April 8, 2013

Council Meeting 4/18/2013

Location: Isaac’s place
Facilitator: Tricia

  1. attendance:
  • Iain (mission circle representative)
  • Isaac (minister of liturgical arts)
  • James (worship circle representative)
  • Kevin (treasurer)
  • Michael
  • Tricia (priest)


What is the purpose of the council?

  • James: We are troubleshooters. What needs to change in order for us to fulfill our mission?
  • Michael: It’s a mix of low-level nuts and bolts and high-level vision.
  • Isaac: Holding the vision! Preventing the Crossing from becoming complacent, and making sure that we’re moving into the future.
  • Iain: Integration. Making sure that each of the Circles is not off on its own, without relationship or support.
  • Tricia: It’s a spiritual midwife, taking on a role of prayer and discernment for the community.
  • Kevin: We create a vision for the community, in a concrete way – making a five-year plan and take the steps necessary to make it happen. Also, being people of prayer.

Kevin and Isaac will collaborate on turning the above into a shared purpose statement.


What are our immediate goals?

  • Advertising/Recruitment – inviting people to the crossing, and taking better care of the folks who come for a bit and then disappear.
  • Figuring out what calling a priest means for us.
  • Figuring out who we are and how we relate to the community. Making sure we aren’t forgotten.
  • To review at the staff structure, review job descriptions.
  • To create a three-year financial plan.
  • To brainstorm how to deepen community in transition.
  • Listening to God.
  • Naming our larger goal – not just creating worship every week.
  • Keep our eye on problems before they become crises.
  • Deciding if we’re doing too much (or too little).

Creating the kind of team we want to be

  • Balancing tasks and play. We want council meetings to be fun. Making an effort to celebrate our successes.
  • Want our Council to feel like a small group.
  • Honor diversity of opinions and experience. (Avoid making normative statements.)
  • Analytical is fun.
  • Emotional discussions happen at meetings rather than over email.
  • Transition period at the start of the meeting, such as a meal or some other way to help us transition into the meeting.
  • Staying time-focused. Budgeted time can be changed, but shouldn’t be ignored.
  • Avoiding burnout, not meeting too often.
  • Consensus is preferable to voting.
  • Assuming best intentions, giving the benefit of the doubt.
  • Timely showing of discomfort – if someone says something that makes you uncomfortable, bring it up rather than stewing on it.
  • Having a balance between consistency and innovation in our format.
  • Starting and ending on time. If you miss a meeting, make sure to get filled in. If you’re running late, try to let someone know ahead of time.
  • Personal checkins at the beginning, appreciations at the end.
  • Icebreakers – corny, but effective.
  • Taking responsibility for both the intention and the impact of our words.
  • Communication – respond to council-related emails within 48 hours, even if it’s just to say “got it.”
  • Decision-making – as per the document, we endeavor to achieve consensus, but in the event that consensus is impossible, the five non-staff members will vote.

The above has been adopted as our working agreement temporarily, but will be reviewed at our next meeting.


Next steps:

  • Kevin and Isaac will collaborate on turning the above into a shared purpose statement.
  • Next meeting: review working agreements.
  • Next meeting is at Kevin’s place, April 20th, 3pm-5pm.
  • Tricia will facilitate again, Kevin will provide the opening spiritual piece.


617.482.4826, x318

Boston, MA

138 Tremont Street

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All rights reserved.