March 9, 2016 Stewards Minutes
Stewards: Marjory Bankson, Peter Bankson (moderator), Kevin Barwick, Ken Burton, Cynthia Dahlin, Michele Frome, Judy Lantz, David Lloyd (note taker & angel), Sandra Miller (worship & angel), Trish Nemore, Brenda Seat, Keith Seat, Vincent Shepherd, Margreta Silverstone, and Jacqie Wallen.
Guests: Joan Dodge, Jesse Palidofsky
Housekeeping: Stewards will meet on Sunday, April 3 at 5:30 pm at the church
Moderator: Deborah Worship: Judy
Note taker: Marjory Angels: Margreta & Vincent
Worship was offered by Sandra
Adding items to the agendas of Stewards’ meetings. Trish reported that there seemed to be uncertainty as to how items could be added to the meetings’ agendas. Brenda has distributed a planning agenda for the year that identifies recurring items and assigns them to a specific month. If anyone has an item to be added to a Stewards’ meeting, he or she should contact a member of the Servant leadership Team (SLT). If a Steward believes that the issue of an agenda item has not been resolved, he or she should contact the SLT. When a Steward is aware that a meeting has ended with a feeling of tension and a particular person is distressed, it is appropriate to speak to the distressed person and also to let the SLT know. Similarly, a distressed person should speak up and also speak to the SLT.
Report of the Discernment Group for The Servant Leadership Team. Marjory reported for the Servant Leadership Discernment Group, which included Peter, Sandra, Deborah, Larry Rawlings, Kate Amoss, and Denise LeClair. The Group had received applications in December from Joan Dodge and David Lloyd and Brenda and Trish provided input from the SLT. The Group met to discuss the applications and then met separately with Joan and David in January to discuss their respective calls to join the SLT. Joan and David also met with the Group and the SLT. Finally, two opportunities were provided for the congregation to present questions to Joan and David about their calls in February and March. The Group recommended that Stewards confirm Joan and David as members of the SLT. The Stewards confirmed their call and blessed them.
Report on Carroll Café. Jesse reported on the success of the Carroll Café. Fourteen years ago he had envisioned using our building for concert space since none was available in Takoma Park. We are in the sixth year of successfully providing the concert series to about 4,500 people cumulatively. Average attendance ranges from 60 to 100, and now there are other locations in Takoma Park so attendance may decline. Also, the House of Musical Traditions and the Folklore Society of Washington regularly present concerts in our building and the Takoma Park radio has broadcast from here. Jesse serves as an ambassador to other venues and books performers through his connections in the folk and roots music field. There are more performing artists who would like to perform in the Carroll Café than we have nights and those who have performed regularly state that they want to come back.
Jesse noted that many Seekers volunteer along with others not in Seekers to make the concerts successful. Sandra manages the volunteers and caters the refreshments in the kitchen; Deborah coordinates the requests to perform (one or two daily), on-line publicity, and ticket sales at the door, assisted by Debbie Barwick. Jesse manages the lighting and the setup of the stage and chairs with help from Ivan Kisense and Allan Kawiiso. Glen Yakushiji manages the sound system and has been training Doug Dodge, Denise and Marcia Sprague. Although the Carroll Café is not yet an independent nonprofit organization, it has a board: Jesse, Sandra, Deborah, Glen, Marcia, Denise, and Debbie.
Takoma Art Hop. Sandra reported on the Art Hop that will occur on April 9 (10-5) and 10 (11:30-4:00, with reception). Seekers is partnered with Keith, who is exhibiting. Sandra is requesting volunteers to help with the reception. Between 100 and 200 visitors are expected based on previous years.
Financial Oversight Group (FOG) Report. Marjory presented the FOG’s final report of the 2015 budget, which was distributed. We had a surplus of $47,829, which the FOG recommended be allocated as follows: (1) add $6,000 to the capital reserve account, following our precedent of not budgeting an amount for it but allocating some of any surplus to it; (2) add $5,000 to the Holy Spirit fund, (3) donate $10,000 to the Capital Area Food Bank (following our precedents), donate a gift of $5,000 to Dayspring Church for a need it will identify, and add $10,000 each to our domestic and international giving. David Lloyd recommended changing the $10,000 for the domestic and international giving to $7,500 each and making a donation of $5,000 to Still Point Retreat Cabin at Rolling Ridge Study Retreat Community. The Stewards agreed to this change and approved the FOG recommendations as amended.
Marjory also reported that the FOG recommended two amendments to the approved 2016 budget. First, based on this year’s experience the anticipated income form contributions would be increased by $5,000. Second, staff costs would be increased by $3,350 to include the stipend and associated costs for a fourth SLT member. Stewards approved both amendments.
Silent Retreats. Brenda distributed the schedule of silent retreats and quiet days at Dayspring. Seekers silent retreats are April 15-17 and September 23-25. The Seekers women’s retreat is scheduled for May 14; the men’s retreat has not yet been scheduled.
Still Point Mountain Retreat at Rolling Ridge. Kevin reported that the road to Still Point has been repaired since the blizzard this January and that the heating system has been repaired. However, the deep snow reduced the number of paying retreatants and Rolling Ridge’s financial situation needs attention. A work party is scheduled for April 15-16. We use Still Point for the Broken and Beloved Mission Group and the Seekers Men’s retreat. Rolling Ridge is using interns from Messiah College to perform reforesting and permaculture. Sheep are now being pastured there. Rolling Ridge is having an Easter dawn vigil. He encouraged us to subscribe to Friends of Silence newsletter (http://www.friendsofsilence.net/).
Sharing . Brenda and Peter shared from their lives, and the meeting concluded with Soul Talk, our opportunity for sharing by other Stewards.
Submitted by David Lloyd
March 14, 2016