Durham Friends Meeting Use Guidelines

Proposed May 22, 2022

ENTRY and USE

Vaccinations are encouraged but not required.

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

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

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

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

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

INFORMATION SHARING

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

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

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

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

COMMITTEE AND OTHER MEETINGS

ZOOM meetings will continue to be available.

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

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

Please limit your visit to as few rooms as possible.

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

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

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

COMMITTEE AND OTHER MEETINGS

ZOOM meetings will continue to be available.

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

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

Please limit your visit to as few rooms as possible.

Durham Friends Meeting Minutes, April 24, 2022 (Draft)

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

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

  1. Review of Agenda — Bob Eaton

Items that require approval or seasoning

2.     Approval of Minutes of March 2022 — Ellen Bennett

        The minutes were approved as distributed with the agenda.

3.     Nominating Committee — Linda Muller

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

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

        The recommendation was approved.

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

4.     Trustees Report — Sarah Sprogell

Please refer to the attached report for details.

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

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

5.     Ministry and Counsel — Renee Cote, Tess Hartford

Please refer to the attached report.

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

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

        State of the Society Report

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

        The Meeting approved the State of Society Report.

6.     Peace and Social Concerns — Ingrid Chalufour

Please refer to the attached report.

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

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

Reports for Information and Comment

7.     Finance Committee — Nancy Marstaller

Please refer to the attached first quarter financial report.

        The Meeting accepted the Finance Report with thanks.

8.     Meetinghouse Use Guidelines — Nancy Marstaller

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

Respectfully submitted,

Ellen Bennett, Recording Clerk

Attachments: available here

DMM Business Mtg 22 04 24 Agenda.docx

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

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

DMM Business Mtg 22 04 24 Report Nominating Committee.docx

DMM Business Mtg 22 04 24 Entry proposal.docx

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

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

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

DMM Business Mtg 22 04 24 Report Trustees.docx

Materials for Business Meeting, April 24, 2022

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

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

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

  1. Review of Agenda                                                                                                     Bob Eaton

Items that require approval and/or seasoning

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

State of the Society Report for approval

  • Peace and Social Concerns                                                                                Ingrid Chalufour

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

Reports for information and comment

  • Finance Committee                                                                                         Nancy Marstaller

AttachmentsAvailable by clicking here

Minutes, 22.03.20

Finance Committee Report, First Quarter 2022

Committee on Ministry and Counsel Report 22.04.24

State of Society Report 2021, Draft

Nominating Committee Report, 22.04.24

Peace and Social Concerns Committee Report, 22.04.24

Trustees Report, 22.04.24

Durham Friends Meeting Minutes, March 20, 2022

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

1.     Meeting Opening

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

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

There were no additions or edits to the proposed agenda.

2.     Approval of Minutes of February 2022 — Ellen Bennett

The following amendments to the minutes were requested:

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

               The minutes were approved with the above changes.                                                  

Old Business

3.     Guidelines for use of Meetinghouse — Nancy Marstaller

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

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

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

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

4.     Air Purifiers — Sarah Sprogell

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

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

5.     Trustees — Sarah Sprogell

              The Meeting approved two recommendations put forward by Trustees:

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

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

Reports from Committees

6.     Ministry and Council — Renee Cote, Tess Hartford

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

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

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

7.     Peace and Social Concerns — Ingrid Chalufour

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

8.     Finance Committee — Nancy Marstaller

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

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

New Business

9.     Resignation Received — Leslie Manning

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

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

10.   Request for use of Meetinghouse — Wendy Schlotterbeck.

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

11.   Statistical Report — Sarah Sprogell

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

12.   Nominating Committee — Linda Muller

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

              The Meeting approved these changes to the Library Committee.

Respectfully submitted,

Ellen Bennett, Recording Clerk

Attachments:

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

Materials for Business Meeting, March 20, 2022

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

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

Approval of clerk for the day

M and C recommendation for March 20

opening reading

Minutes from previous meeting for approval

AGENDA review

Old Business:

Reopening Meetinghouse

Trustees report and recommendation

Reports from committees:

Ministry and Counsel

Peace and Social Concerns

New Business 

Resignation received 

(Request for FQM event on 5/7?)

Statistical Report

Nominating Committee

Worship

Closing

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, February 20, 2022

February 20, 2022

Ellen Bennett, Recording Clerk

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

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

1.     Agenda Review — Bob Eaton

No comments or additions

Items that require approval and/or seasoning

2.     Approval of Minutes of January 2022 — Ellen Bennett

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

3.     Nominations Committee — Linda Muller

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

            Doug Bennett was approved as a Meeting Trustee.

Mey Hasbrook was welcomed as a member of the Nominating Committee

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

            The meeting accepted both reports, with gratitude.

4.     Velasco Portland Durham Sister Committee Report — Nancy Marstaller

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

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

5.     Meeting at the Meeting House Guidelines — Nancy Marstaller

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

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

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

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

    The report was received with gratitude with the suggested modifications.

Reports for information and comment

7.     Trustees Report — Sarah Sprogell

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

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

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

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

8.     Ministry and Counsel — Tess Hartford and Renee Coté

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

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

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

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

8.     Finance Committee — Nancy Marstaller

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

9.     Communications — Doug Bennett for Liana Thompson-Knight 

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

10.   Clerks Report — Bob Eaton

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

Respectfully submitted,

Ellen Bennett, Recording Clerk

Attachments for DMM 22.02.20:

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

  

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, January 16, 2022

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends met virtually for the conduct of business on Sunday, January 16, 2022, with 23 people present. Bob Eaton, clerk, opened Meeting for Business with a moment of silent preparation.

1. Review of Agenda. No comments or additions.

2. Peace and Social Concerns.  Ingrid Chalufour, Clerk of committee presented a report, which is attached to these minutes. The committee asked approval to spend up to $200 from charity account to purchase kitchen trash bins for the Afghan resettlement program.

The meeting approved $200 to support the Afghan families as they resettle in the area. The meeting approved consideration of an additional $300 for the purchase of books for Afghan children. Peace and Social concerns will return with a more detailed proposal after consulting with the Finance Committee. Those wishing to contribute to this program, either financially or with supplies, may do so through Cindy Wood.

3. Approval of December 2021 minutes. Dorothy Hinshaw, Recording Clerk, presented the draft minutes. The meeting approved the minutes with the following two additions. In the first paragraph, the quote Bob opened with should read: “Gentle and giving, the rest is nonsense and treason” To minute 7 should be added: “The Clerks of Communication and Peace and Social Concerns will organize this meeting.” It was noted that two corrections needed to be made to the Woman’s Society report in the newsletter. Corrections will be noted and put in the next newsletter.

4. Approval of January 2022 Special Meeting. Ellen Bennett, Recording Clerk, presented the draft minutes. The meeting approved the minutes with the following amendment: The estimates for a new heating system included one for a single-zone system and one for a two-zone system, NOT a three-zone system

5. Nominations Committee. Linda Muller presented a report which is attached to these minutes. The meeting approved Sarah Sprogell to join Trustees. The meeting will consider names of those who would be approached to serve as a third member of the nominating committee. These will be reviewed at Monthly Meeting for Business in February.

6. Finance Committee. Nancy Marstaller presented a report which is attached to these minutes. The budget was reviewed, and recommendations were sought for allocating funds for FWCC.

The meeting approved the budget with the amendment of $200 for FWCC, with thanks to the Finance Committee for their work.

7. Cemetery Fund Audit Report. Sarah Sprogell, Meeting Auditor, present a report which is attached to these minutes. The time and attention paid by others to keep these records clear and up-to-date was noted and those who provided oversight for this work were commended. The work that Sarah put into auditing these funds was also commended. The meeting handbook requires an annual audit of the cemetery fund. A recommendation was made to make the audit biannually. The Finance Committee was asked to present recommendations at the next Monthly Meeting for the frequency of audits for both Trustees’ (incl. Cemetery) and Meeting funds. The Meeting recognized that it will need to find a new auditor, particularly for the Cemetery funds. This question will be considered in February. It was noted that it is not uncommon for someone from the Finance Committee to serve as auditor.

The meeting accepted the review of the Cemetery funds.

8. Ministry and Counsel. Renee Cote and Tess Hartford, Co-Clerks, presented a report which is attached to these minutes. A report on the Meeting Care Coordinator was not distributed before Monthly Meeting. Clerk will disseminate this report within the week. The Meeting is encouraged to read the document in its entirety, with any questions to be directed to Leslie, Wendy, or Martha before February’s Monthly Meeting. The MCC oversight committee will consult with Ministry and Council before the February meeting to think about how best to present the report.

The meeting accepted the report of M&C and expressed its thanks for their work.

9. Report on Cuba. Nancy Marstaller, member of the Portland/Durham/Velasco Sister Meetings Committee, gave an oral report. A delegation of 3 friends from New England are hoping to go to Cuba the end of February. They will be taking supplies — medicines and face masks, for example — having received a list from Cuba for needed items. If people want to contribute to this, contact Nancy for details. One of the books for new Mainers, prayer flags, cards of greeting, and photographs are also being gathered to send to our sister Meeting in Velasco. If people are interested in contributing items or financial support, send these to Nancy by the beginning of February. Contact her for more information.

In addition, on Sunday, February 13th, Portland Friends Meeting is including a Godly Play story in both English and Spanish during Meeting for worship, which will be recorded to send to Cuba as well. Durham Friends are invited to join Portland for worship that day. A link to their worship will be provided. Lastly, a delegation hopes to be able to go to Cuba in November. If anyone is interested in going, they will need to start the clearness process. The meeting thanked Nancy for her report.

10. Trustees’ Report. Sarah Sprogell read the Trustees’ report. It was noted that the Trustees’ three-year report could serve as a model for annual reports from all committees. Those gathered expressed tremendous appreciation for all of the work the Trustees have engaged in over the past three years. The meeting accepted the three-year report of Trustees with tremendous gratitude. A discussion ensued about Trustees’ overall authority and responsibilities with respect to Meeting business. It was noted that past minutes could be reviewed to help the Meeting discern the process through which the Trustees were formed. A small group is planning to look at the process of archiving important documents, which may shed light on the formation of Trustees. It was noted that the Maine Historical Society has copies of all of our bound meeting minutes. Fun to look! The meeting supported the suggestion that the issues brought up in the discussion about the role and responsibilities of Trustees be seasoned by the Communications Committee and brought back to the Meeting to discuss ways to proceed.

Respectfully submitted, Ellen Bennett, Recording Clerk

Attachments:

DMM Business Mtg 22 01 16 Agenda

DMM Business Mtg 22 01 16 Draft Minutes 22.1.09

DMM Business Mtg 22 01 16 Draft Minutes of 21 12 19

DMM Business Mtg 22 01 16 Audit of Cemetery Funds

DMM Business Mtg 22 01 16 Report Ministry and Council

DMM Business Mtg 22 01 16 Report Nominating Committee

DMM Business Mtg 22 01 16 Report Peace and Social Concerns

DMM Business Mtg 22 01 16 Report Trustees

DMM Business Mtg 22 01 16 Report Finance

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, January 9, 2022

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends met virtually for the conduct of business on Sunday, January 9, 2022, with 30 people present. Bob Eaton, clerk, opened the specially called meeting for business with a reading from the Faith and Practice of New England Yearly Meeting section on meeting for business. “Order, unity and power”.  Followed by a few minutes of silent preparation.

The meeting was called because members of the Trustees and Finance Committee met with Bob to discuss the Meetinghouse heating system, which is on the brink of failure. Estimates received in December from Bright Heating and Cooling were for a commercial-sized furnace due to size of Meetinghouse. Including removal of the old system, ductwork, and installation of a new system, the cost estimates were:  $28K for a one-zone system, and $30K for a two-zone. Trustees presented this recommendation for approval of either system.

The recording clerk read, and the Meeting approved the following minute:

Durham Friends Meeting approves the recommendation of Trustees to proceed with a two-zone, hot air system from Bright Heating and Cooling for the entire Meetinghouse for a cost not to exceed $33,000. Finance Committee has assured the Meeting that the funds are available. The Meeting expects that the Trustees will have a more detailed contract and work order before a final contract is signed. The Meeting expresses its gratitude for the work of the Trustees in this matter. 

Respectfully submitted, 

Ellen Bennett, Recording Clerk

DFM Business Meeting Materials, January 16, 2022

Agenda: Monthly Meeting for Business, January 16, 2022

Materials in support of these agenda items are at this link..

  1. Review of Agenda – Bob Eaton

Items that require approval and/or seasoning

2. Peace and Social Concerns update is attached – Ingrid Chalufour

3. Approval of Minutes of December 2021 – Dorothy Hinshaw

4. Approval of Minutes of January 2022 Special Meeting – Ellen Bennett

5. Nominations Committee – Linda Muller

6. Finance Committee – Nancy Marstaller The 2022 draft budget was presented for seasoning at the December meeting. A slightly revised version is presented for approval.

7. Cemetery Fund Audit Report – Sarah Sprogell Sarah has performed a five-year audit of the cemetery funds. 

Reports for information and comment

8. Ministry and Counsel – Tess Hartford and Renee Coté

9. Velasco (Cuba) Friends Meeting – Nancy Marstaller Nancy will report on  our sister meeting opportunities: travelers going to Cuba end of Feb, and joint worship with Portland on Feb. 13.

10. Trustees Report is attached                                                                                                 

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

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, December 19, 2021

            Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends met virtually for the conduct of business on Sunday, December 19, 2021, with 18 people present.  Bob Eaton, clerk, opened the meeting by reading a poem by Kenneth Patchen.

1.The November minutes were approved as recorded in the Newsletter.  Appreciation was expressed for the current Recording Clerk who is “retiring.”

2. Nominating Committee: Linda Muller reported for the committee.  We approved with corrections the list of officers and committee members, adding the positions of Treasurer and Archivist, Katharine Hildebrandt, and Sarah Sprogell, Recorder.  it was suggested we add FWCC to the List of Representatives to Other Organizations.

3. Peace and Social Concerns Committee: Ingrid Chalufour reported that the committee will be focusing our efforts on lobbying for passage of LD 1626 in the months ahead. They request the meeting’s approval to submit the following letter to the Sun Journal newspaper in Lewiston:

            Letter to the Editor for the Sun Journal:

            The members of Durham Friends Meeting (Quakers) have a deep concern for the sovereignty of the Wabanaki people of Maine. Our commitment to social justice and equality are central to our beliefs and to our support of the civil rights of Maine’s Native people. Sovereignty was taken from Maine’s tribes by the 1980 Land Claims Settlement Implementation Act, essentially reducing their rights to those of municipalities.  Passage of An Act Implementing Changes to the Maine Claims Settlement Implementation Act (LD 1626) will restore sovereignty to the four federally recognized tribes in Maine, allowing them to be treated by the United States government, and the State of Maine, the same way as the other 570 federally recognized tribes. Passage of this bill will benefit everyone in Maine because when the Maine tribes prosper, we will all benefit. We strongly urge Governor Mills and the legislature to support full passage of LD 1626.

            Bob Eaton, Clerk, Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends 

4.  We approved sending the above letter to the Lewiston Sun Journal.  Wendy Schlotterbeck will circulate the letter to legislators in our various areas.

5.  Finance Committee: Sarah Sprogell reported that a new account has been set up with the NEYM Pooled Funds to hold the proceeds from the sale of the parsonage while the Meeting takes time to discern what to do with these funds.  $238,000 has been deposited into the Fund.

            The Finance Committee recommends that we make a donation to Friends Camp of $1000.  This amount was budgeted for Friends Camp tuition assistance this year, but was not used.  Friends Camp has experienced serious financial shortfalls during the last 2 years because of the pandemic, and the committee would like to support them by making this donation.

            The committee received a revised insurance proposal from Church Mutual following the sale of the parsonage.  They had expected a significant reduction, but because of new offerings and increased rates, the reduction has been negligible.  They will be investigating other companies to request additional quotes, but in the meantime have made an initial payment in order that we remain covered.

            The committee has developed a draft budget for 2022 (attached) to be brought to the meeting for approval in January. They project our income and expenses to be slightly under $50,000.  The current figures show a balanced budget.

            They would like committees to let them know of any changes in their budget lines, most of which are the same as last year.

            Contributions to other organizations are the same as last year.

            Meeting expense: Telephone and internet costs have been increased to pay for the improved internet access; they hope to reduce the insurance premium; they added a line for mowing.

            Meetinghouse physical plant costs are the same, with the exception of the Custodian, which they fully restored.

            The Meeting Care Coordinator and Youth Minister have been fully funded, leaving the meeting to make discernment as led. 

            The parsonage expenses have ben eliminated.

            We accepted this report with appreciation.  It was suggested that FWCC be added to the List of Contributions to Other Organizations.

6. The meeting approved donating the amount of $1000.00 to Friends Camp.

7. Communications Committee: Liana Thompson-Knight brought an extensive report clarifying their parameters and guidelines.  They try to see that meeting members and attenders are well informed about meeting affairs and events; that communications are accurate and trustworthy, are relevant to the meeting as a Quaker meeting, are communicated to everyone, and are sent in a timely fashion. 

            Current forms of communication they use are the Newsletter, Friends Notes, Website, This Week at DFM emails, and a Facebook page. The meeting recommends a guided tour of the website.  Various lists are used for communication. 

            The committee recommends that the meeting meet either before or after meeting for worship on Sunday to discuss questions the committee poses for our reflection regarding forms of communication, ground rules about what is appropriate to communicate, other committees’ concerns and individual concerns, committees communicating directly, and duplicating notices in various forms of communication.

            A full report will be attached to these minutes.   We expressed our gratitude for this committee’s work.

8. Ministry and Counsel:  Tess Hartford reported for Ministry and Counsel.  Pilot persons have been chosen for interviews through Zoom and/or in person for the Quaker Educational Media Project.  Joyce Gibson initiated this project to document the witness and faith journeys of members and attenders of Durham Meeting. 

            The support committee for Leslie Manning’s prison ministry continues in process.

            The Ezra Smith/Laura Donovan clearness committee for marriage had a fruitful meeting with the couple.

            Betsy Muench has requested that a care committee be formed for her needs.  Gene Boyington, Robb Spivey (Brunswick Meeting) and Joyce Gibson are serving on this committee for Betsy.   

9. Trustees:  Katharine Hildebrandt presented a report which follows:

            “Here is a progress report on items previously approved by Monthly Meeting:

With the successful sale of the Parsonage in September, Trustees have been able to focus on the care of our beloved Meetinghouse.  A small group volunteered to be part of the Window Dressers, to create window inserts for our wider community, including inserts for the windows in the Meeting room. They are now in place, thanks to Ingrid Chalufour, and all who participated in this inspiring community effort.

            In an effort to move forward with the move to hybrid worship, better internet has been installed in the Meetinghouse. We also continue to do maintenance inside the building.  We are addressing getting the inside deep cleaned, especially the Meeting room. Old buildings do not do well empty and unheated.

            The main heating system has been failing for some time, and the Trustees were charged with resolving the situation. We have spent a considerable amount of time researching and educating ourselves about the choices we have for this old building. The needs are unique.  We need to heat a large meeting space just once a week. The rest of the building is being heated with a heat pump, except on the coldest of days, when the current furnaces kick in as back up. The heat pump is mostly supplied by electricity produced by the solar panels.

            As we have reported before, over this past year or so we have consulted several energy specialists to help us with the best plan, as well as several heating companies. We have selected a company, Bright Heating and Cooling. They have recommended replacing our two failing furnaces with one energy efficient furnace.  This will cut our oil usage significantly. It will provide us with three zones, to address the need to heat the Meeting room quickly, once a week, and keeping the other plumbed parts of the building from freezing.  When we told them that we jacked the heat up the night before Meeting for worship, they said, ‘It should only take an hour with the right furnace.’  We are encouraged to realize how much of a difference this will make in our energy consumption.

            We are going to get a quote from Bright Heating within a week, in order to get this situation addressed as soon as possible.  Hopefully the old furnaces will not fail in the meantime.” 

            The meeting was reminded of the Greening of the Meetinghouse committee members: Bob Eaton, Sarah Sprogell, Ingrid Chalufour, and Katharine (Kitsie) Hildebrandt who continue to look into ways to reduce our carbon footprint.  Ann Ruthsdottir has been added to this small ad hoc committee.  The Meeting thanks this group for its continued efforts. 

10.  Bob Eaton reported for the ad hoc committee on Parsonage Funds.  Friends agreed on three guidelines:

            Intention: The almost $240,000 realized by the sale of the parsonage should be isolated from normal Meeting operations in a special fund while meeting discerns the best designations for the fund.

            Timing: It is important for this discernment process to move forward without delay, but time is not of the essence and careful deliberation is more important than speed.

      Process: The role of the ad hoc committee should be as a sounding board for the whole meeting.  The ad hoc committee will define a process in the coming months to maximize Meeting participation in the discernment process.

The ad hoc committee agreed that the parsonage fund challenges this Meeting to give careful thought to its vision for the future of the Meeting. The ad hoc committee agreed to invite Craig Freshley to its next meeting, in January, to consider the possibility of a new visioning process by Meeting to help ground discussions on the proper designation of the parsonage fund.

            After centering down in quiet worship, we departed to meet January 16, 2022.

            Dorothy Hinshaw, Recording Clerk

“A Green Burial – Tom Frye,” by Peter Crysdale

Part of a message given at Durham Friends Meeting, December 12, 2021

A Green Burial  – Tom Frye, by Peter Crysdale

Someone asked me,

How did you find your way to Durham Meeting?

I answered, “Ralph brought me!”

He brought Tom Frye too… 40 years ago – 

Both of us came and went and returned.

The other day Tommie Frye came back again,

In a simple pine box –

Laid in a hole at the Lunt –

Dug by his friends – next to Sukie, his friend 

For all those years. He decided to do 

What love does and give 

His body back to Mother Earth

In the simplest of ways. 

Back then – Tom came to the Parsonage with Ralph 

To find his way, after a long hardship. 

I came up on weekends –

Sitting at that table in the parsonage kitchen 

Tom told of his life – his profound suffering –

He was neither bitter nor vengeful – 

It was one foot after the other – hanging around

The Parsonage was an act of recovery, 

An act of Love.

One year Tom was Santa at the Meeting

Christmas party – Ruth Graham thought

He was too tall To be Santa. 

The next year she was Santa – 

Made up and clothed so no

One could tell it was her –

I knew – so did Tom. 

And that Halloween when Ralph got

Tom to lie down in an old sunken grave –

In the Cemetery behind the Parsonage.

Covered him with leaves – the kids 

Came by with their flashlights in the dark –

Tom rose – they were terrified.

God’s mischief is Love in motion.

Remember the Spring kite-flying 

Extravaganza in the Parsonage yard – 

Tom and Ralph again – 

Later every tree was festooned with a kite. 

There was Petunia the Parsonage Pig –  

Ralph brought her home – 

Because the elders complained that there 

Weren’t enough kids in the Meeting – 

Ralph said he could train pigs – 

Petunia would have none of it –

She lived in the Parsonage and got bigger

And bigger – first Day came and Ralph read 

A chapter from Charlotte’s Web in Meeting,

A row of attentive kids looked on in wonder. 

Worship is about being found by the love.  

One First Day after a huge snowfall – 

Three feet of snow – slid off

the roof of the Meetinghouse – 

Landed with a HARUMPH!!!  

The Worship Settled that day –

Someone told me 

On another First Day, Tom, 

Who rarely spoke in Meeting – 

Sang Amazing Grace – 

The Worship Settled.

We were slowly seasoned 

by a Quaker cast of Characters – 

Helen – Ruth and Lucy – Merton and Bea, 

Charlotte and Mary – John Curtis – Clarabel and

Louis – Lyda Wentworth – oh so many others –

Seasoned means absorbing the Love.

I went off to Pendle Hill and Tom moved to Freeport –

Got a job – found a love – 

Recovering takes a lifetime. Last week 

Tom moved back- was buried in the Lunt –

We stood around tossing rose petals as we covered 

His body with earth. Love welcomes us home.

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, November 21, 2021

            Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends met virtually for the conduct of business on Sunday, November 21, 2021, with 18 people present. Clerk, Bob Eaton read a Pawnee song-poem, and after a short period of silence, opened the business meeting.

1.The October minutes were approved as recorded in the Newsletter.

2.Nominating Committee:  Kristna Evans reported for the committee. They brought forward three names of persons to serve with the Clerks Group on an Ad Hoc Committee on Parsonage Funds to consider the long-term use of the funds realized by the sale of the parsonage. They recommend Margaret Wentworth, Dorothy Curtis and Edwin Hinshaw to serve on this committee.

3. Meeting approved their recommendations for members to serve on the Ad Hoc Committee on Parsonage Funds.

4. Clerks Group: Sarah Sprogell reported that they are discussing hybrid worship and that a hybrid meeting will require faster internet speed for the meeting. They recommend shifting internet services to Comcast. An analysis of costs involved is attached.  They feel this change is worth the extra expense. Sarah Sprogell and Bob Eaton will pursue further issues that need to be addressed and consult experts to allow us to proceed with meeting for worship in our meetinghouse. The document, “Arrangements for Hybrid Worship for Durham Friends Meeting” (attached) will serve as a “road map” for this process. This document was published in the November Newsletter.

            The Clerks Group also discussed air filtration for the meetinghouse.  A preliminary research report by Wendy Schlotterbeck is attached to these minutes. Jo-an Jacobus volunteered to help with research on this need; we await further study of this issue.

            There has been an increase in the number of refugees in Maine.  The immediate needs are housing, clothes, blankets and food.  Wendy Schlotterbeck has done extensive research on the needs of refugees and asylum seekers.  Wendy, Bob Eaton, Clerk, and Ingrid Chalufour, Clerk of Peace and Social Concerns Committee, met to discuss this crisis and report that they recommend donating $350 to the Maine Immigrants’ Rights Coalition from the Charity Account.  The Clerks Group is in close consultation with the Peace and Social Concerns Committee to consider providing winter necessities.  It was recommended that a Friends Note be sent to members requesting individual donations to the Immigrants’ Rights Coalition.

5. Meeting approved the change to the internet service, Comcast.

6. Meeting approved the donation of $350 from the Charity Account to the Maine Immigrants’ Rights Coalition.

7. Meeting reaffirmed that the Clerks Group is not part of the regular meeting governance structure and exists as a meeting place for general support and discussion among clerks of committees.

8.Ministry and Counsel: Renee Cote reported that they have received a request from Michael Rivera, husband of Karen Marston, to hold a celebration of Karen’s life at the meetinghouse sometime in the spring. They will contact Karen’s niece and Michael to tell them that a meeting for worship for celebration of life can be held but will be subject to Covid guidelines in place at the time.

            M and C would like clear guidelines on use of the meetinghouse for memorials. Faith and Practice states that memorials will be held under care of Meeting through appointment of one or two overseers to plan the event with the bereaved.

            They are in the process of reviewing the report on the Meeting Care Coordinator position and plan to present it to Monthly Meeting in December.

            They reviewed and endorsed the “Internet and Phone Services for the Meetinghouse” proposal created by Sarah Sprogell, Wendy Schlotterbeck, and Craig Freshley with help from David Coletta, and recommend it for presentation to monthly meeting.

             The clearness committee (Ed Hinshaw, Doug Bennett, and Tess Hartford) for marriage for Ezra Smith and Laura is meeting in person this week.

            David Dexter has contracted Covid and is receiving assistance from people within and outside Meeting. Please hold him in the light.

            Meeting accepted this report with gratitude.

9.Finance Committee: Sarah Sprogell brought the January – September finance report. Our expenses to date are $27,871.74 and income: $39,647.75. This report is attached.  We accept this report with gratitude.

10. Peace and Social Concerns Committee: Ingrid Chalufour reported that they have been processing rich discussions and ideas from the reparations meetings this fall.  They plan to write a letter-to-the-editor in support of LD 1626, to be presented to meeting in December for approval.  In consultation with the Communication Committee, they plan to send emails to members and attenders announcing events, legislative updates, and articles that are relevant to social justice issues. They are sending a $200 donation to the Wabanaki Alliance.  They encourage us to sign up for the Sacred Ground series sponsored by the Episcopal Church in Brunswick; you can find the link to learn more and sigh up on the meeting website.

            We accepted their report with gratitude.

11. Meeting suggests that committees of meeting might have authority to use the meeting mailing list directly in furtherance of committee concerns. Meeting asks the Communication Committee to season this idea and bring to meeting a recommendation on the use of the mailing list.

12.  Kitsie Hildebrandt reported for the Trustees:  They have updated their guidelines for the Green Burial Site with additional information, which is attached.

            The meeting closed after a short period of silence.

Dorothy Hinshaw, Recording Clerk

November 21, 2021 Business Meeting Agenda and Materials

The reports and other materials for Durham Friends Meeting (NEYM) meeting for worship for business on November 21, 2021 are at this link.

Here is the agenbda for the Meeting:

  1. Review of Agenda — Bob Eaton

Items that require approval and/or seasoning

  • Approval of Minutes of October Meeting — Dorothy Hinshaw

Minutes of 16 October 2021 are attached.

  • Nominating Committee Report — Kristna Evans

Nominating Committee was asked at the October Meeting for Business to bring forward three names of persons to serve with the Clerks’ Group on an Ad Hoc Committee on Parsonage Funds to consider the long-term use of the funds realized by the sale of the parsonage.  Nominating Committee recommends Margaret Wentworth, Dorothy Curtis and Ed Hinshaw for Meeting approval to serve on this committee.

  • Clerks’ Group — Bob Eaton

A report on the recent meeting of the Clerk’s Group is attached.  There are recommendations concerning making progress on getting our worship back in the Meeting House and the needs of recently arrived refugees in our area.

Reports for information and comment

  • Ministry and Counsel — Tess Hartford and Renee Coté

A report on the November meeting is attached

  • Finance Committee — Sarah Sprogell

The finance report for the third quarter is attached.

Remembering Karen Marston

Long-time attender of this Meeting Karen Marston passed away on October 29, 2021.

An obituary is here and another here.

With Bowdoin Baking Company, Karen had a booth at the Brunswick Topsham Land Trust’s Farmer’s Market. BTLT’s Executive Director, Angela Twitchell, has written a lovely reminiscence of Karen Marston on the BTLT website.

Karen, on the left, at the Farmer’s Market

From the Botton Up: A Proposal for Lowering the Carbon Footprint of the Meetinghouse

From the Bottom Up: A proposal for lowering the carbon footprint of the Meetinghouse

Approved at Monthly Meeting November 15, 2020

The following suggestions are based on John Reuthe’s visit to the Meetinghouse. They emphasize working from the basement up, reducing the entrance of cold air. We propose a few immediate actions and then a series of phases for future actions.

Immediate actions:

  1. Clean out debris on basement floor (Who will help Sarah and Ingrid?)
  2. Have the heat pump professionally cleaned, soon and annually (Trustees take on)
  3. Clean filters in heat pump every 2 to 4 weeks, or as needed (need is obvious when examines) – becomes part of regular cleaning tasks
  4. Post signs to assure internal doors are kept open

Phase 1: Find contractor for the following:

  1. Put in a trap door in the meeting room floor for access to the crawl space beneath (Is there any history of considering this?)
  2. Seal door leading to bulkhead
  3. Seal front door
  4. Seal interior doors in the entryway, making this an unheated space
  5. Seal ceiling vent

Phase 2: Find contractor to do the following: (possibly Bo Jesperson of thebreathablehome.com)

  1. Spray foam under the meeting room floor
  2. Lay 10m poly on the basement floor
  3. Remove fiberglass insulation in disrepair in basement replace with spray foam, with a major focus on the rim joists

Other important actions:

  1. Install a commercial dehumidifier (Sante Fe brand suggested) for Meeting room and basement
  2. Put insulation wrap on the hot air ducting in basement
  3. Work with Window Dressers to make window inserts for Meeting room windows (Ingrid will contact Window Dressers in the spring.)

Approved at Monthly Meeting November 15, 2020

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, October 17, 2021

            Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends met virtually for the conduct of business on Sunday, October 17, 2021, with 20 people present.  After a period of silence, Clerk, Bob Eaton, opened the meeting.

1.The September minutes were approved as printed in the October Newsletter.

2.Finance Committee: Sarah Sprogell, clerk of the committee, reported that they met on October 15 to discuss where to place the net proceeds from the September sale of the parsonage.  The sale price was $250,000 and after expenses we received a check for $238,045.95 which was deposited into the meeting’s checking account.  The Finance Committee recommends that $238.000 be placed into a New England Yearly Meeting pooled fund with any earnings and dividends to be reinvested in the account, while the meeting takes time to discern its ultimate use or uses.  We expressed gratitude for the work of this committee.

3. We approved the recommendation that $238,000 be placed into the NEYM pooled fund.

4. The Clerks of Meeting Group met by Zoom on 13 October 2021.  Those present were Ingrid Chalufour, Renee Coté, Bob Eaton, Tess Hartford, Wendy Schlotterbeck, Liana Thompson-Knight and Sarah Sprogell.  The Clerks Group is an informal meeting of the clerks of the various committees of the meeting.  It serves as an informal forum for mutual support, information sharing and discussion of meeting issues that may not fall within the mandate of a single meeting committee.

            They addressed the issue of the large cash infusion to the meeting resulting from the sale of the parsonage. The question of how these funds should be considered for the long-term requirements of the Meeting needs attention and falls outside of the limited mandate of the Finance Committee.  They recommend that an ad hoc group be established to give seasoned consideration to the disposition of the proceeds from the sale of the parsonage and to report its recommendations to Meeting for Business.  The group should not feel under pressure for a quick decision but rather meet with an expectation of careful discernment that will involve members of meeting as appropriate.  They recommend that the composition of the ad hoc group consist of the Clerks Group, and three other Friends nominated by the Nominating committee and approved by the meeting.  Margaret Wentworth was recommended as a member of the ad hoc group. 

            The meeting felt that we should have an open listening session to discuss the suggestions made by the ad hoc committee.

5. Trustees:  Kitsie Hildebrandt reported for Trustees who are providing basic information on our Green Burial Area. 

“Green Burial Lot Agreement:

            Single lots are available for purchase in Lunt Memorial Cemetery. Each lot measures 4’ X 8’, allowing room for a small marker and flowers.

            The charge for members of Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends is $200.00, the charge for non-members is $350.00.

            A lot may be transferred from one owner to another, only with the approval of the Trustee in charge of the cemetery. If a lot is unused and a written request to return the lot is sent to the Trustees of Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends within 10 years of purchase, half of the purchase price will be refunded. 

            A green burial is an unencumbered burial. There is no embalming and no need for a commercial casket.

            The body may be wrapped in a cotton shroud or other decomposable fabric and placed directly in the ground or placed in a plain wooden box and placed in the ground. The required depth for the green burial is 3’.” 

            This information can be found in the Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends Handbook.

            Concern was raised about digging of the grave, winter storage of the body, and cremation details.  Cush Anthony suggested contacting the Funeral Alliance of Maine for information. 

            Trustees reported that the parsonage area which includes the building, well and septic on a surveyed lot of just over 2 acres was sold on September 24, 2021.

            We excepted their report with gratitude.

6. Ministry and Counsel:  Renee Cote reported for Ministry and Counsel.  The meeting has purchased the Meeting Owl and have developed a list of arrangements that will be needed for implementation regarding hybrid worship.

            Wendy Schlotterbeck and Leslie Manning are preparing a report written by Martha Hinshaw Sheldon summarizing the Meeting Care Coordinator position, to be presented in November.

            A support committee is in process for Leslie Manning’s emerging ministry with women at the Women’s Center of the Maine Correctional Center in Windham. 

            Ezra Smith has requested a clearness committee for marriage; Tess Hartford, Doug Bennett and Edwin Hinshaw have volunteered to serve. 

            Hybrid worship: Ministry and Counsel is making arrangements to provide hybrid worship which will allow most people to attend meeting in person while allowing others to participate remotely via Zoom.  Their plan and proposals include technical set up using the Meeting Owl, cleaning and safety preparations (install air purifiers), human support arrangements, and meeting participation protocols (vaccination requirement, masks, six feet distance, and no food/refreshments).  They will monitor scientific advice for possible modification or relaxation of these requirements.  Issues to consider: children without vaccination, information for visitors, and message givers in person only?

            A complete list of these suggested arrangements will be attached to the minutes and included in the Newsletter.

7. Falmouth Quarterly Meeting: Leslie Manning, Sarah Sprogell, and Bob Eaton volunteered to be representatives to Quarterly Meeting which meets Saturday, October 23rd 10:00 TO 12:00 via Zoom. 

            `The meeting ended in quiet waiting, and gratitude was expressed for the presence of those in attendance.

            Dorothy Hinshaw, Recording Clerk

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, September 19, 2021

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends met virtually via Zoom for the conduct of business on

Sunday, September 19, 2021, with 14 people present.  Clerk, Bob Eaton, opened the meeting with quiet worship, and continuing in worship we proceeded to conduct business.

1.The June and July minutes were approved as printed in the September Newsletter.  It was noted that there were no Newsletters for July and August; therefore, the previous number 1 minute in the July minutes was in error.

2. Trustees:  Katharine Hildebrandt reported the following:

            The Parsonage: With the approved minute from Monthly Meeting for Business, dated July 18, 2021, which read, “Friends approved the recommendation of the Trustees to sell approximately 2 acres including the parsonage, well and septic field on the open market. The trustees and clerk of the meeting are authorized to accept a final offer on behalf of the meeting.” Trustees are now under contract with a buyer.  The survey has been completed, along with other details related to the sale of the property.  The clerk of Trustees will meet with the Treasurer and the Clerk of the Meeting to go over the details of the sale ahead of the closing on Friday, September 24, 2021.

            The Meetinghouse: The repointing of the brickwork on the Meetinghouse has been completed for now.  This work included replacing the three gable-end windows and scraping and painting the exterior trim. The interior has had significant improvements over this past period of time in terms of floor refinishing, plaster repair, and paint. Trustees are hoping to now turn our focus on the work we can do to address the “Greening” of our Meetinghouse.

            The Lunt Cemetery: The Green Burial section of the Lunt Cemetery has been partially enclosed with a split rail fence, to be completed soon.  Trustees will bring a report containing information on the Green Burial site to the next Monthly Meeting.

            We expressed appreciation for the work of the Trustees.

3. Peace and Social Concerns Committee: Ingrid Chalufour reported.  They hope that everyone has been reading the reparations articles they are sharing on the website. They are planning a lively discussion on October 5 at 7:00 PM via Zoom. A second discussion, focusing on how we might respond to the call for reparations, will be on Wednesday Oct. 20 at 7:00.

            The Social Justice enrichment branch of the committee has had a busy summer distributing books to New Mainers and preparing to give books to 9 teachers of young children.  Fifty Brunswick New Mainer children have received their books and 17 Bath children will have theirs very soon. The first week in October each of the 9 teachers in the first year of the project will receive 7 books that will support children’s learning about and value for diversity, peaceful conflict resolution, Wabanaki and African American history, and caring for the environment. The committee will share more about this project in a message later this fall.

            From the Greening the Meetinghouse work group: Window Dressers, the volunteer organization that makes window inserts, has measured our worship room. The cost of 10 window inserts will be $609. These inserts will cut down on cold air leaking into the room and should reduce our use of oil. The workshop where the inserts will be made October 18-22 at the Episcopal church on Pleasant Street in Brunswick. We are expected to provide a few volunteers to help. There are morning and afternoon sessions, and an evening session on Wednesday the 20th. The work is organized in a way that a novice can easily contribute by learning one step in the process. Please contact Ingrid Chalufour by email if you want the link to sign up as a volunteer.

            We acccepted their report with appreciation.

4. We approved the requested amount of $609.00 for window inserts.

5. Ministry and Counsel: Renee Cote reported the following:  In June, Monthly Meeting approved the request from Ministry & Counsel to purchase the OWL to allow us to transition from ZOOM-alone to a hybrid form of worship in which people can either come to the Meetinghouse or participate via ZOOM.  Two M&C reports, one from June and one from July, about hybrid worship are available if any Friends would like to review them.  After an August pause and considering the emergence of the Delta Covid variant, “we will continue planning this transition in the coming months.  We aren’t ready to make regular use of the Meetinghouse yet, for reasons both of safety and of needed technical preparation, but we will be working on these and appreciate Friends’ patience with continued use of ZOOM as our primary mode of worshipping together.”

            Leslie Manning has requested a “care and accountability committee” for her chaplaincy, which will involve support for those involved in different phases of the carceral process and their loved ones. They approved this request and look forward to its development.

            It is with sadness that they report that Tom Frye died August 29, 2021.  Sarah Sprogell reported that Ezra Smith built a simple pine box for Tom, per Tom’s request for a green burial at the Lunt Cemetery. A small group of caring Friends from the Meeting were on hand Monday to prepare the earth, transport Tom’s remains to the cemetery, return his body to the earth, and close the grave.  “The Spirit was indeed moving among us in many ways; most notably, it happened that Peter Crysdale faithful and caring Friends who were present on Sunday and Monday also became “essential workers” in this process, either in transferring Tom’s body or in preparing the ground. Tom’s final passage was handled with a simple and very personal stewardship, a sacred and very physical task. Gene Boyington, Katharine (Kitsie) Hildebrandt, Donna Hutchins, Ezra Smith and Teresa Oleksiw helped prepare the ground for burial. Ezra, Jim McCarthy, Linda Muller, Kitsie, Sarah, and Denise (a friend of Jeri and Tom) moved the pine box into Ezra’s truck for transport; Peter Crysdale, Tess Hartford, and Ann Ruthsdottir joined us at the cemetery for a tender gathering of hearts to remember Tom and hold Jeri (caregiver) in our care. Many from this group remained to help close the grave, bringing Tom’s body to its final resting place in the embrace of Mother Earth’s soil. As the raindrops fell, we watched a rainbow appear before us.”  Gene Boyington, Sarah Sprogell and others will prepare a memorial minute.

6.  Finance Committee:  Sarah Sprogell brought the six-month financial report which is attached.  We are thankful to have spent only 37% of our budget.  We thank this committee for carefully overseeing our finances.

            We closed in quiet worship, thankful for the careful reports from committees, Trustees and Ministry and Counsel. 

            Dorothy Hinshaw, Recording Clerk

Passing of Tommie Frye

August 29, 2021, revised August 30, 2021

Our member Tommie Frye passed away this morning after a long period of ill health. A green burial will be carried out at Lunt Cemetery on Monday, August 30, at 5pm. All welcome to attend.

At worship this morning, thanks were expressed for Jeri Kemple and for the members of this meeting who cared for Tommie as his health declined. This meeting was his home.

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, July 18, 2021

            Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends met virtually via Zoom for the conduct of business on Sunday, July 18, 2021, with 17 people present.  Clerk, Bob Eaton, opened the meeting with silence.

1.The June minutes were approved as printed in the Newsletter.

2.Trustees:  A lengthy discussion ensued regarding the trustees’ report about keeping, repairing, and/or selling the parsonage. After careful discernment, Friends united in accepting the recommendation of the Trustees to sell approximately two acres containing the parsonage, the well and the septic field.  Their full report will be attached to these minutes and included in the newsletter.  The meeting thanks the Trustees for their diligence and efforts on behalf of the meeting.  We recognize that the parsonage has played a vital role in the life of the meeting, and we will part with it in sorrow. It is recommended that documentation of the “life of the parsonage” be written.

3. Friends approved the recommendation of the Trustees to sell approximately 2 acres including the parsonage, well and septic field on the open market.  The trustees and clerk of the meeting are authorized to accept a final offer on behalf of the meeting. 

4. Meeting Care Coordinator: Mey Hasbrook read her final report as Meeting Care Coordinator and expressed gratitude for being a part of the meeting.  The meeting accepts the report with deep appreciation for the work and dedication Mey Hasbrook has brought to the work of Meeting Care Coordinator, while mindful of the harm raised in the report.  Meeting asked Ministry and Counsel to follow up on some of the specific requests made in the report.  This report will be attached to the minutes.

5. Ministry and Counsel:  Renee Cote read the Educational Media Project proposal, and the multimedia project was enthusiastically approved.  We added our blessing to their efforts to document our history through interviews of persons associated with the meeting. Details of this project will be included in the newsletter and attached to these minutes. 

            Renee Cote reported that there is a need for additional members to Ministry and Counsel. She also reported that they hope to have hybrid worship in the fall, using the Meeting OWL.

6. Peace and Social Concerns Committee:  Ingrid Chalufour reported that the committee is hoping we will join them in a focused look at reparations this summer.  They are devoting a section of the website to weekly postings for us to read or watch in preparation for a discussion in the fall.  Please go to the web to see the first of three postings.  One is an excellent 16-minute TED talk. They have also purchased 17 books for New Mainer children in Bath and hope to deliver them before the end of summer.  The Social Justice Enrichment Project now has 4 schools and probably 9 teachers involved in this first year of the project.  Elementary schools in Brunswick, Topsham, Durham, and Turner are going to participate. 

7.  Falmouth Quarterly Meeting is August 7th at Portland Friends Meeting.  We appointed two representatives: Bob Eaton and Wendy Schlotterbeck.  Our clerk encouraged all Friends to attend.

8. It was suggested that we not meet in August, as has been the past custom.  Approved. We adjourned to meet September 19, 2021.

            The meeting ended in silence.

Dorothy Hinshaw, Recording Clerk

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, June 20, 2021

            Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends met virtually via Zoom for the conduct of business on Sunday, June 20, 2021 with 13 people present.  Bob Eaton, Clerk, opened the meeting with quiet worship.

1.The May minutes were approved as printed in the Newsletter.

2. Handbook:  the final draft of the Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends Handbook was approved, adding an additional introduction which states that “Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends is a member meeting of New England Yearly Meeting.  New England Yearly Meeting has a Faith and Practice which communicates to members and inquirers the historic and continuing faith of Friends and to outline procedures to be followed by meetings regarding membership, organization, the conduct of their affairs, and the concerns of the Society.  This Handbook states the particular policies and procedures of Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends within the overall guidance of the Faith and Practice of the New England Yearly Meeting of Friends.

3.Trustees: Katharine Hildebrandt reported that a threshing session to consider the selling of the parsonage was held on April 25, 2021.  There were approximately 20 people in attendance, either on Zoom or in the backyard behind the meetinghouse, six feet apart and wearing masks.  A detailed report of that meeting will be attached to the minutes.  A thoughtful discussion ensued regarding this matter.    Trustees recommend that the meeting move forward with a decision on the future of the parsonage at the July monthly meeting.  We expressed our appreciation for the work of the trustees. 

4.  Ministry and Counsel: Renee Cote brought a report regarding future hybrid meetings for worship.  Hope was expressed that we return to meeting in the meetinghouse in the fall, maintaining some virtual attendance, as well as continuing to have speakers from away, and keeping in mind those who cannot come to the meetinghouse.   It was noted that the CDC recommendations have changed over time, and that we ought to use the most current guidelines.  The question of requiring vaccinations was raised.  We accepted the report with appreciation and look forward to continued study of hybrid worship.  Renee Cote reported that the Meeting OWL device has been checked for use in the meetinghouse and is recommended.

            Nancy Marstaller is planning a hymn sing on August 22nd, working with Ministry and Counsel on arrangements.

            Wendy Schlotterbeck recommended that we donate the amount of $1000 to Jay O’Hara in support of his ministry with the Climate Disobedience Center. 

5.  We approved purchasing the Meeting Owl for use in the meetinghouse. 

6. We approved the donation of $1000 to Jay Ohara for the Climate Disobedience Center, using the Charity Fund.

7. Clerk’s Report: Bob Eaton reported that the May meeting laid over the report of the ad hoc Meeting Care Coordinator Oversight Seasoning Group to June.  Following Wendy’s recent resignation as Youth Minister, Christian Education Committee is reviewing this role. Since the first-year anniversary of the Meeting Care Coordinator position is nearing, meeting will want to evaluate this position as we move forward.  Therefore, the clerk recommends that an ad-hoc group composed of clerks of committees, and others who wish to volunteer, review the Christian Education Committee recommendation, and conduct a review of the MCC position to see if there is potential synergy between the two positions as we define them for the future. Also, consideration of the ad hoc Meeting Care Coordinator Oversight Group be further laid over pending the result of the review of the two positions.

8. Christian Education Committee/Youth Minister: Wendy Schlotterbeck reported that the Annual Plant Sale had another successful year. Warm thanks to Kim Bolshaw and many others who donated, watered and tended the plants. So far, they  have netted $900. 

            On Children’s Day, June 6, slideshow of Durham children/youth was shared via zoom near the end of Meeting for Worship that day. A copy of the photos will be sent to attenders who did not have video access (Lyn, David, Margaret, Renee).  The Noonday Children’s Day gathering outside in the Meeting House yard was attended by 15 Durham Friends. It was a wonderful experience seeing people in-person and sharing laughter around the picnic table in the horse shed.

            On Saturday, June 12, 17 Durham Friends gathered at the Hinshaw-Sheldon’s camp on Labrador Pond in Sumner, Maine. They delighted in each other’s company, sat around the picnic table under a large shade tree, and shared food and conversation. Some made use of the kayaks and canoes and paddled the pond on the glorious, sunny day.  

            Youth Minister, Wendy Schlotterbeck, helped facilitate the evening sessions of the June NEYM Young Friends retreat June 11-13.

9. Clerk Bob Eaton wrote the following Minute of Appreciation: “Wendy Schlotterbeck joined Durham Friends Meeting in 2009 and within a year the meeting asked her to take on the responsibility of Youth Minister.  Wendy had filled this role with quiet competence ever since.  The size of the meeting’s youth group had varied over the years, but never Wendy’s careful attention to each member.  A generation of meeting children have grown in the love and concern that Wendy has shared so generously.  Wendy’s ministry to our youth reminds us of George Fox’s admonition to us: “Then you will come to walk cheerfully over the world, answering that of God in everyone; whereby in them ye may be a blessing, and make the witness of God in them to bless you.”  Wendy, you have, indeed, walked cheerfully and lightly with us as Youth Minister.  We thank you, dear friend.”

 10. Peace and Social Concerns Committee: Ingrid Chalufour reported that the committee will be focused on reparations for the summer. They will be posting readings on the website and hosting a discussion of reparations in September. They will also be encouraging you to support the federal bill HR 40: Commission to Study and Develop Reparations Proposals for African Americans Act. Their fall agenda will return to issues of Indigenous Sovereignty in Maine. Shirley Hager, one of the authors of The Gatherings, will join us for Meeting for Worship and a discussion in October. The books for New Mainer children will be given to families on June 30. Cindy Wood, from the committee, will be present for the distribution, which will be in conjunction with an Art Van visit, at Brunswick Landing where many of the families live. The committee continues to work on recruiting 8 teachers for the Social Justice Enrichment Project. Elementary schools in Durham and Topsham are definitely in the program and they hope to have two other schools very soon. The committee has compiled an impressive list of books that they will use in making a selection for each teacher. You will hear more about this project in the months to come. Ingrid expressed appreciation for working with those on the committee. 

11.  Velasco Friends Meeting: Nancy Marstaller reported that contact with Cuban Friends in Velasco is sporadic due to more covid cases; more restrictions are noted.  Donations cannot be sent at present.  There will be a pot-luck lunch September 26 with Portland Friends who share a sister relationship with Velasco Friends Meeting.

12. Finance Committee:  Sarah Sprogell presented a draft proposal for procedures for contracting services for the meeting. They recommend that a check list be used in order to gather adequate information whenever a person is hired for contracted work or services.  This information would be included in a written contract, signed and dated by the appropriate people. This checklist will be used as a reference for committees and the monthly meeting.  This list will be attached to these minutes. It was suggested that we add a procedure for resignation or completion of service.

            Bob Eaton, Clerk, closed the meeting with quiet waiting, and anticipation for a great afternoon outside!

            Dorothy Hinshaw, Recording Clerk

Handbook of Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends Handbook, March 2021

            Durham Friends Meeting is a member meeting of New England Yearly Meeting.  New England Yearly Meeting has a Faith and Practice which communicates “to members and inquirers the historic and continuing faith of Friends and outlines procedures to be followed by meetings regarding membership, organization, the conduct of their affairs, and the concerns of the Society.”

            This Handbook states the particular policies and procedures of Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends within the overall guidance of The Faith and Practice of the New England Yearly Meeting of Friends.

Purpose and Goals

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends is a community discerning and serving the will of God.  Our understanding of God comes through corporate worship, study of the Bible and other literature, a sense of God through Jesus Christ, through continuing revelation, and in confirming experiences, many of which we share with one another.  The Meeting seeks to provide opportunities for the individual to grow in faith and in expressing that faith.  For these purposes it is important for us to attend Meeting for Worship and Monthly Meeting for Business, to support the Meeting financially, to serve on committees as time and energy allow, and to take part in opportunities provided by the Meeting for worship, study, and fellowship with others. 

The Meeting strives to be a supportive community for those in it.  Those in the Meeting should be aware of its involvement in Friends groups at many levels beyond our own community: i.e., Falmouth Quarterly Meeting, Friends Committee on Maine Public Policy, New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, Friends United Meeting, Friends General Conference, American Friends Service Committee, Friends Committee on National Legislation, Friends World Committee for Consultation, and United Society of Friends Women International.  The Meeting is a member of the Brunswick Area Interfaith Council and the Lisbon Area Christian Outreach. 

Membership

Membership in the Society of Friends is in a Monthly Meeting.  Anyone who has faith in God and understands the precepts of the Bible, who wants to follow the life and teachings of Jesus under the guidance and authority of the Light Within, and who feels comfortable in the Meeting community is encouraged to apply for membership.  If already a member of another Friends Meeting, the person should write for a letter of transfer to be sent to the Clerk of Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends.  If an individual has been a member of another faith group, that connection and an appropriate communication with that group will be discussed in the clearness process.  The Monthly Meeting acts on the recommendation of Ministry and Counsel after it has acquainted itself with the person and his/her religious/spiritual experience.

Monthly Meeting for Business

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends meets once a month for business in accordance with Friends’ custom as stated in Faith and Practice of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends (1985).  These meetings are held the third Sunday of each month after worship.  Business of the Monthly Meeting includes minutes, treasurer’s reports, Ministry and Counsel reports, reports of committees as appropriate, and consideration of other concerns as they arise.  Fund raising beyond the budget requires the approval of the Monthly Meeting. Committees, both standing and ad hoc, are appointed to help conduct and carry out the business of the Monthly Meeting.  Concerns, issues raised, and proposed actions may be assigned to appropriate committees for “seasoning” and careful consideration.  Such committees then report their recommendations back to Monthly Meeting for further action.  Committees also present to Monthly Meeting concerns that they have discerned, and proposed actions.

It is recommended that an agenda be sent out previous to Monthly Meeting; and that substantive materials (reports, proposals, etc.), from committees and individuals be sent as email attachments or made available on the website.  The Meeting will generally consider only matters that have been first considered and brought forward by a committee appointed by the Meeting.  Generally the Meeting will not make a decision the first time a matter is brought forward but rather allow it to season for a month.

Clerk

The Clerk or a Co-Clerk of the Monthly Meeting develops an agenda, presides at the Monthly Meeting for Business, and takes care of correspondence and the details of the business items unless such responsibilities are delegated to others.  The Clerk or Co-Clerks must also be members of the Monthly Meeting.

Recording Clerk

The Recording Clerk makes a record of the minutes and reports of the Monthly Meeting.  In preparation for archival storage the minutes are recorded on acid-free paper.  Periodically the minutes are bound and copies are made for Durham Monthly Meeting, the New England Yearly Meeting Archives, and the originals are deposited at the Maine Historical Society in Portland. 

Ministry and Counsel

Monthly Meeting appoints at least six members to Ministry and Counsel.  Members of Ministry and Counsel must also be members of the Meeting.  The Youth Minister, Meeting Care Coordinator, and Meeting Clerk meet with the committee.  Recorded ministers who are members of the Meeting are ex officio members of M&C.  Representatives are appointed to attend and report back on Quarterly Meeting and New England Yearly Meeting Ministry and Counsel sessions. 

The primary functions of Ministry and Counsel are to oversee and to nurture the spiritual life of the Meeting.  Visiting within the Meeting community, especially but not limited to those who have a particular need, shall be a high priority.  Ministry and Counsel shall encourage, nurture, and support visiting by others in the Meeting community.  Ministry and Counsel shall encourage members and attenders to develop their skills and leadings in the many facets of the mission of the Meeting. 

M&C oversees Meeting for Worship, encouraging members and attenders to share messages and care of worship.   M&C oversees the instruction of attenders and others who show an interest in the Meeting and considers applications for membership and, if favorable, recommends that the Monthly Meeting accept the applicant as a member.  M&C prepares an annual state of the society report, which is forwarded to the Monthly Meeting for its consideration by April and then sent on to the Yearly Meeting Ministry and Counsel and Falmouth Quarterly Meeting.

M&C should appoint annually one of its members to be clerk to preside at its meetings and a recording clerk to keep minutes of proceedings.  Meetings are held regularly each month.  Special meetings may be called by the clerk of M&C on request of three members of Ministry and Counsel.   

Meeting Care Coordinator

The Meeting Care Coordinator and members of M&C share responsibility for attending to individual pastoral care needs of the Meeting.  The Meeting Care Coordinator would help ensure that those needing visits or special care have their needs met, and help maintain connection with those who may seem to be drifting away.  The Meeting Care Coordinator would assist M&C or take the lead in contacting members to find message givers for each Sunday worship.  The MCC helps coordinate prayer groups and prayer partners, as needed. The MCC also maintains coordination with the Youth Minister.  The MCC provides assistance, as needed, in scheduling and communicating about these events and in coordinating with other churches or organizations with similar concerns.  The MCC would also provide follow-up with visitors to the Meeting.  Committee meetings to attend to gain clarity on the above are Clerks Committee, M&C, Monthly Meeting, and Peace and Social Concerns.

Pastor

In the past the Meeting hired pastors who have inspired, encouraged, and challenged the community.  After an extended trial period beginning in 2017, we explored the feasibility of continuing as a semi-programmed Meeting without a pastor and found that we continued to experience the life of the spirit within the Meeting, without having a paid pastor.  We have adopted this practice for now, allowing financial resources to be used in other ways as the Meeting is led.

Christian Education Committee

The Christian Education Committee provides the leadership and resources for each participant in the Meeting community to grow in the knowledge, understanding, and commitment to his/her personal faith and our shared faith tradition. 

Specific committee responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Oversight of the youth minister role as consistent with the agreement, which includes the committee’s responsibility for assessing whether the youth minister has met the expectations in the agreement.  This includes appointment and responsibility for the Youth Minister Care and Oversight committee and support for the youth minister.
  • Responsibility for Sunday School for all ages, with an appropriate planned or purchased curriculum in consultation and with support from the youth minister.  Support for Sunday school teachers, including: providing opportunities for leadership training relating to Christian Education, maintaining necessary supplies, and maintaining a directory of all the children in the Meeting.
  • Encouragement for the use of resources of the Meeting for study (library and curriculum library), different methods of instruction (flannel boards, maps, audio-visual equipment), grounds around buildings (cemetery, trails). 
  • Utilization and dissemination to the Meeting of resources from the Yearly Meeting (e.g., through its Christian Education Committee), Friends General Conference and Friends United Meeting.
  • Communication with the Meeting at large regarding the Sunday School programs, special programs, providing Bibles or devotional books for each child in middle elementary school and/or graduates.
  • Study groups as the need arises.
  • Education about and opportunities for involvement in Friends work outside the local Meeting, including overseas work.

The Christian Education Committee is made up of approximately six named members and all of the Sunday school teachers.  The youth minister is an ex officio member.  The committee choses a clerk from among its members and prepares an annual report for the January Monthly Meeting for Business.

Youth Minister

The Youth Minister has a flexible function within the Meeting.  Within set priorities, the youth minister may shift emphasis over time to address the varying needs of our children and changing capacity of the Meeting to address those needs.  Work is done with the Christian Education Committee, Ministry and Counsel, and interested individuals to support the children of the Meeting in their spiritual growth and connection to the Meeting.  The youth minister works on a variety of activities for children, including the Sunday School, a youth group, camp outs, participation in New England Yearly Meeting, etc., and helps others who are led to develop their ministry with children. 

The youth minister participates in Monthly Meeting and regional Meetings and workshops concerning Christian Education and youth ministry.  Reports are made to the Christian Education Committee, and support is received from a Care and Oversight Committee made up of members from Christian Education, Ministry and Counsel, and the Meeting at large.

Peace and Social Concerns Committee

The task of the Peace and Social Concerns Committee is twofold: discernment and taking action. 

The process of discernment consists of:

  • Determining what issues confronting our present social order pertain to Friends’ traditional testimonies of equality, peace and non-violence, stewardship, and civic and community responsibility.
  • Hearing the concerns of the Monthly Meeting or individual members of the Meeting and those brought by other religious, service and legislative bodies that address these issues. 

As action is considered the committee seeks to make recommendations to Monthly Meeting for supportive action in order to:

  • Educate the Meeting regarding Friends’ traditional testimonies and their application in the world, especially addressing the issues of violence, discrimination, addictions and poverty.
  • Enable the Monthly Meeting and individuals to take action regarding their concerns.
  • Support those who are suffering because of actions they have taken in support of their concerns.
  • Act in solidarity with those who are affected by our failure to achieve a society of non-violence, equality, economic justice and equal opportunity.

The committee seeks to work in cooperation with other committees of the Monthly Meeting, other Monthly Meetings and community groups that work constructively on these issues.  The committee choses a clerk from among its members and prepares an annual report for the January Monthly Meeting for Business.

Communications Committee

The Communications Committee oversees several forms of communication within the Meeting community and reaches out to the wider world. The Meeting has a monthly newsletter called The Best of Friends, a website, a Facebook page, a phone tree, and an email list for of-the-moment updates called Friends Notes. Committee members update the website, assemble, edit, and distribute the newsletter, post to Facebook, initiate the phone tree, and send Friends Notes when needed.

The newsletter and website both carry news of the Meeting, with a more limited amount of information shared on Facebook. The newsletter is published monthly. The website is updated regularly as information, news, messages, and articles become available. Both contain information about Sunday Meeting for Worship, other scheduled events, and outside events of interest, as well as reports from committees, personal news about members and attenders, news of the financial state of the Meeting, any applicable artwork or photographs, and any articles that members or attenders may to submit. 

Committee members each take on a role with the newsletter, the website, the Facebook page, or the phone tree. Those working with the newsletter and website solicit and collect Sunday messages, articles, news, and other information for dissemination. The newsletter is distributed in both electronic and print formats by the committee. Extra copies of the printed newsletter are available at the meetinghouse. The newsletter is also edited for personal identifying information and posted to the website. 

The committee choses a clerk from among its members and prepares an annual report for the January Monthly Meeting for Business.

Library Committee

In 1833 Durham Friends realized the value of reading Quaker histories and biographies if a firm foundation was to be laid for continuance of Friends’ ideals.  A librarian was appointed, and a library started.

            The continued purpose of the library is to provide reading and teaching materials. The library has grown to be a well-rounded collection of Quaker-related materials as well as religious, socially concerned, children/youth and fiction books.  Books should be signed out and brought back in a timely manner.  All members and attenders should find the library a source of enrichment. All gift books and other materials should be given to the Library Committee.  The Library Committee is responsible for maintaining the library by purchasing, receiving, and processing new books, discarding worn copies as needed, and keeping the bookshelves and card catalog in order and up to date, so that specific books can be easily found.

The committee choses a clerk from among its members and prepares an annual report for the January Monthly Meeting for Business.

 Music Committee

The Music Committee coordinates music (choirs, etc.), accompanies hymn singing, and provides offertory music for Sunday Meeting for Worship. 

Committees for Special Purposes

The Monthly Meeting may appoint committees for special purposes.  A Clearness Committee is a unique and essential part of Quaker process, used to assist in the following of a leading or in a period of transition. Clearness Committees for membership or marriage are the responsibility of Ministry and Counsel. All other requests for a Clearness Committee can be made to Monthly Meeting or to Ministry and Counsel.

Woman’s Society of Durham Friends

All resident women members of the Monthly Meeting are members of the Woman’s Society, plus other women who choose to participate.  The Society meets once a month for worship, program, business and fellowship.  The Society seeks to provide inspiration, education, and opportunity for women to share in the mission of the Meeting.  The Society gives spiritual and financial support to a number of domestic and international programs and projects.  The Society is a part of United Society of Friends Women International.

Contact Persons to Wider Quaker Organizations

A contact person is named to be a liaison with Friends Committee on Maine Public Policy, Friends Committee on National Legislation, Friends United Meeting and Friends General Conference.  This person receives information on relevant issues and updates from the respective organization and passes this information on to the members of the Meeting in ways most appropriate; e.g., posted or spoken announcements, individual contact or newsletter articles.  The contact person keeps available pamphlets and newsletters. 

Recorder

The Recorder keeps a record of each member and of all changes in membership, such as births, marriages, deaths, applications, and transfers.  Records should be kept in a form approved by New England Yearly Meeting.  No recorder’s pages are destroyed but are kept for archival purposes.  A statistical report is prepared each year for the Monthly Meeting and the Yearly Meeting.  It is recommended that the Recorder issue annually to the membership an up-to-date list of names and addresses of all members.  Once every tenth year an up-to-date list of the membership is to be attached to the Recording Clerk’s records (started in 2007).

Nominating Committee

The Nominating Committee makes nominations to the December Monthly Meeting for officers, committees, and others as directed by the Monthly Meeting and other nominations as necessary throughout the year.  Nominees are named on a three-year rotating basis so that not all appointments must be renewed or filled each year.  An appointee may serve two consecutive terms on a committee.  After one year off the committee, that person may be re-appointed to that committee.   

The committee members confer with proposed nominees before names are presented to the Monthly Meeting for appointment.  Any member of the Meeting may suggest changes in the nominations.  Nominees are members or regular attenders of the Monthly Meeting.  Only members may be appointed to Trustees, Ministry and Counsel, and as Clerk. 

The Nominating Committee does not remove any member with an unexpired term without approval of Monthly Meeting.

The Nominating Committee is appointed directly by the Monthly Meeting.  There are three members, one of whom is appointed each year for a three-year term.  A member may serve for a second consecutive three-year term.  Members of the Nominating Committee are chosen with regard to their discernment, seasoned judgment, and general knowledge of the membership of the Meeting.  The committee choses a clerk from among its members.  Their roster of committee members, officers and others represents the work they have accomplished for the year.

Finance Committee

The Finance Committee prepares a budget for consideration and approval at the January Monthly Meeting, to be in effect for the calendar year.  The approved budget will be circulated to the members and attenders.  The committee keeps records of all financial transactions (except cemetery funds).  The treasurer, appointed by Monthly Meeting, takes direction from the Finance Committee. The committee choses a clerk from among its members and prepares an annual report for the January Monthly Meeting for Business.

Treasurer

The Treasurer receives and disburses funds as the Meeting directs, keeps the account books of the Meeting and reports regularly to it.  These accounts are to be audited annually.  The Treasurer may pay current bills under the budget without further approval of Monthly Meeting.  All other bills are to be presented and approved by Monthly Meeting.  With the approval of the Finance Committee, the Treasurer may open and close bank accounts.  The Monthly Meeting shall appoint an alternate signer of all bank accounts.

Auditor

Books of the Treasurer and of the Trustees are audited.  The Auditor reviews the documentation and bank statements to ascertain that vouchers, checks and deposits agree with the Treasurer’s statements.  If such records are in agreement, organized and accessible, then the Auditor certifies to the Monthly Meeting for Business the correctness of the accounts.

Tax Exempt Status

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends, of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), is recognized by the IRS as exempt from federal income tax under IRC Section 501(c)(3), and is included in the group exemption ruling of the New England Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends. Detailed information is filed at the meetinghouse.

Durham Monthly Meeting Funds: Funds managed by the Meeting.

  • Charity Account:  Established by the Meeting by tithing 10 percent of the sale of various stocks owned by the Meeting, to be used for unique charitable requests and to support ministry or leadings within certain guidelines.  Money is added to the fund when our financial situation permits.  See below for a detailed description of guidelines.
  • Capital Account: Used to pay for major repairs and capital improvements on the meetinghouse and the parsonage.  The Monthly Meeting has authorized deposits into this account from income received beyond the budgetary needs of the Meeting.  Examples are the income from the harvesting of the woodlot, and the sale of property.
  • Bernice Douglas Fund: Established by the Douglas family to honor Bernice Douglas, a long-time member of Durham Meeting.  She also left money to the Meeting, which was deposited in this fund. The funds are not restricted or designated.  However, the Monthly Meeting has often drawn on this fund to support capital type improvements, or as loans to ourselves for such purposes, in recognition of the Douglas family’s dedication to good stewardship of our properties.
  • Woodbury Fund: Established with funds given to the Meeting by Vivian Woodbury, a long-time member of Durham Meeting. The funds are not restricted, but the Monthly Meeting has designated this fund for Youth work, a tribute to her love of and devotion to the youth in our Meeting.

New England Yearly Meeting Pooled Funds: Stock funds managed by New England Yearly Meeting of Friends:

  • Goddard Fund: Established to receive funds left to Durham Meeting by the Goddard family.  The original bequest was restricted. The amount was not clear, as the funds were distributed to Durham over time.  The principal has been established as approximately $85,000.00.
  • Douglas Fund: Established by the Douglas family to honor Bernice Douglas.  The fund is not restricted or designated by the Meeting.

Charity Account Guidelines

The Charity Account is to be administered, after careful consideration of each unique situation, for both Charitable Requests and Supported Ministry (Leadings) purposes.         

In terms of Supported Ministry (Leadings), coming from members or regular attenders, the request, with an amount included, will be brought to a standing Meeting committee first to prayerfully consider said request for funds. If the Meeting committee finds clearness in the request, the committee can then bring the request to Monthly Meeting, with the request added to an agenda that is distributed ahead of the Monthly Meeting.

            In considering proposals to support a ministry, we recommend the following criteria:

  • Alignment of the ministry with the faith and practice of Friends, including the Testimonies.
  • The character and integrity of the person or group seeking support.
  • The merit and validity of the request.  In other words, does this ministry help to deepen and promote the life, not only of the individual or group, but of the whole Meeting as well?

In terms of Charitable Requests, a request, with an amount included, will be brought to a standing Meeting committee first to prayerfully consider said request for funds. If the Meeting committee finds clearness in the request, the committee can then bring the request to Monthly Meeting, with the request added to an agenda, distributed ahead of the Monthly Meeting.

In the case of a time sensitive situation, a request for financial assistance, with an amount included, can be brought to the Monthly Meeting by a Meeting committee, where it would be tended, weighed and prayerfully decided at the next Monthly Meeting. In this case the request would be communicated to the Meeting community ahead of time.   

In the case of a true emergency, a request, with an amount included, can be brought to the clerk of the Meeting, along with the clerk of Ministry and Counsel and the clerk of Finance, who can then direct the allocation of funds from the Charity Account, and report to the next Monthly Meeting.

In general, the Charity Account will not be a source of funding for Quaker organizations and causes such as FCNL, AFSC, QUNO, NEYM, Tedford Housing, or LACO, as these are included in the annual budget as contributions.

Requests for funds will generally be no greater than $1,000.00.

Trustees

Trustees have charge of the property of the Monthly Meeting.  They are responsible for the care of the buildings and grounds, cemeteries, and any special funds for the care of the cemeteries.  The Trustees’ financial records are to be audited annually.  Periodically the Trustees review the Meeting’s insurance coverage and make recommendations to the Monthly Meeting.  The Trustees, in conjunction with the Finance Committee and Auditor, will prepare a detailed report of all assets (including invested funds, property, and cemetery funds) and present to Monthly Meeting and New England Yearly Meeting at least every ten years (start in 2011). 

The Trustees plan for workdays to accomplish cleaning, outside clean up, and special projects.  They hire work done when that is necessary, asking in advance for any funds needed above budgeted amounts, except in emergencies.  They arrange to have the lawns at the meetinghouse and parsonage mowed, as well as the cemeteries, and arrange for snow to be plowed.  The Trustees contract for custodial service with continuing oversight, and perform other duties as assigned by the Monthly Meeting.

 Members of Trustees must be members of the Meeting. The committee choses a clerk from among its members and prepares an annual report for the January Monthly Meeting for Business.

Custodian

The janitor is responsible for keeping the meetinghouse neat and ready for regular and special events, turning up the heat when needed.  The janitor may also call, from the list approved by the Trustees, for the service people to attend to emergencies. 

Guidelines for Use of Durham Friends Meetinghouse

The Trustees of Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends are delegated the responsibility for the use of the meetinghouse. All meetings should be recorded on the calendar on the bulletin board at the entry to the worship room and on the Meeting Google calendar.  Regular meetings for worship and groups within the Meeting may use the meetinghouse as a meeting place without further authorization (e.g., Ministry and Counsel, Monthly Meeting, Woman’s Society, youth fellowship, and other committees of the Meeting).  A request for the use of the meetinghouse for a single occasion should be made to the Trustee(s) delegated to receive this request.  The Trustee(s) will consult the calendar and two other Trustees before permission is granted.

A request by a group outside the Meeting for use of the meetinghouse on a fairly regular basis over a period of time should be made to the Clerk of the Monthly Meeting, or the delegate Trustee(s), who will bring the matter before the Monthly Meeting. The Monthly Meeting will make the decision.  For use of the building and grounds, the Trustees ask that a donation be given to a Trustee member or put in the committee depository (piano bench).  No smoking and no alcoholic beverages are permitted in buildings or on the property.

Instructions Regarding How to Leave the Meetinghouse

The meetinghouse must be left as found, replacing everything used, and cleaning, taking down all but two tables in the fellowship room.  When heat is on in cold weather, before leaving read and follow directions near the thermostats.  The children’s room thermostat should be set at 55 degrees.  Leave doors open to the children’s rooms, children’s bathroom, kitchen and hallway bathrooms.  Leave both divider curtains in the fellowship room open.  Check stove to be sure all burners are off.  And be sure all faucets are turned off and that no toilet is running.  Turn off all lights.  Emergency lights will come on automatically.  Lock back and front doors.

Lunt Memorial Cemetery of Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends

Single, two, and four-grave lots are available in Lunt Memorial Cemetery. For members of Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends, the charge is only the cost of perpetual care. For non-members who are residents of the community of the Friends Meeting and for certain other non-members under special circumstances allowed by the Trustees of Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends, lots are available at prices shown below.

Lot Price          Perpetual Care            Total

Single grave lot (4′´10′)          $  150.00         $  200.00                     $   350.00

Double lot (10′´10′)                $  200.00         $  400.00                     $   600.00

Large lot (10′´20′)                  $  350.00         $  650.00                     $ 1,000.00

Family lot (20′´20′)                  $  600.00         $  900.00                      $ 1,500.00

A lot may be transferred from the owner to another only with the approval of the Trustee in charge of the Cemetery.  If a lot is unused and a written request to return the lot is sent to the Trustees of Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends within ten years of purchase, all of the Perpetual Care cost and half of the purchase price (Lot Price) will be refunded.

Green Burial Lot Agreement

Single lots are available for purchase in Lunt Memorial Cemetery. Each lot measures 4′´8′, allowing room for a small marker and flowers. The charge for members of Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends is $200.00; the charge for non-members is $350.00.

A lot may be transferred from one owner to another, only with the approval of the Trustee in charge of the Cemetery. If a lot is unused and a written request to return the lot is sent to the Trustees of Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends within ten years of purchase, half of the purchase price will be refunded. 

A green burial is an unencumbered burial. There is no embalming and no need for a commercial casket. The body may be wrapped in a cotton shroud or other decomposable fabric and placed directly in the ground or placed in a plain wooden box and placed in the ground. The required depth for the green burial is three feet.

Care of Lots

  • Simple stones and monuments will be in keeping with the Cemetery, and should be oriented parallel to Lunt Road.
  • Simple decorations are permissible. Decorations should be in good taste and in keeping with the Cemetery. Decorations deemed not in keeping with the Cemetery will be removed.
  • Seasonal decorations and silk/plastic flowers will be removed periodically.
  • Lot owners may bury multiple urns on a lot, with or without professional assistance.
  • Lot owners may spread ashes as they choose.
  • No woody plants may be planted on lots (existing woody plants will be handled on a case-by-case basis).
  • Plantings by owners should be in good taste and plantings of any kind that become overgrown will be removed.
  • Perpetual Care provides for six mowings per year, trimming and edging as needed and grading and seeding when necessary.  

CEMETERY LOT AGREEMENT

Lot #  ________________      Member___________            Non Member ______________

Date__________________                           

I have read the cemetery guidelines and accept the provisions of this agreement:

Signed: ______________________________________________________________________

Print Name:     __________________________________________________

On the date of _­­­_________________,           Received $ __________________________

Contact Information: 

Address_______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

Phone_______________________________ email________________________________________________

Trustee Signature 

___________________________________________________________

What’s Next in Worship at Durham Friends Meeting?

Ministry and Counsel, June 20, 2021

For the past fifteen months, we at Durham Friends Meeting have been worshipping together each Sunday via Zoom rather than worshipping together in our Meetinghouse.  We have done this, of course, because of the risk of infecting one another with the COVID-19 virus which has taken 600,000 lives in the U.S. and 3.8 million lives across the globe.  With the recent successes of vaccination, we believe it is time to begin planning to return to worship in the Meetinghouse. 

We emphasize: time to begin planning.  We believe there are important steps to take first before we all return to worship in the Meetinghouse.  We believe if we begin taking these steps now, it will be possible to return to regular worship in the Meetinghouse in the fall. 

We believe these four considerations need to be kept foremost in our minds:

(1) safety: we need to be sure we are keeping everyone safe.

(2) access for all: we need to be sure we are providing access to worship for all, and that includes children who cannot yet be vaccinated, and any among us who cannot be vaccinated.

(3) announcement: we need to be sure we have communicated to all how we are worshipping together.

(4) messages: we need to recognize that after we return to the Meetinghouse, we will not be as able to have worship messages brought by those at a distance.

We believe Durham Friends Meeting should make preparations for a hybrid form of worship as we return to the meetinghouse.  Under this arrangement, most people would attend the Meeting in person at our meetinghouse; others would participate via Zoom.  In April, we held a threshing session in which this hybrid approach had broad support (notes attached).  In May, we tested a Meeting OWL Pro Device that proved quite satisfactory to support this hybrid form of worship (notes attached).  Using this device, especially in the meeting room itself, will require some improvements in the Meeting’s internet connection.  (Without such improvements, to use the Meeting OWL Pro for hybrid worship we would need to hold worship in the social room.)

Here are the steps we believe we should take next in approximate order:

(1) Have the Meeting authorize purchase now of a Meeting OWL Pro, approximate cost $1000. 

(2) Have Ministry and Counsel develop a plan that considers the following, and bring this to the Meeting for approval: 

(a) Explore options for improving the Meeting’s internet connection. 

(b) Think through protocols for ensuring the safety of all who come to worship.  (How about children? How about those who cannot be vaccinated? What about visitors?  What do we do about ventilation and air quality in the meetinghouse?  Etc.)

(c) Think through what it will take each Sunday to support hybrid worship, both equipment and people support. 

(d) Set a tentative date for returning to worship in the meetinghouse and communicate this to all members and attenders of Durham Friends Meeting well in advance. 

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NOTES from Threshing Session on 4/11/21 about Worship Options After COVID

DCB 21.4.14

Here are some notes from our threshing session.  At the end, I’m appending three thoughtful responses that came via e-mail.

We had good participation in the threshing session: more than 20 participants.  Mostly those gathered were folks we also see fairly regularly on ZOOM worship sessions.  We may want to reach out to some of those we are not regularly seeing on Zoom. 

On the whole, there was a good deal of agreement that we should be especially attentive to the health and safety of Meeting members.  We were reminded that there are quite a number in the Meeting who would especially be at risk from a viral infection.

Several people said that they were surprised to find worship over Zoom to be better than they expected, even if they preferred to be in the meetinghouse. 

There were a number of expressions of discomfort with allowing too much technology into our worship together.

Nevertheless, these expressions of discomfort were nearly always paired with a recognition that Zoom was making possible something good, and that we probably want to be heading toward some kind of hybrid solution.  Such a hybrid solution would allow us to return to the meetinghouse and yet allow those not able to attend in person (for health or for distance reasons) to worship with us. 

People seem interested in trying the OWL device. 

Several people voiced discomfort with a large screen in the meetinghouse.

We were encouraged to see what other Quaker meetings are doing.  We can learn from them. 

We were reminded that we’ll need some protocols for addressing who can come to the meetinghouse in person:  only those vaccinated?  With masks?  What distances, etc. 

A possibility voiced for an interim step:  gathering people in small, safe groups at various locations connected via Zoom. 

A big issue to wrestle with:  how much does ‘being a Quaker meeting’ require being in one another’s presence?  If we allow the technology in the future, will we be altering the terms of ‘worshipping together’ and ‘making decisions together?’

From Sarah Sprogell

Good Morning Doug,

I won’t be at the threshing session today, but I wanted to offer my input for consideration on the topic of hybrid worship.  I think it’s good that we’re taking some time to reflect and discern on how we can come together in worship safely post-pandemic, and continue to have wider participation.

If we go to a hybrid model, I think it would be beneficial to find a way to greatly enlarge the image of zoom participants – either by investing in a very large TV screen or be devising a system to project a large image onto a blank wall.  Our sound system might need to be improved also, for best results.

Obviously, we will also need some technical expertise to get anything set up.  There may be knowledge within the Meeting, and there may also be help available through NEYM. We do not need to re-create the wheel on our own!

Let’s look at what other meetings within the Yearly Meeting are doing. 

For example, Allen’s Neck Meeting is using a screen, but it is too small to see the faces from a distance.  Some feel that the screen itself is distracting.  Thus, placement of the screen is important.  Peter Crysdale or others at that meeting can provide more insight to their experience. 

Another example is Cambridge Meeting, which has used a projector to put an enlarged image onto a blank wall.  I saw this on an Instagram post by Kathleen Wooten.  She may be a good resource for more information on this method.

Thanks for taking this input Doug, and thanks to M&C for shepherding this forward,

Sarah

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From Ingrid Chalufour

Doug,

I regret I will miss the Threshing on Sunday. Our family is visiting, and they come first. I expect you understand that. For what it is worth I would like to share my thoughts with you. I think having a hybrid option for the long term is a good idea. I realize that we do not really know how this will impact the experience in the Meetinghouse, but there are advantages to having it. First, we do not know what our future is in relation to pandemics. We don’t even know when we might be COVID safe completely. Second, we have benefited from the participation of Friends from other places, including with message giving.

Originally, I thought that we might want to start modestly to see how it goes. After a conversation with Sarah I understand that this is likely to be an inferior experience and it would not give us a good understanding of what the experience might be.

That is the extent of my thinking for the moment. Zoom certainly has been a life saver in the past year. It has given us Sunday worship and the possibility of continuing committee work.

I look forward to hearing how all of this plays out. I long to return to the Meetinghouse but have some difficulty with wearing a mask for extended times so I have to figure that out first.

Many thanks for your efforts to guide us in figuring this out.

Ingrid

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From KJ Williams

The focus seemed drawn into if hybrid makes sense to explore. We didn’t touch on where my thoughts were headed, more about when we should start gathering together again. I’ve thought a great deal about this, as I’ve been to work every day, answering screening questions, having my temperature taken, and now having Ag testing 2 times a week.  We wear masks, stay apart, meet more still on Microsoft teams. When I think of the meeting house, I think of it as a pretty open space, fairly easy to have people sit in bubbles spread out. While singing would still be limited, the chance to be together in the space should become possible in the next 1-2 months I hope. I think the healing of being together balances out some of the safety risk. Findings of less viral spread on surfaces helps much of this feel safer.  I do want people to be safe, so having the zoom option continuing is important. I am hoping that some who are more comfortable setting up zoom might help others in person.  

The Wisconsin Council of Churches have a guide they call Holding Our Plans Loosely where they offer some guidance in thinking about opening.  It might be useful as we think this through.  It includes ideas about a blend of % of population vaccinated, positivity rate, and cases per 100,000. 

I do support the hybrid model, in part given my living both in Brunswick and Oxford.  I hadn’t planned on spending so much time in Oxford when I landed in Maine, but we are finding that the better way to work things. With the hybrid, I think I can stay a committed member of Durham Friends over time. 

I was thinking about that balance of local, in person connection and distant connections.  I have been visiting my previous congregation less, shifting to being more present here. I value being part of local activities, when I have time and energy.  That is limited now, with me needing time with the community more to help me get ready for the week ahead.  I value that support. I think there can also be a way of engaging those who are part of the community farther away, finding what captures their attention, their passion and gifts. 

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TO:                   Interested Folks at Durham Friends Meeting

FROM:              Doug, Ellen, Renee, Joyce, Tess, Wendy

RE:                   Test of the OWL Pro

DATE:               May 18, 2021

Today we tried a test of the OWL Pro device that New England Yearly Meeting lent us for a short while.  On the whole, it was a successful trial, but not everything we tried worked. 

Test Site: Social Room.  The OWL connects to a laptop which becomes the host computer for the ZOOM session.  We put the OWL on a table in the Social Room, plugged it in to Doug’s laptop, connected it wirelessly to the Meeting WiFi, and started up a meeting.  (Durham Meeting has its internet connection from Spectrum, via DSL.)  Doug, Ellen and Renee were present in the Social Room; Joyce, Tess and Wendy were logged in remotely.  You can see a 14-minute recording of what this looked like here

We could see and hear one another without difficulty.  The OWL always shows one speaker in the room and also a panoramic 360-degree view of everyone in the room.  Sometimes it would show a few people (separate images) in addition to the panoramic view.  We did notice that the OWL’s camera was slow to move towards a new speaker; it took perhaps three sentences before that new speaker showed on camera (there was no delay in picking up the sound). 

We did succeed in hooking up the Meeting’s TV to the laptop using a Chromecast device, but we did not figure out how to cast the Zoom session from the laptop to the TV monitor.  This is surely a solvable problem. 

Test Site:  Meeting Room.  We tried moving the whole set-up into the Meeting Room.  This was not successful because we could not pick up a WiFi signal in this location.  We tried wirelessly, first, and then tried running an ethernet cable from the cable modem/router in the kitchen across the floor of the Social Room into the Meeting Room.  This too, did not work.  The problem might be with the ethernet cable we used or with the cable modem/router.

Conclusions.  Here are some tentative conclusions:

1.  The OWL Pro (costs about $1000) could be a way to have the Meeting do hybrid worship – most people in the Meetinghouse and some logging in via Zoom.  The sound and video are good, though the camera takes a bit of time to react and turn toward a new speaker. 

2. Of course we could also use it for business meetings and committee meetings with some participants logged in from remote sites. 

3.  For starters, we would have to hold Meeting for Worship in the Social Room. 

4.  Using the OWL Pro in the Meetinghouse would require some upgrade of our internet capabilities.  This upgrade would involve a stronger signal than we now have or a dedicated (and working) ethernet cord from our cable modem/router to the computer that is hosting the OWL.  If we use ethernet, perhaps an electrician could find a way to run the connection from the kitchen to the Meeting Room via the basement. 

5.  Would we want a TV monitor in use during Meeting for Worship to see remote participants?  That is a question for discussion.

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, May 16, 2021

            Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends met virtually via Zoom for the conduct of business on Sunday, May 16, 2021 with 16 people present.  Bob Eaton, Clerk, opened the meeting with quiet and expectant worship.

1.The April minutes were approved as printed in the Newsletter. 

2. Clerk Bob Eaton sadly reported that he had received a letter from Wendy Schlotterbeck submitting her resignation/retirement as Youth Minister. Her letter follows:

            “I have been the Youth Minister for Durham Friends for 12 years. I have felt honored and extremely blessed by getting to know our children and youth. And have known the support and love of the Meeting community.

            “Over the past several months I have been discerning if/when I should step aside from the Youth Minister position and allow newer, younger energy to infuse this role. Also, it will allow me to focus more of my energy in other areas important to our Meeting and New England Yearly Meeting. 

            “I am part of a “Quaker faithfulness group” that meets bi-weekly and was able to process this with them. Please accept this letter as my notice of resignation starting July 1, 2021.

            “I intend to stay on as clerk of Christian Education until the end of the calendar year, and would like to continue planning activities for children/youth/families in that capacity and of course help in the transition to a new Youth Minister. I especially want to communicate that the care of families, children and youth will continue as a high priority and that our support will remain constant during this transition.  With much care and love to all of you!  Wendy”

            We accepted her resignation and expressed our thankfulness and appreciation for her tireless work for several years in supporting and caring for the meeting’s youth.  The clerk will draw up a minute of appreciation to be included in the June minutes. 

3. Christian Education Committee: Wendy Schlotterbeck reported that more members are needed for the committee. They met via Zoom on May 4th.  They are waiting confirmation for participation in the Wabanaki Reach Education program.  They discussed the upcoming Annual Plant Sale beginning June 3rd at 4:00 pm, which will be ongoing until sold out.  Sales will be “self service” with donations dropped in the meeting mailbox.  They planned Children’s Day for the June 6th gatheringoutside the meetinghouse, and Family Beach Day June 12th to be held at Hinshaw’s camp on Labrador Pond.  

4. Bob Eaton, as clerk, brought forward a report from an ad hoc Meeting Care Coordinator Oversight Seasoning Group he had appointed.  Members are Joyce Gibson, Linda Muller, Renee Cote, and Leslie Manning.  After considerable discussion focusing on how recently the report had been made available to members of the meeting, all matters put forward in the report (contractual agreements, the composition of a support group, and the question of an oversight committee) were held over for consideration at the June monthly meeting for business.

            Before the next meeting for business, the MCC will meet with the MCC Support Committee, and the clerk suggested that the Oversight Seasoning Group might meet to further develop a proposal to bring to meeting in light of the meeting of the MCC Support Committee.

5. Meeting Care Coordinator Mey Hasbrook read a quote from the book, Broken for life by Jocelyn Burnell which speaks to her condition.  In order to focus on her relationship with Durham Friends Meeting as a sojourning member, she plans to transition out of the MCC job.  Tender and trying experiences emerging amid the MCC work since mid-March, including impact personally/relationally, have played an important part in her discernment.  A “meeting for healing” is scheduled for May 24th.  She will continue to explore a future for Café Corners during a brown-bag lunch on May 23rd

6. Liana Knight reported for the Communication Committee:  The phone tree has faded away over the past year(s) and they will be working to identify who still needs to be on a phone tree and who the contact person at the ‘top’ of the tree should be. If you or someone you know needs to be on the phone tree, please let Liana know (207-737-9781).

            They discussed the parameters of what should go on the Meeting website, particularly regarding events. Given that the website is a public-facing platform that is accessible to anyone, they agreed on three parameters for posting events on the Meeting website. We should post events that are: (a) sponsored or lifted up by Durham Meeting or a Durham Meeting committee (e.g. Ministry and Counsel or Peace and Social Concerns), (b) sponsored by a Quaker organization that the Meeting supports or recognizes (e.g. NEYM, FCNL), or (c) sponsored by a neighboring Quaker Meeting in Maine. They wish to encourage Friends to seek committee support for events and programs with which they are  connected  if they wish to have these on the Meeting website.

            They discussed the parameters of what should go in the newsletter, and agreed that the newsletter editor(s) will have a good deal of latitude for exercising judgment about what can and should go in the Newsletter.

            They discussed the Meeting Facebook page, and expressed gratitude for Mey’s excellent tending of that space. We are holding a question around what the parameters for sharing events should be via the Facebook page—whether it should be handled similarly to the website or similarly to the Newsletter, or somewhere in-between. A concern was raised regarding the simple existence of a Facebook page for Durham Friends given Facebook’s policies and management. They think that at some point the Meeting should consider whether we want to continue to maintain a presence on Facebook as a Meeting.

7. The Handbook revision was mentioned and folks are urged to read the edited copy on our web site, to be considered for approval in June.

8. Ministry and Counsel: Renee Cote reported that Jay O’Hara has sent a letter providing information about his work with the Climate Disobedience Center which is involved in a campaign to close coal-fired plants in New England.  Three persons of deep faith have created the center.  The center had covered all costs for those involved in civil disobedience in this area.   The report and the request for funds will be on the June meeting’s agenda.  Kitsie Hildebrandt, Treasurer, reminded us of the Charity Account guidelines.

            Doug Bennett has received the meeting OWL from New England Yearly Meeting, and they plan to try it as soon as possible.  

            Pastoral care: Sarah Sprogell and Gene Boyington have reported that they are thankful that many have answered the call to help Tom Frye.

            Message bringers are scheduled into July.

            They are considering rules regarding vaccination status when we begin meeting in person.  

            Clerk, Bob Eaton closed the meeting with quiet waiting, and thankfulness. 

Dorothy Hinshaw, Recording Clerk

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, April 18, 2021

Durham Monthly Meeting Friends met virtually via Zoom for the conduct of business on Sunday, April 18, 2021 with 21 people present. Robert (Bob) Eaton, Clerk, opened the meeting with a short period of silence expressing gratitude for those present.

  1. The March minutes were approved, with a small correction: the Christian Education Children’s Day will be June 6 (minute # 8).

2. Clerk’s Report: Bob Eaton raised the question of term limits for the Clerk. It was approved that Bob Eaton be Clerk for this calendar year, i.e., April through December 2021. The clerk reported that he will ask the Communications Committee to review the guidance regarding posting on the meeting website and report back to meeting. He will ask the Finance Committee to review current practice and to propose to meeting a general procedure on contracting services for the meeting.

3. Ministry and Counsel: The State of Society Report was presented with much thanks to Doug Bennett who composed the report. This report will be attached and included in the Newsletter. We especially thank Katharine Hildebrandt for her poem at the end of the report.

Renee Cote submitted a written report for Ministry and Counsel on their discussion about the Threshing Session held April 11th regarding our hybrid worship options. Participants expressed the advantages of Zoom, especially for those with physical limitations; the realization that there may not be a post-pandemic; the meaning of corporate worship as a physical gathering; the opportunity to see our membership grow; and the value of the simple, non-electronic physical space of the meetinghouse. They considered non-vaccinated individuals and offering small group worship for those unable to be present, either over Zoom or in the meetinghouse. When establishing small groups for in-person worship, they will focus on keeping everyone as part of the “real” meeting. It was suggested that we try the “Meeting Owl,” which New England Yearly Meeting has available to facilitate both “in house” and remote worship. 

4. We Approved the State of Society Report, which will be presented to Falmouth Quarterly Meeting.

5. We approved using the “Meeting Owl” when it becomes available.

6. Christian Education Committee/Youth Minister: Wendy reported that the Durham Friends hike on the paved Papermill Trail in Lisbon on Sunday, March 28 was attended by hearty souls, 4 adults and 2 youth. They had a lovely time and were pleased that the rain forecasted held out until the very end. Some of the Easter grass grown by Kim Bolshaw and treats were distributed.

The Youth Minister delivered Easter packages of candy and wheat grass to the homes of 11 families with children and several adults. In addition, several coloring packets were mailed to families with younger children.

The collaboration (as mentioned in the March minutes) with Central Maine SURJ (Showing up for Racial Justice) participating in a Wabanaki Reach Educational program led by Heather Augustine plans to meet June 5 or 12 from 3-5 p.m. Peace and Social Concern and the Christian Education Committees will contribute $100 each to help cover the cost of $500.

Tess Hartford brought a Godly Play message to meeting for worship on Easter Sunday and explained a little about this curriculum that Durham Friends had been using until last March when we switched to virtual meeting. Ellis Noetzel sang a lovely version of Adore You by Harry Styles, which was a special treat for all.

Upcoming events include the Annual Plant Sale, beginning June 4, and Children’s Day, June 6.

7. Meeting Care Coordinator: Mey Hasbrook reported that Jeri Kemple is asking for relief persons in her full-time care of Tom Frye. Her plan is to take some camping trips and she needs volunteers to substitute for her when she is on vacation. Please email her with offers.

The Café Corner series began in December as a “social experiment in revelry.” Six gatherings offered varied formats and altering weeknights. Participants explored creative themes with informal conversation. The final session of this first phase invited community guests. Reflections from participants are welcome as the next phase is being planned.

Mey reported that she will be out-of-state April 19 to May 4 at a residence without access.  She can be reached by e-mail. Phone communications should focus on urgent matters, likely to be returned with a lag. 

8. Peace and Social Concerns Committee: The Social Justice Curriculum Sub-committee has purchased the books for the New Mainer children and plans to give them to the children at the end of the school year. They have begun to plan the project that will give social justice books to early elementary school teachers. They have the draft of a one-page introduction to the project and are in the process of recruiting four teaching teams to help launch the project.

The ad-hoc committee (Sarah Sprogell, Ingrid Chalufour, Katharine Hildebrandt, and Bob Eaton) working to lower the carbon footprint of the meetinghouse has placed the meeting on the Window/Dressers list to make window inserts for the worship room next fall. These inserts will decrease the air leaking into the room from the windows.

9. The Nominating Committee reports that they have yet to replace the Recording Clerk who has consented to continue until a replacement is found. The meeting thanks the Recording Clerk for continuing.

10. Handbook revision report: Martha Sheldon and others are working on this project and are almost ready to submit a final draft; they have postponed approval until our May monthly meeting. Margaret Wentworth made several suggestions and corrections to be added to the document. They reminded us that it is a “living” document and not cast in stone. 

11. Finance Committee: Sarah Sprogell reported that for the first quarter, our income is $14,102.77, and expenses are $9,668.85, which reflects that our finances are in good condition. The weekly offering is down by about half of what we projected; the bank interest is high because it includes interest from all of our locally held accounts, not just our checking accounts. We received a designated donation of $1,000 for replacement of the pillars at the Lunt Cemetery. The full report is attached.

12. Nancy Marstaller sent a report on our Sister Meeting relationships with Velasco, Cuba. We share this relationship with Portland Meeting. The report will be included in the Newsletter, and attached to these minutes.

We ended monthly meeting with a period of silence. Dorothy Hinshaw, Recording Clerk