2020 March Stewards Minutes



Present:  Marjory Bankson, Peter Bankson (dinner angel), Ken Burton, Elizabeth Gelfeld, Judy Lantz, David Lloyd (recorder), Trish Nemore, Vincent Shepherd, Margreta Silverstone (moderator), Deborah Sokolove, Jacqie Wallen (dinner angel), Glen Yakushiji

Visitors:  Pat Conover, Roy Barber, Sharon Lloyd, Jim Cawley, Connie Sullivan

Absent:  Cynthia Dahlin, Joan Dodge, Michele Frome, Sandra Miller, Brenda Seat, Keith Seat

Meditation:  Deborah substituted for Sandra and led us in a reflection on Lent from Sacred Journeys, by Jan Richardson

April meeting:  The next Stewards meeting will be on Sunday, April 5 at 5:30 p.m. (note the time change due to Daylight Savings beginning on March 8). Ken will serve as moderator and Marjory will be recorder. Dave will provide the meditation. Elizabeth and Judy will be dinner angels.

Report from the Bokamoso Youth Foundation (BYF):  Jim Cawley reported on the success of this year’s visit from the Bokamoso Youth Centre (BYC). Jim expressed the BYF’s gratitude for the partnership with Seekers Church over the years, citing our support for visits to the BYC by Roy Barber, our financial support to the BYC and the BYF, our assistance in getting the young people visas, our hosting annual worship services for them to participate in, and especially our sponsoring the career development workshop and site visits. He is requesting a member of Seekers to apply for a position on the BYF board of directors and provided a description of the ideal candidate and the expected responsibilities (attached). The BYF is also seeking a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Seekers for 2020-2021; we have had at least one previous one (attached).

In response to a question previously submitted to him about how the information from the career development workshop and site visits is shared with others in the BYC Adolescent Development Program (ADP), Jim acknowledged that there is no formal process and that the BYC Board of Directors is reviewing the ADP and the scholarship program for possible changes. Similarly, Jim reported that there is no formal process for follow-up or further assistance with the workshop participants themselves with regard to their own career paths and next steps.Seekers suggested to him that a process be developed for sharing information as soon as possible so that more of the BYC participants can benefit in addition to those who have come to the U.S. Seekers urged that this include information from “alumni” of the BYC who came to the U.S. and are now furthering their education or working.

In response to another question, Jim acknowledged that the new BYC executive director is still learning about the community and the BYC staff because he is not from the Winterfeld township and is learning how to communicate more effectively with the community, the staff, and the BYC participants. Along with the BYC board, the executive director has secured the nonprofit tax certificate for the BYC, which is a crucial step in soliciting support from the South African government and donors.

Jim stated that the BYF fundraising is on track for 2021 and they anticipate 10 young adults and two staff will visit the U.S. Sharon Lloyd mentioned the Seekers who helped make the visit a success:  Marjory contributed significantly to the planning of the career workshop; Peter, Marjory and Trish served as mentors; Paul and Sallie Holmes, Judy, and David served as drivers for the site visits; and Okima Bryant, Julie Wan, and Erica Lloyd helped prepare and serve the meals.Bokamoso Youth Foundation Board of Directors Description

Art Hop:  This is scheduled for April 24-26, the same weekend as the Seekers Silent Retreat at Dayspring. Sandra will serve as the coordinator for the Seekers effort. Our gallery will display works from incarcerated persons, sponsored by the Justice Arts Coalition and the Takoma community will be emphasizing this in its publicity.

Seekers Silent Retreats:  On behalf of the Living Water Mission Group, Marjory reported that the spring silent retreat at Dayspring will occur on April 24-26. Elizabeth Gelfeld will be the retreat leader. The opening of registration will be announced at worship. The fall silent retreat will be from September 25 through the 27th.

Celebration Circle 2019 Preaching Report:  Peter presented a handout (attached) summarizing the preaching, liturgical themes, and special worship services. Thirteen women and 12 men in Seekers presented sermons and we had six visiting preachers, of which five were men.CC 2019 Preaching Report

Financial Oversight Group (FOG) amended 2019 report:  Marjory presented an amended report for 2019. The amendment changed the net surplus of $18,976 to $1,676 because $13,000 was actually a restricted bequest. Several Stewards requested that the FOG provide a balance sheet for 2019 and Marjory agreed on behalf of FOG to provide one at the April Stewards meeting.FOG Amended 2019 End-of-Year summary

Marjory also reported that when Debbie Barwick was informed that the bylaws require the Treasurer be a Steward she agreed to be redesignated as the bookkeeper. Marjory agreed to be nominated as Treasurer and was elected by acclimation. Both Marjory and Debbie are already signatories to the Seekers’ bank accounts so no changes are required.

Review Team for David Lloyd:  Trish requested Stewards to serve on a team to review David Lloyd’s service on the Servant Leadership Team. Deborah and Ken agreed to serve on it and will request one or more additional members of the congregation to serve on the review team.

Pastoral Concerns:  Among the pastoral concerns was the hope that mission groups whose call includes gatherings for Seekers, especially Celebration Circle and Learner and Teachers, begin or continue contingency planning in case the coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads significantly within the DC metropolitan area.

Stewards Sharing:  Glen and Peter shared reflections on their lives from the last year.

Soul Talk:  Other Stewards shared from their lives.

Respectfully submitted,

David Lloyd


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