Minutes of SJ meetings


Notes from Social Justice Committee meeting Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016, St. Catherine’s

Present:  Chris Rehmann, chair; Tom Budnik, staff representative; Shari Reilly, past staff representative; Francis Todey, Parish Council representative; Fr. John Herzog, Felicity Douglas, Mary Ellen Wishart


Absent:  Kathy Trahanovsky, out of town; Liz Haut, student representative, in class


Guest:  Audrey Stromberg on Catholic Climate Movement


Chris began with a prayer and handed out an agenda, with our mission attached to the back.


Audrey asked for approval to have a petition for people to sign at all of the Masses The petition was created by the Global Catholic Climate Movement and will be sent to world leaders urging them to drastically cut carbon emissions.   Fr. Jon has OK’d it.  The committee supported Audrey and suggested that she contact Eric Evans and ask him to include a Sunday petition that reinforces this idea. Perhaps a study group could be formed about this topic, using the Pope’s encyclical “Laudato Si” as a base.


The main topics of the meeting were on what programs now fall under SJ and which ones we want to focus on for the year.  Here are some of the ideas that surfaced:


*Do we want to work with St. Cecilia’s and Sts. Peter and Paul and their SJ committees to be more efficient and accomplish more?


* Love Your Neighbor balance has suffered this past year, we think partially due to not having special giving envelopes in the parish envelope box.  People are not reminded of this major program.  Tom will review budget numbers, and, if warranted, either Chris or Francis will discuss this with Finance Council.


*Francis suggested When Helping Hurts as a possible study for our committee or a small group…suggesting how to be most effective in “giving” situations.


*Social Justice Grants:  Process and timeline need to be discussed at next meeting.


*It is uncomfortable that we have a sister parish which we basically cannot visit.  It would be desirable to have a Honduras committee person on our social justice committee so that we could explore ways to connect.


*Shari stressed that chairs of various committees need to be responsible for publicity, rather than the staff person.


*Food at First is under Fentons and Annette Mann.

*Blood drive is now under Lynette Wheeler

*Ames Ecumenical Housing has Joan Graebenstetter as board member.

*ERP has Shari and Dan Douglas on the board.

*AMOS has no parishioner participation at this time.  Discuss membership at next meeting?

*Belonging will continue to exist as a resource but is not actively programming at this time. 

*Student immersion trips have a huge financial reserve.  Something should be done to increase participation.

*Ramp sale proceeds will go into the fund for social justice grants.

*MICA collections, done 3 times a year, and Rice Bowl have, in the past, been the responsibility of staff.  Is this how we want to continue?

*Gifts for newborns has been handled by Shari.  This is primarily publicity only.  Should this continue to be handled by staff?

*Bobby takes care of 3 in 1 and other special collections.

*Appalachia is no longer a committee under SJ.

*Home for Awhile is now under the direction of Cornerstone Church.

*Mustard Seed Farm needs more workers.

*Respect Life may be looking for new leadership.


Next meeting:  Tuesday, October 11, 6:00 p.m.


Notes taken by Mary Ellen Wishart


Social Justice Committee Meeting: 11October2016

Attendees:  Paula, Kathy, Mary Ellen, Tom, Chuck, Chris, Felicity, Dave, and Phil (Honduras committee)


There was a motion to accept the previous meetings notes and post them on the parish website:  Motion approved.   Tom will post the notes.  

Tom and Chris worked on a listing of all the programs that Social Justice has or has had some role in overseeing or input into the program.  The programs were categorized into 3 groupings.  

“a” – programs that do not need oversight from SJ

“b” – programs that do need oversight but are currently running well

“c” – programs that need some attention or discussion


There was a question on whether the person running “meals for newborns” also covered “meals for people/families in crisis”.   Tom will check on this and report back.  However, generally this is covered by the parish family live committee.   

Chuck volunteered to the be the SJ leader to keep a connection to AMOS.  Chris will also help with this.

MICA is currently out of food.  This is being driven by a surge from the Baaken pipeline construction workers.  The STA staff have agreed to hold one additional collection this fall to help MICA (in addition to our normal 2 food drives per year).  

SJ team needs to decide where to allocate the funds from the Ramp sale.  This was tabled until next meeting.  

There was discussion on Immersion Trips.  The money collected from Tom’s event has greatly exceeded the money used for immersion trips.  Chuck will share his knowledge of a Franciscan group that helps coordinate immersion trips to Eric and Shari.  Generally immersion trips are coordinated through the Campus Ministry team.   There was some discussions about the best way to help those in need (is it by going on trips or by simply sending money).  The conclusion was that the immersion trips are more about building solidarity and connection to those people and less about serving direct needs. 

Love your neighbor program is running very low on funds this year.   Demand is much greater than the number of people we can currently serve.  Funding for Love your neighbor has gone down significantly via 2 events.  A reduction in the overall collection plate tithe going to LYN and the removal of the special giving envelopes from the weekly envelope boxes.   In addition, there are a number of issues with the program which Tom detailed.  It was agreed that we will invite a Finance Committee member to our next meeting to understand if it is possible to reallocate some of the money from Tom’s event to LYN.  Also we will inquire about the giving envelopes.   Chris will make the invitation.  In addition, Dave will call together a sub-committee to make recommendations for changes to the LYN program and ideas to improve giving to the program (members will include Dave, Felicity, Kathy, and hopefully Don).  

Phil gave a general update from the Honduras committee including that John D. will be in Ames at the end of the month.

November 15th at 6pm is the next meeting.  Meeting Notes prepared by Dave Dirks


Minutes of the Meeting of the Social Justice Committee 6 November 2016 
Attendees:  Paula Friederich, Kathy Trahanovsky, Tom Budnik, Chuck Glatz, Chris Rehmann, Felicity Douglas, Francis Todey, Fr. John Herzog, Karen Stein (guest) 
Approval of Minutes Approval of minutes for 10/11/16 was moved by Paula F., seconded by Chuck G. and unanimously approved. 
Approval of minutes for 11/15/16 was moved by Francis T., seconded by Kathy T and unanimously approved. 
Actions to Support Marginalized Groups 
Karen Stein, a Hispanic parishioner of both STA and St. Cecilia reported that she had learned of fears among the Hispanic community—e.g., deportation of parents leaving behind US-born children and potential hazards of a raised profile if they were to seek other rights to which they might be entitled. Several options of support including those she and Chris had identified in previous conversations were discussed ranging from advocating for more just immigration laws to caring for those children left behind should parents be deported.  
Several members had suggestions for persons who could be resources for  “Know Your Rights” presentation to interested parishioners, likely after the Spanish Mass at St. C’s perhaps on Dec. 18. Resource persons suggested were Paul Odekirk, John McCully, the priest and nun involved in the Marshalltown and Postville raids, and Deacon Felix (Marshalltown) 
It was felt that it would be important to work cooperatively with others concerned with this issue. Chris will meet with Mary Ross, his counterpart at St. C’s, Karen will look into who would be good members of the Hispanic community to describe their needs after the Spanish Mass, John McCully will be brought in, and Chris (backed up by Chuck) will keep us informed of the issues that AMOS and the Ames Interfaith Refugee Alliance is identifying around Sanctuary Churches 
Love Your Neighbor Update   
Subcommittee recommendations (provided in an attached document) were reviewed by Tom Budnik. Plans for increasing communication via bulletin and web, reporting to Parish Council, limiting the number of grants an individual might receive, and altering the interview frequency are all being undertaken. It was suggested that a LYN Committee be established. Kathy T. suggested membership of two interviewers, an SJC rep, and Don Alexander (ex officio) as a way to structure the committee. Further suggestions from the SJC were that appropriate referrals to Stephen Ministry would provided a Christian-based follow-up and that there is a need to make the parish understand that LYN provides a chance for parishioners to walk with the poor that transfer of funding to Good Neighbor would not provide.  Tom gave examples of approximately $8000 in donations that have been received for LYN since the need for more funding was made known in the parish. He said he would also look into 
updating information being provided on the Social Justice grants as it was thought that website information was not updated and bulletin stories were not being submitted on that programs. Kathy reported that they are working in cooperation with MICA, ERP etc. to help meet their applicants’ needs. 
Budget for Coming Year 
Francis T. informed us that we should be notified in January of when budget requests are due and that we will need to be ready to respond promptly. Tom B. will investigate and inform Chris of the budget process. 
Next meeting: Jan. 10, 6 pm, Newman Room. 
Meeting adjourned at 7:20 
Respectfully submitted by Chuck G.