January 2, 2011
Present: Marjory Bankson (notetaker), Peter Bankson, Ken Burton (moderator), Lewise Busch, Pat Conover, Kate Cudlipp, David Lloyd, Sandra Miller (worship), Trish Nemore, Will Ramsey, Brenda Seat (angel), Keith Seat (angel), Margreta Silverstone, Deborah Sokolove, Jacqie Wallen.
Absent: Cynthia Dahlin and Jill Joseph
Worship centered on a reading by Karl Barth for the new year.
Next meeting on Feb 13, at 5:30pm:
Worship….. Pat Angels…….Sandra & Lewise
Stewards to share next time: Margreta & David
Review team for Kate: Lewise, Deborah and Marjory volunteered to join two other Members (as yet unnamed) for a review of Kate’s call to the Servant Leadership Team. Because of Deborah’s sabbatical in Feb., the review will begin in March.
“What Does Money Mean to Us?” Discussion led by Keith
Because of a “juicy discussion” in FOG over financial compensation for the SLT, Keith offered to lead a discussion of money as acknowledgment or reward. No decisions were required. The budget for 2011 has been passed without a raise or COLA increase for the SLT. The discussion moved around what we do and don’t pay for within the community and other ways we might show appreciation for the responsiveness and interruptibility of the SLT. Although the rate that we pay (roughly $10,000 for one day/week) would be considered moderate for a full-time clergy-person, we agreed that it would be difficult for one person to fulfill the many gifts that we currently receive from the three-person team of Peter, Kate and Brenda.
KC: I don’t need a raise, but I don’t want to be a volunteer either.
KB: We pay people for the level of responsibility they carry (e.g. treasurer, building manager and SLT as the “Seeker of last resort,”). Are there others we should be paying?
SM: If we added someone who relies on compensation for their livelihood, would we?
PC: We are creating a path as we walk it here, at the border between an organizational position and community leadership. I’m fully supporting of paying for their accessibility.
MS: In the for-profit world, people are paid well for taking risks.
PB: For me, compensation honors availability for community needs. It enlarges my call to include things that need to be done. For 3/5 of a church salary, we get an amazing spread of gifts from the SLT.
DL: Compared to the federal pay scale, this is low. It holds up a different value system.
MB: The way we do evaluations every three years is so different from reviews for pay increase — it’s a chance to hear about the call that each of our SLT members has.
TN: Although we have rather high expectations (see description of what we looked for), there is no particular job description. We look for people who really care about the whole community and are willing to be accountable for that. It would be hard to hire someone who depends on this for a salary.
WR: If I take money, I feel an obligation. Are we demanding accessibility with pay?
KC: I don’t feel obligated to say “yes” to every request. My call has boundaries that people honor.
LB: I value those limits. It makes me freer to ask.
PC: I sense that we are moving toward being able to hold people with financial need in our community without making them second-class citizens.
JW: Payment is an indicator of how essential the functions of SLT really are.
DS: Like the SLT, my job is amorphous. I do worry if I’ve done enough to earn my salary.
BS: Yes, it’s important to be paid, but when I came onto the SLT, I discovered that we all worry if we’re doing enough. Pay gives me permission to carry authority. Even in an egalitarian community, it’s important to have a place where the discussion stops, where debate finally ends.
DL: This makes having an intern difficult.
KS: We might offer a sabbatical as a way of showing appreciation.
PC: I just realized that the SLT is really a small mission group together.
KC: We always end our meetings with a hug, saying “Thank God we’re in this together.”
Two Stewards shared more deeply: Sandra and Lewise
Distribution of the proceeds from the sale of 2025: Kate
After using $175,000 to pay off the interest-bearing loans on the building, we have $186,488 from the sale of 2025. We also have $140,000 saved in the Capstone Fund at Manna. Kate offered four other possibilities for investing the money in such a way that we weave a moral and justice return, get some economic return and consider the risk. The options were these:
1) Calvert Foundation (makes loans to Manna, Jubilee and other social programs);
2) Self-help Credit Union, based in Durham NC, makes loans for childcare, healthcare, charter schools;
3) City First Bank is a local bank lending to projects on the East (poorer) side of Wash DC;
4) OikoCredit – micro-lending to intermediate groups and individuals overseas.
After good discussion, we decided to make two 1-year loans at 1% interest: $100,000 to City First Bank as a local institution, with the intention of learning more about local needs thru their reports AND $86,448 to OikoCredit, for international lending.
Brenda and Marjory will head a group to make a longer-term proposal to Stewards by this time next year. [Since then, Ken and Pat have joined this group.]
Christmas offering came to $5,440 and has been distributed to the four recipients.
Soul talk completed the meeting.