FRLC Annual Meeting Minutes

FRLC Annual Meeting (on Zoom)
Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Present: Bohdan V., Otto S., Tom M., Roger G., David C., Ed T., Melanie M.-D., Paul D.

Check-in & Opening Prayer: Roger opened with prayer.

Minutes from 2019 Annual Meeting—Melanie read the minutes, MSP (moved, seconded, passed) to receive them (Tom, Dave)

Treasurer’s Report—Tom reported that the FRLC membership has $1272.93, the Addiction & Faith Conference account has $55,685.88, and the Center of Addiction & Faith account has $6,826.40. All funds are actually in the same account and are separated in the bookkeeping. The Conference account is separate in order to track expenses and income for it. The 501c3 application for the Center has been approved, so we can separate FRLC membership account from the others. Donations and fundraising were sufficient to pay FRLC obligation to the Transfiguration Lutheran Church through the Conference account. We didn’t make money on the Conference this year but broke even.

Ed received a $60,000 PPP loan for Center of A & F. Center will be paying for the Conference from now on. $10,000 was donated to support the next Conference, which is in the Center of A & F account. Noting the difference between a loan and income, $72,000 has come in for the Center to date and about $9000 has been spent. MSP (Otto, Roger).

Bohdan will send a thank you to Louise for her work on the finances.

Coordinator’s Report—Ed is working on preparations for the February 2021 Conference, hoping it will happen. If not, we will deal with cancellation or move it to an online event. The contract with the hotel has a clause allowing for cancellation due to Coronavirus if that becomes necessary. Ed is working half time for the Center.

He continues to serve on the RMEC (Recovery Ministries of the Episcopal Church) board. They have a different approach to this work, including laityy & clergy, have a larger membership, and don’t do clergy specific support. They are considering how to do that. They recently began a Wednesday night Zoom recovery meeting which is growing each week, with 20 or more people now participating. Ed shared our format with them and wrote topics for the first ten meetings. Ed will send the log in information to this meeting to those present here. He would like to see the FRLC consider adding a Zoom meeting in addition to the phone meeting.

He has been working on the website for the Center of Addiction & Faith. He’s done a lot of writing for it and a lot of revision. He is very pleased with the company he is working with. Through screen sharing, those present viewed a rough draft of the site. Ed also put together a personal website,, to support the work he is doing in addiction ministry.

The Center has begun offering monthly Zoom webinars. The first was on how to do addiction ministry in a pandemic. This Thursday’s webinar is on “How to start an addiction ministry” with Drew Brooks of Faith Partners. There will be a follow up training event for congregational leaders which will be fee based. The next offering will be a five part webinar dealing with race and addiction, including the impact of War on Drugs and how it played into oppression of BIPOC. He realized we need more than one webinar to adequately address the topic. 110 people signed up for the first webinar and 62 stayed for the whole session. There are over 80 people registered for the next one.

He is getting ready to begin a podcast on “stories of addiction and grace” with the encouragement and support of a professional. Podcasts are becoming popular, and personal stories are most successful at this moment. There three parts to each episode, based on what was it like, what happened, what it’s like now with ten minute segments on each topic. Ed is lining up guests and his resource person is doing the rest. Ed will be calling on this group to be on the show. Guests will have the option of being anonymous, identified by first name, last initial. Otto noted that anonymity is about shame and encouraged people to identify themselves, although we will respect the wishes of those who choose to be anonymous.

The Center applied for a $10,000 synod grant from the Minneapolis Synod for the podcast and webinars. Center funds have paid for the web designer, a graphic designer and a grant writer. He has been meeting monthly meeting with the Center board, and has additional meetings with a separate advisory group. Please let Ed know if you would be interested in serving on this board. As noted in the financial report, he received a letter stating that the 501c3 application for the Center was approved, although the final paperwork will be arriving later.

The FRLC has maintained the status quo this year. He’s doing the same things he usually does. His stipend is now being paid from the Center account, so FRLC expenses are minimal. The Website and database still need updating. People are aware of the work we are doing developing the Conference and Center and it has had a positive impact. We now have 94 good email addresses for members as opposed to 70 a year ago. Ed thinks we have more people paying attention to our work but they have not become formal members. He has not been as intentional in following up with new people on what membership is.

Next steps for the FRLC include clarifying who we are, and what we have to offer, then updating the website, database, and developing a communication plan and stewardship plan.

Ed would like to see FRLC nested in Center of AF page, focusing on clergy support. He suggested we consider dropping the Lutheran denominational focus, keeping the phone meeting for anonymity needs, and adding a Zoom meeting. He would like to seek funding for the FRLC to have a paid staff member, as well as for development of a broader clergy support ministry and a ministry with Lutheran laity.

New Business:
1) Open Conversation on The Future of the “FRLC”, Vision, Direction forward, Next steps
Extensive conversation followed.

It was MSP (Dave, Otto) that we affirm Ed in finding resources for a paid staff member to develop the FRLC and to partner with other ministries. It passed unanimously.

A second motion was MSP (Melanie, Dave) clarifying that partnership with other ministries includes development of an organization for Lutheran laity in recovery and an organization for ecumenical clergy in recovery.

-FRLC website: Redevelopment of the FRLC Website, Migration of FRLC website over to “Weebly”: Brief discussion was held of moving the FRLC website to Weebly, including hiring somebody to help do that and someone to develop a new logo.

It was MSP (Roger, Dave) that we approve up to $250 annually for hosting and website design.

The board will be mindful that there may be additional set up costs. If there is more money that is needed for the migration we need to support that.

Board (up to 7 total) Board members are elected to two consecutive 3-year terms.
Current board status:
Chair: Bohdan
Secretary: Melanie
Treasurer: Tom
Newsletter editor vacant.
Board members: Karen, Dave, Roger

What is involved in Board membership? Attending monthly meeting by zoom and a financial commitment to support the Fellowship. Bohdan asked Paul Demant and Otto Schulze if they would be willing to serve. Both agreed. Ed would like to invite Michelle Knight. She was approved as a board member also.

Bohdan and Melanie have both been in their offices a long time. We can revisit this at the board meeting.

The Board meeting was changed to the 1st Wednesday of every month, at noon pacific, 1 pm mountain, 2 pm central, 3 pm eastern time.

Dave would like to bring some options for membership and support to the board, exploring funding models beyond our current reference to 7th tradition.

The consensus is that we would like to go on a cruise when it becomes possible!

The meeting was adjourned. Tom closed with prayer.