#adulting into a Recognized Congregation
January 28th, HSLC Congregational Meeting: Salt House provides Congregational Update on property sale and separation plans; HSLC congregation votes on property sale proposal and separation plan. Next Sunday, there is a 12pm meeting you are invited to at HSLC. HSLC as our parent church is responsible for the fiscal decisions we make, so they are voting on the sale of our property for the permanent shelter for women and families, as well as agreeing to the timeline we’ve set out for ‘leaving the nest.’ The church staff and council know about our becoming independent, but that is still new news for most of that community. Everyone is hugely supportive of both of these decisions.
February: sale of a portion of property goes through to City of Kirkland
Next, there are three things to name that will be happening now through April, where we need folks to step up.
January – April, Constitution and By-Laws Team: Working Group works on draft of the Salt House Constitution and By-Laws, presents to community, and makes adjustments. Presents final constitution and by-laws for community vote. This is the meatiest portion of what we need to tackle in order to #adult. Salt House’s constitution will be our governing documents, for how we structure decision making, and hold each other accountable, and frankly it is the legal document that saves our tails if we were to ever get sued. So it is a legally binding governing document, yet also becomes a locus for articulating how the way we lead ourselves is an expression of who we are.
The ELCA provides a ‘model’ Constitution as a starting place. Much of it is unalterable, in that it has to be a certain way, but even within those portions we can petition for changes if we really want them. Then there are also sections that we will need to write and make decisions about.
Scott Moor has already agreed to be our lead of the Constitution Team – and we are looking for 2-4 others to join the team. Could this be you?
A few more specifics to let you know what to expect: the team will meet very soon, through April 29th. (Feb, March, April – about a three month commitment, then done). Initially meetings will likely be every-other week, less frequently later. There may be homework in between meetings. There are many backgrounds and skills needed for the team, including someone with a legal background. Folks who have served on church councils or leadership are also needed. And Scott said that people in this group must be willing to debate issues without taking it personally. Could this be you??
April 29th is the cut-off date for this group because, April 29th is a big deal date for us! Drumroll please! April 29th, Salt House Community Meeting (and Party!): community meeting w/ synod representative to form as congregation, adopt our constitution, elect our church council, and call the pastor. April 29th will be the community meeting where the synod representatives will be here as we vote together and say YES to becoming the adult Salt House. Of the three expressions of the church, the first one that votes on Salt House becoming our own entity, is Salt House. We get to own that decision, then in the months to come, the synod and then the national church will also vote for us.
At that meeting, we’ll approve the constitution with gratitude for our working group, and we will also elect our first Church Council, about seven people who will serve as the folks who prayerfully watch our movement as a church – watching our finances, advising on the big, strategic decisions, holding us accountable. At the meeting we’ll have to officially decide who will be our pastor – the ELCA uses the language of ‘extending a call’ to a pastor when they choose to hire them. So Salt House will call it’s pastor. Aaaand I’m hoping you choose me. Spoiler alert: I’m going to be the only option, but I sure hope you vote for me.
And then, on April 29th, after the meeting, we shall party, oh we shall party.
In light of April 29th, there are three other teams that we’re forming. The first, is the very necessary Celebration Team. January – April, Celebration Team: Party Plan!
This is a group of 2-4 folks who can coordinate a plan for what our party looks like on April 29th, which I don’t think is a huge extravaganza, but there are things to think through like, what food (coordinating with the Meals Team), who to send special invites to because of their connections to us, how to mark the day with significance. Could this be you? Are you a party-planning type? I would guess this team meets 4 times in the next three months.
The next team we’re forming is what we’re calling the January – April, Nominating Team: help set our church council (and potentially become Personnel Team).This team in the short term will help us recruit and invite folks onto our first church council. Then the hope is that this becomes a longer-term commitment, with folks who can be the Personnel Team, supporting our staff, resourcing questions of equity and making recommendations for pay for staff for our budget. Is this you? Do you have HR experience, counseling, those types of people skills?
And the final team to name is what has been mentioned in passing, and unlike the rest of the teams, it begins April 29th – FOREVER, Salt House Church Council, is joining our Church Council. Not actually to serve forever (that’s just a joke), but in a term length TBD by our Constitution, somewhere in the 1-3 years range. This is a key leadership role which requires monthly meetings.
Those are the amazing opportunities we need y’all for. Then just three more quick dates to name in our timeline.
June, HSLC congregational meeting: congregation votes on final separation. (We will also have a meeting here at Salt House that month to approve our 2018-2019 Budget for the fiscal year).
June 30, 2018: Final HSLC date for Salt House staff payroll and benefits. That day the staff will all be fired by HSLC and hired by Salt House. Then we wake up on Sunday, July 1, 2018: First Salt House date for staff payroll and benefits. And we will be standing on our own two feet, living into our blueprint as Salt House.