Minutes · April 26, 2022

Meeting April 2022

Executive Committee Meeting
Minutes of April 26, 2022 Meeting

Present:  John Aclin, Pastor Sue Beall, Jane Winge, Carolyn Witham, Brian Schwartz

Absent:  Jim Ryan, Karen Weires

Call to Order and Opening Prayer:  John called the National Lutheran Secretariat (NLS) Executive Committee (NLSEC) meeting to order and Pastor Sue opened the meeting with prayer.

Old Business

Minutes from the March 22, 2022 meeting were accepted as amended by acclamation.

Executive Committee Member Reports

VP of Administration (VPA) – Jane:  As of today, there are 98 people registered to attend the 2022 NLS Annual Gathering (NLSAG). The host committee (HC) asked if the Early Bird registration discount should apply to those registered by or registered and paid by May 1st. After some discussion it was agreed that the intent is for the discount to be applied for those registered and paid by May 1st. That said, the HC may choose to extend a grace period to those registered if payment is received by May 10th. A note gently reminding those registered and not yet paid will be sent in the next day or two. Jane is working with the HC on communications. All communications include dates for the NLSAG now. A suggestion was made to vary subject lines going forward. Eric will be making the NLSAG sister site available for general use soon. Jane inquired about the status of the contract with the University. The contract is signed by the HC chairperson after approval from the VPA.

Spiritual Director – Sue:  Pastor Doug Givan is assisting Pastor Sue with daily prayers and weekly devotions through May. Pastor Sue plans to see if others would like to sign up and assist with this going forward. Prayers were requested for Pastor Sue’s and Pastor Jennifer Gold’s health: pray it improves to allow for their NLSAG participation. Pastor Sue is giving thought to a back-up for herself.

Treasurer – Jim:  Jim received and deposited several Secretariat voluntary contributions. He sent an initial registration payment for NLSEC member registrations to the HC and processed NLSAG travel expense reimbursement requests from NLSEC members. He updated postings to QuikBooks and reconciled the checking account against the bank statement as of April 1. Reported that he has spoken with Treasurer candidates about transition flow. Both candidates are well qualified.

Secretary – Carolyn:  Carolyn is preparing to proactively contact communities who have not yet confirmed their 2021 annual activity and/or delegate names. Carolyn asked about the training videos question raised by a community. Eric, Tom and John are working on a means of making videos available on our website.

VP of Outreach – KarenKaren worked with John and Eric on providing prayer vigil guidance which should be on the website soon. Has had communication with regional coordinators (RCs), Region 1 and Region 4, encouraging participation in the Essentials webinar and Bylaw Town Hall. She is scheduling meetings with all three of these groups.

Executive Director – BrianBrian helped address Distribution Center issue with Karen, Eric and Tom. Brian is contacting the 2019 NLSAG venue to determine the viability of that location as a last resort. Brian also assisted confirming EOI facilitators.

President – John:  John confirmed that in addition to posting weekend dates, affiliated secretariats can now also post a link to their prayer vigil. Essentials webinar and Bylaw change town hall sessions were publicized. Twenty individuals attended the Essentials webinar which is being made available for streaming. John facilitated a quarterly Lay Director roundtable meeting in late March where 18 lay directors and 2 regional coordinators attended. There was good discussion focused on how weekends are going, how communities are engaging members (e.g., ultreyas), and renewal weekends. The next quarterly Lay Director roundtable meeting will be held at the end of June and all NLSEC members are welcome to attend.

New Business


At a recent Via de Cristo weekend, 32 individuals got ill but only three of nine tested positive for Covid. After discussion, the consensus was to share that several weekends have taken place very successfully in 2022 and that we’re also aware of one situation where there was an outbreak of some kind. This intent of sharing this information is to remind communities to define and follow safety protocols for their weekends. Communicate the safety protocols being followed, and let individuals decide to participate or not based on the protocols that will be in place and their personal comfort-level.

What’s the NLS doing?

John asked for input on what to include. Suggested items:

    • call to attendance
    • let the NLS secretary know the names of your delegates
    • early bird registration deadline is approaching, include link to registration form
  • prayer vigils can be posted on NLS website
  • call for:
    • NLSEC open positions,
    • RC open positions,
    • 50th year celebration ideas
    • God moment stories
    • input on training
    • thoughts on welcoming and sharing information for seekers
    • suggestions for improving websites
    • input on what secretariats want/need from NLSEC

Requests for website posting

Community members have asked us to post a link to information about services they provide (e.g., ESL) or offerings that might be of interest to other communities (e.g., Bible Trivia) on our website. As the services/offerings are not central to our mission, the NLSEC unanimously agreed that no link should be added to our website. The information can be passed to and held by the Executive Director in the event another community makes a related inquiry.

Long range planning

John asked for input on what the NLSEC thinks we should be focusing on long-term. During the NLSAG, we can ask who wants to be part of working group focused on these topics? Ideas discussed included:

  • training materials
  • welcoming seekers
  • attracting younger people (20s/30s) to attend weekends
  • identifying ideal candidate (i.e., a person interested in growing their relationship with Christ, growing spiritually)
  • spiritual director engagement
  • building regional ecumenical relationships with other 4th Day communities
  • developing lay leaders in supporting pastors and churches as they shift into hybrid model
  • brainstorm ways to support our pastors within our local congregations
  • strategies to re-capture energy or bring the excitement back

Website observations

  • Can we give those ordering a way to pay for their order?
  • Are there limitations on who can order? Do we know if those placing orders are part of the Via de Cristo community?
  • Rollo outlines are openly available now; previously were in a ‘share’ section of the website; should some items there for secretariat use vs. general seeker use be moved to a sister site?

Old Business

2023 Host Committee status

Northern Light and INKY are considering the possibility of being 2023 Host Committee. John will follow-up with Charlotte to schedule a Zoom call with Northern Light. If possible, Brian, Jane and/or Carolyn will also attend.

Nominating Committee update

There are one or more candidates for VPA, Secretary and Treasurer. There are currently no nominations for the Spiritual Director position.

A motion to adjourn the meeting was made, seconded, and unanimously passed. 

Closing Prayer – Pastor Sue closed the meeting with prayer.

Next Meeting – May 24, 2022, at 8:00pm EDT, for NLS Executive Committee members and appointed committee chairpersons

Summary of Action Items

  1. John to contact Charlotte with Northern Lights to schedule a Q&A call related to hosting a NLSAG.
  2. Each NLSEC member and appointee should begin drafting their annual report to the community.
  3. Jane to follow-up with Sue to confirm the contract with Texas Lutheran was, in fact, signed.
  4. John will coordinate getting Pastor Ron Poisel’s contact information to Pastor Sue.
  5. Pastor Sue will contact Pastor Ron Poisel regarding the National Spiritual Director.
  6. Carolyn to share list of communities who have not confirmed 2021 activity yet with Karen and John. Karen and John, in turn, will work with the Regional Coordinators to try to confirm activity.
  7. All members should share ideas for celebrating that this is the 50th year anniversary of the first Via de Cristo weekends (held in 1972).
  8. John will add rollo outline availability to next month’s agenda. All members to give thought to this topic this month.

Respectfully submitted,
Carolyn Witham

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Eric is our current Webmaster and works on the NLS Communications Team. Raised in Judaism, he found Christ and the New Testament at age 16 in a Southern Baptist Church. He searched many denominations for the real church, only to find the Holy Spirit is present in all of them. He's worked for One for Israel, a group of native Israeli believers who are sharing the gospel in the holy land in Hebrew and is part of the only Hebrew speaking seminary in Israel.