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