Word and Life‘s Steering Committee: Background and Purpose
Current members of the Word & Life Steering Committee (April 2019- ) include Michael Dean, Anna Grotenhuis, Anne Heck, Thomas Heck (Webkeeper & AV support), Pat McClure, Judith McDermott (Coordinator), Joe Schneider (Secretary/Treasurer) and Martha Siegel.
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This advisory group evolved more than twenty years ago as an informal faith-sharing group comprising the facilitators of Word and Life’s Thursday small group discussions. These women and men met with the Coordinator on Tuesday mornings to share their answers to the lesson questions and to provide other useful feedback. They came to be known as the “Tuesday Group.”
In 2000 the weekly format of the Thursday meetings changed. Small-group faith sharing shifted to an interactive dialogue between the whole group and the presenter. While there was no longer a need for a facilitators’ meeting, the “Tuesday Group” continued to meet to share reflections with one another on the weekly readings and to serve as a sounding board for the Coordinator. The “Tuesday Group” thus became the Coordinator’s de facto advisory board, assisting with decisions being considered about all aspects of the Word and Life community and programs. Any and all members were welcome and invited to participate, and decisions made at the “Tuesday Group” were then brought before the larger community for consideration and consensus.
In the summer of 2005, when it became clear that weekly participation in the “Tuesday Group” was dropping off, the Coordinator decided to invite a few experienced and committed Word and Life members to become her advisers, with scheduled monthly rather than weekly meetings. This group came to be know as the “Advisory Team.” Its formation marked the end of the “Tuesday Group.”
At its monthly meetings, and at various other times through e-mail and phone contacts, the Advisory Team assisted the Coordinator with decisions being considered about all aspects of the Word and Life community and programs. The Advisory Team gradually evolved into the present-day Steering Committee.
Members of the Word & Life Advisory Team, 2005-07, clockwise from upper left: Barbara Krahn, Gail Campanella, Mary Rosenfeld, Anne & Thomas Heck, Mary Sue Anderson, Alice MacDonald, and Harriet Burke.