Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, July 16, 2023

Revised version, August 2, 2023]

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends met for the conduct of business on Sunday, July 16, 2023, with 9 people attending from the Meetinghouse and 5 by Zoom.

  1.    Meeting Opening                                                                                                                

        Dorothy Curtis opened the meeting with a prayer of thanksgiving.

2.     Approval of Minutes of June 2023 — Ellen Bennett

Acknowledgement from FCNL (change from FWCC) for K J William’s gift will be corrected in the minutes.

            Meeting approved the minutes with the above correction.

3.     Finance Committee: Second request for funds for Bolivia

A Quarterly Report from the Finance Committee will be given in September.

The request for approval for a gift to the Bolivian Youth Group, addressing food security and working under the care of Friends International, was presented again after initial consideration at the June Meeting for Business. Research on food scarcity in Bolivia indicated that there has been substantial drought over past 10 years in this region, resulting in a large world-wide initiative to send aid. A recent update publication from FWCC described both this situation and the international support.

Emma Condori Mamani, our Meeting for Worship message-giver, spoke about the food security project, specifically with respect to the families in the highlands who have been hit hard by climate change. The process by which the families are selected to receive aid is thorough, requiring a great deal of work.

Emma then stepped away from the meeting for the approval discussion of this item. Leslie also stepped away, leaving eight Friends in Meeting for the ensuing discussion, as well as for discussion of Item 4.

Meeting approved the donation of $500 for the food security project. Individuals may support this project, as well. Information on how to do this will be shared via a Friends Note with the request that donations be submitted by August 1st.

4.     Ministry and Counsel — Renee Cote, Tess Hartford

Renee read the recommending letter from Martha Hinshaw Sheldon and Linda Muller for Leslie Manning to be recognized as a recorded minister in the Society of Friends (see attached).

The Meeting approved immediately and joyfully, with thanks to Martha and Linda.

Renee reviewed the remainder of the M&C Report (see attached).

5.     Library Committee — Dorothy Hinshaw

There has been discussion among clerks and library committee that, in honor of beloved Friend, Margaret Wentworth, Meeting name our library the Margaret Wentworth Library. 

Meeting approved.

6.     Trustees — Sarah Sprogell                                                                                                 

        Trustees report was read (see attached).

7.     Use of Parsonage Funds Discussion

        Please refer to attachment summarizing past suggestions.

To begin discussion, Clerk summarized three recommendations: Consolidate accounts, calculate a percentage draw on restricted/designated funds to support operations, and increase support for the cemeteries.  The Finance committee will return in September with a recommendation about the consolidation of funds, not including the Parsonage Fund.

Trustees will consider: How much funding do we need to continue as a healthy meeting? Finance Committee will consider: How do we disperse/allocate those funds?

At Monthly Meeting in September, Meeting will seek to agree upon answers to these questions.

8.     NEYM Annual Sessions Representatives

No need for representation expressed by Meeting.

9.     Additional Items

Meeting expressed its great appreciation to Dorothy Curtis for attending the triennial of the United Society of Friends Women International, in conjunction with Friends United Meeting and Quaker Men, and acknowledged the challenges in travel that Dorothy experienced. Dorothy agreed to give a report to Monthly Meeting in September about her experiences.

Durham Monthly Meeting has supported Maine All-Care. The Meeting recently received a request to add its name to a letter in support of the Medicare for All Act 2023, HR 3421. (Please see attached letter.)

Meeting approved adding Durham Friends Meeting’s name to a letter in support of Medicare For All.

The next Meeting for Business will be September 17th.

10.   Closing Worship

Members were asked to pause to reflect on the ways in which individuals come together in community, and how to acknowledge those individuals and their differences in ways of participation.

Respectfully submitted, Ellen Bennett, Recording Clerk


Proposed Meeting Agenda

Draft Minutes of 6.18.23 Business Meeting

Description of Friends International Bilingual Center, Bolivia

Ministry and Counsel Report

Parsonage Fund Ideas

Letter in Support of The Medicare for All Act of 2023 (H.R. 3421)

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