Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends met for the conduct of business on Sunday, December 18, 2022, with 9 people attending from the Meetinghouse and 6 attending by Zoom
1. Meeting Opening
Clerk opened the meeting with a few moments silent worship. The agenda was reviewed with the addition of the approval of the November minutes.
2. Approval of Minutes of November 2022 — Ellen Bennett
Minutes were approved with two small corrections.
3. Nominating Committee — Linda Muller
The slate of committee members for the coming year was distributed. Leslie Manning agreed to continue to serve as Clerk through 2023, and left the meeting while this recommendation was discussed.
It was noted that Leslie had asked for a co-Clerk this past year. The Nominating Committee has been exploring this, but no one has come forward. Nominating Committee will continue to keep this on their agenda.
Members of all standing committees were reviewed. It was noted that Nancy Marstaller’s name should be added to the Tech Support Team.
Sarah Sprogell shared that she has felt called to step down as Auditor, and announced this intention.
Clerk noted that additional suggestions might be made by email as well.
The Meeting membership wishes honor those who have contributed their time and expertise by serving on Durham Monthly Meeting Committees, and taking on individual roles to assist the Meeting in its work.
4. Ministry and Counsel — Tess Hartford, Renee Cote
The request was made to re-introduce after-meeting refreshments, beginning with liquid refreshment only, based on protocols introduced at Portland Friends Meeting. The suggestion was made that the air purifiers could be moved to the Gathering Room after meeting for worship. Trustees will work on the logistics of moving the air purifiers.
5. Finance Committee — Sarah Sprogell
The draft 2023 budget was updated from last month’s reading. Expenses exceed income as in the previous draft, a result of keeping expense lines for hiring a Meeting Care Coordinator and/or Youth Minister.
Members approved the 2023 budget.
Helen Clarkson left a bequest of $5,000 to be used at the Meeting’s discretion. It is currently in our checking account. Traditionally, we tithe 10% of any gift to add to the Charity Account, which in this case would be $500. The Finance Committee recommends adding $2,000 to the Charity Account. The remaining $3,000 of the bequest would remain in our General Account. Requests for funds from the Charity Account have been infrequent, but in the last four years, several gifts of $1,000 have been distributed. With this in mind, the Committee thought this would be a good opportunity to bring the total in the Charity Account to over $10,000.
6. Request for Funding
A special request for funding was brought forward to support the work of local organizations in the Lewiston-Auburn area with refugee and asylum-seeker housing. Clerk noted the definition of an Emergency Request from Meeting handbook: the request does not need to be seasoned for 2 meetings.
Finance and Peace & Social Concerns have been in conversation about this request for over a month. A total of $5000 is being requesting for the Immigrant Resource Center of Maine ($3,500) and to the Maine Immigrant and Refugee Services ($1,500). These are small and important organizations that are often overlooked when funding is distributed from other sources. The suggestion was made for funds to be used by each organization as it sees fit.
The Finance Committee looked to various funding sources as they considered this request, as it is larger than usual. The Committee recommends we use the Bernice Douglas fund, which is capable of meeting the request amount.
With thanks to those who brought this to our attention and care.
7. Trustees Report — Sarah Sprogell
Report was submitted to update members. Nothing for approval.
8. Peace and Social Concerns — Ingrid Chalufour
Oral report given to update membership. Noted particularly was the capital campaign for Tedford Housing, with encouragement to members to give their support.
9. New Business
Christmas Eve service is scheduled for 4:00 p.m., with Leslie Manning serving as tech support, Jo-an Jacobus as Care of Worship leader, and Kim Bolshaw taking care of heat!
Clerk closed the meeting for business with an expression of tremendous gratitude for the Meeting, the health of the budget, for the work of so many members. Clerk read a thank-you letter from Ellis Noetzel, for the Meeting’s assistance in sending her to Friends Camp this past summer.
The meeting ended with silent worship.
Respectfully submitted, Ellen Bennett, Recording Clerk