Fall 2004 Issue From the Teaching & Sharing Center www.wsharing.com
INCORPORATION ON THE HORIZON
For ten years the Teaching & Sharing Center has operated as a sole-proprietorship under the a touch of william umbrella. That is about to change.
After the various explorations precipitated by the Centerís finances this past year and a half, I recently asked the Grey Feathers Advisory Council if they thought the Center should continue as is, or incorporate as a Michigan non-profit corporation and seek a 501(C)3 IRS designation. As of this writing, 9 of the 12 have responded. Seven have indicated incorporation to be the new path, 1 said stay a sole-proprietor, and 1 abstained.
For most of you this change will not affect much. You will need only to decide if you wish to become a member of the new corporation ("Center Circle" member) involving an annual membership fee, but carrying with it the right to be involved in selecting/electing the Board of Trustees (1/3 each year) who will hold the legal responsibility of decision making for the corporation. It is quite possible that Center Circle membership could be required for the Keyholder program. But, your tpc membership will still suffice for borrowing items, whether corporate or mine, from the lending library.
Membership in the poetís circle will remain free as it will continue to simply be the mailing list for a touch of william and/or the Center. For the time being, a touch of william will stay my individual ministry, and not be a division of the new corporation. Both will continue to work in harmony but it will require an "armís length relationship" since each is a separate legal entity. The "christian life programs" DBA will probably go with the T&SC non-profit corporation. But, Cherokee Billís Trade Center will likely remain with a touch of william for now, until the Center is better off financially.
All of these things will be part of the decision making process involving myself and those willing to serve on the new Board of Trustees. As current members of the poetís circle you will be kept informed through these newsletters about any changes affecting you. Hopefully they will be minimal, but I am relinquishing sole control here.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE INVOLVED?
As stated, one of the dynamics of incorporation is that this will no longer be one manís vision with sole control. Greater involvement by others will allow for the possibility of expanding what the Teaching & Sharing Center can do, and how it can reach out.
The two key questions at the core of the new T&SC:
1. Who did God create you to be?
2. Can that find expression in conjunction with or through the Teaching & Sharing Center?
It is possible that little will change here except that there will now be a Board of Trustees calling the shots rather than me deciding (after consulting the Grey Feathers Advisory Council on big issues). Or, much could change here if some of you partially find expression of who God created you to be through the Center. Even simply refining whatís already in place could create such things as a Director of Library Services, and Membership Director, beyond the basic Board of Trustees positions. And, the mission statement of the Center is broad enough to encompass any number of new ideas you might feel God calling you to. As for me, I am open to whatever direction the Holy Spirit wishes to take. But, I know anything beyond what is already happening will require others to see this as a possible place of participation and expression for their own journey. Give it some thought.
FROM MY EMAILS
Approaching the election this year many of you sent or forwarded political emails. Since this page is being written on election day I thought I would share with you this email which tickled me because I thought it captured the broad essence of the two parties attitudes in a lighthearted way. It is called:
Hot Air Balloon
A woman in a hot air balloon realized she was lost. She
lowered her altitude and spotted a man in a boat below. She shouted to
him, "Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an
hour ago, but I don't know where I am."
I thought that was pretty cute. And it was a nice little respite in the midst of all the election rhetoric.
FROM DONNA'S DOOR
As I write this, a friendís life is hanging by a thread due to a couple of sudden heart attacks. No one would have expected something like this to happen to John because of his relatively laid back way of handling life. But, one never knows. I thought perhaps it would be a good time to share these bits of wisdom from Donnaís door (she tapes things she cuts out to her work room door where I read them)
Itís OK to . . .
Invite friends over if the house is a mess (they'll love you for it).
Serve a meal without every single food group represented.
Only haul out and display half of the holiday decorations this year.
Make cakes and cookies using a mix.
Let the answering machine get it.
Sing along with the car radio, no matter how tone deaf you may be.
Leave the beds unmade.
Applaud the achievements of other people's kids without feeling jealous.
Let autumn leaves gather wherever nature blows them.
Bring store-bought goodies to the PTA fund-raiser.
Skip the panty hose on hot days.
Let your kids make their own entertainment.
Color outside the lines.
Have a U-Zap-It night on which everyone reheats her own dinner from leftovers in the fridge.
Tell kids "No" without telling them why.
Let someone else be responsible for a change.
Go to bed early.
Take a vacation without an itinerary.
Put the local pizza place on speed-dial.
Let the dishes pile up once in a while.
Put off until tomorrow what you could have done today.
OK Ė back to the Center for a moment. The papers for the new corporation will have been filed by the time you get this. We have requested a starting date of January 1, 2005. As of this writing there are six trustees who have agreed to serve on the board of the incorporated Teaching & Sharing Center.
There will ultimately be between 7 and 13 trustees on the board, so if you feel the Holy Spirit calling you to serve there is plenty of room. You would need to be able to attend board meetings (probably quarterly). It would be best if you have email for between meetings communications. Or, if you live close enough to regularly check your mailbox at the Center, a copy of emails could be printed for you.
It is most likely I will be serving as Executive Director of the corporation unless God surprises me by having someone step forward indicating a sense of call and desire to enter into that role. This is the reason you do not see my name listed among those who are on the Board of Trustees.
The purpose stated on the incorporation papers will serve as the mission statement for the T&SC during these early stages. It reads as follows:
Within the broad parameters of nature, spirit, and expression, to be a welcoming spiritual resource center that nurtures intimacy in our daily walk with Jesus and invites participation through sharing our spiritual and artistic gifts both locally and globally to the glory of God.
We acknowledge Godís call into relationship with Him, with each other, and with the rest of creation.
We place particular emphasis in contexts serving those traditionally disillusioned with the Christian church, such as Native Americans and environmentalists, seeking as often as possible creative and/or unique ways of expressing the Good News of Godís all encompassing grace.
Filing the papers creating the T&SC non-profit corporation does not yet make your contributions tax deductible. First the corporation must seek and be approved for 501(C)3 designation by the IRS. I have been told that this process can take
When I receive an interesting, humorous, or email whose message I think should be shared, I save it in a "possible newsletter item" folder. The following is one of those. I choose to share it at this time because we are heading into one of the busiest times of the year where we find ourselves rushing around. And, at least in this part of the country, we do it in less than perfect weather conditions.
The Life You Save . . .
Jack took a long look at his speedometer before slowing
down: 73 in a 55 zone. Fourth time in as many months. How could a guy get
caught so often? When his car had slowed to 10 miles an hour, Jack pulled
over, but only partially. Let the cop worry about the potential traffic
hazard. Maybe some other car will tweak his backside with a mirror. The
cop was stepping out of his car, the big pad in hand.
Life is precious.
One of the times I am most proud to be an American is
on Election Day. The experience of peacefully waiting in line to express
my opinion through voting never ceases to be awe inspiring. This year was
no exception as we amicably chatted with others also waiting to express