Tag Archives: addiction

FRLC Board Meeting Thursday, December 7, 2016

            Check In & Prayer: Seven board members were present. We shared, celebrated and prayed.

Minutes from the November Meeting: approved as written.

 

Treasurer’s report: We had a good response to the appeal. Donations of $1499.11 came in, giving us a balance of $2012.29. $500 of that is for the Conference. The treasurer will break out the Conference funding in his report in the future. The coordinator has another $700 in donations to the Fellowship to forward to the treasurer.

Paypal button: The information needed to open the account was sent to our original webmaster, but last month we decided to forward the information to the person we are working with on the Conference website. The coordinator and original webmaster both got locked out of the FRLC website. They suspect the website got moved somehow although that is not supposed to be possible. The coordinator entered the site and updated a few things using the secretary’s username and password. He has a list of things to work on with the Conference website developer and will follow up on the PayPal button with her.

 

            Coordinator’s report: He receives the donations and forwards them to the treasurer, who deposits and records the gifts and sends out the thank you notes. We had a good turnout at the recovery meeting today. Everyone was asked to preview the Conference website: www.addictionandfaithconference.com/ There are still a couple typos to fix before it “goes live”, but the consensus is that it looks good. We have not confirmed Lori Swanson at this time, so she may not be on the program. He is waiting for that to be sorted out before going forward with the website. Neither synodical bishops will be able to attend as our conference conflicts with the Conference of Bishops meeting. They have offered to send staff to bring greetings, but the coordinator wondered about having interfaith greetings instead. Transfiguration Lutheran Church has a couple thousand dollars in their budget to support recovery ministries which will be designated to the Conference this year. A board member did a funeral for an overdose victim and the family designated the memorial gifts of $3600 to go to it also. We need a major sponsor of about $10,000 to help promote the event and allow us to conclude without major debt. We could use help from any board member who would like to work on obtaining sponsors. We are still talking with Hazelden; Fairview said they’d help some, Bishop Lull said she will approach some potential donors, and the secretary is writing a proposal for funding from the ELCA Deaconesses. The coordinator has a description of the Conference with a list of items a donor could sponsor which he will send to anyone who would like to help. They could also sponsor a vendor table. Another board member will contact a few people and find out where they get their funding and see if there are any avenues there we could pursue.

                       

Old Business: Covered in reports.

 

New Business:

It was moved, seconded and passed to move the board meeting to after the recovery meeting on the first Thursday of the month. It was more convenient for most people and we had a better attendance at both the recovery meeting and the board meeting. The motion passed.

We closed the meeting in prayer.

 

Next meeting: Thursday January 4, 2018 following the recovery meeting 11:00 am PDT/12:00 pm MDT/1 pm CDT/2:00 pm EDT 12:00 pm

June Board Minutes

FRLC Board Minutes

June 8, 2017

 

Present: Kirk, Arthur, Joel, Ed, Tom, Bohdan, Melanie

Everyone checked in. The meeting opened with prayer.

The treasurers report was approved. The balance is $1301.36

The minutes from the wrong year were sent by email. The correct minutes will be sent.

Publicity Director’s Report: 2018 retreat: Hazelden decided not to be a cosponsor, although several people on their staff are very enthusiastic about it. Eyglo continues to work with Ed on the planning. Anne Wilson Schaef is interested in being a keynote speaker.

Old Business:

Board roster: Melanie still needs mailing addresses for Joel and Roger to complete it.  Joel sent an email with his information.

ELCA Rostered Leaders Gathering in Atlanta: Dave Connors took the initiative to request that the FRLC be one of the “affinity groups” at this meeting. Last month, Ed and Melanie authorized him to proceed with this and today’s group concurred. We discussed resources he might need: FRLC brochures, copies of our book, information about the 2018 retreat. We have copies of the book on hand and can provide retreat information. Melanie will follow up with Dave, encouraging him to contact Ed for those supplies. Tom offered to make a donation to cover the cost of the books.

PayPal button on website: Brian was going to research it. We will come back to this when Brian is on a call.

2018 Retreat: What is needed from the board is to get the publicity out to your synods, networks, and on social media once it is ready to go. Tom suggested getting the publicity to Minnesota Recovery Connection. We need to find another sponsor/partner in place of Hazelden. Ed has a feeler out to Caron, which is like Hazelden on the East Coast. It would be good to have a treatment center as a sponsor. We don’t have a confirmation on William Moyers’ participation yet. Thrivent was suggested as a possible partner. We haven’t gotten a commitment from Minneapolis/St Paul Synods yet. We don’t think that will be a problem but Ed would like to have another major sponsor lined up before asking them. The local planning team is meeting tomorrow. There is a good team of local folks working with Ed, who is doing a great job at keeping it moving. The dates are April 13-15, 2018 and it is at the DoubleTree Inn in Bloomington, MN.

New Business: It was suggested that we resend the 7th tradition format to the people who chair the Thursday meetings. Melanie will send it with a reminder when she does the next meeting schedule.

The next meeting will be July 12 at the usual time, due to conflicts on the regular date.

May 2017 Board Minutes

FRLC Board Meeting Minutes

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

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

 

Ed and Melanie were the only ones on the call, so we talked and I took notes but it wasn’t really an official meeting.

 

We agreed that Dave C. could represent us at the ELCA Rostered Leaders Gathering in Atlanta. He has gotten the ok to have an FRLC “Affinity Group” at the event. He was not sure if he would be able to go. I let him know he had our “seal of approval” and asked that he let me know whether he is going or not. If anyone else is interested in representing us there (we have no funds to support you in this), please let me know.

 

We discussed the 2018 lay retreat. We received confirmation of the Memorandum of Agreement from Nadia Bolz-Weber’s agent:

 

Melanie:

We have received your contract. You are officially on Nadia’s schedule for April 13-14, 2018! Please find her Bio and photo attached for any of your marketing efforts.

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

Sincerely, Lisa

 

These dates are confirmed for the Double Tree Inn in Bloomington, MN. There is a free airport shuttle.

 

Nadia will be speaking Friday evening and Saturday morning. Other speakers include Don Shelby, a local newscaster in recovery, and William C. Moyers of Hazelden.

 

Ed and Arthur are meeting with two people at Hazelden tomorrow–the pastor who attended our retreat and their publicity person. They will be discussing vendors, networking and potential workshop leaders at the first meeting and publicity efforts through Hazelden as well as the church at the second. Ed prepared a first draft brochure to help our partners understand what we are doing, which is attached below. Please note that the schedule for the speakers in the brochure is incorrect–Nadia’s time slots are as described above.

 

Joy has the information to access the website to work on publicity also.

 

The local retreat committee will be meeting next week, on May 18.

 

We adjourned our meeting around 2:30 pm Mountain time.

 

Next meeting: June 7, 2017 2:00 pm MDT/2 pm CDT/1:00 pm PDT/3:00 pm EDT 12:00 pm

 

 

 

 

March 2017 Board Meeting Minutes

 

 

FRLC Board Meeting Minutes

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

 

            Check In & Prayer Brian, Roger, Melanie, Joel, Bohdan, Arthur, Ed, Tom.

Tom led us in prayer.

 

Approval of Minutes from last meeting January’s minutes were approved.

Annual meeting minutes yet to come.

 

Treasurer’s report was sent by email. Balance at the beginning of the meeting was $ 2275.51.

There was a deposit from the retreat of $4225 that was included in the updated report, giving a balance of $6500.51. There is one outstanding check to Mount Olivet Retreat Center for $4979.96. One more check for the retreat has not been deposited. We broke even on the retreat.

 

            Coordinator’s report: The retreat was well attended and inspirational. One participant’s first day sober was at the retreat and he remained sober throughout. There was a lot of visioning for the future, including developing a retreat and fellowship for laity in recovery. We met with several guests including staff from the Minneapolis and St. Paul Synods and Hazelden, and a professional fund raiser. The message from our guests was there is so much potential left in our current fellowship that they encouraged us to focus on this work and not on expanding the new fellowship for laity in recovery. There was a lot to think about. Retreatants regrouped and decided to go ahead and plan a retreat for Lutheran Laity in Recover next year. A team was formed with several local people plus at least one person who will participate in meetings electronically. Joy, Jim, Beth, Arthur, Roger are on the team and will meet March 16 at 9 am. Dates were proposed and the group a decided on the Minneapolis area for a location, with a preference for holding it at the Mount Olivet Retreat Center. There are no available dates at Mt. Olivet that will work for us. Melanie sent an email to a potential speaker’s booking agent but has not heard back from her.

Otherwise, the Coordinator had routine contacts, finding the work for the retreat to be satisfying. He has some checks to send to Brian.

                       

Old Business:

            Thank you to people going off of the board (Melanie): John W., Mary S. and Gary G. were thanked for their service. John responded with an email which was shared at the meeting.

 

New Business:

            PayPay button on website Our Coordinator asked if this would be possible at the conclusion of the retreat. Our web guru said she could do it but would need us to have a PayPal account and document our 501(c)3 status. Discussion included potential costs, that it may generate new donations, that we could encourage current donors to continue to give the way they do now, and that it would give potential donors another option—we might get impulse givers or use it in an email appeal—where they could give with one or two clicks. It would be good to get it in place if we grow. There were questions about how it works for the administrator. One member suggested there are other brands that deal with donations, which we could look into. Arthur can email a site with option for PayPal account or credit card. Brian will research this before the next meeting. Melanie will send Bea’s contact information.

 

            Thursday meetings—schedule leaders: Retreat participants were invited to be added to the chairperson’s schedule and current chairpersons were asked if they would like to continue. All of the current group is continuing and we have one new person for the list. The schedule will be emailed to the chairpersons when it is complete.

 

            Revising the Board: The secretary will send an inquiry to all new board members regarding contact information for a list to be used amongst the board and also what information they would like listed on the website.

 

Newsletter articles: We have frequently done a post retreat with reflections about that experience. New board members who attended the retreat are asked to write up a story (250-500 words) about the experience and what it meant for them. Anyone else is welcome to do so also. (Secretary’s addition: in the past we have also invited new board members to write a brief article introducing themselves, along with why you chose to serve on the board and what you hope to accomplish by doing so. While we didn’t discuss this and the meeting, it would be helpful should you choose to do so. The biggest challenge for the newsletter and e-blasts has been getting articles to include in them.)

 

Spreading the word: Joel offered to work on ideas on how to get the word out about our existence—to seminaries, Synods, etc. He will develop an email and send it out to the board members for feedback before the next meeting.

 

  • Next meeting date: April 5, 2017  2:00 pm MDT/3 pm CDT/1:00 pm PDT/4:00 pm EDT

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

July Board minutes

Check In & Prayer 3 members  were present. 2 contacted chair by email. No word from 2.

Approval of Minutes: they were approved.

Treasurer’s report nothing out of the ordinary. Suggestion made that we have a financial report in the next newsletter, and a fundraising appeal in the fall.

            Coordinator’s report Coordinator and treasurer  are working on application for Amazon Smile, which would allow us to receive funds from sales on their website. There is money pending already. Coordinator will promote it when it is complete.

Cruise: Coordinator contacted our travel agent Walt Shaffrick after the last meeting. Four couples are currently registered. He received emails from four other couples who are also interested, which would give us eight couples/sixteen people. The cruise is definitely on. Our membership is usually slow to sign up for events, so there may be more.

Coordinator worked with BR, volunteer web designed on how to use WordPress and updated the website.

He completed the Annual Report for the state of Illinois and sent it in along a $10 fee to keep our non-profit status.

He took some phone calls and emails, and met with a pastor who is new in recovery while he was in New York. It was wonderful to see how meaningful it was to this pastor and was a renewing experience for both. The new member sent the Coordinator  a thank you note. He is interested in cruise but money is an issue.

Coordinator reported on the development of recovery worship at his church. The church funded an intern, and they found one who is also in recovery, who will work with him on launching this service. It will probably begin at the first of the year. He has been doing some writing of literature for the group and has more yet to do. BR, who helps with the website said she’d love to come. Her husband is in the program, so I said if we do a cruise for laity they would certainly be welcome. Coordinator had suggested doing a joint cruise to “kick off” the new group but some of the pastors were reticent to do a joint cruise. It might be possible for this group to offer their own cruise and invite any FRLC members who are interested to join them, while still keeping our own events for our own membership.

                       

Old Business:

            E-newsletter and quarterly newsletter: The Editor reported that he is working on the next newsletter and will have it to the Coordinator shortly. It was suggested that we could include the financial report. Perhaps the coordinator could write up the story of his visit with a new member in New York for the next issue.

           Noon recovery meeting: Attendance has been down the last few weeks. This has happened in past summers also. Coordinator will send out the email reminders of the meeting.  

            LCMS relations possible mailing to DP’S (and bishops): LCMS board member had suggested that we consider doing another mailing to them as there has been a lot of turn over since the last one. The sense of those on the call today is that such mailings are a lot of work and money for minimal results. This idea was tabled.

            2015 Cruise plans: There is an agenda in the brochure, focusing on the 12 traditions. It looks good.

New Business:

            Exploring web conferencing for board meetings: Coordinator brought the idea up to the Board chair  after using the Webex service for training on the website. She contacted the Montana Synod “tech guru”, Colter McCarty, who suggested that if we have ten or less participants and are not sharing a lot of documents either Skype or Google Hangout should work for us. He said “Skype allows for up to 10 people to be on a video/audio call at once. Its a free service, but you can screen share if you want everyone to see the same thing at once. The only problem is that it is free, so you may not have the clearest video quality and the client can crash or stutter occasionally if someone’s connection is interrupted. Google Hangouts are the same, in that you can host 10 people, but it is all done within your browser, no need to download a separate client.”

We decided to try it for three board meetings and consider whether it would work for our recovery meetings. Coordinator and Chair will experiment with it before the next board meeting and send out the invitation to join.

Ideas for web page: Chair attended a Faith Formation workshop on using webpages for Christian Education and came home with several ideas for our Fellowship, which she discussed with BR. They are:

-use a screen shot with the back of heads and the quote “what I cannot do alone, we can do together”

-make a free Animoto video with the sound track introducing our Fellowship. We could use material from our preamble (the languages we share) and quotes from our book to have more a “live” feel about our group without violating anonymity. (note: Ed went to the website and played with it and had a video half done by the end of the meeting). If we don’t want the animated one, perhaps we could do a YouTube video with us talking about FRLC with our faces shadowed.  You can learn more about it playing the video on http://animoto.com/intro/animoto/31. If I can put together more samples to look at, I will send them later.

-we could do a link with a daily recovery devotion so people would have a reason to come back to the site. WordPress may not have the capacity to put it directly on our page, but we could at least link to one.

-we could link our Facebook group to our webpage. Since it is a closed group, they would get a link to request to join the group. BR needs access to administrator information to do this. Chair sent Editor a message. He like the idea, so she sent them each other’s contact information to work on it.

 

NEXT MEETING: WE DECIDED TO SKIP AUGUST AND ENCOURAGE EVERYONE TO THINK ABOUT THE ABOVE IDEAS AND MAKE A COMMITMENT TO ATTEND IN SEPTEMBER.

            THE SEPTEMBER MEETING WILL BE SEPTEMBER 2 (the day after Labor Day) at the usual time. PLEASE PUT IT ON YOUR CALENDAR NOW!!!!          

 

Don’t drink, go to meetings, and may the Lord be with you!

 

Next meeting: September 2, 2:00 pm MDT/3 pm CDT/1:00 pm PDT/4:00 pm EDT

It Works if You Work it!

One of the pitfalls to being in a “helping profession” is my tendency to neglect my own needs. Someone once told me people in helping professions go into those professions precisely because they need the help themselves. And rather than getting the help they so desperately need, they end up helping others, thinking this will satisfy their needs.  Perhaps ministers go into the ministry because it is they who need to hear the gospel so much.  In any case, as a recovering person and as a minister, I need to remember that unless I meet my own needs I cannot meet anyone else’s. As Jesus said, “Take the log out of your own eye first.”  My recovery has to come first before I can be of any use to anyone else. This means my meetings must be a priority, the steps need to be my daily habit.

People say it is a selfish program and there is much truth to that. By being selfish about my recovery, by addressing my issues first, I am in a better position to serve others. By putting my recovery first, I am putting others first.

Brother Lawrence, a monastic from the 17th century made this observation once: “It was lamentable to see how many people mistook the means for the end, addicting themselves to certain works, which they performed very imperfectly, by reason of their human or selfish regards.”  Brother Lawrence was talking about how in the name of feeding others we begin to imagine we are being fed by our actions – we become so preoccupied with forming committees, serving on boards and dealing with crises we start to see ourselves as principal actors instead of people who need to be acted upon (works, righteousness, idolatry).

My meetings feed me and keep me humble. Working the steps keeps me growing in communion with God.

They have a wonderful saying at the end of my regular meeting. Usually, after the Lord’s prayer you hear, “Keep coming back, it works if you work it.” At my home group they add this line: “Keep coming back, it works if you work it, and it sucks if you don’t.”

Ain’t that the truth!

Ed T., Editor