Overseers Annual Report,
Calendar Year 2013
Pastoral care continues to be the major concern of the Overseers Committee. Faith and Practice defines our role with these words:
"A Committee of Overseers is appointed to assume leadership in maintaining a caring community, helping all members to find their right roles as nurturers of others. Its tasks may be shared with other committees."
In 2013, the following individuals were members of Overseers: Paige Bethke, Molly Bond, Molly Burgoyne, Larny Claggett, Deborah Cox, Marsie Hawkinson, Larissa Kitenko, Connie Lewis, John Schreiner, Norval Thompson, and Adrienne Rudge, clerk. The committee met monthly except in June and July. Attendance at meetings was good and discussion was lively. After many years as an Overseer, Molly Bond retired from the committee at the end of the year. We thank her for her work, her guidance and her unfailing sense of humor.
As in past years, Committee members kept in touch with the Third Haven Friends Meeting community through a calling tree by dividing members and attenders alphabetically. In early 2013, we assisted John Hawkinson by reaching out to members and attenders to update their contact information before the publication of the 2013 Directory. Once the directory was published, members of the committee helped to distribute it.
The Overseers play a special role in meeting with individuals seeking membership at Third Haven. In early 2013, Dawn Atwater requested membership and met with a clearness committee consisting of Larissa Kitenko, John Schreiner and Norval Thompson. They enthusiastically recommended her for membership at the March Meeting for Business. Likewise, Dona Sorce asked to become a member last spring, and a clearness committee of Molly Burgoyne, Norval Thompson and Adrienne Rudge recommended Dona for membership with pleasure at the June Meeting for Business. New members are invited to a small welcome party and offered a 6-month subscription to Friends Journal.
In response to a request from member Anne Rouse, Overseers recommended that she be granted "sojourner" status at Friendship Meeting in Greensboro, North Carolina, while maintaining her membership at Third Haven. A minute was drafted to that effect and sent to the clerk of Friendship Meeting.
The annual new member and attender recognition luncheon was held on March 17 and very well attended. Speakers included John Schreiner and Deborah Cox, who remarked on the opportunities for attenders to participate in the events and committee work of the Meeting. The Websters, former caretakers, were recognized at the luncheon and given a commemorative plate.
A continuing focus for the committee was the care of seniors in our community. Two activities resulted from our discussions and search for information. One was a focus group session held on March 9 and moderated by Molly Burgoyne and Deborah Cox. Molly reviewed the committee's process as we have sought to offer care for our senior members and their caregivers while Deborah, a nurse practitioner specializing in eldercare, reviewed some steps and strategies that may be helpful for those aging in place at home. During the discussion, most participants agreed that THFM has a role in recognizing the needs of our senior members and by acknowledging them, we offer respect as well as suggestions for help when appropriate.
The second activity related to services for seniors involved a simple questionnaire that was circulated by e-mail and by snail mail, soliciting information about the needs and concerns of our members and attenders. The response to the questionnaire, Helping Hands for Aging Friends, was small in number but helpful in assessing some of the needs of our Meeting community.
The Overseers Committee maintains a file of completed Declarations of Memorial Intentions forms for members and attenders. In 2013, Molly Burgoyne took on the task of reorganizing the file and updating the form. After consultation with Candace Shattuck and the committee, Molly completed the revisions, which Adrienne Rudge presented to Meeting for Business in November. Suggestions from that meeting were incorporated into what is now the current form, which was accepted at Meeting for Business in December. The members of Overseers Committee plan to bring the updated form to the attention of our members and attenders and the revised form will be available on the website as well.
In 2013, Overseers were asked to draft a new description of the process of becoming a member of Third Haven, with an emphasis on an expanded definition of the responsibilities of membership. After a meaningful discussion among the committee members, Paige Bethke and John Schreiner each wrote drafts of a revised document. The process continues and the committee plans to bring the final draft to the Meeting as soon as we are satisfied with it.
Throughout 2013, individual Overseers visited and called to support various members who were facing challenges. This outreach to our own is both a responsibility and a privilege which Overseers embrace. Members and attenders are encouraged to allow Overseers to be of service in times of need.
Respectfully submitted, Adrienne Rudge, Clerk