Kuhkomossonuk Akonutomuwinokot: Stories Our Grandmothers Told Us, Reviewed by David Etheridge — in Friends Journal

Peace and Social Concerns Committee calls our attention to an exciting new book. Here’s a review from Friends Journal:

March 1, 2023

Edited by Wayne A. Newell, associate editor Robert M. Leavitt. Resolute Bear Press, 2021. 208 pages. $34.95/hardcover; $24.95/paperback; $2.99/eBook.

Buy from QuakerBooks

This collection of stories from the Passamaquoddy Indigenous community of Maine, Kuhkomossonuk Akonutomuwinokot: Stories Our Grandmothers Told Us, is a 45-year labor of love by Passamaquoddy editor Wayne Newell, who died in late 2021, several months after its publication (editor’s note: see his milestone here). He was born and grew up on Passamaquoddy lands. He founded a bilingual education program in the 1970s, served on the tribal council, and was president of the tribe’s Northeast Blueberry Company. His life intersected with Quakers when he was ten years old at a Quaker workcamp. In the 1970s, he directed American Friends Service Committee’s Wabanaki Program. In the 1980s and 1990s, he participated in “the Gatherings” with Quakers, Natives, and others to reimagine Indigenous–settler relations.

The collection is charming and engaging while also being scholarly. All stories appear in both Passamaquoddy and English with a pronunciation guide for the Passamaquoddy. There is a web address for an online Passamaquoddy Maliseet dictionary, maintained by the associate editor, that includes video recordings of native speakers using some of the words from the dictionary. The stories are also accompanied by illustrations in a variety of styles. Some of the stories were initially recorded on wax cylinders in the late-nineteenth century.

The first story, which was written in 1979, talks about daily life in the 1920s through the experience of Mary Ann, a girl roughly the age of the editor’s parents. It covers events like births and deaths, doing laundry, going to school, celebrating Halloween, and listening to stories told by her elders. This account helps readers understand how storytelling was a part of daily life. It is accompanied by a photograph of school children Mary Ann’s age with annotations identifying those children as people who grew up to help write this book.

The next group of stories are mostly about animals: ants, flies, crickets, and mice. To help readers appreciate the storytelling experience, the first story includes photographs of the storyteller gesturing with her hands and head to illustrate the story as she tells it. The photographs and drawing for that story are by the associate editor of the book, a linguist who also has been working for about a half-century on learning both these stories and the Passamaquoddy language.

The volume then turns to a series of stories about struggles between the devil and ordinary people. These are mostly trickster stories where the devil and ordinary people are trying to outsmart one another. One is a Job-like story where an angel and the devil try to win over a person to their side. In another, the devil asks an ordinary human to help split up a devoted couple. The human uses gossip to accomplish the task. The devil gives the person a bag of gold saying, “You’re more of a devil than I am.”

Another set of stories feature motewolon, which are people with extraordinary powers that are used for both good and bad purposes. They are also responsible for ghosts that sometimes cause trouble, often inspire fear, and at other times are simply mysterious.

The final collection is titled “Passamaquoddy Stories.” The protagonist for most of them is a superhero called Koluskap. In one tale, Koluskap tracks down a huge owl that is making the world too windy by flapping its wings. Koluskap puts the owl in a crevice, so it cannot flap its wings. Then the air becomes too calm. Koluskap extracts the owl in a way that permits it to flap only one wing. The result is the intermittent windiness of modern times. Humans are fearful of the power of Koluskap, but usually those powers are used to benefit them.

Koluskap is also the protagonist in Aladdin-style stories of fulfilling human wishes that lead to unexpected results. For example, a man who wishes to be loved by women is accosted by young women who literally smother him with their attention resulting in his death. The story ends with this statement: “What happened to the maidens is not known.”

The book gives readers insights into several aspects of Passamaquoddy culture as well as an appreciation for the imaginative creativity of that culture.

David Etheridge is a member of Friends Meeting of Washington (D.C.), clerk of the Baltimore Yearly Meeting Working Group on Racism, and previously worked for over 20 years as an attorney in the Indian Affairs Division of the Solicitor’s Office of the U.S. Department of the Interior.

FCNL Seeks Input on Its Reproductive Health Care Stance; Durham Friends to Hold Discernment Session on March 19

Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) is asking for input from Friends and Friends Meetings regarding the stance it should take regarding Reproductive Health Care. We are being asked to discern if we recommend that reproductive health should be included in FCNL’s legislative priorities. 

On Sunday, March 19, Durham Friends will hold a one hour discernment session at the rise of Meeting for Worship for the Conduct of Business. If it is necessary to schedule another session, we will do so in April, as our recommendation is not due until May 1.

As requested, let us hold this matter tenderly.  There is a virtual opportunity for learning on March 22 at 6:30 PM Supporting Friends Discernment on Reproductive Health. All are welcome.

What follows is the request from FCNL and some guidelines for participation

We greatly value your engagement with this complex issue, and we encourage you to hold compassion for each other during these conversations. Continue to seek Divine Guidance and Spirit’s revelation as you weigh deeply the way forward for FCNL—one that respects the different religious and moral perspectives we all carry.

Your responses are requested by May 1, 2023. Your group can submit them electronically (preferred) at fcnl.org/policycommittee or by emailing policycommittee@fcnl.org. Postal submissions can be sent to 245 2nd St, NE, Washington, DC 20002.

Please note that during its discernment, the Policy Committee will give greater weight to group responses over individual responses.

What follows are guidelines for participating in this conversation, resources to support your discernment, and answers to frequently asked questions. You can also join us on March 22 at 6:30 p.m. EST for a virtual event to aid your discernment. Click here to register.

Thank you again for your faithful and spirit-led discernment.

Ebby LuvagaIn peace,Ebby LuvagaClerk, FCNL Policy Committee

Guidelines for Participating in the Reproductive Health Care Discernment

Whether you are gathering in person, online, or in a hybrid format, we hope that your discernment will be spiritually grounded and a result of group conversations. These discussions may take many forms, including discernment by a committee, an informal group, or a First Day discussion topic. Some meetings or churches may adopt a minute expressing the sense of their group, although this is not a requirement.

Resources for Guiding your Discussion

You may want to prepare for discernment by reading the pamphlet, A Guide to Dialogue About Abortion. Tools such as this can help your conversation honor the complexity and urgency surrounding this topic.

Tips shared include honoring stories from lived experience, taking short breaks for moments of reflection, and building cultures of trust and understanding. Also refer to FCNL’s Policy Statement, The World We Seek (Section III.2.6), which outlines FCNL’s current statement on abortion issues.

To allow for the inclusion of a diversity of voices, we hope you will include people of different ages, backgrounds, and lived experiences in your discernment. Please identify at least one person who will submit your group’s responses.

Guidelines for Group Discernment

After an opening period of waiting worship, the gathering might begin with a brief description of the discernment process and the purpose of gathering. Participants may share their concerns about reproductive health care based on the queries provided to support their discernment process.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Submit your Group’s Responses

Please respond by May 1, 2023. Your group can submit electronically (preferred) at fcnl.org/policycommittee or by emailing policycommittee@fcnl.org. Postal submissions can be sent to Amelia Kegan, 245 2nd St, NE, Washington, DC 20002.

What information should you record?

Please include the following information as part of your submission:

  • Who is responding? (Group (preferred) or individual. Note your Yearly Meeting.)
  • Who participated? (The number in the group and approximate ages.)
  • What kind of gathering? (Committee meeting, informal gathering, meeting for business, etc.)
  • Who is the group’s contact person?
  • Responses to the queries.
  • Any additional comments on the process your group would like to share?

What happens to the responses after FCNL receives the submissions?

The FCNL Policy Committee, a working group of the General Committee, will read all the responses and meet to consider what meetings, churches, groups, and individuals are telling FCNL regarding reproductive health care. They will share their summary with FCNL staff and the FCNL Executive Committee, then hold listening sessions with the General Committee in the summer of 2023.

The Policy Committee will bring its recommendation to the FCNL General Committee during its Annual Meeting in November 2023.

Throughout the process, the discernment by Friends across the country remains at the center of the committee’s consideration.

Where can I find more information?

You can find the contents of the previous mailing here. If you have additional questions, contact Policy Committee members Ebby Luvaga (luvaga@iastate.edu) and Genie Stowers (gstowers835@gmail.com).

Two Presentations on Wabanaki Matters, March 8 (6:30 pm) and March 17 (noon)

Peace and Social Concerns calls our attention to two presentations about Wabanaki related matters. Both will be via ZOOM, and both require prior registration.

March 8: Why Tribal Sovereignty? 6:30-8:00 pm, Via ZOOM;

UPDATE: link to introductions here; link to presentation here

A discussion with Maulian Dana, Penobscot Nation Ambassador & President of the Wabanaki Alliance.

Maine, alone among all other states in the U.S., does not recognize the sovereignty of the federally recognized tribes in our state—sovereignty honored in the U.S. Constitution and inherent in the Wabanaki people who have lived on and stewarded this land we now call Maine for thousands of years. Bills submitted to the 131st legislature seek to restore Wabanaki tribal sovereignty in a step towards repairing the broken tribal/state relations. Join us in learning why acknowledging and restoring Wabanaki sovereignty will benefit all people who live in Maine.

This event is a collaboration of Midcoast Indigenous Awareness Group, Unitarian Universalist Church of Brunswick Maine, and Curtis Memorial Library

Date: Wednesday, March 8, 2023; Time: 6:30pm – 8:00pm

This is an online event. Registration is required. Event URL will be sent via registration email.

March 17: Federal Indian Policy: Impacts on the Wabanaki Nations in Maine…And Beyond, Noon to 1 pm, via ZOOM; registration required

A recent report from Harvard University found that “the subjugation of the Wabanaki Nation’s self-governing capacities is blocking economic development to the detriment of both tribal and nontribal citizens, alike. For the tribal citizens of Maine held down by MICSA’s restrictions, loosening or removing those restrictions offers them little in the way of downside risks and much in the way of upside payoffs.” Professor Joe Kalt, co-director of the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, will discuss results of the Project’s recent study of the impacts of the unique provisions of the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act on the Wabanaki Nations.

Sponsored by Maine Conservation Voters. Registration is required.

Bread Day Gathering, Portland Friends Meeting, March 4, 2023

Portland Friends Meeting will host a Bread Day gathering for local Friends on March 4th. Arrive between 10:30am and 11am and we’ll end between 4:30pm and 5pm.

We will nourish our bellies and our spirits by worshipping and baking together and building relationships across generations. All ages are welcome, especially youth and families.

This year, Portland’s Bread Day will just be in person, with no hybrid or online component.

Watch this sweet little video about what Bread Day was like last year across the whole Yearly Meeting. Read more about Bread Day here.

RSVP here

Craig Freshley to Offer Workshop at FWCC Section of the Americas Gathering, March 25, 2023

Durham Friends Meeting member Craig Freshley will offer a workshop at the upcoming meeting of Friends World Committee for Consultation/ Section of the Americas to be held March 23-26, 2023. Flyer here.

The Workshops at the gathering will be held on Saturday, March 25, from 1:30 to 5:00 pm. Here is how Craig’s workshop is described:

Craig Freshley

Together We Decide: Practical Tools for What the World Needs

Of course there are moral reasons for collaboration and inclusive decision making, yet in this dynamic and interactive workshop Craig will explain the practical benefits for helping all voices be heard. And he’s going to teach us how to do it. By telling stories and explaining techniques, Craig will equip you and inspire you to help your own group make decisions together so tensions resolve and way opens for peace and prosperity. Handouts and other resources provided.


The event will be held in North Carolina (in person registration here) and you can also attend via Zoom (online registration here). The gathering is offered on a pay-as-led basis.

NEYM Living Faith Gathering, April 1 in Portland

We are excited to announce a next chapter in the ongoing experiment of daylong opportunities for spiritual nurture and intergenerational relationship, what we have called “Living Faith.” On April 1, 2023, after a four-year absence, we are looking forward to greeting Friends again in Portland, Maine. More details and registration info is coming soon. In the meantime, please mark your calendars!

A refresher on Living Faith: the Living Faith gathering is an opportunity for Friends new and old (and the Quaker-curious) to get to know one another, hold multigenerational worship together, participate in interactive workshops, eat tasty food, share the different ways we experience and live our faith, and build community. Age-appropriate youth programming and childcare will be available, in addition to some parts of Living Faith programming being intergenerational, like worship. More about a teen-specific offering below.

Workshops sought for Living Faith

We are now seeking workshop proposals for the April 1st Living Faith gathering in Portland, ME. Our 90-minute workshops provide an opportunity for adult and teen Friends to explore their Quaker faith, connect around an area of interest, and make meaningful connections through activities, conversations, or worship. Do you have a workshop idea? Experienced and emerging facilitators alike are invited to submit a workshop proposal by February 5th. Details here.

Living Faith teen retreat

New this year is a weekend retreat for teens built around participating in Living Faith together. Youth age 13-18 are invited to arrive on Friday evening, sleep over on site on Friday and Saturday nights, and participate alongside adults and families at Living Faith on Saturday. There will be time on Friday and Saturday nights for teens to connect with one another, share what the experience was like for them, and have fun with their peers, with support from a few adult staffers. Contact Maggie Fiori (Teen Ministries Coordinator) for more info.

All Maine Gathering, May 6, 2023 — Save the Date


Quakers in Maine gather every other year on the First Saturday in May.

There may be an opportunity to join a contra dance of Friday evening and then be part of a Friday retreat experience.  The All Maine gathering is an opportunity to celebrate our communities as Quakers in Maine, to build relationships and to share and support our ministries. There are some very exciting possibilities being explored.  We will have a rich and wonderful time together.


More details to follow

With love from the All Maine Gathering Planning Team.

Preparing for Your Demise, January 29, 2023 at noon

After Meeting for Worship on Sunday, January 29, Cush Anthony and Tess Hartford will lead an educational seminar on “Preparing for Your Demise.”

The program will begin at noon, and is being sponsored by Ministry and Counsel.

Here is a summary of their advice.

Preparing for your demise; an outline for an educational seminar

1. Make a tentative plan. If you are married, assume you survive your spouse. Identify the person best suited to be in charge of carrying out this plan.

2. Discuss the plan in depth first with the person you selected to carry out the plan. Then discuss it with each of your children as well as with any other individual whom you believe would want to know or should know about the plan. Would this plan meet the needs of each of them? Have I selected the best person to be in charge of carrying out my plan? If so, give out written authorizations you expect would be needed. Then give each of your children and others you believe should be informed about your plans a written copy of what you have set down as your plan.

3. Identify likely medical issues that may arise. Prepare an Advance Directive based on state law, stating what you would want done in the event you become unable to make appropriate decisions to control your own medical treatment. Give a copy to all physicians who have been or who are likely to be looking after your health. Talk about it with them, to get their stated agreement with what you want, and make notes about the conversation. Even a brief letter of confirmation is a good idea to avoid problems and misunderstandings down the road.

4. Prepare an inventory of your assets and your debts for use by your next of kin. Prepare any needed written authorizations for financial institutions. Make sure appropriate documents can be found when needed. Be sure to include information about credit cards which should be cancelled, and where any safe deposit box key is located.

5. In your plan make clear if you believe that part of your plan should be carried out after you die by someone different, designate who that should be, make sure appropriate authorizations are in place, and make sure that all other next of kin candidates agree to that.

6. Do you want your eyes or other organs to be made available to people who need them? If so, fill out an organ donation form, and have that ready to give to a funeral director as well as to your primary care physician. If you plan to give your whole body to a medical school, make alternate plans as well in case the entity will not accept the gift at the last minute.

7. Select a funeral director who is willing to carry out your wishes at a reasonable cost. Make sure you agree on a price for the needed services and put your agreement in writing signed by both parties.

8. Cremation cannot take place until at least 48 hours have passed since death. Make sure your body can be stored somewhere for a short time if that becomes necessary. Identify who will transport your body to the crematorium. Also state your plan for disposition of the ashes.

9. If you are selecting to have your body interred, where that should take place, and who to contact to make arrangements about that. If you wish to have a green burial, make that clear and make sure that is an option at the location you select.

10. Start an obituary that can be completed later and then given to newspapers. Indicate where you want it to be published.

11. Make tentative plans for a memorial service. Do this in conjunction with the Meeting’s Ministry and Counsel Committee. There are many details that should be worked out jointly with the Meeting33 far ahead of time

    Falmouth Quarterly Meeting, January 28, 2023, 9:30 to Noon

    I hope you will be able to join Falmouth Quarter as we meet on zoom on Saturday.  Falmouth Quarter is the gathering of the five quaker meetings in southern Maine.

    Our focus is paying attention to what is exercising us, what we are feeling passionate about or called to. 

    We will also consider the minute on indigenous sovereignty forwarded to the Quarter by Portland and Durham Friends. – Fritz Weiss & Wendy Schlotterbeck

    Here is the zoom link (it is the regular worship link for Durham Friends).

    Topic: Falmouth Quarterly Meeting
    Time: Jan 28, 2023 09:30 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

    Join Zoom Meeting

    Meeting ID: 281 442 6094
    Passcode: 1775
    One tap mobile
    +13092053325,,2814426094# US
    +13126266799,,2814426094# US (Chicago)

    FQM Minute on the Inherent Right of Tribal Sovereignty of the Wabanaki

    Minute on the Inherent Right of Tribal Sovereignty Of the Wabanaki People and the Support for Bills before the Maine State Legislature that would Recognize and Implement Tribal Sovereignty

    Members of Falmouth Quarterly Meeting, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) unite in urging full support by the Maine State Legislature for bills that encompass the consensus recommendations reached in 2020 by a Task Force composed of Maine legislators, State officials and Wabanaki leaders, i.e., bills that acknowledge and support the sovereignty of the Wabanaki Tribes and Nations within Maine.
    The terms in the 1980 Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act (MICSA) and the Maine Implementing Act (MIA) have proven disastrous for the Tribes. These bills are designed to address those wrongs. For example, they would correct a fundamental denial embodied in the 1980 federal Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act (MICSA) that has prevented Wabanaki Tribes in Maine from benefiting from over 150 federal laws passed during the last 40 years, laws that were designed to assist and support Tribal health, safety, well-being and self-determination. As a result, Indigenous peoples in Maine suffer from disadvantages not found in any other state.
    Unlike the 570 federally-recognized Tribal communities on lands outside of Maine, Wabanaki Tribes and Nations contend with restrictions and complicated regulations imposed by the Maine Implementing Act (MIA). Tribal communities outside Maine are subject to Federal Indian Law. Current bills before the legislature would make Federal Indian Law applicable to Tribes and Nations within Maine. It should be noted that Federal Indian Law, while supporting greater Tribal self-determination, enables states to enter into productive relationships with Tribal nations that not only benefit the Tribes, but also the surrounding non-Native communities and the State. It has been shown time and again, throughout the country, that when Tribes are prosperous the surrounding rural communities prosper as well. This bill is our opportunity to create this reality for Wabanaki communities and for Maine as a whole.
    The current situation imposed by the State on Wabanaki peoples is morally and ethically wrong.
    Wabanaki communities only want what Tribes in other states enjoy—greater freedom to control their own destiny and to thrive. The bills addressing the shortfalls of the MICSA and the MIA provide the means to make this possible.
    This Minute reflects the Quaker testimony of the sacredness of all individuals and our witness to support the inherent rights and dignity of Indigenous communities.

    End-of-Life Interest Group, New England Yearly Meeting

    New England Yearly Meeting is hosting a monthly resource group from January to May on end of life issues.  Details and registration information follow:

    Join New England Friends for an End-of-Life Interest Group. We seek to explore spiritual, emotional, and practical aspects of facing our final days.

    We will meet via Zoom 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. on the second Thursday of the month for 5 months, starting on January 12th. 

    Facilitated by Patti Muldoon, NEYM’s Aging Resources Consultation and Help (ARCH) Coordinator. 

    This series is offered free of charge.

    Click here to register.

    If the group is at capacity and you are seeking to register, email arch@neym.org to join the waitlist.

    Questions? Email arch@neym.org

    Falmouth Quarter to Meet January 28, 2023, 9:30 to noon on ZOOM


    Falmouth Quarter will meet on January 28, 2023 from 9:30 to noon on zoom.

    We are creating a space to share our Passions – What is exercising us, upsetting us, firing us up.

    Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled

    We invite you to think about the concerns which are alive for you and to think about these queries

    ·  “What are you called to, what are you upset about, and how are you filled?”

    ·   “How do I recognize this passion, this hunger and thirst as a spiritual condition?”

    ·   “ What is the meeting called to, what is the meeting  upset about and how is the meeting filled?”

    Prayer Vigil with a Concern for the Families Losing Shelter Due to the Ending of the Emergency Assistance, at the Statehouse, December 7, 2022, 9:30 to 11:00

    An announcement form Peace and Social Concerns Committee.

    There will be a prayer vigil with the concern for the families losing shelter due to the ending of the emergency assistance which has been paying to shelter families in hotels which is being held at the statehouse on December 7th, here is the essential information.

    The vigil will be from 9:30 – 11:00 if you can stay for the whole time. The Statehouse will be crowded and parking will be scarce, plan on allowing time to find parking.  If you would like to ride with me I have room for 2 – 3 people.

    Please sign up so we will have an idea of numbers. https://www.facebook.com/events/514397463980578?ref=newsfeed

    Portland Friends Meeting adds: Also, as a reminder, there will be a zoom call on the 7th in the evening for PFM to consider how we might be called to respond to this crises.  Mary Tracy will re-send this invitation closer to the date.

    A detailed instruction sheet follows for the vigil.

    IMPORTANT  INSTRUCTIONS for Vigil and Witness on Dec. 7

    If you plan to come to the State House in Augusta for the “Neighbors Need ME” Prayer Vigil and Public Witness on December 7th at 9:30:

    ●       Please contact your state representative and your state senator via email BEFORE December 7 just to let them know you will be there.  It will be a very busy day at the State House, as all 186 legislators are being sworn in and will likely have family members with them.  You are letting them know about your participation in the prayer vigil/public witness so that when they see our group in the Hall of Flags, they will know what we are there to pray for and bear witness to, and that a constituent of theirs is present. 

    To get the name and/or email address of your state representative, click HERE.

    To get the name and/or email address of your state senator, click HERE.

    Sample email:

    Dear Representative [or Senator] ________,

    I am a constituent of yours from [name of town] and wanted to let you know I will be at the State House on December 7 as part of the Neighbors Need ME Prayer Vigil and Public Witness in the Hall of Flags.  As a person of faith/goodwill, I feel compelled to bear silent, prayerful witness to the impending humanitarian crisis our neighbors in Maine face if they lose their housing when rental assistance programs end, eviction moratoria are lifted, and emergency hotel accommodations close their doors.  All this is happening while our state’s shelters and warming centers are full beyond capacity, and winter weather is settling in.  On December 7, I will join with other faithful people from across Maine to pray that the Legislature and the Governor work quickly to develop humane and practical solutions that are coordinated statewide before it is too late.

    Signed: _________

    ●       Faith Participants are invited to wear the colors of Advent, a season of yearning, hope, and expectation in the Christian tradition: blue and/or purple. 

    ●       If you are a person of goodwill, we invite you to wear red—a red scarf, a red shirt, a red coat– for we seek to “love our neighbors” wherever they are and however long they have been in Maine. 

    ●       Try to arrange to carpool with others traveling to Augusta. Because it is swearing-in day, it is likely the State House parking garage will fill up early, as will the lots immediately adjacent to the building.  You may need to arrive 45 mins early.  It is difficult to tell how much time to allow because of the swearing-in.  parking info

    ●       When you enter the State House, be prepared to wait in line to go through the security checkpoint where you will be asked to remove your shoes before walking through a metal detector.

    ●       After clearing security, walk straight past the welcome center to the main corridor of the building, then turn either right or left to take the stairs or elevator to the second floor and the Hall of Flags.  Look for our group, including many clergy wearing vestments, and many participants wearing red or the Advent colors of blue/purple.

    ●       As noted, this will be a very busy day at the State House.  Crowds will be bustling through and across the Hall of Flags as legislators go to caucus meetings; bells will begin to ring loudly when the House and Senate are being called to convene; there will be a busy swirl of activity and noise all around us as we pray silently in the midst of it all.  We invite you to learn from our Quaker siblings who practice the art of stillness and silence in prayer.  Our silent, prayerful witness will be a striking contrast to what is going on all around us.  And that’s kind of the point!

    ●       If anyone asks you why we are there, or what we are praying for be prepared to briefly answer – for me I’ll say something about the families in Portland being evicted because the Emergency Rental Assistance funds are ending and that in Maine we don’t expect families to sleep outside in the winter.  You can direct them to the Neighbors Need ME website and Facebook page for more information.  You can also invite them to speak to Rev. Allison Smith or Rev. Peter Swarr, two of the key organizers of this coalition who will be present at the vigil.

    ●       If you are approached by the media, please direct them to Rev. Allison Smith or Rev. Peter Swarr.

    ●       If you would like to read more about this crisis as a way to get informed, and a way to inform your prayers, we recommend the report by the Commission to Increase Housing Opportunities in Maine by Studying Land Use Regulations and Short-term Rentals https://legislature.maine.gov/doc/9239 , in particular Recommendation #7 on page 21.

    ●       During the vigil, you should receive a stamped postcard to fill out and mail to Governor Mills as soon as you get home.  It will let her know you were present at the vigil, and that you’re a person of faith and/or goodwill who is deeply concerned about the housing crisis facing your neighbors in need.  Ask the Governor to work with the Legislature to immediately develop a statewide coordinated response plan instead of the current patchwork of local municipalities trying to manage this dire emergency on their own.  We need State leadership in this crisis!

    Again, for our Witness to be as effective as possible, please do three things:

    1.  Contact  your state representative and your state senator via email BEFORE December 7 to let them know you will be there.  Ask them to immediately respond to this dire humanitarian crisis with a State-wide coordinated response for our neighbors who need housing and assistance in difficult times.
    2. Contact Governor Mills as soon as you get home to ask her to develop a State-wide coordinated plan because our neighbors all over Maine are suffering and need our help. 
    3. Ask your friends and family to contact their legislators and the Governor. 

    Rental Information (as of 2022)

    We offer the meetinghouse for use by others as a form of outreach.

    Suggested Rental Fees, Durham Friends Meetinghouse

    Half Day        $100

    Full Day         $200

    Use of Kitchen          Additional $100

    The Meetinghouse is available for Meeting-sponsored activities at no charge. It is also available at no charge for use by Falmouth Quarterly Meeting, by New England Yearly Meeting or by other Quaker organizations.

    The Meetinghouse will be available for rent to individuals, other groups and organizations with similar values or concerns as Friends.  For these, we use a pay-as-led approach.

    Pay- as-led is a way of acknowledging that wealth is not distributed fairly, and that Durham Friends want the building to be available for community use. Pay-as-led means that you reflect on and discern what amount you are led to pay for use of the space. We ask that you consider your financial resources and the value you believe use of the space brings to you. Based on this personal reflection, we invite you to pay as you are led, and to make a donation that feels appropriate to you and helps cover the cost of your use of the building.

    To ask to schedule the Meetinghouse, contact

    Sarah Sprogell, sarahsprogell@gmail.com, 207 319-5077 or

    Kim Bolshaw, kimbolshaw@gmial.com, 207 808-3007

    Overview of Facilities.  The Durham Friends Meetinghouse includes:

    • A worship room, with a capacity for seating about 200 people.  It has benches arranged in a square.  We ask that these not be moved without permission.  There is also a piano in the worship room.
    • A social room with a capacity of about 100 people (standing) or 100 people seated at (8) tables.
    • A kitchen adjacent to the social room.
    • Two small rooms off the social room, one with a capacity of about 12, and one of about 6.
    • Two parking lots that can hold a total of 40 to 50 cars.
    • A grassy yard appropriate for outdoor gatherings or picnics and that has some play facilities for young children.

    The Meetinghouse is not appropriate for overnight accommodation.


    We hope you will enjoy the use of our Meetinghouse.  We ask that you respect it as our place of worship by observing the following:

    • We will unlock the door before you arrive; please be sure it is locked when you leave
    • Please leave everything in the same condition you found it.  A vacuum cleaner, a mop and bucket can be found in the hall closet; cleaning supplies are in the kitchen. 
    • Please, no smoking, alcohol or drugs on the premises.
    • Food or drinks only in the social room and in the kitchen, or outdoors, not in the worship room.
    • No tacks or scotch tape on walls, doors or woodwork.  Masking tape only on painted woodwork, please.
    • Please do not use classroom or nursery supplies, or any foodstuffs in the kitchen.
    • Please use the telephone for emergency calls only.
    • Heating instructions are posted near the thermostat.
    • Please let us know of things are not working properly. Questions can be directed to our custodian, Kim Bolshaw, 207 808-3007. 
    • There is no storage space for equipment you may bring for your program. Please take any equipment or supplies with you when you depart. 

    Please use the following check list when leaving:

    • Put window shades down position in the Meeting Room.
    • Turn off stove burners, oven, and fans, and unplug and clean coffee makers, if you used them.
    • Be sure faucets are turned off, and no toilets are running.  Please leave toilet lids up. 
    • Leave open all interior doors. 
    • Collect and take your trash with you.
    • Turn out all lights. 
    • Lock front and rear doors, and check handles to be sure exterior doors are locked.

    After your event has concluded, please call our custodian, Kim Bolshaw, 207 808-3007.

    Quaker Indigenous Boarding Schools: Facing Our History and Ourselves, November 15, 7-9 pm [Updated]

    sponsored by New England Yearly Meeting, Beacon Hill Friends House and Friends Peace Teams

    UPDATE: The recording of The Quaker Indigenous Boarding Schools: Facing Our History and Ourselves, as well as guidance for its use, is now available at: https://bhfh.org/the-quaker-indigenous-boarding-schools-facing-our-history-and-ourselves.

    Register here for this hybrid event.

    Financial Basics Webinars with Everence, October 26, November 2, 9, 16, 2 pm and 8 pm

    Everence, partnering with New England Yearly Meeting, is offering a series of webinars designed to support you in your personal finance journey. Everence is a faith-based stewardship agency, grown from a Mennonite tradition, which supports New England Yearly Meeting and its members who are seeking to integrate their faith and values with their finances. Everence provides charitable, investment, insurance and banking services for both individuals and organizations. Webinar dates and topics include:

    ·         Oct. 26: Understanding Medicare: Hear about how (and when) to sign up for Medicare; what it covers (and doesn’t cover); Parts A, B, C and D; and plans that supplement Medicare.

    ·         Nov. 2: Estate Planning Basics: Learn how an estate plan can ensure that your wishes for family and financial assets will be carried out upon your death. Hear about the key elements of an estate plan, including wills and trusts, powers of attorney and life insurance. Discover key stewardship questions to be asking as you prepare your plan.

    ·         Nov. 9: Basics of Investing: Learn the basic principles of investing, including hearing about the various types of investments, the power of compounding, managing risk and diversification. Along the way, consider the role your faith plays in making decisions about investing.

    ·         Nov. 16: Maximize Your Generosity with a Donor Advised Fund: Explore how this flexible “charitable checking account” can help you streamline your charitable giving. Find out about the many types of assets than can be gifted and how a DAF can help you manage both the gifting process for tax purposes and the distribution component of when you want to support the organizations you care about.

    Each event in this “Webinar Wednesday” series is offered at 2 and 8 p.m. For more information or to register, click on the title links. If you have questions, contact Everence Stewardship Consultant Lyle Miller at lyle.miller@everence.com.

    Falmouth Quarterly Meeting, October 15, 2022

    [Updated] Falmouth Quarter will meet on October 15th from 10:00 – 1:30 at Durham Friends Meeting.

    We invite you – all of you – to come to share about the abundance you have found in these hard times. 

    We are imagining our entire time together as a meeting for worship, with sharing, art, laughter, reading, cider, and business. 

    The schedule for our time together is:

    10:00 – gather in worship – Singing,  fellowship, perhaps some Juice and coffee and snacks and sharing

    10:30 – Brief meeting for business to approve the budget, approve donations for the year, to confirm the dates we will be meeting and to consider what program we might like to bring to the Quarter in January. 

                  During the business meeting, those who would rather make cider will be setting up and operating the cider press.  The books that Durham meeting has been donating to pre-schools and early elementary classrooms will be out for reading.

    11:00 – We will be making windsocks with an invitation to inscribe the wind socks with messages about where we have felt God moving in our meetings and in our lives.  There will be times of open sharing of these messages.  Each meeting is invited to think about what the meeting will share and inscribe upon their windsock.  Cider making will continue, book reading will continue.

    12:30 – Picnic lunch – bring something to share or bring your own.

    1:30 –  Wrap up; close worship. Please take your windsocks home to fly them from your porch, or from your meeting house so the wind can spread the messages to the world.

     “We didn’t find what we were looking for, but look at what we found.” (Wendall Berry)

    Fall 2022 Meeting for Healing Schedule, Portland Friends Meeting (with update)

    Update: In November and December, there will be an in-person option at the Durham Friends Meeting on the 1st Thursday of the month. Doors will open at 6:45p.m. For questions, contact Mey Hasbrook.

    Fall Meeting for Healing schedule: 7PM on 1st & 3rd Thursdays (mostly)

    The Portland Friends will hold its Meeting for Healing this Fall, on Zoom, on 1st and 3rd Thursdays at a slightly different time: 7:00 pm. (For September the Meeting for Healing will be on 2nd and 4th Thursdays.) You are welcome to join worship for part of the time or to worship with us without the Zoom connection. The Divine connects us all.

    Fall Meeting for Healing schedule, Thursdays at 7PM

    September 8 & 22

    October   6 & 20

    November  3 & 17

    December  1 & 15

    If you have any questions or need the Zoom link, please feel free to reach out to

    Chris Davis: goblinshark@gmail.com or

    Beth Bussiere-Nichols: beth.bussiere@gmail.com

    Meeting for Worship for Healing is an old Quaker tradition. Our goal with this meeting is to focus on the physical and spiritual illnesses of the current world. It’s not intended to be the same as a full meeting for worship but instead is meant to be focused on communal prayer. We are often blessed with a time of deep silence. Messages may arise but should be de-centered from our ego.

    An invitation to Worship in clamorous times. We are living through a time when we are inundated with words.  We invite you during worship to sink deeply below the political messages, below the personal efforts to put things into words, down to the Silence, down to the Living Waters, down to the Source that connects us all.

    All are welcome!

    World Quaker Day, October 2, 2022

    How to join World Quaker Day worship with Friends around the world
    Please find below the details of the host Quaker meetings and Friends churches from each Section welcoming visitors on World Quaker Day, including the links to join them. If you encounter any technical difficulties with your connection, please refer to Zoom support here.

    All times are given in the time zone of the host meeting/church location. To convert to your local time zone, please use the World Clock Meeting Planner.

    Africa Section
    Lang’ata Friends Church, Nairobi Yearly Meeting
    Programmed worship with pastoral leadership
    Sunday 2nd October at 3 pm East African Time
    Link will be posted on the World Quaker Day website soon

    Asia West Pacific Section
    Australia Yearly Meeting
    Unprogrammed worship followed by breakout room discussions
    Sunday 2nd October at 3 pm AEST
    Register here for Zoom link

    Europe and Middle East Section
    Disley Quaker Meeting, Britain Yearly Meeting
    Unprogrammed worship
    Sunday 2nd October at 10.30 am BST
    Zoom link | Meeting ID: 331 243 767

    West Somerset Area Meeting, Britain Yearly Meeting
    Unprogrammed worship
    Sunday 2nd October at 10.30 am BST
    Zoom link | Meeting ID: 872 7266 8050

    Beccles Quaker Meeting, Britain Yearly Meeting
    Unprogrammed worship
    Sunday 2nd October at 10.30 am BST
    Zoom link | Meeting ID: 838 8955 3770
    Hastings Quaker Meeting, Britain Yearly Meeting
    Unprogrammed worship
    Sunday 2nd October at 10.30 am BST
    Zoom Meeting ID: 552-187-7961 | Passcode: 708168
    Frandley Quaker Meeting, Britain Yearly Meeting
    Unprogrammed worship
    Sunday 2nd October at 10.30 am BST
    Zoom link | Meeting ID: 865 2798 0954 | Passcode: 608583

    Hereford Local Meeting, Britain Yearly Meeting
    Unprogrammed worship
    Sunday 2nd October at 10.30 am BST
    Zoom link | Meeting ID: 838 2588 9153 | Passcode: 584482

    South Belfast Meeting, Ireland Yearly Meeting
    Unprogrammed worship, followed by social time in breakout rooms afterwards. Young people especially welcome.
    Sunday 2nd October at 10.45 am BST
    Zoom link | Meeting ID: 461 319 5026 | Password: 143412
    Landline dial in: 0330 088 5830 and enter 419667037#

    Finland Yearly Meeting
    Unprogrammed worship
    Sunday 2nd October at 1-2 pm EEST (Eastern European Summer Time)
    Zoom link | Meeting ID: 443 072 2720 | Passcode: Kveekar1

    Friends House Moscow
    Meeting for Worship to pray for peace in Ukraine
    Sunday 2nd October at 5 – 6.30 pm BST / 7 – 8.30 pm Kyiv / Moscow
    The room will be open from 4.30 pm BST for Worship Sharing on the theme: Becoming the Quakers the World Needs.Zoom link | Meeting ID: 416 500 5614 | Passcode: 182805

    Section of the Americas
    Iglesia Evangélica Amigos Central de Bolivia / Bolivia Central Friends Yearly MeetingWorship service with all the churches in the district 9.30 am-12.30 pm BOTActivities (including dance as a form of worship) with young people, adults and children from 2.30 pm to 5.30 pm BOTTo join, please send a Facebook friend request to ‘Junta Trimestral Distrito La Paz’. The celebration will be broadcast live on their Facebook page.

    Three Rivers Meeting, New England Yearly Meeting, USA
    Semi-programmed worship
    Thursday 6 October at 9.30 am Eastern Daylight Time (USA) with time for fellowship after. Consecutive translation will be available in English and Spanish
    Zoom link | Meeting ID: 884 8212 5397

    Winnipeg Monthly Meeting, Canada Yearly Meeting
    Unprogrammed worship
    Sunday 2nd October at 10.45 am CDT (Central Daylight Time)
    Zoom link
    Jamestown Friends Meeting, North Carolina Fellowship of Friends, USA
    Semi-programmed worship
    Sunday 2nd October at 11 am Eastern Daylight Time (USA), with Zoom available from 10.30am for fellowship
    Zoom link | Meeting ID: 899 9387 4643
    Palm Beach Meeting, Southeastern Yearly Meeting, USA
    Unprogrammed worship
    Sunday 2nd October at 10.30 am Eastern Daylight Time (USA)
    In person: 823 No A St, Lake Worth, Florida, followed by potluck lunch. All welcome!
    Zoom link

    Lake Forest Friends Meeting, Illinois Yearly Meeting, USA
    101 West Old Elm, Lake Forest, IL 60045
    Unprogrammed worship
    Sunday 2nd October at 10.30 am, Central Time (USA)
    Zoom link | Meeting ID: 666 266 529 | Passcode: 936489
    Fifteenth Street Monthly Meeting, New York Yearly Meeting, USA
    Unprogrammed, hybrid worship
    Sunday 2 October at 11 am Eastern Daylight Time (USA)
    Zoom link | Meeting ID: 215 310 4074 | Password: 15221

    Portland Friends Meeting, Maine, USA
    Unprogrammed worship
    Sunday 2 October at 10.45 am Eastern Daylight Time (USA)
    Zoom link
    Charleston Friends Meeting (WV), Southern Appalachian Yearly Meeting and Association (SAYMA), USA
    Unprogrammed worship
    Sunday 2 October at 10 am Eastern Daylight Time (USA)
    Zoom link | Meeting ID: 851 6961 5099 | Passcode: 065719

    Pendle Hill
    Unprogrammed worship
    Sunday 2 October at 08.30 am Eastern Daylight Time (USA)
    Zoom link | Meeting ID: 432 071 090 | Password: 081885

    Please feel free to share this information with other Friends who may be interested in joining another Quaker group for worship on World Quaker Day.

    More information here.

    Helen Clarkson Memorial Service, August 2 at Noon

    Helen Cornelia Clarkson (Pratt), at the age of 96, passed away peacefully in her beloved home on Flying Point overlooking Casco Bay on Saturday, July 16, 2022.

    She was born on August 21, 1925 in Somerville, MA, the oldest child of Albert Pratt and Marion Cornelia Pratt (Dwelley). The family became part of the Durham Friends community in 1930 when they moved to Brunswick, ME, where Helen and her sister grew up on a farm on the Lunt Road.

    On August 2, at noon, her family is having a celebration of her life at the Durham Friends Meeting. All are invited to attend in person or on zoom. There will be a reception after at the Muddy Rudder in Yarmouth. Please RSVP to her daughter (Joyce) if you plan to join the family at the reception

    Helen had a full and wonderful life, spanning wondrous 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 requested that in lieu of flowers, a donation to Bates College for the Vernon A. and Hellen Pratt Clarkson (’46) Scholarship, mailed to Bates College, Office of College Advancement, 2 Andrews Road, Lewiston ME 04240.

    Cuba Trip: Date Change and Travelers Needed!

    The dates of our trip to Cuba to visit our sister meeting, Velasco, have had to be changed. The trip will now be in February 2023 and include visiting Cuba Yearly Meeting, which is from February 16 to 20.

    There are three Friends from Portland planning to go. Two of our Durham Friends who hoped to travel no longer can, so we are looking for two or three more who want to. Let Nancy Marstaller know if so. Thanks!

    Meeting for Healing with Portland Friends, July 21 and August 18

    Friends are invited to gather for an experimental hybrid worship this summer. Portland Friends Meeting convenes a recurring Meeting for Healing using Zoom on select Thursdays, 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The Durham Friends Meeting House will be open by 7:15 p.m. on July 21 and August 18, for synchronizing via the Owl system.  For questions, contact Mey Hasbrook.

    Meeting for Worship for Healing is an old Quaker tradition. Our goal with this meeting is to focus on the physical and spiritual illnesses of the current world. It’s not intended to be the same as a full meeting for worship but instead is meant to be focused on communal prayer. We are often blessed with a time of deep silence.  ~from Portland Friends Meeting

    Land Acknowledgement Program via Pendle Hill, August 9 and 11

    Peace and Social Concerns Committee calls attention to this coming program at Pendle Hill:

    To register, click here

    Living on what was another peoples’ homeland through their coerced removal carries with it a generational responsibility to recognize and honor their history and their legitimate claim to places where we live. Recognizing that preparing a land acknowledgment is a first step towards creating right relationship with the land and its native peoples, we will review:

    • the Euro-colonial principles and means used to take Turtle Island from its original inhabitants;
    • sources for identifying accurate local native history;
    • ways to correctly identify and contact culturally affiliated tribes; and
    • current land-return movements in the United States.

    We undertake this review centering the ultimate goals of writing land acknowledgments, including relationship building, identifying and restoring erased history of local sites, and returning land to native peoples.

    "Land Acknowledgement," a two-part webinar presented by tom kunesh

    To enhance your experience of the webinars, consider consulting the following resources:

    1961 – Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth

    1986 – Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Decolonising the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature. Some excerpts can be found here: africaspeaks.com/reasoning/index.php?topic=5770.0;wap2

    2009 – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, The danger of a single storyyoutube.com/watch?v=D9Ihs241zeg (19 minutes)

    2012 - Tuck & Yang, “Decolonization is not a metaphor”: clas.osu.edu/sites/clas.osu.edu/files/Tuck%20and%20Yang%202012%20Decolonization%20is%20not%20a%20metaphor.pdf

    2018 - Liz Nicholson, “Quakers are Colonizers”: quakervoluntaryservice.org/quakers-are-colonizers/

    2019 Decolonizing Quakers – Seeking Right Relationship with Indigenous Peoples: decolonizingquakers.org

    The resource list from Summer 2020: https://pendlehill.org/fall-conference-2020/working-towards-right-relationship-resources/


    tom kunesh and twelve siblings were born to a Standing Rock lakota tribal member mom and a white lawyer dad, and grew up good-and-catholic in Minnesota on what had been dakota & anishinaabe contested land. He joined the Navy for adventure and the GI Bill, became a linguist, served in the Persian Gulf, Indian Ocean, and Spain, and studied religion. He works today at being a dad, protecting and educating about indigenous sites in Tennessee, attends Nashville Friends Meeting, and hangs out at the intersection of religion, decolonization, atheism, and quiet.

    For more information, click here.

    Falmouth Quarter Summer Gathering, July 16, 2022

    Falmouth Quarter will gather on July 16th (the third Saturday in July) at Ed and Dot Hinshaw’s Camp at Labrador Pond in Sumner! The summer gathering is a time for celebrating our community, and catching up on all that has been happening in our meetings and our lives this year.  This will be an outdoors, in-person, no zoom party.

    The camp has a beach, some kayaks, & space to play. Friends are invited to come from 10:00 – 4:00.  We will gather for a whole community worship at 11:00 followed by a brown bag lunch. there are things to do for the Young Friends, and for families and children. 

    All are welcome! We would like a rough idea who will be there; please let us know if you plan to come.  Or just come.

    Rain date is Sunday, July 17.

    “Rise Up Singing” Authors Coming to Brunswick, July 9, 2022

    There will be a Sing-Along Concert with Quaker folk singers Annie Patterson and Peter Blood on Saturday, July 9* from 5:30pm to 7:30pm at Growing to Give in Brunswick**.

    Address: Growing to Give Farm, 30 Coxon Road, Brunswick, ME

    It’s a fundraiser to help grow food for people in need. Advance tickets are required.

    Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Individuals, 18 and below in age, are FREE.

    Visit https://growingtogive.farm/ for details more information about the farm and to see the poster for this event.  Hope to see you there! – Craig Freshley

    *Rain date is July 10.