2022 April Stewards Minutes

Seekers Church
Stewards Minutes
April 3, 2022

Present: Dave Lloyd, Deborah Sokolove (moderator), Elizabeth Gelfeld, Glen Yakushiji, Jacqie Wallen, Joan Dodge, John Morris (recorder), Judy Lantz, Ken Burton, Margreta Silverstone, Marjory Bankson, Peter Bankson, Sandra Miller (meditation leader), Trish Nemore, Vincent Shepherd, Cynthia Dahlin, Michele Frome, Keith Seat, Brenda Seat.

Absent: none

Visiting Members: Anita Jackson, Pat Conover, Will Ramsey, Ron Kraybill

Meditation: Sandra brought the meditation, focusing us on some lessons and visions from Church of the Saviour.

Housekeeping: Stewards will next meet on Sunday, May 1, at 5:00 PM on Zoom. 

Moderator – Ken

Meditation leader – Dave

Recorder – Marjory

Extending Time of Stewards Meetings:  Brenda explained the need for a longer meeting time, adding 45 minutes to the current 2 hours.  This was agreed to, with one abstention.  The timing of the meeting was changed to 5 – 8:30, with a 30-minute break for dinner.

Presentation of the Call to SLT: Deborah presented this, as chair of the Team.  She pointed out 3 changes of note: a statement that SLT is not the only place of leadership at Seekers; a description and clarification of important gifts for an SLT member; and a change from “prophecy” to “visionary” in the naming of gifts and abilities.  Michele suggested that the SLT member’s review should refer to “a desire whether to recommit” rather than simply “to recommit.”  Brenda suggested adding that “compensation may change” in light of SLWG recommendations.  The new Call, with these changes, was accepted unanimously.

Recommendations for Budget Surplus: This is deferred until May, so that FOG can better calculate the surplus and make recommendations.  Marjory invited Stewards to offer their own suggestions, and several Stewards responded.  Among the suggestions were: Wellspring overnights; Ukrainian refugees; someone to run the Seekers art gallery.

Next Steps for Consideration of SLWG Report:  Trish reported that the group would like to bring recommendations to Stewards in small groups over the course of several meetings.  This allows deeper and more careful discussion of each recommendation.

Reflections on Last Sunday’s All-Seekers Meeting about SLWG Recommendations: Joan invited members of the WG to share first.  Will stated that the meeting was a positive opportunity to hear from all, to hear different perspectives. He was surprised at first, but was happy that people could be heard.  Margreta was disarmed by some of the tone and process of the discussion, and is concerned about her current relationship to Seekers as a result.  She thought the group had worked very well together.  She raised the question: Is there an “old guard” at Seekers that resists change?  Sandra shared that she left the meeting sad and angry, and also feels uncertain of her relationship to Seekers now.  She is concerned that an over-reliance on old rules will disenfranchise newer members of Seekers. She also noted that the group’s recommendations were based on community surveys, not the personal opinions of the group members.

Ken pointed out that radical suggestions will inevitably get pushback.  He recognized that he is from the old COS community, but would have appreciated a more forceful argument in favor of these suggestions.  Cynthia did not hear anyone actually say “no” to a recommendation; it sounded more like mourning old ways to her.  Dave is concerned about how the survey results produced the actual recommendations; he heard a disconnect there. Michele wonders if the problems that the group was meant to address are in fact clear to all. Trish pointed out that the more detailed discussions to come in Stewards will provide a lot more depth and context for these recommendations. She also reminded us of the passage from Philippians that was read this morning — “doing all the right things” may not be the ultimate goal.

Peter thought the SLWG did a good job raising these hard questions – indeed, the reaction of “oh no not that!” indicates this.  Joan ended the discussion by reiterating the importance of everyone reading the whole report.

Pastoral Concerns – Not documented

Two Stewards Sharing – Peter Bankson and Glen Yakushiji offered updates on their lives and journeys.

Soul Talk

John Morris
April 9, 2022


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