Minutes · September 27, 2022

Meeting September 2022

Executive Committee and Appointed Committee Chairpersons Meeting
Minutes of September 27, 2022 Meeting

Present:  John Aclin, Steve Barnett, Karen Weires, Jane Winge, Carolyn Witham, Sue Bathe, Amanda Hunter, and Marcia Poisel

Absent:  Pastor G. Karl Gaston, Brian Schwarz, Jeanne Gaston, Dave Leverenz, Eric Needle and Randy Poisel

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 opened the meeting with prayer.

Old Business

Minutes from the July 21 and 23, 2022 NLS annual business meeting (NLSAM) were accepted by acclamation.

Minutes from the August 23, 2022 meeting were accepted by acclamation.

Appointed Committee Reports

Communications – AmandaHeather Muga has begun posting daily prayers to Facebook. Amanda will also train Heather Muga on scheduling and sending communications via Constant Contact. Amanda continues to send emails as requested. The 50th Anniversary special edition of the Conexiones was sent out earlier this month. Amanda reported that Steve Kipp is still interested in taking on Conexiones but not for a couple of months. She then requested articles for the fall Conexiones. Sue to send faith corner article and, in response to comments from annual survey, Karen will write an article about palanca.

Database Coordinators – Marcia/Randy:  Randy is researching Wild Apricot as potential replacement for Constant Contact. There is a cost to it, but it may be able to handle NLS annual gathering (NLSAG) registrations too. Steve confirmed we pay $70 per month for Constant Contact. Marcia and Randy have been working with Carolyn on Constant Contact updates. Randy and Marcia are ready to assist with preparing the 2023 NLSAG registration form. Carolyn shared that she’s drafted a list of lists and what each list would be used for. She will send this list and asks for everyone to critically think about what we send and to whom we send it. The Poisels have been reimbursed $299 for the annual Form Site fee. This is used to manage the NLSAG registrations and various lists (e.g., room assignments, travel details, etc.).

Non-profit – Sue:  Sue asked for guidance on how to respond to Mark Gerber. Mark’s been asking for updates on where we are regarding developing a macro database which was Brian’s charge to Sue. John confirmed that Sue should let Mark know we are not going to proceed. Given the way we are organized, it was determined last year that it would not be realistic to get a national database in place. Sue shared that she spoke to Brian requesting direction on her position. John suggested that Sue, Brian and he meet to discuss this further.

New Business

Midyear meeting planning:  All travel arrangements have been shared with Brian. Karen will join the meeting via Zoom. On Saturday morning, John wants us to talk through our goals for the NLS for the coming year. In the afternoon, he wants us to spend time figuring out who would do what and by when.

Survey responses:  John asked all of us to review the survey results and think about what the NLS needs to be doing and when. He will write up and share a summary of the responses to be sent to Amanda for inclusion in Conexiones.

Old Business

2023 NLSAG:  Marcia reported that the contract with the university has been signed and the first $3,000 payment to the university has been made. Amanda has ideas on streamlining communications for the 2023 gathering that she’ll speak to Brian about. She mentioned that there should be multiple individuals with permissions to update the blog and that there should be one assigned reporter at each session so that all articles written are published. Marcia requested that Jane share arrival times with her so that she and Randy can assist with airport pickups.

Bylaw revision plan:  The first town hall is this coming Saturday. After we vote on amendments to proposed bylaw changes tonight, a reminder will be sent out tomorrow that includes the proposed changes. Carolyn made a motion that we put forth the proposed bylaw changes for bylaws 3.5, 4.5, and 5.11 recommended by the current bylaw committee to the body. Jane seconded and the motion passed unanimously. Specifically, the proposed bylaws read as follows:

Proposed bylaw 3.5

A quorum for the transaction of business at any meeting of National Lutheran Secretariat shall consist of at least one authorized delegate from a majority of the affiliated secretariats that includes representation from each region. The delegate is authorized by written appointment by the Secretariat they represent to the NLS Secretary. The act of a majority of the delegates at the meeting at which a quorum is present shall be the act of National Lutheran Secretariat, except when otherwise provided by law or these Bylaws.

Proposed bylaw 4.5

National Lutheran Secretariat Executive Committee, by affirmative 2/3 vote, may suspend an affiliated secretariat for causes detrimental to the corporation’s activities and/or in conflict with the purpose, mission, or method of the Via de Cristo movement as outlined in The Essentials of Via de Cristo until formal action can be taken by National Lutheran Secretariat. The National Lutheran Secretariat, by a 2/3 affirmative vote, may expel an affiliated secretariat. During suspension the affiliated secretariat forfeits their voting rights.  Upon expulsion, the affiliated secretariat forfeits their right to use the Via de Cristo name and materials. The affiliated secretariat can ask for a review by submitting in writing to the executive committee any time prior to any formal action by the National Lutheran Secretariat.

It is recommended that bylaw 5.11 be eliminated.

John confirmed that a proposed change to bylaw 3.4 was approved at the 2020 NLSAM but did not get updated in the bylaws posted to the website. Carolyn and John will review minutes from the 2020 NLSAM against the Constitution and Bylaws posted on our website to make sure it properly reflects the changes approved in the 2020 meeting.

Calendar: John shared a planning calendar through Google Sheets that Sue and Brian put together last year. The calendar is intended to cover fiscal year 2023. There was some conversation about using a shared Google calendar instead. For now, we will use this as our starting point. If there is something that needs to be corrected for your area, correct it.

Executive Committee Member Reports

VP of Administration – Jane:  Jane revised the mid-year meeting schedule/agenda.

Treasurer – Steve:  Steve has been added to the Wells Fargo account but continues to work to update authorized signers with Wells Fargo to include John. He has not been added as an authorized signer on the Thrivent Federal Credit Union account yet. He’s been working to learn the online version of QuickBooks and has updated QuickBooks to reflect we are not for profit corporation instead of for profit. Steve prepared a Profit and Loss Statement for quarter one of the fiscal year ending 5/31/2023 which was reviewed. Through the work he’s done so far, he noted some minor amounts that weren’t properly recorded (e.g., interest income), a $50 error and that we erroneously stopped adjusting our equity accounts for the restricted funds in Quickbooks back in 2014. There was discussion about having an independent review of the books done. John asked Steve to make this happen. He plans to complete and file the Federal 990 form (due 4.5 months after our fiscal year end) and the Minnesota State Charitable Annual Report (due 6.5 months after our fiscal year end). Additional plans include breaking out restricted fund receipts and disbursements and verifying the contact information for the financial person/treasurer of each affiliated secretariat.

Secretary – Carolyn:  Carolyn reported that she has done a lot of work in Constant Contact over the last couple of weeks. Over 40 new people have been added and hundreds of individuals secretariat role has been updated (e.g., removed). There was consensus that fake emails, email accounts that bounced due to not a good address emails, unsubscribed emails and duplicates can be completely removed. Several existing lists, e.g., Region 7, Music, 2013 and Prior Year Annual Gathering Attendees, can be completely removed. Carolyn will keep an export of the data in case arises. Carolyn will begin emailing individuals directly asking for delegate names and secretariat rosters soon. She asked John and Karen to coordinate getting their secretariat lists sent to Carolyn. John noted that Zoom is continuing to advise that we are over our limit on recording storage. There was a discussion about the need to keep prior year annual meeting recordings. Given that the 2022 annual meeting was streamed via Facebook Live, these recordings exist there. There is not a need to save the Zoom recordings too. Carolyn will delete these recordings and future EC meetings as minutes are drafted.

VP of Outreach – KarenKaren assisted with advertising the Lay Director’s round table and brainstorming how to improve palanca coordination across the country. Karen has been fielding various questions that come in through the website. The most recent question related to a contact for Via de Cristo in New Zealand, but there is not one. Karen plans to meet with Region 2. Region 1 would like to schedule a meeting and use the Zoom account. As long as that meeting doesn’t conflict with a national meeting, this is great. Jerry Gray is open to considering Region 3 Coordinator.

President – John:  John hosted a Lay Director’s round table on September 11 that was attended by 14 lay directors and two regional coordinators. Bylaw amendment process was reviewed, request for named delegates and updated rosters was made. The time primarily was spent exchanging ideas on how to reenergize communities, foster Spiritual Director support and recruit pilgrims/guests to weekends. Beyond that meeting, John finished the 50th anniversary edition of the Conexiones which was published, and he wrote and sent the monthly NLS update. He clarified the recommendation of the bylaw committee and confirmed that bylaw 3.4 was approved at the 2020 NLS annual meeting but did not get updated in the bylaws posted to the website.

A motion to adjourn the meeting was made, seconded, and unanimously passed. 

Closing Prayer – John closed the meeting with prayer.

Mid-year Meeting – October 7-9, 2022 at 9:00am EDT for NLS Executive Committee members

Next Regular Meeting – October 25, 2022 at 8:00pm EDT for NLS Executive Committee members

Summary of Action Items

  1. Carolyn to delete the 2022 NLSAM Zoom recordings.
  2. John to send Karen his initial draft message about palanca. Karen will update and submit the palanca article to Amanda for inclusion in Conexiones.
  3. Karen to request Region 1 coordinator to write and submit an article about serving on Light in the Desert weekend
  4. Sue to write and submit faith corner article to Amanda for inclusion in Conexiones
  5. Carolyn to send out proposed communication lists with what the people on that list will get
  6. Marcia will ask Karen to send the INKY secretariat list to Carolyn
  7. Jane to send EC travel arrangements for mid-year meeting to Marcia
  8. All are to review the survey results and think about what we need to be doing and when
  9. John to write and submit a summary of the survey responses article to Amanda for inclusion in Conexiones
  10. Carolyn and John to review posted Constitution and Bylaws against 2020 NLSAM minutes and update posted document as appropriate.
  11. Steve to determine a means for getting the financial books reviewed.
  12. John to obtain and forward the Eastern NC secretariat roster to Carolyn
  13. Karen to obtain and forward the Light in the Desert secretariat roster to Carolyn

Respectfully submitted,
Carolyn Witham

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