Architectural detail of window arches on Old South Church in Boston

News & Announcements

Heard it at Council: March 2019

Moderator Deb Washington welcomed Council to its March 2019 session with inspiration, derived from Matthew 7:7 and Patricia K. Suggs (and appearing in The Choice:  Living Your Passion Inside Out by Frank A. Thomas): 

If you do not ask,
The answer will always be no;
If you do not seek,
The treasure will never be found;
If you do not knock,
The door will never be opened;
If you do not go after what you want,
You will never have it.

Historian Evan Shu announced that the 350th anniversary exhibition design is complete; installation is imminent.  Featured will be a “12 Generations Timeline” in the sanctuary, quotes and a mural in the narthex and tower entry, and milestones illustrated in the elevator lobby.  Anticipating the Encyclopedia, which continues to be a remarkable work in progress, Evan illustrated by discussing one subject:  the changing roles for women within Old South.  He entertained and intrigued with a hint of what the growing Encyclopedia will become, a significant history of Old South from the research and essays of its current members.

Treasurer Bill Bulkeley announced that the church’s financial picture continues to be “bright,” summarizing his vast report.  Year-to-date spending continues to run under budget mostly due to better-than-expected Congregational support.

Lisa Loveland, returning to Council as Operations Chair, brought forward a motion with the imprimatur of the Climate Change Task Force to encourage the non-use of disposables at Old South meetings and events, a nod to our mission to become a “green” congregation.  The group unanimously supported the idea but split on the precise language to be included in a resolution.  As discussion continued longer than expected and beyond the allotted time, Deb tabled the motion and sent it back to committee for fine-tuning.  It will be revisited in April.

Mary Ann Lape, Leadership Chair, brought forward a Motion to elect Amy Augustine to the Finance Committee (2021) and Virginia Berman to the Outreach Committee (2021).  It was Seconded and Approved. 

Deb reflected on the success of the recent annual meeting.  An outpouring of positive comments were noted; the smoothness and efficiency of the event earned high praise; and a resounding, warm thanks went out to Ralph Watson who scored high marks with the outstanding meal prepared with his extraordinary culinary skills on a large scale.   Deb also exercised her privilege, pursuant to the By-Laws, to appoint a Vice-Moderator, and Phil Stern (At-Large), who was present, was warmly welcomed by Council to this role with wide applause.

Most of the reports by committee and board heads and chairs were submitted in writing prior to the Council meeting, having circulated electronically.  Some leaders chose to emphasize and complement their previous submissions.

Rick Kraft, Planned Giving Chair, wanted other chairs to know that Planned Giving is endeavoring to “inspire” those who have not already made a bequest to Old South to do so, and to equally inspire members of their own boards and committees to do the same.

Tracy Keene, (G)RACE Speaks Committee Chair, apprised the group of the upcoming Dialogue on the Intra-Racial Church under the tutelage of Deb Washington on Sunday March 17, a discussion on how conscious and unconscious behaviors impede full racial inclusion.

Sam Ou, the new Chair of the Music Committee, discussed the position of “composer in residence.” Minister of Music Mitchell Crawford revealed that a text composer has already been engaged as Old South commissions an anniversary hymn to be unveiled for the 350th celebration.

Assoc. Minister John Edgerton reminded that we are a teaching church and distinguished two members in discernment who are at various stages in their journey.  He blessed the group, expressing gratitude for their contributions.  Deb “seconded” his appreciation and adjourned the meeting. 

Respectfully submitted,

Rob Gabler, Clerk