Resources for Episcopal Church Workers in South Dakota
Sometimes meetings can drag on unneccesarily. We have used these rules to keep them less than an hour and focused.
a. Type up an agenda a week ahead of time, then revisit it during the week and reflect on each item. Be preparred.
b. Ask ahead of time if there is anything special someone wants to talk about and put it on the agenda.
c. Gently remind everyone to stay on topic. This will keep Aunt Bertha's mole removal story from taking up valuable time.
d. Feed them. If you have food in your mouth you will talk less, interupt less, and be ready to go home for a nap sooner.
e. Respect time. We have our meetings after our Sunday service. This becomes a problem during golf and football season.
f. Be patient and kind. Most of the people there have other things they could be doing.
g. You don't have to cover everything in one meeting. Mixing it up keeps it fresh. Touch on the priorities.
The Official List
According to the Diocesan Canons the Mission Churches should have meetings including: Vicar (if any), Senior Warden, Junior Warden, Secretary, and Treasurer plus one to eight more people.
Absolutely the Annual meeting needs to be held preferably in November, December, or January so the various reports are submitted on time. It is also a good idea to have meetings at least quarterly. The canons say not less than bi-monthly which may not be possible. We have filled this little technicality by talking about church business and projects at coffee hour after our services.
The items of business which must be transacted at the annual meeting of the congregation are:
1) Minutes of last annual and all intervening special meetings.
2) Financial report of the church.
3) Reports of Secretaries and Treasurers of organizations.
4) Election of Wardens and Vestrypersons.
5) Election of Delegates to Diocesan Convention and Region Deanery Assembly. This election may also be held at any meeting of the congregation.
At meetings other than the annual meeting you can delete the elections.
You don't have to take out ad time on a national network to advertise. The cross on a church is advertising. A kept in good repair cross is better advertising.
Some simple ideas to advertise that your church is alive and well and doing God's work might be:
* Touch up the paint on the church
* We had a local girl dress up out front door with paint. (We didn't understand th whole red door thing at the time.)
* Plant a garden on the church grounds
* Create a sign
* Have a Facebook site
* Join some other event as your church
* Have the service outdoors
Every now and then something really big is coming up. A 100 year anniversary, the deserts for 150 people you promised to bring to the community free dinner, etc. Make sure everyone that should be is on board and ready to act.
Try to list services, special occasions, special events, and anything else on a calendar for the next three months or until the next meeting. They can make notes and take it home with them. Just a note; people still forget.
We try to keep up on what is happening in our neighborhood, our city, our state, and yes the world. Next to outreach this brings us the most joy. Some ideas might be:
* We paid for a booth to support Women's Domestic Violence. We sold nothing at our booth but just talked to people walking by. At the end of the event we gave a special quilt we made to the Center to bring inspiration to the women passing through their doors.
* We baked and delivered cookies to various businesses in our community with a card thanking them for what they do.
* We had a Cinco de Mayo bulb exchange out on our sidewalk.
* We raffled a quilt we made to raise money for people who could not afford the sidewalk the city was making them put in.
* We gave a May basket with a tomato plant in to 25 of our closet neighbors to the church. In the late summer we made spaghetti sauce with the tomatos and invited those neighbors again.
* We had a team in the local Relay for Life and sold lemonade to walkers at the event.
We always have and look forward to our lenten book study. Recently we have added a after church book study. Every other week we revieve one chapter in a book we agreed on. We are fortuneate that this book study is lead by Mother Karen Hall and we are not left to our own devices.
As with anything we do there is food or treats involved.
There is literally no one I know that looks forward to general fund raising. It is a neccesary evil. Things you might try:
> Find something someone can do better than most, have others help or learn, and then sell it at a craft fair or online if available to you.
> Have a women's only garage sale.
> We give our nic knack and decorations to the local consignment store. They sell them for us and give the church our percentage.
> Bake or craft sale during a local parade or event.
There are experts in this area, we are not them. In Madison we have the Field of Dreams concept of: be relavent, be real, and they will come. I can't say that we are expanding but we are holding our own. Does anyone have any ideas for this? Please list them in the comment section or feel free to email us and we will post them.
Like many Episcopaleons we are not the best Evangelists. Most of our ministry is done in actions and in our outreach. We really try to be welcoming to anyone that comes through our doors. We try to take people as they are, with their flaws and really look to see the face of God in them. Naturally we fail sometimes. We join those that will tolerate us, partner with other churches in our area, and really try to be good examples of God's children.
If we excel at anything it would be outreach. We are small but we are mighty when wroking for a good cause. Many times we partner with others. Below are just some of the things we have done.
+ Raffled a hand made Teddy Bear with proceeds going to the Episcopal Relief Fund for Hurricane Sandy Victims.
+Sold guesses as to how many pieces of chislic our sole youth member could eat in one sitting with the proceeds going to the Kids Backpack Program. This is a perfect example of going with God's gifts. Our sole youth had two skills; eating and tackling. We choose eating to capitalize on.
+Partnered with the Eastern Deanery on a bake and craft sale with proceeds going to Adopt a Cabin at TEC.
+Partnered with big Atlanta church and collected Twin bottom sheets for the MASH units overseas. Thanks to people not following directions we ended up with 150 mattress pads which were given to the Lutheran quilters to use as batting for their refugee quilts.
+Partnered with the Lutheran quilters and made ugly quilt tops for refugee camps and those in need.
+Partnered with the Sioux Falls EFM group and sold raffle tickets with proceeds to benefit the Bishop Dudley Hospitality House.
We do not have clergy every Sunday. We try to come up with positive ways to celebrate on the mornings we are left alone with morning prayer. Someday we hope to be able to have the benefit of clergy every Sunday. For right now we gather around the fellowship table, have our morning prayer, then discuss the lessons where a sermon would normally be. It isn't great but we do pay attention better.
We are very fortunate to have a local singing group. Once a year they bless us by attending our service and singing for us. It is the Sunday the church sounds the best.