Friends of Chinese Reformed Theological Seminaries
(Friends of CRTS)
A Pennsylvania non-profit supporting Chinese Reformed Theological Seminaries
Corporate Office: 2419 Trotter Drive, Allison Park PA 15101
2008 Board Meeting Minutes
Date: June 13, 2008
Place: Hyatt Regency Hotel, DallasTexas
Members present: Mrs. Glenn (Julie) McDougall, Dr. Andrew Silman, Mrs. Robert (Linda) Wohleber, Mr. Mark Thompson
Rev. Paul Taylor, Rev. Toon Yeo
Members excused: Mr. Bob Simonelli
Others present: Dr. and Mrs. (Priscilla) Andrew McCafferty, Dr. and Mrs. Dean Ulrich, Rev. Scott Lindsay
The meeting was called to order at 9:04 AM and opened with a devotion and prayer by Dr. Silman. The minutes from the 2007 meeting were read and approved.
1. Dr. McCafferty gave the Executive Director’s report. We continue to support Dr. Yates and Dr. McCafferty. In 2007 we contributed $12,000 to the CRC on behalf of CRTS. There are seven years left in this commitment. We provide the Reformed Press with $6000 and the Eastern Seminary with $9000 per year. The Executive Director’s report was received and approved.
2. Dr McCafferty gave the Asia Director’s Report. CRTS continues to prosper, and next year’s enrollment is on par with previous years totals. CRTS hopes to expand in 2008-2009 by offering more courses, both on and off campus. We hope to hire Dean Ulrich and an extra staff member. A missions committee will oversee the China work, long-distance courses, and missionaries. Andy will serve as the interim pastor of Great Grace Reformed Presbyterian Church, and hopefully its growth will enhance CRTS in Taiwan as well as in Asia. CRTS continues to staff two centers in China, offering 16 mini-courses per year at Eastern Seminary and 8 weekend courses at the Southern Seminary. There were 14 students at the Eastern Seminary this year, and 25 enrolled for the weekend courses at Southern Seminary.
Reformed Press is also doing well, and turned a profit of $6,400 this year. Labor costs will increase next year, but if we continue with the same level of giving, $19,000/year, we should still break even. We hope to increase sales, and to break even without donations in about six years. We have 40 titles in print and six new titles in process, various new editions and reprints of current works, and our plan is to build up to twelve new tiles a year over the next six years. We also hope to have the online bookstore in place by the end of the year, as we now have a volunteer who is willing to get that started.
Dr. Taylor asked for a breakdown of expenses for the two schools in China. Andy summarized as follows: the two schools do all of the administration and scheduling – CRTS role is limited to supplying the teachers. CRTS helps with the teacher’s hourly fees, which comes to about $2000.00 total for the two schools. We also provide the two missionaries with about $15,000 - most of which comes through Friends of CRTS. We ask the teachers to raise their own travel expense money. Dr. Taylor suggested we approach China Partners for funding. Andy has had some communication with this organization, but has not had time to pursue this earnestly.
Rev. Lindsay asked whether CRTS has a connection with Third World Ministries, and again, though Andy has had some communication with them, he has not had time to pursue them for funding.
The Asia Director’s report was received and approved
3. Missionary Reports(see attached) were reviewed, received and approved.
4. Financial report (see attached) was reviewed, received and approved. Our CRTS and General Funds have typically been under-funded, but the missionary accounts tend to be over-funded. For this reason, Andy has asked the Board members who contribute to FCRTS to designate our funds to CRTS and the General Fund.
1. A motion was made and approved to re-elect Dr. Silman as Chair and Dr. Yeo as Vice Chair for another year.
2. Two Amendments to the Bylaws were approved:
Article VIII.5. - Add the word “usually” to read: “The annual meeting of the Board of Directors shall usually be held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America.”
Article VIII.9. - Add the following: “or emailed “, and “All votes taken without a meeting shall be ratified at the next duly called meeting.” The resulting clause will read: “Any action which may be taken at a meeting of the directors may be taken without a meeting, if the consent or consents in writing setting forth the action so taken shall be signed or emailed by at least a majority of all directors in office, and shall be filed with the Secretary of the Corporation. All votes taken without a meeting shall be ratified at the next duly called meeting.”
3. The Board unanimously reconfirmed the following motion, which had passed as an email vote earlier:
Motion: Assuming approval by CRTS and the Hong-En church, permit Tim Yates to become the interim Dean of the Seminary for 1-3 years, and Andrew McCafferty to become the interim pastor of the Hong-EnChurch for 1-3 years. Priscilla and a seminary student will also join Dr. McCafferty at the Hong-EnChurch.
4. The Board unanimously approved the motion to add the following statement to our guidelines (after the first point of section six on missionaries, renumbering the rest):
When there is reason to believe that a person is likely to meet our requirements to be a missionary, he may apply to the Executive Director. The Executive Director will forward his resume, letter of reference and other relevant material to the President of the Board. The President of the Board will interview the candidate in an appropriate manner (or ask others to do so). At this point, the Board may approve the person as a missionary candidate. The person may then begin to raise funds, under the assumption that his primary remaining requirements for our accepting him as a missionary are 1) the actual call to teach at the Seminary (and ordination/licensure if this is a question) and 2) the raising of sufficient financial support. If a candidate has raised partial support, he may apply for business expenses that meet our requirements and partial salary support – limited to the amount of support already pledged.
5. The Board unanimously passed the following motion regarding Dr. Dean Ulrich’s application to join CRTS and his initial financial request:
Motion: to approve Dr. Ulrich as a missionary for an initial period of 10 months, from September 2008 – June 2009, at which time both the Ulrich’s and CRTS will have the opportunity to re-evaluate his calling and determine whether it is a long-term call. This action is subject to his raising the minimum required financial support and providing this information (i.e. his donor list and the amount each has pledged) to our treasurer, along with periodic updates on pledges he has received.
Discussion items: Dr. Taylor suggested cross-cultural training in Colorado, either before they leave or after their initial 10 months of service.
6. The board approved the following motions respecting our financial plans for the next few years:
1. Assuming that CRTS begins to support both Dr. Yates and Dr. Ulrich US $12,000 per year, to commit US $12,000 for CRTS in 2009, with a non-binding intention to continue this support.
2. To commit US $4,000 for the Southern Training Center in 2009, with a non-binding intention to seek long-term supporters for this training center beginning in 2010.
3. To commit US$6,000 for the GreatGraceRPChurch in 2009, with a non-binding intention to continue this for a total of 2 years, at which time GreatGracePCChurch will discuss supporting Dr. Yates.
4. To approve transfers of up to $40,000 from the McCafferty account to the CRTS account to help cover the cost of these programs for the next two years.
Explanation: The first year, the program will cost US$22,000. The plan for the second year is US$18,000. After this, the program will cost $12,000/year. Pledges to Dr. McCafferty are running about $12,000/year more than his financial requests. We hope to find additional supporters during these years as well.
7. Dr. Yates’ and Dr. McCafferty’s financial requests were discussed and unanimously approved. Dr. Yates' report has some figures that need to be perfected.
8. The board unanimously approved the motion to apply to the IRS to grant scholarships to children of any missionary whose primary call is to teach at a Reformed Chinese Seminary, and who lives in a location where there is no public education available in the children’s native tongue.
9. The board unanimously approved the motion to cover the cost of the artwork for our booth at GA in the amount of US$490.00
10. A motion to pass the 2009 budget was approved.
11. A motion to settle on the responsibilities of the positions of the Executive Director, the Asia Director and the American Director led to the following revised motion, which was unanimously approved:
1. Andy Silman, Julie McDougall, and Mark Thompson will assume the responsibilities of the Executive Director as the Executive Committee and serve for one year, at which time the situation will be evaluated. Their responsibilities will include the following:
a. Oversee the Asian Director.
b. Plan and prepare for the annual meeting, including time, place, agenda, invited guests, etc.
c. Oversee the preparation of the 990 forms in February and March (Betty Hsai).
d. Oversee the application process for new missionaries – discuss financial issues with new missionaries.
e. Assure that we are keeping our regulations
f. Keep the Board informed, consulting closely with the President of the Board, who is responsible to raise email motions to the Board.
2. Andy McCafferty will continue as Asia Director.
The Board discussed the need for more board members, and it was generally agreed that prospective Board members be invited to subsequent meetings or FCRTS functions in order to give both them and the Board the opportunity to interact before a formal invitation to join the Board takes place.
Mr. Thompson re-iterated his concern that Andy is overworked and needs some time off, and by common consent the board will continue to keep this suggestion on the table.
The meeting was adjourned with prayer at 12:10 PM.
Mrs. Robert Wohleber