Executive Committee and Appointed Committee Chairpersons Meeting
Minutes of May 24, 2022 Meeting
Present: John Aclin, Pastor Sue Beall, Jim Ryan, Karen Weires, Jane Winge, Carolyn Witham, Brian Schwarz, Amanda Hunter, Marcia Poisel, Randy Poisel, Jeanne Gaston
Absent: Sue Bathe, Dave Leverenz, Eric Needle
Call to Order and Opening Prayer: John called the meeting of executive committee and appointed committee chairpersons of the National Lutheran Secretariat (NLS) to order and Pastor Sue opened the meeting with prayer.
Minutes from the April 26, 2022 meeting were accepted by acclamation.
Appointed Committee Reports
Communications – Amanda: Amanda requested input for the June Conexiones (NLS newsletter), especially God moments. She requested input be sent to the Newsletter email address. She has been processing Constant Contact communications about the NLS Annual Gathering (NLSAG) and devotions. She is posting links to these general communications and also posted a link to the spring Conexiones on the NLS Facebook site. She forwards devotions and prayers from Pastor Sue to Eric so these can be posted on the website.
Pastoral Support – Jeanne: Jeanne has been sending clergy surveys through Survey Monkey and has received and processed many Constant Contact updates on Spiritual Directors (SD). This first survey is going to SDs serving on affiliated secretariat boards. The next survey will go out to any SD who has served on a weekend. Jeanne will re-send the updated clergy brochure to all executive committee members and appointed chairpersons of the NLS. John requested that all recipients provide constructive input within a couple of weeks. Following this, Pastor Sue is authorized to give the final approval that the updated brochure can be used.
Archivist – Dave: Eric and Dave continue to mine GoDaddy for files to retain. Dave also forwarded several archival files that might be helpful for the 50th anniversary celebration.
Webmaster – Eric: Amanda reported that Eric continues to post prayers, devotions, and NLSAG content to the NLS website (https://viadecristo.org/) or the NLSAG site (https://annualgathering.viadecristo.org/).
Distribution – Tom: No update.
Database Coordinators – Marcia/Randy: NLSAG registration activity has significantly picked up. He is periodically sharing updated lists with the NLSAG Host Committee, Jane, John, and Carolyn. The team is keeping up with Constant Contact updates. He also shared that someone from the West region was looking for a database.
Non-profit – Sue: No update.
Executive Committee Member Reports
VP of Administration – Jane: There are currently 110 registered and 6 unconfirmed registrations. The Host Committee (HC) is following up volunteers. The HC has a goal of 125 registrations (150 max). Jane has requested videos from NLSAG speakers. One forum leader, Becky del Rio, had to withdraw but Steve Gielda has now been confirmed as a replacement forum leader. Lynn Ryan has also withdrawn, and a replacement is needed. Jane has submitted NLSAG articles to be sent out every two weeks through mid-June. Jane emailed confirmation and travel letters to 104 registered for the NLSAG as of May 10. Staff of Texas Lutheran University will be running the technology for the NLSAG. Brian confirmed that INKY has agreed to host the 2023 NLSAG and he will ask the lay director to send this in writing to Jane. Northern Lights is considering hosting in 2024. Carolyn will send a high-level summary of hosting needs to Jane who, in turn, will send this to Charlotte Onsgaard (lay director of Northern Lights). Brian will also schedule a call with Charlotte to talk to her in more detail.
There was some discussion about the NLSAG online notebook. In 2019, Amanda loaded all contents of the notebook, except for floor nominations, the week before the gathering. She noted that PDFs are preferred over WordPress as they are easier to download and read on mobile devices.
Spiritual Director – Sue: A question was raised asking if there was concern about non-clergy serving as weekend SDs. This can and has been done under the supervision of a pastor serving as the lead SD. She shared that Pastor Elaine is preparing to step in on Pastor Sue’s behalf, as needed, during worship and vespers at the NLSAG.
Treasurer – Jim: Jim shared a draft operating report for the 4th quarter which ends May 31, 2022. He reported that the general ledger was migrated to Quickbooks Online which has a lower annual cost and allows three individuals access. There is approximately $33,000 in the NLS checking account at this time. He reported that he will not be at the NLSAG in person to present next year’s proposed budget.
Secretary – Carolyn: Carolyn joined a Zoom call with Northern Lights to answer questions about hosting a NLSAG. She compiled and distributed the minutes of the April meeting for everyone’s review. The approved March meeting minutes have been posted to the website. Carolyn has continued to receive and respond to annual activity report messages and delegate information. A few more annual activity responses have been received since sending out the list to the Executive Committee in early March. Carolyn proactively reached out to all secretariats who had not yet provided the names of their community delegates yet. She has received and shared affiliated secretariat roster changes with Randy and Marcia to get updates made to the Constant Contact lists. One secretariat asked if their secretariat could appoint a delegate that actually participates with a neighboring secretariat. Those in attendance agreed there are no rules against this in the by-laws.
VP of Outreach – Karen: Karen held meetings with Regions 1 and 4. She has arranged for a lay director in Region 4 to facilitate that region’s breakout session at the NLSAG. She has a regional coordinator meeting scheduled for June.
Executive Director – Brian: Brian is coordinating the distribution of NLSAG articles with the communication team.
President – John: John arranged a meeting with leaders from Northern Lights about serving as HC. On May 7, he participated in the bylaw town hall meeting with approximately 12 attending. The bylaw regarding expulsion/suspension raised significant questions which John thinks can be readily addressed at the meeting. Related to celebrating 50 years since the first Via de Cristo weekend, John connected with Dave Leverenz and Ed Simonsen. Sue Bathe raised a question about whether there will be enough delegates for a quorum at the annual meeting (new business topic). John wrote and sent out his quarterly note to the community about the NLS is doing and reminding communities to follow health and safety protocols in effect during weekends.
2022 Delegate attendance/quorum issues: By-law article 3.5 begins “A quorum for the transaction of business at any meeting of National Lutheran Secretariat shall consist of a majority of the delegates, laity and clergy, authorized to vote at the time of the meeting. The delegate is authorized by written appointment by the Secretariat they represent to the NLS Secretary.” When responding to the question about whether a quorum is represented in those registered to attend the NLSAG, Carolyn advised that there is not. She shared that there are currently 27 lay persons and 7 clergy registered and authorized by their secretariat as delegates (a total of 34). Carolyn’s prior experience, including time on the NLSEC in 2013 when this by-law was most recently changed, informed her calculation that of the potential 131 lay and 44 clergy delegates eligible, per current by-laws 4.2 and 4.4, at least 88 authorized delegates are needed to meet the quorum requirement. She shared March 10, 2013 meeting minutes that commented on the intent of the current language. After lengthy discussion, it was clear that among those on the call, there were still different interpretations of what is meant by “authorized to vote at the time of the meeting.” Half of the NLSEC think that as long as 18 of the currently authorized and registered delegates attend the meeting, the quorum obligation is met. The other half think that at least 88 authorized delegates are required to meet the quorum. Given the hour and the disparity in thought, a decision was made to convene a special meeting for purposes of discussing the quorum only on Tuesday, May 31, 2022. Jim suggested that John consult with past presidents on what number constitutes a quorum for the 2022 NLSAG. At the same time, Karen will investigate options for what a hybrid (part in person attendance and part virtual attendance) type meeting could be conducted.
Rollo outline review: Pastor Sue and Jeanne confirmed that last year’s Executive Committee did review the updated rollos currently posted on the NLS website. A question about the 15th talk was raised and this will be addressed. While some communities combine talks 14 and 15 together, others continue to have the talks delivered separately and would like to have separate outlines for each of these talks.
2023 Host Committee status: INKY has agreed to host the 2023 NLSAG.
Nominating Committee update Pastor Percy Smerek and Rev. G. Karl Gaston have agreed to be candidates for the NLS SD. Raleigh Sandy and Steve Barnett are candidates for Treasurer, Jane Winge is the current sole candidate for VPA, and Carolyn Witham is the current sole candidate for Secretary.
A motion to adjourn the meeting was made, seconded, and unanimously passed.
Closing Prayer – Pastor Sue closed the meeting with prayer.
Special Meeting – May 31, 2022 at 8:00pm EDT for NLS Executive Committee members
Next Regular Meeting – June 28, 2022 at 8:00pm EDT for NLS Executive Committee members
Summary of Action Items
- Jeanne will re-send the updated clergy brochure to all executive committee members and appointed chairpersons of the NLS.
- All NLS executive committee members and appointed chairpersons are to provide final constructive suggestions for the updated clergy brochure to Jeanne within a couple of weeks.
- Brian will request the INKY lay director send Jane a letter of intent to host the 2023 NLSAG.
- Carolyn will send a high level summary of hosting needs to Jane who, in turn, will send this to Charlotte.
- Brian will schedule a call with Charlotte to talk to her in more detail about hosting a NLSAG.
- Karen to look into how a part in person, part virtual meeting could be conducted.
- John to connect with past presidents on how a quorum is calculated.