Evergreen Association of American Baptist Churches @2017

Evergreen Association

Of America Baptist Churches

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Kent, WA  98032-5843

Evergreen Association of American Baptist Churches @2017

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Evergreen History

The Transitional Executive Board immediately began working with the asked for assistance of three people: Lucy Brand as Interim Executive Minister of ABC/NW, Rev. James Winbush of Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Baptist Church as auxiliary board member (and chair of the Transition Team) and Marcia Patton as consultant. The Board soon made the decision that if at least one caucus representative was not present at a meeting then the meeting would not be official, and decisions would have to be put off until all caucuses were represented. The Board knew they needed further information from the churches and called a meeting on Saturday, August 19, 2002 to ask the churches what they needed during the next few months.

At the August meeting the Vision Committee again shared what they were thinking in terms of structure with more of the structure outlined, (see Appendix). In that outline it was suggested that voting delegates be selected by the same criteria as ABC/USA delegates. The group gathered was in agreement that this was not the preferred way of selecting delegates as it rewarded larger churches with significantly more representatives. It was informally agreed that there should be an equal number of delegates per church and that each church should meet a criteria of giving to the denomination in order to have voice and vote.

In addition, those at the meeting stated that they wanted the usual services from the Association during the transition period. They called upon the board to hire someone on a full-time basis as soon as feasible.

The Transitional Executive Board continued to work on budget issues, office location, staffing and furnishing. They made an agreement with Companis, a volunteer organization of Seattle First Baptist Church that places people in new positions to help non-profits get things started, to have an Administrative Assistant in the office. They worked with Washington Baptist Convention to use space in their offices in Kent where ABC/NW office spaces were.

In November 2002 Gretchen Bunzer was sent from Companis to serve as the Administrative Assistant. She was provided a new computer and printer and internet services were set up for her.

Meanwhile, the Vision Committee sent the outline for structure to a lawyer for initial writing. When they received it back, they felt it needed significant additional work before sending it to churches for review. Even so, there was much of the language and articles the lawyer included which were deemed unnecessary at a first reading by churches. In addition, several issues were raised including a slight change to the mission statement and changing the number of delegates per church.

Then a discussion ensued about the “manner of acting.” The lawyer had used the boilerplate that decision would be by “majority rules”. But when people began to talk about that, it seemed incongruous with the caucus concept, because any caucus could be overruled by “a majority vote.”

Caucuses were encouraged to meet to have discussion about what “working by consensus” might mean. Although in general it is agreed that there isn’t enough experience out there with consensus, it is truer to the sense of what the Association was trying to do than to continue to work by the standard “majority rules.”

People were sent surveys to respond to the by-laws and additional meetings were held in January of 2003 to hear questions, work with concerns of the by-laws. A document entitled By-laws for Adoption was sent to members with a meeting called for on February 22, 2003. The two churches east of Seattle (and the Cascade Mountains) were present by phone and speakers. Rev. Eldon Olson from the ECLA local synod was secured as a facilitator for the day. Following a brief worship service, the Rev. Joyce Lawlor, pastor of Good Shepherd Baptist Church in Lynnwood, preaching, the delegates adopted the by-laws. Pictures of the day show a racially mixed group of people working together.