Falmouth Quarter will meet, via Zoom, January 15, 2022, 9:30am

Falmouth Quarter will meet, via zoom, at 9:30 on January 15, 2022. 

We know that God promises us that we experience an abundance of blessings and gifts AND we know that this knowledge of the generosity of the spirit can be challenged when we consider our funds, our budgets, our assets and our money.

Falmouth Quarter invites you to come and discover the gift economy. We will share stories of engaging with money as a gift, confident that there is enough for all; stories from our experience, from folklore, from children’s books and from scripture.

We invite you to this opportunity to begin to explore our spiritual relationship to our material assets.

PLEASE, come to Falmouth Quarter via zoom on the morning of January 15.   All are welcome and all have wisdom. The Zoom link is below


Join Zoom Meeting

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Mimi Marstaller to Facilitate Discussion of The Lemon Tree, by Sandy Tolan, Saturday afternoons in February 2022

Book Discussion: The Lemon Tree

February 5, 2022 – February 26, 2022, Saturday afternoons, 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.

New England Yearly Meeting’s Israel-Palestine Working Group (under the care of the Permanent Board) invites you to join a group discussion of The Lemon Tree: An Arab, A Jew and the Heart of the Middle East by Sandy Tolan (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/151740.The_Lemon_Tree).

Everyone in the Yearly Meeting and beyond is invited to attend one or more sessions, every Saturday afternoon in February.

The discussion will be facilitated by Mimi (Amelia) Marstaller, a member of Durham (ME) Friends Meeting and high-school English teacher. Mimi spent two years teaching at Ramallah Friends School and worked last summer at Friends Camp. More about Mimi here.

Young Friends are especially welcome.

For more details or to register, please contact us at israel-palestine@neym.org

Called Meeting for Business, Sunday, January 9, 2022 at Noon

Last week the Trustees, Finance Committee and Clerk of Meeting met and decided to have a called Meeting for Business to receive a proposal by the Trustees to replace the current heating system in the large Meeting Room. 

The meeting will begin at 12 noon after Sunday worship on 9 January. == From Bob Eaton, Clerk.

Any advance materials will be posted here when available.

2021 Report of the Trustees

Letter Writing Event in Support of the Wabanaki – January 18, 7:00-8:30 via Zoom

Portland Friends Meeting is holding a letter writing event on January 18, 2022 from 7:00-8:30 via Zoom. Durham Friends Meeting’s Peace and Social Concerns Committee is encouraging our participation.

Many of us hold a concern for our Wabanaki neighbors, and hope that LD 1626 could bring a step towards justice for them. If you have been wanting to help, but not sure where to start, this meeting is for YOU!
There will be quiet time for writing letters, as well as talking time to encourage and support each other. Write to Governor Mills, your legislators, your newspapers – whatever you´re feeling pulled towards. We will have folks there who have already written some letters, so you can ask questions and see some excellent models. 

You can RSVP here. Please send this link onward to Friends and friends, and encourage RSVPs so I can plan for the appropriate size group. 

Healing Begins with Truth: Understanding Colonization, December 13, 2021, 6-8pm

Wabanki REACH will be holding a program, Healing Begins with Truth: Understanding Colonization, December 13, 2021, 6-8pm. The program will be presented online, via ZOOM. Durham Meeting’s Peace and Social Concerns Committee encourages participation in this program.

In this two-hour educational experience, participants explore the differences between the worldview and culture of Indigenous peoples and settlers (and their descendants). Using historical and present day examples, participants will examine the deliberate strategies of colonization and resulting impacts on Indigenous people, land, and culture, including the domination culture that maintains systemic racism and oppression.  This program is intended to serve as a safe space for participants to join with peers and identify strategies to support healing in relation to each other and to the land. 

REGISTER via this link:


Discussion of Reparations, October 5 and October 20, 2021, 7pm

Peace and Social Concerns invites us all to talk about the great injustices done to Black Americans and how communities and organizations are responding. What have we been learning? How are we feeling?

Background materials for the two sessions are here.

Tuesday October 5, 7:00 PM at the Meeting Zoom site [connection information here]

On Tuesday, October 20 (also 7 pm) we will talk about how we as individuals and a community are led to respond. 

Memorial Service, Phyllis Wetherell, September 25, 2021, 2pm

ZOOM log-in information here.

On September 25, 2021 at 2 pm the family of Phyllis May Curtis White Wetherell, will hold a Celebration of Life memorial service for Phyllis, who passed away April 25, 2020. Durham Friends Meeting, Durham, Maine, will be the host of this service.

Unfortunately, due to the increasing concerns from the rise in Covid cases again, this will be a family only, in person gathering. Durham Meeting will host a Zoom gathering at the same time, so that those friends and family of Phyllis who are not able to attend in person, will be able to share in the Celebration of Phyllis’s life.

We look forward to sharing the joys, stories and experiences that we shared with Phyllis over the course of her marvelous life.

If you aren’t able to join in, but wish to share a story or memory of Phyllis, please feel free to either send an email or letter to Susan Geier (daughter) and it can be read at the service.

Bolivian Quaker Education Fund Event, July 20, 2021, 7:00-8:30 pm

Helen Howard Hebben spoke to Durham Friends Meeting on July 18 about the Bolivian Quaker Education Fund. She mentioned an interest group gathering as part of New York Yearly Meeting’s Annual Sessions. Here is further information.

“Alicia Lucasi and two scholarship medical students, Susan Ramirez Cauna and Tania Colque Chambilla will be sharing Bolivia’s experience of COVID, and their own, during the past year-and-a-half.”  Alicia is the Bolivian Quaker Education Fund staff member who works closely with the scholarship students.”

Zoom information:
Join by computer: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81018817596?pwd=Z2dxdTJLWndnT2lqODJvNVg0Y3Q1dz09

Join by phone: (646) 558-8656
Meeting ID: 810 1881 7596
Password: 591415

Crisis in Cuba – July 2021

From Friends World Committee for Consultation:

Peace is a desire and a necessity for all human beings. It is an essential condition for our personal and communal well-being. For the current moment in Cuba, marked by a crisis situation that affects the most sensitive areas of citizens’ lives, it is becoming something urgent.
Quakers, inspired by the teachings of Jesus, also seek to live and promote peace, through alternative ways, based on the principle of non-violence, to carry out civil justice and work within society to repair wrongs or errors.
Quakers believe in the Peace of Jesus. This Peace is not like what the world gives (John 14:27), from positions of power that exclude the voice of the least in the Kingdom. From this perspective, we Quakers know a Virtue that takes away the occasion of all war, and consequently, we do not support any way to solve conflicts that involves the use of force.
We therefore advocate for dialogue and for our authorities to recognize the tension and overwhelm of a people that feel vulnerable due to the precariousness of their economy, their health and their public services.
Likewise, we consider that the government must promote alternatives to violence in the face of other sectors of the people that, for various reasons, are fueled by positions of hatred that are encouraged from abroad and that in the current context of the crisis that we are experiencing, become breeding grounds for the emergence of violent demonstrations with unpredictable consequences.
This is the time to open spaces for dialogue in the search for an answer to dissatisfaction and a solution to our problems. Let us all seek a common path that leads us to well-being and peaceful coexistence. Conflicts, if we address them with non-violent alternatives, are opportunities to find a peace that shelters all Cubans.
From a recent newsletter from Friends United Meeting:
During last week’s FUM International Prayer Gathering, we heard a distressing report from Friends in Cuba. Jorge Luis, Clerk of Cuba Yearly Meeting, sent a message to the global community requesting prayer as Covid rates are doubling there, food is scarce, and the medical and economic systems in the country are on the verge of collapsing. This week, demonstrators are taking to the streets demanding change. While churches in the country cannot gather for worship, Jorge reminded us that the church is not closed, and their members and pastors are doing their best to care for each other and their communities during these difficult times. 
Since the US State Department designated Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism, many of the channels Friends United Meeting has previously used to send support for Cuban Friends are now closed to us. This designation also prevents the US from sending humanitarian or medical assistance amidst this crisis.
On Tuesday, July 13, representatives of New England Yearly Meeting, Friends World Committee for Consultation–Section of the Americas, Friends Committee on National Legislation, and FUM met to discern how the global community of Friends can best support Cuban Friends. We ask Friends to pray for Cuban Friends. Pray that Cuban Friends will experience God’s strengthening love and courage during this time of trial. Friends United Meeting is preparing to send support to Cuban Friends through our Covid-19 Solidarity Fund. We are investigating several legal avenues for distribution. Contributions to this fund will go to support the ministries of Cuba Yearly Meeting. Friends can mail checks to the FUM office or give online at https://donorbox.org/covid-19-solidarity-fund. We encourage [U.S.] Friends to reach out to their members of Congress, urging them to lift restrictions against humanitarian and medical support for Cuba. 

NEYM Annual Sessions, August 7-12, Registration Now Open

We would love to welcome you.

From August 7 to 12, we invite you to join with Friends from across the northeastern United States and beyond for Annual Sessions. Once again, Friends will gather through the use of videoconferencing technology, knowing we are connected in the Spirit.

Having first gathered in 1661, in 2021 New England Yearly Meeting of Friends celebrates 361 years of journeying together as a community of faith and witness. 

If you’re hoping to attend, registering online as soon as you’re able helps us prepare to welcome you.

Teams of Friends are hard at work daily getting ready—and knowing your plans is a great help, and an encouragement to our work. 

This year’s Sessions will include:Five Bible Half Hours with Jay O’Hara A Saturday plenary program with gkisedtanamoogk (Mashpee Wampanoag) and Shirley Hager (co-author of The Gatherings) in conversationA Monday plenary message with John CalviA Tuesday program with Hanifa Nayo Washington including meditation, small group sharing, and songMeeting for Worship for the Conduct of Business Memorial MeetingProgramming and opportunities for Friends of all ages”Home Groups” for small group connection, spiritual nurture, and discernment throughout the weekFurther opportunities for connection for Friends identifying as Black, Indigenous, and/or People of Color; as younger adults, and moreLearn more about worship and programs, view the Sessions schedule, and more on the New England Quakers website.

Have questions to help you decide if attending Sessions this year is right for you or your family? Just reply to this email, and we’ll be in touch.

For all or any part of Sessions this year—we hope you will join us. 

The schedule for Sessions is available here.

Don’t miss out:

If you register by July 15, we’ll be able to send you a printed schedule and “navigation guide” by mail, featuring a unique artistic activity to help you prayerfully prepare for Sessions.

Register now to make sure you’re on the list!

Falmouth Quarterly Meeting Gathering, In Person, August 7, 2021, 10am-3pm

Falmouth Quarter is invited to gather at the Portland Friends Meetinghouse at 1837 Forest Avenue in Portland Maine from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm, or whatever portion of this period you are able.

August 7th is the first day of the annual sessions of New England Yearly Meeting. Together as a quarter we will be able to participate virtually in the opening celebration from 10 – 11:30, have a brown bag lunch and time for catching up from 11:30 – 1:00.  We can then virtually attend the plenary with Shirley Hager and gkisedtanamoogk (Mashpee Wampanoag) from 1 – 2:30.   The meeting house is well-ventilated when the windows are open, and we will be able to use the meetinghouse’s flat screen TV to connect with these events.

The meeting house is spacious enough to ensure social distancing; and the current guidelines expect Friends who gather in the meetinghouse to wear masks except when speaking.

During the period of sharing and catching up with each other, I expect we will be sharing reflections and observations of how we have changed as faith communities since we were last together.  These times have been challenging.

Please share this invitation with your meeting and let us know if you will come.


Sara Sprogell

Fritz Weiss

Workshop: Roots of Injustice, Seeds of Change: Toward Right Relationship with Native Peoples

A two-hour workshop for New England Friends

SaturdayJuly 17, 2021, 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Register here by July 11th  or go to:  https://lu.ma/seeds-of-change

In this 2-hour participatory workshop — Saturday, July 17, 4-6 PM — we will hear the story of the colonization of this land in the words of Indigenous leaders, Euro-American leaders, and Western historians. We will take part in the story through experiential exercises, and share our responses and reflections in small groups. Together, we will explore steps that we can take to build relationships with Native peoples based on truth, respect, and justice.

The workshop is appropriate for high school students and adults. It will be co-facilitated by Paula Palmer and Gail Melix, see bios below.

Pay as led. Choose the amount (sliding scale) that is right for you, including $0. When discerning the right amount to pay, we offer the following guidance:

  • $30 covers direct costs (suggested fee)
  • $60 covers your direct costs plus those of a Friend who cannot pay 
  • $15 makes a helpful contribution if budgets are tight

The last day to register is July 11, 2021.

Our team:

  • Paula Palmer co-directs Toward Right Relationship with Native Peoples, a program of Friends Peace Teams. She is a member of Boulder Meeting, Intermountain Yearly Meeting, and lives on Arapaho, Cheyenne, and Ute land. 
  • Gail Melix is a Manomet Wampanoag and a Quaker. She lives in Cotuit, Ma., the ancestral homeland of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe. She is a board member of Native Land Conservancy in Mashpee, Mass., co-clerk of New England Yearly Meeting’s Earthcare Ministry Committee, and clerk of Sandwich Monthly Meeting Ministry and Counsel. She carries concerns for climate crisis and environmental justice, racism, and right relationship with indigenous peoples.
  • Annette Brickley and Gretchen Reinhardt will be technical hosts for the workshop.
  • Andy Grant, a member of Mt Toby MM, serves on the NEYM Right Relationship Resource Group and is the local organizer of this event.

This Roots of Injustice, Seeds of Change event will help us prepare to acknowledge past harm and offer a sincere apology when we assemble (virtually) for NEYM sessions in August and move on a Letter of Apology to Native Americans. Go to the sessions speakers page for information about the plenary presenters, including gkisedtanamoogk (Mashpee Wampanoag) and Shirley Hager (Winthrop Center, ME, Friends Meeting).

What to do with the Parsonage? Threshing Session, April 25, 2021, 12:30 pm, Meetinghouse Parking Lot

The Trustees of Durham Friends Meeting will hold a threshing session on April 25, 2021, at the Meetinghouse, outdoors in the parking lot. The topic will be what to do about the parsonage. Should we continue to own it? Or should we sell it?

Possibilities for participation in the threshing session via Zoom are currently being explored. Updates here as available.

Worship Options After COVID, Threshing Session, April 11, 2021 at noon (after Meeting for Worship)

On Sunday, April 11, 2021 at noon, Ministry and Counsel will hold a threshing session on worship options post-COVID that were presented at Monthly Meeting for Business in February. We welcome thoughts, questions, and concerns regarding how we should move forward. We plan to devote about an hour to the process. Below are questions we invite you to consider.

We are all agreed that we want to return to the meetinghouse as soon as possible, but we also want to put a priority on the health and safety of all who participate. During this past year, we have been joined by many people at a geographical distance who have been able to participate via Zoom. At the same time, some regular participants in Meeting have been absent because they do not feel comfortable with Zoom meetings. 

1.  In balancing between return to the meetinghouse and safety, should we lean more toward returning as soon as we can, or more toward ensuring safety?

2.  As we return to the meetinghouse, do we want to use some hybrid solution in which some are present at worship in the meetinghouse and others are present via Zoom? 

3.  Which should we be aiming at: (a) or (b)?

(a)  An eventual return to having worship in the way we have had it in years past, that is, worship in the meetinghouse without use of Zoom.

(b) A new form of worship (a hybrid solution) in which we have both (a) people present in the meetinghouse and (b) people present via Zoom. 

4.  If we opt for a hybrid solution, should we think of this mostly as a transitional or short-term solution, or should we be planning on using a hybrid solution long into the future as our normal way of doing meeting for worship? 

Some options presented at Monthly Meeting in February are outlined below, as well as a few words about a device that is currently being used in some other Meetings in New England. You may want to refer to these in the threshing session. 

True Hybrid – Option 1: Commit to long-term hybrid worship. Work out a tech solution: big screen, cameras (costs $$). Seating arrangements in meetinghouse. Staffing arrangements for tech on a regular basis. Move toward a situation that has Zoom primary AND some people in the meetinghouse. Then move toward meetinghouse primary AND with Zoom a nearly-as-good option

Temporary Hybrid – Option 2: For the next several months, Zoom remains primary, with option to come to the meetinghouse. Each person in the meetinghouse brings their own electronic device (a smart phone or a tablet). Later: drop the Zoom option.

Hybrid with Secondary Zoom – Option 3:. Like Option 1 but without a good Zoom option. Do a good-enough Zoom set-up but much less effort. Some weeks perhaps not available. Perhaps eventually drop the Zoom option. 

The Meeting OWL is a thousand-dollar device that has 360 degree visual and full audio capability that some New England meetings are using. About the size of a table lamp, it can swivel around (like an owl) to pick up the speaker. The device may project better going out from the meeting than for bringing speakers in. It is used via Zoom. Use of this device could be integrated into Option 3.

Falmouth Quarterly Meeting, April 24, 9am to noon

Falmouth Quarter is gathering on April 24th from 9:30 to 12:00. We will be celebrating ministry and the life of the Spirit in our meetings throughout the morning in each of the concerns before us.

The ZOOM link is here (the same link that Durham Friends uses for First Day worship). .

We will hear Memorial Minutes sharing the lives and witness of Friends we have known and loved.  If there are minutes I have not yet received, please send them to me

We will hear the State of Society reports, sharing our experience of Spirit in the life of our meetings.  If there is a SoS I haven’t yet received, please send it to me.

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

To help prepare, I am sharing the following from Carl Williams, Plainfield meeting, as one expression of Friends understanding of ministry:

Love Fritz [Fritz Weiss is Co-Clerk of Falmouth Quarter]

Living Close to the Center
Carl Williams, Plainfield (VT) Friends Meeting
My prayer time has felt a bit chaotic recently. Not uncentered, really, but there’s been a sense of swirling and disjointed divergence, seemingly with no common thread. And then during worship on Sunday—wham. I  imagine I share the experience with many Friends—the startling epiphany, that moment of clarity, when understanding is laid suddenly bare and you’re presented with a gift you didn’t even know you wanted. 

For me, this time, there was a renewed understanding, a reminder, of the depth of one of Friends’ pivotal concepts, often encased in the phrase “that of God,” or “the seed of Christ.”  I confess I use these a lot—both out loud and in my head. In their overuse, they’d become hollow and trite. I’d lost my awareness of the essential importance they carry in my day-in-day out life. 

And as I sat in virtual worship, this refreshed understanding brought me around to the practical aspect of carrying the Seed of Christ—our ministry. I know that the idea of ministry among Friends is sometimes a challenge for many of us. I think, in part, because it’s one of those terms that looks the same but whose meaning is different “in the world” than in our Friendly understanding. The world’s definition has proven only a short walk to hierarchy and exclusion, certainly antithetical to the path of Friends. 

My Quaker understanding of ministry comes (in part) from its Latin root, “to serve.” Friends ministry holds primarily an active engagement with that Divine Spark that we each carry. And as we embrace that Spark, a path of service opens. It’s not just doing things we are good at or like to do, but the things—which are sometimes hard and not infrequently inconvenient—that God calls us toward. Yes, vocal and Gospel ministry are part of it, but there are many and varied ministries, from baking to eldership, expressions of being the hands and feet, the eyes and ears and mouth of God.
Ministry is the reverberation of the “that of God” we each carry. It grows and is nurtured in community. We find it by living close to the Center. Genuine ministry involves waiting and listening as well as giving and receiving. Our ministries rise, are recognized, nurtured, and challenged within our worship communities. While it’s the role of the community to identify a Friend’s ministry and encourage it, ministry grows from the Spark, the Seed, the “that of God.” 

It’s easier said than done for me, this living into the Center. How do I step into that place? It requires surrender, it requires stepping into places I might not normally step into. It requires openness to God’s whispering call. In my seeking I join in prayer with Flursey, a 7th-century Irish monk, and his protection prayer (lorica):

May the guiding hands of God be on my shoulders,
may the presence of the Holy Spirit be on my head,
may the sign of Christ be on my forehead,
may the voice of the Holy Spirit be in my ears,
may the smell of the Holy Spirit be in my nose …
may the work of the church of God be in my hands,
may the serving of God and my neighbor be in my feet,
may God make my heart his home …

In the joy of listening to God’s call,

Carl Williams
Plainfield (VT) Friends Meeting

All-Maine Gathering of Friends, May 1, 2021, 8:30 – noon

Zoom Link information is at the bottom of this positing.

For additional information about each of the workshops, contact the leaders below.
*Wabanaki  Sovereignty: Kay Carter  <KayCarter08@gmail.com>
*Racial Justice: Hank Washburn <washburnhank@gmail.com >
Holly Weidner <weidnerholly@gmail.com>
*Earthcare: Carole Beal <carolebeal@gmail.com>, Wendy Schlotterbeck <wendy.schlotterbeck@gmail.com>

Draft Schedule:

8:30 am: Gather. Each person puts name, meeting, and email in chat.

9:00 am: Welcome to all recognizing the work Friends through Monthly Meetings, NEYM and individuals have devoted to these issues. What do we hope for today? We hope to listen intently to every idea with respect: honoring imagination, creative thinking,
and remembering that today we will not be able to solve all issues, but we will focus on one step at a time.

9:05 am: Worship.

9:20 am- 10:50 am Break-Out Groups. (1 1/2 hours)

10:50 am – 11 am Everyone takes a short break.

11:00 am: Summary from each group with follow up questions. A group may offer a recommendation to the group for further action. 15 minutes each group.

11:45 am: Worship.

12:00 Noon, adjourn. Those who wish to stay and have informal conversation are invited to do so.

Zoom Link Info

Topic: All Maine Gathering
Time: May 1, 2021 08:30 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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AFSC Corporation Sessions in April

This year, taking advantage of our recent ability to gather Friends from all corners, the American Friends Service Committee Annual Corporation Meeting will be preceded by an exciting series of afternoon/evening seminars on a number of important topics in peace and justice.  The presenters will be a mix of AFSC staff and external partners/colleagues.  AFSC does peace and justice work in your name—come learn about what they are doing.  ALL ARE WELCOME!  

If you are interested in any of these events, you can get further information and register here: https://www.afsc.org/corpprogram

Sunday, April 11, 7-8:30pm:  Quakers, AFSC, and abolition:
Then and now

Monday, April 12, 8-9:30pm: #FreeThemAll: How we are living into
the call to free folks in the context of COVID-19 and beyond

Tuesday, April 13, 8-9:30pm: Pursuing freedom for Palestine: A
campaign for Palestinian children’s rights

Wednesday, April 14, 4pm: Global migrant justice: Manifesting
the joint Quaker migration statement

Wednesday, April 14, 8-9:30pm: Restorative Justice: What does it
look like/feel like in our communities?

Thursday, April 15, 1:30-3pm: Making new worlds: Creating a
society based on care and a solidarity economy—what to divest from/what to
invest in?

Thursday, April 15, 7-9pm: KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Plenary session on Abolition with Nyle Fort

Nyle Fort is a minister, activist, and scholar based in Newark, New Jersey. He has worked in education, criminal justice, and youth development for over a decade in various capacities including: the national director of Communities Against Militarized Police; founder and co-director of the Organizing Praxis Lab at Princeton University; and lead trainer at Momentum, an activist incubator that builds large-scale social movements in the United States and around the world.