On Sunday, I was elected to be the Executive Board Member for our church.
Confession: I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THIS MEANS.
One minute we were all laughing, and the next it was all, “motion carried!” It just happened so fast….
I attended my first church “business meeting” about two years ago. I had no idea it was happening; I just showed up for a Sunday night service, and all of a sudden people were passing out ballots. My stomach knotted up with the feeling you get when you totally forget about a test until the teacher starts passing out scantron forms for the multiple choice portion. They were voting on who the deacons would be for the upcoming year…as best I understood. I had never been to a church where there were “deacons” either. I grew up in North Carolina, and I thought Deacons were people who went to Wake Forest University.
When people started reading “minutes,” and giving financial reports I almost passed out. People were all, “according to the bylaws of the church constitution, we need to wait two weeks before we vote on this matter, so I make a motion that we call a special-order business meeting at that time.”
And then from the back, “Second.”
I felt like someone was going to call on me and ask my opinion about something and I was going to have to get up and recite the first two paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence, or the Gettysburg Address or something.
Well I’ve come a long way since my first business meeting, and I’m not so intimidated anymore. But I do cringe every time I see a visitor sitting in the congregation – I want to go sit next to them and whisper the Pledge of Allegiance, or list off Supreme Court justices to lighten the mood a little bit.
My game plan for business meetings is to sit there and keep my mouth shut. I don’t vote on anything unless I feel strongly about it. I’ve never voted for any particular color of paint or carpeting, and I’ve never voted for or against anyone being on a safety committee or a transportation committee. I read the financial report and look for anything fishy; I never find anything – just good math and good choices, so I keep my mouth shut.
Until last night.
We had our quarterly business meeting during the Sunday night service because we needed to nominate/elect/vote on the people who would be in leadership this coming year. You know, who’s in charge of VBS, who’s on the financial oversight committee, who’s the chairman of the deacons, who’s the high priest who’ll be making sacrifices on our behalf…wait, scratch that last one.
All wise, honest people of character were nominated. They agreed to serve, we voted them in. No sweat. But there were still two leadership roles that nobody had volunteered for. (I think you see where this is going.) One was Executive Board Member.
Here’s how it all went down:
Dan asked if he could do it, since it will require meetings during the daytime that other working folks would have a hard time attending.
Pastor said, “The church bylaws require that it be a lay person.”
Worship Pastor leaned across the aisle and said, “But your wife can do it!”
Everyone laughed; I shrunk down 6 inches in my seat.
We moved on; I thought I was in the clear.
Then someone piped in from the back, “I think we would be well-represented by Kate. She would certainly make things more interesting.”
More laughter. I’m not sure if that was supposed to be a compliment, a joke, or an insult.
Pastor says, “Kate, would you be willing to serve?”
My exact words were, sheepishly, “I mean, I would do it.”
More laughter. I’m almost laying down in my seat.
“I make a motion that Kate Conner be our new Executive Board Member.”
And that was that.
(For those of you who speak business-meeting, you’ll get a kick out of Dan’s next comment. ”I make a motion that Kate be in charge of Brotherhood.” Lots of laughter, and someone from the back shouts, “Maybe then we’d have a brotherhood!” I think at this point I was shaking.)
So I suppose I have to figure out what the heck an Executive Board Member does. Apparently it’s not a big deal. I’m pretty sure I just go to three meetings this year and represent our church. I’ll probably be the only woman, and the only person under retirement age in attendance. I plan on wearing my skinny jeans and my biggest earrings just to make a splash.
I’m just saying, if I’m going to do it, I’m going to OWN IT. Watch out, Kate Conner is about to vote on some stuff.
Dan said he would make me a T-shirt that says Executive Board Member on it. I hope he does.