August 6, 2017
Present: Marjory Bankson (recorder), Peter Bankson, Kevin Barwick, Ken Burton, Joan Dodge, Michele Frome, Judy Lantz, David Lloyd, Sandra Miller (worship), Trish Nemore. Brenda Seat, Keith Seat, Deborah Sokolove (moderator).
Absent: Cynthia Dahlin, Vincent Shepherd, Margreta Silverstone, Jacqie Wallen
Visitors: Pat Conover, Glen Yakushiji.
Worship: by Sandra with a reading from the UCC “Manifesto” for the church as a witness to the risen Christ and the realm of God as shalom – peace and justice for all.
Housekeeping: Stewards will next meet on Sunday, September 3, 5:30pm at the church.
Moderator: Ken Worship: Sandra
Recorder: Peter Angels: Trish and Judy
1)Takoma Park Street Festival: Joan
Seekers will participate in the street festival on Sunday, October 1, 10am-5pm. Doug Dodge & Larry Rawlings will set up the booth (location currently unknown) earlier and Joan will solicit sign-ups on Sunday, Sept 17, to represent Seekers at the booth. There will be a Q&A session after church that day.
2) Building Manager’ Review: Peter
The report and recommendation are attached. FOG will add this recommendation to the 2018 budget.
3)Sharing in Mission Groups (How does this build the body of Christ?): Dave
- B&B (Michele) – sharing is “jump started” by worship. They do offer feedback, report in pairs to their spiritual friend, and go on retreat twice a year where each person has an hour to share from their lives.
- CC (Ken) – Reflection on the questions helped to sharpen awareness of the purpose. He read a long statement which he intends to read before their sharing from now on.
- Is2C (Trish) – They begin with extended prayer for particular places in need of peace/prayers, and sharing often extends beyong their official closing time. Written reports are sporadic.
- L&T (Dave) – Because the School for Christian Growth puts a definite limit on time for sharing at the end of the meeting, Dave announces how many minutes each person has and handed out 5 reflection questions which they have posted in the room to guide sharing:
- The Holy Spirit was present this week in/when…
- God seemed distant/absent this week in/when…
- I am very thankful this week because…
- I want/need to confess that…
- I need prayers this week for…
He also noted that all members are regular about written spiritual reports, which serves to focus sharing.
- LW (Marjory) – Emmy Lu provides worship; the ritual of pouring water as “living water” for various places of need is followed by extended sharing – verbal because of their senior members.
- MSG (Judy) – After worship and business, they use a timer to divide the remaining time for sharing. Written reports are sporadic.
- OMG (Joan) – Since attendance has been very spotty this summer, they need to discuss this more. However, current sharing is organic in nature and time is respected by individuals.
- T&S (Deborah) – Since they meet every other week, they allow more time (45 mins or so) for sharing. Some people always bring written reports; others never do. Several belong to another group where they do report.
Ken asked that we put the purpose and value of written reports on the agenda for a future meeting. There was some discussion about the need for “tuning up” skills for spiritual guides followed and interest in discussing how we do worship and prayer time in mission groups as well.
4)What mission groups are open for new members?: Brenda
YES, we are open NO, not at this time
5)Social Justice Advocacy Discussion: Trish
The Question: Do we want to say something together as a church re: public policy?
Last Feb, we got a letter from Mike Young asking Seekers to sign a letter to DC govt regarding support for children. We agreed because we know Mike and trust his work with FLOC.
In March, Stewards agreed to sign on to the Sanctuary Movement as a locale for training.
In May, Stewards agreed to focus on a few general areas and wanted to create a process for choosing those.
Trish sent out three links to read
- Calvin College (Reformed Church) link suggested a very limited focus for church involvement;
- Presbyterian Church link suggested a broad range of issues for church involvement;
- UCC link had a complex format of issues, but their focus was on getting social action committees (3-5 people) involved to carry an issue within local churches rather than seeking action by those churches.
- At Seekers in the past, energy came from individuals who felt called to particular issues (equal rights for women, gay pride and racial reconciliation). If a core group gathered around that call, Stewards have authorized them to represent Seekers. Some issues (abortion, a particular anti-torture organization) proved too divisive for Stewards to affirm representation.
- We were positive about affirming general issues, but questioned taking a stance on legislation – because any piece of legislation will be changed in the process of political compromise.
- Affirmed conversations to hear each other and become more informed about issues. Dave cautioned us to focus on building up the body of Christ rather than splitting into factions.
Trish invited Pat to offer a couple of thoughts from his long experience as a UCC advocacy staff member:
- “You need 3-5 people who are committed to carrying an issue. Individuals will wear out.”
- “Sometimes you can’t wait for all the information to be available – you have to be willing to act based on your values.”
5) Additional items:
— Marjory suggested that SLT or OMG might buy a box of Calling on God and Stalking the Spirit to have so visitors could be given those books about Seekers when appropriate;
— Peter said that Glen Yakushiji had asked him to be his sponsor for Stewardship.
Two Stewards to share more deeply: Ken and Keith
Followed by Soul talk.
Submitted by Marjory Bankson
Aug 7, 2017