Category Archives: Meetings

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.

FRLC Board Minutes 4 2 2020

FRLC Board Meeting Minutes
Thursday, April 2, 2020
1:00 pm MST/2:00 pm CST/12:00 pm PST/3:00 pm EST

Present: Dave, Bohdan, Ed, Karen, Tom, Melanie

Check In & Prayer: Melanie opened with prayer.

Approval of Minutes from Previous Meeting: Dave moved, Tom seconded, passed that we accept them.

Treasurer’s report: There is about $10,000 in conference account and $600 in the FRLC account. The funds from Melanie’s fundraiser have yet to arrive. Ed’s stipend is now coming out of the conference account. Ed is working on fundraising for both FRLC and Center. He is disappointed that a number of events that could have benefited both ministries had to be cancelled due to the pandemic.

Coordinator’s report:

Rostered Ministers Gathering: Ed sent an e-blast to the FRLC membership about meeting at this Gathering to discuss future directions for the FRLC. In his work on developing the Center on Addiction and Faith he has found that we are the only group doing support targeted for clergy in recovery and that there is a need for what we do. The FRLC could be leadering, teaching others how to do this. We might consider offering ecumenical clergy in recovery retreats. The Center could be a vehicle for us to do that.

The Rostered Leaders Gathering waived display fees for us last time. This time they reached out to us and asked if we could host 12 step meetings and have a display table. The meetings are listed on the event schedule posted on the ELCA website. Two of our members are workshops presenters. Thank you to Dave for blazing the trail for us. The ELCA is still hoping to hold this event although they did offer to refund registration money. Many other events, including the AA World Conference, scheduled for early July, are being cancelled. Ed plans to go if it happens. We need to send out a mailing if we are to have the FRLC Annual Meeting at this event. The proceeds from Melanie’s fund raiser could be used for this.

Center on Addiction & Faith: The paperwork is almost ready to submit for the 501C3 status for the Center. They have a grant writer researching places for us to submit proposals for funding. The board for the Center is meeting monthly to advise him. They are doing “fund raising at home” events. Come for coffee and donuts and listen to a pitch. They are considering a direct appeal to conference attendees and FRLC members to support development of these ministries.

Ed hired a web developer for the Center in January and they decided to part ways last week. This was frustrating because we lost two months of time developing the Center website. The website functions as the brochure for the ministry. He is excited to have found another place to do it and is meeting with them this afternoon. When it is ready, he will be taking it out to potential donors. He had to cancel many appointments with potential donors this month but will keep working at it as the situation allows. He hopes to generate funds to do the things the FRLC never could afford, including maintaining the database, and marketing and updating the FRLC website. We have great potential that has yet to be realized.

Augsburg University: Ed is in conversation with Augsburg regarding potential collaboration with the Center. He knows the campus pastor. The college has a recovery support program for students, including a “recovery dorm” staffed by chemical dependency counselors. They require 6 months minimum clean time for residents. It looks like they would be a great partner and may be a possible headquarters for the Center. If it works out, Ed might be a resource for their campus also. He will be conversing with them next week.

Potential: There appear to be lots of great possibilities for developing these ministries despite the current situation. The Minneapolis newspaper recently ran an article on how people with addiction problems will suffer during this crisis. Roger suggested that if your church has subscribed to Zoom, you might consider providing access to any 12 Step groups that meet at your church. His congregation told the groups “you meet here physically, now you can meet here virtually.”

Dave noted that we are coming up on 30th anniversary of the FRLC and suggested we use this as a theme in our fundraising, at least among our membership.

Tom closed the meeting in prayer.

Next meeting: Thursday, May 7, 2020
1:00 pm MDT/2:00 pm CDT/12:00 pm PDT/3:00 pm EDT

March 5, 2020 Board Minutes

FRLC Board Meeting Minutes
Thursday, March 5, 2019
1:00 pm MST/2:00 pm CST/12:00 pm PST/3:00 pm EST

Present: Tom, Bohdan, Melanie, Ed, Karen

Check In & Prayer and Approval of Minutes from Previous Meeting were skipped do to staggered arrival times.

Treasurer’s report: We have $326.66 in the FRLC membership account, the Center of Addiction & Faith account has $979.70, and the Addiction and Faith Conference has $9,865.45. A gift was given as seed money for the new ministry to the Conference account. Ed has a small office for this work, funded out of that seed money.

Coordinator’s report Not much progress has been made on the website yet. The 501C3 application is underway, and the board for the Center is nearly completed. One of the board members is Tim King, author of “Addiction Nation: What the Opioid Crisis Reveals about Us”.
He will also be the keynote speaker for next Addiction & Faith Conference. He is also involved with Richard Rohr’s Center for Action and Contemplation and is encouraging them to collaborate with us. He has dates for next Conference and is working with the hotels. Hilton has offered us a better price, particularly on the food. They have a better menu also. It would be a nice venue and the space would work well. Ed is waiting to hear back from Doubletree as he has an established relationship with them but it doesn’t look like they can meet the food price. Food was 25% of the total bill at previous events.

The speakers for the A & F Conference are lined up. Tim King will speak the first night on “Addiction Nation, Everyone’s Problem.” The second day there will be one speaker and one break out session in morning with two breakout sessions in the afternoon. The morning speaker is Native American and will talk about addiction and race. The evening speaker will be Sonja Waters, an Episcopal priest, who wrote a book on Addiction and Pastoral Care, which will be the topic of her talk. She is in recovery and does some great theological moves in her reflection. The speaker on the final morning will be Kal Rissman, author of “Knowledge to Power: Understanding & Overcoming Addiction”. Yolanda, the woman who gave her testimony about the impact of our first conference will preach at the closing worship. Ed is pleased about the line up of speakers and feels like he has a great start on the event for February of 2021.

Last year there was a person from TLC who applied for many grants for the conference but didn’t get any of them funded. Ed has gotten her connected with a grants person from Interest Curve Global. He will coaching her on the smaller, easier grant applications and will work on the larger ones himself.

Drew Brooks, of Faith Partners invited Ed in on a project with Human and Health Services for the state of Louisiana. The Faith Partners model is struggling there in the African-American churches, with issues about clergy vulnerability and laity taking leadership in the church. This ties into the conversation about opening FRLC to clergy in recovery beyond the Lutheran church. Ed spoke with an FRLC member who thought that expanding would be great but there may be a need for affinity groups within the larger umbrella. Ed is thinking about the pros and cons of starting new stuff vs. changing what we already have. He is open to the Spirit and advice.

Tom had a question about how to access the format and materials for Conscious Contact. It is on the FRLC website. They are located under “The Lutheran Recovery Network” instead of “resources”. The Lutheran Recovery Network is an old name when we were working on developing a fellowship for laity in recovery. Melanie will try to move them over to “resources”. Karen noted that there aren’t references to codependence on the website, it was also noted that it focuses on alcohol not addiction. Ed would like to hire someone to redo FRLC website when he has the resources. In the meantime, we volunteers do what we can. A problem with the FRLC is that we haven’t done systemic sustained marketing. In the meantime, Melanie will ask Bea to update the “Save the Date” banner unless she can figure out how to do it herself, changing the dates to February 11-13, 2021. Ed will let Melanie know if the dates change.

The FRLC needs to make some decisions about the future. We plan to discuss this at our meeting in conjunction with the Rostered Ministers Gathering. Ed will develop a communication piece regarding the gathering, inviting FRLC members to come and help us envision the future. Melanie did a Facebook fundraiser to pay for a mailing, intending that it fund this mailing. She sent invitations to people who have had some connection with the A& F Conference and thinks it was helpful to have a specific purpose for the funds. Others may have Thrivent dollars to designate.

Board Minutes February 2, 2020

Present: Beth, Bohdan, Karen, Ed, Tom & Melanie

Check In & Prayer: Karen opened in prayer

Approval of Minutes from Previous Meeting MSP to approve.


Treasurer’s report Beth discussed the questions donations last month to the Conference vs. the FRLC with Louise. The balances will be reported later. Beth is resigning from her position as treasurer and from the board due to being overcommitted. We thanked her for her service.


            Coordinator’s report: His activities on behalf of the FRLC were about the same this month. A lot of his attention has been on developing the new ministry. His congregation approved his moving to half-time as of February 1.

The Center of Addiction and Faith has begun the 501C3 application process, including developing their constitution and bylaws and putting together a board. They have enlisted a website development company to put together a robust website which would house groups like FRLC and RMEC, and offer resources such as videos from conference and podcasts. Their goals include hosting an Annual Conference and possibly regional conferences. They are working on grants and fund raising with an organization that works with new non-profits–Interest Curve Global.

Ed shared that John Johnson the ELCA lobbyist who presented at the 2019 A & F Conference, wanted a copy of the video of Sam Simons presentation. Ed got a waiver from Sam and forwarded it to John. Right after he received it, he was called by Bishop Eaton who asked what the church can do about opioids. His response to her included the work we are doing and we will be mentioned in the materials that Churchwide is developing.

Ed will be hosting a table for FRLC and the Center for Addiction & Faith at the ELCA Rostered Leaders gathering along with offering 12 step meetings. He will be sending information to FRLC members inviting them to stop by.

The next Addiction & Faith Conference will be the end of the 1st or 2nd week of February 2021. It will be midweek, from Thursday evening to Saturday morning. Both clergy and vendors will be better served by this schedule. Many vendors take Saturday’s off, so the Friday-Sunday schedule asked them to give up their personal time.

The idea of a cruise in the fall of 2020 is on hold. We need to focus on the vision for the FRLC at this time. Ed has some ideas regarding how we might grow and be a resource to the larger church. In working with others in the field, he has learned that there is a need for support for clergy in recovery in other denominations.

Each person on the call offered their thoughts about opening up the FRLC to clergy from other denominations. We would need to remove “Lutheran” from our name and meeting materials. The feeling was generally positive. Some would mourn the loss of what we have been, but we need a more sustainable model. There was a concern that we have more of a mainline focus. We can indicate this subtly through the language we use. We need to get together as a fellowship to think about this and process it. What ramifications do we need to consider? Options were discussed and we are leaning toward doing it in conjunction with the Rostered Leaders Gathering. Several board members plan to come. Ed will send out an email regarding meeting at that Gathering there to discuss the future direction of the fellowship. This may be an opportunity to leverage our new ministry and reach out to other clergy.

We will also take a group conscious with the participants in the Thursday meetings about turning into the FRLC into an ecumenical group.

We are out of money for the stipend, so Ed is volunteering his time at present. Appreciation was expressed for the recent e-blast he sent out.


New Business:

Tom Martin was nominated for treasurer. He agreed to serve.


Setting up Zoom Meetings: Melanie will look into doing it. Bohdan will help as needed.



Ed closed the meeting in prayer.




August 8 FRLC Board Minutes

FRLC Board Meeting Minutes

Thursday, August 8, 2019

 Present: Beth, Melanie, Ed & Tom. Bohdan was excused due to family health emergency and Rob due to work. As all had limited time, we skipped check in. Arthur has resigned from the board and was thanked for his service.

Approval of Minutes from Previous Meeting No minutes were taken in July. Bohdan emailed a draft Memorandum of Understanding between FRLC and Transfiguration Lutheran Church and reported that we hired a Conference Sales Director, Joanne Kittridge to assist on obtaining sponsors for the Addiction and Faith Conference.

Treasurer’s report Received by email. The FRLC account balance at the end of July is $1036. After the coordinator’s stipend for last month and this month comes out of it (he has received July’s payment) our balance will be quite low. A newsletter is in the process of being sent out now. This has been the major source of donations in the past.

Coordinator’s Report: Registration for the Addiction & Faith Conference currently stands at 125. 27 states are represented, including members of 11 denominations and 2 countries. The workshops and speakers are coming together and all looks great. There will be twice as many workshops as last year.

Board members should have received an email on the financial status of the Conference. We are without several advance gifts/grants which has been noted earlier. Expenses are similar to last year except for administrative costs, including Ed’s time. That expense was included in Ed’s calculations. We have a grant application underway and are pursuing other donors.


Board members, please help by:

 -contributing funds

 -asking your church to contribute funds

 -thinking of people to ask for donations. Get their information to Ed.

-encouraging people to attend

-sharing Ed’s “Addiction & Faith Fundraiser” on your Facebook page


Old Business:

FRLC Retreat at the Conference: Melanie has recruited Rob N. to work with her on the planning. They will be in touch with Ed on the schedule.

Next month we will consider the proposed Memorandum of Understanding.

Beth closed with prayer.



June 2019 Board Minutes

FRLC Board Meeting Minutes

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Present: Tom, Bohdan, Melanie & Ed. Tom opened in prayer.

Approval of Minutes from Previous Meeting Received.

Treasurer’s report Received by email. Balance on May 31 is $1255.83. Ed’s stipend is now being taken from the correct account. We have not received any donations from the membership other than our two regular givers. Perhaps we need to send out a newsletter soon.

Coordinator’s report He thanked the board members for the presentation at the TLC council meeting. It was helpful. The TLC pastoral leadership proposal passed, authorizing Ed to spend 25% of his time on conference as long as we contribute to the church. He is working with clergy coach regarding the challenges of working on the conference.

He is in the process of reworking the sponsorship portion of the conference, including prices and promotional pieces. We will be emphasizing how this will benefit the sponsors, reaching a different audience who need to know about your resource. He is finalizing a six page “media kit” for the media and sponsors and will make personal contact with potential sponsors. Once the media kit is done, it will be sent to the local radio and tv stations and newspapers. He is in contact with an NPR reporter regarding a story on the conference. segment.

Information has been shared at many Synod Assemblies, including all the Minnesota synods, Wisconsin, South Dakota, and Montana. Board members can help by sharing information at their own Assembly. We now have a communication link to all the Synods, Bishops and staff. We are sending out e-blasts on early registration and posting on Facebook. He also created a flyer targeted to the Episcopalians, adding the Episcopal logo and information about their pre-conference.

We are finalizing the workshops. We have 20 potential workshops and 10 rooms. Some will only be offered once.

We have several new strategies for generating financial support this year. One of the volunteers is contacting local businesses regarding small dollar grants. An email went out to last year’s attendees requesting financial support. We already received a check for $2,000 from that effort. Ed is also working with a stewardship person regarding wills & estate giving strategizing on how to get major gifts to support this ministry. There is a proposal to produce Ed’s book as an audio book and donate the proceeds to the conference. Ed is also meeting with a website developer regarding an Addiction and Faith membership site where we could offer access to resources for congregations, clergy, synods etc for $10/month. This might include a podcast with workshop leaders. This could generate a continuous income.


Old Business:

FRLC Board members meeting with Transfiguration: discussed.

Budget We need a memorandum of agreement with TLC outlining the responsibilities of the Fellowship and the congregation. Bohdan will work on it and send a draft to Ed for review.

Board development and building the team tabled


New Business:

FRLC Retreat at Addiction & Faith Conference will be at the same time as last year. Members are welcome to come on Thursday and help with Conference, with the retreat beginning with dinner. Ed will include this in information to the FRLC mailing list and we will put it on the website. We discussed having a $10 registration fee for the retreat. Melanie will ask Roger and Joel if they would like to help plan the FRLC retreat. Ed will send a detailed schedule for this group to work with. It can be adjusted if necessary. The board of the REMC group (10-12 people) during this time. We should include them in what we do.

            Next meeting date: Thursday, July 18, 2019

            Melanie closed with prayer



May 2019 Board Minutes

FRLC Board Meeting Minutes

Thursday, May 2, 2019

1:00 pm MDT/2:00 pm CDT/12:00 pm PDT/3:00 pm EDT


            Present: Bohdan, Ed, Melanie, Arthur, Kirk. Beth, Tom, Rob & Joel were excused.


Check In & Prayer: Melanie opened with prayer.

Approval of Minutes from Meeting Kirk moved, Arthur seconded to approve the minutes. They were approved.


Treasurer’s report The report was received by email. The balance is $1230.83. The bookkeeper’s husband is doing the taxes for us, as they changed significantly in light of the conference.


            Coordinator’s report There is $6227 in the conference account. We have received 4 direct registrations, and 24 registrations total. Registrants are from 11 states, more than half are clergy, and13 are first time attendees. The budget for the Conference is $162,000, which means we will need grants and congregational support this year. The coordinator went to four meetings to promote the conference. We will have a table with logo, brochures and flyers at 8 synods this year. He is working on ads for the Living Lutheran, the Phoenix Spirit, an email blast through the Christian Century list and plans to do publicity through the Episcopal church channels also.

The taxes are done and reviewed. Last year’s total revenue was $94,599. There was $5,699 in the account following the Conference. Income from registrations and additional funding are essential in order to cover the costs for our speakers, promotional costs, and administrative costs.


Old Business:


FRLC Board members meeting with Transfiguration: Melanie & Tom will be in Minneapolis May 13-17. Tuesday night, May 14 is the regular TLC Church Council meeting. Dinner is served at 6:00 and the meeting is from 6:30-8:00 pm. Melanie will follow up with Tom and plan transportation. Bohdan will participate by video call. Is anyone else interested in joining by video? Melanie will check with Roger and Joel about being on the call.

Budget The Coordinator will prepare a draft budget for action next month.


New Business:

Board development and building the team – At this time, it is an open question whether the Conference will eventually become its own 501c3 non-profit organization.

All Board members are encouraged to print and distribute flyers and the “how your congregation can help” hand out at their Synod Assemblies and other church meetings. Please ask your Synod to include the Conference information in their newsletters, websites, etc. The links for these documents are here:





“how your congregation can help”:


Next meeting: Thursday, June 6, 2019

1:00 pm MDT/2:00 pm CDT/12:00 pm PDT/3:00 pm EDT

Call in number: 712-832-8330 Access code: 5901674#





March 7, 2019 Board Minutes

Present: Arthur, Bohdan, Melanie, Tom, Ed


Check-in and opening prayer: Melanie


Minutes: The minutes from February were received.


Treasurer’s Report: Discussion on the role of a bookkeeper vs. the role of the treasurer. The chair will contact a board member regarding taking on the role of treasurer with a local bookkeeper. The current balances are: FRLC $1835.53, Conference $2037.80. We received a donation from Portico for support of the Conference.


Coordinator’s Report: The Conference website is done. There are eleven people registered for the Conference. The Episcopal church group is fully on board. Promotional events are lined up for June, including six Synod Assemblies. A planned promotion at a conference in Washington DC was postponed. We may be reimbursed expenditures. We are in touch with all the Minneapolis area conferences and are planning to attend meetings of three of them. We were represented at a faith community nurse gathering in St. Cloud, also at the Parish Nurse gathering and an LCMS event.

The flyers are done—there are two sizes. The flyer can be downloaded and printed at:

Please print some flyers and take them wherever you go.


There is also a resource to print and take to your congregation on how they can support this event: Please print and share this with your congregation.


The FRLC page is in the process of being updated to reflect the current information and to add a PayPal button.


How you can support the Conference:

1) Register now directly by contacting Louise at: Doing so will save you some money and help us with conference expenses but you will need to pay with a check. We don’t see the money paid through online credit card registrations (through Eventbrite) until after the conference.

            2) Print flyers and make a pitch to your colleagues to attend the Conference. Contact your Synod and try to get information on your Synod website, including a link to the Conference website: Offer them the opportunity to support this ministry by sponsoring scholarships.

            3) Contact your local Thrivent representative, ask them to sponsor the Conference and let them know why this is an important ministry for them to support. This is the only option for receiving support through the Thrivent organization.

            4) Help us identify potential Conference sponsors—treatment centers etc. There are a variety of levels of sponsorship available. Wendy will contact them if we give her the leads. Information is available here:


We are working on narrowing the list of breakout sessions and coordinating the schedule with the Episcopalians. They have resources to share.


New business:


Bohdan will follow up with the inactive board members.


Discussion of how board members might be available to provide information and answer questions about the FRLC in the local area. The chair is available by video call as needed or will be in Minneapolis on June 22. The secretary and another board member will be in there May 13-17. All are willing to a meeting if it would be helpful.


Tom closed the meeting with prayer.


Next regular Board meeting: Thursday, April 4, 2019.

February 2019 Board Minutes

FRLC Board Meeting Minutes

Thursday, February 7, 2019

1:00 pm MDT/2:00 pm CDT/12:00 pm PDT/3:00 pm EDT


Present: Ed, Bohdan, Tom, Melanie, Beth, Arthur


Check-in happened. Tom opened in prayer.


Minutes: January’s minutes were received.


Treasurer’s Report: The person who is handling the Conference account agreed to handle the FRLC account. There is $1,693.28 in the Conference account and $3,605.83 in the FRLC account. There will an adjustment to both accounts as the coordinator’s stipend was taken from wrong account. In the past, when a non-FRLC member served as treasurer, the Board received a written monthly report on the finances. We will ask her to do the same and request that it be submitted prior to the Board meeting.


Coordinator’s Report: We have a new agent for the FRLC to maintain our non-profit status, replacing the former agent who died last year. Roger contacted a member in that state, Kathy B., who agreed to take it on.

He is working with a CPA in his congregation to work on the FRLC taxes, which will be different this year because of the Conference.

The Conference website is up to date as is the FaceBook page and Eventbrite registration. Registration opened February 4. We have sold four tickets in the last three days. Board members are encouraged to register as early as possible to assist in cash flow. Board members are also asked to consider organizing a group from your congregation, to promote the Conference in your area and to ask your church to consider funding scholarships is they can’t send a group. Melanie reported that she and Rob are discussing a booth at the Montana Synod Assembly. If you have ideas for potential sponsoring organizations, please let Ed know. Our fundraiser can follow up with them. There will be a flyer promoting sponsorships directed for treatment centers and other recovery related businesses and a different one for churches. The cost of sponsorship and display space will be increased this year. Ed is excited about the speakers and hotel space. We have contracted with the hotel for 300 participants and have the capacity to expand up to 500 if needed.

He met with several people from the Recovery Ministries of the Episcopal Church. They are working with us on the Addiction and Faith Conference instead of doing their own annual gathering. They typically have 100 people attend their event. They are going to publicize the Addiction and Faith Conference within their church body and work on sponsorships for the event. They discussed working with both denominations (Episcopal & ELCA) to fund this ministry. They are great to work with and very responsive. Their organization is for both clergy and laity but they have focused primarily on clergy at their event, which has typically ended Saturday night so the priests could return to their churches for Sunday morning worship. Both organizations have focused on people in recovery in the past, but since we are reaching out to people who aren’t in recovery Ed is advocating for the schedule as planned. They need to have a liturgical recovery service at the Conference. It is scheduled to be led by the Episcopalians Friday night after the last speaker. They want to arrive on Thursday to do business and to have some workshops on Friday so participants can leave Saturday night. Ed thinks we can accommodate this.

The biggest challenge at the moment is getting the cash in to fund the publicity. There are some events Ed would like to attend to promote the conference but we need to be able to pay for them.

The FRLC webpage can be transferred to Ed at any time. In the meantime Melanie will ask Bea to update the page with this year’s dates and a link to the Conference website.

A question was asked about having the information from last year available on the website. We will link the flyer from last year for those who would like access to that information

The local planning team met once. Ed asked the people who were on it last year about their involvement this time and did not get a lot of response. He will follow up with them. The first meeting was attended mostly by people who are working on things already. The next meeting will be 3:00 pm, Monday, February 18 (President’s Day).

The board expressed appreciation for the efforts of our coordinator and his associate to continue this partnership.


New business:

Newsletter: The coordinator will work on getting one ready with a brief summary of the last Conference and flyer about this one.


Board Member attendance: As our constitutional definition of a quorum is a majority of the members of the board, it may become problematic having a number of board members who do not participate in the meetings. We will review the requirements stated in the bylaws and discuss this at the March meeting.


Ed led the closing prayer.


Next regular Board meeting: Thursday, March 7, 2019.

12:00 pm PST/1:00 pm MST/2:00 pm CST/3:00 pm EST

Call in number: 605-475-6333 Access code: 53120#


Decembeer 2018 Board Minutes

FRLC Board Meeting Minutes

Thursday, December 6, 2018

12:00 pm MDT/1:00 pm CDT/11:00 am PDT/2:00 pm EDT


Present: Ed, Beth, Melanie, Roger


Check-in and opening prayer:  Ed opened in prayer.


Minutes: The minutes from November were received.


Treasurer’s Report: We still need a treasurer. Ed will be talking to candidates this week. Everything for the Conference has been paid, including a $1200 retainer for the next Conference. There is a balance of a little over $3000 after the gift to TLC, which was hugely impactful. There is $3100 in the FRLC account.


Coordinator’s Report: Work continues on the next Conference. Ed has an outline of next year’s program. It will be similar with small variations. George Valent is confirmed as a speaker. He led a longitudinal study on impact of 12 steps and happiness, was recommended by Omar and is affordable.  Discussion of potential speakers continued. By the end of this meeting, we were thinking it might be a good idea to have two keynoters and leave more time Saturday afternoon for workshops and recovery meetings. The strength of one would be on the topic of addiction and secondarily on the faith aspect and the other would have expertise in theology and secondarily on recovery in the church. It was suggested that we put the keynoters in touch with each other in advance so they can be aware of where each other is going.


Ed has also been in contact with Amy Klobuchar, the senior United States Senator from Minnesota, who has been active in combatting the opioid epidemic.


There is an ELCA Bishop who is a member of FRLC. Ed would like to invite him to address the Conference.


In order to have room at the hotel to expand the Conference we need to hold it a week earlier. Those present are supportive of this. We could have the grand ball room, vendors and breakout sessions all in the same area. This arrangement would allow us to sell single event tickets and single meal tickets, which we were unable to do this year. He would like to move ahead with the hotel and complete the contract before the end of the year.


There was a discussion about the number and length of the breakout sessions. Current plans call for ten breakout sessions. There were six this year. Three people were too many presenters for one session. We are considering some compensation for the leaders of these sessions. Last year they not only volunteered; they also paid their own registration fees.


It was noted how powerful it was when the speaker in worship shared his story about how church, faith and recovery programs were all necessary for him. We might do want to have something like this in every worship service.


A suggestion was made to have 12 step meetings and spiritual practices in the middle of the day as well as at the beginning and end of the day, as there may be people who need a meeting to deal with the content of the day. Most were well attended last year. There may be a variety of “open” meetings for people who are not participating in a recovery group as well as “closed’ meetings, including a meeting for clergy in recovery. The latter might be in the hospitality room.


The fees have been set for display exhibitors and the team is working on lining them up. They have also been in contact with the Lilly Foundation regarding grant application for $600,000 to expand conference.


Steve Lane of the Episcopal recovery group and Roger have been talking about how to do a mini-version of the Conference in their area. We would like to offer them the opportunity to wrap a clergy event around the Conference and collaborate on some things.  They may also have resources and people that we could coordinate with.


This year it looks like the planning process will need to be streamlined, with fewer people, fewer  meetings, and more executive decisions.


We would like to update the FRLC website and use it more effectively. We had some problems with changing it last year. Melanie will speak to the person who currently handles it for us, and get back to the Board.


The ELCA Disability grant which Melanie spoke about last month is not a good fit for us. She will follow up with her contact at Montana State University and put him in touch with a local person. He has a lot of information on grants but many are not designed for what we are doing.


We still need an agent in Illinois. Roger and Ed reviewed name of members who have an address in Illinois and selected a few to contact. Roger will contact Jessie White, Secretary of State of the state of Illinois and find out what is involved in changing agents.


New business: none


Roger closed the meeting with prayer.

The January meeting will be postponed one week due to holiday plans.


Next regular Board meeting: Thursday, January 10, 2019.

12:00 pm MST/1:00 pm CST/11:00 am PST/2:00 pm EST

Call in number: 605-475-6333 Access code: 53120#