Executive Committee Meeting
Minutes of August 23, 2022 Meeting
Present: John Aclin, Steve Barnett, Pastor Karl Gaston, Jane Winge, Carolyn Witham, Brian Schwartz
Absent: Karen Weires
Call to Order and Opening Prayer: John called the National Lutheran Secretariat (NLS) Executive Committee (NLSEC) meeting to order and Pastor Karl opened the meeting with prayer.
Minutes from the June 28, 2022 meeting were accepted as amended by acclamation.
Minutes from the July 26, 2022 meeting were accepted as amended by acclamation.
Minutes from the annual meeting, July 21 and July 23, 2022 were reviewed. The draft minutes will be revised and re-circulated for review prior to approval.
Executive Committee Member Reports
VP of Administration – Jane: Jane conducted a virtual debrief of the 2022 NLSAG with the Host Committee. She shared a praise report that, as of August 14th, the 2022 NLSAG Host Committee records show a net profit of $4076 and asked when to close the books on the 2022 NLSAG. Historically this is done when all known/expected invoices have been received and paid. Observed opportunities for streamlining the work effort associated with the NLSAG were identified and are being documented. Jane will update the Host Committee guidelines accordingly. The HC recommended that binders be provided to all NLSAG attendees. After some discussion, there was a sense among the NLSEC that it would be helpful to provide paper copies of the schedule, campus map, attendee roster, and nominee applications to attendees unless the attendee opts out of receiving paper copies. This topic will be considered further at the mid-year meeting in early October.
Spiritual Director – Karl: Karl has spent his time on the NLSEC to date learning about his job. His first two devotionals and Monday to Friday prayers have been published. Affiliated secretariats continue to seek guidance associated with weekend Spiritual Directors (SD). What qualifications are minimally required or appropriate? It was recommended that we reach out to the other 4th Day movements. One possibility is to have SDs from other movements participate in our weekends. John also wondered if a 4th Day movement SD meeting might be helpful to find out how other movements are addressing this. John will inquire. The possibility of Pastor Karl hosting regular Spiritual Director roundtable meetings was discussed.
Treasurer – Steve: Steve is working to get the Wells Fargo accounts transferred over. There is also a need to update the authorized signers on the Thrivent Credit Union account. Steve noted that the NLS financial records have moved from Quickbooks desktop to Quickbooks online and he is working to get comfortable with the online application. John confirmed that it is fine for Steve to share written financial reports with the NLSEC quarterly.
Secretary – Carolyn: Carolyn shared that there is a need to update bylaw 3.4 that requires notice of the special meeting be sent via the USPS at least 30 days in advance to all secretariats and all delegates. Karl mentioned that the prior bylaw committee had made the same recommendation. He will look for that committee’s recommendation and forward it to John and Carolyn.
VP of Outreach – Karen: Karen’s been working with Marcia Newman, the new Regional Coordinator (RC) for Region 1, and noted she’s a rock star. Pam Gross is returning as RC for Region 4. Karen continues to work on finding a Region 2 RC and is also looking for a Region 3 RC by request of the current Region 3 RC. The next RC meeting will be held in October. With John, Karen attended the mid-year meeting of the 4th Day community leaders via Zoom and she looks forward to attending the in person meeting in January.
Executive Director – Brian: Brian had nothing to report related to his role as Executive Director.
President – John: John got the quorum bylaws committee setup and going. With Karen, he participated in the 4th Day community leaders meeting via Zoom. Walk to Emmaus and Presbyterian Pilgrimage participated. Karen and John plan to get some examples of things that Presbyterian Pilgrimage has done. He compiled and sent out the monthly NLS update in early August. John has been working extensively with Amanda on the 50th Anniversary Celebration edition of the Conexiones. A 50th Anniversary page (www.viadecristo.org/50th-anniversary/) has been added to our www.viadecristo.org website. The next Lay Directory roundtable meeting will be held September 11th from 4-5:30pm EDT. All NLSEC members are welcome to join or share items with John that you’d like to be raised. John and Carolyn will work together to get a communication out to affiliated secretariats about the Town Hall meetings and the special meeting to be held in December. Ideally this communication will go out to all secretariats in the next two weeks. John also reported that he worked with Eric on getting a password protected page setup on our site and it was determined that the concept is logistically not practical. Alternatively, an undocumented page has been created (https://viadecristo.org/resources/for-weekends/) For awareness of affiliated secretariats, Carolyn will begin to add the date, secretariat leader names and positions only, without contact details, on the region page. John requested feedback on the annual survey questions no later than August 30th. One suggestion was to ask for the role of the individual providing feedback. He wants to get this out to all affiliated secretariat leaders (not just lay directors) so that the results can be considered during our mid-year meeting. John asked that we all give consideration to what we are looking to accomplish this year. This will be a topic for more in-depth discussion at our mid-year meeting. A few ideas mentioned included:
- help struggling communities build enthusiasm and confidence – regenerating the Via de Cristo spirit from 25-30 years ago
- improving sponsorship training – make a friend, be a friend, bring your friend to Christ then help pilgrims move into he 4th Day
- help restore connections between 4th Day members and their home congregations
- getting beyond congregations – potential pilgrims are all around you, not just at your church
Authorized Signers: Carolyn made a motion to update the authorized signers on the National Lutheran Secretariat accounts held with Thrivent Federal Credit Union to:
- add Steve Barnett (Treasurer)
- add John Aclin (President) and
- remove all previous authorized signers.
Jane seconded the motion which then passed unanimously.
2023 Annual Gathering (including mid-year meeting): The mid-year meeting is scheduled for October 7-9, 2022. Brian has arranged for an Airbnb for the NLSEC’s use for the mid-year meeting. Please share travel arrangements with Brian so the HC can pick us up from the airport. All NLSEC should plan to come in Thursday evening, October 6. As Pastor Karl flies out early Sunday, it was decided that the NLSEC and HC will worship together Saturday evening. The HC will arrange for meals and snacks. Jane shared a draft agenda for the mid-year meeting. The HC has finalized the contract with the University of Indianapolis and will be placing the initial deposit down to officially reserve the site.
2024 Annual Gathering: Karen advised that Light in the Desert continues to research the possibility of hosting the NLSAG in 2024 with support from Region 1. Jane will follow-up.
Quorum bylaws: John shared the recommendation for bylaw 3.5 from the quorum bylaw committee:
A quorum for the transaction of business at any meeting of National Lutheran Secretariat shall consist of
a majority of the delegates, lay and clergy, authorized to vote at the time of such meeting at least one delegate from a majority of the affiliated secretariats that includes representation from each region. The delegate is authorized by written appointment by the Secretariat they represent to the NLS Secretary. The act of a majority of the delegates at the meeting at which a quorum is present shall be the act of National Lutheran Secretariat, except when otherwise provided by law or these Bylaws.
After discussion, there was a consensus to forward the recommendation to the body for consideration.
John adjourned the meeting.
Closing Prayer – Pastor Karl closed the meeting with prayer.
Next Meeting – Tuesday, September 27, 2022 at 6:00pm CDT, for NLS Executive Committee members and appointed committee chairpersons
Summary of Action Items
- John to send inquiry to his 4th Day movement counterparts regarding SD topics noted above.
- Pastor Karl to consider hosting a regular Spiritual Director roundtable meeting like the Lay Director roundtable meetings.
- Pastor Karl to find and forward recommended bylaw update language for bylaw 3.4.
- All NLSEC members to share topics with John to be raised in the September 11 Lay Director roundtable.
- Karen and John to follow up with the Presbyterian Pilgrimage to request copies of some work products.
- Carolyn to draft a communication about the Town Hall and special called meetings that also includes the proposed bylaw change details.
- All NLSEC members to share travel plans and food allergies with Jane and Brian.
- Steve to work with Jim to arrange for getting financial review and tax filings completed.
- Jane to follow-up with Pastor Sue about highlights from SD meetings from the NLSAG.
- All NLSEC members to work on turnover files: passwords, SOPs, annual activities calendar.
- All NLSEC members to provide feedback/input into annual survey to John by August 30th.
- John to share consolidated responses from the fall 2021 survey with all NLSEC members as well as the most recent SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) chart.
- John will update the annual July to July NLSEC activity draft calendar and share it with all NLSEC members within the next week.
- Carolyn to connect with Rhonda, asking her to send John an email that states the committee’s recommendation of the proposed 3.5 bylaw is as shown above.
- Upon approval of the full proposed 3.4 and 3.5 bylaws by the quorum committee, Carolyn will forward the proposal to the NLSEC for electronic yea/nay to present to the body as proposed by the committee