The OA officers gathered at the First Congregational church of Lodi, Ohio, for a meeting to discuss the Spring OA meeting and also the Winter Banquet, which is rapidly approaching. Present: John Hood, Moderator; David Dake, Vice-Moderator; Jonathan Cheatham, Treasurer David Kimberly, Barnabas Ministry, and Donna Edsall, Secretary.
The meeting opened with prayer.
The first topic on the agenda was the information gathered by the surveys we sent out. We had a an excellent return on the surveys, probably about 30%. Donna took everyone over a summary of the results. We began to discuss how to reorganize the format of the Spring and Fall meetings.
We considered starting with break-out sessions, perhaps pairing younger ministers with older, more experienced ministers, so they could discuss issues and how they have been handled in the past. We noted that whatever format we try, we should make sure to have evaluation forms present so the members can give feedback.
We decided that one of our purposes is face-to-face support. We are the Body of Christ, and we want to know each other and care about each other. John brought up the Great Confession, as an item that no one talks much about. The Great Commission and the Great Commandment are often discussed, but the Great Confession (“Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God”) is often neglected. Perhaps that should be our theme.
Some pastors in the OA already have a pastor support group. Others have no one. We should ask, “Where do you go to unfold ministry ideas?”
Another theme that was discussed is Personal Visitation. We expect people to come into the church so we can tell them about Christ, but cold calls are probably necessary.
We decided to stream line the business meeting. Donna can make a summary of the individual reports for dissemination to save time. We can keep the meeting uncluttered.
We discussed the nature of the panel and how to present material, deciding on a 30-minute presentation, which Donna later figured out to be (probably) five minutes per officer, allowing ten minutes for questions and discussion.
We need a way to applaud positive things that have happened.
Another theme: “The Lord is doing a new thing—what is it?”
Donna pointed out that to be effective we need to be mindful of both our purpose and our audience. The discussion indicated that our primary audience is pastors.
Hours went by. Dave Dake said lunch was ready, but no one dared move because the Dictator-for-Life was still plowing ahead with more work. Another hour went by before we could finally snatch a meager bowl of soup (but a delicious soup!)
We worked on the format of the Spring Meeting: to begin with Registration and Fellowship at 9 a.m. We want to meet in a fellowship hall, not in the sanctuary, and stay there for the worship. Welcome and Worship would be from 9:15 to 9:40.
From 9:40 to 10 we would allow people to gather into break-out groups. There will be four groups, designated by the color program each person received.
At 10, we will re-gather for the Panel Discussion on the Ohio Association’s future. Members of the panel will summarize parts of the survey. There will be time for questions and discussion.
From 10:30 to 11 we will have another break-out session. People will return to the group they were assigned to (by the color of their bulletins).
From 11 to 11:15 we will have the business meeting. This will be stream-lined. All current officers are willing to continue so unless there is an objection, we don’t need to have an election. Those officers who speak will be limited to one or two minutes only.
We would like people to review the revised (so far) Constitution and comment, but that may have to wait until we see how the new format is received.
From 11:15 to 11:30 people may do as they wish, but they should also be filling out their evaluation forms.
Lunch will be served at noon, which will also be a fellowship time.
After this, weak from hunger, we went over parts of the revised Constitution. There were some objections over the Statement of Faith, and it was suggested that we look at how the Four C’s handles those topics on their website.
Some of us began to faint at this point, and the Moderator deigned to stop long enough for nourishment. After soup and blueberry cobbler(!) we began to review the rough draft of the program for the Spring Banquet. Donna agreed to give the invocation. Jonathan agreed to give the benediction. David D. will contact Huntsburg, Parkman, and/or Ganges pastors to hold the Spring meeting. We pronounced the bulletin good. Dave went over the menu, and that was also pronounced good.
The meeting ended at 2 p.m.