Category Archives: News

July 2015 Board minutes

FRLC Board Meeting Minutes

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

2:00 pm MDT/3 pm CDT/1:00 pm PDT/4:00 pm EDT

 

            Members present: Brian, Ed, Gary, Melanie, Tom, Bohdan

 

Check In & Prayer   Tom led us in prayer.

 

The minutes from June Meeting were approved.

 

Treasurer’s report The balance as of July 1 is $ 1211.37. Nothing out of the ordinary expenses. We have not received much from the Schwann’s campaign, which is now over.

 

            Coordinator’s report   He responded to a number of emails and phone calls which continue to come in. He will be meeting soon with the synod to discuss the staffing configuration. Donations were sent to the treasurer. Ed and Tom are speaking at laymen’s retreat. A newsletter will be coming out soon.

                       

Old Business:

            –Planning for next retreat–in Minnesota, held in conjunction with Lutheran’s Alive Again/Lutheran Recovery Network. It might be a couple years before it happens. The question is raised whether we want to do a FRLC retreat in between. It was suggested that we keep it simple if we do, and that people other than Ed do the work. Holden Village was suggested, although attendance was small the last time we went there. Hazelden renewal center was suggested, but it is difficult to get to from the airport. Bohdan and Melanie will talk about it before the August board meeting. We welcome input on this question.

-Speaker for next retreat: Melanie contacted a potential speaker through her booking agent and she might be a possibility. Melanie will draft a follow up email regarding our commitment to the 12 Steps of AA and her willingness to use the language and values of the program. Does she work the 12 steps and can she speak to them? She will send it to Ed for his input before sending it to her via this agent.

 

New Business:

 

Review of Board membership list: we checked with everyone on the call to make sure it is accurate. The secretary will send it as a Word Document attachment to facilitating printing.

 

The meeting closed in prayer.

 

Next meeting: August 5, 2015 2:00 pm MDT/2 pm CDT/1:00 pm PDT/3:00 pm EDT 12:00 pm

 

 

 

 

June Board meeting minutes

FRLC Board Meeting Minutes

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

2:00 pm MDT/3 pm CDT/1:00 pm PDT/4:00 pm EDT

 

            Present: Bohdan, Melanie, Ed, Tom

 

Check In & Prayer

 

The Minutes from the May meeting were approved.

 

Treasurer’s report: The checking account balance is $ 1355.51 and there were no out of the ordinary expenses. Thank you to Brian for writing our new 7th tradition announcement. It has been posted on the website and incorporated into the meeting format and is being read at our Thursday recovery meetings.

 

            Coordinator’s report He sent out emails with an article and information about the Schwans’ campaign, then found the phone number listed on the email was incorrect. He sent out a corrected version after learning that. He has the material for the next newsletter ready to go.

There has not  been a lot of response to the Schwan’s campaign so far.  He continues to receive phone and email inquiries regarding the FRLC.  The Thursday phone meeting is going well. We received a check from our book publisher for 86 cents!  We have also received about $500 more in donations, which have been forwarded to the treasurer but do not appear on this month’s report.

Lay fellowship: our coordinator has a lot of passion for this project. He plans to develop a business plan and seek funding to support his giving the necessary time to develop it. He has spoken with a pastor who started a recovery ministry in Minneapolis area, although he is not in recovery himself. It was probably the most successful Lutheran recovery ministry in the area; however, the pastor has moved on to another call. Ed and his intern attended this gathering recently. Ed had an opportunity to discuss this project with the Wheatridge representative at a conference for pastors of large churches. Ed pitched the new Fellowship, and initially got the same response as in the grant rejection letter. Ed challenged him and explained it more fully, and felt like they may be more open to considering a new request. He has had conversations with two pastors at “leading” churches in the Minneapolis area who he would like to invite to be on the board for the new group. This could be helpful for grant applications.

Ed’s congregation has begun the call process with his intern. He has also begun the process to bring on another pastor half time, allowing him to cut back to half time also in order to develop the lay fellowship. He shared experiences with the recovery series and Conscious Contact meeting at his church. This summer they may try a drive in movie night showing a recovery movie with Conscious Contact meeting beforehand. They are trying to find ways to keep participants connected with the group and the church.

The board discussed possible nationally known speakers for an initial retreat who would draw people to the event. Suggestions include  Anne Lamott, Nadia Bolz-Weber and Melanie Beatty. John MacDougall was mentioned along with the concern that he might not be a draw to the people who have attended the series at their church. Melanie reported on her conversation with Nadia at a recent event. Her schedule is booked until 2016, although she sometimes does pro-bono events for recover. Melanie will complete the webform to explore whether Nadia would be available at a 2016 date. Ed would appreciate suggestions of anyone who would be a draw for you.

                       

Old Business:

Melanie received a response from Cheryl P. to an inquiry about her progress in disseminating copies of our books to the Lutheran seminaries. She has been taking the time to identify individuals at each seminary to give the books to who will actually get them placed in the library. Her email was forwarded to Board members. Melanie thanked her for her efforts.

 

 

Next meeting: July 8, 2015 2:00 pm MDT/2 pm CDT/1:00 pm PDT/3:00 pm EDT 12:00 pm

May Board minutes

FRLC Board Meeting Agenda

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

2:00 pm MDT/3 pm CDT/1:00 pm PDT/4:00 pm EDT

 

            Present: Bohdan, Ed, Brian, Mary, Melanie

 

Check In & Prayer Mary led us in prayer.

 

Approval of Minutes from April Meeting The minutes were received with note of a spelling correction.

 

Treasurer’s report received. The current balance is $  1677.51. Brian was initially unsuccessful in contacting Schwans about the fundraising program. Mary gave him the correct website. He will pursue it.

Brian read the third draft of 7th tradition reading for Thursday meetings and the website. Ed suggested he add a statement about our tax-exempt status, rework the Thrivent Choice item and add a sentence about sustaining gifts. He will make these changes tonight and send them out for approval. We will begin using it when the new schedule for chairpersons goes out if the board concurs.

 

            Coordinator’s report Ed has been able to continue this work as he recovers from surgery. The number of phone calls and emails remained steady. There is increasing interest in recovery ministries and building energy for development of the lay fellowship. He was able to speak with ELCA church-wide bishop Elizabeth Eaton, who responded positively to his sharing about the FRLC and the proposed lay fellowship. It may be possible to staff this fellowship through realignment of pastoral calls at the congregation he serves. He anticipates developing a business plan and garnering support from organizations such as Thrivent and Portico to undergird this ministry. His ideas include development of a dynamic, professional website which could include content such as daily or weekly devotionals written by members, blogs on theology and 12 step faith, birthday celebrations, resources such links to recovery ministries, recovery-friendly churches, pastors willing to hear 5th steps and possibly people who are willing to serve as sponsors. He anticipates development of a database, e-newsletters, literature, and decisions about whether or not to have a mailed newsletter, a hotline or an online meeting. He is thinking the first gathering might work best at a hotel near the airport with a well-known speaker such as Nadia Bolz-Weber to draw participants.

                       

Old Business:

Web page (not discussed at the meeting but reported to the board via email: the links to the LRN material, preamble and Thursday phone meeting material are now functional)

 

New Business:

-PayPal button for Website: The WordPress free website will not accept the code for a PayPal button. We would have to switch hosts if we want to have a button on our webpage. Ed suggested we hold off on this until the development of the new website and integrate the two sites, including this feature. We can remove the phrase about donating through PayPal until that is available.

 

Next meeting: June 3, 2015 2:00 pm MDT/2 pm CDT/1:00 pm PDT/3:00 pm EDT 12:00 pm

 

April 2015 Board Minutes

FRLC Board Meeting Minutes

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

2:00 pm MST

 

Present: Brian, Gary, Melanie, Mary, Ed, Bohdan

 

Check In & Prayer Ed is scheduled for surgery tomorrow-please keep him in prayer. Also his wife as she awaits her first call.

 

Approval of Minutes: received.

 

Treasurer’s report: No out of the ordinary income or expenses. Closing balance $1612.51 Continued need to get the message out about our need for donations. Thrivent Choice is helpful: $395 new dollars came in overnight. Every dollar helps! Mary mentioned the possibility of a fundraising campaign through Schwan’s. For the first 45 days, Schwans donates 20% of any order through the program. Brian will look into it before the next meeting. A question was asked about financial response to the last newsletter. There was a recent deposit was $175, some of which may have been in response to the newsletter. Ed has additional money to send to Brian.

 

            Coordinator’s report (Ed): The monthly lecture series continues at Transfiguration as a part of the development of the Lutheran Recovery Network. They are getting about 100 people in attendance. The name of the group is not finalized.

Three people who found us on the website and contacted Ed, and there have been several phone calls recently. A pastor from Arizona is interested in developing a recovery ministry. Another was referred by the Synod office.  A LCMS pastor called who been in the FRLC 11 years. He thanked us for our ministry and wants to get more involved in the Fellowship. Two new members joined. Ed connected an inquirer to a member with sexual addiction.

There are typically 4-5 people per week at noon phone meeting. The last newsletter had 31 copies returned for an invalid address. Ed will work on updating the database while recovering from surgery. He also filed the IRS report for the year.

 

Old Business:

           

Next year’s retreat: Last month we discussed doing the next retreat in conjunction with lay fellowship in the Minneapolis area. Ed will explore some options and will bring them to the next meeting.  We discussed the timing of the retreat—not winter; maybe in spring after Easter. Easter is early next year. A concern was expressed about tying the lay fellowship too much to one congregation. The intention is not to affiliate the organization with the congregation. The lecture series was a cluster event and the retreat will have invitations go out nationally. They are trying to find a big name speaker who will attract people.  FRLC members would lead workshops. Members of the lay fellowship and the FRLC will share the leadership of the retreat. Several questions were asked, including “Are the folks in this group going to be willing and open to having recovering Lutheran clergy there?”, and “How many lay people might be involved?” Since the group is Lutheran, we anticipate no issues with Lutheran clergy being present.  We have no idea what the attendance will be–perhaps a hundred. There will be some joint meetings and separate meetings for clergy. We would hold the FRLC annual meeting there, and other sessions for whatever we choose to do together. Lay and clergy groups would be together for a banquet with the speaker and some of the breakout workshops. Ed will bring more ideas to our next meeting. A suggestion was made to consider Dr. John MacDougall, former Director of Spiritual Guidance at the Hazelden Foundation—he’s a pastor, he’s well known although not Lutheran and is from Minnesota. It was suggested that FRLC members invite recovering people from the churches we serve or have served. A board member asked “how many are on our mailing list?” There are 580 newsletters mailed out. 225 of those are pastors in recovery.

 

 

Web page: Melanie has posted the materials Ed prepared for LRN and Conscious Contact but the links aren’t working yet. They will be fixed soon. A suggested was made that we post the preamble for the Thursday meeting to the website.

Melanie suggested we add a 7th tradition statement for the Thursday meeting. We will ask Brian to craft the words. Melanie will send email to him with some ideas. She also suggested adding a PayPal button to the website. It was moved, seconded and passed to take the above actions.

 

            Newsletter & E-newsletter: Bodahn sent material to Ed for the next issue.

 

New Business:

            Other denominations: Melanie searched websites from other denominations and found a couple of good ideas. There is an Episcopal site that has a calendar of recovery events across the country. We could consider doing this through LRN when it is more developed. Another group had an item asking their members to make gifts to their organization through their wills.  Melanie will mention this idea in her in email to Brian. The idea of networking with these groups was raised at the retreat. Does anyone want to pursue contacting them?

Anything else? There was a “newcomer” to sobriety at last Thursday’s phone meeting.

 

Gary closed the meeting in prayer.

March 2015 Board minutes

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

2:00 pm MDT/3 pm CDT/1:00 pm PDT/4:00 pm EDT

Present: Gary, Tom, Melanie, Bohdan, Ed

Check In & Prayer  All who were on the call checked in and Melanie opened with a prayer.

 Approval of Minutes from Annual Meeting and the January meeting were received.

Treasurer’s report was received. Ed just sent Brian $800 from the December appeal. At the current rate, we will exhaust our funds before the end of the year.

Coordinator’s report Ed sent an e-news and newsletter with a tear off donation form at the bottom last week. We usually receive some donations when we sent one out. Bohdan will combine an article he has written with one Marda wrote about the retreat and send it to Ed for the next issue. We have two new members. Thursday meetings are going well. The schedule for the chairpersons and reminders which Melanie sends out have made a difference.

The new Lutherans Alive Again/Lutheran Recovery Network is going well. Ed met with his mentor/benefactor a week ago. This man brought the associate pastor from his church who is also a pastor in recovery. He is also excited and interested in this ministry. Ed’s frustration is that he is not able to give as much time to it as he’d like. He is grateful for his intern, who has been working on the speaker series though Ed’s church. There were a hundred people at their last event. The next one is scheduled for next week. People have been positive about the 11th step worship/meeting, but it needs to become weekly to really get established.

Ed touched on his concern about the finances again. He requests all of the board members to set up automatic monthly gifts to the Fellowship, using resources like Simply Giving or through your bank.  Ed and Melanie do this. Even a small amount makes a difference.

Ed filed the 2014 taxes. There was a discussion of Gary’s role with the state of Illinois regarding non-profit paperwork. The state will send him the paperwork when it is needed.

Gary shared an email which he received from a LCMS lay woman in recovery who found our website. She was excited about what she saw and wants information about the Fellowship for Lutheran Laity in recovery. Gary will forward the email to Ed.

                       

Old Business:

Ideas for web page: Melanie brought up the idea of making our site more dynamic and interesting so that people would have reasons to return rather than just looking at it once. She thought about linking to a daily recovery devotional, but has not been able to implement that. Another idea was to post a video with some of the material from the preamble to our recovery meetings. Our web developer agreed to work on it but hasn’t gotten to it yet. She and her husband have been dealing with health issues recently.

One of Ed’s thoughts is to find money to put together a dynamic website for the new group with someone who can stay on top of it and keep it up to date. Our site is static and is updated when we get around to it. Melanie will add a new page with material that Ed sent about the 11Th step meeting he has started. She was waiting for him to have experience with the group and format, and since it is going well she will do it sometime soon.

 

New Business

 E-newsletter and quarterly newsletter article from the cruise were discussed above.

Independent Lutheran Organization: Melanie sent an email to Ed and Bohdan with an article from her Synod’s newsletter. This article from the newly renamed Lutheran Association of Christian Educators explained who they are, who they serve, thanked the Synod for a small donation to their organization and asked readers to consider donating to them also. Perhaps we could send such a letter describing the FRLC to the Synods also. If each of the 65 Synods donated $100 it would be significant. Board members thought this was a good idea.  Melanie will think about it and write a draft letter for the board when she is able to do so, which may not be by the next board meeting.

Following up on a comment at the Annual Meeting, Melanie attempted to look up websites for organizations for clergy in recovery from other denominations. It has been a long time since we have been in touch with them. A Presbyterian clergy group came up on Google but the link didn’t work. The Episcopal clergy fellowship, the  Recovered Alcoholic Clergy Association (RACA) also had a non-working link. She did discover an Episcopal Recovery Ministry site for laity, which she sent to Ed and Bohdan as an idea to work for with our lay fellowship. You may view that website at: http://www.episcopalrecovery.org/

Next retreat: it has been proposed that we hold it in conjunction with the new lay fellowship, possibly in Minnesota. Please think about it. We will discuss it next month.

 

Next meeting: April 8, 2015 2:00 pm MDT/2 pm CDT/1:00 pm PDT/3:00 pm EDT 12:00 pm

 

 

 

 

Minutes of 2015 Annual Meeting

FRLC Annual Meeting

February 13, 2015

 Present: Tom M., Ed T., Melanie M.-D., Marda M., Mary S. Dave C. was not present as he was not feeling well.

Melanie led the meeting in the absence of Bohdan. Marda took the minutes.

Opening Prayer: led by Mary.

Review of Minutes from our last meeting, February 7, 2013. They were approved unanimously

Treasurer’s Report:

            -Church Mutual insurance was dropped subsequent to the revision of the ELCA website. The insurance was a requirement to become an officially recognized “Independent Lutheran Organization” by the ELCA, which we did in order to be listed on their website as a way to be a resource to the church. They no longer list any “outside” organizations on their website, including us. After many unsuccessful efforts at resolving this, we have dropped this effort. At that point, the Board determined that the insurance was an unnecessary expense.

-The balance is down. We did not send out as many issues of the newsletter in 2014, and donations usually follow a request in the newsletter. We intend to get them out more regularly this year.

-The report was approved.

Review of Board Report for 2013/2014. Melanie presented a written summary of Board actions since the last meeting. Minutes of the Board meetings are posted on the website.

Coordinator’s Report: Ed reviewed his responsibilities on our behalf. The mailing list is at 565, which includes “friends” and judicatory offices. Our membership is stable.

He is involved in a new project to form a fellowship of Lutheran laity in recovery. The FRLC applied to Wheatridge and Thrivent for funding for this project, but were turned down by both organizations. The intern serving with Ed has taken it on. Ed has identified a potential donor to back this project. Ed described some of the work they are doing and their plans to expand to a larger area.

 

New Business:

 Next Retreat: Discussion was held of possible sites and timing for future retreats, including Spirit in the Desert in Arizona, Holden Village (after the environmental mediation is complete) and another cruise, possibly out of New Orleans. Additional conversation was held about meeting on a cruise in conjunction with the lay Lutheran fellowship, with breakout sessions on our own and our members possibly being available to lead worship for the lay group.

Board Elections: Bohdan V. was elected chair, Melanie as secretary, and Mary S. and Tom M. were elected to the board.

The meeting was adjourned.

January 2015 Board minutes

FRLC Board Meeting Minutes, Wednesday, January 7, 2015

            Check In & Prayer: Five members were present

The Minutes from December were approved as sent.

Treasurer’s report—year end The 2014 year end report was sent by email along with the 2013 for comparison. The income was down,  and compensation up this year. Over $800 in checks came in from the Christmas appeal. When finances were critical a few years ago we sent out a strong appeal and received a big boost. Some large one time gifts came in then. The last stipend may not have included in this report, so we may have a little more. It appears that less issues of the newsletter went out last year, which may be a contributing faction. Options discussed included a Lenten appeal or a newsletter focused on finances. The cruise will have happened by the next issue, so we will have had the annual meeting. There is often new energy & leadership coming out of the retreat.

            Coordinator’s report He commented on the nice Christmas fundraising letter Brian put together. It is producing some gifts. The general trend is fewer gifts in larger amounts. We need to keep putting it out there.

We may have a new benefactor, who is mentoring our Coordinator on how to “build” things, and may give financial support. We reviewed progress on the lay fellowship.  Eight congregations and a treatment center are cosponsoring a once a month lecture series for the next nine months, with break out sessions after lecture on understanding the 12 steps, youth, and the “Conscious Contact”-12 step experience w prayer and meditation. He developed the literature and tested it at one meeting in December, and was pleased at how it sounded and how it was received. The first lecture and breakout sessions happen tomorrow night!

Six couples are confirmed and paid for the cruise. The weekly meetings are still going and are regularly attended. He also attended to emails and phone calls the same as always.

                       

Old Business:

            E-newsletter and quarterly newsletter: suggestion to focus on how the money is used and what we accomplish with it. Our treasurer will think about it and we will discuss it at the next Board meeting.

2015 Cruise plans: It was announced in the brochure that we would work our way through the 12 X 12. Each participant will be assigned two chapters to read and speak on. He will send the assignments out to the participants. The board affirmed this plan. We will discuss how we apply the traditions in this Fellowship. The new chairperson will not be able to attend, so the former chair/current secretary will do a written Board report, bring the two year end Treasurer’s reports, and run the meeting.

New Business:

One of our members asked about inviting participation in the Wittenberg Project through our Fellowship. It seemed that people felt it was ok as a non-FRLC announcement on the Thursday calls for those who wanted to talk about it in the informal time after the meeting closes but there was concern about slippery slope putting it on website and Facebook. It was moved, seconded and tabled on “that we abide by the AA traditions and not be a conduit for advertisement of non FRLC related events”.  Will we function by making a case-by-case decision or following AA tradition? The motion will be discussed at the retreat.

A board member brought up what to do when unknown music and conversation comes on line with Thursday meeting call. Nobody admitted it came from their location although it sounded like a recording of a Lutheran worship service. There were two newcomers to FRLC on the call. It has not happened again. Perhaps the best procedure would be to have everyone hang up and call back in.

We closed us in prayer.

The next meeting will be the  annual meeting on the Cruise. The next board meeting will be Wednesday, March 4, 2015 2:00 pm MDT/2 pm CDT/1:00 pm PDT/3:00 pm EDT 12:00 pm