Stewards Meeting Minutes
April 1, 2012
Present: Marjory Bankson, Peter Bankson (notetaker), Ken Burton, Lewise Busch, Pat Conover, David Lloyd, Sandra Miller (worship), Trish Nemore, Will Ramsey, Brenda Seat, Keith Seat, Margreta Silverstone, Deborah Sokolove (moderator), Jacqie Wallen.
Absent: Cynthia Dahlin
Housekeeping: Stewards will meet on Sunday, May 6th at 5:30pm
Moderator: Deborah Worship: Margreta
Notetaker: Sandra Angels: Marjory & Peter
Worship was offered by Sandra, “Passion of Death” from Prayers of a Planetary Pilgrim
Brenda led us in a continuation of our conversation about guidelines for giving in Seekers Church. First we considered the question: “Am I ready to consider changes to the statement on tithing that is part of the nine disciplines of Stewards: “Giving proportionately of income, to Seekers Church, beginning at ten percent?” We agreed to consider changing the language for this part of disciplines of Stewards. (One Steward stood aside for a consensus.)
We continued our conversation from the March meeting, focusing on the values and aspirations that we want to have reflected in any new language. In general, there was interest in finding new language that would be intentional and accountable for Stewards and invitational and inclusive for the wider Seekers Church community. Here is a summary of the conversation:
• A goal to be stated but not necessarily to be expected to achieve right now;
• Important to quantify but should be done in a non-regressive way;
• Members disciplines should be reviewed for a financial component;
• Find a way to be more specific and more individual, based on circumstances;
• The important thing is the subtle application and not to define too much in “black and white,” so that the power of the short simple statement is not diminished;
• Ask each other to be sufficiently spiritually invested so that we are peers in this endeavor;
• Language that indicates a baseline is expected and there will be accountability in mission group and/or within small groups in Stewards;
• Difference in thinking occurs when you consider whether the money being tithed on is from salary or from interest on investments;
• A baseline helps to highlight the spiritual issues that arise around money. So working with a spiritual director should be a way to get to these spiritual issues. (silver dollar story)
• Educating the community in giving;
• When giving to others as well as giving to Seekers- how to calculate that?
• The phrase “beginning with” which encourages giving beyond the 10% makes this not regressive.
After the conversation, four Stewards stepped forward to be a working group to develop a more detailed proposal. The working group includes Brenda, Sandra, Pat and Peter.
STEWARDS MEETING IN JUNE
Dayspring Church is organizing a Celebration of the Earth at Dayspring Farm on Sunday, June 3rd. Seekers’ Celebration Circle will plan and facilitate a special worship service that evening in the amphitheater at Dayspring. The SLT raised the question of changing the June Stewards’ meeting to make it possible for Stewards to attend the Earth Day Celebration and Church of the Saviour worship. After exploring alternate dates and schedules, the sense of the meeting was that we would not convene a meeting of Stewards in June, and invite ALL Seekers to participate in the Dayspring event.
LINKS WITH LONG-TERM MEMBERS
Trish reviewed the list of long-term members of Seekers who are not in mission groups so that Stewards could all be aware of how these individuals are connected with the community and where there might be opportunities for deeper connections. There are 10 Seekers on that list. In addition, Koinonia Mission Group is shepherding 13 other more recent arrivals, helping them find deeper connections within the community. Currently in Seekers Church there are 18 Stewards, 22 others who have made their commitment as Members, and 22 who are regular participants in the life of the community.
At the end of this update on belonging we were reminded that a new support group has begun to meet regularly after worship on Sunday mornings. This group is providing support for the members of the group in the model of the Mission Support Group, and may grow into a mission group over time.
SPIRIT FUNDS SPENDING
After dinner Peter reviewed the status of the Seekers’ funds that support individuals and families in need. This includes our Christmas offering and the Holy Spirit Fund, which is used by the SLT to provide emergency financial support. Use of these funds has increased significantly since we moved to Carroll Street and begun to grow into a community with more diverse needs. Stewards received the report with a sense of gratitude that as a community we are able to offer this kind of help. A graphic summary is at Enclosure 1.
BROKEN & BELOVED MISSION GROUP
Keith reported to Stewards that Jacqie Wallen has agreed to serve as a partnering Steward to walk with their mission group. The Stewards celebrated this good news.
STILL POINT RETREAT SUPPORT
Keith reported that B&B Mission Group has accepted the invitation from Stewards to serve as coordinator for the use of Seekers’ shares in Still Point. This news was enthusiastically received by Stewards.
Keith then presented recommendations from the Broken & Beloved Mission group on the use of the Still Point retreat cabin. The proposal from B&B Mission Group is at Enclosure 2. After a lively conversation about the options proposed, the Stewards reached consensus:
• For weekends, Seekers Church will support up to two additional weekend uses of Still Point for Seekers activities, at an approximate cost of $800, when needed beyond Seekers two shares.
• For weekdays, Seekers adopted the recommendation of B&B MG, that B&B allocate use first to Seekers activities and groups. If those are not likely to use up all available days in a year, then usage by individual Seekers would be invited, with priority given to those willing to share the space. The goal would be to see that Seekers benefit from Still Point and that its shares are not wasted. B&B would oversee the process and over time should be able to judge more closely the likely usage level of Seekers events.
Deborah and Will shared from their lives, and the meeting concluded with Soul Talk, our opportunity for sharing by other Stewards.
Submitted by Peter Bankson
April 20, 2012
1. Seekers Church Spirit Fund Expenditures (January 2011 – March 2012)
2. Proposal for Equitable Use of Seekers’ Shares at Still Point