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

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

Agenda, Monthly Meeting for Business, April 21, 2024

Gather and Center


1. Approval of Minutes from March 17, 2024

2. Peace and Social Concerns – report attached

3. Trustees – report attached

4. Ministry and Counsel – report attached

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

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

7. Other

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, March 17, 2024

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

  1. Meeting Opening

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

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

Meeting approved the February minutes.

  1. Schedule of presiding clerks

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

Jan. thru Mar. – Nancy Marstaller

April thru June – Sarah Sprogell

July thru Oct. – Tess Hartford

Nov. thru Dec. – Ingrid Chalufour

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The report and letter are attached.

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

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

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

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

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

The report is attached.

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

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

  1. Ministry and Counsel report

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1.  Statistical report

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

  1.  Library Committee

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

  1.  Closing

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

You are a connoisseur of beauty.

May we use Your taste as our pattern.

Even Your smallest surprises bring joy.

You let them flow in rivulets instead of waiting

For days that we designate as holidays.

Patience is the key to living beside You.

Not always do we rejoice as the road turns.

But when we keep the faith,

We notice that wonderful things happen every day.

Your design shines through the darkest moments.

We celebrate Your love as we celebrate

Our lives as enthusiastic servants.

You bring eternal joy, the prize that

Mitigates meanness and transforms oppression.

Respectfully submitted by Sarah Sprogell, recording clerk pro tem.

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, February 18, 2024

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

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

  1.    Meeting Opening

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

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

2.     Approval of Minutes of January  2024 — Ellen Bennett

       Meeting approved the January minutes.

3.     Approval of Margaret Wentworth Memorial Minute

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

      Meeting approved the minute with the above additions/changes.

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

4.     Reading of Sue Wood Memorial Minute

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

5.     Finance Committee — Nancy Marstaller

        * 2023 End of year budget report

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

        * 2023 Annual report

Please see attached report.

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

6.     Ministry and Counsel — Tess Hartford and Renee Cote

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

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

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

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

7.     Trustees Report — Sarah Sprogell

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

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

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

8.     Peace and Social Concerns — Ingrid Chalufour

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

               Meeting accepted the report with gratitude.

8.     Library Committee Annual Report

               Meeting accepted the report with gratitude.                                                                 

9.    Other Business

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

10.   Closing Worship

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

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

Respectfully submitted, Ellen Bennett, Recording Clerk


Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, January 21, 2024

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

1.     Meeting Opening

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

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

2.     Approval of Minutes of December 2023 — Ellen Bennett

          Meeting approved the minutes.

3.     Finance Committee — Nancy Marstaller

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

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

               Meeting approved.

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

4.     Charity Fund Request 2nd Approval — Nancy Marstaller

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

               Meeting approved.

5.     Ministry and Counsel — Tess Hartford and Renee Cote

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

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

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

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

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

6.     Trustees Report — Sarah Sprogell

        Annual Report was summarized. Please see attachment.                                                     

7.     Peace and Social Concerns — Ingrid Chalufour

        Annual Report was read. Please see attachment.

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

8.     Website 2023 Report — Doug Bennett

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

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

9.     Nominating Committee — Linda Muller

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

        Tess Hartford will be Clerk of the Meeting next month.

10.   Other Business

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

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

11.   Closing Worship

Respectfully submitted,

Ellen Bennett, Recording Clerk


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

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

Agenda for DMMF Monthly Meeting Feb. 2024

Opening reading

Approval of Nancy Marstaller as clerk for meeting

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

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

Reports and Other materials for the business meeting can be found at this site.

Agenda for Durham Monthly Meeting Jan. 21, 2024

1. Opening

2. Approval of last month’s minutes

3. Finance Committee report with action items

4. Woman’s Society Charity Fund request for Warm Thy Neighbor
     - 2nd approval

5. Ministry and Counsel 
     Margaret Wentworth memorial minute
6. Trustees Annual Report

7. Peace & Social Concerns Annual Report, updates

8. Website 2023 Report

9.Nominating Committee report
     Resignation of individual

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, December 17, 2023

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends met for the conduct of business on Sunday, December 17, 2023, with 11 people in attendance at the Meetinghouse.

1. Meeting Opening

Clerk played a recording of Peace of the Earth — a Guatemalan hymn, followed by silent gathering. There were no additions or corrections to the agenda.

2. Approval of Minutes of November 2023 — Ellen Bennett

Meeting approved the minutes of the November meeting.

3. Finances — Nancy Marstaller

a. Finance Committee: The committee brought forward the proposed budget for 2024 for a second reading and approval. Changes from the first reading include: increasing the income from weekly contributions; Peace and Social Concerns carry-over grant revenue was moved to operating income and then expensed out; money allocated for Wabanaki Reach was moved to an operating expense line and will be identified for land reparations, and custodian salary was increased. The result is a deficit budget now reduced to $544. 

Meeting approved the 2024 budget.

b. Woman’s Society: To continue the tradition of annual support to area organizations, Woman’s Society would like the Meeting to consider giving $1,000 from the charity account, to Warm Thy Neighbor, administered through Tedford Housing in this area. 

Meeting approved this first request.

4. Ministry and Counsel — Tess Hartford and Renee Cote

Visiting committee is considering Diana White’s transfer of membership from Portland to Durham.

Renee read the minute from M&C concerning Mey Hasbrook’s resignation:

 “At Monthly Meeting on October 15, 2023, Mey Hasbrook’s letter of resignation was accepted. The final meeting encouraged by Monthly Meeting did not take place when Mey objected to the number of persons that would be present and refused to meet. During her time with Durham Friends Meeting, at the time of her resignation, and in an email in November, Mey made a number of allegations of harm that were circulated within and outside the Meeting. Ministry & Counsel investigated these allegations and found that they have no basis in fact. We are very sorry for the distress that these allegations have caused and ask that we continue to hold all involved in prayer. We remain available to respond to questions and concerns, as confidentiality allows.

Meeting accepted this report with gratitude for the hard work of Ministry and Counsel.

5. Trustees Report — Sarah Sprogell

Update report available on the website.

6. Nominating Committee — Linda Muller

Highlighting updates on DMMF committee assignments, please see attachment. The Committee will be considering a Music Committee. 

Meeting expressed its great appreciation for the committee and for the work that it, with Linda as clerk, has done.

7. New Business 

Approval of Positions in lieu of Officers:  Clerk recommends that the duties traditionally done by the Clerk and the Treasurer are delineated and assigned, regardless of who is occupying those positions. Specifically, “that the Clerk of Trustees be named as Acting Clerk for the purposes of contracts and other Meeting business and that the Clerk of Finance be named as Acting Treasurer, as needed…”

Meeting approved this proposal, with an effective date of January 1, 2024.

Meeting Care Coordinator: Clerk left the room. Tess Hartford was approved as interim Clerk for this portion of the meeting. Renee read the report of the MCC search committee. 

Meeting approved Leslie Manning as MCC beginning January1, 24, a position described in the document dated February 2023.

The question of oversight and support will be taken up in concert with Leslie. The Search Committee for this position will make a recommendation as to the composition of the support/oversight committee for the MCC at the next meeting for business. 

8. Closing Worship 

Respectfully submitted, 

Ellen Bennett, Recording Clerk

Attachments: Reports and Other Materials

Agenda and Materials for Durham Friends Business Meeting, December 17, 2023

The Reports and other materials for this Meeting for worship for business can be found here.

Proposed Agenda for Monthly Meeting, 12/17/24

Opening Worship

Approval of November 2023 Minutes

Finance Committee Report and Requests

  Second Reading of the Budget

Ministry and Counsel Report

Trustees Report

Nominating Committee Report

New Business

   Approval of Positions in lieu of Officers

   Meeting Care Coordinator

Closing Worship

Kitsie Hildebrandt, 1952-2023

Posted here with permission of her family

Katharine Booth Hildebrandt, 8/10/1952 – 7/5/2023

Katharine “Kitsie” (or “Kit”) Hildebrandt grew up in Ohio and moved to Maine after attending Earlham College in Indiana.

In Maine she met her husband, William Beazley and they were married for 47 years, until her death. Together they lived an unusual, adventurous life that included years aboard a wooden sailboat with their infant firstborn, several small homes without running water, building their own home, raising 2 children, and returning to sailing on their lively trimaran. ]

Kitsie was a wonderful mother to her 2 children, Sarah Guite and Willis Beazley. She was at every sporting event, even in the rain, even hours from home. She was her children’s biggest fan and fiercest defender. 

Kitsie was the 2nd of 4 daughters of Robert and Mary Hildebrandt. She is survived by her 3 sisters, who she loved dearly and spent lots of time with in her retirement. Her sisters’ children and grandchildren were also beloved to her. 

Kitsie was a member of Durham Friends Meeting of Quakers for many years and was very active in the meeting. 

Kitsie worked for several small businesses before returning to graduate school at age 50. After graduating she started her career as a guidance counselor at Lewiston Middle School. She said, “It was a blast, except when it was heartbreaking.” She amazed her family with her dedication to her students and her genuine love for them. 

Kitsie was endlessly curious about people, especially those that had a different background or point of view from her own. She built a loving, diverse community of friends with her warmth and humor.  

Kitsie has 2 granddaughters, Greta and Edith, who she simply adored. She took care of them daily during the pandemic and formed a very close bond with both of them. She welcomed her daughter-in-law, Lori Lommler, and son-in-law, Matt Guité into her family with open arms and loved and appreciated them both immensely. 

Kitsie loved picking fresh mussels from the shoreline, burning brush, doing yoga, sailing with her husband, having potlucks with her dear ones, and creating connection and love wherever she could. 

Kitsie was diagnosed with incurable brain cancer in June of 2022 and it killed her on July 5, 2023 at age 70. Through those 13 months she showed incredible strength and resilience in the face of a devastating disease. 

Kitsie will be missed beyond words. 

At Kitsie’s request, in lieu of flowers, please contribute to Planned Parenthood of Lewiston Maine, 179 Lisbon Street.

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, November 19, 2023

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends met for the conduct of business on Sunday, November 19, 2023, with people 11 people in attendance at the Meetinghouse and two via Zoom.

1.     Meeting Opening

Clerk opened the meeting by reading a prayer by Rabbi Irwin Keller, a prayer he wrote ten days after the attack on Israel by Hamas. The prayer is available to read through the Meeting website.

2.     Review Agenda

        There were no changes to the agenda

3.     Approval of Minutes of October 2023 — Ellen Bennett

               The October minutes were approved.

4.     Finance Committee — Nancy Marstaller

The 3rd quarter budget report was presented. Overall, we are in fine shape. Revenue is slightly lower in weekly contributions, but is offset by increased revenue in other categories, for example receipt of grant funding for Peace and Social Concerns.

With respect to operating expenses, we are under budget because not all committees have used their money, no children asked for scholarships for camp, and two positions have not been filled.

               Meeting accepted the third quarter budget report.

        Reviewing the 2024 proposed budget, revenue has been decreased due to the drop in weekly contributions. Most other sources of revenue stay the same.

Budgeted 2024 Operating expenses remain the same with the addition of a childcare worker. A contribution to Wabanaki REACH was added. In addition, annual contribution to the Yearly Meeting was increased.

The 2024 proposed budget ends with a deficit of $1,655. It was noted that the Meeting has not yet taken a distribution from the Parsonage Fund, so this may be possible if needed.

Discussion followed concerning the inclusion of Wabanaki Reach in the budget alongside other Quaker organizations. The dollar amount is not a concern. The Meeting could consider the contribution as addressing reparations and place the expense alongside other Physical Plant expenses. The budget will be brought back next month for approval.

5.     Peace and Social Concerns — Ingrid Chalufour

Kim Bolshaw read the attached report, which includes two requests: One for Wabanaki Reach (as noted in the proposed 2024 budget) and the second for $500 for AFSC’s Gaza emergency fund. Funds from AFSC would come from charity account. Given the need in Gaza, Peace and Social concerns asks that approval be made at this meeting.

               Meeting approved the contribution.

6.     Nominating Committee — Linda Muller                                                                           

The committee recommended two Marian Dalton and Rob Spivey to conduct comprehensive financial review of the Meeting’s books. Note, this would not be an audit, but a careful review of 2022 and 2023 financial records. It was suggested that they be offered remuneration, which they can then donate as they please.

               Meeting approved the recommendation.

        Wendy Schlotterbeck is recommended to serve on nominating committee.

               Meeting approved.

7.     Ministry and Counsel — Tess Hartford and Renee Cote

Please refer to the report. No actionable items. Still considering the use of technology in the Meeting Room during worship. Thoughts may be shared with M&C.

8.     Trustees Report — Sarah Sprogell

        Please refer to the report. Trustees brought forward a list of projects that will be considered for the coming 3-5 years.  Please refer to their report for more details. No actionable items.

9.     New Business

Do we want take corporate action on the request from NEYM, FCNL, and AFSC, to express to our members of congress our support for a cease-fire in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

        Clerk noted our voice in Durham, Maine, straddles both congressional jurisdictions.

It was agreed that the minute from NEYM to be sent to our congressional delegation on our behalf. Also encouraged us as individuals to add our own voices. Hold in our hearts what witness in the public square looks like as individuals and as part of the Meeting.

10.   Closing

Clerk expressed thanks to the Meeting community, who show their desire to be present for one another, and gratitude for this community being able to identify important needs, rise to meet those needs, and have the resources to do so.

        Purposing to meet again on the 3rd First-day of the 12th month.

Respectfully submitted, Ellen Bennett, Recording Clerk


Donations to the Food Security Project for Bolivian Families

UPDATE 23.11.20 from Emma Condori Mamani, Director of FIBC

 I am writing to you to share the joy about our successful Seed Potatoes Food Security Project done through Friends International Bilingual Center. Bolivian young Friends and I were able to distribute the seed potatoes until Nov. 11th, 2023. With the favor of God, 309 Bolivian families who live in the highland, received 125 pounds of seed potatoes per family. We, Bolivians, thank God with all our heart for this service work project. Also, we thank Friends who donated for this food security project. We bless Friends who have prayed for us, and they are still praying for the rain now. We are grateful to God for giving love and courage to Bolivian young adult Friends who did volunteering work for this project. And our gratitude to our Friends who support us to run the FIBC by giving donations, so we can do work to take care of others.

We will continue working on this Food Security Project if God opens the way to do this work. Families are happy because they were able to sow the potatoes this year. They will have to wait for the harvest until next March, though.  Meanwhile, there is a need for food to sustain their families. So, we will start distributing potatoes, oil and sugar to families in January, 2004 as part of our third stage of the Food Security Project.

There are four brief articles as reports in order to share the wonderful stories and the photos about this seed potatoes project. The Seed Potatoes reports can be read on our website: “Projects button”. Quienes somos | FIBC ( Enjoy reading them! 

We send our gratitude to the Durham Friends Meeting for their generosity by supporting our Food Security Project with $1,300. And blessings to all of you. 

Emma Condori Mamani, Director of FIBC


ORIGINAL POST 23.07.19. At its July 16, 2023 business meeting, Durham Monthly Meeting approved a donation of $500 from our Charity Fund to the Food Security Project for Bolivian Families. This can be supplemented by additional personal donations.

Friend Emma Condori Mamani, the Director of the Friends International Bilingual Center of Bolivia, brought the message to Durham on July 16th, and attended our Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business. She shared details about the FIBC’s  emergency food project for Indigenous communities in the Bolivian Highlands.

If other Friends are led to contribute, earmarked donations made payable and mailed to Durham Friends, received by August 1, will be included in one check.  An overview about the project plus contact information are found in the flyer.

We are grateful to Emma for her ministry and to New England Yearly Meeting for making it possible for Emma to travel among Friends and meetings in New England, as she is the Bible Half Hour presenter at our annual sessions in August.

Agenda and Materials for Durham Friends Business Meeting, November 19, 2023

The reports and other materials for the Durham Friends Meeting business meeting on November 19, 2023 are available at this link.

Proposed Agenda for Durham Meeting Worship for Business

November 19, 2023

Opening reading

Review Agenda

Minutes for Approval

Finance Committee and Draft Budget

Peace and Social Concerns  Report

   New item: Action re: Gaza and Israel?

Nominating Committee Report

Ministry and Counsel Report

Trustees Report

Closing Worship

Woman’s Society Minutes, October 16, 2023

Announcement: Woman’s Society will meet next at 7pm on November 20 at the Meetinghouse, with zoom participation as an option.

Minutes, Durham Friends Woman’s Society October 16, 2023

Present: Qat Langelier, Dorothy Curtis, Kim Bolshaw, Nancy Marstaller

  1. We plan to hold our next meeting in person at the meetinghouse, with zoom as an option, Monday November 20 at 7 PM.
  2. We are sending thinking of you cards to several Friends.
  3. We just received the new Blueprints, but not everyone has them yet. Kim read a program from the ’21-22 Blueprints: Cynthia Steele’s In the Midst of it all, His Eye is on the Sparrow. Cynthia is now president of the USFWI.

She spoke of working as a nurse during the pandemic, and shared scripture verses that helped her during that time. Those verses spoke of seeking and accepting God’s blessings, and the opportunities we have to rest in God if we feel anxious or overwhelmed.

Friends had different reactions to the restrictions imposed by the efforts to control the pandemic. One liked the time to work outdoors and be with children, while another felt crowded in her small home with children and visitors staying for a time. Relationships could be strained at times, leading to misunderstandings, and it was hard to watch when family members were not as careful as hoped. We agreed with the reminder from a Friend: We need to be friends of each other, as well as Friends of the Truth/Jesus.

  • Dorothy read her Triennial travel minute, which was signed by Cynthia Steele. She will make a copy for our minutes binder.
  • Dorothy just finished a quilt for Skai Soltys- newborn son of Tess Marstaller and Jaime Soltys. Tess is Nancy’s niece. Nancy mailed the quilt today, as they live in San Francisco. Another recent quilt Dorothy made was for Cindy and Paul Wood’s son; he and his wife recently had a baby boy.

Qat mentioned that both her sons still love and care for their quilts!

  • The treasurer’s report was accepted. We have received money toward 1 membership and 3 Blueprints and a late auction payment. The $800 earned from the auction has been sent to the LACO Food Pantry. $46 was paid for Blueprints and their postage.

Membership dues for USFWI are $10 this year. Blueprints plus postage is $6.50. We have $185 in our account. From the $200 given in memory of Kitsie Hildebrandt we approved donating $50 each to SASSMM, Wayfinder Schools, and New Beginnings.

  • Nancy will lead the program next month.
  • We will pray especially for friends with health concerns.
  • Minutes of the last meeting were read and approved.
  • On Saturday Oct. 14 the USFW-Northeast region met on zoom with 12 present. They shared their experiences at the Triennial. No date or place has been set yet for the spring meeting.
  • The October Tedford meal was chili, cornbread, vegetarian soup, fruit, cider, and ice cream.
  • Dorothy closed the meeting with this poem by Grenville Kleiser:


Thank God for dawn,

The songs of birds,

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, October 15, 2023

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends met for the conduct of business on Sunday, October 15, 2023, with 12 people in attendance.

1. Meeting Opening

Clerk opened the meeting with a reading from Advices and Queries from the Religious Society of Friends, Great Britain: Advices 10. 

2. Approval of Minutes of September 2023 — Ellen Bennett

Minutes were approved

3. Review of Agenda

4. Finance Committee — Nancy Marstaller

In response to the Meeting request that Finance take a broad look at the overall financial health of the meeting, the attached report includes a series of questions to consider moving forward.

Finance and Trustees will meet together soon to delve more deeply into the questions posed in the report. 

The Meeting engaged in a listening session.

Clerk offered this over-arching question: What is the best stewardship of the funds in our care? It was noted that we are not currently covering annual operating expenses with regular income; we need to draw on interest from our investment accounts to meet expenses. 

Summary of Friends’ comments and observations:

  • There was a commitment voiced to keep the line item for childcare position.  
  • There was general agreement that there was no reason not to pool investment accounts. 
  • Some funds are invested in a CD. When it matures in the spring, the proceeds might be earmarked to support youth programs (such as childcare and summer camp scholarships).

The Meeting revisited the request from Trustees to Finance, made at last month’s Meeting for Business, to move $55,000 from pooled funds to cemetery funds. Conversation ensued about designations and use of the Parsonage funds. 

The Finance Committee recommended that $55K be taken from the Parsonage Fund and added to the Cemetery Fund. This money will be added to the Cemetery Fund money invested with New England Yearly Meeting Pooled Funds.  The NEYM Pooled Funds will pay out 4% per year, to be used for cemetery maintenance, this percentage prudently calculated so that the principle of the fund will be protected and preserved into the future.  We record that the origin of these funds was through the sale of the parsonage. 

The Meeting approved this request with one Friend standing aside. 

5. Ministry and Counsel — Renee Cote, Tess Hartford

No new items were brought forward. Please refer to the report. 

Clerk emailed Friends who attend Meeting primarily or solely via Zoom to ask them about M&C’s recommendation that 4th and 5th Sundays be in-person/tech-free only. Clerk read the responses. All conveyed appreciation for being queried, and many suggested that Meeting try to simply engage the Owl without active oversight. 

Friends discussed considering meeting for worship a “no-tech zone” all the time. Tech is a distraction in the quality of worship for many. One idea offered is to have meeting for worship with Zoom audio only, and to bring the Owl into the gathering room so that those in attendance in person and those attending remotely can ‘Zoom-meet’ with one another. 

Meeting approved 4th and 5th Sundays being tech-free starting in November, skipping December because of the holiday, and resuming for January and February. 

M&C will take up the idea of going completely tech-free and return with additional ideas.

Meeting accepted the report noting that monetary support from the Charity account will be provided for a Friend in need.

6. Trustees — Sarah Sprogell

No written report. Clean-up at Lunt Cemetery went very well. Much was accomplished. Also, two trustees will be attending the Maine Cemetery Association conference on April 18th.

7. Peace and Social Concerns — Ingrid Chalufour

Please see attached report. 

Clerk noted the importance of the ministry of bringing books used in the Social Justice project to Indigenous People’s Day events. The books touched many people; the quality of this kind of outreach was honored.  

The Meeting minutes its deep appreciation for the Social Justice project, the work of the Committee, and of Ingrid Chalufour. 

8. Nominating Committee — Linda Muller

No written report. 

Recently, two Friends verbally agreed to serve on committees, and their names were brought forward for approval. Note that the approval is for committees service to begin in January 2024, but if okayed by the “receiving” committee, their work might begin earlier.

The Committee brought forward Doug Bennett to serve on Finance Committee. 

Meeting approved.

The Committee brought forward Kim Bolshaw, to serve on Peace and Social Concerns. 

Meeting approved. 

Clerk noted that effective January 2024, we will be without a Treasurer and without a Clerk. The position of Treasurer is legally required by the state to do the work of the Meeting. 

Clerk also noted that we are looking for help with the newsletter. Consider: is the newsletter still needed? May take this up in the Threshing Session next Sunday, October 22.

9. Closing Worship

Respectfully submitted, 

Ellen Bennett, Recording Clerk


Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, September 17, 2023

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends met for the conduct of business on Sunday, September 17, 2023, with 12 people attending from the Meetinghouse and one via Zoom.

1.     Meeting Opening

Clerk opened the meeting by reading the following:

Query 3:  Meeting for Business.  Are meetings for business held in a spirit of worship and prayerful search for the way of Truth?  Are all members encouraged to use their talents in the service of the meeting?  Do you undertake your proper share of the work and financial support of the meeting?

— NEYM Faith and Practice, 1985, p 211

2.     Approval of Minutes of July 16, 2023 — Ellen Bennett

                                                                                                                               Meeting approved the minutes, with two additions regarding Finance and clerking the meeting, to be included in Items 3 and 4. Recording Clerk made those additions.

3.     Finance Report — Nancy Marstaller

Nancy read a thank you note for the $1,300 donated for the Bolivian Food Security Project. The Meeting received $800 additional dollars in individual contributions to the $500 approved in July.

Finance Committee will be meeting to review, overall, funds needed to support the Meeting on an annual basis, and will report its findings next month.

Quarter 2 report. Please see attached report.

                The Meeting accepted the report, with gratitude.                                                

4.     Trustees — Sarah Sprogell

Refer to attached report re: funds from the sale of the parsonage, and recommendations for funds needed to maintain a fiscally healthy Meeting.

Trustees have recommended $55K from the parsonage fund be transferred to the cemetery fund bringing its balance to $125K. Using a 4% distribution would cover most or all of our annual expenses, about $5K/year. This recommendation will come before Meeting again next month.

With regard to the Meeting’s buildings and grounds, we do not have a plan for funding capital expenses. Finance Committee will review this, with Trustees, in looking at overall financial health.

Question: Is past performance an indicator of future needs? Might we look at a 3-5 year plan for capital expenses? Are there other needed improvements? Consider these in future discussions.

Clerk agreed to reach out to NEYM to find out where the Eileen Babcock bequest funds are.

The Meeting approved Clerk of the Meeting get in touch with NE Yearly Meeting to ascertain where the funds are from the Eileen Babcock bequest.

Much appreciation was expressed for the hard work and discernment that went into the report.

5.     Ministry and Counsel — Renee Cote, Tess Hartford

Clerk read the relevant portion of Faith and Practice as it pertains to resigning membership in a Monthly Meeting.

Mey Hasbrook submitted a letter of resignation to the Clerk of Meeting and the co-clerks of Ministry and Counsel. The first portion of the letter was read aloud, including referenced passages from scripture.

Meeting approved M&C’s recommendation to accept Mey’s resignation. M&C will discern next steps in reaching out to Mey for one more meeting.

M&C also brought forward the letter proposing that Leslie Manning be recorded as a minister, that was approved by the Meeting in July. (Note that Leslie stepped out from her role as Clerk for this portion of the meeting. Renee Cote assumed the role of Clerk.)

Meeting approved sending, to Falmouth Quarter, the letter from M&C asking that Leslie Manning be recognized as a recorded minister.

It was suggested that Leslie’s ministry beyond the meeting — prison ministry, Sofia House — be included in the letter. M&C will make those edits/additions before sending it on.

Leslie Manning returned and assumed her role as Clerk.

Please refer to report for dates of important, proposed upcoming meetings.

                Meeting approved a memorial meeting to be held on October 29th.

M&C discussed fourth and fifth Sundays as in-person worship only, thus encouraging people to come to the meetinghouse and relieving pressure on technology support. It was recommended that Members who participate solely by Zoom be contacted to get their reaction. The recommendation will be revisited next month.

Members were encouraged to sign up for the Care of Worship role.

6.     Nominating Committee Report — Linda Muller

        Please refer to the attached report.

                                                                                                                                                       Meeting approved the recommendation that committee term limits be removed. This change will be reflected in the handbook

                        Meeting approved a threshing session be held on 10/22 at the rise of Meeting.

7.     Peace and Social Concerns — Ingrid Chalufour

        Please refer the the report.

It was noted with pleasure that the United Way has approved a position to help coordinate support for New Mainers who will be moving into Brunswick Landing this month.

8.     Report from Dorothy Curtis on FUM Triennial and USFWI Conference

“Come. Abide. Go.” Theme of this year’s USFWI triennial. Dorothy read a note of deep thanks, in which she expressed her tremendous gratitude for the support of many in making this trip. “This was a trip of a lifetime.” Dorothy then annotated several of her photographs and regaled all with wonderful stories about her trip to Kenya.

9.     Closing Worship

        Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends will reconvene on October 15th, 2023.

Respectfully submitted,

Ellen Bennett, Recording Clerk

Attachments here

Agenda and Materials for Meeting for Business, October 15, 2023

The agenda and materials for this Business Meeting can be found here.

Proposed Agenda for Meeting for Business, October 15, 2023  

Opening Reading

Minutes of September meeting

Review Agenda

Finance Committee

Request for transfer of Funds by Trustees (2nd reading)

Ministry and Counsel 

Zoom free worship 4th and 5th Sundays*                                                                 

Report on Emergency Funds disbursement of $1,000 

Trustees Update

Peace and Social Concerns Update

Closing Worship

*Clerk’s Note: 

Ministry and Counsel has recommended that the Meetings for Worship on fourth and fifth Sundays of the month be held in the meetinghouse only, with no technology assistance.  This is based on feedback from several Friends, including members of the Tech Support group, and was brought to Meeting for Business last month.

It will be reviewed again this coming Sunday, since no one was on Zoom for the September meeting, and we would like to hear from those who regularly use Zoom.  If approved, we will be happy to provide information about other meetings who use Zoom or hybrid worship who welcome visitors.

Agenda and Materials for Business Meeting, September 17, 2023

The Agenda and Materials for Meeting for Worship for Business on September 17 can be found at this link.

Proposed Agenda for Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business

September 17, 2023

Please note that if there is no power at the Meetinghouse on Sunday, we will postpone Meeting for Business to the following Sunday, September 24.

Opening Query

Minutes of Previous Meeting, July 16, 2023

Finance Report

Trustees Report

Ministry and Counsel Report

Nominating Committee Report

Peace and Social Concerns Update

Report from Dorothy Curtis on FUM Triennial and USFWI Conference

New Business

Closing Worship

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, July 16, 2023

Revised version, August 2, 2023]

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends met for the conduct of business on Sunday, July 16, 2023, with 9 people attending from the Meetinghouse and 5 by Zoom.

  1.    Meeting Opening                                                                                                                

        Dorothy Curtis opened the meeting with a prayer of thanksgiving.

2.     Approval of Minutes of June 2023 — Ellen Bennett

Acknowledgement from FCNL (change from FWCC) for K J William’s gift will be corrected in the minutes.

            Meeting approved the minutes with the above correction.

3.     Finance Committee: Second request for funds for Bolivia

A Quarterly Report from the Finance Committee will be given in September.

The request for approval for a gift to the Bolivian Youth Group, addressing food security and working under the care of Friends International, was presented again after initial consideration at the June Meeting for Business. Research on food scarcity in Bolivia indicated that there has been substantial drought over past 10 years in this region, resulting in a large world-wide initiative to send aid. A recent update publication from FWCC described both this situation and the international support.

Emma Condori Mamani, our Meeting for Worship message-giver, spoke about the food security project, specifically with respect to the families in the highlands who have been hit hard by climate change. The process by which the families are selected to receive aid is thorough, requiring a great deal of work.

Emma then stepped away from the meeting for the approval discussion of this item. Leslie also stepped away, leaving eight Friends in Meeting for the ensuing discussion, as well as for discussion of Item 4.

Meeting approved the donation of $500 for the food security project. Individuals may support this project, as well. Information on how to do this will be shared via a Friends Note with the request that donations be submitted by August 1st.

4.     Ministry and Counsel — Renee Cote, Tess Hartford

Renee read the recommending letter from Martha Hinshaw Sheldon and Linda Muller for Leslie Manning to be recognized as a recorded minister in the Society of Friends (see attached).

The Meeting approved immediately and joyfully, with thanks to Martha and Linda.

Renee reviewed the remainder of the M&C Report (see attached).

5.     Library Committee — Dorothy Hinshaw

There has been discussion among clerks and library committee that, in honor of beloved Friend, Margaret Wentworth, Meeting name our library the Margaret Wentworth Library. 

Meeting approved.

6.     Trustees — Sarah Sprogell                                                                                                 

        Trustees report was read (see attached).

7.     Use of Parsonage Funds Discussion

        Please refer to attachment summarizing past suggestions.

To begin discussion, Clerk summarized three recommendations: Consolidate accounts, calculate a percentage draw on restricted/designated funds to support operations, and increase support for the cemeteries.  The Finance committee will return in September with a recommendation about the consolidation of funds, not including the Parsonage Fund.

Trustees will consider: How much funding do we need to continue as a healthy meeting? Finance Committee will consider: How do we disperse/allocate those funds?

At Monthly Meeting in September, Meeting will seek to agree upon answers to these questions.

8.     NEYM Annual Sessions Representatives

No need for representation expressed by Meeting.

9.     Additional Items

Meeting expressed its great appreciation to Dorothy Curtis for attending the triennial of the United Society of Friends Women International, in conjunction with Friends United Meeting and Quaker Men, and acknowledged the challenges in travel that Dorothy experienced. Dorothy agreed to give a report to Monthly Meeting in September about her experiences.

Durham Monthly Meeting has supported Maine All-Care. The Meeting recently received a request to add its name to a letter in support of the Medicare for All Act 2023, HR 3421. (Please see attached letter.)

Meeting approved adding Durham Friends Meeting’s name to a letter in support of Medicare For All.

The next Meeting for Business will be September 17th.

10.   Closing Worship

Members were asked to pause to reflect on the ways in which individuals come together in community, and how to acknowledge those individuals and their differences in ways of participation.

Respectfully submitted, Ellen Bennett, Recording Clerk


Proposed Meeting Agenda

Draft Minutes of 6.18.23 Business Meeting

Description of Friends International Bilingual Center, Bolivia

Ministry and Counsel Report

Parsonage Fund Ideas

Letter in Support of The Medicare for All Act of 2023 (H.R. 3421)

Agenda and Materials for Business Meeting, July 16, 2023

The materials for the July 16, 2023 business meeting can be found at this link.

Proposed Agenda, July 16, 2023

Open with worship
Minutes of Previous Meeting (link here)

Second request for Approval from Finance Committee: Description of Friends International Bilingual Center (FIBC), Bolivia

Ministry and Counsel Report

Library Committee Request “Margaret Wentworth Library”

Trustees Update

Continued Discussion of use of Parsonage Funds (specific suggestions are welcome)

Name representatives to NEYM Annual Sessions

New Business: Consideration of Support for H.R 3421, The Medicare for All Act of 2023

Close with worship

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, June 18, 2023 (Draft 2, June 27, 2023)

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends for the Conduct of Business met at noon on Sunday, June 18th, with 7 people attending at the Meetinghouse and 3 people via Zoom

  1.    Meeting Opening — Leslie Manning                                                                                 

Leslie opened the Meeting with a moment of silent centering.

2.     Approval of Minutes of May 2023 — Ellen Bennett

It was noted that under item #6, the word “to” needed to be added to the last sentence.

               Meeting approved the minutes with the correction above.

3.     Finance Committee — Sarah Sprogell, Dorothy Curtis

The committee reviewed the handbook and offered a suggested addition to bring the entry for the Finance Committee up-to-date. Add one sentence to the end of the descriptions for both the Committee and for the position of Treasurer: “If there is no treasurer,” etc. (Please refer to attachment.)

                        Meeting approved this addition.

The committee also recommended changes to the description for requesting funds from the charity account, specifically with respect to time-sensitive and emergency requests. Please refer to the attached document for the proposed changes.

                        Meeting approved the changes.

The committee presented a request for funds from the charity account to support food security for Bolivian Friends. A Youth Group working under the care of Friends International Bi-lingual Center in La Paz have put together a project to provide seed potatoes, as well as potatoes as a food source. The committee recommends a donation of $500 in support of this project.

Questions posed included the severity and length of the drought conditions and whether there were restrictions placed on who can receive donations.

                     Meeting agreed to preliminary approval of the request with research between now and next month, when the request would return for final approval. FWCC will be contacted about the extent of their current work in Bolivia to determine the extent to which it might touch on the work of the Youth Group.

Meeting gave first approval last month for a donation to the Center for Wisdoms Women.  Request was brought forward for final approval.

                Meeting approved.

Handout was shared of ideas for Parsonage Fund dispersement. Clerk recommends Friends review the suggestions, think about them, including Trustees’ request that money be used to support infrastructure of the meeting, including cemeteries.  Will take this topic up at July MM.

4.     Nominating Committee — Linda Muller

The committee recommendation that Mey Hasbrook serve as contact for FWCC.

                        Meeting approved.

Clerk noted that we need both a Clerk for next year, as well as a Treasurer — two leadership positions that are important. The role of Clerk may be shared among the clerks of current standing committees. However, a single Treasurer to oversee finances and be responsible for bookkeeping would serve to guarantee the fiscal health of the Meeting.

The Meeting voiced its great appreciation of Clerk’s good work, further highlighting the importance of continuity in this position.

5.     Ministry and Counsel update — Renee Cote, Tess Hartford

No report.                                                                                                    

6.     Other business

October 1st Potluck:  This is an idea for reaching out to the wider Quaker Community as well as our local geographic community; a kind of “open house”. Science fair atmosphere was suggested, with tables showcasing the many things the meeting is engaged in, e.g., book project, Cuba Meeting, Woman’s Society, Triennial. A rolling slide show was also suggested. The request was made that the intergenerational events committee continue to work on this.

7      Closing Worship — Leslie Manning

Clerk shared three pieces of correspondence. The first was a thank-you from Robin Mohr from FWCC for a gift that KJ Williams has made in honor of Durham Friends Meeting. Funding will create spiritual and practical tools.

Clerk then read both the Meeting’s introductory letter and Velasco’s response for Kim Bolshaw’s travel to Cuba.

Friends approved Clerk writing a letter of introduction for Dorothy Curtis for her trip to Kenya.

The Meeting noted its appreciation for the gift from the Masonic Lodge to support Dorothy on her travels to Kenya for the Triennial. 

                Meeting approved Clerk writing a note of thanks to the the Lodge.

Respectfully submitted,

Ellen Bennett, Recording Clerk

Agenda and Materials for Durham Friends Business Meeting, June 18, 2023

The materials for the June 18, 2023 Meeting for Business can be found at this link.

Proposed Agenda for Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business, June 18, 2023

Opening Centering

Minutes of Previous Meeting, May 21, 2023

Finance Committee

Nominating Committee


— Ministry and Counsel

— Peace and Social Concerns

Closing Worship

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, May 21, 2023 (Draft)

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends met for the conduct of business on Sunday, May 21, 2023, with 14 people attending.

1.     Meeting Opening

Sarah Sprogell called for people to gather for worship for the conduct of business. The opening reading was from Parker Palmer. “Friends are most in the spirit when they stand at the crossing point of the inward and the outward. And that is the intersection at which we find community. Community is a place where the connections felt in the heart make themselves known in bonds between people, and where the tuggings and pullings of those bonds keep opening up our hearts.”

May we stay open to one another as we conduct our business.                                    

2.     Request for Clerk of the Day

                        Meeting approved Sarah Sprogell serve as Clerk of the Day, with thanks.

3.     Approval of April Meeting Minutes — Ellen Bennett

                        Meeting approved the April Business meeting minutes.

4.     Finance Committee and Quarterly Report — Nancy Marstallar

Nancy reviewed the Quarterly finance report. We are on track with our percentages re: income and expenses. With respect to the physical plant, we have spent more than anticipated. However, this is likely to be offset because of a reduction in the use of fuel oil this winter.

                        Meeting accepted the quarterly report, with gratitude.

A Sisters Meeting Account has been opened. The Meeting previously approved and allocated funds for 2 travelers to Cuba ($8,000). However, only one went. Therefore, the request is to deposit the remaining funds ($4,000) from the checking account into the new account.

                        Meeting approved the deposit of these funds into the Sisters Meeting Account.

4.a. Woman’s Society via Finance Committee

Woman’s Society is asking approval to give the Center for Wisdoms’ Women in Lewiston $500.  Funds would come from the Charity Account. Two people spoke to personal experience working with the Center and attested that they do very good work. According to process, the request brought today will be seasoned for a month, and brought back to Meeting next month for final approval.

Woman’s Society: request that Plant Sale funds go to Children and Youth programs of the United Society of Women Friends International. There are four international programs focusing on education that have benefitted from support from past Meeting members.

                        Meeting approved that money raised from the Plant Sale go to these projects.

Woman’s Society would like to hold a silent auction beginning the week of August 13th with set-up in vestry. A potluck on Sunday, August 20th, would be the close of the auction.

                        Meeting approved holding a Woman’s Society auction.

5.   Ministry and Counsel — Renee Cote, Tess Hartford

M&C requests approval for an addition to the committee description in the handbook. Rene read the addition. “and secondarily to engage in outreach in the wider community”.

                        Meeting approved this addition/change.

In light of the recent changes in CDC recommendations and the ending of the pandemic emergency, Renee read an updated recommendation, on behalf of the Meeting, regarding masking. Discussion ensued around the idea of , and term for, a “designated area” for those who are masked, and the degree to which we could simplify the statement.

The Meeting settled on: “We approve that masks be optional in the building. While all attenders are free to sit where they wish, for those who seek additional shielding, there will be an area set aside “for mask-wearers only” identified in the meeting room.” We will try this for a period of time and revisit the effectiveness of the implemented changes in September.

                   Meeting approved the above changes to masking protocols in the Meetinghouse, and to revisiting the issue in September.

There will be a memorial gathering for Margaret Wentworth  on June 25th, at rise of meeting. Because Margaret was involved in so many organization, notes will be sent to area organizations with which she was involved. M&C will take responsibility for oversight and planning this event.

                        Meeting approved the date of the memorial. 

6.   Peace and Social Concerns — Ingrid Chalufour

Changes have been made to the committee description in the handbook. Ingrid read the new proposed description. It was recommended that the word “traditional” be omitted — Quakers have never rested on tradition; always present leadings.

                        Meeting approved changes as read after discussion.

7.   Trustees — Doug Bennett

Trustees are proposing changes to Handbook with respect to the meetinghouse and cemeteries. Doug summarized the minutiae of the changes (e.g., thermostat settings and frequency of mowing in the cemeteries). Kim asked that the line referencing closing the shades in the meeting room be deleted.

                        Meeting approved the proposed changes.

8.     Closing Worship

Meeting closed with silence in gratitude for the work done.

Respectfully submitted, Ellen Bennett, Recording Clerk

Agenda and Materials for Durham Friends Business Meeting, May 21, 2023

Materials for this Meeting for Worship for Business are available at this link

Proposed Agenda for Meeting for Worship for the Conduct of Business, Durham Friends Meeting, May 21, 2023

Opening Worship

Request for Clerk of the Day

  • 1 Approval of Minutes, April 16, 2023
  • 2. Finance Committee and Quarterly Report – Nancy
  • 3. Woman’s Society – Nancy
  • 4. Ministry and Counsel
  • 5. Peace and Social Concerns – Ingrid
  • 6. Trustees Report
  • 7. Other
  • Closing Worship

Applicants Sought for Meeting Care Coordinator

(position and announcement approved by Durham Friends Meeting, February 2023)

Durham Friends Meeting, a vital semi-programmed Quaker meeting in southern Maine, is looking for a Meeting Care Coordinator

The job description is below. To apply, or for more information, please contact us at Consideration of applicants will start immediately, and the position is open until filled.

Our worship involves music and often a prepared message, as well as time spent in waiting worship. We minister to each other, without a pastor. The Meeting Care Coordinator will assist in scheduling messages and supporting outreach.

We invite candidates (and anyone else) to join us for worship any Sunday at 10:25 AM in person or by Zoom. 

Meeting Care Coordinator (MCC)

Durham Friends Meeting seeks a person to serve a quarter-time (eight to ten hours a week) position as a Meeting Care Coordinator, to be paid $10,000/year, with roughly equal responsibilities in two areas: ministry coordination and outreach. The MCC will be supervised by an oversight committee of two or three people and the Clerk, and will report monthly (and as needed) to Ministry & Counsel.

We conceive of this position as one to provide assistance and support to members of the Meeting who are taking the lead in a volunteer capacity in both of these areas. The Meeting Care Coordinator will be a resource to help keep these responsibilities from growing too burdensome to Meeting members.

Preference for hiring will be given to a person familiar with semi-programmed Meetings and Quaker values.

Responsibilities of the Meeting Care Coordinator

The role of the Meeting Care Coordinator (MCC) is to be a resource to Meeting members who serve in leadership positions, with a focus on providing assistance and support in the areas of Ministry and Outreach.  Supervision will be provided by an oversight committee that will report to Ministry & Counsel monthly.

Ministry: The primary task of the Meeting Care Coordinator will be contacting and arranging for message givers (speakers) for Sunday worship, and to coordinate with tech support as needed and with the pianist regarding hymns. Ministry & Counsel will continue to provide oversight and direction for care of worship each Sunday.  The MCC will help to coordinate prayer groups and prayer partners, as occasions arise, following the guidance of Ministry & Counsel.  If the position of Youth Minister is filled, the MCC will coordinate with that person as needed. 

Outreach: The Meeting Care Coordinator will help follow up with visitors and newcomers to the Meeting, under the guidance of Ministry & Counsel.  The Meeting Care Coordinator will provide assistance in scheduling and announcing in-house events as needed, and will share information with other churches or organizations with similar concerns when appropriate. Examples of outside groups that the MCC may connect with are Lisbon Area Christian Outreach (LACO), local interfaith groups, and the Midcoast Indigenous Awareness Group, or other groups whose missions are compatible with the focus of current meeting committees.

Letter to Senator Angus King, March 20, 2023

March 20, 2023

Senator Angus King

133 Hart Building, Washington, DC 20510

Re: H.R. 6707

Dear Senator King, 

You recently decided not to support passage of H.R. 6707 brought by Representative Golden that dealt with the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act when it came before you for consideration. You will recall that his bill would have removed the provision in the Act which states that future Indian legislation does not affect the Maine tribes unless those tribes are specifically made subject to it. A number of our members were disturbed by the statements in your letter which explained why you did not support that bill.

As Quakers, we believe that it is fair and reasonable to give the Wabanaki tribes the same rights under subsequent Congressional legislation dealing with Indian issues as that which is guaranteed to all other tribes. Many scholars have stated that this provision in the Act was not discussed by the parties during the negotiations which led up to the final draft of the Act. Or if it was discussed at all, it was not part of what you describe as “the fundamental position of the State in the negotiations leading up to MICSA.” 

Removing this provision seems consistent with the concept that Federal law should always be considered in light of present-day conditions. As the attached article makes clear, the Wabanaki currently are significantly poorer than other American tribes. Removing this provision would go a long way towards equalizing their status relative to the other tribes.

Thank you for your consideration of this. If you wish to discuss the contents of this letter further, please contact Cushman Anthony, a member of our Peace and Social Concerns Committee and former chair of the Maine Indian Tribal State Commission; or contact our Clerk, Leslie Manning at the above address.


Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends

The attached enclosure can also be found at

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, April 16, 2023

Ellen Bennett — Recording Clerk

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends for the Conduct of Business met at noon on Sunday, April 16th, with 11 people attending at the Meetinghouse and 5 people via Zoom.

1.     Opening Worship

Clerk shared the music of Bayard Rustin to open the meeting — songs from the civil rights movement.  

2.     Approval of Minutes of March 2023 — Tess Hartford

With thanks to Tess for taking the minutes, the meeting approved the minutes. It was noted that the dates for the upcoming listening sessions will be corrected later in the agenda. See item 7 for these corrections.

3.     Ministry and Counsel — Renee Cote, Tess Hartford

Regarding Zoom access, people are asked to send comments or questions to Rene or Tess. They will then be forwarded to Mey Hasbrook.

The issue of masking in the meetinghouse will be taken up at a future date, waiting to hear from Portland Friends Meeting as to their current guidelines. Clerk shared an update on masking from Vassalboro meeting.

No one has been hired for the MCC position as yet, which means there are unspent funds in that budget line that may be used for another purpose, including advertising the position.

4.     Approval of Selection Committee for MCC position

Meeting approved those individuals brought forward to serve on the search committee for a new MCC:  Doug Bennett, Rene Cote, Ingrid, with Leslie as Clerk.

5.     Trustees — Sarah Sprogell                                                                          

Trustees are looking at the “use of the meetinghouse” as it appears in the handbook. The handbook needs to be updated. The Meeting agreed that it would be a good idea to have some handbooks available in the meetinghouse.

Sarah agreed to contact committee clerks reminding them to bring forward any changes needed for their handbook descriptions.  The Clerk confirmed that changes should be approved by the monthly meeting before being put into the handbook.  Once approved, Doug will update the handbook posted on the website.

Trustees and Finance had a joint meeting to clarify accounts and insurance overlap issues. The committees plan to do this once a year.

The Meeting expressed its deep appreciation for this collaboration and coordination.

[Note that the Finance Committee will bring a quarterly report at the next meeting for business.]

6.     Peace and Social Concerns — Ingrid Chalufour

The committee report is an update that recommends several individual actions that people can take themselves. The report with links to the information about each action is available on the Meeting website. Please refer to the report for additional information.

Nat Shed, a former director of Friend’s Camp and a Brunswick city councilor, is coordinating a “Go Fund Me” account for arriving immigrant families to help them set up their apartments. He expressed appreciation to DMM for bringing this to the Meeting’s attention.                                                                                                                                              

7.    Save the Dates:

        April 23:   Finance Committee Discussion of Parsonage Sale Funds  12 noon

        April 30:   Community Conversation about Outreach  12 noon

        May 6:     All Maine Gathering, South China Community Church, from  9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Falmouth Quarter is hosting, so please contribute to the potluck lunch. This is an over-20-year tradition, and the first to be held since Covid. George Lakey will be there.

8.     New Business

        Proposed Minute on Reproductive Health — Leslie Manning

Clerk read the minute aloud.

                Meeting approved sending the letter to FCNL.

9.     Closing Worship

Clerk read a letter from Sara Hubner, administrator at New England Yearly Meeting, thanking DMM for its continued monetary support. Clerk then asked for silent worship, with gratitude for the faithful and consistent lives of those seeking a world of peace, hope, and opportunity for all.

Respectfully submitted, Ellen Bennett, Recording Clerk


Meeting Agenda

Draft Minutes from 23.3.19

Ministry and Counsel Report

Draft Letter to FCNL Regarding Reproductive Health

Trustees Report

Attachments here

Finance Committee to Hold Discussion, Sunday, April 23 after Worship

This coming Sunday, April 23, there will be a meeting after Meeting for Worship hosted by the Finance Committee.

For those attending via Zoom, please use the standing DFM worship link.

The Finance Committee asks us to consider if we wish to continue our practice of tithing 10% of bequests to the Meeting’s Charity Fund and to brainstorm ideas for the use of the money from the sale of the parsonage.

No decisions will be made at this meeting; it is for sharing ideas.

If you are unable to attend but have thoughts, please call or write Nancy Marstaller: (207) 725-4294 or We hope to see you there.