AGM 2015 Minutes

ALLLM Annual General Meeting 2015
May 19, 2015


Present: Stephen Fetter, James Haun, Sarah Erickson, Merri Alexander, Becky Youngblood, Alyssa Lodewick, Helen Blier, Ashley Anderson, Ginny Proctor, Richard Rouse, Israel Galindo, Marilyn Johns, Stephen Simmons

Regrets: HiRho Park, Betsy Anderson, Mark Abbott, Brenda Harewood

Welcome and Call to Order – Sarah Erickson

Opening Prayer -- Stephen Fetter

President’s Report -- Sarah Erickson

Sarah reported that our President Brenda Harewood experienced the death of her mother in the winter, and subsequently had a heart attack herself. We remembered her in prayer, and thanked Sarah for chairing the meeting in her absence.

Sarah reported that since the last conference in 2013, your leadership team has

  • Met monthly by audio or video conference
  • Revised the website
  • Inaugurated the publication of an e-newsletter
  • Conducted member outreach & revised the member/friends listing
  • Planned a conference, canceled a conference and birthed a webinar series
  • Recruited new officers to present this afternoon
  • Prayed together for discernment for the future of the organization

MOTION: To ADOPT the President’s Report
Mover: Rick Rouse
Seconder: Becky Youngblood

Treasurer’s Report -- James Haun

Jim reported on the finances for 2013 and 2014, since there was no General Meeting in 2014. He walked through the attached spreadsheet, and pointed out that at the end of 2014 the organization had a balance of $6262.40 spread between the PayPal and Bank Accounts. Because the Conference planned for February/March 2015 was cancelled, conference fees had to be returned to those who paid in 2014, and there were some non-refundable expenses. The current cash assets as of April 30 2015 are $5222.51.

MOTION: To ADOPT the Treasurer’s Report
Mover: Steve Simmons
Seconder: Ginny Proctor

Election of Leadership Team

MOTION: Motion: to ELECT the following persons onto the Leadership Team for 2015 – 2017:

  • Sarah Erickson, President (second term)
  • Merri Alexander, Vice-President (first term)
  • Ginny Proctor, Secretary (first term)
  • James Haun, Treasurer (second term)
  • HiRho Park, At Large (first term)
  • Stephen Fetter, At Large/web editor (second term)

Mover: Becky Youngblood
Seconder: Marilyn Johns

Introduction of the Webinar Series -- Stephen Fetter

Stephen Fetter described how the idea of hosting a webinar series arose out of a desire to continue to build connection between leaders of lifelong learning notwithstanding that the February/March Conference had to be cancelled, and to provide an alternative forum for our members to connect with the speakers who had agreed to lead workshops at that Conference. We’ve decided to offer a monthly webinar throughout the Fall 2015 using the following leaders (dates to be announced)

  • Verity Jones: New Media and Community Formation: What’s at Stake?
  • Von Clemens: Online Classes for Congregations and Educational Institutions
  • Kimberly Knight: Strategies for Digital Storytellers

Stephen polled the audience on the following three questions:

  • Poll 1: If we organize a webinar for Tuesday June 16 at 2:00 Eastern Time, would you attend?
    • Yes – 8;
    • No – 1
  • Poll 2: When Stephen Fetter's turn comes to resource a webinar, which topic would you be most interested in:
    • "Beyond the Talking Head: ways to make webinars interactive and engaging." – 11
    • "Technology and Ministry: how I use technology to enhance congregational ministry." - 0
  • Poll 3: Which days of the week work best for you for webinars (you can choose more than one):
    • Monday – 3
    • Tuesday – 8
    • Wednesday – 9
    • Thursday -- 6
    • Friday – 1

Stephen then invited the group into small group discussions around the following questions:

  • Think about those who attend the Lifelong Learning Events that you organize:
    • What are their greatest struggles as leaders of the church today?
    • What resources/leaders do you draw on to help them cope with those?
  • Think about the work you do as a Leader of Lifelong Learning Events.
    • What are your greatest struggles in this work?
    • What’s your growing edge in this work?
    • What resources/leaders do you draw on?

Membership Conversations & Feedback

Helen Blier: How do we program for overwhelmed, isolated pastors of dying and smaller congregations?

Sarah Erickson: Challenge of diminishing resources - human, financial, denominational

Helen Blier: How do we program for millennials – the next wave of pastoral leadership - who have very different patterns of engagement and relating?

Israel Galindo: Greatest Struggles: dealing with conflict, isolation, cong-institutional challenges/development

Ginny Proctor: How to be a partner and a person--the balance of life; the dragons in the pews--frustrations of the pastor to a dying church; participation/commitment to church programming; struggles around resources, elg., what's good to use.

Ashley Anderson: multiple demands on time; seminary debt; lower lifelong learning budgets

Israel Galindo: Resources: peer-learning that facilitates reflective learning (reflection on practice) in a peer context

Marilyn Johns: Finding theologically sound, and yet diverse leaders

Stephen Simmons: Second on peer-to-peer learning - words like facilitation and enrichment come to mind.

Ashley Anderson: Helpful resources: peer to peer learning; both participating in these groups and how to form these in their local communities

Ginny Proctor: Resources to cope: building community in small groups; peer learning; building a community among themselves where they find encouragement; orientation to systems theory; peer learning/opps for reflective learning; clergy by application (deals with isolation and loneliness).

Richard Rouse: Finding leaders who are competent in their area and represent a variety of voices.

James Haun: Our constituents are challenged by so many demands for their time. Cont. Ed. is not a priority. There is a lack of funds, institutional and individual. Can we look at ways to support, facilitate and teach peer-learning, for clergy and in congregations?

Helen Blier: I second what Jim says ^^

Israel Galindo: Ditto on Jim's note

Helen Blier: I am appreciating this idea of Cont Ed being a facilitator of peer learning rather than the purveyor of resources to / at people

Marilyn Johns: Agree with Helen's comment

Israel Galindo: My take: peer-learning is the model . . . reflection on practice/experience is the transformative dynamic--the pedagogy

Becky Youngblood: Tension between lifelong learning as a life-giving aspect of vital ministry and a requirement of one's hierarchy...

Next Steps


  • Leader team will assess feedback from annual meeting, survey other members
  • Webinar series will continue through December
  • Volunteers needed for the following
    • Assist the Vice President with member recruitment/outreach
    • Support the Web Editor with webinar presenter recruitment and newsletter
    • Assist the President with social media (Facebook)
    • Regular communication with members via e-newsletter
    • Dues are due in December/January for 2016

Closing Prayer – Sarah Erickson

Adjourn – by CONSENSUS