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Board Meeting Minutes July 2012

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Friends of Chinese Reformed Theological Seminaries (Friends of CRTS)

Pennsylvania non-profit supporting Chinese Reformed Theological Seminaries

Corporate Office: 2419 Trotter Drive, Allison Park PA 15101

Email: friends@crts.edu

2012 Board Meeting Minutes

Date:  July 12, 2012

Place: Sullivan Road Hampton Inn, Atlanta, GA

Members Present:  TE Scott Lindsey, Mrs. Glenn (Julie)McDougall,  Dr. Andrew Silman,  Dr. Paul Taylor, RE Mark Thompson, Mrs. Robert (Linda) Wohleber, TE Ken Woo

Others Present:  TE Andrew McCafferty, Mrs. Andrew (Priscilla) McCafferty, Mr.Glenn McDougall

 

Dr. Silman called the meeting to order at 9:30 AM.

 

Rev. Ken Woo encouraged us to a greater zeal for right worship with a devotional message from Psalm 27 and Four Sermons, written by John Calvin in 1552 to admonish the Nicodemites to stop at nothing in order to worship God rightly.  The issues for believers in China are much like those in France in Calvin’s day, and no one should allow the fear of persecution to cause him to settle for anything other than true worship and the right use of the means of grace God has given us.  

 

The devotional was followed by a season of prayer.

 

The minutes of the 2011 meeting were approved and the 2011 revisions to the Board Handbook were distributed.

 

 

Reports

 

1.     Asia Director’s Report

Dr. McCafferty presented the Asia Director’s Report.    He is encouraged that a vision for a Center for Reformed Theology is becoming a reality in Taiwan.  His concerns for the seminary are around maintaining its mission as a training center for Reformed pastors.  He feels we have lost “drawing power” among young qualified Taiwanese men who are called to the ministry.  Many of our students are coming from overseas and many others are entering the Biblical Counseling program rather than the D. Min program. He informed us that the CRTS Board issued a core values statement recently for the purpose of re-stating that the main purpose of the Seminary is for the training of pastoral men. 

Although the Executive Committee has done a great job, Andy feels there is no substitute for one person who has a thorough knowledge of the organization.  To that end, he would like to bring on Ken Woo as our Executive Director in the US. Andy provided a list of 8-9 issues under the Executive Director’s expertise.  Ken is excited at the prospect and willing to take this on, but has some concerns about the time commitment during this next year. He is less than halfway through his post-graduate work at Duke and is entering a crucial year of exams that will involve a great deal of his time, and with a wife and two small children he is concerned that he will not be able to fulfill all the responsibilities of the job as well as he would like.  Discussion ensued, and Paul Taylor suggested that Andy M. revise his list into a concise job description and email it to Paul and Scott for further discussion with Ken.  In this job description, Andy will also assign responsibilities for the coming year to either Ken, the Executive Committee, or to himself, in order to provide for a smooth and more gradual transition into the Executive Director’s role.  By common consent, the Board will receive this job description from Andy and proceed with this plan.

 

The RTF Press has published 11 new books and 3 new editions of old books.  Though both income and expenses have increased significantly from 2010, Andy feels that the Press had a good year and will prove a valuable part of the ministry in China.  He shared his excitement over seeing a sizable list of RTF books with our website address in a recent publication of the Westminster Theological Seminary Newsletter.

 

Finally, Andy reported with joy the excitement he feels over the new Bookstore/Coffee Shop project.  The space has been transformed, the coffee is brewing, and three hard-working ladies are taking care to maintain the White Horse Inn Bookstore.   Andy feels this will draw Christians from other churches and give CRTS and the Reformed faith a greater presence and influence in the city. 

 

2 .   Financial Report

 

Julie and Andy presented the Financial Report.  Julie reported that donations are down in 2011 from 2010.  However, considering the economy, she is not discouraged by the amount of giving to FCRTS, which is still up significantly from 2009.   Julie expressed a concern that Quarterly Expense Reports from missionaries are not being submitted unless the missionary has expenses.  She would like to remind missionaries that these reports are required either way, and necessary if we are to follow the law.   Andy M promised to remind missionaries to comply. 

 

Andy M included with his Executive Director Issues paper a financial forecast which estimates that CRTS will continue to have to draw from Andy M’s account, ultimately bringing his excess down to zero sometime in 2015-2017.  Discussion of how to address this steady shortfall ensured, with the following motions approved:

 

 

1.  Upon receipt of a list of our top twenty donors from Julie, Scott Lindsay and Mark Thompson will develop and implement a plan to communicate with these people, through phone calls, meetings, or by mail about our need to pay off our building and improve our overall capital position.   Mark emphasized the need to determine exactly how much to ask for in this capital project, and to be sure it is enough.  This plan will be communicated by email to other members of the Board, who are all willing to do our part in its implementation.

 

2.  Andy Silman will send a general letter of request for donations, similar to last year’s request, which gave a good overview of what is taking place in Taiwan but also communicated our need.  This had a significant response, resulting in many people giving beyond their usual monthly donations.  Board members encouraged Andy to send at least one, commenting that most ministries send out one or more a month.  Most agree that is too many, but feel that FCRTS can send out one or two requests a year and this will help donors feel more connected to the ministry.

 

3.  Scott suggested that adding another 5 churches to our donor list would significantly make up for the shortfall and put us in a much better position, and board members were all encouraged to go back to our own churches or to seek out others which might be interested and able to support this ministry.  These churches may also be approached in connection with the capital project mentioned above.

 

 

Election of Officers and Board Member Update

 

The Board accepted Dr. Simonelli’s resignation with regret.  He has been a member and faithful supporter of FCRTS since its inception.  Andy Silman will send a letter to Bob to communicate our acceptance of his resignation and our appreciation for his service of the past eleven years.

 

The current slate of officers was re-elected by unanimous vote, and the Executive Committee will continue its duties for another year or until Ken Woo has made a complete transition into the role of Executive Director. 

 

Officers are:  Andy Silman – Chair; Scott Lindsay – Vice Chair; Julie McDougall – Treasurer; Linda Wohleber- Secretary

Executive Committee members are:  Julie McDougall, Mark Thompson, Scott Lindsay and Andy Silman.

 

Missionary Reports and Old Business

 

1.  Dean Ulrich – The Board had a lengthy discussion about Dean.  He is a star teacher at CRTS, and students respond to his teaching with great enthusiasm.  He feels called to being an OT teacher, but it is clear that he would rather be teaching in English, somewhere in the US.  He has no heart for fund raising, and without Dawn’s income he would not be able to stay on as a missionary with CRTS.  Scott expressed the concern that if we lose Dean as a teacher the Seminary could suffer, and feels we are unprepared for this eventuality.  Should we be going after other OT professors right now?  We discussed whether or not the Board should come alongside Dean and help with his fundraising, but agreed that this would not be wise.  However, we ultimately concluded that Dean’s presence in Taipei is at least for now, the Lord’s doing, and our prayer support is the best way to help him at this time.  Meanwhile, we are always looking to recruit good teachers, and this recruitment will continue.  M/S/A to approve Dr. Ulrich’s financial request.

 

2.  Tim Yates – M/S/A to approve Dr. Yates’ financial request.

 

3.  Toon Yeo - After some discussion regarding a concern that Toon’s donor list is over dependent on his home church and we should encourage him to widen his donor list, M/S/A to approve Rev. Yeo’s financial request.

 

4.  Andy McCafferty – M/S/A to approve Dr. McCafferty’s financial request.

5.  Moses Wong – M/S/A to approve Moses Wong’s Minimum Support Request, but is concerned that Moses may be putting his family in financial jeopardy with his support at this level.  Paul Taylor offered to assign an MTW mentor/helper to Moses, who will call him regularly and encourage him to contact donors and potential donors in order to become more financially viable.  The Board agreed that this would be very helpful.  Both Andy M and Andy S agreed to contact Moses to encourage this connection with Paul.  The board also agreed not to let Moses on the field until he has confirmed donations for the minimum level of support and to strongly encourage Moses to raise at least $5000 beyond this minimum required level.

Missionary Reports and Old Business (Cont’d.)

 

The following are approved amounts for 2012-13 for our missionaries:

 

McCafferty

Ulrich

Wong

Yates

Yeo

Salary,Housing, Benefits

20,850

16,800

13,640

58,460

37,750

K-12 Child Scholarship

0

0

15,500

20,047

Business Expenses

2,000

7,000

1200

4000

3,200

Totals

22,850

23,800

14,840

77,960

60,997

 

 

New Business

 

1.  M/S/A to approve the 2013 annual budget.

 

2.  Andy Silman reported that CRTS has been invited to be a member of the Asia Theological Association.

 

3.  Director Succession – Mark Thompson began a discussion about how we can provide our replacements on the FCRTS Board.  It is important to have a vacant seat at the table, and each of us should be recruiting our own replacements.  All agreed that this is an important way to provide for the future for CRTS, and that this transition can be a smooth one if we are doing our own recruitment.  We were all encouraged to invite prospective board members to upcoming meetings, and to be aware of this need as we go forward.

 

 

The meeting adjourned with prayer at 2:00 PM.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Mrs. Robert Wohleber, Secretary

July 2012