Executive Committee Meeting
Minutes of October 25, 2022 Meeting
Present: John Aclin, Pastor G. Karl Gaston, Jane Winge, Karen Weires, Carolyn Witham, Brian Schwartz
Absent: Steve Barnett (ill)
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 September 27, 2022 NLS meeting were accepted as amended by acclamation.
Executive Committee Member Reports
VP of Administration – Jane: Since the mid-year meeting in Indianapolis, Jane emailed the Executive Committee and the INKY 2023 NLS Annual Gathering (NLSAG) communications committee leader notes about the 2023 NLSAG: EOIs, communication plan, schedule blocks, draft schedule, agreed upon 2023 NLSAG registration fees, and keynote and forum speakers to be confirmed. She sent travel reimbursement forms to the Executive Committee. Karen Minnis has invited Rev. Sharon Walker to be forum speaker (Love and serve one another), Marcia Poisel is going to invite former Bishop Jim Stuck to give keynote address (introduce Hebrews 10:24-25 theme: an isolated Christian is a paralyzed Christian), Brian has confirmed forum speakers Jared Teany and Wally Lewis (serve together) and he will also invite Ryan Johnson and Jerry Kinnet to be be part of this forum panel. Jane also sent a Conexiones article to Amanda. (newsletter went out October 15) Light in the Desert has expressed interest in hosting the NLSAG in 2024 and Rose Briggs (Region 5) has expressed interest in hosting the NLSAG in 2025.
Spiritual Director – Pastor G. Karl: G. Karl continues to create weekly devotionals and Monday to Friday daily prayers for publication. He has a 32% response rate. He plans to begin rewriting the 13-week Witnesses for Christ curriculum into four one-hour sessions soon.
Treasurer – Steve: Steve reported that he filed the NLS federal 990N (EPostcard) and it is in accepted status. This is the federal annual reporting required for our 501c3 status. He has gotten John on the Wells Fargo account as an authorized signer. While continuing to learn the online version of Quickbooks, he also provided Raleigh Sandy with the details required for Randy to complete a review of the May 31, 2022 year end financial reports. With agreement from the NLSEC, Steve will account for an identified immaterial adjustment in the fiscal year ending May 31, 2023 financial reports.
Secretary – Carolyn: Since the last monthly meeting, Carolyn’s sent 100s of emails. She manually sent invitations to the October Town Hall meeting to all 2022 NLSAG delegates and all lay directors per our records. As delegate names have been received, she has replied to these emails. There are currently 74 authorized lay delegates and 7 authorized clergy delegates for the December 3 special meeting. We need 87 delegates for a quorum. She also sent an email to every secretariat that has not yet named any delegates requesting delegate names and secretariat rosters. Carolyn reported she has received 17 secretariat rosters this year. Carolyn will send the details of who has named delegates and who has not. John and Karen will engage with the region coordinators (RCs) for assistance in getting additional delegates named. John will also reach out to Minnesota and Iowa to see if additional delegates can be arranged for and authorized.
VP of Outreach – Karen: Karen has a meeting with the RCs coming up very soon.
Executive Director – Brian: Brian reported he has confirmed Wally Lewis and Jared Teaney as speakers for the 2023 NLSAG. Karen Minnis has created a 2023 NLSAG bank account. He is in the process of transferring the remainder of the $4k seed money from NLS to that account and will work with Steve to get 2022 NLSAG auction funds moved to 2023 NLSAG account. Brian will deposit his 2022 NLSAG auction money there and will re-direct Paypal contributions to this account this week. He still needs to get reimbursed for D&O insurance and mid-year meeting costs. He will connect with Steve about this.
President – John: John drafted several items for the fall Conexiones. He hosted the October 1 bylaws Town Hall. Based on the feedback received, the bylaw committee met and proposed revisions. He is also working to build out more details for the NLSEC 2022-2023 goals and plans to draft a ‘Why are the Essentials essential?’ article.
Uganda Via de Cristo (VdC) initiative: There was a guest at an Indian River VdC weekend who would like to start VdC in Uganda. The ‘Starting a New Community’ is focused on how to start a community where there are nearby communities to assist. There was discussion on how to proceed. John will do more research and report back his findings. Ultimately, the group anticipates that National’s role will primarily be raising awareness of the opportunity to support the start of a Uganda VdC.
Financials – midyear and D&O: Brian to reach out to Steve to arrange for timely reimbursement.
SD Round Table: set date for the first Spiritual Director roundtable will be Tuesday, January 10th at 9am PST/noon EST; John will include this in a monthly update; additional communication (e.g., include details on FaceBook) to be considered; John to do dry run with G. Karl prior to first meeting so that his device is recognized as one authorized to host a meeting on the NLS Zoom account.
Constant Contact list review: Carolyn shared the current Constant Contact list details, asked for each member of the secretariat to consider who they would like to communicate to, and made some specific suggestions on possible lists and lists to be removed. There was an agreement to save down the current full database for historical purposes but then proceed with removing lists that are not used for communication purposes (e.g., 2014 Gathering).
Lake Gaston status: Lake Gaston is not going to be able to become an operational secretariat; the community will affiliate with Eastern North Carolina; Lake Gaston will take care of legal paperwork and ensuring account balances are legally and appropriately disbursed. Lake Gaston will not be included as an active secretariat for purposes of calculating the quorum needed for the December 3rd special meeting.
Help restore Christian Communities – gather testimonials about how great it is to be back together in community (less than two minute video or written) and share these with as many of the VdC 4th Day community as possible: send out to our ‘everyone’ Constant Contact list (with link to video), post to Facebook, post to the NLS website; also send to secretariat Communication contacts requesting that the message be shared with the secretariat’s 4th Day community; it was noted if a secretariat’s communications chair sends the testimonial out as requested that by using both the NLS ‘everyone’ Constant Contact list too, some individuals will get these testimonials twice. The general thought was that twice was better than not at all. John will talk to Amanda about this. Regarding content, Karen will create her own video, Jane will contact Marilyn Potter and recent North Texas rector for possible videos as well. Brian will ask INKY community members to create videos too. There was discussion about sending these out every couple of weeks once we have at least three stories ready to be shared. Each story to end with ‘what’s your story?’ along with information about where to send your story. The individual secretariat Communications chairpersons may be conduit to getting stories shared back with NLS to be distributed nationally. Karen has wellness checklist, and she will share it with the current RCs. The RCs will then, in turn, share or go through the wellness checklist with the secretariats.
Encourage 4th day living and reunion groups – Brian will draft article for Conexiones to continue growing the idea that reunion groups can be developed in creative ways.
Sponsoring/recruiting pilgrims – John will create a committee to work on developing sponsor support tools based on input from NLSEC. John will connect with Eric on the “What is Via de Cristo” webpage to be added to our website.
John adjourned the meeting.
Closing Prayer – Pastor G. Karl closed the meeting with prayer.
Next Meeting – Tuesday, November 22, 2022 at 8:00pm EDT for NLS Executive Committee members and appointed committee chairpersons
Summary of Action Items
- Brian to speak to Randy Long about being forum speaker for 2023 NLSAG (encourage one another) and also invite Ryan Johnson and Jerry Kinnet to be part of the serve together forum panel
- Carolyn to send the details of who has named delegates and who has not to John and Karen
- John and Karen to engage RCs for assistance in getting delegates authorized
- John to reach out to Minnesota and Iowa to request authorization of additional delegates
- John to check with Eastern North Carolina about authorizing additional delegates
- Carolyn to reach out to Larry Witham to get more details on how the Finland Via de Cristo began
- John to look into how other international Via de Cristo movements were started
- Brian to reach out to Steve to arrange for timely reimbursement for mid-year expenses and D&O
- John and G. Karl to coordinate getting G. Karl’s device for hosting Zoom meeting recognized
- John to send Carolyn his thoughts and notes about the Constant Contact lists
- John to work with Amanda to prepare for sharing testimonials, communicating with Communications chairpersons, and clarifying how stories should be shared back to NLS for national distribution
- Karen to create “I didn’t know how much I needed this.” video testimonial
- Each NLSEC member to solicit one or more Christian Community testimonials
- Karen to share Wellness Checklist with RCs
- John to send survey results with Karen
- All NLSEC members to share names of excellent sponsors. passionate about it being done right, with John
- John to connect with Eric about “What is Via de Cristo” webpage before appointing this committee