November 1, 2020
Present: Trish Nemore (Zoom host/SLT meditation), Keith Seat (moderator), Dave Lloyd (SLT meditation), Brenda Seat (SLT meditation), Joan Dodge (SLT meditation), Sandra Miller (recorder), Marjory Bankson, Peter Bankson, Deborah Sokolove, Glen Yakushiji, Ken Burton, Michele Frome, Cynthia Dahlin, Margreta Silverstone, Jacqie Wallen, Elizabeth Gelfeld
Absent: Vince Shepherd, Judy Lantz
Guests: John Morris, Glenn Clark
Housekeeping: next meeting December 6th
Moderator – Joan Dodge
Meditation – Deborah Sokolove
Recorder – Margreta Silverstone
Will we have a Christmas Party? Michele and Cynthia will make that happen
SLT concern: Trish brought an SLT concern that our 2 hour Zoom meetings have left us constrained for business and sharing by the 45 minutes shorter actual meeting time we had when meeting in person. SLT proposed meeting an additional 30 minutes. Discussion ensued with aired concerns. SLT will discuss further and bring back to Stewards.
Budget: Marjory presented on behalf of FOG, the draft for 2021 for input after a line by line review. FOG decreased, increased, or left previous budget amounts based on expected income, a sole renter for the foreseeable future, anticipated staff changes, hopes for the future, and possible changes in need for the Holy Spirit Fund. FOG recommends using the 2020 Christmas offering for the Holy Spirit short fall, with any remaining deficit covered by our sufficient reserve funds from the bequest being held.
Input included a suggestion from Ken that the Dayspring Church donation be increased to $4K. Dave questioned why the OMG budget was so high when the church is “closed. Keith responded re the OMG concern, that the group was doing increased outreach in order to reach people who might be interested that would not be able to walk in, or visit our booth at the street fair, etc.
Marjory will bring the input to FOG, and the final draft will be presented for vote at the December meeting.
Mission Group Report: Brenda introduced this item by explaining that SLT thought that it was important to check in with mission groups in our changed environment. Each mission group will be asked:
- How has your mission/work has changed due to the pandemic?
- How is your mission group offering Servant-Leadership?
Celebration Circle will be the first mission group to share because they have been impacted a great deal. From increasing Zoom meeting skill sets, adapting bulletin covers to an online offering, and more, it has been a challenge. Lots of work goes on behind the scenes, including people not in Celebration Circle, which adds another layer of time and work, in addition to building community. John and Katie have taken more responsibility with Glen for providing music for our services.
The written report:
The core mission of Celebration Circle is to prepare for and lead the worship life of the community. Further, it is one of our core ideals to have as much participation by members of the congregation as possible. In other words, our goal is a participatory worship experience rather than having worship be an observed experience.
Since the pandemic began we have continued to try to offer that kind of worship, but we are now doing it completely online. We have had to learn new skills and adapt an in person worship service to a virtual format and have added new ways of doing things so that our online worship would work for the community as a whole. Although there has been a steep learning curve, we have continued to have worship every Sunday since March 15 when we stopped meeting together in person.
The regular work of the mission group which is to:
- Write liturgies
- Solicit preachers
- Solicit readers for each Sunday
- Provide liturgists every Sunday to guide the congregation through worship by providing prayers and holding the space.
- Arrange for Music
- Provide leadership for Circle Time
- Communicate and coordinate with others who provide components of our worship and gathering time like the Children’s Word, Two Minute Stories, and Peace and Justice prayer.
- Set up an altar and create bulletins for each season.
However during the pandemic we have had to change some of our approaches and have had to pick up new roles and leadership. These include:
- Hosting Worship on Zoom and learning the skills that are necessary for that to work smoothly and consistently.
- Skills include screen sharing, learning how to limit noise and distractions
- Private tutorials to help people learn how to use zoom so they could join our worship.
- Learning how to use features of Zoom like Spotlight to increase the visibility of Candle lighting, etc.
- Re imagining how different parts of our worship could be incorporated into a Zoom format. Singing, prayers, Circle Time, Children’s Word and other components have had to be modified so that it would work on Zoom.
- Changing from a bulletin format to a share screen format to lead the congregation through worship.
- Having one person read the liturgical responses for the congregation
- Learning to use raise hands for Circle Time
- Deciding not to use raise hands for prayers
- Sending out emails each Sunday with the link for Zoom Worship, with hymns and the current liturgy
- Preparing music much earlier in the week since the hymn texts must be covered by our copyright and any videos must also be loaded and vetted for use.
- Rethinking communion for Zoom
- Rethinking and re purposing the offertory
- Communicating with preachers and others about how things are different and what things are possible in this new format.
- We have reintroduced the Children’s Word and have included a special reflection time for the kids.
- What we have noticed since the pandemic began:
- Being on Zoom has made our worship more accessible to our elders, those who are ill, those who are hard of hearing and for people who live far away.
- We feel that the level of theological insight, deep sharing and consistency in our preaching has increased during this time.
- Our level of participation for worship is the same or may be even greater than when we met in person.
- Re-introducing the Children’s Word and adding a special reflection time for the kids has increased the visibility of the children in our midst.
- The use and impact of “chat” during our worship service has given another opportunity to create connection and create community.
In addition, we are being challenged to think about ways to help sustain community life by rituals and special services like:
- Baby Dedication – for Dylan Wheaton
- A Thanksgiving Eve service
- A Zoom Christmas Pageant – Dave is helping with this
- A Zoom Christmas Eve Service
- Memorial Service for Kenny
We are offering servant leadership to the community by providing a participatory worship structure and inviting the congregation to participate in as many ways as possible. By hosting Zoom worship we make it possible for people to meet virtually, be spiritually fed and challenged and then return to their lives carrying the message they have received. We try and model servant leadership in all that we do, by providing structures that allow people to participate in as many ways as is possible.
Submitted by Deborah Sokolove, Peter Bankson, Ken Burton, Elizabeth Gelfeld, Brenda Seat
Dave asked if we could think about how people are using chat during worship, which can be problematic for some. Brenda advised us that since CC uses chat as a private tool during worship, it can’t be turned off. There was some discussion about providing guidance to the community about when and how the tool could be used graciously. Cynthia offered that individual users can turn off or minimize chat if they would like.
Reimagining SLT: Dave led the discussion, reminding us that last month SLT raised the need for a committee to think about new SLT structures. School for Christian Growth is offering a class, Stalking the Spirit, led by Marjory and Brenda, to examine the history of servant leadership in Seekers. The class registrants include some non-Stewards.
Are there alternative and/or additional things that Stewards can do to increase ways Seekers respond to Seekers’ and the world’s needs.
SLT anticipates the committee and the class will be concurrent, and the class participants and others can weigh in to the committee process.
As part of process, Margreta hopes that SLT would meet with the committee periodically, and volunteered to be on the committee. Other volunteers are Elizabeth, Michele, and Ken. Peter expressed a deep commitment to the process, but isn’t sure how to best offer his experience. Brenda recommended he join the committee, and see how that goes. Sandra will evaluate if it is a good fit through participation in the SCG class.
Anyone interested in the committee should contact Dave.
Stewards Calendar: document was circulated with meeting materials, but was not on the agenda. Brenda said we needed to take note that the first Sunday of April 2021 is Easter, moving the Stewards meeting to 2nd Sunday. Same will occur in July as the first Sunday is July 4th.
Silent Retreat dates are tentative.
Please review calendar and bring concerns to Brenda.
Pastoral Concerns, Stewards Sharing (Sandra and Trish), and Soul Talk closed out the meeting