On Monday, 8 January, 2024, the New Branches Board selected a new slate of Officers. Sarah B., LNL, remains as a Board Member but stepped down from 3 years as the President. Ginny R., LNL, concluded her 3 years of Board Member duty, including serving as Vice President. Both Sarah and Ginny made significant contributions in the launch and initial phase of this voyage we are on. Thank you!
In their stead, Marcie M., LT, was selected to serve as President. Greg O., LT (renewing) was selected as Vice President. Sarah B. will continue to contribute her amazing skills and enthusiasm as Secretary. Finally, Karen K., Spirit, bringing her budgetary expertise and judgement, will remain as Treasurer.
Serving the three faith communities as Board Members appointed by you is an honor and privilege. The entire Board very much appreciates your ongoing confidence and support.
Below is a bit of explanation about “your Board”. I call it the New Branches Board Primer.
With greatest respect for all.
New Branches Board Primer:
What Should I Know About the New Branches Board?
This is a brief description of what a member of one of the New Branches faith communities might want to know about “the Board”. It may not answer all questions but hopes to give you a sense of what “your Board” is and how and why it operates.
The New Branches Board originated as the Board of Directors of the Multi-Church Initiative (MCI), a 501c25 corporation. Since we came together in the new space called New Branches that MCI term is generally not used (we actually have a New Branches Style Guide that lays out the terminology to use when communicating about our adventure).
This Board has the same fiduciary responsibilities that any other Board of Directors of a Non-Profit organization has. Remember “fiduciary” means entrusted to do the right thing for the stakeholders. Your Board takes that responsibility seriously. The board is primarily concerned with “building and budget”.
The board is made up of three representatives from each faith community, some of whom serve as President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary. Some members also serve as the liaisons to different New Branches Committees. Board members serve staggered 3 year terms, a system set up to ensure continuity of experience and organizational memory.
The current board members (January, 2024) are:
- Lake Nokomis Lutheran – Sarah Borgerding (past President, new Secretary), Eric Grube, and Kathryn Selin (interim member)
- Living Table United Church of Christ – Lynne Hendrickson; Greg Owen (new Vice President), and Marcie Mayer (past Secretary, new President).
- Spirit of St. Stephens Catholic Community – Karen Klein (Treasurer); Brent Vanderlinden; and Shaun McElhatton.
The faith leaders are also considered non-voting members as specified in the organization’s bylaws and regularly attend meetings of the Board. As important members of New Branches they are included in discernment and always asked for their opinions when an issue is being decided.
Speaking of meetings, they often involve voting on proposals. The board uses a consensus decision-making process as specified in the bylaws. We discuss issues and initiatives to the point where it seems we might be in consensus. Then someone will make a proposal that is considered by the group.
The responses that the members can use are: Agree (I support the proposal.), Pass (I need a couple more minutes, so come back to me.), Timeout (I need more details or clarification in order to make a decision, Stand aside (I don’t support the proposal, but I will not block nor offer a different proposal.), and Disagree and offer a different proposal (If someone selects this response they must make that proposal at that time and that proposal then becomes the object of the voting process, with all now responding to that version.)
There are several standing committees that have a board member liaison (member who reports back to the board). There are also many members of the three faith communities who serve on these committees but are not board members.
The committees include: Executive, Finance, Property, Guidelines and Policies, Communications, Design, New Tenant, and COVID Response.
The President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer are members of the Executive Team. They have some urgent-response decision making authority, and regularly meet to set the agenda for upcoming meetings.
The rhythm of the monthly process is:
- Third week of the month – call to members for Agenda Items for the next month
- Last Tuesday of the month (4:30 – 6 pm) – Exec Team meets to set agenda (Zoom)
- First Monday of the next month (4:30 – 6 pm) – Board meets. (Zoom)
The meeting minutes are compiled and sent to the President for approval. Then, the first order of business, after the blessing and prayer by one of the Faith Communities (rotating basis), is approval of the most recent minutes and the proposed agenda for the day’s meeting.
The minutes are then provided to the Faith Leaders for inclusion in the individual faith community communications or websites for your perusal.
The meetings are open to NB folks who are interested. Please check in with your Faith Leader about your interest in attending and let the Secretary know, so they can ensure you have the zoom link and agenda. Visitors’ input is by Board invitation only and there are times when the board goes into “closed” session for a discussion or consensus process when visitors may be asked to leave.
If you wish to address the Board about an issue or initiative, please check in with your Faith Leader. They can guide you in making that request.
Of course, your faith community board members would be glad to talk to you about their roles and experiences on the Board. They represent you.
Documents, like minutes or charters or proposed budgets, etc., produced by the board or in the process of launching and sailing this enterprise are stored on a Google Drive.
Faith Leaders and board members have access to all of those documents. The easiest way to see something would be to check in with your Faith Leader or board member. But, you could also contact the Board Secretary who will help you find what you seek.
Surely, there are other things of interest to you that have not been covered here. Just ask one of your members or the Board Secretary.
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