Preparing for Your Demise, January 29, 2023 at noon

After Meeting for Worship on Sunday, January 29, Cush Anthony and Tess Hartford will lead an educational seminar on “Preparing for Your Demise.”

The program will begin at noon, and is being sponsored by Ministry and Counsel.

Here is a summary of their advice.

Preparing for your demise; an outline for an educational seminar

1. Make a tentative plan. If you are married, assume you survive your spouse. Identify the person best suited to be in charge of carrying out this plan.

2. Discuss the plan in depth first with the person you selected to carry out the plan. Then discuss it with each of your children as well as with any other individual whom you believe would want to know or should know about the plan. Would this plan meet the needs of each of them? Have I selected the best person to be in charge of carrying out my plan? If so, give out written authorizations you expect would be needed. Then give each of your children and others you believe should be informed about your plans a written copy of what you have set down as your plan.

3. Identify likely medical issues that may arise. Prepare an Advance Directive based on state law, stating what you would want done in the event you become unable to make appropriate decisions to control your own medical treatment. Give a copy to all physicians who have been or who are likely to be looking after your health. Talk about it with them, to get their stated agreement with what you want, and make notes about the conversation. Even a brief letter of confirmation is a good idea to avoid problems and misunderstandings down the road.

4. Prepare an inventory of your assets and your debts for use by your next of kin. Prepare any needed written authorizations for financial institutions. Make sure appropriate documents can be found when needed. Be sure to include information about credit cards which should be cancelled, and where any safe deposit box key is located.

5. In your plan make clear if you believe that part of your plan should be carried out after you die by someone different, designate who that should be, make sure appropriate authorizations are in place, and make sure that all other next of kin candidates agree to that.

6. Do you want your eyes or other organs to be made available to people who need them? If so, fill out an organ donation form, and have that ready to give to a funeral director as well as to your primary care physician. If you plan to give your whole body to a medical school, make alternate plans as well in case the entity will not accept the gift at the last minute.

7. Select a funeral director who is willing to carry out your wishes at a reasonable cost. Make sure you agree on a price for the needed services and put your agreement in writing signed by both parties.

8. Cremation cannot take place until at least 48 hours have passed since death. Make sure your body can be stored somewhere for a short time if that becomes necessary. Identify who will transport your body to the crematorium. Also state your plan for disposition of the ashes.

9. If you are selecting to have your body interred, where that should take place, and who to contact to make arrangements about that. If you wish to have a green burial, make that clear and make sure that is an option at the location you select.

10. Start an obituary that can be completed later and then given to newspapers. Indicate where you want it to be published.

11. Make tentative plans for a memorial service. Do this in conjunction with the Meeting’s Ministry and Counsel Committee. There are many details that should be worked out jointly with the Meeting33 far ahead of time

    Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, January 15, 2023

    Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends met for the conduct of business on Sunday, January 15, 2023, with 9 people attending from the Meetinghouse and 6 by Zoom.

    1.     Meeting Opening

    Clerk opened meeting with a moment of silent preparation                                                

    2.     Review Agenda

            Clerk reviewed the agenda.

    3.     Approval of Minutes of December 2023 — Ellen Bennett

                      Minutes were approved.

    4.     Ministry and Counsel — Renee Cote, Tess Hartford

    Meeting Care Coordinator (MCC)

    The Meeting Care Coordinator position description was read. Pastoral Care, which had been an MCC responsibility in the job description written for the new MCC position 2+ years ago, was removed and will remain solely with M&C.

    Clerk noted that members were supportive of the description, but not yet clear for approval. Review and approval of the MCC position will be taken up again at the next monthly meeting for business (February).

    Members were asked to think about those who should be on the MCC supervisory committee.

    Members approved the description of the Search Committee for the MCC. Clerks are asked to ask members of their committees to consider serving on the MCC search committee.

    The MCC job description will be attached to the minutes for distribution.

    Proposal for Technology for the Meetinghouse

    Clerk asked committee Clerks to review the proposal submitted by Craig Freshley regarding tech support for the Meeting. Clerk noted especially the gratitude we all feel towards Craig for helping to set up the technology that allows us to attend meeting via Zoom. The proposal Craig submitted will be taken up at the February meeting for Business.

    Request was made to hold M&C members in the light, with gratitude for all of the work they have taken on.

    5.     Trustees — Sarah Sprogell

    Sarah Sprogell summarized the annual report submitted for this meeting. The report was submitted for information.

    Clerk shared tremendous gratitude for the care given and attention paid by the Trustees for the meetinghouse and cemeteries, as well as stewarding the gifts that this Meeting has been given. Trustees have, in this way, supported the entire Durham Monthly Meeting community.

    Doug Bennett reviewed a financial summary of the costs to maintain the Meetinghouse and grounds over time. He noted especially the difference between capital and operating costs, and offered ways to think about finding the funds for on-going capital expenses.

    Concern was expressed for the number of members who read and understand reports like this — those distributed in advance of Monthly Meeting for Business. The reports are important. Clerk noted that 5th Sundays may be used for listening sessions around particular topics of concern and could address this concern.

    The suggestion was made to take 10 minutes of a future Business Meeting to take a “tour” of the DFM website so that all may know where to find important material.

    M&C is asked to take on the scheduling of 5th Sundays, including a session on our values and leadings and how those are reflected in the spending of funds.

    The Meeting expressed it gratitude for the transparency that both the Finance Committee and Trustees have given with respect to the Meeting’s finances.

    6.     Peace and Social Concerns — Ingrid Chalufour

    A verbal update was given. Items to note include a letter to go to Brunswick Town Council regarding re/naming of the 250th Anniversary Park. Wendy Schlotterbeck will be meeting with the committee regarding settlement of refugees in our community. The committee is also seeking advice from the Wabanaki about ways to support their sovereignty. The committee is delighted that teachers involved in the Social Justice Enrichment Project will be gathering in person in the Meetinghouse to discuss their work.

    7.     Proposed Minute from Falmouth Quarterly Meeting                              

    Clerk is not necessarily asking for approval of this minute, which will be approved by Quarterly Meeting at the end of January. The minute did not arrive in enough time for deep consideration. Clerk read the minute, which is attached.

                Members approved and unite with the minute.                                                        

    Clerk noted that when federal legislation was submitted to allow Wabanaki tribes in Maine to qualify for future federal programs. it was opposed by our U.S.Senators,  They wanted the matter to involve the State and the tribes directly. We continue to support these efforts.

    8.     Representatives to Falmouth Quarterly Meeting 1/28/23

    Clerk asked for those interested in attending Falmouth Quarterly Meeting. Mey Hasbrook and Kim Bolshaw indicated their interest.

    Members approved and Mey and Kim were appointed as our representatives to Falmouth Quarter on January 28.     

    9.     Communications Update                                                                                                    

    The Committee Clerk noted that the committee is transitioning at the moment, and working to clarify different processes, including those for distributing the Newsletter and posting Friends’ Notes.

    To aid in this work the Committee intends to establish a “new” email address that is particular to the Communications Committee, thus freeing personal email addresses of committee members.

    The Committee will put together guidelines for Friends’ Notes, and other forms of communication, which will be included in the Meeting Handbook.

    There was a question about the committee composition which was referred to the Nominating Committee for clarification.

    New Business


    10.   Correspondence — Leslie Manning

    In closing, Clerk read a letter of thanks from a new recipient of DFM funds: QUNO (Quaker United Nations Office) in NYC.

    Respectfully submitted, Ellen Bennett, Recording Clerk


    23.01.15 Agenda for Meeting For Business- Proposed.pdf

    23.01.15 M&C Report.pdf

    23.01.03 Durham Friends In-Meeting Audio Options.pdf

    23.01.15 MCC position proposed.pdf

    23.01.15 Trustees Annual Report 2022.pdf

    23.01.15 Proposed FQM Minute on Tribal Sovereignty.pdf

    “Freedom Over Me,” by Ashley Bryan

    For January 15, 2023, the message at Durham Friends Meeting was a reading, by Ingrid Chalufour, of a book by Ashley Bryan, Freedom Over Me.

    From the publisher’s website

    Newbery Honor Book
    Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book
    Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book

    Using original slave auction and plantation estate documents, Ashley Bryan offers a moving and powerful picture book that contrasts the monetary value of a person with the priceless value of life experiences and dreams that a slave owner could never take away.

    Here are the cover and one page from the book:

    Materials for Durham Friends Business Meeting, January 15, 2023

    Reports, Proposals and Other Materials are posted here.

    Proposed Agenda for Meeting for Business, 1/15/2023

    Opening Worship

    Review Agenda

    Approval of Minutes from December 18, 2022 Meeting for Business

    Ministry and Counsel Report

        Meeting Care Coordinator

        Tech Support and Amplification (review only)

    Trustees Annual Report

    Peace and Social Concerns Update

    Proposed Minute from Falmouth Quarter

    Communications Update


    New Business

    Appoint Representatives to Falmouth Quarterly Meeting 1/28/23

    “The Struggle of a Lifetime,” by Leslie Manning

    The January 8, 2023 message at Durham Friends Meeting was given by Leslie Manning. The message, on “The Struggle of a Lifetime,” revolved around these passages, one from W. E. B. Dubois, and one from Rep. John Lewis

    From W.E.B. Du Bois: “It is the wind and the rain, O God, the cold and storm that makes this earth of thine to blossom and bear its fruit. 

    “So in our lives it is storm and stress and hurt and suffering that makes real men and women bring the world’s work to its highest perfection.

    “Let us learn then, in these growing years, to respect the harder, sterner aspects of life together, with its joy and laughter, and to weave them all into the great web which hangs holy to the Lord.”


    From Rep. John Lewis:  June 2018: “Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.”

    Falmouth Quarterly Meeting, January 28, 2023, 9:30 to Noon

    I hope you will be able to join Falmouth Quarter as we meet on zoom on Saturday.  Falmouth Quarter is the gathering of the five quaker meetings in southern Maine.

    Our focus is paying attention to what is exercising us, what we are feeling passionate about or called to. 

    We will also consider the minute on indigenous sovereignty forwarded to the Quarter by Portland and Durham Friends. – Fritz Weiss & Wendy Schlotterbeck

    Here is the zoom link (it is the regular worship link for Durham Friends).

    Topic: Falmouth Quarterly Meeting
    Time: Jan 28, 2023 09:30 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

    Join Zoom Meeting

    Meeting ID: 281 442 6094
    Passcode: 1775
    One tap mobile
    +13092053325,,2814426094# US
    +13126266799,,2814426094# US (Chicago)

    FQM Minute on the Inherent Right of Tribal Sovereignty of the Wabanaki

    Minute on the Inherent Right of Tribal Sovereignty Of the Wabanaki People and the Support for Bills before the Maine State Legislature that would Recognize and Implement Tribal Sovereignty

    Members of Falmouth Quarterly Meeting, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) unite in urging full support by the Maine State Legislature for bills that encompass the consensus recommendations reached in 2020 by a Task Force composed of Maine legislators, State officials and Wabanaki leaders, i.e., bills that acknowledge and support the sovereignty of the Wabanaki Tribes and Nations within Maine.
    The terms in the 1980 Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act (MICSA) and the Maine Implementing Act (MIA) have proven disastrous for the Tribes. These bills are designed to address those wrongs. For example, they would correct a fundamental denial embodied in the 1980 federal Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act (MICSA) that has prevented Wabanaki Tribes in Maine from benefiting from over 150 federal laws passed during the last 40 years, laws that were designed to assist and support Tribal health, safety, well-being and self-determination. As a result, Indigenous peoples in Maine suffer from disadvantages not found in any other state.
    Unlike the 570 federally-recognized Tribal communities on lands outside of Maine, Wabanaki Tribes and Nations contend with restrictions and complicated regulations imposed by the Maine Implementing Act (MIA). Tribal communities outside Maine are subject to Federal Indian Law. Current bills before the legislature would make Federal Indian Law applicable to Tribes and Nations within Maine. It should be noted that Federal Indian Law, while supporting greater Tribal self-determination, enables states to enter into productive relationships with Tribal nations that not only benefit the Tribes, but also the surrounding non-Native communities and the State. It has been shown time and again, throughout the country, that when Tribes are prosperous the surrounding rural communities prosper as well. This bill is our opportunity to create this reality for Wabanaki communities and for Maine as a whole.
    The current situation imposed by the State on Wabanaki peoples is morally and ethically wrong.
    Wabanaki communities only want what Tribes in other states enjoy—greater freedom to control their own destiny and to thrive. The bills addressing the shortfalls of the MICSA and the MIA provide the means to make this possible.
    This Minute reflects the Quaker testimony of the sacredness of all individuals and our witness to support the inherent rights and dignity of Indigenous communities.

    Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, December 18, 2022

    Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends met for the conduct of business on Sunday, December 18, 2022, with 9 people attending from the Meetinghouse and 6 attending by Zoom

    1.     Meeting Opening

    Clerk opened the meeting with a few moments silent worship. The agenda was reviewed with the addition of the approval of the November minutes.                                                                                                              

    2.     Approval of Minutes of November 2022 — Ellen Bennett

                Minutes were approved with two small corrections.

    3.     Nominating Committee — Linda Muller

    The slate of committee members for the coming year was distributed. Leslie Manning agreed to continue to serve as Clerk through 2023, and left the meeting while this recommendation was discussed.

                Members approved.

    It was noted that Leslie had asked for a co-Clerk this past year. The Nominating Committee has been exploring this, but no one has come forward. Nominating Committee will continue to keep this on their agenda.

    Members of all standing committees were reviewed. It was noted that Nancy Marstaller’s name should be added to the Tech Support Team. 

    Sarah Sprogell shared that she has felt called to step down as Auditor, and announced this intention.

    Clerk noted that additional suggestions might be made by email as well.

    The Meeting membership wishes honor those who have contributed their time and expertise by serving on Durham Monthly Meeting Committees, and taking on individual roles to assist the Meeting in its work.

    4.     Ministry and Counsel — Tess Hartford, Renee Cote

    The request was made to re-introduce after-meeting refreshments, beginning with liquid refreshment only, based on protocols introduced at Portland Friends Meeting. The suggestion was made that the air purifiers could be moved to the Gathering Room after meeting for worship. Trustees will work on the logistics of moving the air purifiers.

    Members approved.

    5.     Finance Committee — Sarah Sprogell

    The draft 2023 budget was updated from last month’s reading. Expenses exceed income as in the previous draft, a result of keeping expense lines for hiring a Meeting Care Coordinator and/or Youth Minister.

          Members approved the 2023 budget.

    Helen Clarkson left a bequest of $5,000 to be used at the Meeting’s discretion. It is currently in our checking account. Traditionally, we tithe 10% of any gift to add to the Charity Account, which in this case would be $500. The Finance Committee recommends adding $2,000 to the Charity Account. The remaining $3,000 of the bequest would remain in our General Account. Requests for funds from the Charity Account have been infrequent, but in the last four years, several gifts of $1,000 have been distributed. With this in mind, the Committee thought this would be a good opportunity to bring the total in the Charity Account to over $10,000.

          Members approved.

    6.     Request for Funding                                                                                 

    A special request for funding was brought forward to support the work of local organizations in the Lewiston-Auburn area with refugee and asylum-seeker housing. Clerk noted the definition of an Emergency Request from Meeting handbook: the request does not need to be seasoned for 2 meetings.

    Finance and Peace & Social Concerns have been in conversation about this request for over a month. A total of $5000 is being requesting for the Immigrant Resource Center of Maine ($3,500) and to the Maine Immigrant and Refugee Services ($1,500). These are small and important organizations that are often overlooked when funding is distributed from other sources. The suggestion was made for funds to be used by each organization as it sees fit.

    The Finance Committee looked to various funding sources as they considered this request, as it is larger than usual. The Committee recommends we use the Bernice Douglas fund, which is capable of meeting the request amount.

           Members approved.

    With thanks to those who brought this to our attention and care.

    7.     Trustees Report — Sarah Sprogell

            Report was submitted to update members. Nothing for approval.                                       

    8.     Peace and Social Concerns — Ingrid Chalufour

    Oral report given to update membership. Noted particularly was the capital campaign for Tedford Housing, with encouragement to members to give their support.

    9.     New Business

    Christmas Eve service is scheduled for 4:00 p.m., with Leslie Manning serving as tech support, Jo-an Jacobus as Care of Worship leader, and Kim Bolshaw taking care of heat!

    Clerk closed the meeting for business with an expression of tremendous gratitude for the Meeting, the health of the budget, for the work of so many members. Clerk read a thank-you letter from Ellis Noetzel, for the Meeting’s assistance in sending her to Friends Camp this past summer.

    The meeting ended with silent worship.

    Respectfully submitted, Ellen Bennett, Recording Clerk


    Attachments for DMM 22.12.18

    End-of-Life Interest Group, New England Yearly Meeting

    New England Yearly Meeting is hosting a monthly resource group from January to May on end of life issues.  Details and registration information follow:

    Join New England Friends for an End-of-Life Interest Group. We seek to explore spiritual, emotional, and practical aspects of facing our final days.

    We will meet via Zoom 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. on the second Thursday of the month for 5 months, starting on January 12th. 

    Facilitated by Patti Muldoon, NEYM’s Aging Resources Consultation and Help (ARCH) Coordinator. 

    This series is offered free of charge.

    Click here to register.

    If the group is at capacity and you are seeking to register, email to join the waitlist.

    Questions? Email

    Materials for Durham Friends Meeting Business Meeting, December 18, 2022

    Reports, Proposals and Other Materials are posted here.

    Proposed Agenda for Meeting for Business, 11/20/22

    Open with worship

    Approval of Minutes, December 18, 2022

    Nominating Committee

    Requires 1 approval

    Minute of Appreciation

    Ministry and Counsel

    Requires 1 approval

    Finance Committee

    Budget requires approval

    Recommendation requires approval

    Trustees Report

    Peace and Social Concerns

    New Business:

    Request for Funding

    Closing Worship

    Request for Funding

    Closing Worship

    “Healing River,” by Mey Hasbrook

    Message given at Durham Friends Meeting, December 11, 2022

    While not a usual story for this time of year – Advent, and what we observe as Christmas – today’s message I believe shares in its heart or essence.  I offer a query for today’s expectant waiting worship, as lifted by our opening song, “Healing River”:

    Who is the Healing River?  How do we welcome the river? And how does healing arise?

    As we gently carry this query, let’s visit a river this morning found in Yellowstone National Park, what’s popularly lauded as the first national park of the United States.  The land base is linked with 27 tribal nations.

    Wolves now are abundant because of being returned to the land in 1995, after being killed off in the 1930s.  Yellowstone’s web site explains “the presence of wolves triggered a still-unfolding cascade effect among animals and plants–one that will take decades of research to understand.” 

    A brief video documents and narrates the recovery of the land in Yellowstone, since humans returned the wolves.  Taller trees invite songbirds.  Forests regenerate, giving beavers willow to create habitats for more species.  And the river’s course becomes more steady with stronger banks, since elk seek refuge in wooded areas. 

    This ecological process is called a trophic cascade, beginning with “the top of the food chain” and continuing “all the way down to the bottom.”  We are bearing witness to a kind of modern miracle described  “when an ecosystem becomes whole again”, and all because of welcoming wolves back to the land.

    I wish to honor the healing that is taking place there especially with the river.  The river as Living Waters, establishing healthier spaces for an increasing range of plants and animals.  This possibility only arose through restoring balance.  The presence of wolves spread out the elks, ending overuse of banks; human efforts did not accomplish this aim in prior decades.

    Again, our query: Who is the Healing River?  How do we welcome the river? And how does healing arise?

    Twenty-seven tribal nations are linked with the land called Yellowstone National Park.  The park’s historical accounts of itself erased the Original Peoples’ own stories and even their existence.  This year is the 150th anniversary of Yellowstone, and a new Tribal Heritage Center was opened. One of the center’s aims is to bring “Native American artists, scholars and others to speak directly with visitors about Indigenous cultures.”

    I pray that this small change – of bringing in some Indigenous persons with firsthand stories of Original Peoples – will become like the trophic cascade credited to wolves.  As Doug Smith, a wildlife biologist in charge of the Yellowstone Wolf Project, describes:  “like kicking a pebble down a mountain slope where conditions were just right that a falling pebble could trigger an avalanche of change.”

    Yes, certain changes despite being small can contribute to the restoration of life and land for Original Peoples and for All.  Justice too is miraculous and brings healing, or wholeness.  How will we embrace the movement of Spirit? 

    What is our leading from the shared space of what we call Durham Friends Meeting – this gathering in a Meeting House near the Androscoggin River, alongside a forest under our care, sitting on the lands of Wabanaki Peoples?  How does God call us as a faith community – and as persons of Quaker faith –  to welcome the healing river to our neighbors, to every kind of neighbor?

    In closing today’s message, I’ll read a Bible passage of great importance to me over decades.  While it does not name a river, the scripture does speak about the Living Waters, healing, and change.  I believe it’s a bridge to the kind of change that we seek at this time of year.  From Isaiah 58 verses 6 to 12 (NRSVUE):

    6 Is not this the fast that I choose:

    to loose the bonds of injustice,

    to undo the straps of the yoke,

    to let the oppressed go free,

    and to break every yoke?

    7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry

    and bring the homeless poor into your house;

    when you see the naked, to cover them

    and not to hide yourself from your own kin?

    8 Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,

    and your healing shall spring up quickly;

    your vindicator [a] shall go before you;

    the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.

    9 Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;

    you shall cry for help, and he will say, “Here I am.”

    If you remove the yoke from among you,

    the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil,

    10 if you offer your food to the hungry

    and satisfy the needs of the afflicted,

    then your light shall rise in the darkness

    and your gloom be like the noonday.

    11 The Lord will guide you continually

    and satisfy your needs in parched places

    and make your bones strong,,

    and you shall be like a watered garden,

    like a spring of water whose waters never fail.

    12 Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;

    you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;

    you shall be called the repairer of the breach,

    the restorer of streets to live in.

    ~~~~~~~~~~ | ~~~~~~~~~~ | ~~~~~~~~~~ | ~~~~~~~~~~

    About the hymn “Healing River”.
    American “Fran” Minkoff wrote the lyrics, and the song released the same year, 1964, that Pete Seeger spent the Mississippi Freedom Summer working for racial justice.  Singing to an audience upon learning of the murder of three young civil rights workers, the musician describes the audience’s response  not “shouting for revenge” but, instead,“an intense determination to continue this work of love.” Attributed to his memoir, as described here – .

    About the Yellowstone Wolf Project.
    Video and article titled, “Wolf Reintroduction Changes Ecosystem in Yellowstone” (2021), found here – .

    About the Tribal Heritage Center at Yellowstone.
    Article titled, “Yellowstone showcases the area’s Indigenous peoples for 150th anniversary” (2022), found here – .

    Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, November 20, 2022

    corrected and approved, December 18, 2022

    Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends met for the conduct of business on Sunday, November 20, 2022, with 10 people attending from the Meetinghouse and 5 by Zoom.

    1.     Meeting Opening

    Clerk opened the meeting with a reading from 1985 Faith and Practice, 11th month queries on social responsibility, which served to reinforce this morning’s message, as well as reflections on Thanksgiving.                        

    2.     Approval of Minutes of October 19, 2022 — Ellen Bennett

                     Minutes were approved as presented, with thanks.

    3.     Peace and Social Concerns — Ingrid Chalufour

    Ingrid read the Peace and Social Concerns report to update Meeting members. The committee has been active! Clerk noted that Meeting has not been collaborating with the Friends Committee on Maine Public Policy, and urges members to pay attention to their work, specifically as it relates to the Wabanaki.

    Clerk also noted that Cush Anthony is rotating off as our representative to the Maine Council of Churches, with deep appreciation for his service.

    4.     Finance Committee — Nancy Marstaller

    Nancy noted that this is the first reading of the 2023 budget. A deficit budget was presented for the first time due to the following: With respect to expenses, salaries for both a Meeting Care Coordinator and a Youth Minister are included. With respect to income, weekly contributions have been down this year, as well as automatic deposits as a result of a decrease in membership. There were no comments or questions, so the budget will come before the Meeting in December for approval.

    5.     Trustees Report — Sarah Sprogell

    The Trustees report was presented to update members on their work. Clerk referenced the discussions Meeting has had about joining a solar farm and asked if Trustees might be able to continue to explore this. Trustees have the issue on their long-term agenda, but also requested that if anyone is looking into solar farms for their home, and have done some research, that they be willing to lend a hand to Trustees. Great thanks was expressed to Trustees for all of their work.

    6.     Ministry and Counsel — Renee Cote, Tess Hartford

    The report presented updates for members. Noted particularly was the benefit of the special called meeting and its value to members. Regarding clarification of tasks for a Meeting Care Coordinator, the job description is and continues to be developed by M&C and will be brought forward to Monthly Meeting. More discernment will follow.

    In addition, M&C stated the Meeting’s commitment to holding a Christmas Eve service.

    7.     Nominating Committee — Linda Muller

    Jo-an Jacobus was brought forward for Library Committee for a 3-year term.

                    Members approved.

    Dan Henton is to continue to serve on Trustees for one year. This would be an exception as he has already served 2 terms. Dan’s service will return for approval in 2023.

                    Members approved.

    Mey Hasbrook was brought forward to serve on M&C for a 3-year term, beginning January 2023.

                    Members approved.                                                                                              

    Ellen Bennett to serve as Recording Clerk for 2023.

                    Members approved.

    Susan Gilbert was brought forward to serve on the Events Committee (a sub-committee of Christian Education).

                    Members approved.

    David Dexter will continue to assist Margaret Copeland with LACO responsibilities

    Kristna Evans was brought forward to serve on Velasco Sister City Committee, a joint committee with Portland Friends Meeting.

                    Members approved.

    The Committee continues to seek a Meeting co-Clerk, as well as a monitor for cemetery funds. Member is currently in discernment about joining Finance Committee.

    Clerk noted that the challenge of finding Meeting members and attenders to serve on committees is common among many Meetings. Clerk went on to say that the Meeting as a whole will continue to look for ways to find committee members to carry out our important work. The recommendation was made to have another called meeting to explore ways forward.

    New Business

    8.     Request from Velasco Sister City Committee.

    The Committee is asking for donations for those who are traveling to Cuba. A collection box and a list of needed items will be in the Gathering Room. The request was made to post the list on-line. 

                    The Meeting approved the collection of donations or supplies to be taken to Cuba.

    9.     Youth Account Proposal — Wendy Schlotterbeck

    Clerk read the proposal for transferring remaining funds in the Youth Account. Wendy requested that the funds be transferred to Peace & Social Concerns for the Social Justice Enrichment Project. The recommendation will be handed over to the Finance Committee for seasoning. The Finance Committee will return with the 2023 budget for review and approval in December.

                    Members approved.

    With no other items to come before the meeting, Clerk asked for a moment of silent worship and thanksgiving.

    Respectfully submitted, Ellen Bennett, Recording Clerk

    Attachments (available here):

    Proposed Agenda

    Minutes from October Meeting for Business

    Peace and Social Concerns Report

    Trustees Report

    Ministry and Counsel Report

    Nominating Committee Report

    Finance Committee Proposed Budget for 2023 (first reading)

    Youth Account Proposal

    Falmouth Quarter to Meet January 28, 2023, 9:30 to noon on ZOOM


    Falmouth Quarter will meet on January 28, 2023 from 9:30 to noon on zoom.

    We are creating a space to share our Passions – What is exercising us, upsetting us, firing us up.

    Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled

    We invite you to think about the concerns which are alive for you and to think about these queries

    ·  “What are you called to, what are you upset about, and how are you filled?”

    ·   “How do I recognize this passion, this hunger and thirst as a spiritual condition?”

    ·   “ What is the meeting called to, what is the meeting  upset about and how is the meeting filled?”

    Prayer Vigil with a Concern for the Families Losing Shelter Due to the Ending of the Emergency Assistance, at the Statehouse, December 7, 2022, 9:30 to 11:00

    An announcement form Peace and Social Concerns Committee.

    There will be a prayer vigil with the concern for the families losing shelter due to the ending of the emergency assistance which has been paying to shelter families in hotels which is being held at the statehouse on December 7th, here is the essential information.

    The vigil will be from 9:30 – 11:00 if you can stay for the whole time. The Statehouse will be crowded and parking will be scarce, plan on allowing time to find parking.  If you would like to ride with me I have room for 2 – 3 people.

    Please sign up so we will have an idea of numbers.

    Portland Friends Meeting adds: Also, as a reminder, there will be a zoom call on the 7th in the evening for PFM to consider how we might be called to respond to this crises.  Mary Tracy will re-send this invitation closer to the date.

    A detailed instruction sheet follows for the vigil.

    IMPORTANT  INSTRUCTIONS for Vigil and Witness on Dec. 7

    If you plan to come to the State House in Augusta for the “Neighbors Need ME” Prayer Vigil and Public Witness on December 7th at 9:30:

    ●       Please contact your state representative and your state senator via email BEFORE December 7 just to let them know you will be there.  It will be a very busy day at the State House, as all 186 legislators are being sworn in and will likely have family members with them.  You are letting them know about your participation in the prayer vigil/public witness so that when they see our group in the Hall of Flags, they will know what we are there to pray for and bear witness to, and that a constituent of theirs is present. 

    To get the name and/or email address of your state representative, click HERE.

    To get the name and/or email address of your state senator, click HERE.

    Sample email:

    Dear Representative [or Senator] ________,

    I am a constituent of yours from [name of town] and wanted to let you know I will be at the State House on December 7 as part of the Neighbors Need ME Prayer Vigil and Public Witness in the Hall of Flags.  As a person of faith/goodwill, I feel compelled to bear silent, prayerful witness to the impending humanitarian crisis our neighbors in Maine face if they lose their housing when rental assistance programs end, eviction moratoria are lifted, and emergency hotel accommodations close their doors.  All this is happening while our state’s shelters and warming centers are full beyond capacity, and winter weather is settling in.  On December 7, I will join with other faithful people from across Maine to pray that the Legislature and the Governor work quickly to develop humane and practical solutions that are coordinated statewide before it is too late.

    Signed: _________

    ●       Faith Participants are invited to wear the colors of Advent, a season of yearning, hope, and expectation in the Christian tradition: blue and/or purple. 

    ●       If you are a person of goodwill, we invite you to wear red—a red scarf, a red shirt, a red coat– for we seek to “love our neighbors” wherever they are and however long they have been in Maine. 

    ●       Try to arrange to carpool with others traveling to Augusta. Because it is swearing-in day, it is likely the State House parking garage will fill up early, as will the lots immediately adjacent to the building.  You may need to arrive 45 mins early.  It is difficult to tell how much time to allow because of the swearing-in.  parking info

    ●       When you enter the State House, be prepared to wait in line to go through the security checkpoint where you will be asked to remove your shoes before walking through a metal detector.

    ●       After clearing security, walk straight past the welcome center to the main corridor of the building, then turn either right or left to take the stairs or elevator to the second floor and the Hall of Flags.  Look for our group, including many clergy wearing vestments, and many participants wearing red or the Advent colors of blue/purple.

    ●       As noted, this will be a very busy day at the State House.  Crowds will be bustling through and across the Hall of Flags as legislators go to caucus meetings; bells will begin to ring loudly when the House and Senate are being called to convene; there will be a busy swirl of activity and noise all around us as we pray silently in the midst of it all.  We invite you to learn from our Quaker siblings who practice the art of stillness and silence in prayer.  Our silent, prayerful witness will be a striking contrast to what is going on all around us.  And that’s kind of the point!

    ●       If anyone asks you why we are there, or what we are praying for be prepared to briefly answer – for me I’ll say something about the families in Portland being evicted because the Emergency Rental Assistance funds are ending and that in Maine we don’t expect families to sleep outside in the winter.  You can direct them to the Neighbors Need ME website and Facebook page for more information.  You can also invite them to speak to Rev. Allison Smith or Rev. Peter Swarr, two of the key organizers of this coalition who will be present at the vigil.

    ●       If you are approached by the media, please direct them to Rev. Allison Smith or Rev. Peter Swarr.

    ●       If you would like to read more about this crisis as a way to get informed, and a way to inform your prayers, we recommend the report by the Commission to Increase Housing Opportunities in Maine by Studying Land Use Regulations and Short-term Rentals , in particular Recommendation #7 on page 21.

    ●       During the vigil, you should receive a stamped postcard to fill out and mail to Governor Mills as soon as you get home.  It will let her know you were present at the vigil, and that you’re a person of faith and/or goodwill who is deeply concerned about the housing crisis facing your neighbors in need.  Ask the Governor to work with the Legislature to immediately develop a statewide coordinated response plan instead of the current patchwork of local municipalities trying to manage this dire emergency on their own.  We need State leadership in this crisis!

    Again, for our Witness to be as effective as possible, please do three things:

    1.  Contact  your state representative and your state senator via email BEFORE December 7 to let them know you will be there.  Ask them to immediately respond to this dire humanitarian crisis with a State-wide coordinated response for our neighbors who need housing and assistance in difficult times.
    2. Contact Governor Mills as soon as you get home to ask her to develop a State-wide coordinated plan because our neighbors all over Maine are suffering and need our help. 
    3. Ask your friends and family to contact their legislators and the Governor. 

    Notes from Listening Session (Called Meeting), October 30, 2022

    On October 30, 2022, Durham Friends Meeting held a facilitated listening session to consider how we have felt after five years of being a pastorless meeting. In the first half of the session we reflected on what brought each of us to DFM and what keeps us coming back; in the second half, what we see for DFM moving forward. No decisions were made. Ministry & Counsel will consider the thoughts expressed today and report back. — Renee Cote

    Comments are paraphrased.

    First half

    Leslie: Everyone has a story. I attended a church supper at a vital Presbyterian church, whose mission is motivated by Matthew 25 and which has effective outreach. I encountered a woman who told me she came to DFM in the 80s, single and pregnant, and how much she appreciated our support. Her beliefs aren’t necessarily my beliefs but we were there for her.


    Linda: I knew I was a Quaker from attending other meetings. I came to DFM and heard a sermon by Ralph Greene. I was not used to programmed meeting and found it a little disappointing. But I felt the spiritual community and it was a good place to bring my children. I keep coming for the sense of spiritual community. I would like more multigenerational events.

    Kim: I came to DFM for the wonderful dinners. It was close by and my kids could meet persons of all ages in a relaxed setting. I kept coming because the community felt genuine. I had no religious background or training. I have learned a lot and received much support.

    David: I was raised an evangelical Baptist. I studied Quaker writers in college. I then went to an Episcopal church and I liked the quiet. I was confirmed but began to have doubts about the theatrical aspects of the service. I kept a journal 50 years ago while working on Mt. Washington and wrote that inside I felt like a Quaker. I felt affirmed by my contact with Clarabel although I continued as an Episcopalian until six or seven years ago. Friends have meant so much and I feel like DFM is the best of both worlds (programmed/unprogrammed). I feel that the Quaker ladies in the walls are still speaking to us. Jonathan Vogel-Bourne affirmed that I have always been a Quaker and said, “Welcome home.”

    Martha: I came to DFM with my parents. I have wandered and experienced many kinds of meetings and worship. I appreciate the hybrid nature of worship at DFM.

    Ann: Pastor Stephen (last name?) invited single persons who were attending DFM to dinners at the parsonage. He reached out to us. I transferred from Brunswick to Durham. I was more active but physical circumstances now keep me away. I feel a connection to people here and a sense of belonging.

    Leslie: I came because I was invited. I was feeling anger at God and wanted to work on that relationship. Childless people can find it hard to make connections. At the time DFM had a food distribution program for persons of all income levels. Tommie Frye asked for my help moving boxes and Sarah invited me in. This community offered safe space and safe harbor from damage from other religions. Durham helps healing.

    Doug: I am a convinced Friend. I’ve had experience of a wide variety of unprogrammed meeting, including Philadelphia with its meaningful worship. When I moved to Maine I wanted to join Brunswick but eventually felt there was not enough of the spiritual life I needed in a small meeting with little vocal ministry. I came to DFM and enjoyed the rich voices and the pastor. Doug Gwynn followed . . . I know that God is with us and people are feeling that and acting upon it.

    Ingrid: Doug brought me. I identified as a Quaker and I had come to the point where I wanted more spiritual nourishment. Doug recommended DFM. I found spiritual nourishment and liked the messages. I enjoyed the varied voices. I have found a place to practice spirit here. Sukie recommended me for Peace and Social Concerns and I’ve stayed there.

    Wendy: I visited DFM with my family in 1992. I had been in another faith community and in 2003 I wanted a change. Sunday morning church was a given in our family and my children wanted to come here. They were welcomed. In 2008 I became a member and then youth minister. I figured out the Quaker structure. The kids gave life. Climate and racial justice is my passion and I have received support from the MM, QM, and YM. I have met some wonderful people and I love this community very much.

    Tess: I was born and raised Catholic. I came to Quakerism after the pastor at St. John’s in Brunswick with whom I had a close spiritual connection was rotated out. When I came to Durham I had had a bad faith group experience. Sukie invited me here 35 years ago. I have often felt like an outlier but I fit in here. I believe that small is beautiful and it’s how we make connections. A small group offers the intimacy for spiritual growth. I have been taught to listen deeply in this spiritual home.

    Cush: I became a Quaker in 1967 through a college girlfriend in Virginia Beach Meeting. Later with my first wife I became a member of Portland Meeting for ten years. After divorce I began attending Allen Avenue Unitarian along with my second wife.  It was a good experience. Upon her death I went back to my Quaker roots. With my present wife I came to DFM. It has taken some time over the past three years to get used to a semiprogrammed meeting. I wanted to belong to a church in my geographical community, as community is defined these days. I still feel a little outside but I am integrating.

    Second half—What would we like to see, what do we see? Should we hold conversations with those who aren’t here regularly? What do we do well, what can we do better?

    Linda: We provide a safe space. We are here every Sunday even with small numbers. Our meeting is important for those needing healing or seeking mentorship.

    Mey: I hear Leslie question where are we growing and where are we resisting. I have considered my expectations around meeting versus what happens in life. I’ve had varied experiences with Friends in different places. I chose DFM over Portland or Washington state. We are growing in love and compassion and after feeling discomfort. My interaction with Bob Eaton has become affirming, for example. I experience the prompting of spirit and love to help, and I experience love from meeting.

    Dan: I was born into this church and I had to come here. I was assigned to pick up Mildred and I dreaded it at first but it became something I looked forward to. I enjoyed hearing her story. We developed a friendship outside of our usual roles. I did her good. Why would someone want to join DFM? To do some good for everyone here.

    Cush: This has been a wonderful session and chance to sit down and share. I hope for more opportunities like this.

    Tess: What are we doing well? We should give ourselves a pat on the back for what we have gone through. Tech has helped us to continue. Do we appreciate that we have been able to gather? As a member of M&C I have grown beyond what I thought was my comfort level.

    Some people genuinely wanted to figure out how to bring technology into meeting and others feared it would change meeting. We can now choose how to be here, Zoom or in person. I’m happy I could paint the beautiful wall to see everyone on.

    Ann: Like Tess I am grateful for Zoom even though I don’t like it. Covid has been hard with many losses of people. I feel part of meeting even though not there physically.

    Sarah: We are good at being welcoming. I felt welcomed even as an outsider. I bonded with people I felt were the opposite of me in some ways. I learned from the elders’ forbearance, and to allow space while clerking. The elders modeled that love when we disagree. There’s been an enormous transition here at DFM and a chaotic world. So this is a test.

    It’s hard when we’re not in unity. Some more listening sessions would help us hear each other. This creates good roots to help in addressing difficult issues.

    Kim: I agree that we are very good at making space, being willing to listen, being sincere when it’s not easy. I have many opportunities to speak about Friends in the outside community. We need more ways to share our message of kindness, joy and love.

    Leslie: With the passing of some members I’ve had a chance to see how our values of love and tolerance get transferred and passed into families. People react deeply to being in this space that feels like home. People feel seen and held. 

    Can we draw some people back, those who keep up their membership or get the newsletter? How do we maintain the outer circle? To attract young families can we go to the families and offer our help? Some are adrift, how to help? Those who are carrying burdens or have the patterns of their lives change, can we release them? How should we nourish our roots?

    Sarah: It would be beneficial to have future listening sessions, and useful to gather at intervals to check in where we are.

    Mey: There are meetings for healing on the first Thursday of the next two months through Portland Meeting, at DFM in person or through Zoom.

    Rental Information (as of 2022)

    We offer the meetinghouse for use by others as a form of outreach.

    Suggested Rental Fees, Durham Friends Meetinghouse

    Half Day        $100

    Full Day         $200

    Use of Kitchen          Additional $100

    The Meetinghouse is available for Meeting-sponsored activities at no charge. It is also available at no charge for use by Falmouth Quarterly Meeting, by New England Yearly Meeting or by other Quaker organizations.

    The Meetinghouse will be available for rent to individuals, other groups and organizations with similar values or concerns as Friends.  For these, we use a pay-as-led approach.

    Pay- as-led is a way of acknowledging that wealth is not distributed fairly, and that Durham Friends want the building to be available for community use. Pay-as-led means that you reflect on and discern what amount you are led to pay for use of the space. We ask that you consider your financial resources and the value you believe use of the space brings to you. Based on this personal reflection, we invite you to pay as you are led, and to make a donation that feels appropriate to you and helps cover the cost of your use of the building.

    To ask to schedule the Meetinghouse, contact

    Sarah Sprogell,, 207 319-5077 or

    Kim Bolshaw,, 207 808-3007

    Overview of Facilities.  The Durham Friends Meetinghouse includes:

    • A worship room, with a capacity for seating about 200 people.  It has benches arranged in a square.  We ask that these not be moved without permission.  There is also a piano in the worship room.
    • A social room with a capacity of about 100 people (standing) or 100 people seated at (8) tables.
    • A kitchen adjacent to the social room.
    • Two small rooms off the social room, one with a capacity of about 12, and one of about 6.
    • Two parking lots that can hold a total of 40 to 50 cars.
    • A grassy yard appropriate for outdoor gatherings or picnics and that has some play facilities for young children.

    The Meetinghouse is not appropriate for overnight accommodation.


    We hope you will enjoy the use of our Meetinghouse.  We ask that you respect it as our place of worship by observing the following:

    • We will unlock the door before you arrive; please be sure it is locked when you leave
    • Please leave everything in the same condition you found it.  A vacuum cleaner, a mop and bucket can be found in the hall closet; cleaning supplies are in the kitchen. 
    • Please, no smoking, alcohol or drugs on the premises.
    • Food or drinks only in the social room and in the kitchen, or outdoors, not in the worship room.
    • No tacks or scotch tape on walls, doors or woodwork.  Masking tape only on painted woodwork, please.
    • Please do not use classroom or nursery supplies, or any foodstuffs in the kitchen.
    • Please use the telephone for emergency calls only.
    • Heating instructions are posted near the thermostat.
    • Please let us know of things are not working properly. Questions can be directed to our custodian, Kim Bolshaw, 207 808-3007. 
    • There is no storage space for equipment you may bring for your program. Please take any equipment or supplies with you when you depart. 

    Please use the following check list when leaving:

    • Put window shades down position in the Meeting Room.
    • Turn off stove burners, oven, and fans, and unplug and clean coffee makers, if you used them.
    • Be sure faucets are turned off, and no toilets are running.  Please leave toilet lids up. 
    • Leave open all interior doors. 
    • Collect and take your trash with you.
    • Turn out all lights. 
    • Lock front and rear doors, and check handles to be sure exterior doors are locked.

    After your event has concluded, please call our custodian, Kim Bolshaw, 207 808-3007.

    “The Living Waters,” by Mey Hasbrook

    Message given at Durham Friends Meeting, November 13, 2022

    For me, prayer is like water:  We seek water, listen for its sound and follow. We go to fresh water and drink, and bring it back to offer others.  We wash and refresh with water. 

    Prayer is akin to worship, and emerges through worship.  We may call worship “inviting” the Divine.  I experience worship as remembering the Living Presence of the Divine…  Who Already Is –  Spirit, God, Jesus, The Light.  It’s like re-immersing in a body of water – at times, being with the calm stillness that always is; and at others, riding life’s waves and strong currents.
    My leading to bring the message came when sitting here in worship.  It was during Meeting for Worship with Attention to Healing – for short, Meeting for Healing. This worship is led by Portland Friends, and I sync Durham’s Owl system occasionally – the next time being Thursday, December 1st.

    Friends first convened this meeting for healing when the Covid pandemic started.  I visited by Zoom while living in  Michigan, sitting in my home’s basement. Friends continue to gather on a bimonthly basis. I’d like to share the introduction from Portland Friends about their meeting for healing: 

    Meeting for Worship for Healing is an old Quaker tradition.  Our goal with this meeting is to focus on the physical and spiritual illnesses of the current world.  It’s not intended to be the same as a full meeting for worship but instead is meant to be focused on communal prayer.  We are often blessed with a time of deep silence.  Messages may arise but should be de-centered from our ego.

    Invitation to Worship in clamorous times

    We are living through a time when we are inundated with words.

    We invite you during worship to sink deeply

    Below the political messages,

    below the personal efforts to put things into words

    Down to the Silence

    Down to the Living Waters
    Down to the Source that connects us all
    Meeting for Healing – at times also called “healing prayer” – is foundational to my  becoming a Quaker.  Preparing today’s message has made this fact plain to me.  During Durham Friends’ listening session on October 30th, I heard stories of how people came to be here – in Quaker worship, at this meeting house.  And I could feel the truth of my own:  My experience is about seeking the Living Waters, or the Living Presence; and listening to where God would have me be, or to go.

    Please join me in a journey.  Let’s go to Lansing, Michigan, dialing back to October 2007.  I attend my first Sunday silent worship.  Held in a community room at a neighborhood book store, the meeting is called “early worship” and hosts a small circle.  How have I come to be here?

    A seed is planted two years earlier, 2005, by a writer friend who also is a fellow former evangelical.  She thinks that I’d like “Quaker meeting”  – that is, Quaker as she knows it:  silent or unprogrammed worship.  When she gives me this idea, I already know Quakers since 9/11, through our co-organizing anti-war protests and programs over several years.

    So come again to the Fall of 2007, I try out the bookstore location for worship.  Firstly, because it is not a church;  my body has found it a hardship to sit in a church for several years.  And I also come because I recently began sobriety from alcohol.  The most basic truth is that I come to Quaker worship because I am thirsting for the Living Waters, and it is the Living Presence that brings me back.
    A new acquaintance from Sunday worship tells me about another meeting.  It’s a monthly meeting for healing.  The gathering is at the home of Richard, a cozy cape-cod house laden with knick-knacks.  An avid thrifter, Richard is warm-hearted, big-bellied, and a very out gay man who wears amber-beaded necklaces during worship.

    I become a regular in this home-based worship.  People who show up bring open hearts, and we are human in every way.  After worship, many stay to ask questions and share our experiences.  We enjoy Richard’s pots of tea and a potluck-style dinner.  Through faithfulness and fellowship, friendships grow.  And some months later, I do visit the larger later Sunday worship, which gathers in a circular room of a local church.
    Friends, let us journey “back” to here and now.   And wherever we are “arriving” from in the Meeting House – perhaps sitting on a bench with one another, or physically from another geography – I pray that we refresh ourselves with the Living Waters.  I pray that we hear the Living Presence calling us into relationship – with Jesus as the Path of Love, with one another, and with persons known and yet known to us.  Friend Rufus Jones, from the 19th and 20th centuries with roots in Maine, writes:

    …most of our life, whether it is simple or complex, is a life of relationships with other persons. It is this fact of inter-relationship that makes life spiritual, and it is this that often makes it so tragic.  We cannot, if we would, fence round our souls and keep them naked and alone.  We are good or bad, not in soul-tight compartments, but in our dealing with other persons who fill our world.

    highest* dealings, those which affect our entire being in the profoundest way, are our relationships with God. Nothing else so completely shapes one’s whole nature as his way of responding to his Infinite Companion, for everybody does respond in one way or another.         (*emphasis in original text)

    Here is the closing prayer that I lift up:   Spirit, may the doors of Durham Friends Meeting open widely – physically from the Meeting House, and imaginatively as a faith community into our daily lives.  May we open our homes to neighbors, seekers, and strangers.  May we become invitations to prayer and worship.  May we refresh our minds, hearts, and souls with the Living Waters.  May we remember the Living Presence of the Divine Who Already Is.  Jesus, may we be healed and bring healing to others.  Amen.
    Resources about Meeting for Healing among historical and contemporary Friends are available on this web page maintained by Red Cedar Friends Meeting of Lansing, Michigan (Lake Erie YM), <> .

    Social Justice Enrichment Project (2022)

    As members of the religious Society of Friends (Quakers) we have a deep and abiding concern for social justice and racial equity. Values such as community, equality, and harmony are central to our approach and advocating for social justice in the greater community is an important expression of our values. This project grew out of a series of discussions focused on becoming antiracist in the fall of 2020.

    What is the Social Justice Enrichment Project?

    Participating teachers are given a set of children’s books that focus on the development of social justice values in children ages 4-8.  Teachers join us in teams from schools in the Durham Friends Meeting catchment area. They are able to use the books to enhance their social studies and language arts curriculum as they chose. Support is provided through periodic meetings with teaching teams and educational sessions focused on child development and creating inclusive anti-bias classroom.

    Lists of the books we are distributing can be seen by clicking here.

    What are the project goals?

    The books will help the children:

    • Gain understanding and appreciation for diverse peoples and ways of life
    • Build an empathic way of viewing life situations
    • See the value of working collaboratively for the benefit of all
    • Learn about people who work non-violently for justice and equity
    • Learn the importance of appreciating and caring for the natural world
    • Learn some history of the Wabanaki peoples of Maine and other Indigenous people
    • Learn some African-American history, including stories from the struggle for civil rights
    • Find acceptance of themselves and others by seeing representation in books
    • Learn that every family is different and all families support their children in different ways

    Why a focus on young children?

    Children in the early elementary grades are developing the values that will guide their behavior throughout their lives. They are focused on fairness and learning to play games with winners and losers as well as working together collaboratively. They are participating in group settings which require rules to function smoothly and equitably. Some Maine children are participating in school communities that are increasingly diverse, but at the same time see mostly white people in positions of power. Other children have no diversity in their community. In preparing our children to be part of the global economy we want them to have familiarity with people from backgrounds different from themselves. When diverse cultures are not represented in the classroom, children’s literature offers experiences of other cultures and ways of life, past and present.

    Selecting books

    Thanks to the work of Black Lives Matter, The 1619 Project, Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Wabanaki Reach, The Anti-Racist Movement and many others, publishers have begun to produce many new social justice books for young children. New publishing houses are also emerging to meet the demand. It is now easy to find diverse 21st century families portrayed realistically in children’s books. We have chosen books that are:

    • Developmentally appropriate for 4 to 8-year-olds who are in public Pre-K, Kindergarten and Grades One and Two.
    • Wonderful children’s literature; often Coretta Scott King, Ezra Jack Keats, Caldecott or Newberry Award winners. The authors will be from the group represented in the story, for example Ambreen Tariq, Hena Khan, Jerry Pinkney, etc.
    • Aesthetically engaging and illustrated by members of the group being portrayed in the story, for example Floyd Cooper, Mehrdokht Amini.  Maine illustrators are sought, e.g. Daniel Minter, Ashley Bryan.
    • Reflect social justice issues which Maine children experience, for example: friendship, civil rights, homelessness, immigrant, refugee and asylee welcome, anti-bullying, water rights, LGBTQ rights, voting rights, Indigenous People’s rights, climate change, Wabanaki history, African-American history.

    We buy hardcover books whenever possible, ensuring their longevity in the classrooms. Teachers comment on how rare it is for them to have beautiful hardcover books. We have benefited from a 20% discount at Gulf of Maine Books in Brunswick.  

    New Mainers –We have also given books to the Angolan and Congolese children who came to Brunswick and Bath in 2019. This project has its own booklist.

    Our work group is Margaret Leitch Copeland, Cindy Wood, Wendy Schlotterbeck, Jeanne Stinson, and Ingrid Chalufour. We are grateful to the Durham Friends Meeting for funding this important work. If you have further questions you can contact Ingrid Chalufour at

    Quaker Indigenous Boarding Schools: Facing Our History and Ourselves, November 15, 7-9 pm [Updated]

    sponsored by New England Yearly Meeting, Beacon Hill Friends House and Friends Peace Teams

    UPDATE: The recording of The Quaker Indigenous Boarding Schools: Facing Our History and Ourselves, as well as guidance for its use, is now available at:

    Register here for this hybrid event.

    Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, October 16, 2022

    1.     Meeting Opening

    Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends met for the conduct of business on Sunday, October 16, 2022, with 7 people attending from the Meetinghouse and 6 by Zoom.

    Clerk opened the meeting with a moment of silent centering.                                             

    2.     Review Agenda — Leslie Manning

    Clerk reviewed the agenda, and asked if anything else needed to be added. There was nothing to add.    

    3.     Approval of September Minutes — Ellen Bennett

    Two paragraphs included with the Trustees Report in the September 19 minutes were not part of the report. These paragraphs will be moved to “Other Important Items of Note”.

           With this change, the minutes were approved.

    4.     Ministry and Counsel — Renee Cote, Tess Hartford

           With no written report, the Ministry and Counsel report was read aloud.

                   The Tommy Frye Memorial Minute was read.

           This minute was approved, with appreciation and thanks.                                           

    Clerk read a Letter of introduction in support of Kim Bolshaw joining the NEYM/Puente de Amigos trip to Cuba in February 2023

           The Meeting approved the letter.

    5.     Trustees — Sarah Sprogell

    The “Draft Rental Information for use of the Meetinghouse” was brought forward for a second reading and approval. Question: Does “rent” for use of the Meetinghouse have ramifications for the Finance Committee or budget? The feeling was that it should not. Note that worship room capacity is approximately 200. Ministry and Counsel may want to address the issue of COVID capacity.

           Meeting approved the rental information document.

    A contractor has been hired to remove the old heating units and oil tanks. The work will take place during the week of October 24.

    6.     Finance Committee — Nancy Marstaller

    The following items were highlighted in the finance report: Weekly contributions are lower than last year at this time. There have been fewer committee requests, and contributions to other organizations remain on par.

    Included in the budget is a section on Capital Expenses, which occur outside the regular operating budget.

    Information about donations to the Lunt Cemetery from the Clarkson family was explained, as was donations for support of the trip to Cuba.

    6a.   The Woman’s Society brought back its request for support to assist in the rebuilding of the Lindi School in Nairobi, Kenya, for the amount of $500 from the Charity account.

           The Meeting approved the Lindi School request.

    7.     Peace and Social Concerns — Ingrid Chalufour

    There was no written report. The Committee is planning on developing a relationship with the Midcoast Indigenous Awareness Group. The Committee ls also working with the Cathance River Education Alliance (CREA) to bring speakers in the spring to address carbon sequestration, as well as indigenous land practices that work to support and preserve the natural world. The Committee’s book project is now working with 11 teachers across 4 schools, and doing very well.

    8.     New Business

    Meeting as received three requests for membership. Clerk read the request letter from Ezra Smith. With approval, Ministry and Counsel will set up a clearness committee.

                   The Meeting heartily approved Ezra’s request.                                                            

    Clerk read the request letters from Vladimir Shatalov and Elina Shatalova. These friends live in Bridgton. M&C had a preliminary conversation about their applications and several agreed, with Meeting approval, to be a part of the process of bringing them in to membership, including driving to Bridgeton if necessary.

    It was noted with joy that feeling the pull to join Meeting via Zoom is a sign of things to come, and very exciting. What do we think of “virtual” membership? Meeting agreed there are some things to consider around this issue.

    The Meeting approved the request for the formation of a clearness committee for Vladimir and Elina.

    There will be follow-up with Sue Woods’ family regarding the particulars of her memorial service.

    Quarterly Meeting was held at Durham Friends on Saturday, and Clerk expressed deep appreciation both for the gathering itself and for the warmth and welcome of our Meetinghouse.

    Clerk closed the meeting with a moment of silent reflection.

    Respectfully submitted,

    Ellen Bennett, Recording Clerk

    Attachments Here

    Financial Basics Webinars with Everence, October 26, November 2, 9, 16, 2 pm and 8 pm

    Everence, partnering with New England Yearly Meeting, is offering a series of webinars designed to support you in your personal finance journey. Everence is a faith-based stewardship agency, grown from a Mennonite tradition, which supports New England Yearly Meeting and its members who are seeking to integrate their faith and values with their finances. Everence provides charitable, investment, insurance and banking services for both individuals and organizations. Webinar dates and topics include:

    ·         Oct. 26: Understanding Medicare: Hear about how (and when) to sign up for Medicare; what it covers (and doesn’t cover); Parts A, B, C and D; and plans that supplement Medicare.

    ·         Nov. 2: Estate Planning Basics: Learn how an estate plan can ensure that your wishes for family and financial assets will be carried out upon your death. Hear about the key elements of an estate plan, including wills and trusts, powers of attorney and life insurance. Discover key stewardship questions to be asking as you prepare your plan.

    ·         Nov. 9: Basics of Investing: Learn the basic principles of investing, including hearing about the various types of investments, the power of compounding, managing risk and diversification. Along the way, consider the role your faith plays in making decisions about investing.

    ·         Nov. 16: Maximize Your Generosity with a Donor Advised Fund: Explore how this flexible “charitable checking account” can help you streamline your charitable giving. Find out about the many types of assets than can be gifted and how a DAF can help you manage both the gifting process for tax purposes and the distribution component of when you want to support the organizations you care about.

    Each event in this “Webinar Wednesday” series is offered at 2 and 8 p.m. For more information or to register, click on the title links. If you have questions, contact Everence Stewardship Consultant Lyle Miller at

    “Fear Not,” by Doug Bennett

    Message given at Durham Friends Meeting, October 16, 2023

    “Fear not.”  That’s my message this morning:  “Fear not.” 

    In the Bible, this may be the statement most commonly said by God, or by one of God’s special messengers.  I’ve read that this phrase appears 103 times in the Bible.  I don’t know whether that’s an accurate count but it’s a big number. 

    “Fear not.”  There aren’t that many clear, unambiguous instructions from God in the Bible (even if some people mistakenly think there are).  But there is this one:  “fear not.” 

    I don’t know whether it’s an instruction or a command, an exhortation or a soothing comfort.  Maybe it’s all of these.  Maybe sometimes it’s one and sometimes another.

    “21 So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones. Thus he reassured them and comforted them.”  That’s Genesis 51:21.  It’s Joseph speaking to his brothers who had sold him into slavery.  The brothers had worldly reasons to fear what Joseph might do.  But Joseph is telling them what God wants him to say:  fear not. 

    Or how about this:  22 You shall not fear them; for it is the Lord your God who fights for you.’”  That’s Deuteronomy 3:22.  That’s Moses talking to Joshua, his military commander, telling him that God will look out for them as they conquer their way toward the Promised Land. 

    And then there’s this:  Fear not, for I am with you;  I will bring your offspring from the east,  and from the west I will gather you;”  That’s from Isaiah 53:5, the prophet Isaiah speaking, at a time when God’s people weren’t paying attention and had worldly reason to worry that God was very displeased with them. 

    I’m not going to read all 103 instances, but I’ll read one more.  “Fear not” is not only in the Hebrew Testament.  Here is Luke 1:30, the beginning of the Christmas story:  30 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.”  That’s the Angel Gabriel speaking to Mary, giving her good – if surprising — news. 

    “Fear not.”  It’s said over and over again.  “Al tirah;”  that’s the Hebrew. 

    There’s a lot to fear in this world.  In the book of Exodus, with the Israelites in captivity in Egypt, God sent ten plagues:  water turning to blood, frogs, lice, flies, livestock pestilence, boils, hail, locusts, darkness and the killing of firstborn children.  And God counsels “fear not.” 

    In recent years, we’ve had what begins to feel like our own ten plagues.  Terrorist acts, endless war, financial panic, wildfires, more war, Covid pandemic, hurricanes, school shootings, attempted election theft, abortion madness (whichever side you’re on).  You get why we’re fearful.  But God says, “Fear not.” 

    Many are feeling anger, too, but much of that anger grows out of fear.

    I’m talking to myself this morning as much as I’m talking to any of you.  I wake up to the temptation to feel fear every day.  And I go to sleep facing the same temptation.  Fear can paralyze us.  I find myself bracing for the next bit of bad news.  I don’t do anything constructive because I want to hear that next bit of bad news. 

    In the science fiction classic Dune, Frank Herbert has a character – it’s Paul Antreides – say “I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.” 

    It’s the same thought.  When we fear, we diminish ourselves; we die a little without really dying, we die a little-death.  We grow passive; we withdraw from life.  And there’s more: we isolate ourselves from others; we withdraw from God.  Fear takes us over.  It becomes all consuming. 

    God says “fear not:” if we can do that, then what?  If we can manage to follow God’s instruction, to “fear not,” if we empty ourselves of fear, what next?  With what do we fill the large hole that fear has been filling up inside us?  When we empty ourselves of fear, when we let it go, what should we look to find instead?

    This oft-repeated exhortation to “fear not” is telling us what not to do.  It isn’t, just in these words, telling us what we should do.  But isn’t it obvious?  Isn’t courage the alternative to fear? 

    Here’s the surprise for many of us.  God does not tell us to “have courage.”  To exhort us to “have courage” would have us rely on ourselves.  But that’s not it; that’s not what we should do. 

    Instead, over and over, God says “trust in me;” “have faith in me.”  The opposite of fear isn’t courage.  It’s faith.  It’s trust in the Lord.  It’s “know that God loves you, always.”

    Listen to Psalm 56:

    When I am afraid,
    I will trust in you.
    In God, whose word I praise,
    In God I trust; I will not be afraid.
    What can mortal man do to me?

    And here’s Psalm 46:

    God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.The Lord of Hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge.

    We may find courage once we have faith, but faith and trust come first — and love.

    In 1:John:1, one of the letters in the New Testament, we are told to “rely on the love God has for us.”  That letter continues:

    God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

    Trust in the Lord.  Have faith.  Give yourself over to love:  that’s what God tells us when God tells us not to be caught up in fear. 

    The first bit of the Bible I learned by heart was the 23d Psalm.  Perhaps you learned it, too, as a child.  I invite you to say it with me: 

    The LORD Is My Shepherd  A Psalm of David.  The 23d Psalm

    1The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
    2He makes me lie down in green pastures.
    He leads me beside still waters.
    3He restores my soul.
    He leads me in paths of righteousness
    for his name’s sake.

    4Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,c
    I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
    your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

    5You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
    you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
    6Surelyd goodness and mercye shall follow me all the days of my life,
    and I shall dwell
    f in the house of the LORD forever.g

    So Friends, this morning I am reminding you of God’s reassurance, “fear not.”  Trust in God.  Have faith.  Love one another and love God.  Remember that God is with us, always. 

    also posted on River View Friend

    Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, September 18, 2022

    Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends met for the conduct of business on Sunday, September 18, 2022, with 9 people attending from the Meetinghouse and 7 by Zoom.

    1.     Meeting Opening

    Clerk asked for a moment of silent centering, ending with a reading in honor of Tommy Frye, written by Ralph Green: “A Gift of Freedom and Justice.” The reading was gratefully received.

    Friends reviewed the agenda.                                                                                               

    2.     Approval of Minutes of July 17, 2022 — Ellen Bennett

            Recording Clerk read the minutes.

                   Meeting approved.                                                                                                        

    3.     Nominating Committee Report — Linda Muller

    Since there are no nominations for Treasurer coming forward, we will not need a called meeting in October.

    The Committee is bringing Leslie Manning forward to serve as Clerk of Meeting beginning September through December 2022. Leslie is in discernment about serving as Clerk for 2022-2023, and would like a co-Clerk for this time period, someone who might be interested in rising to the position of Clerk.

                   Meeting is delighted that Leslie is willing to serve. All approved.

    Christian Education has not reconvened. The Committee will reconvene if there are families in need. In others meetings, there is a kit available so that if and when children are present, there is an activity available for them to engage in. Wendy agreed to look into creating such a kit.

    The Ad Hoc Committee for use of parsonage funds has not met. Nominating Committee recommends this Committee be laid down. The issue of use of parsonage funds will be considered by the Meeting as a whole.

    The Committee looked at the needs of the Meeting as a whole for committee work. In the coming months, it is likely that the openings on committees will outnumber the people we have to fill those positions. This is a concern.

    4.     Ministry and Counsel — Renee Cote, Tess Hartford

            Rene read the M&C report.

    M&C recommends using the October 30 date to discuss the wider slate of officers and committee members for the Meeting, the meeting care coordinator position, as well as a review of our status as an unpastored meeting

                   Meeting approved the recommendation

    A Clearness Committee for Kim Bolshaw recommends she join the NEYM/Puente de Amigos trip to Cuba in February 2023. The clerk will draft a Letter of Introduction to share with the Clearness Committee

                   Meeting approved the recommendation.

    A recommendation was made for M&C to plan a Meeting-wide discussion of end-of-life issues sometime in November. A subcommittee will conduct research on this issue and share its findings with M&C, who will then oversee a discussion by the Meeting as a whole.

                  The Meeting approved this recommendation.

    After discussion and education about of end-of-life issues, M&C encourages development of written protocols that explain what DMM does when a member passes, as well as individuals in members’ families. There is guidance in Faith and Practice for DMM to discern its own practice, which can then be shared with families whose wishes can be integrated. A Meeting-wide conversation will ensue. NEYM has a current version of Faith and Practice available via the web.

            The Celebration of Life for Suki, planned for October 1st, 2022, was discussed.

    5.     Finance — Nancy Marstaller

            The new pillars for the Lunt Cemetery are complete and beautiful, paid for the Clarkson family.

    No one has stepped forward to take on the role of Treasurer. The Finance Committee recommends that we do not fill the role of Assistant Treasurer. The new bookkeeper is doing very well. Together, the Committee and bookkeeper are doing everything that needs to be done. With a new opening on the Finance Committee, Committee is looking for someone who knows Quickbooks.

                  Meeting accepted the report, and approved proposals 1 through 4 as written.

    6.     Trustees — Sarah Sprogell

    A draft proposal fro request for use of the Meetinghouse was submitted, titled “Rental Information: Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends.” It is attached for review. If approved, Trustees propose putting the information on the website. The proposal will go out to Meeting members as an attachment to the minutes with a request for comments. This is a first reading. Having received comments, this topic will be raised again at Meeting for Business in October for a second reading.

    The question arose around insurance. If the property is used as rental property, is the Meeting covered for liability purposes? Believe that it is. Trustees will check.

    New Business

    Draft of a memorial minute for Tom Frye will be coming to M&C next month.

    7.     Correspondence report:

    Correspondence received:  Friends World Committee on Consultation update on World Quaker Day, October 2

    Thank you for financial support and a reminder about the Section of the Americas March 23-26 in Greensboro, NC USA

    Portland Friends Meeting newsletter, Summer 2022

    Programs for Worship Services from Ralph Greene of Dedham. ME

    FCNL Summer Newsletter focusing on Yemen

    Quarterly updates from the Gospel Tract Society

    8.    Other important items of note:

    How to receive the report from Yearly Meeting was discussed. Clerk will provide a written summary by end of September. Clerk will organize a worship around the points gleaned from the Yearly Meeting, as well as the report from the Yearly Meeting as a whole.

    Falmouth Quarterly Meeting meeting at DF next month on October 15. We named Leslie Manning and Wendy Schlotterbeck as our representatives. Please consider attending!

    Clerk noted this is a time of transition for many. Ed and Dorothy are moving, Suki Rice and Sue Wood memorial services are taking place, and Margaret Wentworth is still in the hospital. It was reported that she is doing well. When and if she comes home, her apartment will need to be examined to make sure that it works for someone with limited mobility. Margaret also needs to be asked about her own advanced directives.

    9.     Meeting Closing

    Clerk: “For all the gifts that we are given, especially this time together, let us close this meeting, promising to meet again on the 16th of October.” The meeting closed with a moment of silent thanksgiving.

    Respectfully submitted,

    Ellen Bennett, Recording Clerk

    Materials for Durham Friends Business Meeting, October 16, 2022

    The agenda, reports and other materials for the October 2022 business meeting of Durham Friends Quaker Meeting can be found here.

    PROPOSED Agenda for Durham Meeting for Business, October 16, 2022

    Centering Worship

    Review Agenda

    Minutes of Previous Meeting

    Ministry and Counsel

      Letter of Introduction

      Memorial Minute


      Rental Proposal


      Lindi School Request

    Peace and Social Concerns Update

    New Business

       Letters requesting membership

    Woman’s Society Hybrid Meeting Notes September 19, 2022

    Present: Dorothy Curtis, President, Nancy Marstaller, Treasurer, Susan Gilbert, Secretary, Qat Langelier, Dorothy Hinshaw.

    Card Ministry: Dorothy Curtis told us that Sue Wood passed away. We do not have an address for her family. Dorothy will bring a card to the Meeting House for people to sign, and we will try to find an address. Margaret has been between Maine Medical Center and Brentwood Manor. She may need help organizing her belongings and clearing space in Brunswick.

    Program: We did not have a program this month.

    Tedford Meal: For September, Qat ordered groceries from Hannaford; delivery charges were waived. The menu was sweet corn, burgers, watermelon and pies. Qat’s Team D which provides meals in March and September, could use  volunteers to assist her, either cooking or contributing to the purchase of food. Thank You! Susan volunteered to assist Team C in August. We remembered with love Dorothy Curtis’ aunt,  Helen Clarkson, a ‘’snowbird’’ between Maine and Arizona, who assisted Team C in the summertime. In August, Dorothy Curtis made a chicken and rice casserole, provided salad fixings, rolls, watermelon and brownies.

    US Friends Womens International, Northeast gathered on September 5. Dorothy Curtis and Dorothy Hinshaw attended.

    Helen Clarkson and Sue Wood have passed away.

    Treasurer’s Report: Nancy said we have $37. in the account. She will order 5 copies of the Blueprint book.

    We will change the meeting time to 7:00 in October.

    Respectfully Submitted, Susan Gilbert