Minutes of Stewards Meeting
Sunday, June 5, 2022
Stewards present: Brenda Seat, Keith Seat, Marjory Bankson, Peter Bankson, Dave Lloyd, Joan Dodge, Deborah Sokolove, Judy Lantz, Trish Nemore, Ken Burton, Michele Frome, Vincent Shepherd, Jacqie Wallen, Sandra Miller, Glen Yakushiji, John Morris, Elizabeth Gelfeld (17)
Stewards absent: Cynthia Dahlin, Margreta Silverstone
Visitors: Liz Gould Leger, Erica Lloyd, Anita Jackson, Pat Conover, Katie Fisher
Meditation: Sandra read a piece from Richard Rohr on Divine Dance.
Housekeeping: July meeting will remain at its previously scheduled date of July 10 from 5-8:30 pm on zoom.
Consideration of Recommendations two, four and five from the Servant Leadership Working Group Report – Keith Seat.
Keith started by talking about the formation of a small group (at the request of the SLT) – himself, Erica Lloyd and Glenn Clark – who will work together to bring the recommendations to each Stewards meeting over the next several months, sometimes providing relevant documents and/or pertinent questions in advance of the meetings. They call themselves Sherpas and have asked Joan Dodge and Peter Bankson to be wise persons to help guide their work as requested.
Keith named the primary goal of our conversations over the next months as being how to improve leadership structures and process, rather than the adoption or rejection of any specific recommendation. To that end, the basic rules of engagement are deep listening and respectful, kind and civil conversation. We should pause between speakers and make every effort to be brief and focused in our comments. We may take breaks if emotions run too high. We may use break-out rooms in future meetings if that format is appropriate to the discussion.
Recommendation #2: Recommend a sufficient number of members to represent different perspectives, allow for a variety of skills, and limit the overall load on each member.
After considerable conversation about the meaning of “perspectives” in this context, the need for all of us to be nurturing leadership from all members of the community and the realization that SLT cannot possibly embody all perspectives but should try to be cognizant of them, we agreed in principle to the recommendation and asked the Sherpas to bring us new wording.
[Recommendation #3, “Recommend an odd number of members to facilitate decision making” was withdrawn by the Servant Leadership Working Group.]
Recommendation #4: Encourage Stewards to be aware of the demands of serving on the SLT that may be self-limiting and take steps to mitigate them. For example, make it known that compensation may be flexible, or that responsibilities may be curtailed to match the time available to a specific member. Erica reminded us that there is a “sub-recommendation” that we should have a community-wide conversation about how decisions are made as to what is paid and what is volunteered within Seekers. [From Trish: That should be in a parking lot.]. The conversation clarified the difference between compensation (paid to our treasurer and our space coordinator who have specific job descriptions) and stipends (paid to our SLT members who do not have specific job descriptions and for whom the stipend does not represent payment for specific work). We also recognized that while flexibility in SLT responsibilities has always been a thing and part of the conversation with those who feel called to the job, it is not explicitly stated anywhere and so may be known only to long-time members. Again, Sherpas will bring new wording to us in July based on the discussion.
We did not get to Recommendation #5.
Report from the Children’s Team – Judy Lantz. Since last October 31, Judy has met weekly for about 20 minutes after worship with our children – usually Arnold, Elijah, Jonah and Oz. Zanna does not like zoom. Judy hopes to recruit from among the parents for the Children’s Team, which Brenda will leave at the end of June when she retires from SLT. Judy will try to get the children to actually attend the Children’s Word. Marjory offered ideas of other CofS churches with children with whom Judy might want to get together.
Two Stewards Sharing: Judy Lantz and Deborah Sokolove