SEEKER CHURCH STEWARDS MEETING
September 6, 2020
STEWARDS PRESENT: Peter Bankson, Marjory Bankson, Ken Burton (moderator), Joan Dodge, Michele Frome, Elizabeth Gelfeld, David Lloyd, Sandra Miller (meditation leader), Patricia Nemore, Brenda Seat, Keith Seat, Deborah Sokolove, Jacqie Wallen (recorder), Glen Yakushiji, Judy Lantz, Margreta Silverstone.
STEWARDS ABSENT: Cynthia Dahlin, Vincent Shepherd
GUESTS PRESENT: Pat Conover, Anita Jackson, Liz Gould-Leger, John Morris
MEDITATION: Sandra read a poem by N. Scott Momaday called Prayer for Words
HOUSEKEEPING: The next Stewards meeting will be Sunday, October 4th at 5:30 pm. This meeting was originally set for a week later due to the Street Festival, which has now been cancelled.
Worship Leader: Judy
REPORT FROM DAVE LLOYD’S REVIEW TEAM: Deborah reported on the findings of the review team, which consisted of 3 Stewards (Ken, Deborah, and Michele) and 3 other Seekers (Anita, Mary Carole, and Larry). The team met for the first time 2-3 months ago to prepare questions for the review, which they then sent to Dave. They met with Dave a few weeks after receiving his answers, then met again as a team to consider each other’s comments and those of other Seekers. Given Dave’s “clear call and willingness to continue on the Servant Leadership Team,” the review team recommended “wholeheartedly and without reservation” that he continue in his role on SLT for another term. Stewards accepted and approved of the recommendation.
SCHOOL FOR CHRISTIAN GROWTH FALL CLASS SCHEDULE: Dave reported that two new School for Christian Growth classes will be starting Tuesday, Sept. 8th, beginning the first fall term. There will be no class on election night. The first term ends October 13th. The classes are:
- History of Christianity from Pentecost to the Reformation (led by Dave)
- Braiding Sweetgrass (led by Sandra)
Since the second term doesn’t start until November 10th, Learners and Teachers are thinking about offering a short class (1-, 2-, or 3-weeks) in between the two terms. The short classes in the School for Christian Growth over the summer were very well-attended. Marjory and Brenda are developing a class on Servant Leadership that Marjory will facilitate in the second term. Deborah will be leading a book study class on Paul and the poor (or maybe Paul and the marginalized). Two classes being considered for Spring are: a book study class for a Rachel Held Evans book (facilitators to be determined) and a class on James’ Varieties of Religious Experience led by John and Deborah.
SUNDAY SCHOOL FOR THE NEW SCHOOL TERM – CHILDREN’S TEAM:
Judy reported that the Children’s Word will again be offered during Sunday worship beginning on Sept 13th with the children lighting the candles. There will be no actual Sunday school on Zoom, but Judy has given the parents the password for access to the curriculum and has asked them to help the children with the lessons. Judy has also been delivering children’s Bibles to each of the children. The older children will not be involved in the Sunday School, but Cynthia and Alvin will be helping Arnold with the curriculum. There are plans to have a Christmas pageant on Zoom. The team asked for Stewards to support parents if they ask for help as the curriculum is not set up for virtual use, though it is quickly being updated and revised to make it easier for parents to help children with during the pandemic.
Joan suggested that we make sure we have the older children’s cell phones and email addresses and have put them on the listserv so they can keep informed about events etc. Peter will put them on the listserv if we sent him information
THANKSGIVING EVE PRAYER SERVICE – Deborah
Deborah announced that we will have a service on Zoom the evening before Thanksgiving, starting at 7 pm and not lasting more than 45 minutes. She will announce it more widely as we get closer to the date.
REPORT FROM SLT—SERVIANT LEADERSHIP DURING THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS: Each member of SLT gave their own analysis
Joan said that her biggest challenge has been that face-to-face meetings for pastoral counseling have not been possible. Also, the SLT biweekly meetings online are more impersonal and she misses the personal contact. The situation has also created opportunities, however. The weekly prayer listing that she has been preparing provides a meaningful way for people within and outside of Seekers to list prayer concerns for themselves and others. Mary Mahala and Amy Moffitt have instituted a weekly prayer meeting that includes Joan on Wednesdays from 7-8 pm. She noted the organic way in which the prayer meeting emerged.
Brenda seconded Joan in expressing frustration that she can’t do the “pastoring and being-with” that she used to do. She misses the physical presence but also the ability to drive people places and be with them when they visit the doctor. Deciding to shut down Seekers was very heavy and leading us out again will also be very difficult. With the anxiety of the pandemic, the election stress, and everything else, the community is experiencing a lot of stress, with effects on emotional and mental health. How to maneuver as a community and hold everybody is a concern for SLT.
Trish echoed both Joan and Brenda with regard to the lack of in-person contact for pastoral conversations and helping. Hands-on helping is now much more difficult. A number of people have been in the hospital and while usually Seekers shines at being present for people in the hospital, in-person visiting is presently not possible. Also, it is much harder to get information about people in the hospital when you can’t be there in person. She also pointed out that during the pandemic we have had additional financial needs in the community. It is difficult to be sensitive to needs when we don’t see each other in person and the usual informal conversations do not occur.
Dave reported that the organizational good news is that they don’t get much mail from the DC government or other places like that. Peter has been picking up the mail and checking the building on a daily basis. Some maintenance and repair activities have been postponed because Martha’s mob has not been able to meet. Dave and Sharon mow the lawn and Dave checks out the building when he’s there. SLT has been affected because all four are parents and three are grandparents, meaning that they are around young people but need to keep other members of Seekers safe. Jacob collected socks and prepared care packs using stuff that Will brought from Peter’s basement. Sharon and Judy helping Cynthia figure out about starting college., etc. The challenge has been to keep communicating by phone since we SLT team members don’t see each other fact-to-face.
PASTORAL CONCERNS were shared
TWO STEWARDS SHARING: Michele and Vincent were scheduled to share but since Vincent had to work, Marjory shared, though her birthday is in October.
SOUL TALK sharing took place
Tentative business and sharing agenda for October meeting:
Recommitment Review for Stewards
Budget input for 2021
Mission Group Sharing
Two Stewards sharing: Vincent Shepherd and Jacqie Wallen
On behalf of SLT,