meeting Minutes, March 20, 2022

        Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends met virtually for the conduct of business on Sunday, March 20, 2022, with 23 people present. Sue Reilly, from Portland Friends, joined the Meeting to lend prayerful support for the discussions.

1.     Meeting Opening

Ministry and Council’s recommendation that Leslie Manning, serve as Clerk for the day for this Meeting for Business was approved.

Leslie then opened Meeting for Business with a reading from a proposed chapter for NEYM Faith and Practice, followed by a moment of silent preparation.

There were no additions or edits to the proposed agenda.

2.     Approval of Minutes of February 2022 — Ellen Bennett

The following amendments to the minutes were requested:

  • Regarding the guidelines for use of the meetinghouse, amend minutes to read it was received with gratitude, but not “accepted”.
    • Trustees report requires more specificity. “Bring a final proposal to replace the two furnaces to the meeting.” Finance Committee: 
    • Amend the minutes to read the Finance Committee “Year-End” report was submitted.

               The minutes were approved with the above changes.                                                  

Old Business

3.     Guidelines for use of Meetinghouse — Nancy Marstaller

Nancy clarified how Covid-positive test information for outside groups that use the Meetinghouse, would not be shared beyond those individual groups. Conversation ensued about levels of comfort attending Meeting with those who are unvaccinated.

It was suggested opening the Meetinghouse on 3/27/2022, requiring vaccination and masks. This would serve as a kind of experiment before revisiting the guidelines again at the April Meeting for Business.

The guidelines were accepted with the change of requiring all those attending in person be fully vaccinated. The guidelines will be reviewed at our monthly meeting in April.

              The recommendation to open the Meetinghouse on 3/27, was approved.

4.     Air Purifiers — Sarah Sprogell

To further assist in protecting Meeting attendees from Covid, the addition of air purifiers to the Meetinghouse was researched.

The Meeting approved the recommendation of Trustees to purchase 4 air purifiers with funds from the capital account to help with Covid mitigation.

5.     Trustees — Sarah Sprogell

              The Meeting approved two recommendations put forward by Trustees:

1. A new heating system using heat pumps. Please see appended Trustee Report for specifics.           

2. Replacing the current heat pump that serves the vestry. The Meeting approved this recommendation.

Reports from Committees

6.     Ministry and Council — Renee Cote, Tess Hartford

The Meeting approved the M&C recommendation that April’s Monthly Meeting be moved to 4/24.

The Meeting approved M&C’s recommendation that Gene Boynton receive reimbursement from the charity account for expenses associated with Tommy Frye’s passing. The Meeting also expressed its deep and sincere thanks to Gene Boynton for taking on this responsibility.

Concerning oversight of the use of the Meetinghouse, it was clarified that Trustees have oversight responsibility for outside groups that wish to use the Meetinghouse for gatherings, and M&C has oversight for groups that wish to use the Meetinghouse for gatherings for worship, for example memorial services.

7.     Peace and Social Concerns — Ingrid Chalufour

The Committee brought for discernment Qat Langelier’s request for funds to support her work towards a masters degree program. The request is for $1,000 from the charity account. Following procedure, the request will come for a second discernment at the April meeting.

8.     Finance Committee — Nancy Marstaller

The committee requests $4 – $8K to support the cost of up to 2 travelers from Durham Friends to Cuba in November. Funds would come from the Nellie Woodbury Fund, currently held in a CD.

The Meeting approved Finance Committee’s request for use of the funds from the Woodbury account.

New Business

9.     Resignation Received — Leslie Manning

The Meeting received Kitsie Hildebrandt’s resignation from her role as Treasurer. She will remain in this role until a replacement is found. If anyone is interested in stepping into this role, please see Linda Muller.

        The meeting is deeply, deeply grateful for Kitsie’s service as Treasurer.

10.   Request for use of Meetinghouse — Wendy Schlotterbeck.

Use of the Meetinghouse for the FQM “Emerging from Hibernation” party, scheduled for May 7, was approved.

11.   Statistical Report — Sarah Sprogell

The meeting accepted the statistical report provided to NEYM with tremendous gratitude for the work done.

12.   Nominating Committee — Linda Muller

The Nominating Committee recommended a change to those on the Library Committee, with Nancy Marstaller coming off and Margaret Wentworth joining (again!).

              The Meeting approved these changes to the Library Committee.

Respectfully submitted,

Ellen Bennett, Recording Clerk

Attachments:

  • 22.02.20 DMM Business Meeting Draft Minutes
  • DMM Covid Guidelines—Draft
  • Air Purifier Recommendation
  • Trustees Report
  • Ministry and Council Report
  • Ministry and Council Recommendation
  • Peace and Social Concerns Report
  • Finance Committee Report
  • NEYM Statistical Report
  • Nominating Committee Report

Durham Friends Meetinghouse Use Guidelines, March 20, 2022

Accepted March 20, 2022; to be reviewed regularly.

ENTRY and USE

We require that only fully vaccinated people enter the meetinghouse.

If you are not vaccinated, please join Meeting for Worship by Zoom.

If you feel even the slightest bit unwell, please stay home and join us on zoom.

Masks must be worn at all times when giving the message, announcements, or speaking at any type of meeting or event inside the meetinghouse. We will have a microphone and speaker available in the worship room.

KN95 or N95 masks are preferred. Well-fitting cloth masks are acceptable if 2 or 3 layers, especially with a filter insert or surgical mask added. Plastic shields, kerchiefs, gators, or buffs are not acceptable.

We have a supply of masks available at the entrances to the meetinghouse.

Please maintain 6-foot distancing with people not in your family group or “pod.” We do not have any attendance cap or reservation system.

INFORMATION SHARING

All are asked to sign in when attending meetings, adding your name, phone number and email address to a dated sheet. These will be placed outside each door to the worship room for worship. Clerks or convenors of other meetings will keep their own lists. If you come down with Covid within 3 days of attending a meeting at the meetinghouse, contact the meeting clerk, Bob Eaton, if it was after attending meeting for worship, or the clerk or convenor of any other meeting you attended.

Fellowship before and after meetings is encouraged. Masks must be kept on when inside. Feel free to unmask when outdoors. No food will be served indoors. When weather allows, snack may be served for eating outdoors.

Air purifiers will be used in the worship room. Please use them for other meetings and events. You may temporarily move one from the worship room to another room that you are using for a smaller meeting. 

Turn on overhead fans when using the worship room. As weather permits, open windows in any room that you are using, including the bathroom. Keep windows open for at least 20 minutes after use, if possible, to replace air flow, but please remember to close windows when you leave.

COMMITTEE AND OTHER MEETINGS

ZOOM meetings are available at present and will be in the future as an adjunct when the meetinghouse is open.                                                                            

Meetings and events should be scheduled on the Durham Friends Meeting calendar. Committee clerks can schedule meetings; others need to contact our Trustees for scheduling events. At present the trustee to contact is Sarah Sprogell. There is a link to the calendar on the Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends website. Note if it is a Zoom meeting, in person, or hybrid.

Please meet outside or on ZOOM if your group is not fully vaccinated.

These guidelines apply to all members and attenders, as well as families or any group seeking to hold memorial services or similar events.

Please limit your visit to as few rooms as possible.

Oh God, Eternal Friend and Guide

OH GOD, ETERNAL FRIEND AND GUIDE – closing hymn at Durham Friends Meeting, March 19, 2022

Worship in Song p. 175; words by Lewy Olfson, music by John B. Dykes

Oh God, eternal friend and guide, I feel you ever by my side.

Through times of darkness, doubt, and stress, Through times of pain and hopelessness,

However deep my doubt or shame, I hear you call me by my name.

Oh God, my all-forgiving friend, You journey with me to the end.

My step may falter, foot may stray, As endlessly I lose my way;

Though weak my purpose, lax my will, I know your love is with me still.

My cries for help go not unheard. Your mercy shines in act and word.

Your grace designed to make me whole, Your gentleness to heal my soul.

For this alone I sing your praise: That you are with me all my days.

Materials for Business Meeting, March 20, 2022

Reports and other materials for the 22.2.20 DFM Business Meeting can be found at this link.

Proposed Agenda for Meeting for Worship with a concern for business, March 20, 2022

Approval of clerk for the day

M and C recommendation for March 20

opening reading

Minutes from previous meeting for approval

AGENDA review

Old Business:

Reopening Meetinghouse

Trustees report and recommendation

Reports from committees:

Ministry and Counsel

Peace and Social Concerns

New Business 

Resignation received 

(Request for FQM event on 5/7?)

Statistical Report

Nominating Committee

Worship

Closing

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, February 20, 2022

February 20, 2022

Ellen Bennett, Recording Clerk

        Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends met virtually for the conduct of business on Sunday, February 20, 2022, with 22 people present. Bob Eaton, clerk, opened Meeting for Business with a moment of silent preparation.

        Review of approving each minute as it arises and is recorded by Recording Clerk. Narrative may be reviewed and commented on.

1.     Agenda Review — Bob Eaton

No comments or additions

Items that require approval and/or seasoning

2.     Approval of Minutes of January 2022 — Ellen Bennett

            Minutes of the January meeting were approved as distributed with the agenda..

3.     Nominations Committee — Linda Muller

Linda reviewed both the Nominating Committee Annual Report and Monthly Report.

            Doug Bennett was approved as a Meeting Trustee.

Mey Hasbrook was welcomed as a member of the Nominating Committee

The Committee Annual Report should read that consultation took place with Christian Ed members.

            The meeting accepted both reports, with gratitude.

4.     Velasco Portland Durham Sister Committee Report — Nancy Marstaller

The sister committee is a joint group of Durham and Portland Meetings.  Nancy read the proposal for a group to attend a birthday celebration for Cuba Yearly Meeting and Velasco Meeting.

The Meeting whole-heartedly endorsed the proposal to support the travel of up to eight people from Portand Friends and Durham Friends to Cuba and Velasco Friends.

5.     Meeting at the Meeting House Guidelines — Nancy Marstaller

A small working group drafted guidelines to be used when a decision is made to meet again in our meeting house.  The working group welcomes input from Meeting.

It was recommended the following changes and amendments be made to the guidelines:

  • The Clerk should be informed if anyone tests positive for Covid to share information with the Meeting, e.g., through a Friends Note.
  • Delete contact tracing and replace with “information sharing”.
  • It was agreed that vaccination should be a condition of attending meeting, but vaccination cards will not be required for proof. Unvaccinated people are encouraged to join Meeting by Zoom.

Vibrant discussion. New thoughts were shared for the committee to consider, and the Meeting expressed its great appreciation of the Committee’s work.

    The report was received with gratitude with the suggested modifications.

Reports for information and comment

7.     Trustees Report — Sarah Sprogell

Trustees invite Meeting comment and will keep Meeting updated on developments as they work to bring a final proposal to replace the two furnaces to the Meeting.

Sarah introduced this report by clarifying the purpose. The purpose is to listen to the Meeting as we continue our way forward. Information not in the report includes a recent visit from a chimney expert who said that the chimney could accommodate the commercial furnace. A building expert visited the Meeting House and said that heat pumps would work. 

We do have space for additional solar panels that could help with powering heat pumps. The electricity to power the heat pumps, if not from the solar panels, may come from fossil fuels.

Meeting expressed tremendous gratitude for the care and attention paid to these many issues, and looks forward to further developments from the Trustees.

8.     Ministry and Counsel — Tess Hartford and Renee Coté

Tess read a summary of the MCC position, lessons learned, etc. The issue of discomfort around the MCC report and summary was raised.

The Meeting needs to think about contracted services for the future: MCC, IT person, Youth Minister and Outreach, Pastoral Care.

With the understanding that the Clerks group is not a standing committee, it may begin discussion about the MCC position to help discern next steps. 

        Appreciation was expressed to M&C for their work and report.

8.     Finance Committee — Nancy Marstaller

        The Finance Committee Year-End report was accepted with gratitude, in light of this challenging year.

9.     Communications — Doug Bennett for Liana Thompson-Knight 

Communications Committee is committed to making sure that everyone who wants to receive print copies of the newsletter will do so. At a future meeting, it was recommended that 15 minutes be spent demonstrating how to navigate the website to help access the newsletter and other Meeting materials.

10.   Clerks Report — Bob Eaton

Clerk was pleased to write a letter of introduction to Friends’ Meetings within New England Yearly Meeting for Mey Hasbrook. Mey will be traveling to Meetings within Yearly Meeting in the coming months.

Respectfully submitted,

Ellen Bennett, Recording Clerk

Attachments for DMM 22.02.20:

  • Agenda
  • Draft Minutes of 22.01.16
  • Communications Committee Report
  • Finance Year End Report
  • Finance Spread Sheet
  • In-Person Meeting Guidelines
  • Ministry and Council Committee Report
  • Nominating Committee Report
  • Trustees Report
  • Velasco Sister Meeting Report
  • Clerk’s letter of introduction for Mey Hasbrook