Meeting was held at the Bonhoeffer House.
After opening prayer, purpose of the meeting was defined as creating a mission statement, to direct our activities and also because the student association charter requires that we have one. :)
Mission statement process is still open to adjustments!
Craig presented a 3-step guide to forming a mission statement. Defining opportunities and needs, deciding how to address them, and naming the principles and values behind all of this.
Opportunities/Needs (NOT in order of importance):
raising awareness at PLTS
empowering action of students and staff
creating ways to follow through on good intentions/good starts
making advocacy opportunities
issues: reducing the PLTS community's ecological footprint, student insurance, communication to the ELCA and other seminaries
How to address (again, in no specific order):
provide education - speaking engagements, presentations, local issues/statistics
provide advocacy channels - letter writings, picket lines to join,
communication - email to interested students, to all students?, whiteboard outside chapel with other community activities
having fun with this! (if we don't, beth said she would leave and that would make us all sad.)
Christian faith and Lutheran identity
- this brought up a good conversation about what a Lutheran social ethic is. The Catholic church and some other denominations articulate WHY they care about justice very well. Us Lutherans, on the other hand, are a little shy about defining religious reasons for "doing" almost anything, since it might be seen as works-righteousness. Well, the SJC seemed to say, to heck with that! Lutherans have a lot to add to this conversation, AS Lutherans! So we will keep talking about this together.
- alongside that discussion was the need to clarify what "service learning" meant. I THINK it means (this is where your corrections are most welcome...) wishing to serve a community is great, but to actually help, we must first listen to the needs that are actually expressed by that community, rather than "fixing them" in our image.
Some tentative mission statements were then put forth:
"Smiling, we do good stuff." Do we know who said this? :)
"Embracing service learning in the Lutheran context to empower action and awareness." - This one seems to be "it" but additions/clarifications/puns are still welcome!
The issue of communicating to the PLTS community came up as we then listed some upcoming/ongoing justice issues. The best suggestion so far is to email Chris or Cheryl with anything that you want the whole community to receive. But we also need to TALK a lot about these opportunities, because so many people get their news that way. Another good way to get the word out might be to start a social justice blog (Craig's good idea!) and link it to the PLTS Admissions blog which already exists and to the ELCA and to other seminaries. Those with technological giftings, please stand up?
Upcoming/Ongoing SJC stuff: the name preceding is just who brought it up, not necessarily the person who will DO all of this.
Becky offered - Fair trade coffee for all PLTS events and gatherings - right now some of the larger special events are not using FT, so we need a little research into our coffee sources and how that decision is made.
Beth - the YEAH shelter will be starting in November. It's at Lutheran Church of the Cross on University, and we need to contact the LVC volunteer who can coordinate what ways our help is most needed.
Hans/Anna/Laura - speaking engagements about issues we are passionate about, so PLTS gets firsthand accounts
- Israel/Palestine news after travelling there for reading week (Anna)
- involvement with fair trade goods from communities cut off by Israeli walls/roadblocks, etc
- Fair Trade Fairs, to become aware of who we can help
Next Meeting Scheduled for Thursday, October 18, at 6:30 pm. Location TBA, suggested at Courtney and Mike's at the Delawares.
Closing prayer - Hans.