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  • Writer's pictureDavid Carlson

Wednesday, October 25, 2023: Community Meeting Notes by Linda. Love one another as I have loved you

Wednesday, October 25, 2023: Jesus said to love one another and that is what we are trying to do. - Jim Jepson

Community Meeting 10/22/23


1. Liturgy Committee:

Steve Lyman and Dan Vrooman would like to have a ZOOM meeting to identify celebrants for the first half of 2024. The normal ZOOM link and passcode works for this.

2. Patti England and Linda Wildman will begin working on a structure for our Board and its Committees

3. We need to ask Sandy McKeith about the advantages of a 501C-3 designation for Emmaus (which we’ve held since the beginning)

4. We need to prepare for Board elections in January. How about this schedule: 2nd Sunday in January we discuss elections and lay out the responsibilities of each office – for Committee Heads and also for ad hoc members of the board. Let’s pray and meditate over the responsibilities and have people step forward on the 4th Sunday.

5. We need to figure out about the possibility of a retreat in Spring 2024.

Notes from our Community Meeting graciously taken by Linda Wildman

Attending in person: 24 people. 7 people on Zoom


David: Welcomes our Community Meeting: He reads agenda starting with the Peace Prayer of St. Francis and followed with a description of the items to be covered in the meeting:

Agenda Item #1: Identity:

At the heart of Emmaus is the experience of a meal. “We feed one another from beginning to end. We grew up in “Big C” but now with Emmaus more of little “c”and what Jesus practiced (of bringing community together). We are known in the Interfaith Community as representing the catholic voice.

Agenda Item #2: Operations

Agenda Item #3: Financial Statement from Linda

Agenda Item #4: Liturgy

Victoria: Not sure who said we are catholic? (Lindsey Kerr) When she identifies Emmaus as an Inclusive Community. Maybe catholic roots.

Joe: we were formed because we weren’t happy with Catholic Church. Now I am wondering if that is the right thing. Sounds negative.

Enid: we are catholics who want to expand our our vision of catholicism

Dan V.: sitting in the front pews and the basket came around, I said I can’t do this anymore. The voice of women, our community, women can lead. Mary Magdalen.

Ed F: how I see the church, is it is a great ship carrying a treasure. In a lot of ways, the way we live and think it is the perennial vision. I want to love people better than I did yesterday. I believe in Teilhard’s vision of the world, don’t know if I will live to see it happen, but I want to love more.

Because of the Guide for Psychological Studies I was curious about who Jesus was and what was he all about.

MaryEllen: calling ourselves Christians, I don’t call myself a Christian I call myself a follower of Jesus.

JoAnn: I come because my love for all of you and I can celebrate. I came here to do this because I was unhappy with the way the catholic church was going. My roots are really catholic in the big sense of universal church. We are all Jesus in the way we treat people. The word and the name isn’t really important to me. But I do know my roots are about Jesus’s story, the music, the art, the Gregorian chant. But I don’t have to see myself as a catholic.

Steve: I’m like Victoria, I say it is an intentional inclusive faith community. I agree with Dan, couldn’t stand the way women are treated by catholics. I was asked why we don’t become Episcopalians? I am thinking about that. Their liturgies are very formal, old catholic. Christendom is dead and we are at a point of creating a new vision, our knowledge has far exceeded, galaxies with 50 million starts, Omega point is …Cosmic Christ.

Jim K: our Web site is one place we identify who we are and we need to do a lot of work.

John: we are a renegade catholic community, we can read whomever we want, Dorothy Day…we don’t have any hierarchy and we do what we feel is meaningful.

____: renegade is good but I use disaffected catholics. Web is a good idea with a card to pass out, need an elevator speech, something people can remember.

Pat: I think we are the definition of community and I appreciate that. I was director of a nonprofit school and what are the requirements for us. Does the Board approve what is spent and how we spend it.

Nancy: if Catholic denotes I do see us as followers of Jesus. To call us catholic, we say small c, we know what it means but others may not. We are followers of Jesus, we open ended and evolving and we are Jesus movement.

Jeannine: I’m a lifelong catholic, was a firm believer in my mid twenties. I find my spiritiual sustenance through center for spiritual Living, meditation groups. When i come here I feel a little conflict. I don’t want to participate in a small c. I don’t know if Jesus is the son of god. The conflict I have is that it is like a mass, event taking community, this is the spiritual connection it is not the body and blood of Christ. People who live authentic lives, trying to make a difference in the community, for me I have to block off a part of myself. The structure does not feed me.

Hermine: I like it when we are in a circle, and we pass the mic around. I have not gotten out of catholic church, roots are very important, I feel good about Center for Spiritual Living because it is normal. I am a seeker who seeker of god and i experience it from all kinds of people.

Jerry: I always have a difficult time to describe Emmaus. Disenchanted Catholics who wanted more. Mary Magdalen and the Agnostic Gospels. I would like to see more femininity wherever I worship. I can see that here. Steve, I appreciated your presentation at the …. Would nice to see more young people, have more live music guitar, base, Zoom

Jim J.: I had discussions with we are a community that tries to live like original Christians. Jesus said to love one another and that is what we are trying to do.

Jim Mc: I like the idea of us being rooted in Catholicism, and I know I follow what is happening with Pope Francis. When I occasionally go into a catholic church it is a one man show and I don’t feel comfortable in that church anymore.

Jane: I have limited intimacy with the bible and when I think of half of Emmaus, I imagine a stranger comes into the group and joins and is welcomed. I don’t think of the community meal as the meal, it is the actual celebration of being together. I know this from before I was stricken with grief and then the feeling after the grief. That is the continuity to the Now. When we talked about telling stories, I know the limits of my involvement and I am a peripheral person, but I know the gift of my catholicism. It was gifted to me.

Ed: I am just a little concerned about branding. How do we brand what we just said, i am kind of opposed to branding and PR. We are a mystery, come and find out.

Nancy: we are spirit filled community, most of us came out of catholic roots, and there is room for everyone at this table. If we can find the language to describe it.

Patti: my spirituality was born and raised in the catholic church. Until I realized I had issues with the catholic church, but I wanted to experience what I thought Jesus meant for church. Like gay and lesbian couples aren’t blessed, divorced cannot fully participate. I wanted to be in a church where everyone is worthy. I like that we do a communion service, and sometimes not. This is where I can be to be the person I was raised to be but the place I was raised that I cannot be.

Steve: for those who remember Anne Hall, she wrote a book about Nazis destruction and the life that sprung up post. That is a good metaphor for that. We are on the edge of a dying institution. We can use our creativity and energy.

Victoria: reading a book by Mark Nepo, there are 3 essential questions: what needs to be repaired, what needs to be reimagined, and what needs to be left behind? 16 years ago this is what we discussed and one was everyone is welcome. Reimagined: was allowing the creativity but who knows what needs to be left behind? Jesus did not come to start a church, that is critical to me. I hope we can wrestle with those questions; the world needs us. At a retreat, I told them about Emmaus, and they were very interested. They are facing schisms and buy outs….It may be time for us to grapple with the 3 questions.

Nancy: We are all committed to living gospel values, the beatitudes and we need to be in community to do it.

David: we are a community of love and sometimes we love our roots and sometimes we hate our roots. What gives me so much hope is everyone’s story of how they got here and the road to Emmaus is not an easy road. We make a decision to be here and be in community. I don’t want to be anywhere else.

Ed: that organization does not recognize us as their members. They don’t because we don't recognize the symbols as they do. I guess if we are struggling with whether the bread and wine are truly the body and blood of Jesus.

David says: 99% of catholics don’t believe the bread and wine is the actual body and blood of Christ is . I just try to let joy be the way.

Denise: And that community of love includes anyone who does not believe there was a Jesus, We are back to the definition of we are here to love one another. When I am asked, I say we are a throw back to the early church and we are all inclusive.

Jane: I am newly pondering in terms of my, the intentionality of attending mass, in 50s and 60s it created the setting. This setting allows that light to shine and it shines in this community and it is still alive in this place.

Hermine: It is how you interpret the bible, appointed Peter you are the rock, you are to build my church. To say he didn’t do that, I am getting confused. And we still read the bible.

Patti: I am sure in the original Greek he didn’t use the word church. He probably said community. The thing is he didn’t want to build the institution that currently exists. He did appoint Peter to create something, but If jesus lives, he is crouching under a table with his hands over his ears.

We will consolidate this and if we want to form a committee. To come up with a

Part 2: The Structure of Emmaus

What is our structure? We have Patti England here who has a lot of experience with non-profits. How do we meet our needs of a 501C organization.

Patti: as a corporation we are in compliance. Boards need at minimum a chair, secretary, treasurer.

David, Peter, Linda

Questions came up, I don’t know who is on Board, why am I on the Board.

We should think about creating a new Board, not that there is anything wrong with the Board, but maybe we should vote and create a new Board.

How would it be different if we aren’t loosey goosey?

We can go back and vote who want to be on the Board. We either have Directors at Large, Board members are sometimes Committee Chairs,

Steve: what I am hearing between the lines is that some people might like to be a part of the Board, some may want to get off the Board

Historically, Beth was the chairperson and she asked David to be her co-chair. He agreed and then Beth stepped down and David became sole chairperson

Linda Wildman is our Treasurer

Peter is head of the Tithing Committee

Committee for Planning Retreats: Dan Vrooman is the current head and he assisted Bill Boorman in the past.

People Who Head Committees

Education: Mary FitzGerald

Retreats: Dan Vrooman

Tithing: Peter Schneider

Liturgy Committee: Steve Lyman and Dan Vrooman

Dan V: said he was head of tithing committee for 13 years and that is not the Emmaus way.

Suggestion: Patti and Linda get together and come up with a review/structure

Ok, we are moving the Holy Spirit is with us and moving us.

Suggestion: Liturgy Committee: need to get the final schedule for year end and the first quarter of 2024. We do need to plot out the calendar for the remainder of the year. JoAnn suggest, send out the dates for first 6 months.

Dan would like a Zoom meeting so we can complete a schedule rather than leaving it out there.

We will look into the benefits and values or the opposite of being a 501C-3. Scott looked up on his phone a list, and exemption from paying taxes is one.

Submitted in joy by Linda Wildman 10/22/2023

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