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Al Mckay

2005-2009 Jacob’s Well Board Chair

October 20, 2021

Below are some excerpts from the minutes of a board meeting I led on May 21, 2009.

Below are some excerpts from the minutes of a board meeting I led on May 21, 2009. I share these so that we get a glimpse of the internal life of a community: both the challenges that small non-profits experience and the wonderful people who were part of the leadership of the community at the time.

My wonderment as you read these excerpts is whether any of what is shared was part of your Jacob’s Well experience. Do these notes stir up any memories and connections of how God worked in your life through Jacob’s Well? 

Our meeting began with a reflection on Mark 10 led by Anthony Brown on Jesus’ response to the rich, young ruler.  (If you get a moment, perhaps read Mark 10 and ask how might this scripture be connected to your experience of Jacob’s Well.)

Jane Halton gave us a community report about volunteer recruitment. She reflected on some of the struggles due to less volunteers which was part of the ‘‘ebb and flow volunteer life’ at Jacob’s Well. However, the good news was that one new volunteer was ‘especially committed’ and that had been very encouraging to everyone!

We had an update on how some (not all) of the staff were doing: Beth Malena was away in Kentucky; Dave and Helen Aupperlee were going to England; Tom and Karen Wuest and family would be away in June visiting family in the USA. It was noted that Dane, Jane and Ben were off to visit Tom and Karen on Galiano at the weekend and would be moving house at the end of the month. Joyce’s health had miraculously improved and that Calum and Joyce were looking forward to taking some time away before their first baby was born - they had also been planning to move in the summer but were having some challenges confirming details with the landlord. We prayed that the details could be confirmed soon so that they could move ahead.  And we all rejoiced that the garden harvest was beginning! 

Jane reported that she was currently working on an “exit interview” process (about 10 questions) for those who were no longer working/volunteering for Jacob’s Well. She hoped to share some of the findings after the questionnaires were returned.  

We all looked forward to the annual trip, as a community, to the Okanagan Gleaners in Oliver in August.  

We also – as always – had an update on our finances! The finances were still challenging but better than 2008 because we still had some money left over from the surplus in December 2008. However, there was a need to continue to pray and explore creative options if money did not come in to pay salaries. Some of the initial ideas meant closing one day a week or wage reductions. These were not easy conversations but were often the realities of life at Jacob’s Well. There were also creative resourcing ideas like grants, which had always proved difficult to get in the past because Jacob’s Well didn’t fit most of the requirements. There were ideas about events, teaching at local churches, initiating a hospitality workshop which could be offered to churches and so on. And, as usual, we had one of our philosophical and reflective conversations about finances like ‘how can we emphasize our resourcing capacities, rather than focusing on fundraising?  How can we give something substantial to churches? Should we start a business, like an economic development program?’ The Board meetings often entailed creative thinking and ideas and not a lot of easy answers!

We ended the board meeting that May, 2009, exploring what a transition to a new lead or perhaps a team leadership model (if we couldn’t find the right ED) and finished, as always, with prayer together!

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