December 4, 2018
Present: Marjory Bankson, Peter Bankson (recorder), Ken Burton, Cynthia Dahlin, Joan Dodge (moderator), Michele Frome, Elizabeth Gelfeld (angel), David Lloyd, Sandra Miller (angel), Trish Nemore, Brenda Seat, Keith Seat, Margreta Silverstone, Deborah Sokolove, Glen Yakushiji.
Absent: Judy Lantz, Vincent Shepherd, Jacqie Wallen.
Worship: Sandra read two selections from An Advent Sourcebook. The first was by Jean Danielou, and the second was Prayer, Fourth Sunday of Advent.
Housekeeping: Stewards will next meet at 5:00pm on Sunday, January 6, 2019 at the church.
Moderator: David Worship: Elizabeth
Recorder: Ken Angels: Cynthia & Margreta
2019 Draft Agenda for Stewards’ Meetings:
Brenda announced that the SLT had distributed an updated version of the Stewards agenda calendar for 2019 and asked for further updates. There were none, and Stewards adopted the calendar by affirmation. (The approved version is attached.) Trish emphasized that the calendar is a planning guide, and the SLT stands ready to make adjustments as needed.
Seekers Church 2019 Budget: Marjory distributed an updated budget proposal from FOG (Attached). She noted that expense information for November is not yet available but FOG had added some additional expense percentage information. After a brief conversation the Stewards approved a balanced budget for 2019:
Offering: $230,000 83%
Building Use Contributions: $ 44,000 16%
Interest: $ 3,500 1%
Outreach: $140,500 51%
Community Life: $ 79,000 26%
Building Operations: $ 58,000 21%
After the budget was approved Trish raised a question about disaster relief. Given the increased frequency of disasters world-wide, and our long-standing commitment to offer assistance where we have personal connections, it might make sense to consider planning to include a line-item in our budget to provide quick response. There was enough initial interest in this issue (and the question of whether having funds already in our budget might affect generosity in response to unexpected need) that Stewards agreed that our Financial Oversight Group (FOG) would give this further consideration and make a recommendation to Stewards.
Christmas Offering: Brenda reported that the SLT is working on plans for distribution of support from the special Christmas offering, and briefed the Stewards on current plans. As in past years, Celebration Circle will provide opportunities during worship on the final Sunday’s of the year.
Church of the Saviour (CoS) Ecumenical Council Update: Keith Seat reported on the recent meeting of the Ecumenical Council.
- The Council is doing well during this time of adjustment following the death of Kayla McClurg. As Chair of the Council, Marjory Bankson is providing an experienced, grounded presence to guide and support the churches as they develop new patterns for working together. There are new volunteers to support the daily reflections and weekly news on line (inwardoutward.org). (The stewards applauded Marjory for her commitment.)
Now that CoS is no longer providing full-time financial support for Kayla, more resources are available for other support. The Council has decided to compensate Kate Lasso $300/month to serve as CoS treasurer and first responder to calls no e-mail questions directed toward CoS.
- Dayspring has sold the last round of forest easements. Since these were one-time payments by developers elsewhere in Montgomery County to Dayspring to allow denser development elsewhere, we have come to the end of this source of income. Dayspring will be facing increasing financial challenges in the future. Keith reported that Kip Landon has calculated that the total cost of maintaining Dayspring Farm is about $550,000 per year.
- The Ecumenical Council is updating the Friendship Directory. The update will be maintained on line in a format that can be downloaded for printing. Input from the individual faith communities will be based on their community directories. David Lloyd reported that we are working on an update and expect to have a fresh version on line early in 2019. David reminded us that Seekers should review their personal information in the Members’ Area of the Seekers website.
- The Council is looking for a volunteer from each faith community to serve as a correspondent from the community to CoS media, website, Facebook, Twitter, etc. No Stewards volunteered immediately, but several possibilities in the wider community were identified. Stewards were encouraged to consider this opportunity and keep Keith informed.
Real Estate Development Next Door: Keith provided an update on the possible redevelopment next door, converting the hostel and adjacent building into a multi-unit apartment building. The developer proposed to lease the space above our parking lot, or “air rights.” To build an extension to his proposed 5-story apartment building. In turn he would pay Seekers Church approximately $100,000 annually for the indefinite future, and would consider allowing us to use the rooftop ass a play area for children. There was no interest among Stewards to have Seekers church pursue this option. Keith and the Development Team will inform the developer and watch for further developments. The developer’s plan is scheduled for review by the DC Historic Preservation Review Board. The Seekers Development Team will monitor the situation and keep Seekers informed.
Pastoral concerns – no notes.
Stewards’ Christmas Pageant: After dinner, Cynthia began our sharing with three rounds of a sharing exercise, where each steward was invited to share very briefly about “I could tell you about …” It helped prepare the Stewards for the Christmas pageant. After a break for costume changes, Deborah shared the story of the birth of Jesus while Stewards stepped in to play their parts. It was hilarious! The meeting closed with prayer.
Submitted by Peter Bankson
December 3, 2018