On October 30, 2022, Durham Friends Meeting held a facilitated listening session to consider how we have felt after five years of being a pastorless meeting. In the first half of the session we reflected on what brought each of us to DFM and what keeps us coming back; in the second half, what we see for DFM moving forward. No decisions were made. Ministry & Counsel will consider the thoughts expressed today and report back. — Renee Cote
Comments are paraphrased.
Leslie: Everyone has a story. I attended a church supper at a vital Presbyterian church, whose mission is motivated by Matthew 25 and which has effective outreach. I encountered a woman who told me she came to DFM in the 80s, single and pregnant, and how much she appreciated our support. Her beliefs aren’t necessarily my beliefs but we were there for her.
Linda: I knew I was a Quaker from attending other meetings. I came to DFM and heard a sermon by Ralph Greene. I was not used to programmed meeting and found it a little disappointing. But I felt the spiritual community and it was a good place to bring my children. I keep coming for the sense of spiritual community. I would like more multigenerational events.
Kim: I came to DFM for the wonderful dinners. It was close by and my kids could meet persons of all ages in a relaxed setting. I kept coming because the community felt genuine. I had no religious background or training. I have learned a lot and received much support.
David: I was raised an evangelical Baptist. I studied Quaker writers in college. I then went to an Episcopal church and I liked the quiet. I was confirmed but began to have doubts about the theatrical aspects of the service. I kept a journal 50 years ago while working on Mt. Washington and wrote that inside I felt like a Quaker. I felt affirmed by my contact with Clarabel although I continued as an Episcopalian until six or seven years ago. Friends have meant so much and I feel like DFM is the best of both worlds (programmed/unprogrammed). I feel that the Quaker ladies in the walls are still speaking to us. Jonathan Vogel-Bourne affirmed that I have always been a Quaker and said, “Welcome home.”
Martha: I came to DFM with my parents. I have wandered and experienced many kinds of meetings and worship. I appreciate the hybrid nature of worship at DFM.
Ann: Pastor Stephen (last name?) invited single persons who were attending DFM to dinners at the parsonage. He reached out to us. I transferred from Brunswick to Durham. I was more active but physical circumstances now keep me away. I feel a connection to people here and a sense of belonging.
Leslie: I came because I was invited. I was feeling anger at God and wanted to work on that relationship. Childless people can find it hard to make connections. At the time DFM had a food distribution program for persons of all income levels. Tommie Frye asked for my help moving boxes and Sarah invited me in. This community offered safe space and safe harbor from damage from other religions. Durham helps healing.
Doug: I am a convinced Friend. I’ve had experience of a wide variety of unprogrammed meeting, including Philadelphia with its meaningful worship. When I moved to Maine I wanted to join Brunswick but eventually felt there was not enough of the spiritual life I needed in a small meeting with little vocal ministry. I came to DFM and enjoyed the rich voices and the pastor. Doug Gwynn followed . . . I know that God is with us and people are feeling that and acting upon it.
Ingrid: Doug brought me. I identified as a Quaker and I had come to the point where I wanted more spiritual nourishment. Doug recommended DFM. I found spiritual nourishment and liked the messages. I enjoyed the varied voices. I have found a place to practice spirit here. Sukie recommended me for Peace and Social Concerns and I’ve stayed there.
Wendy: I visited DFM with my family in 1992. I had been in another faith community and in 2003 I wanted a change. Sunday morning church was a given in our family and my children wanted to come here. They were welcomed. In 2008 I became a member and then youth minister. I figured out the Quaker structure. The kids gave life. Climate and racial justice is my passion and I have received support from the MM, QM, and YM. I have met some wonderful people and I love this community very much.
Tess: I was born and raised Catholic. I came to Quakerism after the pastor at St. John’s in Brunswick with whom I had a close spiritual connection was rotated out. When I came to Durham I had had a bad faith group experience. Sukie invited me here 35 years ago. I have often felt like an outlier but I fit in here. I believe that small is beautiful and it’s how we make connections. A small group offers the intimacy for spiritual growth. I have been taught to listen deeply in this spiritual home.
Cush: I became a Quaker in 1967 through a college girlfriend in Virginia Beach Meeting. Later with my first wife I became a member of Portland Meeting for ten years. After divorce I began attending Allen Avenue Unitarian along with my second wife. It was a good experience. Upon her death I went back to my Quaker roots. With my present wife I came to DFM. It has taken some time over the past three years to get used to a semiprogrammed meeting. I wanted to belong to a church in my geographical community, as community is defined these days. I still feel a little outside but I am integrating.
Second half—What would we like to see, what do we see? Should we hold conversations with those who aren’t here regularly? What do we do well, what can we do better?
Linda: We provide a safe space. We are here every Sunday even with small numbers. Our meeting is important for those needing healing or seeking mentorship.
Mey: I hear Leslie question where are we growing and where are we resisting. I have considered my expectations around meeting versus what happens in life. I’ve had varied experiences with Friends in different places. I chose DFM over Portland or Washington state. We are growing in love and compassion and after feeling discomfort. My interaction with Bob Eaton has become affirming, for example. I experience the prompting of spirit and love to help, and I experience love from meeting.
Dan: I was born into this church and I had to come here. I was assigned to pick up Mildred and I dreaded it at first but it became something I looked forward to. I enjoyed hearing her story. We developed a friendship outside of our usual roles. I did her good. Why would someone want to join DFM? To do some good for everyone here.
Cush: This has been a wonderful session and chance to sit down and share. I hope for more opportunities like this.
Tess: What are we doing well? We should give ourselves a pat on the back for what we have gone through. Tech has helped us to continue. Do we appreciate that we have been able to gather? As a member of M&C I have grown beyond what I thought was my comfort level.
Some people genuinely wanted to figure out how to bring technology into meeting and others feared it would change meeting. We can now choose how to be here, Zoom or in person. I’m happy I could paint the beautiful wall to see everyone on.
Ann: Like Tess I am grateful for Zoom even though I don’t like it. Covid has been hard with many losses of people. I feel part of meeting even though not there physically.
Sarah: We are good at being welcoming. I felt welcomed even as an outsider. I bonded with people I felt were the opposite of me in some ways. I learned from the elders’ forbearance, and to allow space while clerking. The elders modeled that love when we disagree. There’s been an enormous transition here at DFM and a chaotic world. So this is a test.
It’s hard when we’re not in unity. Some more listening sessions would help us hear each other. This creates good roots to help in addressing difficult issues.
Kim: I agree that we are very good at making space, being willing to listen, being sincere when it’s not easy. I have many opportunities to speak about Friends in the outside community. We need more ways to share our message of kindness, joy and love.
Leslie: With the passing of some members I’ve had a chance to see how our values of love and tolerance get transferred and passed into families. People react deeply to being in this space that feels like home. People feel seen and held.
Can we draw some people back, those who keep up their membership or get the newsletter? How do we maintain the outer circle? To attract young families can we go to the families and offer our help? Some are adrift, how to help? Those who are carrying burdens or have the patterns of their lives change, can we release them? How should we nourish our roots?
Sarah: It would be beneficial to have future listening sessions, and useful to gather at intervals to check in where we are.
Mey: There are meetings for healing on the first Thursday of the next two months through Portland Meeting, at DFM in person or through Zoom.
Proposed Agenda for Meeting for Business 11/20/22
Minutes from previous meeting
Peace and Social Concerns Report
Ministry and Counsel Report
Nominating Committee Report
Finance Committee Proposed Budget for 2023 (first reading)
We offer the meetinghouse for use by others as a form of outreach.
Suggested Rental Fees, Durham Friends Meetinghouse
Half Day $100
Full Day $200
Use of Kitchen Additional $100
The Meetinghouse is available for Meeting-sponsored activities at no charge. It is also available at no charge for use by Falmouth Quarterly Meeting, by New England Yearly Meeting or by other Quaker organizations.
The Meetinghouse will be available for rent to individuals, other groups and organizations with similar values or concerns as Friends. For these, we use a pay-as-led approach.
Pay- as-led is a way of acknowledging that wealth is not distributed fairly, and that Durham Friends want the building to be available for community use. Pay-as-led means that you reflect on and discern what amount you are led to pay for use of the space. We ask that you consider your financial resources and the value you believe use of the space brings to you. Based on this personal reflection, we invite you to pay as you are led, and to make a donation that feels appropriate to you and helps cover the cost of your use of the building.
To ask to schedule the Meetinghouse, contact
Sarah Sprogell, firstname.lastname@example.org, 207 319-5077 or
Kim Bolshaw, email@example.com, 207 808-3007
Overview of Facilities. The Durham Friends Meetinghouse includes:
- A worship room, with a capacity for seating about 200 people. It has benches arranged in a square. We ask that these not be moved without permission. There is also a piano in the worship room.
- A social room with a capacity of about 100 people (standing) or 100 people seated at (8) tables.
- A kitchen adjacent to the social room.
- Two small rooms off the social room, one with a capacity of about 12, and one of about 6.
- Two parking lots that can hold a total of 40 to 50 cars.
- A grassy yard appropriate for outdoor gatherings or picnics and that has some play facilities for young children.
The Meetinghouse is not appropriate for overnight accommodation.
RESPONSIBILITIES FOR RENTERS OF DURHAM FRIENDS MEETINGHOUSE
We hope you will enjoy the use of our Meetinghouse. We ask that you respect it as our place of worship by observing the following:
- We will unlock the door before you arrive; please be sure it is locked when you leave
- Please leave everything in the same condition you found it. A vacuum cleaner, a mop and bucket can be found in the hall closet; cleaning supplies are in the kitchen.
- Please, no smoking, alcohol or drugs on the premises.
- Food or drinks only in the social room and in the kitchen, or outdoors, not in the worship room.
- No tacks or scotch tape on walls, doors or woodwork. Masking tape only on painted woodwork, please.
- Please do not use classroom or nursery supplies, or any foodstuffs in the kitchen.
- Please use the telephone for emergency calls only.
- Heating instructions are posted near the thermostat.
- Please let us know of things are not working properly. Questions can be directed to our custodian, Kim Bolshaw, 207 808-3007.
- There is no storage space for equipment you may bring for your program. Please take any equipment or supplies with you when you depart.
Please use the following check list when leaving:
- Put window shades down position in the Meeting Room.
- Turn off stove burners, oven, and fans, and unplug and clean coffee makers, if you used them.
- Be sure faucets are turned off, and no toilets are running. Please leave toilet lids up.
- Leave open all interior doors.
- Collect and take your trash with you.
- Turn out all lights.
- Lock front and rear doors, and check handles to be sure exterior doors are locked.
After your event has concluded, please call our custodian, Kim Bolshaw, 207 808-3007.
As members of the religious Society of Friends (Quakers) we have a deep and abiding concern for social justice and racial equity. Values such as community, equality, and harmony are central to our approach and advocating for social justice in the greater community is an important expression of our values. This project grew out of a series of discussions focused on becoming antiracist in the fall of 2020.
What is the Social Justice Enrichment Project?
Participating teachers are given a set of children’s books that focus on the development of social justice values in children ages 4-8. Teachers join us in teams from schools in the Durham Friends Meeting catchment area. They are able to use the books to enhance their social studies and language arts curriculum as they chose. Support is provided through periodic meetings with teaching teams and educational sessions focused on child development and creating inclusive anti-bias classroom.
What are the project goals?
The books will help the children:
- Gain understanding and appreciation for diverse peoples and ways of life
- Build an empathic way of viewing life situations
- See the value of working collaboratively for the benefit of all
- Learn about people who work non-violently for justice and equity
- Learn the importance of appreciating and caring for the natural world
- Learn some history of the Wabanaki peoples of Maine and other Indigenous people
- Learn some African-American history, including stories from the struggle for civil rights
- Find acceptance of themselves and others by seeing representation in books
- Learn that every family is different and all families support their children in different ways
Why a focus on young children?
Children in the early elementary grades are developing the values that will guide their behavior throughout their lives. They are focused on fairness and learning to play games with winners and losers as well as working together collaboratively. They are participating in group settings which require rules to function smoothly and equitably. Some Maine children are participating in school communities that are increasingly diverse, but at the same time see mostly white people in positions of power. Other children have no diversity in their community. In preparing our children to be part of the global economy we want them to have familiarity with people from backgrounds different from themselves. When diverse cultures are not represented in the classroom, children’s literature offers experiences of other cultures and ways of life, past and present.
Thanks to the work of Black Lives Matter, The 1619 Project, Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Wabanaki Reach, The Anti-Racist Movement and many others, publishers have begun to produce many new social justice books for young children. New publishing houses are also emerging to meet the demand. It is now easy to find diverse 21st century families portrayed realistically in children’s books. We have chosen books that are:
- Developmentally appropriate for 4 to 8-year-olds who are in public Pre-K, Kindergarten and Grades One and Two.
- Wonderful children’s literature; often Coretta Scott King, Ezra Jack Keats, Caldecott or Newberry Award winners. The authors will be from the group represented in the story, for example Ambreen Tariq, Hena Khan, Jerry Pinkney, etc.
- Aesthetically engaging and illustrated by members of the group being portrayed in the story, for example Floyd Cooper, Mehrdokht Amini. Maine illustrators are sought, e.g. Daniel Minter, Ashley Bryan.
- Reflect social justice issues which Maine children experience, for example: friendship, civil rights, homelessness, immigrant, refugee and asylee welcome, anti-bullying, water rights, LGBTQ rights, voting rights, Indigenous People’s rights, climate change, Wabanaki history, African-American history.
We buy hardcover books whenever possible, ensuring their longevity in the classrooms. Teachers comment on how rare it is for them to have beautiful hardcover books. We have benefited from a 20% discount at Gulf of Maine Books in Brunswick.
New Mainers –We have also given books to the Angolan and Congolese children who came to Brunswick and Bath in 2019. This project has its own booklist.
Our work group is Margaret Leitch Copeland, Cindy Wood, Wendy Schlotterbeck, Jeanne Stinson, and Ingrid Chalufour. We are grateful to the Durham Friends Meeting for funding this important work. If you have further questions you can contact Ingrid Chalufour at firstname.lastname@example.org.
November 2, 2022
From Leslie Manning —
Our beloved Margaret Wentwort died early this morning, we were informed by her family.
We will provide more details as we receive them. [At the request of the family, it is likely to be held in the spring of 2023.]
Obituary from funeral home:
Our beloved member Charlotte Curtis passed away October 14, 2022. [Updated 22.11.2]
sponsored by New England Yearly Meeting, Beacon Hill Friends House and Friends Peace Teams
1. Meeting Opening
Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends met for the conduct of business on Sunday, October 16, 2022, with 7 people attending from the Meetinghouse and 6 by Zoom.
Clerk opened the meeting with a moment of silent centering.
2. Review Agenda — Leslie Manning
Clerk reviewed the agenda, and asked if anything else needed to be added. There was nothing to add.
3. Approval of September Minutes — Ellen Bennett
Two paragraphs included with the Trustees Report in the September 19 minutes were not part of the report. These paragraphs will be moved to “Other Important Items of Note”.
With this change, the minutes were approved.
4. Ministry and Counsel — Renee Cote, Tess Hartford
With no written report, the Ministry and Counsel report was read aloud.
The Tommy Frye Memorial Minute was read.
This minute was approved, with appreciation and thanks.
Clerk read a Letter of introduction in support of Kim Bolshaw joining the NEYM/Puente de Amigos trip to Cuba in February 2023
The Meeting approved the letter.
5. Trustees — Sarah Sprogell
The “Draft Rental Information for use of the Meetinghouse” was brought forward for a second reading and approval. Question: Does “rent” for use of the Meetinghouse have ramifications for the Finance Committee or budget? The feeling was that it should not. Note that worship room capacity is approximately 200. Ministry and Counsel may want to address the issue of COVID capacity.
Meeting approved the rental information document.
A contractor has been hired to remove the old heating units and oil tanks. The work will take place during the week of October 24.
6. Finance Committee — Nancy Marstaller
The following items were highlighted in the finance report: Weekly contributions are lower than last year at this time. There have been fewer committee requests, and contributions to other organizations remain on par.
Included in the budget is a section on Capital Expenses, which occur outside the regular operating budget.
Information about donations to the Lunt Cemetery from the Clarkson family was explained, as was donations for support of the trip to Cuba.
6a. The Woman’s Society brought back its request for support to assist in the rebuilding of the Lindi School in Nairobi, Kenya, for the amount of $500 from the Charity account.
The Meeting approved the Lindi School request.
7. Peace and Social Concerns — Ingrid Chalufour
There was no written report. The Committee is planning on developing a relationship with the Midcoast Indigenous Awareness Group. The Committee ls also working with the Cathance River Education Alliance (CREA) to bring speakers in the spring to address carbon sequestration, as well as indigenous land practices that work to support and preserve the natural world. The Committee’s book project is now working with 11 teachers across 4 schools, and doing very well.
8. New Business
Meeting as received three requests for membership. Clerk read the request letter from Ezra Smith. With approval, Ministry and Counsel will set up a clearness committee.
The Meeting heartily approved Ezra’s request.
Clerk read the request letters from Vladimir Shatalov and Elina Shatalova. These friends live in Bridgton. M&C had a preliminary conversation about their applications and several agreed, with Meeting approval, to be a part of the process of bringing them in to membership, including driving to Bridgeton if necessary.
It was noted with joy that feeling the pull to join Meeting via Zoom is a sign of things to come, and very exciting. What do we think of “virtual” membership? Meeting agreed there are some things to consider around this issue.
The Meeting approved the request for the formation of a clearness committee for Vladimir and Elina.
There will be follow-up with Sue Woods’ family regarding the particulars of her memorial service.
Quarterly Meeting was held at Durham Friends on Saturday, and Clerk expressed deep appreciation both for the gathering itself and for the warmth and welcome of our Meetinghouse.
Clerk closed the meeting with a moment of silent reflection.
Ellen Bennett, Recording Clerk
Everence, partnering with New England Yearly Meeting, is offering a series of webinars designed to support you in your personal finance journey. Everence is a faith-based stewardship agency, grown from a Mennonite tradition, which supports New England Yearly Meeting and its members who are seeking to integrate their faith and values with their finances. Everence provides charitable, investment, insurance and banking services for both individuals and organizations. Webinar dates and topics include:
· Oct. 26: Understanding Medicare: Hear about how (and when) to sign up for Medicare; what it covers (and doesn’t cover); Parts A, B, C and D; and plans that supplement Medicare.
· Nov. 2: Estate Planning Basics: Learn how an estate plan can ensure that your wishes for family and financial assets will be carried out upon your death. Hear about the key elements of an estate plan, including wills and trusts, powers of attorney and life insurance. Discover key stewardship questions to be asking as you prepare your plan.
· Nov. 9: Basics of Investing: Learn the basic principles of investing, including hearing about the various types of investments, the power of compounding, managing risk and diversification. Along the way, consider the role your faith plays in making decisions about investing.
· Nov. 16: Maximize Your Generosity with a Donor Advised Fund: Explore how this flexible “charitable checking account” can help you streamline your charitable giving. Find out about the many types of assets than can be gifted and how a DAF can help you manage both the gifting process for tax purposes and the distribution component of when you want to support the organizations you care about.
Each event in this “Webinar Wednesday” series is offered at 2 and 8 p.m. For more information or to register, click on the title links. If you have questions, contact Everence Stewardship Consultant Lyle Miller at email@example.com.
Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends met for the conduct of business on Sunday, September 18, 2022, with 9 people attending from the Meetinghouse and 7 by Zoom.
1. Meeting Opening
Clerk asked for a moment of silent centering, ending with a reading in honor of Tommy Frye, written by Ralph Green: “A Gift of Freedom and Justice.” The reading was gratefully received.
Friends reviewed the agenda.
2. Approval of Minutes of July 17, 2022 — Ellen Bennett
Recording Clerk read the minutes.
3. Nominating Committee Report — Linda Muller
Since there are no nominations for Treasurer coming forward, we will not need a called meeting in October.
The Committee is bringing Leslie Manning forward to serve as Clerk of Meeting beginning September through December 2022. Leslie is in discernment about serving as Clerk for 2022-2023, and would like a co-Clerk for this time period, someone who might be interested in rising to the position of Clerk.
Meeting is delighted that Leslie is willing to serve. All approved.
Christian Education has not reconvened. The Committee will reconvene if there are families in need. In others meetings, there is a kit available so that if and when children are present, there is an activity available for them to engage in. Wendy agreed to look into creating such a kit.
The Ad Hoc Committee for use of parsonage funds has not met. Nominating Committee recommends this Committee be laid down. The issue of use of parsonage funds will be considered by the Meeting as a whole.
The Committee looked at the needs of the Meeting as a whole for committee work. In the coming months, it is likely that the openings on committees will outnumber the people we have to fill those positions. This is a concern.
4. Ministry and Counsel — Renee Cote, Tess Hartford
Rene read the M&C report.
M&C recommends using the October 30 date to discuss the wider slate of officers and committee members for the Meeting, the meeting care coordinator position, as well as a review of our status as an unpastored meeting
Meeting approved the recommendation
A Clearness Committee for Kim Bolshaw recommends she join the NEYM/Puente de Amigos trip to Cuba in February 2023. The clerk will draft a Letter of Introduction to share with the Clearness Committee
Meeting approved the recommendation.
A recommendation was made for M&C to plan a Meeting-wide discussion of end-of-life issues sometime in November. A subcommittee will conduct research on this issue and share its findings with M&C, who will then oversee a discussion by the Meeting as a whole.
The Meeting approved this recommendation.
After discussion and education about of end-of-life issues, M&C encourages development of written protocols that explain what DMM does when a member passes, as well as individuals in members’ families. There is guidance in Faith and Practice for DMM to discern its own practice, which can then be shared with families whose wishes can be integrated. A Meeting-wide conversation will ensue. NEYM has a current version of Faith and Practice available via the web.
The Celebration of Life for Suki, planned for October 1st, 2022, was discussed.
5. Finance — Nancy Marstaller
The new pillars for the Lunt Cemetery are complete and beautiful, paid for the Clarkson family.
No one has stepped forward to take on the role of Treasurer. The Finance Committee recommends that we do not fill the role of Assistant Treasurer. The new bookkeeper is doing very well. Together, the Committee and bookkeeper are doing everything that needs to be done. With a new opening on the Finance Committee, Committee is looking for someone who knows Quickbooks.
Meeting accepted the report, and approved proposals 1 through 4 as written.
6. Trustees — Sarah Sprogell
A draft proposal fro request for use of the Meetinghouse was submitted, titled “Rental Information: Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends.” It is attached for review. If approved, Trustees propose putting the information on the website. The proposal will go out to Meeting members as an attachment to the minutes with a request for comments. This is a first reading. Having received comments, this topic will be raised again at Meeting for Business in October for a second reading.
The question arose around insurance. If the property is used as rental property, is the Meeting covered for liability purposes? Believe that it is. Trustees will check.
Draft of a memorial minute for Tom Frye will be coming to M&C next month.
7. Correspondence report:
Correspondence received: Friends World Committee on Consultation update on World Quaker Day, October 2
Thank you for financial support and a reminder about the Section of the Americas March 23-26 in Greensboro, NC USA
Portland Friends Meeting newsletter, Summer 2022
Programs for Worship Services from Ralph Greene of Dedham. ME
FCNL Summer Newsletter focusing on Yemen
Quarterly updates from the Gospel Tract Society
8. Other important items of note:
How to receive the report from Yearly Meeting was discussed. Clerk will provide a written summary by end of September. Clerk will organize a worship around the points gleaned from the Yearly Meeting, as well as the report from the Yearly Meeting as a whole.
Falmouth Quarterly Meeting meeting at DF next month on October 15. We named Leslie Manning and Wendy Schlotterbeck as our representatives. Please consider attending!
Clerk noted this is a time of transition for many. Ed and Dorothy are moving, Suki Rice and Sue Wood memorial services are taking place, and Margaret Wentworth is still in the hospital. It was reported that she is doing well. When and if she comes home, her apartment will need to be examined to make sure that it works for someone with limited mobility. Margaret also needs to be asked about her own advanced directives.
9. Meeting Closing
Clerk: “For all the gifts that we are given, especially this time together, let us close this meeting, promising to meet again on the 16th of October.” The meeting closed with a moment of silent thanksgiving.
Ellen Bennett, Recording Clerk
The agenda, reports and other materials for the October 2022 business meeting of Durham Friends Quaker Meeting can be found here.
PROPOSED Agenda for Durham Meeting for Business, October 16, 2022
Minutes of Previous Meeting
Ministry and Counsel
Letter of Introduction
Lindi School Request
Peace and Social Concerns Update
Letters requesting membership
Present: Dorothy Curtis, President, Nancy Marstaller, Treasurer, Susan Gilbert, Secretary, Qat Langelier, Dorothy Hinshaw.
Card Ministry: Dorothy Curtis told us that Sue Wood passed away. We do not have an address for her family. Dorothy will bring a card to the Meeting House for people to sign, and we will try to find an address. Margaret has been between Maine Medical Center and Brentwood Manor. She may need help organizing her belongings and clearing space in Brunswick.
Program: We did not have a program this month.
Tedford Meal: For September, Qat ordered groceries from Hannaford; delivery charges were waived. The menu was sweet corn, burgers, watermelon and pies. Qat’s Team D which provides meals in March and September, could use volunteers to assist her, either cooking or contributing to the purchase of food. Thank You! Susan volunteered to assist Team C in August. We remembered with love Dorothy Curtis’ aunt, Helen Clarkson, a ‘’snowbird’’ between Maine and Arizona, who assisted Team C in the summertime. In August, Dorothy Curtis made a chicken and rice casserole, provided salad fixings, rolls, watermelon and brownies.
US Friends Womens International, Northeast gathered on September 5. Dorothy Curtis and Dorothy Hinshaw attended.
Helen Clarkson and Sue Wood have passed away.
Treasurer’s Report: Nancy said we have $37. in the account. She will order 5 copies of the Blueprint book.
We will change the meeting time to 7:00 in October.
Respectfully Submitted, Susan Gilbert
Our long-time, beloved member Sue Wood passed away recently. Her memorial service will be held on October 22, at 2:30pm in the Meetinghouse (and not via ZOOM). Expect several opportunities to sing hymns that Sue loved.
From the Brunswick Times Record, October 11, 2022:
Ellen Bennett — Recording Clerk
Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends met for the conduct of business on Sunday, July 17, 2022, with 9 people attending from the Meetinghouse and 6 by Zoom.
- Meeting Opening
Meeting members were invited into worship holding Helen Clarkson and her family in the Light. Helen, a longtime and beloved meeting member, passed away July16th.
2. Approval for Clerk of the Day
Rene Cote shared that Bob Eaton announced he would be stepping down immediately, as Meeting Clerk. M&C recommended that Leslie Manning serve as interim clerk for the meeting, with great appreciation.
The recommendation was approved.
3. Approval of Minutes from June 26 — Tess Hartford
In item # 2 of the May minutes, the request was made to delete the sentence beginning with “There followed a discussion.”
With this correction, the minutes were approved.
4. Clerk of the Day asked the Meeting to consider the following New Business item early in the meeting agenda due to the time availability of the requester.
Ellis Noetzel, a young and faithful attender of Meeting, would like to attend Friends Camp. Her family requests support for the cost of attending. This is the only request that the Meeting had this year and the money is available.
Meeting approved the request.
Reports from Committees
5. Ministry and Counsel — René Cote
Bob Eaton resigned his position as clerk effective immediately. Approval is not needed for this request. Nominating Committee is aware of the resignation, and Leslie Manning will inform Quarterly Meeting of the changes.
Katherine (Kitsie) Hildebrand requests that the Meeting accept her resignation as a member of Durham MM. M&C recommends the Meeting accept the resignation, with tremendous sadness and regret, as well as deep and abiding gratitude for her many years of service. Kitsie and her family will always be in the Meeting’s thoughts and prayers. There will be a letter from M&C to Kitsie.
The Meeting approved her request, with sadness.
6. Finance Committee — Sarah Sprogell
A verbal summary was given. Expenses are significantly lower than budgets due to vacant staff positions, and though weekly contributions are down, the meeting’s financial position is good. Contributions may now be sent to the Finance Committee at the Meeting’s address.
Heidi Todd has been hired as bookkeeper. She began her work the end of June.
A family contribution has been made covering the full cost of rebuilding the stone pillars at the Lunt Cemetery. The family has historical connections to the Cemetery. In consultation with the new bookkeeper, the finance committee will determine how gifts such as these are recorded. Clerk will work with the Recording Clerk and finance committee to draft an acknowledgment of the gift.
The Meeting accepted the Finance Committee report.
7. Trustees Report — Sarah Sprogell
Trustees recommend that the meeting join a solar farm to reduce its electric bill, and would like approval to proceed with exploration of solar farms and eventual sign-up. Friends who are not in attendance at Meeting for Business may submit any questions or comments about joining a solar farm to Trustees, who meet the first Sunday of the month.
Knowing that Trustees will proceed with due diligence and good research, the Meeting approved Trustees request to proceed on the Meeting’s behalf.
8. Nominating Committee — Mey Hasbrook
The committee reminds Meeting that there will be a meeting in the fall (suggested date, Oct. 30th) to discern the role of Treasurer moving forward.
The Meeting approved the recommendation for a called meeting in October.
Committee recommends that Mey Hasbrook join the Communications Committee, term to begin in January 2023. Mey asked for early approval so that she may sit in on meetings to determine how she might best fit.
Meeting approved the nomination.
Clerk reminds Meeting that we are seeking an auditor for cemetery funds.
9. Peace and Social Concerns —Ingrid Chalufour
Ingrid summarized the committee report noting particularly: DMM has a presence in the wider Durham community; letter to Brunswick Town Council has been received and is “in the queue,” and the social justice enrichment project in Pownal, Freeport, Auburn and Friends School of Portland is going very well. The meeting expressed its thanks to this diligent group. Clerk recommended that this be shared so as to appear in New England Yearly Meeting’s newsletter.
Report is accepted with gratitude.
The Meeting was reminded that similar initiative needs to be taken with our US senators with regard to H.R. 6707: Advancing Equality for Wabanaki Nations Act. A letter on behalf of DMM, drafted by Clerk with help from Shirley Hager and Friends Committee on Maine Public Policy, will be sent to Maine senators. This measure passed the US House with bipartisan support.
10. It is the practice of NEYM to name representatives to their Annual Sessions, who will then report back to each monthly meeting in August or September. Clerk asked if any members would be attending. Responding were Mey Hasbrook, Sarah Sprogell (in discernment),
Portland Friends Meeting is having a special event around the Cuba Trip on July 24. Members are encouraged to attend.
In lieu of Meeting for Business in August, Members suggested a gathering on 8.21, following Meeting for Worship, for sociability and friendship. Kim and Mey and Leslie agreed to help plan the gathering.
Meeting approved a social gathering on 8.21.
Durham Monthly Meeting will hold its next Meeting for Business on 9.18.22. Should it be necessary to conduct business before then, please contact the clerks of M&C.
Margaret Wentworth led all in prayer for closing.
Respectfully submitted, Ellen Bennett, Recording Clerk
Note: Special mention was made that 7.17. 22 is the second anniversary of Sukie Rice’s death. Members paused for a moment of silence in remembrance, and two members spoke personally of her importance to them.
DMM Business Meeting 22.07.17 Agenda
DMM Business Meeting Minutes 22.06.26
DMM Business Meeting Ministry and Counsel Report
DMM Business Meeting Budget
DMM Business Meeting Trustees Report
DMM Business Meeting Nominating Committee Report
DMM Business Meeting Peace and Social Concerns Report
The agenda and materials for the September 18, 2022 business meeting of Durham Monthly Meeting can be found here.
[Updated] Falmouth Quarter will meet on October 15th from 10:00 – 1:30 at Durham Friends Meeting.
We invite you – all of you – to come to share about the abundance you have found in these hard times.
We are imagining our entire time together as a meeting for worship, with sharing, art, laughter, reading, cider, and business.
The schedule for our time together is:
10:00 – gather in worship – Singing, fellowship, perhaps some Juice and coffee and snacks and sharing
10:30 – Brief meeting for business to approve the budget, approve donations for the year, to confirm the dates we will be meeting and to consider what program we might like to bring to the Quarter in January.
During the business meeting, those who would rather make cider will be setting up and operating the cider press. The books that Durham meeting has been donating to pre-schools and early elementary classrooms will be out for reading.
11:00 – We will be making windsocks with an invitation to inscribe the wind socks with messages about where we have felt God moving in our meetings and in our lives. There will be times of open sharing of these messages. Each meeting is invited to think about what the meeting will share and inscribe upon their windsock. Cider making will continue, book reading will continue.
12:30 – Picnic lunch – bring something to share or bring your own.
1:30 – Wrap up; close worship. Please take your windsocks home to fly them from your porch, or from your meeting house so the wind can spread the messages to the world.
“We didn’t find what we were looking for, but look at what we found.” (Wendall Berry)
Update: In November and December, there will be an in-person option at the Durham Friends Meeting on the 1st Thursday of the month. Doors will open at 6:45p.m. For questions, contact Mey Hasbrook.
Fall Meeting for Healing schedule: 7PM on 1st & 3rd Thursdays (mostly)
The Portland Friends will hold its Meeting for Healing this Fall, on Zoom, on 1st and 3rd Thursdays at a slightly different time: 7:00 pm. (For September the Meeting for Healing will be on 2nd and 4th Thursdays.) You are welcome to join worship for part of the time or to worship with us without the Zoom connection. The Divine connects us all.
Fall Meeting for Healing schedule, Thursdays at 7PM
September 8 & 22
October 6 & 20
November 3 & 17
December 1 & 15
If you have any questions or need the Zoom link, please feel free to reach out to
Chris Davis: firstname.lastname@example.org or
Beth Bussiere-Nichols: email@example.com
Meeting for Worship for Healing is an old Quaker tradition. Our goal with this meeting is to focus on the physical and spiritual illnesses of the current world. It’s not intended to be the same as a full meeting for worship but instead is meant to be focused on communal prayer. We are often blessed with a time of deep silence. Messages may arise but should be de-centered from our ego.
An invitation to Worship in clamorous times. We are living through a time when we are inundated with words. We invite you during worship to sink deeply below the political messages, below the personal efforts to put things into words, down to the Silence, down to the Living Waters, down to the Source that connects us all.
All are welcome!
Falmouth Quarter is invited to join Vassalboro Quarter at Friends Camp on September 10. The event will be in-person at Friends Camp, 8:30 am – 3:30 or 4pm
Friends Camp address: 729 Lakeview Dr, South China, ME 04358
We are so excited to offer (everything being favorable) the chance to be together in-person at Friends Camp.
Saturday, Sept. 10: In-person
After two years away, we are having a physical gathering.
We encourage Friends to bring someone with them, perhaps someone who has yet to experience gathering at Friends Camp.
9:00-12:00 Shared worship around queries.
12:00-1:00 Lunch: Vassalboro Meeting will bring the main dishes and Friends are asked to bring breads, salads, and desserts. We will be eating outside. All 18 yr olds and younger are free. All others donate as led. Please let us know several days in advance if young children will attend.
1:00-3:30 or 4:00 Small groups to discuss various areas of concern. Ending with Meeting for Worship.
There are many concerns in the United States and around the world that speak to Friends. One timely effort is “An Urgent Call to the Religious Society of Friends” regarding the threat to our democracy.
Please see the linked information about “The Call” as it will be part of the Saturday program.
|All of us in the meeting have needs. Sometimes the need will be for patient understanding, sometimes for practical help, sometimes for challenge and encouragement; but we cannot be aware of each other’s needs unless we know each other. Although we may be busy, we must take time to hear about the absent daughter, the examination result, the worries over a lease renewal, the revelation of an uplifting holiday, the joy of a new love. Every conversation with another Friend, every business meeting, every discussion group, and every meeting for worship can increase our loving and caring and our knowledge of each other.|
Loving care is not something that those sound in mind and body “do” for others but a process that binds us together. God has made us loving and the imparting of love to another satisfies something deep within us. It would be a mistake to assume that those with outwardly well-organized lives do not need assistance. Many apparently secure carers live close to despair within themselves. We all have our needs.
Careful listening is fundamental to helping each other; it goes beyond finding out about needs and becomes part of meeting them. Some would say that it is the single most useful thing that we can do. Those churches that have formal confession understand its value, but confession does not have to be formal to bring benefits. Speaking the unspeakable, admitting the shameful, to someone who can be trusted and who will accept you in love as you are, is enormously helpful.
Plain speaking is a longstanding Quaker testimony. It is not only that we hold a witness to the value of truth but also that straightforwardness saves us from many mistakes and much time wasted. On first acquaintance some Quakers can seem rather brusque; without the conventions of flattery and half-truths, we particularly need to make clear the steadfast love we have for one another.
Caring can take many forms. Some help will be beyond the resources of the local meeting, but it should not be beyond our resources to see when it is needed and to see that it is provided. Often it is what we are rather than anything we do which is of help to others. We should be wary of giving advice: a sympathetic ear, whilst a person finds their own way forward, will usually do more lasting good. Some people may not want to be helped, seeing our concern as an intrusion. Great sensitivity is called for.
The adults in a meeting have a shared responsibility for making a reality of our claim that the presence of children and young people is valued and that everybody’s needs and feelings matter. People vary in how comfortable they feel with silent worship; some children, like some adults, take naturally to its disciplines and joys; others have to work at it. Some meetings offer other forms of worship from time to time. In any case it is important that the needs of all age groups are considered when we plan our activities.
— Britain Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice, Fifth Edition (2013)
reprinted from Extra Extra Western Friend, August 13, 2022