Executive Committee Meeting
Minutes of June 28, 2022 Meeting
Present: John Aclin, Pastor Sue Beall, Jim Ryan, Jane Winge, Carolyn Witham, Brian Schwarz
Absent: 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.
Minutes from the May 24, 2022 meeting were accepted by acclamation.
Executive Committee Member Reports
VP of Administration – Jane: As of June 19th, there are 120 registered participants plus host committee (HC) members registered directly through the HC. It was planned to broadcast worship services but as NLS does not have a CCLI license, this can only be done if all songs are public domain. Jane and John reviewed changes to the detailed agenda with the NLSEC. Bishop Mike Rinehart will be joining for some of the NLSAG, including the Opening Worship and the Fishers of SDs exchange of ideas (EOIs). Virtual delegates will participate in the annual business meeting via Zoom. Guests may watch the Key Note address, worship (pending confirmation of the CCLI question) and the business meeting via FaceBook Live.
Spiritual Director – Sue: Spiritual Director (SD) survey results are being received by Jeanne Gaston. There were no other updates regarding the work of the SD Support Committee. Pastor Sue has been busy working with Pastor Elaine Gomulka for the opening Thursday and closing Sunday worship services for the NLSAG. Pastor Doug Givan and Pastor Sue are working to create a list of questions for discussion at the NLSAG SD round table. Pastors attending the round table are also able to raise topics for discussion. There are now two candidates for the SD position to be elected at the NLSAG: Pastor Percy Smerek (Texas Lutheran Via de Cristo) and Pastor G. Karl Gaston (Sonbeam/Via de Cristo of Ohio). Pastor Karl is committed to be a supply pastor for a Florida congregation so he will not be able to attend the NLSAG in person.
Treasurer – Jim: Over the past month, Jim closed the books, prepared a summary of activity for the year, populated a comparative balance sheet, and compiled a budget proposal for fiscal year 2022-2023. He used templates that Jane created last year that include arrows to help others follow along as the documents are explained. The NLSEC reviewed the summary of activity for the year and Jim’s proposed budget for 2022-2023. It was noted that in 2021-2022 there were no expenses for the mid-year meeting because they were paid in the prior fiscal year before the in-person mid-year meeting was postponed until the fall of 2021. Jim moved that the NLSEC recommend a budget for 2022-2023 that matches the 2021-2022 approved budget. Jane seconded the motion which then was unanimously passed. Neither the federal 990 nor the Minnesota state tax filings have been completed yet. Jim intentionally held these back so that he could do these with his successor as a transition exercise. These tax filings are not due until the end of the calendar year so there is time for these tasks to be transitioned as Jim plans. He also recommends that the new Treasurer complete a review of the financial records. Brenda Accola has offered to be part of the annual review process. John asked Jim to accept Brenda’s offer and asked that he contact the individual not elected to be Treasurer to do a second review of the financial records. Finally, Jim mentioned that the online version of Quickbooks he original thought would be a cost savings and give more individuals direct access to the books turned out to be roughly the same cost and only gives one person access. He is currently gifting the monthly expense to use this tool to the NLS. Members of the NLSEC thanked Jim for his service to NLS. Since he will not be able to attend the NLSAG in person, Jim will record a financial report and send the video to Jane. Jim will be on Zoom for the annual meeting.
Secretary – Carolyn: Carolyn reported that she will send the minutes from the May 31 meeting out tonight. In addition, three virtual delegates have been authorized to represent their secretariat but there have not been any more in-person delegates authorized. We still do not have a quorum but we should after John sends a clarifying email to the affiliated secretariats. The email will explain the quorum status, ask for secretariats to name virtual delegates and will explain that if a secretariat does not authorize a delegate for the July 2021 annual meeting, that secretariat will be considered inactive for purposes of calculating the quorum for this one meeting only. The details associated with communicating the quorum issue and opening the July 2021 annual meeting to virtual delegates were discussed and action items are noted below.
VP of Outreach – Karen: Over the last month, Karen met with Region 4, Region 1, and then the Regional Coordinators (RCs). Marcia Newman from Western Washington will serve as the Region 1 RC. The RCs came up with topics for discussion during the regional meetings at the NLSAG. Several secretariats are struggling with attracting enough pilgrims and team to hold weekends. A couple of groups are looking at some creative ways to make adjustments to weekends without altering the essentials. This will be a topic of discussion at the annual gathering. Light in the Desert is planning a weekend with over 20 pilgrims for September.
Executive Director – Brian: Brian had nothing to report.
President – John: John reported that most of his activity this past month has been focused on the issues of quorums and delegates. In addition, he reached out to most of Region 2, filling in for the RC. He received updated information for Minnesota and had a good chat with their new Lay Director. The unofficial Nebraska LD (Nebraska does not have an official secretariat at this time) joined the June Lay Director’s Round Table. Northern Lights also has a new Lay Director.
Quorum bylaws: John shared his desire to address the open bylaw revisions and the existing quorum bylaw issue as quickly as possible through a special meeting prior to next year’s NLSAG. He proposed creating a special appointed committee to specifically propose a bylaw change for the quorum. He’d like to get the committee started in August so that two town hall conversations can be held in the fall followed by the special meeting to vote on the proposed bylaw changes. There was general consensus with the approach. John will draft a plan.
2023 Annual Gathering contract: Brian has been in contact with the school and a contract is being drafted. A $3000 payment must be paid at the time of signing the contract. The INKY community has not had time to do any fundraising though. Jim moved that the NLSEC loan INKY up to $6000 to cover the first two contract payments for the 2023 NLSAG. Repayment is to be made as able. Jane seconded the motion which then was unanimously passed.
Given that we are in an unprecedented time, and with the consent of the NLSEC, John will also reach out to individuals in NLS affiliated secretariats outside of INKY for donations toward NLSAG costs.
A motion to adjourn the meeting was made, seconded, and unanimously passed.
Closing Prayer – Pastor Sue closed the meeting with prayer.
Next Meeting – The NLS Executive Committee will meet next at Texas Lutheran University on Wednesday, July 20, 2022 at 1:00pm CDT then on Sunday, July 24 after worship. Following the NLSAG, the next monthly meeting is tentatively set for July 26, 2022, at 8:00pm EDT, for NLS Executive Committee members and appointed committee chairpersons.
Summary of Action Items
- Jim to arrange for two qualified individuals to review the NLS financial records.
- John to draft a clarifying quorum/virtual delegate communication to go out to affiliated secretariats on behalf of the NLSEC. John will send the draft communication to the NLSEC members tomorrow.
- All NLSEC members are to review John’s draft communication and provide timely feedback to John.
- John will coordinate the distribution of the finalized quorum/virtual delegate communication to all affiliated secretariat members (not just lay directors).
- John asked Carolyn to send the NLSEC members an updated delegate listing to facilitate 1:1 contacts between NLSEC members and the lay directors.
- All executive committee members will reach out to the secretariats in their assigned region that have no authorized delegates or that are currently under represented per the latest delegate status listing provided by Carolyn. Contact via phone call, e-mail and text. (Region 1 – Karen, Region 2 – John, Region 3 – Pastor Sue, Region 4 – Brian, Region 5 – Jane, Region 6 – Carolyn, Region 7 – Jim)
- Keep Eric and his father in prayer.