State of Society — Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends — 2014

2014 has been a year of transition for Durham Meeting.  The physical change was re-arranging the benches in the Meeting room into a rectangle.  Changes in pastoral leadership went from the end of one pastor’s regular service to her working with a former pastor to serve, then a new pastor arrived to serve us one-half time.  We have been blessed by their contributions to our Meeting’s community. Several people contribute vocally in Meeting for Worship, in addition to prepared messages.  We continue to be a semi-programmed meeting with hymn singing and an enthusiastic choral group which performs at various times.

During this transition period, four well attended vision sessions were held to consider our present and future needs, resulting in the bench rearrangement, and several aspirations.

Under the care of our Youth Minister we have a Sunday School program and a Youth Group.  Several new attenders with children have added to the growth of the Meeting.  The Youth Group has worked for some time to raise funds and plan a trip, scheduled to take place in February 2015.  The Youth support a boy at the Kakamega, Kenya, Orphan Care Center.

Some adults participate in a Sunday School class, a weekday evening Contemplative Prayer Group, and a Writing Group.  An active Woman’s Society, affiliated with United Society of Friends Women International, meets for inspiration, education, business, and socializing.  It prepared a meal once a month for a homeless shelter and supports financially projects in Belize, Ramallah, Kenya, Kickapoo Native American Center, and locally.  The Meeting has individuals who are active in the area food and clothing bank program.  Others are active in environmental issues.

One of our young adults served as a Meeting summer intern helping with visitation and other pastoral duties, and left in August to serve as a teacher at the Ramallah Friends School, a two-year commitment.

Trustees have paid diligent attention to property upkeep and improvement, harvesting trees on the property and the sale of land on Lunt Road.

Some in our Meeting community are active in New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, with Friends Camp, sessions, committees, and retreats.

We are thankful for Friends who live lives of commitment to God in their homes, Meeting community, workplace, local community, and with a concern for the world.

Approved by Monthly Meeting for Business, March 15, 2015, Sarah Sprogell, presiding clerk