September 14, 2014 Stewards Meeting
Stewards Present – Marjory Bankson, Peter Bankson, Kevin Barwick, Ken Burton (moderator), Pat Conover, Cynthia Dahlin Dave Lloyd (recorder), Sandra Miller (worship), Trish Nemore, Brenda Seat (angel), Keith Seat (angel), Jacqie Wallen
Members Present – Judy Lantz, and Vincent Shepherd (Mission Support Group representatives), Larry Rawlings
Stewards Absent — Margreta Silverstone, Deborah Sokolove,
Worship – Sandra read an excerpt from Reluctant Pilgrim (Enuma Okaro), led us in reading the Call of Seekers Church in unison, and then led us in prayer.
Housekeeping – The next Stewards meeting will be October 5 at 5:30 pm.
Moderator: David Worship: Sandra
Recorder: Marjory Angels: Peter & Trish
Report from the Care Pack Ministry – Peter provided a descriptive handout and summarized the activities. The team has assembled more than 350 packs since 2010, averaging about 15 per month. The current active team members are June Gable, Kenny Shaw and Peter. They meet once or twice a month on Tuesday afternoons. The team is now filling the packs in Peter’s Basement, which is more efficient although less visible to the community. Mark’s Kitchen has provided two fundraisers to supplement the amount provided in the Seekers’ budget, which functions as a line of credit. In the discussion it was suggested that the team consider asking the older teenagers to help fill the packs on Sunday mornings.
Report on Seekers’ booth at the Takoma Park Folk Festival – Larry reported that we had two tents with two tables. The booth was in the same location as last year and setup and tear down were easier. We gave out about 300 cups of lemonade. It was suggested that in future years, should we decide to have a presence at the festival, there should be training of those staffing the booth in how to engage people and answer commonly asked questions.
Report from the Children’s Team – Trish reported that the active members are Trish, Brenda, David, and Sallie Holmes. (Pat has resigned from the team as of September.) There is a core of teachers for the middle group (Cynthia, India, and Oslin) and for Arnold (who goes to the Noah’s Ark room) but more are needed. Larry is meeting one-on-one with Tommy until they come in for the sermon. Sallie and Paul Holmes led a class on sexuality for the older youth and will continue with another segment this year. The older teens (Samantha, Alvin, and Makayla) are meeting in the conference room for a snack during circle time – all the children are invited to this – but are now worshipping with the adults. They will have special activities, including a session on worship led by Sandra and visits to worship of other religions led by Cynthia. The team will be meeting with the parents and grandparents of the older teens on October 5 to discuss the possibility of a special course, using a Methodist curriculum that emphasizes Christian growth and values, similar to the confirmation courses held previously. Sallie and Paul Holmes have agreed to spearhead this program. Roy Barber, John Morris, and Marcia Sprague will lead the Christmas pageant with David assisting on props. It was asked how the team differs from a mission group. Trish explained that the team did not form in response to a call, but rather in response to a felt need; all team members are members of mission groups. Stewards thanked Pat for decades of service to our children, knowing that Pat’s gifts will still be available to us but without him serving in a formal role in the Children’s Team.
Report of Eyes to See Mission Group – Pat, Sandra, and Trish reported on the activities of the mission group. Its growing edges are (1) sponsoring and providing a mentoring relationship to the New Story Leadership and support for Paul Costello, (2) learning how to discuss racial issues in American society. Its primary challenge is that it is a small group with a large mission. It worships Quaker style, with a weekly meal, weekly spiritual reports, and regular engagement with a Bible prompt. It has sponsored classes in the School of Christian Living and will be sponsoring a class in the term beginning October 28. It also sponsors the weekly Peace and Justice Candle for worship and occasional preaching. It sponsored the pilot for Free Minds Book Club’s monthly Write Night for recently incarcerated persons; occasional films, ecological concerns (leading to Seekers joining the Interfaith Power and Light coalition), and may, in the future, bring the work of the Torture Abuse Survivors Coalition to the community’s attention.
Stewards’ Commitments & Disciplines – Trish reviewed the process agreed to in 2013 which led to periodic discussions of individual accountability for Stewards’ commitments and disciplines. We divided into three groups and discussed (1) which one or more of the disciplines most helps us to be a good Steward, (2) what comes up fresh for me and who might stand with me as I engage this freshness, and (3) what are the two or three most challenging commitments and/or disciplines for me, and how I might better engage them. As we reported back, there were common answers to the first question: regular Sunday worship, being in a mission group, annual silent retreat, giving proportionately of income, discovery and use of gifts, and spiritual reports. “Showing up” was listed as underlying all of these. The answers to the second question included responding joyfully with my life, being responsible for the spiritual growth of everyone, being responsible for organizational health, and reviewing the Stewards’ commitment in one’s mission group. Several groups noted that these commitments feel “heavy;” there is a lot to “carry” and it takes some of the joy out of our work. Challenging commitments include daily disciplines of scripture reading, spiritual reports, and journaling; silent retreats, working to end all war, being in solidarity with poor people, financial giving, and being present at worship. (Next month Stewards will indicate whether they are recommitting for another year.)
Steward Sharing – Trish shared in depth about her current spiritual journey.
Soul Talk by Stewards
September 24, 2014