Stewards Meeting Minutes
6 May 2012
Present: Deborah Sokolove (moderator), Margreta Silverstone (worship leader), Sandra Miller (note taker), Peter Bankson (angel), Marjory Bankson (angel), Lewise Busch, Will Ramsey, Dave Lloyd, Jacqie Wallen, Brenda Seat, Keith Seat, Pat Conover, Trish Nemore
Absent: Cynthia Dahlin, Ken Burton
Housekeeping: We will meet next on July 1st at 5:30 at Pat’s & Trish’s summer house
Moderator – Keith
Worship Leader – Sandra
Note Taker – Dave
Angels – Trish & Lewise
FOG Report (Marjory) Stewards were given the 1st quarter report from Debbie Barwick (treasurer). The big issue to notice is that the Holy Spirit Fund has already expended 40% of its budget. FOG recommends raising the Holy Spirit Fund from $13,000 to $25,000 in recognition of ongoing and ongoing and upcoming needs for several members. (Brenda advised Stewards that it could be a year before the work status of one member is clarified, and in light of that she has asked a lawyer to look into possible difficulties with housing. Brenda also reported that Seekers had spent more than monies collected especially for that purpose to meet one family’s needs.) There is sufficient money in net funds to move $12,000 to the Holy Spirit Fund. The other pending monetary issue was final approval to move $800 from net funds to the Broken & Beloved Mission Group budget if needed for Still Point usage. Marjory requested approval for both changes which were unanimously approved.
Marjory reported that we received a bequest from Kate’s estate in the amount of $40,000, and that FOG recommends leaving the funds fluid to meet the potential additional needs in the near future. Peter & Marjory had dinner with Carole who seemed pleased with the plans for the money.
Sunday School (Trish) The 2011/12 year was described as a year of abundance and – just enough. Abundance in its cycle of love between the children and teachers. Also in Brenda’s wonderful work (with many elves) to bring us a Christmas pageant and Deborah and Sandra’s (with elves) wonderful painting of both classrooms over the last two years and in outpouring of love for children in times of need. Manna in terms of just enough teachers to get through the year. We had illnesses and unexpected travel among teachers that made scheduling difficult and very fluid. There are questions about our needs with the Dongo family arriving, as well as anticipation of the exciting possibilities. The Sunday School Support Team believes that the changes over the last 2 years are working – chaperones, singing Jesus loves us. Feel that Children’s Word is part of the structure that makes Sunday School work and so it will be continued year round. It is clear that teachers’ creating a 4 week plan doesn’t work well, and teachers are being advised that planning each week independently does work given that there isn’t necessarily continuity in the children’s presence. Margreta has offered to make stoles for the girls and vests for the boys to wear during candle lighting. She will be working with Celebration Circle in developing the ritual that will teach the children about the spirituality and importance of what they are doing.
Dave Lloyd has been coordinator for the Children’s Word for the last year or so, and will continue in that role. Generally, a member of the Sunday School Team (Brenda, Dave, Elizabeth Gelfeld, Pat and Trish) is responsible for a month at a time, either bringing the word or finding someone to do so.
Brenda – summer Sunday School – email went out to mission group moderators to which replies are expected. Link to summer curriculum (minus 2 weeks which will come) was included. Looking for ways to welcome David’s family – a big “shindig.” Mary Carol is hoping to start bringing Toby to church and has volunteered to take care of him and David’s 18 month old.
Celebration Circle is planning an intergenerational service the 1st Sunday of August, which is probably the 1st Sunday that David’s family will be in church. This may or not be a good idea and they will be talking with the Sunday School Support Team about the possibilities.
Takoma Park Folk Festival (Keith) folks seemed engaged in the 1st planning meeting. There was excitement about contributing ideas, time and materials. Next meeting will be the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. The idea of 2 booths is doable if done under 2 different names, i.e. Seekers and Carroll Café, which was well received by all and Jesse. Keith has already reserved 1 space.
A side issue was raised about income from Carroll Café and how it affects our tax status. Dave will frame a question/s that addresses his concerns and Sandra will ask Charles, the bookkeeper for Westminster Presbyterian that runs jazz and blues nights.
Giving Group Report (Sandra) The group was charged by Stewards to look at the Stewards’ discipline of giving statement, clarifying the language around intentionality versus not having 10% be a barrier to stewardship. The group offered the following for consideration:
“Giving money and resources to God through Seekers Church,
joyfully and with a sense of abundance at a level discerned in
spiritual accountability, whether a widow’s mite, 10%, or more.”
Several difficulties with the proposed language were discussed, and there was a feeling that there wasn’t a clear reason for changing the language. It seemed clear that further discussion about the discipline was needed and that that discussion might be informed by the next agenda item about money in community, and that resolution would not be reached at this meeting.
Speaking about money in community (Brenda) Stewards is giving a very large proportion of Seekers’ annual giving
What is it about Stewards’ giving that can be transmitted to the wider community? Looking at the historical context, we’ve discussed money (1990, buying Carroll St, sale of 2025), what are we trying to say spiritually about how the act of giving has shaped us?
What we come up with here might go to mission groups 1st for discussion, and then perhaps 3rd Sunday discussions for both reflection and encouragement. The money discussion will continue.