Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends met for the conduct of business on Sunday, September 17, 2023, with 12 people attending from the Meetinghouse and one via Zoom.
1. Meeting Opening
Clerk opened the meeting by reading the following:
Query 3: Meeting for Business. Are meetings for business held in a spirit of worship and prayerful search for the way of Truth? Are all members encouraged to use their talents in the service of the meeting? Do you undertake your proper share of the work and financial support of the meeting?
— NEYM Faith and Practice, 1985, p 211
2. Approval of Minutes of July 16, 2023 — Ellen Bennett
Meeting approved the minutes, with two additions regarding Finance and clerking the meeting, to be included in Items 3 and 4. Recording Clerk made those additions.
3. Finance Report — Nancy Marstaller
Nancy read a thank you note for the $1,300 donated for the Bolivian Food Security Project. The Meeting received $800 additional dollars in individual contributions to the $500 approved in July.
Finance Committee will be meeting to review, overall, funds needed to support the Meeting on an annual basis, and will report its findings next month.
Quarter 2 report. Please see attached report.
The Meeting accepted the report, with gratitude.
4. Trustees — Sarah Sprogell
Refer to attached report re: funds from the sale of the parsonage, and recommendations for funds needed to maintain a fiscally healthy Meeting.
Trustees have recommended $55K from the parsonage fund be transferred to the cemetery fund bringing its balance to $125K. Using a 4% distribution would cover most or all of our annual expenses, about $5K/year. This recommendation will come before Meeting again next month.
With regard to the Meeting’s buildings and grounds, we do not have a plan for funding capital expenses. Finance Committee will review this, with Trustees, in looking at overall financial health.
Question: Is past performance an indicator of future needs? Might we look at a 3-5 year plan for capital expenses? Are there other needed improvements? Consider these in future discussions.
Clerk agreed to reach out to NEYM to find out where the Eileen Babcock bequest funds are.
The Meeting approved Clerk of the Meeting get in touch with NE Yearly Meeting to ascertain where the funds are from the Eileen Babcock bequest.
Much appreciation was expressed for the hard work and discernment that went into the report.
5. Ministry and Counsel — Renee Cote, Tess Hartford
Clerk read the relevant portion of Faith and Practice as it pertains to resigning membership in a Monthly Meeting.
Mey Hasbrook submitted a letter of resignation to the Clerk of Meeting and the co-clerks of Ministry and Counsel. The first portion of the letter was read aloud, including referenced passages from scripture.
Meeting approved M&C’s recommendation to accept Mey’s resignation. M&C will discern next steps in reaching out to Mey for one more meeting.
M&C also brought forward the letter proposing that Leslie Manning be recorded as a minister, that was approved by the Meeting in July. (Note that Leslie stepped out from her role as Clerk for this portion of the meeting. Renee Cote assumed the role of Clerk.)
Meeting approved sending, to Falmouth Quarter, the letter from M&C asking that Leslie Manning be recognized as a recorded minister.
It was suggested that Leslie’s ministry beyond the meeting — prison ministry, Sofia House — be included in the letter. M&C will make those edits/additions before sending it on.
Leslie Manning returned and assumed her role as Clerk.
Please refer to report for dates of important, proposed upcoming meetings.
Meeting approved a memorial meeting to be held on October 29th.
M&C discussed fourth and fifth Sundays as in-person worship only, thus encouraging people to come to the meetinghouse and relieving pressure on technology support. It was recommended that Members who participate solely by Zoom be contacted to get their reaction. The recommendation will be revisited next month.
Members were encouraged to sign up for the Care of Worship role.
6. Nominating Committee Report — Linda Muller
Please refer to the attached report.
Meeting approved the recommendation that committee term limits be removed. This change will be reflected in the handbook
Meeting approved a threshing session be held on 10/22 at the rise of Meeting.
7. Peace and Social Concerns — Ingrid Chalufour
Please refer the the report.
It was noted with pleasure that the United Way has approved a position to help coordinate support for New Mainers who will be moving into Brunswick Landing this month.
8. Report from Dorothy Curtis on FUM Triennial and USFWI Conference
“Come. Abide. Go.” Theme of this year’s USFWI triennial. Dorothy read a note of deep thanks, in which she expressed her tremendous gratitude for the support of many in making this trip. “This was a trip of a lifetime.” Dorothy then annotated several of her photographs and regaled all with wonderful stories about her trip to Kenya.
9. Closing Worship
Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends will reconvene on October 15th, 2023.
Ellen Bennett, Recording Clerk