Executive Committee Meeting
Minutes of December 20, 2022 Meeting
Present: John Aclin, Steve Barnett, Pastor G. Karl Gaston, Jane Winge, Karen Weires, Carolyn Witham
Absent: Brian Schwartz
Call to Order and Opening Prayer: John called the National Lutheran Secretariat (NLS) Executive Committee (NLSEC) meeting to order and Pastor G. Karl opened the meeting with prayer.
Minutes from the November 22, 2022 meeting were accepted as amended by acclamation.
2023 Annual Dues: Recognizing that these fees will not cover the annual expenses of the NLS, Pastor G. Karl made a motion to set the 2023 annual dues to $300 for all secretariats. Jane seconded the motion which then passed unanimously.
2022 Minnesota Filing: Steve led the NLSEC through a review of the annual mandatory Minnesota state filing he prepared. John made a motion to approve the Minnesota state filing report prepared by Steve. Steve seconded the motion which then passed unanimously. Steve will send a final copy of the report filed, to include a Minnesota address being provided by Harbor Compliance, to Carolyn for the corporate records.
Online Bible Study: Brian is interested in starting an Online Bible Study that can serve as a tool for cursillistas inviting Christian leaders/friends in and building relationships which may then lead to inviting those friends to make Via de Cristo weekends in their local area.
Future NLSAG Hosts: Jane confirmed that no commitments have been made for NLSAGs beyond 2023. Jane offered to attend the Light in the Desert (LitD) secretariat meeting to answer questions. Karen will facilitate a committee meeting with Brian Comeno (LitD lay director), Jane and Brian to discuss the possibility of holding the 2024 NLSAG in Nevada. John will reach out to Rose Briggs about getting a commitment for hosting the 2025 NLSAG.
Helping struggling secretariats: We have recently become aware of secretariats that are struggling. There was consensus that we need to get a better handle on which secretariats are struggling. Beyond that, we agreed that we want to and will reach out and, at least, offer to have a dialogue with each secretariat questioning their own sustainability. Bottom line, we want to make sure struggling secretariats know that they are not alone – we care and we want to help them if they want our help.
Executive Committee Member Reports
VP of Administration – Jane: Jane emailed Brian a draft agenda for a January HC kick-off meeting. She emailed Brian Comeno and Karen Weires the AG Considerations and Host Guidelines as Light in the Desert has expressed interest in hosting the 2024 NLSAG. She emailed the same document to Rose Briggs who advised that Region 5 expressed interest in hosting the 2025 NLSAG.
Spiritual Director – G. Karl: G. Karl has continued to create weekly devotions and Monday to Friday daily prayers and these are being read and frequently get responses or comments. He is preparing for the first virtual Spiritual Directors (SD) round table that will be held in January. He will draft an invitation that he will send to Amanda for distribution to all SDs, lay directors, RCs and the NLSEC.
Treasurer – Steve: Steve asked John to request the NLS community to assist in identifying an attorney familiar with Utah state law. He noted that if it is appropriate for NLS to file with Utah, Harbor Compliance can do the filings for an annual $175 fee per state. He acknowledged Sue Bathe’s enthusiasm and efforts regarding her appointed position as the Non-profit Compliance Coordinator. Steve noted that it is part of the Non-profit Compliance Coordinator job description to annually review the NLS financial reports. Steve ordered the crosses for Papua New Guinea per our last meeting. He reviewed the quarterly income which included the profit from the 2022 NLSAG received from Texas and the quarterly expenses which included reimbursement of mid-year expenses to INKY. Steve noted that he has sent his picture and bio to Eric for posting to the website but it has not been updated yet.
Secretary – Carolyn: Carolyn spent a significant amount of time contacting secretariats and arranging for authorized delegates in preparation for the special bylaws meeting. She’s also made lots of updates to Constant Contact. She asked for input on what data we really want to get as part of the annual survey of secretariats. There was consensus that we just want to find out the number of weekends and the total number of pilgrims making weekends.
VP of Outreach – Karen: Karen recently met with the Regional Coordinators. She will compile information about the current health of secretariats and share it with us.
Executive Director – Brian: Brian had nothing to report related to his role as Executive Director.
President – John: John thanked everyone for participation in the bylaws meeting on December 3. On December 4, he facilitated a lay director call that was attended by 11. He has been responding to inquiries posted to the NLS website. Several questions have been raised related to gender identification. John continues to point back to our published document on this topic. He completed the “Why are the Essentials” article and, having received feedback from the Schmidlins, it is published on our website and highlighted in the Conexiones. He also wrote other articles for the Conexiones. He spoke to Tracy Schmidlin about sponsorship training materials, mailed the 50 crosses to Papua New Guinea, and made contact with a Lay Director of a secretariat considering disbanding.
John adjourned the meeting.
Closing Prayer – Pastor G. Karl closed the meeting with prayer.
Next Meeting – Tuesday, January 24, 2023 at 8:00pm EST, for NLS Executive Committee members and appointed committee chairpersons
Summary of Action Items
- Steve to send Carolyn a copy of the final Minnesota state filing for the corporate records.
- Karen to schedule a hosting NLSAG meeting with LitD, Jane and Brian.
- John to contact Rose about getting a commitment about hosting the 2025 NLSAG.
- Carolyn to share the name and contact information for the individual she recently spoke to in Utah.
- Karen to compile and share current status/health of each secretariat with the rest of the NLSEC.
- Pastor G. Karl will write an invitation to the SD roundtable and send it to Amanda for distribution.
- John to include note about need for attorney assistance in his next NLS Update.
- Steve to text John when he has sent the final Minnesota report, with address, for John’s signature.
- Carolyn to look through notes taken at mid-year to see if she has notes about any additional money to be sent to the 2023 NLSAG Host Committee.
- John to send a note to Eric providing direction on where to post Steve’s bio and picture.
- Carolyn to draft activity survey and communications and share with the NLSEC for feedback in early January.
- All to share names of potential nominating committee members with John over the next couple of weeks.