Report on March 2015 Meeting of Elected Bodies

March 23, 2015

The Meeting of Elected Bodies took place Saturday, March 21 at Oak Ridge Hotel and Conference Center in Chaska.

The day began with a welcome and opening prayer by Bishop Brian Prior, followed by Gospel Based Discipleship. The Bishop then spoke about Missional Innovative Partnerships (MIPs), including the new MIP between ECMN, Episcopal Homes, and St. Mark’s Cathedral.

Participants also heard from Greig Metzger with Christian Cupboard Emergency Food Shelf, Rolf Lowenberg-DeBoer (Missioner for Community Engagement), and Annie Flodin (Missioner for Communications).

The morning continued with tracking in elected bodies, followed by lunch, and then meeting in elected bodies. Below is a recap of what was covered in each of the individual elected bodies.


Brian Ostenso reported:

  • The good news that 2014 ended with a slight surplus as earlier projected and that this was due in large part to the faith communities paying their Mission and Ministry Support (MMS) on a timely basis and good control of expenses.
  • The good financial momentum continued into the first two months of 2015 with a year-to-date surplus due primarily to continued progress on MMS payments and the timing of expenses planned for later in the year.
  • The ECMN audit will begin on May 4 and that audit fees continue to decline due to the good work of the financial staff.
  • The ECMN Audit Model for faith communities with budgets under $300,000 has been updated and posted on the ECMN website. The model helps demystify the audit process by providing a prep list, procedures, information sheet, certificate template and checks and fulfills the canonical Audit requirement for faith communities. ECMN stands ready to assist faith communities. The Southwest Mission Area gathered for a second year to use the model with great ease and success.
  • A list of financial software programs used by various faith communities has been compiled and will be posted to the ECMN website. It is hoped that this will allow faith communities to locate and communicate with others using the same packages for assistance and support.
  • The draft Financial Statement of Mission (FSM) will be posted to the ECMN website. Council members should make sure their mission areas are aware of the posting and that comments or suggestions on the budget should be forwarded to The Reverend Doug Sparks by May 7, 2015. The final draft will then be presented to Council at the next MEB in June for approval.
  • The Management Committee is reviewing the legal and financial aspects of Mission Areas using checking accounts to facilitate the operation of Mission Area Gatherings, activities and grants. The Management Committee plans to propose drafts guidelines at the June MEB.
  • The JFAC is beginning the process of developing a 5-year financial plan.

Official Council Business:

  • The minutes from the January 10, 2015 MEB were approved as presented with the corrections to the spelling of two names: Steele and Lagenfeld.
  • The meeting was adjourned at 4 p.m.


  • Discussed strategy for the Episcopal Commons Project and assigned roles for leadership task forces to operate throughout the project.
  • Defined how these roles will connect with the roles already in place with the project partners.
  • Trustee financials through February are favorable and on budget.
  • Gave a final review of the Maintenance Savings Plan and empowered the project team to move forward.
  • Updated the status of the three Trustee properties currently listed for sale.
  • Discussed the next 60-day plan of action for a number of Faith Community-specific situations that require Trustee action or approval.

Standing Committee:

  • Discussed and reviewed our progress and findings in areas of our work plan; ordination and formation, property and internal processes.
  • Welcomed and engaged Bishop Prior who briefed us on Mission, Management and Ministry in ECMN.
  • Consented to requests regarding ECMN property.
  • Discussed and consented to the June ordination of several candidates.
  • Discussed and consented for the election of a bishop.

Commission on Ministry:

  • Discussed and agreed on goals for the program year, affirmed the good work that has been ongoing throughout the year, and set our sights on some reasonable outcomes between now and October. 
  • Each of the recently established sub-commissions (on Discernment, Formation and Ordination/Commissioning) have been asked to create working goals for their groups. 
  • Following a renewal of our Baptismal Vows and our commitment to them (see brainstorm picture) Karen and Susan presented a model for ministry based on the baptismal covenant, which generated a lot of energetic discussion. 
  • We’re looking forward to the upcoming ordination on June 20 at Breck’s Field House, and Mike Sirany will be leading a retreat for spiritual directors at the ECMN Retreat Center in April.

Click here to view photos from the event on Facebook.

Click here to view video from the event.

The next Meeting of Elected Bodies will take place Saturday, June 13, so be sure to mark your calendars. We look forward to seeing you in the summer!