Durham Friends Meeting Minutes (Draft), 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