Durham Friends Monthly Meeting, February 19, 2017
Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened in worship on Sunday, February 19, 2017 at 12:30 with 15 people present. Clerk Sarah Sprogell opened by reading from the Interim Faith and Practice of NEYM extracts on worship.
- Approval given for the temporary service of Martha Hinshaw Sheldon as Recording clerk.
2. Youth ministers report given by Wendy Schlotterbeck.
a) In consultation with families in the Meeting, Wendy, plans to create a walking trail on land around the parsonage. The trail may include meditation signs. Wendy will submit a design Trustees for approval and learn what requirements are needed for insurance purposes.
3. Nominating committee, reported by Ron Turcotte.
a) Margaret Wentworth will join the Newsletter committee.
b) The meeting approved the recommendation that Margaret Wentworth be added to the newsletter committee. She will serve primarily in an advisory capacity.
c) Concern expressed that younger members and attenders be encouraged to become active members of committees, allowing long-standing and elder members to retire gracefully.
4. Peace and Social Concerns report given by Cindy Wood.
a) Cindy shared that the Women’s march at the Maine State courthouse January 21 was a big success.
b) The committee is proceeding with dinner gatherings for new attenders and is looking for additional volunteers to host these monthly suppers.
5. Ministry and Counsel report given by Ron Turcotte.
a) Ron submitted a letter of concern regarding the recent ban on refugee resettlement to be sent to local newspapers and elected officials. Discussion, support and concerns were shared and noted. Approval given for Ron to send the letter and for the letter to be included in the Meeting newsletter.
b) Report given and discussion followed on the ‘Draft Report on Leadership of Durham Meeting from January to June 2017’. A proposal was made to approve the report with an openness for ongoing input and to include the report in the Meeting newsletter. Report attached.
c) A survey was distributed for folks to fill out regarding the 6 months’ discernment period to help evaluate the life of the meeting without a paid pastor. The survey will be in the next newsletter, announced at meeting for worship, and will be available in the fellowship room. Survey attached.
d) Expressions of appreciation were given for the labor of Ministry and Counsel and Joyce Gibson on the above report.
e) A proposal was made to have a second open session for members and attenders to express opinions and concerns. M&C suggests April for the meeting. This will be announced when a date is discerned.
f) Ministry and Counsel report was accepted.
6. The Christian Education report was given by Tess Hartford.
a) Jeannie Baker Stinson will be the Recording Clerk.
b) Tess reported that the committee is made up of a good mix of folks with good energy.
c) A candidate for the position of Child Care Provider was present Sunday morning to observe and get to know the children. She was very comfortable with the children. The interview process will continue with further interviews and securing background checks.
d) A Quaker parenting initiative was introduced. The format is an on-line Quaker parent discussion group webinar led by Harriet Heath, an expert on parenting skills and Quaker author. A flyer with information will be posted for those interested in signing up.
e) Christian Ed report was accepted.
7. Finance report given by Kitsie Hildebrandt.
a) The treasurer reviewed funding that we currently have to help pay for the 3 capital projects planned for the meetinghouse: heat pump, solar panels, and roof replacement. we have received $9000 from NEYM Legacy Fund, $5000 (promised) from FGC Meetinghouse Fund, and approximately $9,000 from our capital account. We are waiting to hear from Obadiah Brown’s Benevolent Fund in March, and hopeful of receiving up to $10,000 from this fund.
b) Given these assumptions, we will still need to raise about $17,000 to complete the projects. The Fundraising Committee will work on a campaign to raise these funds.
c) It was approved to borrow from the Bea Douglas fund if necessary, to prevent the work from being put on hold while the fundraising is progressing.
d) Approved with thanks to Kitsie and fundraisers.
8. Trustees report given by Leslie Manning.
a) Trustees will be examining how to better manage the costs for mowing in the coming year. They would also like to have information more readily available for folks wanting to find ancestral plot information.
b) Working on 3 projects: 1. Heat pump, 2. Solar panels, and 3. Roof replacement for the meetinghouse. The heat pump project was approved earlier and the Trustees are eager to get this project done. The cost is approximately $4000.
c) The solar panel project was discussed and approval given for Sam Zuckerman of Maine Solar Solutions, Durham to go forward with the work. Although our electricity use will increase with the heat pump and dehumidifier, our oil use and dependence will decrease, thus achieving a valuable investment for the future. The cost is approximately $17,000.
d) The roof project has received 4 bids and the recommendation is to accept Fairbanks of Topsham. This project needs to be done before the solar panels can be started. Approval was given for the contractor and bid. The cost is approximately $26,000.
e) Leslie encouraged CE and the Youth minister to think about what they can do to help with fundraising for this project. The fundraising committee is made up of Donna Ross, Sukie Rice. However, it will be beneficial for all members and attenders to be attentive to how they can help.
9. Statistical report for 2016 given by Martha Hinshaw Sheldon and accepted.
a) In summary, the average attendance at meeting for worship was 38; number of members as of 12/31 was 104; new members were 4; and 27 members were removed due to discontinuance or resignation. This last large number is due in part to a letter sent to a number of long-absent members. Report attached.
10. Tess Hartford submitted a letter for the Meeting to consider supporting her in an opportunity to attend a workshop on “process painting” that would broaden her use of her gifts in ministry and help participants come into peace.
a) The meeting approved using $600 from our Charitable Account to help cover costs for the workshop. The meeting further requested that Tess’s letter be shared with the meeting so folks can make earmarked donations to further help with costs. Letter attached.
11. Library committee annual report was given by Margaret Wentworth.
a) She urged all to use this valuable resource. Report accepted.
12. Reminder given for other committees to submit an annual committee report.
13. These minutes are to be approved at the March Monthly Meeting.
Monthly Meeting ended with a moment of waiting worship at 2:10 pm.
Martha Hinshaw Sheldon, interim Recording Clerk