Sep 30, 2019 New England Consistory Meeting

Gathered by Zoom Jennifer, Marsh, David, Bill and John

Finances almost the same as a year ago.

When people give more than their dues require those funds are split between the chapter and the order.

Minutes accepted by consensus

Retreats plan about the same schedule.  

ri May 17 -21

 si June 1-5

 si June 8-12

Leaders: RI: Bill

John will do either Swans retreat.

David Keller likes doing retreats. Decision not possible before 1 January.

Jeff has led one retreat.

David Andrews would share leadership. Bro John will ask Jeff to share leadership with Bro David. Doug might help (maybe John). Sr. Jennifer will make sure Marsh gets the retreat plan sheet for each so we can begin publicity. Target: Next Consistory meeting if not earlier.

Combining communion with the Altar during retreats is OK and maybe preferable to doing them separately.

Reading all names on prayer list during the altar seems good to all.

Cell phone use during retreats: do we have a policy?

Swans consensus - available in free time and late evening.

At Irons there is a landline phone in case of emergency.

If someone had a concern of urgency and kept their phone on vibrate.

Bro Bill suggests turning off phones for the retreat.

Suggested that retreat leaders at the start of each retreat discuss cell phone and online use policy for the retreat.

Suggested that we gather all the readings so all in the order can reflect on them during the year. Suggested that we write readings on a list at each retreat and turn them in with the minutes of the retreat meeting. Then the scribe will forward them. Check back in 2 years to see what we have learned.

Round robin of scribes’ notes: did not happen this year and it does not seem to be working out.

Readings: would be checked with retreat leaders.

First-Timersat Swans were not as prepared as you might hope when they arrived at the retreat. We need to ask that retreat leaders to arrange with first-timers to have a preparatory discussion with the prior before the retreat to include: What happens each day, reccomendation to bring materials for communion, readings, music… 

Library: Some BSOW books have been added to the Irons Homestead library and some are at Swans. Then we create a “pop-up” library of books we bring to retreats.

Membership and the year of the pin. 

Prayer List-Care for inactive - Jennifer and Marsh to look through the prayer list and list only membership categories and to arrange contact - support with those who have been less active.

Re members who are still interested but have not paid dues. Could add to the annual “bill”: 

“If there are financial matters that keep you from going on retreat or paying dues please contact the prior. We do not want anyone excluded because of financial need.” or something like that. 

What do we expect of members? the rule or only attendance and dues? The last two are easier to monitor.

Year of the pin to be discussed at council (i.e. when is chalice pin to be given?).

Maybe BSOW buttons for promotion of our order? Those could be given out to all participants?

Inclusion:what is said and not said at retreats.

Perhaps we need to make space where if someone feels uncomfortable with language or jokes one can raise it. 

How do we continue to grow the order in ways that are nourishing for younger clergy who are often worn from ministry and needing refreshment/renewal and older clergy who mainly come to gather with old friends. Hoping for safe space and nurturing space. 

Integrating and caring for new sisters and brothers: Perhaps have a sponsor/mentor for their first few years esp if no member actually brought them to the first retreat. In the old days when someone came back for consecration they were presented by their sponsor. It would be great to care for our new friends.

Nominations: Bro David Andrews is willing to continue as Treasurer.

Bro, Marsh wiling to serve as clerk-scribe . Suggested we might have a scribe in training to learn the database, etc.

Sr. Jennifer will check the nomination process we are supposed to follow. Concern to have a person from Maine retreats who might be Prior or Sub Prior and to have a mix of genders. 

Sr. J will reach out for suggestions and get back to us mid-November.

Next meeting 9:30 Monday Nov. 18thonline.

Minutes by Bro Marsh

Jun 13, 2019 Minutes Retr 231 Swans Island, ME

  BSOW RETREAT #231 -- SWANS  ISLAND MAINE -- JUNE 10-14, 2019

Minutes Business Meeting June 13, 2019

Present: Brothers: John MacDuffie, David Keller, Richard Russell

Novices: David Williams, Andrew MacLeod

Bro. David Keller, Retreat Leader, gave a brief orientation for the benefit of our Novices, as to the organizational structure of BSOW, leadership, and procedure for doing business.

Bro. Rick offered an opening prayer.

Minutes of the meeting held at the Rhode Island Retreat, May 2019; and also Minutes of the first Swans Island Retreat of June 2019.

Items discussed from the proceedings of the first two NE Chapter retreats as follows:

1) Retreat dates for 2020: Rhode Island, May 17-21; Swans 1, June 1-5. (Action by this group in New Business.)

2) The extended e-mail discussion of membership categories this Spring had brought new understandings to us all; the most recent analysis by Bro. Marsh Hudson-Knapp had proven helpful. (Action in New Business.)

3) A move toward inclusion of the Prayer List during retreats was noted and supported. (Action in New Business.)

4) Concerning reading materials: the three Brothers in attendance had brought books from which they wished to read. Novices had not known of this custom. They were glad to use readings found in books brought by others, but also valued some found in the BSOW Library remnants stored at the Swans Island cottage. Discussion shared ideas about this matter in our present incarnation. It seems that more thorough orientation of first-timers might be needed.

New Business

1) This retreat group agreed with a recommendation made by the Swans 1 meeting that the category of "still interested" be eliminated and that members who had neither paid dues nor attended retreats be contacted to get their decision as to becoming Emeritus (if 75 years of age achieved) or Ordinary (dues paid but no retreat attendance.) The third alternative for these members would be to drop from rolls.

2) This group also endorsed the suggestion of Swans 1 that the Prayer List be read during the Altar of the Way. That would be done on the following evening.

3) It was agreed that it had been very helpful when communication was made near the end of the first retreat concerning food items not used and available for the second retreat, thus obviating some shopping by the Retreat Leader of the second retreat.

4) Dates of Swans 2 in 2020, June 8-12. No Retreat Leaders as yet.

Final discussion highlighted that we most value recruitment of new members by present members, with thorough explanation of the retreat schedule and roles of participation. The web site is helpful but nothing takes the place of word of mouth outreach.

Meeting adjourned at 2:07 p.m.

Brother John MacDuffie

Scribe pro tem

Jun 6, 2019 Minutes Retr 230 Swans Island, ME


Minutes Business Meeting June 6, 2019

Present:  Brothers:  John MacDuffie, David Andrews, Doug Dunlap, Jeff Lewis, Dick Waddell

Sisters:  Judith Blanchard, Janice Chilek

Call to Order 1:00 p.m.

Approval of Minutes from Irons Retreat May 2019

Bro. Treas. David Andrews had not prepared a formal report, but stated that with the new $150 fee established for this year there was hope that we might break even overall, with different numbers and costs in each place. A report of this year's NE Chapter retreats will be forthcoming after the second Swans Island retreat numbers are in and bills paid.

1. Mention was made about the recent e-mail discussion of membership categories and rationale used by our Scribe Bro. Marsh. A clarifying e-mail that he had just circulated this week was noted as being helpful. This matter is one on which we are acting today under New Business.

2. There had been expressed in the Rhode Island minutes the sentiment that we ought to find a time and manner during retreats to pray communally for all members on the current prayer list. We were in support of this, and in fact had already determined that we would do it during the Altar ceremony this week.

3. Noted that Irons retreat in 2020 will be May 17-21, with Bro. Bill Hamilton as Leader.

4. In response, it was the wish of this group to hold Swans Island retreats in 2020 on June 1-5 and June 8-12. Leadership roles not yet named.

New Business

1. A suggested policy on cell phone use was put forth: during morning and evening reading hours, morning silent hours and the Great Silence at night from end of Communion to rising bell, cell phones should be turned off. At other times they are to be used as owners  need, with consideration for others nearby who might be interrupted or annoyed by such use. If vibrate rather than ring tones could be used, it would reduce unwelcome effects.

2. A suggestion from Bro. John was that since a number of us are in the habit of rising and retiring early, the evening reading has been a difficult period for us to stay awake. He suggested switching Music and Reading as an experiment. All were agreeable to a one-time experiment, that same evening. (The trial was successful, though on this last night, dinner was delayed and the Altar ceremony was also a part of the program.)

3. In discussing readings, it was suggested that after each retreat someone should make a list of readings done during that retreat, as listed in the Scribe's book. If this was done by all retreats and compiled in some central place, the Order could get a sense of the readings practice being followed. Bro. John said that as he has custody of our Scribe's book between retreats, he would do this as a demonstration of this idea and send it on with the request that in due time it be considered by others.

4. In the Library category, it was suggested that a list of the books currently owned by the Order, which are stored presently at Swans Island, be compiled for circulation to all in the Order. The disposition of these books should be made at some time, as they can only be used by retreats at Swans, unless shipped elsewhere. One possibility would be to divide them among the chapters.

5. On Membership Categories, after discussion it was moved by Bro. Dick and seconded by Bro. Doug that the "still interested" category (no dues for 5 years) be eliminated, with those individuals presently so designated being queried in a friendly and appreciative manner as to whether they would wish to be Emeritus (no dues or retreats) if 75 years of age, or Ordinary (no retreats but paying dues), or neither. If neither, then would they object to being removed from our rolls. This motion was supported unanimously. (Yet it is of course only our recommendation to others, that each retreat group would need to discuss and act upon.)

6. A discussion was held of the fact that some members of this group are finding the trip from their homes to this site extremely long and tiring, yet preferring this site to any others. It was thought that breaking their trips by making use of our hospitality principle (Rule?) could help with that problem.

There being no other business to come before the meeting, it was adjourned at 2:17 p.m.

Bro. John MacDuffie

May 2019 Minutes Retreat 229 RI

  Brothers and Sisters of the Way, Retreat 229  in Rhode Island

May 2019

Present: Prior Sr. Jennifer Geary, Asst. Prior and Retreat Leader: Bro. Bill Hamilton, Sr. Paula Fletcher, Bro. Marsh Hudson-Knapp, Bro. Tom Campbell, and retreatant Bro. Joe Shore-Goss

Meeting called to order at 12:55 PM by Prior Sr. Jennifer.

Read the minutes.

Accepted with one correction deleting repeated “earlier.”

Treasurer’s Report: All retreats lost money last year (although the RI retreat broke even after the reimbursement for our first-timer).  So the chapter increased Swan’s Fee to $150.

We received an income and expense report from the treasurer. Suggested that we send out the complete report to the chapter.

Read minutes from the Maine 2018 retreats.#1.

Responses: RI Retreat is fully wheelchair accessible.

Recorded readings and books that might raise questions:

The Council may want to consider a policy about books or recordings that may be read. We favor the present practice in our retreat – namely talking with the Retreat leader if you have a reading that may raise questions.  If someone has a problem with a reading we suggest that the retreat intentionally discuss the reading together.

Our New BSOW Website: Thanks to Sister Paula!  She is working on raising our search ranking so that it may be found easier by “BSOW.” 

Remembering Sr Linda and Sr. Marriotte who are healing.

Interest in getting to know others in our chapter with whom we have not retreated. Perhaps have a New England gathering in the fall.

Discussion about membership categories and who will be on the prayer list.  First, it was suggested that we all read the latest version of the bylaws and it’s definitions of member categories. 

There was a consensus that we take an approach of grace with our brothers and sisters.  Two of us on the retreat (both officers now) would no longer be in this fellowship if we had been removed from the community and its prayers after the 5-year limit for not paying dues.

Comments re prayer list. Suggested that we communally pray for the people on our list during retreats.

Next Year’s date Sunday May 17 through Thursday May 21st at 

Bro Bill Hamilton will be retreat leader next year in RI. 

We ask treasurer Bro David to forward copies of the registrations (or a summary excel spreadsheet consolidating all the registration info (allergies, food needs, etc.) to retreat leaders as he receives them, and retreat leaders are asked to send confirmation to registrant as soon as received and a week of two before the retreat starts he will send a suggested packing list and retreat info to the retreatants.

Sr Jennifer has a displayer. Sr. Paula will get a displayer from her for the NE Methodist conference meeting.

Sr. Jennifer will check in with Sr. Allison who married last year.

We urged our prior & sub-prior to make contact with everyone on the prayer list who has not been on retreat lately to see how they are doing and how they want to relate with our order.  Our Prior will ask retreatants to make calls to help with this.

Adjourned by 2:07

Notes by Bro. Marsh

25 Mar 2019 Minutes of the Council of BSOW

  Minutes of the Council of Brothers and Sisters of the Way 25 March 2019

10:33 AM

Jerry, Jerry, Julian, Jennifer, Wayne & Marsh

Bro Jerry Fritz has been reading Eugene Peterson’s Praying with Jesus.

and led us in prayer starting from today’s reading.

Bro Julian reported on visits in Florida. Bro George is wrestling with Parkinson’s and holding his own. Visited Bro Jerry Stone, working with memory issues and now has a mentor who is helping him a lot. Also had a good conversation with Bro. Rick Floyd.

Reviewed Minutes.

Report on website. Cannot Google search for it yet so use address.

Marsh will look for the reimbursement check he received for the expense!

Treasurer’s report. Corrected previous balance. Currently $1,590.40.

We also have a CD $2,134,95 coming up in May.

Planning Council meetings - aim to have 3 a year. Next in October 16 th at 10:30 by zoom.

Bro Julian will collect retreat minutes & retreat report, and planning form from here. Suggested that we send out invitations with the Advent letter. 

Swans Retreats #2 New persons expected: Andrew Mcloud & David Williams. Bro David Keller is hoping for more full members who will will make a point to join them.

Where are we in election cycle? 2020. So let’s gear up for this in our October meeting.

Recruitment: Sr. Beverly thinks she has two new recruits. 

Bro. Wayne is concerned about how we might meet needs of people who are lay ministers and could not take 3-4 days off. Maybe a weekend retreat Friday through Sunday? Or on a holiday weekend where Monday is off.

Agreed to not reprint the old Sanctuary but use bookmark and half-page by Bro Julian to help interested folk find their way to the site.

Suggested that Bro Marsh skip the full report of data sent to each member for revisions last year and simply ask each member to report changes to him. Be sure to list Marsh’s email for easy access.

Bro John led us in prayer from the UCC Lenten devotional. 

Next Council 10:30 AM October 16, 2019  by Zoom

24 Jan 2019 Minutes NE Consistory of BSOW

New England Consistory of BSOW     24 January 2019

After reminding yours truly about the meeting, we started around 1:15 on Zoom

We discussed all of the NE retreats and Bro Marsh received all the info for promoting them:

RI: Leader: Bill Hamilton Fully Accessible

Swans: first Week leaders are Bro John McD & Bro Doug

second week leader: Bro David Keller (awaiting confirmation)

accessibility very limited, hill, 2 steps.  One person can stay on the first floor with bathroom access

Fee for All NE retreats is  $150

Registrar for all NE retreats is Bro David Andrews,

Discussed Council ideas for disbursing funds: scholarships, memorial Gifts, Subsidizing retreats, and there was general support and decision to take the discussion to retreats for discussion.

Bro Fred’s death:

Bro John is attending Bro Fred’s service

Sr. J is assembling memories to send to Bro John

Sr. J will send a note to the family from the order.

Spring Mailing: Bro David A offered to help Bro Marsh send it

Bro David also shared a summary of his very thorough report emailed earlier. Treasury ended year at $3814.  Has $3271 at present.  We did lose about $600 in 2018 because retreats cost more than we received.

RI could have 3 more people and it would cut costs.  Maine retreats could also handle more participants.

Sr. Jen prepared an Epiphany letter  to go out to the chapter.  Upon receipt, Marsh will forward it promptly.

Meeting ended at 1:45

No new meeting scheduled as everything looks in order.

Minutes by Bro Marsh

Facebook: Brothers and Sisters of the Way

Rev. Bro. Marsh Hudson Knapp, scribe or
2674 South Stream Rd., Bennington, VT  05201
802-440-5190  Cell: 802-753-8137

23 Jan 2019 Minutes of the Council of BSOW

Minutes of the Council of Brothers and Sisters of the Way 23 January 2019

Notice:  This is a report of the meeting of the ORDER’s council.

The New England Chapter had a meeting of its Consistory on the next day, the 24th.  Minutes coming in my next email

Minutes of the Council of Brothers and Sisters of the Way     23 January 2019     10:35 AM

We gathered and shared news about physical healing processes many of us are undergoing.  God and skilled folks are helping us!  Particular thanks for healing for both Bros Jerry and Bro Julian.

Present Abbot Julian, Priors Bro. Jerry Fritz and Bro Jerry Fritz, and Scribe Bro. Marsh, Bro. Jerry Fuss. Absent, Past Abbot Bro. John, Bro. Wayne Sautter, S. Jennifer Geary

Opening Prayer: Bro Wayne, remembering Bro. Fred


Ohio: Will return to Sunset Shores Sept 15-19  Cost will be $250

Accessibility: ramp, room, bathroom, shower

Registrar: Bro Jerry   Leaders: Jerry & Jim Brehler

Review of 2019 retreat plans:

Mid-Atlantic: Sept 9-13, 2019 Leader. Bro Wayne

WV:  $225  The first floor is accessible throughout, except for the shower which has a two inch lip. It is too small for a wheelchair but chair could be placed in the shower.

Registrar: Bro Bob Rock

New England:

RI: Retreat Ldr Bro Bill  Access: ramp, room, bathroom, shower?  Registrar: Bro David

Swans - no handicap access   downstairs room near bathroom is made available to person needing it.

Leaders: First Week June 3-7 Bro John & Bro Doug

June 10-14 Bro David Keller (pending).  Sr. J will report to Marsh

Registrar Bro David Andrews,

Website: Sr. Paula aiming for website re-launch this month.  Bro Marsh is checking in.

Finances: as of Dec  1959.15 in Checking  2134.95 CD

Dues reminder:  Bro Wayne will ask Bro Bob rock for list of dues due for Bro Marsh to include in spring mailing..

Bro Julian sent our personal Christmas letters reaching out to many brothers and sisters and they were appreciated.

An Easter Letter to the order will come from Bro Julian

Bro Jerry F: What do we want to do with our accumulated funds?

1. Perhaps subsidize retreats?

2. Perhaps memorial gifts?  Remembering Bro Fred Robie.  Do we do anything (like a memorial gift) when a brother or sister dies?  Often families choose a memorial focus which could be a focus.  We would want to do the same at the death at each brother or sister.

3. Scholarship Help: In PR: Scholarships available.  If any member needs financial helps to be able to attend please talk with your prior.  Authorize Priors to supplement a person’s ability to contribute so that financial need will not prohibit anyone from attending, and the Council will evaluate the results at the end of the year.

Welcome brochure   Bro Julian has drafts he will send to Bro Marsh.

Next Council 10:30 AM March 27 by Zoom

Prayer Request for a young person in profound need for healing from addiction and for their body.

Facebook: Brothers and Sisters of the Way

Rev. Bro. Marsh Hudson Knapp, scribe or

2674 South Stream Rd., Bennington, VT  05201

802-440-5190  Cell: 802-753-8137