Category Archives: News

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 June 4, 2020

Present: Bohdan, Ed, Melanie, Tom

Check In & Prayer: Melanie opened with prayer.

Minutes from Previous Meeting were accepted.

Treasurer’s report Louise emailed her report for April and May to Tom, Ed & Bohdan. The current balance in the FRLC account is $1238.93, the A & Conference balance is $3272.80, and the Center for Addiction & Faith Business account balance is $2,414.22. Louise has a question regarding whether to continue to report to us on the Conference account and Center for A & F account. Ed’s stipend is coming out of the Conference account so the FRLC expenses are pretty minimal.

Coordinator’s report Ed spoke with Bea, and they updated some of the information. Our annual fee was due, Bea paid it, and we reimbursed her. After Center website is up and running he intends to migrate the FRLC site to the Weebly platform, which is where the Conference website is. All three websites (the Center for A &F, the A & F Conference and the FRLC) will then be on one account. They will be integrated and Ed will be able to keep them updated.

Center for Addiction and Faith: The website is about halfway done. The board viewed the draft site via screen sharing. There will be a testimonial quote from last year’s Conference at bottom of home page. The tabs on the home page include “addiction”, “faith”, “praxis”, “ resources” and “about us”. It will be about education, imagination, and resources. “Faith” will include reflections on theology that relate to healing from addiction with interfaith contributions and stories about clergy, clergy vulnerability and resources. He hopes to set up access to the FRLC recovery meeting there. Tthe FRLC meeting may become an ecumenical 12 step meeting or we may create a new meeting for this purpose. Ed has been attending the RMEC meeting on Zoom (7 pm Central) and it is going well, with about a dozen people participating. The “praxis” tab will include tools and resources congregations can use. . Ed will upload sermons on addiction, address scriptures passages pertinent to recovery and place where we can add to it. There will be pages on addiction and race/injustice, trends and types of treatment, and a referral page. We will sell links on the referral page to treatment centers for an annual fee. The site will include quotes and resources from thought leader, including academics, practitioners, writers and theologians. The board thinks it looks good so far.

Ed set up his personal website himself after the person he hired didn’t work out. View it at He welcomes feedback on both sites.

He will be doing a webinar on “Addiction Ministry in Time of Pandemic” with the keynote speakers from next year’s Conference, Tim McMahon King & Sonia Waters. This will bring attention to the both the Center and the Conference. Tim will talk about how the pandemic is impacting people who had addiction problems before the pandemic and Sonia will talk about what congregations can do.

He is looking for new grant writers as the ones he hired dropped the ball.

The Center applied for a PPE loan and was granted $62,000. This was not a “forgivable” one but the interest rate is low, payments are spread out over 30 years and the first payment isn’t due for a year. This gives them some funds to work with.

Old Business:

FRLC Annual Meeting: The meeting will be Tuesday, July 21 from 1:00 PM-3:00 PM Pacific Daylight Time by Zoom. Bohdan will set up and host the meeting. Ed will email an invitation to the meeting to the whole fellowship. Melanie will write content for the e-blast.
Ed will make phone calls to get people to commit to participating and asks each board member to think of a few people to call and ask also. Ed will let us know who he is calling once he makes a list.

Tom closed the meeting with prayer.

FRLC Board Minutes 5 7 2020

Present: Ed, Bohdan, Tom, Melanie

FRLC Annual Meeting: We will not be able to meet at the Rostered Ministers Gathering as it has been cancelled. We will meet by Zoom instead, during the time scheduled for original Gathering. The meeting will be on Tuesday, July 21 from 1:00 PM-3:00 PM Pacific Daylight Time. Bohdan will set up and host the zoom. Ed will email an invitation to the meeting to the whole fellowship. Melanie & Ed will put together an agenda. We discussed how to get all the board members to participate.

Zoom recovery meeting: A member asked about the possibility of doing the recovery meeting on Zoom. This came up in one of the Thursday meetings earlier this year and we intended to discuss it at the annual meeting. The RMEC (Episcopal group) has a Zoom recovery meeting for both laity and clergy, which had their first meeting last night. Some of our members value the anonymity of the phone meeting. We will explore inviting the FRLC members to the RMEC Zoom while maintaining the current phone meeting. Several people thanked Ed for reminding them of the Thursday meeting. He is considering sending a recurring email to the group for that purpose.

Coordinator’s report The 501c3 application for the Center on Addiction & Faith has been submitted and is in process. He continues to meet with the Advisory group and the future Board of Center. They are two separate groups with some overlap. The Advisory group will meet on a less frequent basis for visioning and reflection on the “big picture”, while the Board oversees the operation.
There is $5,558 currently in the Center’s account, although there will be refunds coming for canceled travel. The bulk of the funds are going to web developer, which is essential for this web-based program. Ed has been doing a lot of writing for the website and developing literature for the organization. He was advised to develop a personal professional website also and will send a link to our board members for our review and input.
They are working on an organizational structure in which the Center would be a non-profit organization and Ed would form a LLC (Limited Liability Corporation) through which he would provide work to the Center on a contractual basis. This allows them to receive both the benefits of being a non-profit and of being private.

The next Addiction & Faith Conference will be February 11-13, 2021.

Ed realized that one of the challenges of working with the church has been that they just don’t have a “box” for addiction ministries, so they never know where to put us. A motion was prepared and was approved by Ed’s conference that the Minneapolis Synod establish a Task Force on Addiction. Reference & Counsel gave it a positive review and ruled that that the Synod Council has the authority to approve it. It will be presented at the next Synod Council meeting, with Ed participating by Zoom. We hope it will create a model for other synods to follow.

He has experienced some frustration with fundraising, as he needs to do the initial meeting with funders face-to-face. He is using this time to build the infrastructure for the Center.

He was exploring locating the Center at Augsburg University as they have the largest collegiate recovery program in the country. This would allow access to student help with marketing, business items and the website and Ed may be able to provide some services to the college. He would also be able to stay on the clergy roster if this happens. Unfortunately, his contact’s position was eliminated before their meeting. Fortunately, Bishop Lull is on their board. She recommended patience as the college is preoccupied with moving online and adjusting to the current context.

There was no treasurer’s report this month, although Louise contacted Melanie regarding the delay in receiving the funds from FaceBook/Network for Good.

Kirk sent an email to Melanie and Ed, expressing his love for the Fellowship and difficulty with making meetings at the current time. Upon review, he is open to either remaining on the board in name only or resigning. One other board member has difficulty with this schedule. We did not resolve this matter as we ran out of time on the call.

Bohdan will schedule and host the next meeting on Zoom.

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.




FRLC Board Meeting January 9, 2020

FRLC Board Meeting Minutes

Thursday, January 9, 2020

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


            Present: Beth, Tom, Bohdan, Ed, Karen and Melanie. Kirk had a death in the family.


Check In & Prayer: Tom prayed.

Approval of Minutes from Previous Meeting MSP to accept them.


Treasurer’s report was received by email. The full payment to Transfiguration LC for Ed’s time for the 2019 Conference was paid. There was a discussion of which account certain deposits should be credited to. Beth will review these with Louise.


            Coordinator’s report His focus has been on developing the Addiction & Faith Advisory Team. They have had two meetings that were three hours long with energetic, enthusiastic discussions. They worked on the decision regarding Addiction & Faith becoming its own 501C3, the name, “Center for Addiction and Faith”, and their purpose will be a ministry to educate, inspire and equip congregations to do addiction ministry. Their centerpiece will be the annual Addiction and Faith conference. They envision the Center being a think tank where addiction and theology meet with blogs, podcasts, tools and resources. There are websites that do some of this resource work but not with faith perspective or ecumenically. They feel like there is a need for this. They are aiming to develop an annual budget of $150,000.


He is in conversation with consulting firm whose mission is to help non-profits change the world. He found them looking for a grant writer. They are preparing a bid on how they could help develop the Center, including options for grant writing, applying for 501C3 status, fundraising strategies, helping refine the proposal, identifying prospective grants, and prospect development.


Ed drafted some material for the A & F Advisory meetings, which he will send it to us after updating it. It includes a rough draft for a website for the Center for Addiction and Faith, which would be distinct from the Conference website and could serve as the umbrella for all the resources. There is a lot of writing to do for the website. He met with graphic designer for an initial discussion.


As he looked at existing resources on addiction, he found the Center On Addiction. This existing organization is incredibly well-funded and endorsed, with tens of millions of dollars. They are a think tank that does studies and research but there is not a mention of faith anywhere in their materials. Ed reached out to them, anticipating that he would learn more about this program and their resources and to build relationships with them.


The A & F Advisory team also discussed the question of whether or not to do a conference this year. It would be feasible if we could get the resources and hire people to put it on and difficult if Ed has to do it all himself. This ministry has totally been based on stepping out in faith, so he’s going to pick dates and move ahead with it. The people who attend are the foundation and platform for the ministry. The plan would be for it to be under the auspices of the Center for Addiction and Faith, although if they don’t have the 501C3 yet, the FRLC may do it again.


He will be sending out information to the FRLC membership about the Rostered Leaders Gathering. There will be no formal FRLC retreat but Ed asked been asked to lead a workshop about the Fellowship and there will be informal gatherings for our group.


Discussion turned to the future of the FRLC. Support for clergy is identified as a need, both by the A & F Advisory group and last year’s conference participants. Do we want to expand to include lay people like RMEC? Ed looked into options for an FRLC cruise retreat—prices are good in October but it would be difficult to do a fall cruise if we do the A & F Conference. Do we want to extend an invitation to lay people to make it more viable? It would be more of a fellowship event like our past retreats. Melanie recalls the original purpose of the FRLC was to support clergy in recovery, to convey a message that the Lutheran church supports recovery and to be a resource to spouses and congregations dealing with alcoholic clergy. (Following the meeting, she looked at the current website and saw that it was updated to:

  • Support clergy recovering from addiction.
  • Clearly convey how the Lutheran Church supports clergy in recovery, especially those who are new to recovery.
  • Provide ways for recovering clergy to contact and connect with other clergy in recovery.

It was suggested we discuss our current view of the purpose of the Fellowship at next month’s meeting.


Another question is whether there is a possibility of funding for the FRLC from the Addiction & Faith Conference (if it happens) this year.


Melanie thanks those who sent updated information for the Board list. Please review it and send her corrections and complete information where needed.


Karen closed the meeting in prayer.




Next meeting: Thursday, February 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#


October 3, 2019 Board Minutes

FRLC Board Meeting Minutes

Thursday October 3, 2019

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


Present: Ed & Melanie at the beginning. Bohdan & Tom joined later.


The minutes and treasurer’s report were postponed to the next meeting.


Possible Next Event: One idea would be to explore having a joint cruise retreat with the RMEC. If we get a larger group we would be able to have better meeting rooms. Perhaps we could have a track for clergy in recovery and a track for laity/others. We could all worship together, hear a speaker and break into separate groups for discussion. Afternoons could be free and we could offer an additional opportunity for worship, a speaker and recovery meetings in the evening. Ed could be the event coordinator. He has gotten some preliminary information about possible cruises. Days “at sea” are more successful for meetings than days in port. Ed will send Melanie information about possible cruise schedules and she will come up with potential agendas based on them. Ed will bring the idea to the RMEC board.


FRLC Funds: Ed will write an appeal letter and get it out right away, including some of the great quotes from the Conference.


Addiction & Faith Conference: Many were inspired. A couple people expressed interest in being on the Addiction & Faith Ministry Board. Ed will be working on pulling the Board together. At the debrief we heard unmet needs from both groups. Perhaps the proposed cruise would address some of them. We want the new ministry to be sustainable and not depend on one or two people. Ed has great ideas on what to do but could use your wisdom and advice on how to get it done. This ministry is needed—it’s the right thing for the right reason.


The ELCA Professional Leaders Gathering in Phoenix next summer is an opportunity for some kind of FRLC event. We have been asked to have a table there, possibly lead a workshop and to lead 12 step meetings. FRLC members could help with all of those and we could find a time and place to meet. It is an opportunity to reach more people who need the Fellowship, although we need think carefully how to protect the anonymity of those who are attending. Melanie is willing to come and Tom might attend.


Timing: The RMEC retreats have typically in the fall. Do we want to shoot for something as soon as fall of 2020? It will depend on whether we have an Addiction & Faith Conference that year.


Chicago conference: one of the treatment centers who participated in the Conference wants to offer an Addiction & Faith Conference in Chicago. Ed might consult with them for a fee. They are proposing having it at Mundelein. While that was the site of the first two FRLC retreats, it is neither a neutral place nor near the airport which are two things we have tried to do. Ed doesn’t have the contacts or volunteers in the Chicago area he has in Minneapolis; however the treatment center says they have all the contacts that would be needed. If there is support for doing multiple conferences around the country maybe licensing the model would be the way to go. It would be interesting to see if the price difference would make a difference in attendance if we could put on a less expensive event.


Feedback on Zoom: Those on the call thought it was a positive experience. It is a little complicated to use the first time as it takes some time to set it up on your computer. It should be quicker and easier after that. We will continue to use it for the next meeting.

Melanie closed the meeting in prayer.

September 22, 2019 Annual Meeting

FRLC Annual Meeting

Sunday September 22, 2019

The meeting opened at 3:11 PM, following the Addiction & Faith Conference and the conference debriefing session. The meeting opened with prayer.

Present: Ten members were present for the meeting.

Minutes from the 2018 Annual Meeting were approved.

Treasurer Report through August 30 was presented. The balance at that time was $816.83, although the August payment to the coordinator has not cleared. The cost of the mailing in August was $411. We received $500 in donations to the FRLC following the mailing, which will be transferred into the FRLC account following the conference. We hope to be able to transfer $3100 to our treasury from the conference proceeds but that is dependent on the ending financial balance of the conference.

Conference Finances: There was an appeal at the final session of the conference for $11,000 to cover expenses of the conference.  These are the preliminary numbers, we won’t have final ones until after all the bills are in and paid.  Ed will follow up with the RMEC regarding their financial participation in the event.

It was agreed that the FRLC needs to see the conference financial reports. The treasurer will obtain a copy of them.

Coordinator’s report: We have 216 members in the database, which still needs updating. There are about 70 on the email list. The Thursday morning recovery conference calls are strong. They are one of the best things we are doing. He would like to improve communication with the membership. The website needs updating. He intended to do it last year when we had a graphic designer but it has not been accomplished. He stated that the FRLC needs some TLC. Once and awhile, we hear anecdotes about the difference we are making. He would like to review the recommendations regarding the potential development of the FRLC made by the consultants at the retreat at Mt Olivet before the first Addiction & Faith Conference. Both the FRLC and Conference have potential for further development. The representative from Rosecranse, a large treatment organization, reported that they are quite interested in being a part of the Conference as treatment centers have been unsuccessful at reaching the clergy and churches and we have those people on board. Another comment was made by a person related to an ELCA organization encouraging us to explore working with non-church partners.

Conference Next steps: A poll was taken of those present and most are in support of doing it next year. Suggestions were made to hold the Conference every other year, to consider having it at a different time of year (there are a lot of recovery related events in this community at this time) and to explore other venues, including other hotels or a non-hotel setting. There are many churches in the Minneapolis area; however Sunday morning sessions make it difficult to hold the conference in a church. It was also noted that it is difficult to put on an event this size on an annual basis without paid staff.

Does the Addiction & Faith Conference need its own board and 501C3 status? If so, it will take time to develop it.

It was moved and seconded that the Addiction and Faith Conference be held in winter of 2021. After further discussion, the motion was withdrawn. It was felt that if we a separate board is established, they should be making those decisions.

Dan suggested that we consider naming the new organization “ the Addiction and Faith Ministry” to be broader than just the conference.

It was moved and seconded that the FRLC authorize Ed to pursue formation of an Addiction and Faith Ministry Board. It passed unanimously. The timing and location of the next conference will be determined by that board.

It was noted that the Addiction and Faith Ministry needs to operate under the FRLC financial umbrella until it forms its own 501C3. It was moved and seconded (Beth, Arthur) that we allow the Addiction & Faith Ministry to operate under auspices of FRLC until they form their own 501c3 organization, encouraging them to do so at earliest possible date. The motion passed.

FRLC next steps: The consensus was that continuity is valuable during this transition. A suggestion was made to do a search process for the coordinator should Ed decides to step down at some point. We all need to think and pray about what we want and expect the FRLC to be.

Should consider Zoom meetings for the board? It was moved and seconded (Beth, Tom) that board meetings will be held over Zoom. The motion passed. Beth offered to set up the meeting and took steps to do so.

Should have an FRLC Retreat if there is no Addiction and Faith Conference next year? A motion was made and withdrawn.

Ed has been asked to have a FRLC table at the ELCA Rostered Leaders Gathering in Phoenix next summer. He has also applied to lead a workshop. There was discussion about building a retreat around that Gathering, but there was limited enthusiasm for that.

Further conversation was held regarding the possibility of alternating between FRLC retreats and the Addiction & Faith Conference.

Board Election: The bylaws state that we can have up to 7 people on the board, serving 3 year terms. We have not often followed the principal of rotation on the board. Joel and Rob are going off the board. Roger would like to continue. Bohdan will ask Roger if he’d be willing to be the newsletter editor. We will strive to complete an annual budget this year. Karen T. was nominated and agreed to be on the board. Melanie nominated David C., who offered to serve on the board although he is not at this meeting. Karen and David were elected. The officers remain the same.

For the newsletter: Everyone is asked to write a brief reflection on conference, even just a paragraph or two.

It was moved, seconded and passed that the meeting be adjourned. Bohdan closed the meeting with the sharing of “highs and lows” around the room and prayer.

April 4, 2019 FRLC Board minutes

            Check In & Prayer: Members present: Beth, Bohdan, Joel, Kirk, Arthur, Roger, Ed, Melanie


Minutes from the March Meeting Joel moved, it was seconded and passed to receive the minutes from the March meeting.


Treasurer’s report We have a bookkeeper for the FRLC and Conference. The current balance in the Conference account is $4081.35 and the balance of the FRLC account is $1995.83.


            Coordinator’s report He has been lining up Synod Assembly presentations and displays. The Conference will be promoted at all Minnesota Assemblies, with either the Coordinator, an FRLC member or local planning team member present at all of them. He has also been presenting Minneapolis area conference meetings, where the information has been well received. We are working on getting sufficient cash on hand to pay for the promotional work and advertising through sponsorship and promoting direct registration.

He continues to be really encouraged with the partnership with the Episcopal church. Ed will be attending their board meetings and a representative from their board will attend ours. She could not make this meeting but will attend in the future. The Episcopal group will lead liturgical worship Friday night and we are responsible for the Sunday morning worship—we will start “high church” and finish “low church”. He is working on financial support and identifying potential sponsors with this group also.

Board members can support the Conference by:

1) register directly and paying by check. That will give us working capital as we will have immediate access to those funds.

2) Be proactive in promoting the Conference:

  1. a) Please bring your colleagues to the Conference.
  2. b) Take flyers for the Conference and the information sheet about how congregations can support this event to any meetings you attend. There are many levels of support available.
  3. c) Contact your Synod to get the Conference website and information in their communications.
  4. d) Let Ed know if you have ideas about potential sponsors—they will follow up.


Old Business:

FRLC treasurer: We need to have a treasurer to work with and oversee the work of the bookkeeper, who will make sure we receive reports and keep track of what is happening. Beth agreed to take on the role. Joel nominated her, it was seconded, and unanimously passed. She will follow up with the bookkeeper.

FRLC Board members available to meet with Transfiguration members: Tom and Melanie will be in the area May 13-17 and Bohdan will be there June 22. They are willing to meet with either the Church Council or congregation as needed.

An important issue is clarifying the legal accountability and oversight process going forward. The FRLC is the non-profit organization that sponsors and is responsible for the Addiction and Faith Conference. This is reflected in the minutes of the September 30, 2018 minutes of the Annual Meeting of the FRLC. There was discussion recorded of the financial relationship between the FRLC and the Conference at that meeting, but a budget was not presented at that time. This will be remedied at a future FRLC Board meeting.

It was suggested that we develop a formal Memorandum of Agreement between the FRLC and Transfiguration Lutheran Church regarding the reimbursement of administrative expenses associated with the Conference. Joel moved to develop MOU with TLC regarding reimbursing TLC for administrative costs of $25,000 for the Addiction and Faith Conference. Roger Seconded. Individual votes were called for. The motion passed unanimously with Ed & Arthur abstaining. Ed will be seeking advice on what language needs to be included in the MOU. Melanie is willing to help.


New Business:

The website has been updated with 2019 Conference information. Please review the listing of Board members and send any corrections to Melanie. The new board members will be added. There is now a working PayPal button for donations on the home page.

The next meeting will be Thursday, May 2, 2019






Board Minutes January 10, 2019

Present: Ed, Melanie, Beth, Kirk


Check-in happened.


Minutes: December’s minutes were approved.


Treasurer’s Report: The account balances are as follows: FRLC $3525.83, Conference $2113.40. We have paid a $1000 deposit on the hotel out of the Conference funds and also a $1200 retainer for our fundraiser.


Coordinator’s Report: We have signed a contract with the hotel, booking the Grand Ballroom (large banquet hall). We are anticipating 100 more participants than last year. This gives us room to grow and the possibility of selling individual event tickets. We are expanding to ten breakout sessions with similar topics but more options. The speakers are all lined up. Friday evening George Valent will speak on happiness & 12 steps. Amy Klobachar will give a welcome/introduction either in person or in video at supper on Friday. After the speakers there will be opportunities for spiritual direction, massages, and different kinds of meetings including a clergy only 12 step meeting.


The Saturday morning speaker will be Karen Casey, a writer for Hazelden. In the afternoon Sam Simmons will speak on addiction and racism. Retired ELCA Bishop Penrose Hoover will tell his story during Saturday dinner and will also preach for the Sunday morning worship. Rev. Dr. Brian McLaren is confirmed as the Saturday evening key note speaker. We are hoping he will address how recovery can be part of the emerging church.


We have been talking with Portico & Thrivent about their involvement next year. Portico would like to be more involved in the next Conference and be a sponsor in 2020. The Episcopalian recovery group has also assigned three people to partner with us and work on the conference. They have been in contact with Ed and are enthusiastic about working on the Conference.


New business: none


Kirk closed the meeting with prayer.


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


September 2018 FRLC Board Minutes

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Seven members were present. Check-in and opening prayer were held.

 Minutes: The minutes from July and August were received.


Treasurer’s Report: We had the ordinary expenses and income. The current balance is $235.83, which is less than the $300 monthly stipend. There are a number of changes happening.  The account at Wells Fargo has been closed and the funds moved to the Star Credit Union. Brian would like to transition out of his role as treasurer. He has served in that capacity for ten years. He is willing to remain on the board. He is willing to be flexible so there can be a smooth transition. Bohdan expressed appreciation for his service and the board expressed thanks for his faithful work, including writing the annual appeal letters. The Board needs to discuss maintaining our general account and ways to manage it. There has been discussion of taking an offering for the FRLC general fund at the closing of the Conference. Brian will participate in the FRLC Annual Meeting in person or by phone. The meeting is scheduled for 1:00 pm Sunday, September 30, following the Conference. There will be opportunity to elect new treasurer at that point and have a smooth handoff.


Coordinator’s Report: The FRLC is doing what it normally does. We have more members attending the conference than we’ve had at a retreat in a long time. About twenty FRLC members are registered. Ed noted that we have been low on funds before and that people have responded when we share the need. We haven’t asked for funds for the Fellowship in a while as the focus has been on undergirding the Conference. The Conference is raising our profile in the church relative to where we’ve been before.


The Conference is snow-balling. It’s a lot of work and we have a lot of great people stepping up to it. Others are taking care of the details Ed would never have thought of. God is watching over us! Our registrations are nearly full–we have capacity for 200. There are only 5 or 6 spots left. The rooms reserved for the Conference are all taken. We have over 135 room nights booked and have more than fulfilled our hotel contract, which obligated us to pay for unsold rooms if we did not meet the minimum. The speakers have all been contacted and are all confirmed. It looks like we will break even and maybe even come out a little bit ahead financially. The FRLC retreat will begin Thursday, tentative plans for dinner at 5:30 pm. Roger and Melanie have developed a draft schedule for the retreat which will be sent out be email once it is finalized. They had some questions, which Ed will respond to soon.


There will be a work party at Transfiguration all day Thursday before the Conference preparing materials for the participants.  All are welcome—Ed offered to provide rides (or arrange for them) from the airport as needed. There is an online app called “Sched” for conference information, which can be downloaded now. An email went out to people who are registered for the Conference but it is easy to miss in the inbox. Ed is still working on it and will send it out a few more times before the Conference. It would be helpful for us to try it out and give Ed feedback.


He is developing a list of people who will be there to volunteer at the Conference. He will assign tasks to people who are attending, and then answer questions when we arrive. People can trade tasks at that time if necessary.


Prayers are requested for Ed in these final weeks of preparing for the Conference.


If anyone wants to go off the board, it would be helpful to know between now and the Conference so we could be prepared for elections at the Annual Meeting.


Tom closed the meeting with prayer.


We will discuss our next meeting date at the Annual Meeting. It will likely be in November.