Tag Archives: Fellowship of Recovering

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.

December 2014 Board minutes

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Check In: Five Members present.

Prayer: led by GG

Approval of Minutes: approved

Treasurer’s report: Approved. nothing out of the ordinary. He will try to have the year end appeal letter to the coordinator by the end of the week.

            Coordinator’s report: He has been working a lot with the new ministry to laity and has an intern to help develop it. Several names for the group are under consideration: Lutherans Alive Again(LAA) and Fellowship of Recovering (FRL). It would be similar to FRLC only for Lutheran laity in recovery: newsletter, website, Lutheran resources for recovery, retreats, possible weekly meeting. At 200 members, the FRLC is about the size we would expect, based on recovery statistics that 10% of any group need recovery and 10% get it. The lay group has a much greater base. The coordinator met with a former member who came to the present church who wants to help finance it!

John McDougall, former Hazelden spiritual director (discussion of change in Hazelden philosophy), will be doing a 9 month lecture series at Transfiguration Lutheran  church on new book on “Be Sober, Be Happy”. Conference churches are on board as co-sponsors. Each church is being invited into process of being the first members of LAA/FRL and participate in shaping the worship service they are developing. Most recovery worship seems to be a Christian worship service that talks about recovery. The working title is “Conscious Contact”. It would be a spiritual experience for recovering people that could be replicated at any church w/o professional leadership (pastor or musician)—a 12 step meeting w time for meditation and prayer. It will have its own preamble/reading at the beginning with a disclaimer on Lutheranism about “you don’t have to believe like we do”. He would like some kind of  music which is generic enough to be accessible. They are looking at Native American drum circle for those who want to drum and prayer and meditation for those who don’t. There would be open sharing on a topic and would end with the Lord’s Prayer. More of a 11th step meeting than traditional worship. ET is more interested in getting church people into recovery than getting recovering people into church. It would respect variety of spiritualities. He is looking for input. People seen to either like or dislike drum circles, and participants affirmed ET’s experience of recovery worship. He will keep us posted.

 

Old Business:

            E-newsletter and quarterly newsletter: BV will try to get content to the coordinator soon, and we trust he to figure out how to work it with the treasurer’s letter or separate from it.

Noon recovery meeting: GG shared about the interruption to the meeting a couple weeks ago. MMD called in on Thanksgiving Day and was the only one on the call. Other than that, it is going well.

            LCMS relations GG updated us on his thoughts. He has seen recovery materials produced by the church publishing house and articles in church periodicals that are positive about 12 step programs. Since it is a program of attraction, perhaps we can put an occasional article in church publications and encourage people who are active in the Fellowship to be in touch with their District people.

            2015 Cruise plans: Nothing new to report.

 

New Business: none.

 

 

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