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


  Rental Proposal


  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.


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 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.

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, June 26, 2022

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends met for the conduct of business on Sunday, June 26, 2022 with 8 people present in the Meetinghouse and 7 joining in through Zoom. Bob Eaton opened the meeting with a moment of silent centering and preparation.

1) Review of Agenda — Bob Eaton

      Clerk began with a review of the agenda.. Clerk asked Tess Hartford if she would take the minutes in Ellen Bennett’s absence. Tess obliged.

Items that require approval and/or seasoning

2) Approval of Minutes of May 2022—-Ellen Bennett

      Bob Eaton asked if there were any changes, additions or corrections to be made on the May Minutes. Nancy Marstaller spoke to the report from the ad hoc committee formed to work on safety guidelines for the safe attendance of in person Meeting for Worship in the Meetinghouse, noting that her participation on said committee would no longer continue.There folljowed a discussion with other members about how to proceed when the ad hoc committee was laid down. Meeting accepted this addition with great thanks to those who worked on these guidelines along with Nancy, Ingrid Chalufour and Ann Ruthsdottir. This change was noted and the minutes approved.

3) Ministry and Counsel Committee Report—- Tess Hartford and Renee Cote

     On May 23, Monthly Meeting approved updated COVID guidelines that removed the vaccination requirement for in-person attendance. Because the COVID rates and recommendations continue to change, Ministry and Counsel will continue to put safe practices on its agenda and to monitor the situation with the COVID virus. As there was no laying down of the COVID guideline committee during that Monthly Meeting, M7C requests that the committee be laid down if its work has ended, with many thanks for all its work in this area

Ministry & Counsel continues its prayerful consideration of the issues that have arisen regarding the current and former trustees and is reviewing the ways that other Meetings have developed to address conflict resolution within the Meeting.

We happily recognize three recent graduates: Ariana Andrews, granddaughter of Tess Hartford, from Brunswick High School. Ariana will be attending Southern Maine Community College in the fall. Qat L’Angelier received a Master’s degree in Peace and Reconciliation Interdisciplinary Studies from University of Maine: and Joey Reed, son of Angie and David Reed received his Master’s degree in Economics and Environmental Science from the University of Maine. Graduates received cards.

3) Finance Committee Report—— Nancy Marstaller

   1   We have found an excellent person we want to hire as a bookkeeper. Her references were all rave reviews and she is very comfortable with our current system and ready to start. Her name isHeidi Todd and she lives in Freeport. She charges $30 per hour and anticipates that once she gets started it will take her 2-3 hours per month to do the work. Although we heard an endorsement from the last monthly meeting to hire a bookkeeper, the minutes did not reflect this so we ask for specific approval now. Approved

We also ask for approval to amend the budget to add a line for a bookkeeper under Meeting expenses with$600.00 for the remainder of the year.  Approved

   2. We recommend an additional donation of $500 to New England Yearly Meeting of Friends to support sessions this year, as they are allowing children and youth to come without charge.  This would come from our general account. Approved

If anyone is interested is interested in how we are currently sharing treasury responsibilities, please speak to one of us on Finance. Reimbursement procedures for committees and individuals have not changed. Please still used the forms provided.

Report of the Trustees for Business Meeting– –Clerk, Sarah Sprogell, members Doug Bennett and Dan Henton, custodian, Kim Bolshaw ex officio

  1. The electrical panel upgrade was completed on May 31st by LIncoln Electric. The panel was upgraded from 100 to 200 amps in order to accommodate our new heat pumps.
  2. Three heat pumps were installed on June 13 by Northeast Heat Pumps. Two are in the meeting room and one is in the basement. These are in addition to the existing hear pump in the vestry.
  3. We will likely schedule the removal of the old furnaces in late summer or early fall, to take advantage of funds currently held in a CD, that matures in September.
  4. In May the monthly meeting asked Trustees to look into recommended fees for use of the meetinghouse by non-members. Earlier handbooks have included a suggested donation of $100.00 for a one-time use of the building and/or grounds. We will continue to use this guideline for now.

         The report from Trustees was accepted.

                                    Audit for Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends

                                              Years 2020 and 2021

Looking back at these two years, it should be noted that for most of 2020 and all of 2021 the meetinghouse was not used for regular worship of for most other gatherings due to the impact of the Covid-19 virus pandemic. In spite of this unprecedented world-wide event, the meeting hired a Meeting Care Coordinator who served for much of this time, helping to facilitate speakers, provide a number of on-line gatherings and assist with other outreach projects. With the building mostly unused, meeting Trustees carried out a number of significant improvements ranging from painting the meeting room, nursery, and kitchen, removing carpeting at the entrance hallways and renewing the flooring in those areas, and repointing much of the building exterior . Perhaps most significant during this time period was the sale of the Parsonage in September 2021.

An audit of the operating records found that this information, as well as bank statements and related documentation continue to be well documented, organized and readily accessible for review. In addition to a checking account for the Meeting’s operational budget, our Treasurer also oversees and manages our capital and charity accounts. These accounts are used periodically, with the approval of the business meeting, and are documented with invoices and meeting minutes as needed. The Treasurer also oversees three investment accounts held through the New England Yearly Meeting, two of which provide quarterly distributions to the operating account. Finally, there is a locally held CD account and a savings account that the meeting has drawn upon in unique circumstances.

Our Treasurer, Katherine Hildebrandt, has worked faithfully and skillfully for many years in this role. Her knowledge and abilities in keeping our records organized and current has been an enormous gift to the meeting. She deserves our deep and heartfelt gratitude.

Respectfully submitted, Sarah Sprogell, Meeting auditor

Meeting accepted the Audit Report with gratitude

Member Concern

A member spoke to all those assembled expressing hurt and dismay regarding the alleged improper behavior of the Trustees and their decisions as an appointed and lawful instrument of the Meeting charged with the responsibility of caring for the Meetinghouse physical maintenance and improvements, upkeep of the grounds and also our cemeteries. The clerk responded with a request for silently and earnestly taking in the sentiments expressed. We acknowledge that we are in a tender period of time within our Meeting community and that healing our brokenness will not come quickly, but will require ongoing faithfulness, prayerful dialogue and open heartedness to walk alongside each other, bearing this together with God’s help and grace.

Advance Reports and other materials can be found here.

Agenda 22.06.26 DMM Business Mtg
Audit Report 22.06.26 DMM Business Mtg
Draft Minutes 22 05 22-23 DMM Business Mtg
Finance Report 22.06.26 DMM Business Mtg
Ministry and Counsel Report 22.06.26 DMM Business Mtg
Trustees Report 22.06.26 DMM Business Mtg

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, May 22-23, 2022


Ellen Bennett — Recording Clerk

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends met for the conduct of business on Sunday, May 22, 2022, with 8 people attending in the Meetinghouse.

Due to technical problems, those members waiting to attend by ZOOM were not able to attend.  Those at the Meetinghouse agreed to hold a brief meeting to hear a member’s concern and to then adjourn the meeting until Monday, May 23, at 7pm by ZOOM.

Meeting of 22 May 2022.

  1. Concern of member

Dan Henton shared a deep concern that the former trustees had been criticized of improper behavior.  He wanted the meeting to specify charges against the former Trustees.  Dan further felt that the current clerk of Trustees had exceeded her authority on several expenditures.  Dan then excused himself from Meeting.

Clerk of Trustees apologized for moving too quickly in seeking to expedite several items concerning maintenance of the existing heat pump and an issue concerning the cemetery.  Clerk of Trustees, after consultation with the Trustees and the Clerk of Meeting reversed the decision regarding the heat pump and submitted a request to the March monthly meeting.  No action has been taken, to date, on the cemetery expenditure.  Clerk of Meeting noted Trustees were now in conformance with the Meeting Handbook and thanked Dan for raising the issue and the Clerk of Trustees correcting the mistake.  Meeting was united in expression of confidence in the current and prior trustees.

       Meeting asked the clerk to draft a minute expressing the meeting’s fulsome support and trust in  the integrity and work of the prior Trustees.

Clerk pointed out that the rupture in the prior Trustees that led to two resignations had not healed.  The role of Trustees is still not fully clear.  Meeting needs to address this question directly.  It was noted that Trustees have begun the useful work of drafting a charge for Trustees that will eliminate ambiguity.  Finance Committee volunteered to help in this work.

       Meeting asked Trustees to continue its work drafting a charge for the Trustees and to report on its progress.

This Meeting is adjourned until Monday, 7pm, 23 May 2022.

Meeting of 23 May 2022.

Bob opened the meeting by Zoom with a moment of silent centering and preparation. Sixteen members joined.

  • Review of Agenda — Bob Eaton                                                                                          

Clerk began with a review of the agenda, noting the addition of the review of the minutes of the Sunday afternoon Meeting for Business at the Meetinghouse.

Items that require approval and/or seasoning

  • Approval of Minutes of April 2022 — Ellen Bennett

        The April minutes were approved as submitted with the agenda.

  • Approval of Minutes of May 22 meeting — Bob Eaton

Bob read the minutes of this first part of the Meeting for Business which took place Sunday May 22, 2022.

With one amendment for clarification concerning the use of funds, the minutes of this portion of the Meeting for Business were approved.

Pursuant to request of the Sunday session, Meeting approved the following minute:

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends reaffirms its full confidence in the integrity and competence of the prior and current Trustees of Meeting.

  • Nominating Committee Report — Linda Muller

The following individuals were brought forward by the Nominating Committee to serve in support of the Meeting:

               Meeting members approved Cush Anthony to serve on Ministry and Counsel

               Meeting members approved Dorothy Curtis to serve on the Finance Committee

               Meeting members approved Kim Bolshaw to serve on the Library Committee

               Meeting members approved Mey Hasbrook to serve as Treasurer Assistant

               Meeting members approved the description of the Assistant Treasurer.

Meeting members approved a special meeting to convene this fall to review the overall work of the Meeting Treasurer.

Meeting members approved Finance Committee actively seek a bookkeeper, assuming that all Meeting members will read these minutes and thus be aware of this opportunity.

Meeting members expressed their appreciation for the work that Nominating Committee has done.

6.     Ministry and Counsel Report — Tess Hartford and Renée Cote

Meeting members approved the transfer of membership of Mey Hasbrook from Kalamazoo Friends Meeting to Durham Friends Meeting. 

                                                                                                                                               Trustees will take up the question of remuneration for use of the Meetinghouse for weddings, etc. Wendy will send information from Portland Friends Meeting concerning rental of the Meetinghouse for comparison purposes.

7.     Covid Guidelines — Nancy Marstaller

The new recommendations remove the vaccination requirement. Clerk of the Meeting pointed out that there is no need for expediency regarding a decision. A thoughtful and clear discussion followed with people commenting on both sides of this issue. Clerk asked for a period of silent reflection. Clerk noted that regardless of the outcome, some members will be attending Meeting by Zoom.

The Meeting accepted the recommendation of the Committee to remove the vaccination requirement from the Covid Guidelines. Meeting members are appreciative of the care and work that the Committee has put into thinking through this issue.

It was noted that the use of technology in the Meetinghouse, allowing hybrid worship, will require more individuals be trained in how to use and troubleshoot tech issues so that all might participate in worship without difficulty.

Reports for information and comment

8.    Finance Committee — Nancy Marstaller

9.     Peace and Social Concerns Committee Report — Ingrid Chalufour

10.   Trustees Report — Sarah Sprogell

The above three reports were accepted by the Meeting and are attached.

11. Verbal report on Falmouth Quarterly Meeting — Wendy Schlotterbeck.

Wendy shared information about the upcoming plant sale, and the logistics of bringing and buying plants. 

Respectfully submitted,

Ellen Bennett, Recording Clerk


        DMM Business Mtg 22 05 22 Agenda.docx

        DMM Business Mtg 22 05 22 Draft Minutes of 22 04 24.docx

        DMM Business Mtg 22 05 22 Report Covid Guidelines Rationale.docx

        DMM Business Mtg 22 05 22 Report Covid Guidelines.docx

        DMM Business Mtg 22 05 22 Report Ministry and Counsel.docx

        DMM Business Mtg 22 05 22 Report Nominating Committee.docx

        DMM Business Mtg 22 05 22 Report Peace and Social Concerns.docx

        DMM Business Mtg 22 05 22 Report Trustees.docx

Durham Friends Meeting Use Guidelines

Proposed May 22, 2022


Vaccinations are encouraged but not required.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


ZOOM meetings will continue to be available.

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

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

Please limit your visit to as few rooms as possible.

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

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

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


ZOOM meetings will continue to be available.

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

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

Please limit your visit to as few rooms as possible.

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, April 24, 2022

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

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

  1. Review of Agenda — Bob Eaton

Items that require approval or seasoning

2.     Approval of Minutes of March 2022 — Ellen Bennett

        The minutes were approved as distributed with the agenda.

3.     Nominating Committee — Linda Muller

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

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

        The recommendation was approved.

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

4.     Trustees Report — Sarah Sprogell

Please refer to the attached report for details.

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

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

5.     Ministry and Counsel — Renee Cote, Tess Hartford

Please refer to the attached report.

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

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

        State of the Society Report

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

        The Meeting approved the State of Society Report.

6.     Peace and Social Concerns — Ingrid Chalufour

Please refer to the attached report.

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

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

Reports for Information and Comment

7.     Finance Committee — Nancy Marstaller

Please refer to the attached first quarter financial report.

        The Meeting accepted the Finance Report with thanks.

8.     Meetinghouse Use Guidelines — Nancy Marstaller

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

Respectfully submitted,

Ellen Bennett, Recording Clerk

Attachments: available here

DMM Business Mtg 22 04 24 Agenda.docx

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

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

DMM Business Mtg 22 04 24 Report Nominating Committee.docx

DMM Business Mtg 22 04 24 Entry proposal.docx

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

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

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

DMM Business Mtg 22 04 24 Report Trustees.docx

Agenda and Materials for Durham Friends Business Meeting, April 24, 2022

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

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

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

  1. Review of Agenda                                                                                                     Bob Eaton

Items that require approval and/or seasoning

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

State of the Society Report for approval

  • Peace and Social Concerns                                                                                Ingrid Chalufour

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

Reports for information and comment

  • Finance Committee                                                                                         Nancy Marstaller

AttachmentsAvailable by clicking here

Minutes, 22.03.20

Finance Committee Report, First Quarter 2022

Committee on Ministry and Counsel Report 22.04.24

State of Society Report 2021, Draft

Nominating Committee Report, 22.04.24

Peace and Social Concerns Committee Report, 22.04.24

Trustees Report, 22.04.24

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, March 20, 2022

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

1.     Meeting Opening

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

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

There were no additions or edits to the proposed agenda.

2.     Approval of Minutes of February 2022 — Ellen Bennett

The following amendments to the minutes were requested:

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

               The minutes were approved with the above changes.                                                  

Old Business

3.     Guidelines for use of Meetinghouse — Nancy Marstaller

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

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

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

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

4.     Air Purifiers — Sarah Sprogell

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

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

5.     Trustees — Sarah Sprogell

              The Meeting approved two recommendations put forward by Trustees:

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

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

Reports from Committees

6.     Ministry and Council — Renee Cote, Tess Hartford

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

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

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

7.     Peace and Social Concerns — Ingrid Chalufour

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

8.     Finance Committee — Nancy Marstaller

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

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

New Business

9.     Resignation Received — Leslie Manning

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

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

10.   Request for use of Meetinghouse — Wendy Schlotterbeck.

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

11.   Statistical Report — Sarah Sprogell

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

12.   Nominating Committee — Linda Muller

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

              The Meeting approved these changes to the Library Committee.

Respectfully submitted,

Ellen Bennett, Recording Clerk


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

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

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

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

Approval of clerk for the day

M and C recommendation for March 20

opening reading

Minutes from previous meeting for approval

AGENDA review

Old Business:

Reopening Meetinghouse

Trustees report and recommendation

Reports from committees:

Ministry and Counsel

Peace and Social Concerns

New Business 

Resignation received 

(Request for FQM event on 5/7?)

Statistical Report

Nominating Committee



Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, February 20, 2022

February 20, 2022

Ellen Bennett, Recording Clerk

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

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

1.     Agenda Review — Bob Eaton

No comments or additions

Items that require approval and/or seasoning

2.     Approval of Minutes of January 2022 — Ellen Bennett

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

3.     Nominations Committee — Linda Muller

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

            Doug Bennett was approved as a Meeting Trustee.

Mey Hasbrook was welcomed as a member of the Nominating Committee

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

            The meeting accepted both reports, with gratitude.

4.     Velasco Portland Durham Sister Committee Report — Nancy Marstaller

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

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

5.     Meeting at the Meeting House Guidelines — Nancy Marstaller

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

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

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

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

    The report was received with gratitude with the suggested modifications.

Reports for information and comment

7.     Trustees Report — Sarah Sprogell

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

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

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

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

8.     Ministry and Counsel — Tess Hartford and Renee Coté

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

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

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

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

8.     Finance Committee — Nancy Marstaller

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

9.     Communications — Doug Bennett for Liana Thompson-Knight 

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

10.   Clerks Report — Bob Eaton

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

Respectfully submitted,

Ellen Bennett, Recording Clerk

Attachments for DMM 22.02.20:

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


Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, January 16, 2022

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

1. Review of Agenda. No comments or additions.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The meeting accepted the review of the Cemetery funds.

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

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

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

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

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

Respectfully submitted, Ellen Bennett, Recording Clerk


DMM Business Mtg 22 01 16 Agenda

DMM Business Mtg 22 01 16 Draft Minutes 22.1.09

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

DMM Business Mtg 22 01 16 Audit of Cemetery Funds

DMM Business Mtg 22 01 16 Report Ministry and Council

DMM Business Mtg 22 01 16 Report Nominating Committee

DMM Business Mtg 22 01 16 Report Peace and Social Concerns

DMM Business Mtg 22 01 16 Report Trustees

DMM Business Mtg 22 01 16 Report Finance

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, January 9, 2022

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

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

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

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

Respectfully submitted, 

Ellen Bennett, Recording Clerk

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

Agenda: Monthly Meeting for Business, January 16, 2022

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

  1. Review of Agenda – Bob Eaton

Items that require approval and/or seasoning

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

3. Approval of Minutes of December 2021 – Dorothy Hinshaw

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

5. Nominations Committee – Linda Muller

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

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

Reports for information and comment

8. Ministry and Counsel – Tess Hartford and Renee Coté

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

10. Trustees Report is attached                                                                                                 

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

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

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

Any advance materials will be posted here when available.

2021 Report of the Trustees

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, December 19, 2021

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

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

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

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

            Letter to the Editor for the Sun Journal:

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

            Bob Eaton, Clerk, Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends 

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

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

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

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

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

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

            Contributions to other organizations are the same as last year.

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

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

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

            The parsonage expenses have ben eliminated.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

            Dorothy Hinshaw, Recording Clerk

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

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

A Green Burial  – Tom Frye, by Peter Crysdale

Someone asked me,

How did you find your way to Durham Meeting?

I answered, “Ralph brought me!”

He brought Tom Frye too… 40 years ago – 

Both of us came and went and returned.

The other day Tommie Frye came back again,

In a simple pine box –

Laid in a hole at the Lunt –

Dug by his friends – next to Sukie, his friend 

For all those years. He decided to do 

What love does and give 

His body back to Mother Earth

In the simplest of ways. 

Back then – Tom came to the Parsonage with Ralph 

To find his way, after a long hardship. 

I came up on weekends –

Sitting at that table in the parsonage kitchen 

Tom told of his life – his profound suffering –

He was neither bitter nor vengeful – 

It was one foot after the other – hanging around

The Parsonage was an act of recovery, 

An act of Love.

One year Tom was Santa at the Meeting

Christmas party – Ruth Graham thought

He was too tall To be Santa. 

The next year she was Santa – 

Made up and clothed so no

One could tell it was her –

I knew – so did Tom. 

And that Halloween when Ralph got

Tom to lie down in an old sunken grave –

In the Cemetery behind the Parsonage.

Covered him with leaves – the kids 

Came by with their flashlights in the dark –

Tom rose – they were terrified.

God’s mischief is Love in motion.

Remember the Spring kite-flying 

Extravaganza in the Parsonage yard – 

Tom and Ralph again – 

Later every tree was festooned with a kite. 

There was Petunia the Parsonage Pig –  

Ralph brought her home – 

Because the elders complained that there 

Weren’t enough kids in the Meeting – 

Ralph said he could train pigs – 

Petunia would have none of it –

She lived in the Parsonage and got bigger

And bigger – first Day came and Ralph read 

A chapter from Charlotte’s Web in Meeting,

A row of attentive kids looked on in wonder. 

Worship is about being found by the love.  

One First Day after a huge snowfall – 

Three feet of snow – slid off

the roof of the Meetinghouse – 

Landed with a HARUMPH!!!  

The Worship Settled that day –

Someone told me 

On another First Day, Tom, 

Who rarely spoke in Meeting – 

Sang Amazing Grace – 

The Worship Settled.

We were slowly seasoned 

by a Quaker cast of Characters – 

Helen – Ruth and Lucy – Merton and Bea, 

Charlotte and Mary – John Curtis – Clarabel and

Louis – Lyda Wentworth – oh so many others –

Seasoned means absorbing the Love.

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

Got a job – found a love – 

Recovering takes a lifetime. Last week 

Tom moved back- was buried in the Lunt –

We stood around tossing rose petals as we covered 

His body with earth. Love welcomes us home.

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, November 21, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

            Meeting accepted this report with gratitude.

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

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

            We accepted their report with gratitude.

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

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

            The meeting closed after a short period of silence.

Dorothy Hinshaw, Recording Clerk

Agenda and Materials for Durham Friends Business Meeting, November 21, 2021

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

Here is the agenbda for the Meeting:

  1. Review of Agenda — Bob Eaton

Items that require approval and/or seasoning

  • Approval of Minutes of October Meeting — Dorothy Hinshaw

Minutes of 16 October 2021 are attached.

  • Nominating Committee Report — Kristna Evans

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

  • Clerks’ Group — Bob Eaton

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

Reports for information and comment

  • Ministry and Counsel — Tess Hartford and Renee Coté

A report on the November meeting is attached

  • Finance Committee — Sarah Sprogell

The finance report for the third quarter is attached.

Remembering Karen Marston

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

An obituary is here and another here.

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

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

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

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

Approved at Monthly Meeting November 15, 2020

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

Immediate actions:

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

Phase 1: Find contractor for the following:

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

Phase 2: Find contractor to do the following: (possibly Bo Jesperson of

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

Other important actions:

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

Approved at Monthly Meeting November 15, 2020

Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, October 17, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Green Burial Lot Agreement:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

            We excepted their report with gratitude.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

            Dorothy Hinshaw, Recording Clerk