Executive Committee and Appointed Committee Chairpersons Meeting
Minutes of November 22, 2022 Meeting
Present: John Aclin, Steve Barnett, Pastor G. Karl Gaston, Jane Winge, Carolyn Witham, Sue Bathe, Jeanne Gaston, Amanda Hunter, Marcia Poisel, and Randy Poisel
Absent: Karen Weires, Brian Schwarz, Dave Leverenz, and 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 G. Karl opened the meeting with prayer.
Minutes from the October 25, 2022 meeting were accepted by acclamation.
Appointed Committee Reports
Communications – Amanda: The Communications team continues to work on getting Pastor G. Karl’s prayers and weekly devotions sent out. Amanda thanked Pastor G. Karl for submitting these timely. Heather Muga is doing a fabulous job with this. Pastor G. Karl also now has access to be a full editor of the Facebook page so that he can post when ready. She requested all to send articles for the newsletter in the next couple of weeks so that Conexiones can be sent out before Christmas. A square 2023 NLS annual gathering (NLSAG) logo is still needed for Facebook. Amanda will reach out to Robin and Brian to get the square logo.
Spiritual Director (SD) Support – Jeanne: The team has not met but Jeanne will invite the team to join Pastor G. Karl and the other SDs for the SD round table in January. This will help the team understand how they can help support the SDs and their secretariats. Jeanne also mentioned it would be helpful to have notes from the 2022 NLSAG SD sessions. John suggested Jeanne reach out to Pastor Sue Beale.
Archivist – Dave: Dave continues to work through the GoDaddy site files to move files over before the GoDaddy site gets shut down. There are some files that Eric needs to decrypt so that Dave can review them.
Database Coordinators – Marcia/Randy: Randy has been adding new contacts to Constant Contact as requests are received through the website. He reported that the registration form for the 2023 NLSAG (July 27-30 in Indianapolis, IN) is about 80% complete. He expects to send this to Jane for review in the next week so that it will be available as of January 1st.
Non-profit compliance – Sue: Sue, John and Steve met to review the role of the non-profit compliance coordinator. NLS previously hired Harbor Compliance to be our registered agent. Sue is now receiving reports from Harbor Compliance.
Utah filing requirement: Per Harbor Compliance, NLS owes a report and $10 fee to the state of Utah. Sue has been researching this to find out what it is for. Utah Department of Revenue Compliance could not advise why we have paid this in the past (last paid in 2018). The state office also advised there is no penalty for not paying since 2018 but that a new application and $30 in fees would be needed. Sue talked to John Bradford today. The theory is that it relates to the distribution center. Sue also talked to Harbor Compliance who recommended we talk to a lawyer to determine if this is something we need to do. Originally Diane Purcell (previous Non-profit compliance coordinator) recommended this be paid annually but no documented rationale has been found. While at one time, the distribution center was generating $10-12,000 profit, the profits are now less than $1,000.
Palanca coordination: John received email from Region 7 coordinator with regard to coordination of obtaining palanca for weekends. He will raise this at the Lay Director round table and John encouraged Pastor G. Karl to raise this to the SDs as well. During the discussion it was noted that there are no upcoming (2023 weekend) events on the website now. A suggestion was made to move the palanca point of contact (POC) for specific weekends up so that it’s on the page with the weekend listing itself (i.e., fewer clicks). Instructions for palanca chairs on ‘how to find palanca contacts’ was also recommended.
New Guinea cross request: John received a request from New Guinea for 50 crosses. Carolyn made a motion that we purchase and send 50 crosses to New Guinea Via de Cristo using Outreach funds. Steve seconded and the motion passed unanimously. Steve will make the purchase and John will ship the crosses to the address provided to him. John will write an article for the Conexiones to share this with the body.
Bylaw special meeting: Notice of the special meeting was sent to all named authorized delegates and all lay director contacts according to NLS records on November 3rd. On November 17th, a follow-up email was sent to all delegates and lay directors of secretariats not yet authorizing delegates that included a link to the recording of the November 5th Town Hall, the proposed changes and the link to the December 3rd Zoom meeting. We currently have 94 authorized delegates named. John and Carolyn are continuing to reach out to secretariats that have not yet named delegates. Carolyn asked about sending the delegate counts for various denominators. John will take care of sending this out this week. As allowed by bylaw 4.6, Carolyn made a motion that Sue Bathe, Steve Barnett and Jane Winge be appointed as delegates for the December 3rd special meeting. John seconded the motion and it was unanimously passed.
Website: John talked to Eric about making the NLS website more attractive and informative for individuals seeking information (e.g., what is Via de Cristo?). John is going to draft guidance for the committee that will be named for this task and share the draft guidance for our feedback.
Executive Committee Member Reports
VP of Administration – Jane: The next four things on Jane’s radar are 1) to have the registration announcement, registration form and travel form ready to go out in January, 2) host committee meeting tentatively scheduled for January 21st, 3) event insurance is due for January, and 4) appointing a nominating committee. Jane sent Brian Comeno and Karen Weires (Light in the Desert) and Rose Briggs (Living Stones) the NLSAG host committee guidelines. It was noted that it is important to get a community to commit to hosting in 2024 and 2025 as soon as possible. She shared a virtual reunion group article and a NLSAG article with Amanda for the next newsletter.
Spiritual Director: Pastor G. Karl continues to send the Monday to Friday daily prayers (posted to Facebook) and the Sunday weekly devotional (sent via Constant Contact). These tasks generally take 6-8 hours of his time each week. He is looking forward to the January 10th SD roundtable. John and Pastor G. Karl arranged a time to meet next week to talk through the mechanics of hosting the SD roundtable.
Treasurer – Steve: Steve reimbursed Brian for NLSEC D&O insurance and mid-year meeting expenses, obtained access to the Harbor Compliance account, paid the Harbor Compliance annual fee and updated profiles on the account. He met with John and Sue about the Non-profit compliance coordinator role and created a draft of the MN state annual reporting for our 501c3 status. He is searching for an online class to attend on on-line Quickbooks and shared several plans/goals for upcoming weeks. John asked Steve to get our website set back up to receive ad hoc donations. The topic of dues will be discussed at the December meeting.
Secretary – Carolyn: Carolyn has spent the last month communicating with secretariats especially regarding authorization of delegates for the December 3rd meeting.President – John: Since our last meeting, John hosted the November 5th Town Hall, wrote the November 17th bylaw meeting email referenced above and drafted the ‘Why are the Essentials?’ document sent to the NLSEC for feedback. After receiving some feedback from the rest of the NLSEC and Pastor Paul Schmidlin, John plans to post it on the website as a resource for secretariats. John will host the December 3rd bylaw meeting at 1pm ET and a lay director roundtable meeting December 4th at 4pm ET.
Closing Prayer – Pastor G. Karl closed the meeting with prayer.
Next Regular Meeting – December 27, 2022 at 8:00pm EDT for NLS Executive Committee members
Summary of Action Items
- All to send Conexiones articles to Amanda within the next couple of weeks.
- Jeanne to reach out to Pastor Sue about SD discussions during the 2022 NLSAG.
- Sue to share contact details for Utah Via de Cristo members with Steve. Steve to, in turn, try to identify a contact for advice on Utah regulations.
- Amanda to include request for secretariats to post upcoming weekends on the NLS website.
- All to share specific suggestions for website (i.e., relabel or move this from here to there) with John and Eric as specific thoughts occur.
- John to ask Eric to bring palanca POCs forward on website (i.e., fewer clicks to get to it).
- Steve to purchase 50 crosses and have them sent to John. John to, in turn, ship the crosses to New Guinea Via de Cristo.
- Carolyn to send delegate counts to John. John to, in turn, send out these counts to the delegates as promised in the November 5th Town Hall.
- Jeanne and Pastor G. Karl will contact Via de Cristo of Ohio about getting delegates named.
- Carolyn to send a copy of the approved September minutes to Steve.
- All elected NLS officers to submit request for mid-year travel expense reimbursement to Steve or send a note advising no reimbursement is being requested.
- John to send Pastor G. Karl Zoom meeting details for a November 29th dry run in preparation for the first SD roundtable meeting.
- Steve to look into getting a donation link set up on the NLS website.
- All NLSEC members to read John’s draft of the Essentials article and provide feedback to him.