2023 January Stewards Minutes

Seekers Church – Stewards’ Meeting Minutes

January 8, 2023

Present: Trish Nemore (meditation), Ken Burton, Peter Bankson (moderator), Brenda Seat, Keith Seat, Marjory Bankson, Dave Lloyd(meditation), Judy Lantz, John Morris, Margreta Silverstone (meditation), Cynthia Dahlin, Jacqie Wallen (meditation), Elizabeth Gelfeld, Vince Shepherd, Sandra Miller (recorder)

Meditation: The Servant Leadership Team offered a reading from Sonya Dyer found in Seekers: Growing Our Lives Together

Housekeeping: Next Stewards meeting February 5th at 5PM

                           Moderator: Ken Burton

                           Recorder: Trish Nemore

                           Meditation: Dave Lloyd

                           (John Morris will be absent)

Servant Leadership Working Group conversation: led by Keith Seat, with thanks to Glenn Clark and Erica Lloyd, comprising the “Sherpa Team”

              Recommendation 18 (Requirement for 2 Stewards in a Mission Group) Goal: wrap up recommendation 18 that 2 Stewards are required in a mission group with the possibility of exception.

New proposed language is:

“Two Stewards are generally required to form a mission group, and two Stewards are recommended for mission groups on an ongoing basis. However, Stewards will consider exceptions to both practices as appropriate, including having a second Steward join a mission group for a limited time.”

Recommendation 18 was passed unanimously with this new proposed language.

              Recommendation 20 (Additional Support for Mission Groups) Goal: to add service from outside the mission group if necessary when particular needs are challenging the group. One challenge is space for the safety/honesty to share mission group challenges in Stewards. Historically, mission groups’ annual sharing has not included that. The question raised is whether Stewards’ meetings are that safe space.

Brenda proposed:

“Stewards encourages SLT and Stewards to look within and outside the community when dealing with challenges facing the community.”

Recommendation as proposed by Brenda passed unanimously.

              Parking Lot items were reviewed to identify the level of interest for future consideration, and voted as follows:

  1. Who do we pay in Seekers & why? 7 + Erica + Anita interested
  2. How can we check in periodically to ensure that the way Seekers functions (and especially how it functions for newcomers) reflects our values? 11 interested
  3. Do we need a process to implement the approved recommendations?   No interest
  4. Shall we identify topics that the community would like to have deeper conversations on and ask volunteers to set up relevant conversations? 14 interested
  5. How are we going to deal with an aging population over the next ten years? 7 interested
  6. What aspects of the church will need to change to attract young people? 10 interested
  7. What barriers keep new members from leadership at Seekers? 7 interested
  8. How shall we implement the Rec 8-10 summary (shepherding/spiritual direction)?  Ideas for bringing these issues to the community: sermons, Saturday meeting, SCG, issue “call” to join in conversation by someone willing to gather a group.

Marjory raised the concern that the element of call was being overlooked, and that lack of call and commitment lead to institutionalization.

Also raised was that longer Stewards’ meetings were no longer called for as we have completed work on SLWG.

Summary of SLWG Recommendation Review:

Over the last eight months, Stewards has carefully considered the recommendations proposed by the Servant Leadership Working Group. Here’s a quick overview of the result of those deliberations:

  • Recommendations accepted (many with modified language): Recs 1, 2, 4-7, 11-16 (as embraced directly by SLT), 17, 18 and 20. 
  • Recommendations not accepted (although, as we’ve said before, not accepting Recommendations did not mean we were formally rejecting them).

o Rec 3 withdrawn

o Recs 8-10: There was some consensus around the idea that shepherding or providing spiritual direction, particularly to new people and those not in Mission Groups, is something that Stewards wants to reexamine or provide some new energy to. That is not the role of SLT alone, as the recommendations suggested, but rather a more joint effort between Stewards and the larger community, including OMG. Though, to the extent that those efforts need coordinating, SLT may have a helpful role to play.

o Rec 19: While there was significant discussion around this recommendation, the majority of Stewards felt that the requirement to take 2 SCG classes should be maintained for mission group membership, with rare exceptions allowed (as is currently the case). As such, the recommendation was not accepted.

By Laws

              Current officers:

                           Keith Seat – chair – agrees to continue, unanimously approved

                           Deborah Sokolove – vice-chair – agrees to continue, unanimously approved

                           Dave Lloyd – Secretary – agrees to continue, unanimously approved*

                           Marjory Bankson – Treasurer – agrees to continue, unanimously approved

*Dave is looking to give up one or more of his duties: Secretary, SLT, Chair of International Giving — Ken is willing to chair International Giving

SLT Report

              Main issues are what does the SLT do, and what should it be doing. Using Sonya’s guide, embodying an attitude of service, and claiming a role were individual journeys. Community action was to know people. Ongoing concrete task was maintaining the Stewards’ agenda

2022 Wrap Up & Notes for 2023:

              Recognition of the Racial & Ethnic Justice Ministry Team

              Creature Kind Group formally recognized

              3 themes for considered: new members, pandemic issues, ongoing pastoral concerns

There is still curiosity in Stewards about what the SLT actually does

Stewards sharing

              Dave Lloyd & Margreta Silverstone

Soul Talk

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2023 February Stewards Minutes
2022 December Stewards Minutes