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 durham@neym.org. 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.

Sincerely,

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends

The attached enclosure can also be found at https://theconversation.com/tribes-in-maine-left-out-of-native-american-resurgence-by-40-year-old-federal-law-denying-their-self-determination-198386

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

Attachments:

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 marstallern@gmail.com. We hope to see you there. 

Agenda and Materials for Durham Friends Business Meeting, April 16, 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, April 16, 2023

Opening Worship

Approval of Minutes

Ministry and Counsel Report

Approval of Selection Committee (if accepted):

Proposed: Doug Bennett, Ingrid Chalufor, Renee Cote, Leslie Manning

Trustees Report

Peace and Social Concerns Report

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  9-4 — Falmouth Quarter hosting potluck lunch

New Business

Proposed Minute on Reproductive Health

Closing Worship

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, March 19, 2023

Tess Hartford, Recording Clerk pro tem

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends met for the conduct of business on Sunday, March 19, 2023 with 13 people attending from the Meetinghouse and 2 by Zoom.

1. Meeting Opening

     Clerk opened the meeting by asking approval of Tess Hartford to be Recording Clerk in Ellen Bennett’s absence. Friends approved this request.

Clerk then gathered Friends with reading of the theme from Cuba Yearly Annual Meeting of Sessions.

     Theme: Quakers that the world needs: becoming the sower’s of hope”;

     Text: Timothy 14:10 and the paragraph from George Fox’s journal: sing and rejoice ye children of the day and of the light, because the Lord is at work in the dark night…”

     The lessons were from Hebrews 11, (“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see”) and Romans 5:3-5 (“we also gloryin our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character, and character, hope”)

2. Approval of Minutes of February 2023– Ellen Bennett

    Minutes were approved as submitted.

3. Finance Committee Report—Nancy Marstaller

    A request was made to change the date of the threshing session scheduled for March 26th, to the 4th Sunday in April, the 23rd. After the rise of Meeting

                      Meeting approved the change. 

     Request for approval of a gift of $1,000.00 from the Charity account to assist Dorothy Curtis financially on her trip to Kenya for the United Society of Friends Women Triennial Gathering In July.

Meeting approved this gift.

4. Peace and Social Concerns Committee—- Ingrid Chalufour

    Clerk read a letter crafted by Cushman Anthony in response to the article from Angus King on his position concerning LD-6707 regarding Maine Tribal Sovereignty. A few minor changes were made, after which the letter was approved.

                       Meeting approved the letter

   FCNL has requested of all Quaker Meetings to discern whether or not it should take up the issue of Reproductive Health. PS&C committee members thoughtfully considered this request and made its recommendation to the Monthly Meeting. Two key points were made in these regards. First, historically this has been an issue that Friends have not been able to find agreement on and it would be difficult for FCNL to find a position we could all support. And second, the sense of the committee is that this issue already receives a substantial amount of funding and support. Where FCNL’s resources might be better focused, in their opinion would be in the area of international relations and our defense budget, as this would align with our Quaker value of world peace.

The Social Justice Enrichment Project is preparing a grant proposal to be submitted to the Obadiah Brown Benevolent fund before April 15th. The funds would be used to research the effects of this project to learn more about how the books are being used in the classrooms and what the benefits are to the children. The teachers along with consultants will continue to work with Linda Ashe-Ford as well as Mikku Paul,who is a Maliseet early childhood educator and consultant. The design of this project is to produce materials for teachers and a guidebook for New England Meetings. The requested amount from the OBBF is $7,000.00. PS&C has itself used its budget of $2,000.00 as the Meeting contribution to this project.

5. Statistical Report—— Sarah Sprogell

At the beginning of 2022 we had 101 members and at the end of the year we had 96

There were 4 deaths and 1 resignation.

We had 1 transfer of membership.

We do not have a First Day School

Average attendance at Sunday worship- 25-30 people, including those present in the Meetinghouse and those on Zoom.

Business meeting attendance averages 17 people, again present and virtual.

6. Ministry and Counsel—Clerk, Renee Cote

The 5th draft of the State of Society Report was read aloud to all participants.

Sarah Sprogell suggested a reorganizing of the various content fields for greater cohesiveness as a finished report. The draft as it was presented was wholeheartedly approved with gratitude, but agreed to the realignment of paragraphs as long as the content remained intact.

                     Meeting approved the State of Society report.

7. Trustees—- Sarah Sprogell

There was no report from Trustees this month

8. New Business

Kim Bolshaw brought a request form Portland Monthly Meeting and Durham Monthly Meeting to add the Mission Church/Meeting of Calderon, Cuba to the Velasco Meeting. Calderon is at the farthest edges of Cuba Yearly Meeting in Velasco, our sister city

Portland Friends also asks Durham Friends if we would hold their funds designated for the CYM under our care and create an account exclusively for these funds. These funds are separate from the NEYM, Puente de Amigo funds.

                               Meeting approved these two requests

Clerk of Finance will create the new account.

Clerk, Leslie Manning read a letter from FCNL’s General Secretary, Bridget Moix regarding its compassionate statement in response to the Supreme Court reversal of Roe vs.Wade decision on abortion. Clerk asked all present to prayerfully share thoughts without discussion, comment or debate as a way to discern our position as a Meeting on this issue. Friends shared respectfully and with heartfelt expressions of concerns. It was acknowledged at the conclusion of sharing that we at Durham Friends are not in unity on this sensitive and weighty subject.

9. Meeting Closing

Meeting closed with waiting worship and a deep sense of gratitude.

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

The materials for Durham Friends Meeting’s March 19, 2023 Meeting for Business are available at this link.

Agenda

Opening reading and worship

Minutes of Previous Meeting (available here)

Finance Committee Report

Peace and Social Concerns Report

Ministry and Counsel Draft State of Our Society

Statistical Report

+++ Break +++

Listening Session on FCNL Request for Legislative Priority (Materials here)

Closing Worship

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, February 19, 2023

approved, March 19, 2023

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends met for the conduct of business on Sunday, February 19, 2023, with 8 people attending from the Meetinghouse and by 4 Zoom.

1. Meeting Opening

Clerk opened the meeting with a period of silent worship and read from Friends Committee on National Legislation  “Tips to maintain dialogue across disagreement: Listen empathetically. Ask open-ended questions. Share your story, rather than argue over facts.” Listen, ask, share…..

2.     Website Tour — Doug Bennett

A tour of Durham Monthly Meeting’s website was conducted by the Meeting’s web coordinator, to familiarize Meeting members with this resource. Beginning with a shared image of the DFM homepage, each of the elements of the homepage were reviewed.

The website is made up of a number of “static” pages: e.g., a page for Visitors, one titled “Our Meeting” which has a number of additional links, a page for Peace and Social Concerns, etc.

All information posted on the website comes through a Meeting committee. The one page that is not static is the News and Messages page. This page is updated regularly with messages given at meeting, as well as invitations to events.

Because there are a great number of documents available through the website, there are two search boxes to assist in finding specific documents. A list of categories, which is also available, may assist in finding specific information.

There are three important uses of the website: 1. Giving immediate shared access to information, which is posted within 24 hours of being received. 2. As an on-line archive. 3. As a tool for outreach — the website is findable by anyone, not just members.

The weekly email, “This Week at DFM” includes hot links to everything that has been added recently to the website.

Members noted that the website is another way to keep us connected as a community. Others noted that Friends from other meetings have complimented the webpage. Doug received thanks for his work.

3.     Approval of Minutes of January 2023 — Ellen Bennett

                        Minutes were approved as submitted.

4.     Finance Committee Report — Nancy Marstaller

        Clerk pointed out that a total of 4 documents were distributed, including end-of-year reports.

Highlights of the end-of-year report from 2022 were noted. The Meeting is in good financial shape. Our weekly contributions were down, but this deficit was countered by bequests and end-of-year giving. Our expenses were also lower for 2022, leaving us in good financial shape. Only 67% of what we budgeted in expenditures was spent.

A summary of expenses outside of our regular operating expenses was also provided.

A Balance Sheet was presented. The question was raised as to the division of restricted vs. unrestricted money. Finance Clerk responded that all money reported on the Balance Sheet is unrestricted. The difference between “designated” and “restricted” funds was explained.

Finance Clerk then reviewed the financial report for February.

The Finance Committee asks the Meeting set a date for a Threshing Session. The agenda should include determining a tithing amount for building Charity funds, as well as the use of the Parsonage funds. Clerk suggested March 26th.

                The date of Sunday, March 26th for a Threshing Session was approved.

The Meeting also approved up to $1000 from Charity account to support Dorothy Curtis to attend the United Society of Friends Women—Kenya, Triennial, in July. These funds would be added to funds from other sources. 

                Meeting approved this support.

5.     Ministry and Counsel — Renee Cote, Tess Hartford

Regarding someone to provide tech support, the best solution has been discerned to be someone with technology expertise. Several suggestions have been made. It was noted that it might be best if this person is not a member of the meeting; tending to tech issues can take away from the worship experience. The feeling was expressed that we should still have volunteers, Meeting members, available to assist as back-up. Asking someone to come every Sunday for just a couple of hours might be difficult. A paid person could be responsible for technology set-up, checking to make sure that things are working, with Meeting-member volunteers to work during worship.

To improve the technology set-up, microphones would be rearranged. The current mic at the podium would be replaced by 2 free-standing mics. Hand-held mics have also been used successfully in other places, and should be tested in the Meetinghouse.

M&C will continue to discuss this issue and bring a recommendation back to the Meeting.

Ezra Smith’s request for Meeting membership was brought forward. The Clearness Committee will be providing a letter of support for Ezra to be included with these minutes. Committee members were asked to provide a summary of the conversation with Ezra. The best date to welcome Ezra into Membership will be determined.

                  The Meeting united in joyfully approving Ezra’s request for Membership.

The Meeting Care Coordinator job description was read and reviewed. M&C is looking for suggestions and approval of this description. The suggestion was made to add that the MCC would reach out to the co-Clerks of M&C for counsel support as needed. In addition, the recommendation was made to add that preference for hiring would be given to a person with familiarity with Quaker programmed or semi-programmed meetings for worship and Quaker values.

The financial implications of hiring an MCC as well as a technology person, and perhaps a new youth minister, given that our weekly income has dropped off significantly of late, raises the question: Are we financially sound? Can we afford this easily? The tech support position might cost the Meeting more than an MCC. The funds have been budgeted for MCC for 2023. If the wish is to move forward with two positions, the Meeting has to make certain that it has funds to support both.

                  The Meeting approved the job description as amended.

                  The Meeting approved that M&C post the job description and seek applicants.

6.     Trustees — Sarah Sprogell

No action items were brought forward with the Trustees report.

Trustees informed the Meeting that an outside group is renting and would be using the Meetinghouse this coming week.

The dates that outside groups are using the Meetinghouse are posted on the Google calendar via the website, as well as the paper Meetinghouse calendar posted in the Gathering Room.                                                       

7.     Peace and Social Concerns — Ingrid Chalufour

        Clerk read the Peace and Social Concerns report. There were no action items.                  

8.     New Business — Leslie Manning

Wendy asked to bring a presentation from MEIRS of Lewiston on the fourth Sunday in February at the rise of meeting.

                The Meeting approved this event.

Request for concert — Peter Blood and Annie Patterson requested use of the Meetinghouse to host a concert at the end of April. A concern about masking was raised, given that their concerts are sing-alongs. Because it is important to be consistent about masking, the Meeting agreed that it is appropriate to ask concert-goers to be masked, but not Annie and Peter. Intergenerational special events group will take the lead on coordinating this.

                Meeting approved hosting the concert.

9.     Closing Worship

Clerk thanked everyone for hard, concerted work in listening to one another and lifting up concerns about our work together, and particularly hold M&C in the light as they prepare the State of Society Report. Hold one another tenderly, and listen together for God’s will for our community.

Clerk closed the meeting with moments of silent worship, and a reading Ezra’s letter of intent to become a member of Durham Friends Meeting.

Respectfully submitted,

Ellen Bennett, Recording Clerk

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

The materials for Durham Friends Meeting’s February 19, 2023 Meeting for Business for Worship are available at this link.

Proposed Agenda for Meeting for Worship for the Conduct of Business, February 19, 2023

Opening Reading and worship

Website Tour

Minutes of Previous Meeting (available here)

Finance Committee Report

  — Request for Threshing Session

  — Charity Fund Request

Ministry and Counsel Report

  — Meeting Care Coordinator

  — Membership Recommendation

Trustees Report

Peace and Social Concerns Report

New Business

  — Request for Concert

  — MEIR info session

Closing Worship

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, January 15, 2023

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

1.     Meeting Opening

Clerk opened meeting with a moment of silent preparation                                                

2.     Review Agenda

        Clerk reviewed the agenda.

3.     Approval of Minutes of December 2023 — Ellen Bennett

                  Minutes were approved.

4.     Ministry and Counsel — Renee Cote, Tess Hartford

Meeting Care Coordinator (MCC)

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

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

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

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

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

Proposal for Technology for the Meetinghouse

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

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

5.     Trustees — Sarah Sprogell

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

6.     Peace and Social Concerns — Ingrid Chalufour

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

7.     Proposed Minute from Falmouth Quarterly Meeting                              

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

            Members approved and unite with the minute.                                                        

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

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

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

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

9.     Communications Update                                                                                                    

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

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

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

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

New Business

      None

10.   Correspondence — Leslie Manning

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

Respectfully submitted, Ellen Bennett, Recording Clerk

Attachments:

23.01.15 Agenda for Meeting For Business- Proposed.pdf

23.01.15 M&C Report.pdf

23.01.03 Durham Friends In-Meeting Audio Options.pdf

23.01.15 MCC position proposed.pdf

23.01.15 Trustees Annual Report 2022.pdf

23.01.15 Proposed FQM Minute on Tribal Sovereignty.pdf

Agenda and Materials for Durham Friends Business Meeting, January 15, 2023

Reports, Proposals and Other Materials are posted here.

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

Opening Worship

Review Agenda

Approval of Minutes from December 18, 2022 Meeting for Business

Ministry and Counsel Report

    Meeting Care Coordinator

    Tech Support and Amplification (review only)

Trustees Annual Report

Peace and Social Concerns Update

Proposed Minute from Falmouth Quarter

Communications Update

Correspondence

New Business

Appoint Representatives to Falmouth Quarterly Meeting 1/28/23

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, December 18, 2022

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

1.     Meeting Opening

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

2.     Approval of Minutes of November 2022 — Ellen Bennett

            Minutes were approved with two small corrections.

3.     Nominating Committee — Linda Muller

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

            Members approved.

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

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

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

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

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

4.     Ministry and Counsel — Tess Hartford, Renee Cote

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

Members approved.

5.     Finance Committee — Sarah Sprogell

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

      Members approved the 2023 budget.

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

      Members approved.

6.     Request for Funding                                                                                 

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

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

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

       Members approved.

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

7.     Trustees Report — Sarah Sprogell

        Report was submitted to update members. Nothing for approval.                                       

8.     Peace and Social Concerns — Ingrid Chalufour

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

9.     New Business

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

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

The meeting ended with silent worship.

Respectfully submitted, Ellen Bennett, Recording Clerk

Attachments:

Attachments for DMM 22.12.18

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

Reports, Proposals and Other Materials are posted here.

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

Open with worship

Approval of Minutes, December 18, 2022

Nominating Committee

Requires 1 approval

Minute of Appreciation

Ministry and Counsel

Requires 1 approval

Finance Committee

Budget requires approval

Recommendation requires approval

Trustees Report

Peace and Social Concerns

New Business:

Request for Funding

Closing Worship

Request for Funding

Closing Worship

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, November 20, 2022

corrected and approved, December 18, 2022

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

1.     Meeting Opening

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

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

                 Minutes were approved as presented, with thanks.

3.     Peace and Social Concerns — Ingrid Chalufour

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

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

4.     Finance Committee — Nancy Marstaller

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

5.     Trustees Report — Sarah Sprogell

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

6.     Ministry and Counsel — Renee Cote, Tess Hartford

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

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

7.     Nominating Committee — Linda Muller

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

                Members approved.

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

                Members approved.

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

                Members approved.                                                                                              

Ellen Bennett to serve as Recording Clerk for 2023.

                Members approved.

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

                Members approved.

David Dexter will continue to assist Margaret Copeland with LACO responsibilities

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

                Members approved.

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

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

New Business

8.     Request from Velasco Sister City Committee.

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

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

9.     Youth Account Proposal — Wendy Schlotterbeck

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

                Members approved.

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

Respectfully submitted, Ellen Bennett, Recording Clerk

Attachments (available here):

Proposed Agenda

Minutes from October Meeting for Business

Peace and Social Concerns Report

Trustees Report

Ministry and Counsel Report

Nominating Committee Report

Finance Committee Proposed Budget for 2023 (first reading)

Youth Account Proposal

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

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

Comments are paraphrased.

First half

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

Silence.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Agenda and Materials for Durham Friends Meeting for Business, November 20, 2022

Proposed Agenda for Meeting for Business 11/20/22

Opening worship
Minutes from previous meeting
Peace and Social Concerns Report
Trustees Report
Ministry and Counsel Report
Nominating Committee Report
Finance Committee Proposed Budget for 2023 (first reading)
New Business

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

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, October 16, 2022

1.     Meeting Opening

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

Clerk opened the meeting with a moment of silent centering.                                             

2.     Review Agenda — Leslie Manning

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

3.     Approval of September Minutes — Ellen Bennett

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

       With this change, the minutes were approved.

4.     Ministry and Counsel — Renee Cote, Tess Hartford

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

               The Tommy Frye Memorial Minute was read.

       This minute was approved, with appreciation and thanks.                                           

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

       The Meeting approved the letter.

5.     Trustees — Sarah Sprogell

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

       Meeting approved the rental information document.

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

6.     Finance Committee — Nancy Marstaller

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

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

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

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

       The Meeting approved the Lindi School request.

7.     Peace and Social Concerns — Ingrid Chalufour

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

8.     New Business

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

               The Meeting heartily approved Ezra’s request.                                                            

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

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

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

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

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

Clerk closed the meeting with a moment of silent reflection.

Respectfully submitted,

Ellen Bennett, Recording Clerk

Attachments Here

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, September 18, 2022

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

1.     Meeting Opening

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

Friends reviewed the agenda.                                                                                               

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

        Recording Clerk read the minutes.

               Meeting approved.                                                                                                        

3.     Nominating Committee Report — Linda Muller

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

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

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

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

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

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

4.     Ministry and Counsel — Renee Cote, Tess Hartford

        Rene read the M&C report.

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

               Meeting approved the recommendation

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

               Meeting approved the recommendation.

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

              The Meeting approved this recommendation.

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

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

5.     Finance — Nancy Marstaller

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

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

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

6.     Trustees — Sarah Sprogell

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

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

New Business

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

7.     Correspondence report:

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

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

Portland Friends Meeting newsletter, Summer 2022

Programs for Worship Services from Ralph Greene of Dedham. ME

FCNL Summer Newsletter focusing on Yemen

Quarterly updates from the Gospel Tract Society

8.    Other important items of note:

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

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

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

9.     Meeting Closing

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

Respectfully submitted,

Ellen Bennett, Recording Clerk

Agenda and Materials for Durham Friends Business Meeting, October 16, 2022

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

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

Centering Worship

Review Agenda

Minutes of Previous Meeting

Ministry and Counsel

  Letter of Introduction

  Memorial Minute

Trustees

  Rental Proposal

Finance

  Lindi School Request

Peace and Social Concerns Update

New Business

   Letters requesting membership

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, July 17, 2022

Ellen Bennett — Recording Clerk

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends met for the conduct of business on Sunday, July 17, 2022, with 9 people attending from the Meetinghouse and 6 by Zoom.

  1.    Meeting Opening

Meeting members were invited into worship holding Helen Clarkson and her family in the Light. Helen, a longtime and beloved meeting member, passed away July16th.                                                                                           

2.     Approval for Clerk of the Day

Rene Cote shared that Bob Eaton announced he would be stepping down immediately, as Meeting Clerk. M&C recommended that Leslie Manning serve as interim clerk for the meeting, with great appreciation.

               The recommendation was approved.

3.     Approval of Minutes from June 26 — Tess Hartford

In item # 2 of the May minutes, the request was made to delete the sentence beginning with “There followed a discussion.”

       With this correction, the minutes were approved.

New Business

4.    Clerk of the Day asked the Meeting to consider the following New Business item early in the meeting agenda due to the time availability of the requester.

Ellis Noetzel, a young and faithful attender of Meeting, would like to attend Friends Camp. Her family requests support for the cost of attending. This is the only request that the Meeting had this year and the money is available.

               Meeting approved the request.

Reports from Committees

5.     Ministry and Counsel — René Cote

Bob Eaton resigned his position as clerk effective immediately. Approval is not needed for this request. Nominating Committee is aware of the resignation, and Leslie Manning will inform Quarterly Meeting of the changes.

Katherine (Kitsie) Hildebrand requests that the Meeting accept her resignation as a member of Durham MM. M&C recommends the Meeting accept the resignation, with tremendous sadness and regret, as well as deep and abiding gratitude for her many years of service. Kitsie and her family will always be in the Meeting’s thoughts and prayers. There will be a letter from M&C to Kitsie.

       The Meeting approved her request, with sadness.

6.     Finance Committee — Sarah Sprogell

A verbal summary was given. Expenses are significantly lower than budgets due to vacant staff positions, and though weekly contributions are down, the meeting’s financial position is good. Contributions may now be sent to the Finance Committee at the Meeting’s address.

        Heidi Todd has been hired as bookkeeper. She began her work the end of June.

A family contribution has been made covering the full cost of rebuilding the stone pillars at the Lunt Cemetery. The family has historical connections to the Cemetery. In consultation with the new bookkeeper, the finance committee will determine how gifts such as these are recorded. Clerk will work with the Recording Clerk and finance committee to draft an acknowledgment of the gift.

               The Meeting accepted the Finance Committee report.

7.     Trustees Report — Sarah Sprogell

Trustees recommend that the meeting join a solar farm to reduce its electric bill, and would like approval to proceed with exploration of solar farms and eventual sign-up. Friends who are not in attendance at Meeting for Business may submit any questions or comments about joining a solar farm to Trustees, who meet the first Sunday of the month.

Knowing that Trustees will proceed with due diligence and good research, the Meeting approved Trustees request to proceed on the Meeting’s behalf.

8.     Nominating Committee — Mey Hasbrook

The committee reminds Meeting that there will be a meeting in the fall (suggested date, Oct. 30th) to discern the role of Treasurer moving forward.

       The Meeting approved the recommendation for a called meeting in October.

Committee recommends that Mey Hasbrook join the Communications Committee, term to begin in January 2023. Mey asked for early approval so that she may sit in on meetings to determine how she might best fit.

       Meeting approved the nomination.

        Clerk reminds Meeting that we are seeking an auditor for cemetery funds.

9.     Peace and Social Concerns —Ingrid Chalufour

Ingrid summarized the committee report noting particularly: DMM has a presence in the wider Durham community; letter to Brunswick Town Council has been received and is “in the queue,” and the social justice enrichment project in Pownal, Freeport, Auburn and Friends School of Portland is going very well. The meeting expressed its thanks to this diligent group. Clerk recommended that this be shared so as to appear in New England Yearly Meeting’s newsletter.

       Report is accepted with gratitude.

The Meeting was reminded that similar initiative needs to be taken with our US senators with regard to H.R. 6707: Advancing Equality for Wabanaki Nations Act. A letter on behalf of DMM, drafted by Clerk with help from Shirley Hager and Friends Committee on Maine Public Policy, will be sent to Maine senators. This measure passed the US House with bipartisan support.          

New Business

10.   It is the practice of NEYM to name representatives to their Annual Sessions, who will then report back to each monthly meeting in August or September. Clerk asked if any members would be attending. Responding were Mey Hasbrook, Sarah Sprogell (in discernment),

Portland Friends Meeting is having a special event around the Cuba Trip on July 24. Members are encouraged to attend.

In lieu of Meeting for Business in August, Members suggested a gathering on 8.21, following Meeting for Worship, for sociability and friendship. Kim and Mey and Leslie agreed to help plan the gathering.

    Meeting approved a social gathering on 8.21.

Meeting Closing

Durham Monthly Meeting will hold its next Meeting for Business on 9.18.22. Should it be necessary to conduct business before then, please contact the clerks of M&C.

Margaret Wentworth led all in prayer for closing.

Respectfully submitted, Ellen Bennett, Recording Clerk

Note: Special mention was made that 7.17. 22 is the second anniversary of Sukie Rice’s death. Members paused for a moment of silence in remembrance, and two members spoke personally of her importance to them.

Attachments:

DMM Business Meeting 22.07.17 Agenda

DMM Business Meeting Minutes 22.06.26

DMM Business Meeting Ministry and Counsel Report

DMM Business Meeting Budget

DMM Business Meeting Trustees Report

DMM Business Meeting Nominating Committee Report

DMM Business Meeting Peace and Social Concerns Report

Helen Clarkson, 1925-2022

In loving memory of wife, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother, Helen Cornelia Clarkson (Pratt). At the age of 96, on Saturday, July 16, 2022, she passed away peacefully in her beloved home on Flying Point overlooking Casco Bay.

Helen Clakson

She was born on August 21, 1925 in Somerville, MA, the oldest child of Albert Pratt and Marion Cornelia Pratt (Dwelley). The family moved to Brunswick, ME were she graduated from Brunswick High School in 1942. She then attended Bates College in Lewiston, ME were she graduated in 1946 with a Bachelor of Science degree in sociology. Helen then continued her studies at Washington State University in 1946 where she met her husband, Vernon Albert Clarkson, on the first day of her arrival. She graduated in 1947 with a Master’s degree in sociology. Vernon and Helen were married on August 2, 1947 at the Friends Meeting House (Quaker) in Durham, ME.

They proceeded to have two sons, Bruce and Robert, and a daughter, Joyce. After teaching for one year at Freeport High School, the couple moved to Corvallis, OR. At first Helen worked as a social worker for the State of Oregon, and then when the family moved to Raleigh, N.C., she became a professor of sociology at both North Carolina State University and Meredith College, a position she held for many years. In 1975, the family moved to Rhinebeck, NY in the scenic Hudson River valley where she became the Dean of Admissions of Dutchess County Community College, a position she especially enjoyed because she was able to assist many adult female students overcome difficult personal hurdles and complete their education.

Upon retirement, Vernon and Helen returned to Maine and built a home on a cherished piece of property her parents had purchased in 1946 on Flying Point in Freeport, ME, the home she occupied thereafter in happiness and contentment. Upon retirement, Helen continued to generously donate her time and energy to many worthwhile causes, including being a valued member for seventy-five years of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and equally important to her, the Durham Friends Meeting, the Friends Women Society, the Freeport Women’s Club, and making countless quilts for ABC Quilts and Project Linus to bring a ray of kindness to disadvantage and suffering children.

Helen was predeceased by her husband Vernon, sister Katherine, and grandson Lee Vernon Clarkson. She is survived by her three children, four grandchildren, and three great grandchildren. Helen had a full and wonderful life, spanning wonderous events in history, and to the very end of this chapter on Earth, was an avid reader, maintained an unforgettable sense of humor, and an unwavering love for her family and friends, past and present.

She will be sorely missed, but never forgotten. Condolences and fond memories may be shared at www.stetsonsfuneralhome.com A celebration of a life well lived will occur at noon at the Durham Friends Meeting Hall on August 2, 2022. In lieu of flowers, Helen gratefully requests a donation to Bates College for the Vernon A. and Hellen Pratt Clarkson 1946 Scholarship, mailed to Bates College, Office of College Advancement, 2 Andrews Road, Lewiston ME 04240. Arrangements are under the direction of Stetson’s Funeral Home & Cremation Care 12 Federal St., Brunswick, 725-4341.