Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, November 19, 2023

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends met for the conduct of business on Sunday, November 19, 2023, with people 11 people in attendance at the Meetinghouse and two via Zoom.

1.     Meeting Opening

Clerk opened the meeting by reading a prayer by Rabbi Irwin Keller, a prayer he wrote ten days after the attack on Israel by Hamas. The prayer is available to read through the Meeting website.

2.     Review Agenda

        There were no changes to the agenda

3.     Approval of Minutes of October 2023 — Ellen Bennett

               The October minutes were approved.

4.     Finance Committee — Nancy Marstaller

The 3rd quarter budget report was presented. Overall, we are in fine shape. Revenue is slightly lower in weekly contributions, but is offset by increased revenue in other categories, for example receipt of grant funding for Peace and Social Concerns.

With respect to operating expenses, we are under budget because not all committees have used their money, no children asked for scholarships for camp, and two positions have not been filled.

               Meeting accepted the third quarter budget report.

        Reviewing the 2024 proposed budget, revenue has been decreased due to the drop in weekly contributions. Most other sources of revenue stay the same.

Budgeted 2024 Operating expenses remain the same with the addition of a childcare worker. A contribution to Wabanaki REACH was added. In addition, annual contribution to the Yearly Meeting was increased.

The 2024 proposed budget ends with a deficit of $1,655. It was noted that the Meeting has not yet taken a distribution from the Parsonage Fund, so this may be possible if needed.

Discussion followed concerning the inclusion of Wabanaki Reach in the budget alongside other Quaker organizations. The dollar amount is not a concern. The Meeting could consider the contribution as addressing reparations and place the expense alongside other Physical Plant expenses. The budget will be brought back next month for approval.

5.     Peace and Social Concerns — Ingrid Chalufour

Kim Bolshaw read the attached report, which includes two requests: One for Wabanaki Reach (as noted in the proposed 2024 budget) and the second for $500 for AFSC’s Gaza emergency fund. Funds from AFSC would come from charity account. Given the need in Gaza, Peace and Social concerns asks that approval be made at this meeting.

               Meeting approved the contribution.

6.     Nominating Committee — Linda Muller                                                                           

The committee recommended two Marian Dalton and Rob Spivey to conduct comprehensive financial review of the Meeting’s books. Note, this would not be an audit, but a careful review of 2022 and 2023 financial records. It was suggested that they be offered remuneration, which they can then donate as they please.

               Meeting approved the recommendation.

        Wendy Schlotterbeck is recommended to serve on nominating committee.

               Meeting approved.

7.     Ministry and Counsel — Tess Hartford and Renee Cote

Please refer to the report. No actionable items. Still considering the use of technology in the Meeting Room during worship. Thoughts may be shared with M&C.

8.     Trustees Report — Sarah Sprogell

        Please refer to the report. Trustees brought forward a list of projects that will be considered for the coming 3-5 years.  Please refer to their report for more details. No actionable items.

9.     New Business

Do we want take corporate action on the request from NEYM, FCNL, and AFSC, to express to our members of congress our support for a cease-fire in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

        Clerk noted our voice in Durham, Maine, straddles both congressional jurisdictions.

It was agreed that the minute from NEYM to be sent to our congressional delegation on our behalf. Also encouraged us as individuals to add our own voices. Hold in our hearts what witness in the public square looks like as individuals and as part of the Meeting.

10.   Closing

Clerk expressed thanks to the Meeting community, who show their desire to be present for one another, and gratitude for this community being able to identify important needs, rise to meet those needs, and have the resources to do so.

        Purposing to meet again on the 3rd First-day of the 12th month.

Respectfully submitted, Ellen Bennett, Recording Clerk


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  1. Pingback: Agenda and Materials for Durham Friends Business Meeting, December 17, 2023 | Durham Friends Meeting (Quaker)

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