Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened via zoom for the conduct of business on Sunday, May 24, 2020, with 17 people present in their own homes. Martha Hinshaw Sheldon, co-clerk, opened the meeting with a quote from New England Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice on corporate discernment.
1.The April minutes were approved.
2. Finance Committee: Sarah Sprogell reported that the attached budget has a highlighted column reflecting the reduced expenses that were approved at last month’s business meeting. Total income for the quarter was $16,338.07.
We received $2000 in “end of year giving” from 2019, which made up for a reduction in weekly giving in March and will help in future months. Our quarterly disbursement from NEYM pooled funds was received at its expected level of about $3500. Overall we have met 26% of our projected annual income as of March 31st.
Total expenses for the quarter were $9,881.49. Most areas were under-budget as we hoped, with the exception of fuel oil. Overall we have paid 16% of our projected annual expenses as of March 31st. This figure is in keeping with our 30% reduction in expenditures, based on the expected impact of Covid19 restrictions.
Treasurer, Katharine Hildebrandt, reported that expenses for April were $5035 and our income was $6200.
3. Peace and Social concerns Committee: Ingrid Chalufour reminded us to visit the meeting web site for information on upcoming events of the committee.
4. Charity Account ad-hoc Committee: Katharine Hildebrandt reported for the committee and presented proposed guidelines concerning the uses and criteria for the Charity Account:
“The Charity account is to be administered, after careful consideration in each unique situation, for both Charitable Requests and Supported Ministry (Leadings) purposes.
In terms of Supported Ministry (Leadings), coming from members and regular attenders, the request will be brought to a standing meeting committee first to prayerfully consider said request for funds. The meeting committee will then bring the request to monthly meeting, with the request added to an agenda that is distributed ahead of the monthly meeting.
In considering proposals to support a ministry, we recommend the following criteria:
- Alignment of the ministry with the faith and practice of Friends, including the testimonies.
- The character and integrity of the person or group seeking support.
- The likely effectiveness (not just good intentions) of the effort.
In other words, does this ministry help to deepen and promote the life, not only of the individual or group, but the life of the whole meeting as well?
In terms of Charitable Requests, the request will be brought to a standing meeting committee first to prayerfully consider said request for funds. The meeting committee will then bring the request to monthly meeting, with the request added to an agenda, distributed ahead of the monthly meeting.
In the case of emergencies, a request for financial assistance could be brought to the monthly meeting by a meeting committee, where it would be tended, weighed and prayerfully decided on by that monthly meeting. In this case the request would be communicated to the meeting community ahead of time.
The Charity Account, in general, would not be a source of funding for other Quaker organizations and causes such as FCNL, AFSC, QUNO, NEYM, Tedford Housing, or LACO, as these are included in the annual budget as contributions.
Requests for funds will generally be no greater than $1,000.00.”
A thoughtful discussion ensued with suggestions for revisions; the result was that final approval of these guidelines will be made at the June monthly meeting.
5. Trustees: Donna Hutchins sent a report which stated that they are looking into developing a green burial space at the Lund Road Cemetery. Tess Hartford is currently painting the meeting worship room. Katharine Hildebrandt reported that Andy Higgins has been hired to do some grounds maintanence.
6. Christian Education Committee and Youth Minister: Wendy Schlotterbeck reported that Storytimes are being held each Wednesday evening via Zoom. Books read so far are: The Wolf’s Chicken Stew, Malala’s Magic Pencil, Moon watchers, and The Tree House. A Plant Sale will be held June 5th through June 8. Children and Youth Sunday will be June 7th when meeting for worship via zoom will include content directed at our younger participants. The committee will sponsor the popular Faith Journey sharing on the second and fourth Sunday mornings, 9:30-10:15.
Fridays from 5-6pm Wendy is on zoom with New England Yearly Meeting Young Friends during their weekly affinity group check-ins.
Wendy will be clerking the Committee for this year.
7. Snap Re-Boot project: Although the Charity Fund guidelines are yet to be approved, we reconsidered the request for funds to support this project, which are still needed. The meeting discussed donating the amount of $1000, with appreciation for the two committees that have recommended support of the project.
8. We approved the amount of $1000 for the Snap Re-Boot project, with two members standing aside, noting their hesitation to approve the project at this time.
9. Carbon Footprint Ad Hoc Committee: Kim Bolshaw, Katharine Hildebrandt, and Ingrid Chalfour attended a web-based workshop focused on greening meetinghouses, sponsored by New England Yearly Meeting Finance Committee. John Reuthe from Vassalboro Meeting made the presentation. John suggested that we, as a meeting, discuss what we mean by greening our meetinghouse. In the absence of an opportunity to have this discussion, the committee is working on the assumption that our goal is to lower use of carbon fuel. John’s presentation has influenced our development of a three-phase plan for our meetinghouse regarding insulation, cold air from the basement, and window inserts for the winter.
10. Ministry and Counsel: Martha Hinshaw reported that at their next meeting they will look at how to safely return to gathering in the meetinghouse.
The meeting recently received the sad news that member Phyllis White Wetherell died on April 25, in Richmond, Indiana where she had retired at Friends Fellowship Retirement Home. Ministry and Counsel is preparing a draft memorial minute to be approved in June.
Martha Hinshaw closed the meeting with the admonition: Go in Peace!
Dorothy Hinshaw, Recording Clerk