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NCF Board April 10 meeting -- minutes

NEW CHURCH FAMILY Board of Directors

Monthly Meeting, April 10, 2022

ATTENDEES – Board members, Teresa Wright, Dave McBride, Sharron Mitchell. Absent – Bonnie Frazee. Visitors: Bookkeeper, Jeff De Young, Bob Austin, Merrill Hendler, Tom Brown (volunteer secretary), Rev. Tom C., Craig H.

REPORTS – President Teresa called the meeting to order in the Conference Room at 11:15 a.m. Agenda prepared by Teresa. Dave moved acceptance as submitted, Sharron seconded. Accepted by voice vote. Minutes of the March meeting accepted as submitted.

President’s report: Teresa noted she will be retiring from the Volusia school system on June 22.

Vice president’s report: Sharron noted she is caught up on membership and attendance reports.

Treasurer’s report – With Sunday worship attendance continuing in the 10-15 range, tithes for March totaled $881, leaving the church with a monthly deficit of $476. Year to date deficit as of March 31 totaled $1779. Current balances: Checking account $950; Benevolence $456; Reserve account (including Van Allen distribution No. 2,) $172,335; Morgan-Stanley market value including $3000 cash; $50,526.)

Building & Grounds: Jeff D.Y. reported the lawn is overdue for mowing; he will check with the vendor. The vendor has quoted a price of $300 for hedge trimming. A vinyl part of the entrance sign is starting to peel off. Teresa or Merrill will check on whether A.C. filters need to be replaced and drip pan given bleach.


Morgan Stanley – Efforts are continuing to substitute Teresa and Dave as signers on the account, in place of Bonnie. Jeff D.Y. suggested the church work toward investing at least $150,000 of the Reserve Account so the church has a steady stream of income while it works to grow the congregation.

Guest Preachers – Rev. Dr. Alan Austin are confirmed for April 24 and May 1 Sunday morning services; Rev. Bob Austin for May 8 and 15. Teresa said Rev. Wiley is available for May 22 and longer into June if needed.

EASTER – Board agreed to have a luncheon after Easter service as part of our Third Sunday meal plan. Merrill volunteered to provide roast turkey; Teresa will provide baked ham.

WEBSITE – Work is continuing on web site redesign, with ideas to be circulated among volunteers on a “sandbox” website prototype.


ELECTRONICS -- Members discussed equipment, such as a laptop, camera and laptop, needed to make board meetings accessible online. Teresa moved that the board ask Slava to research and price the equipment needed; Sharron seconded, approved on voice vote.

GAME DAYS – Dave said he likely could continue hosting Game Days at the church through May 8. He is sounding out volunteers for further supervision later in the summer.

ALARM RESPONDERS – We will check to see if Gil is still willing to be a responder to alarms at the church.

PASTOR DUTIES -- Rev. Tom distributed for the board’s consideration a 28-item list of duties that are commonly assigned to pastors, based on his own 47 years in pastoral leadership. (copy to be inserted in minutes). The board laid aside discussion of priorities, working hours required or compensation.

NEXT MEETING – The board agreed to schedule its May meeting for May 8, after service. Meeting adjourned 12:58 p.m.

-- Submitted by Tom Brown, secretarial volunteer. Accepted at May 8 monthly board meeting.

NCF Board Meeting March 20 -- Minutes

NEW CHURCH FAMILY Board of Directors
MINUTES – Monthly Board Meeting March 20, 2022
CALL to ORDER Vice President Sharron Mitchell called the meeting to order in the Conference Room at 11:45 a.m. ATTENDEES – Board Members: Sharron Mitchell, David McBride. Teresa Wright (by telephone) Absent: Bonnie Frazee, out of state. Visitors: Tom Brown (volunteer secretary); Jeff DeYoung, bookkeeper; Rev. Tom C., guest preacher; Bob Austin, Craig Hein; Merrill Hendler. Dave McB offered an opening prayer.
AGENDA – Dave moved acceptance of the agenda prepared by Teresa; accepted by a voice vote.

ANNUAL MEETING MINUTES – Tom presented a draft but said the minutes do not have to be formally approved until the 2023 Annual Meeting. He explained he was making the board aware of an insertion affirming that the board has designated Teresa, Dave and Tom as signers on the church’s bank accounts to satisfy requirements of Truist Bank (formerly known as SunTrust Bank.) Board accepted the insertion by a voice vote.
PRESIDENT’s REPORT: Scroll down to New Business.

TREASURER/BOOKKEEPER REPORTS – The church logged tithes and offerings of $937 in January and $565 in February, with a year-to-date deficit of $1216 in the General Fund as of Feb. 28. The Morgan Stanley investment account as of February had a market value of about $50,000, with $3,000 of that in cash. Dave McB. reported on efforts to restore online access to the church’s accounts, which was disrupted by SunTrust’s transition to the Truist system. Dave and Tom paid visits to the Truist Bill France branch and manually authorized two transfers of $5,000 each from the Reserve Account to the General Fund to pay all bills expected in the Jan.-March period. (UPDATE: AS of March 25, online access has been restored and Teresa, Dave and Tom are recorded by Truist as signers. This required three separate visits to the bank totaling 3+ hours as well as several phone calls).
BUILDING & GROUNDS – Dave will arrange to get the church’s fire extinguishers recharged or replaced to meet Fire inspection requirements.

OLD BUSINESS – INVESTMENTS – Tom said he contacted Max Boales to see if he is willing to resume his role as our advisor on our Morgan Stanley investments. MaX said he is willing but we have to contact Morgan Stanley corporate to make the request. He will report back to the board on what fees or commissions would be charged. Jeff reminded us Bonnie Frazee is now our sole signer on the MS account. We should arrange to add more when Bonnie is next in Florida, possibly April.
AUSTIN MINISTRY – Dave reported Revs. Alan and Bob Austin have requested use of the church in May for Sunday evening services of the He Carries Me Over Ministry. Teresa moved the space be offered free in May but with terms revised every 90 days depending on attendance levels. Bob will be provided a key to handle opening and closing. Bob clarified the evening services will be billed as services of He Carries Me Over (not NCf) . pproved by a voice vote.
GUEST SPEAKERS – The schedule so far calls for Rev. Tom to continue as guest preacher through Easter; Rev. Alan Austin, April 24 and May 1, Sunday mornings; Rev. Bob Austin May 8 and 15; and tentatively Rev. Wiley Lowe May 22 and/or possibly further into the spring.
GUTTERS – Jeff obtained a $600 quote from a Palatka company for cleaning and leaf-proofing the church gutters. He is checking on whether a warranty is included in the offer. He also is seeking additional quotes


EASTER WEEKEND – The board agreed Easter Weekend will feature Sunday morning Easter service, but no Good Friday afternoon or evening service.

CHURCH GROWTH -- Teresa urged the church to step up its game this year by serving Special Catered Refeshments on the 3rd Sunday of the month, in addition to the previous schedule of Potluck Lunches on the first Sunday of the month. She also suggested adding live music to the worship service periodically, perhaps monthly. (Just for the record, Yaroslav (Slava) Melnikov was accepted into membership at the March 27 service.)

RUSS TRIBUTE – The board tentatively discussed a possible format and date of a celebration honoring the late Russ Van Allen, a wish he expressed in his final days of life and to be financed out of his generous bequest to the church. Among the suggestions: an excursion boat ride with dinner on the Halifax River, a dinner in a restaurant, a barbecue picnic in the church parking lot or indoors, or some other outing on or near the beach. There was general agreement the “celebration” should be happy rather than sad, and be limited to past and present church members, and a few others, and by invitation only. Also, a fall date is preferred, to allow more time for planning and to avoid extreme summer heat.

WEBSITE – The board was given a preview of a redesigned church website, using a rainbow color scheme to emphasize the church’s support of the LGBTQ community. Rev. Tom, Dave and Slava are working with webmaster Emery Jeffreys to tweak the site further and add fresh content daily.
ADJOURN—The board set April; 3 11:45 for its April monthly meeting. (NOTE: Possibly to be postponed.) Rev. Tom offered a closing prayer, The meeting adjourned1:45p.m.

Easter Sunday & Luncheon at NCF

   New Church Family invites members and friends -- present, past and future -- to its Easter Sunday Service at 10 a.m., April 17, Guest preacher Rev. Tom will deliver the message and Holy Communion (matzo crackers and indivual  grape juice) will be be served.   A free luncheon, featuring turkey and ham, will be served immediately after the service. You are welcome to bring a friend. Dress is informal.

   NCF is an interfaith, nondenominational Christian congregation open to all genders and orientations. It conducts a special outreach to the GLBT community.  Face coverings are optional. We continue to use distanced seating as a Covid precaution. Our building is at 3520 W. International Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach, west of the I-4 ramps. 

    A Good Friday service, online only, will be conducted 6:30 p.m. April 15, by Rev. Bob Austin. You can view the service via the Facebook page of He Carries Me Over Ministries. Also available on You Tube.   

March 10 Forum Highlights

Here are some highlights of our Congregational Forum, held March 20, 2022. Ten people remained after the worship service to discuss various ways to draw more people to our worship services and make greater use of our building as GLBT Community Center. The NCF Board welcomes YOUR ideas, too. E-mail us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

1. Rev. Tom noted the political climate has become more conservative and homophobic in recent years. He said this trend makes it more important for the church to re-emphasize its roots as a safe gathering place for GLBT people of all types, not just church attenders. Toward that end, he suggested the NCF website become more gay-centered while still all-affirming. He also encouraged the board to revive the idea of a weekly GLBT Film Night, allowing both church members and others to organize it. A committee of 5 volunteers is working on this. Contact us if you'd like to help.

2. NCF President Teresa Wright noted people seem to enjoy the fellowship of a meal after service, and suggested the church feature not only a Potluck meal on the First Sunday of the month but also order catered food for the Third Sunday. She also suggested the congregation and board members reach out to absentees with a personal phone call and encourage them to hear the Sunday worship messages of our various guest speakers. Booking guest musicians once a month could be another way to spur attendance.
3. Even though attendance may dwindle further in the summer because of vacations, Tom B. said it is important to continue Sunday meetings with Communion, even if the gatherings sometimes are just informal discussions, testimonies, prayer circles and coffee hours. Having a locked door on a Sunday would send the wrong message.

4. The group reaffirmed plans to hold a “Celebrating with Russ” party in the fall. This would be a way of honoring the last wishes of Russ van Allen and reconnecting with absent members. A committee of volunteers will work out specific details.
5. We will try to increase communication with other gay-friendly organizations in town, helping them promote their own events.
6. Other potential uses of the building that were identified: meeting space for self help groups; educational workshops for the public, such as helping parents understand transgender behavior in their children; possible mini thrift shop for crafts, books etc.
-- Compiled by Tom Brown

New Directions Forum at NCF

     As our nation moves toward recovery from Covid, with many of our life routines changed permanently, so too is New Church Family considering changes as we work to recruit a new pastor and rebuild our congregation.

     Our church board and congregation will meet together after worship March 27 to discuss what might get our members back in the church habit as well as stir the curiosity of newcomers.  This might involve trying out new areas of ministry, experimenting with new features of worship -- both in-person and via the Internet -- and creating new opportunities for fellowship. Do the ongoing "culture wars" call us back to our founding mission of offering a safe and friendly place for people of all orientations and genders?   Is this the time we need to remind the world that God tells us "It's OK to say Gay --  and Straight." 

     Sunday's discussion is a chance to voice ideas about what innovations might work for our church and keep us serving God for another 36 years. Everyone is welcome to participate whether you're a longtime attender or a first-time visitor.      



Flagler's Pride walkout organizer allowed back in high school -- but with a black mark on his record

(Reports from Daytona Beach News-Journal and USA TODAY NETWORK)

Teenager Jack Petocz — organizer of a statewide 'Say Gay' school walkout protesting House Bill 1557 — may return to Flagler Palm Coast High School with no permanent marks on his school record, according to one of his close friends.

A petition on created by Cameron Driggers, a junior at the high school, received 7,559 signatures to rescind Petocz's “suspension” for distributing more than 200 pride flags during the walkout last Thursday. (March 3) Principal Greg Schwartz told him an hour before the event that flags would not be allowed.


“After days of public pressure to reconsider his actions, Principal Schwartz has invited Jack back to campus without placing any permanent stains on his record,” Driggers said on the petition's update page.

  But Petocz said Friday, April 15, he learned his school record now has a "level 3" disciplinary notation. 

Level three offenses are “major acts of misconduct,” according to the student code of conduct. Students who commit a level three offense can be subject to criminal proceedings. It's the second-highest level of discipline in the district.

Disruption level three, as defined by the student code of conduct, is “behavior that causes a major disruption to the educational process and causes a safety concern on campus.”

Other actions included in level three offenses include but are not limited to assault, drug paraphernalia possession, explosives, fighting, hazing, sexting, off-campus felony, theft and vandalism.

Jason Wheeler, spokesman for the Flagler County School District, said he could not comment.

“We cannot comment on any disciplinary action placed on a certain student under FERPA guidelines,” Wheeler said.  

House Bill 1557, which passed the State Senate Tuesday afternoon (March 8), would prohibit school instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade.

The legislation — titled “Parental Rights in Education” (HB 1557), but dubbed by critics as the “Don't Say Gay” bill — now heads to Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has suggested he will sign it into law. If so, it goes into effect July 1 but will require state regulations on how to implement i. .

The 22-17 vote came after weeks of national attention over the measure from international newspapers, Hollywood actors and the White House.

Multiple organizations have stepped forward and made public statements condemning FPCHS for placing Petocz on leave, including the ACLU of Florida, PEN America, Equity Florida, Gen-Z for Change and the founder of March for Our Lives. And on Tuesday, (March 8) community members, parents and veterans stood in front of FPCHS holding signs and flags to show support for the 500-plus students who participated in the local walkout.

What is the 'Don't Say Gay' bill?

What has caused the most contention is one section of the bill: It prohibits public school teachers from “instruction” about sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade — though it's already not taught in those grades — and limits it to “age appropriate” in other grades.

The bill, however, doesn't provide a bright line between “classroom instruction” and “classroom discussion,” which the bill's supporters say it won't prevent. The proposal also prohibits schools from withholding information from parents about a student's “mental, emotional or physical health.” And parents could sue a school district for violations under the legislation.

Critics continue to fear the measure will stigmatize LGBTQ youth and banish discussions of their lives and families from the public school classroom.

Sen. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, one of the bill's sponsors, said it recognizes that parents are in charge of their children's education and development: “Sometimes, the right answer is, 'You really ought to talk to your parents about that.'” Democrats continued to condemn the measure as homophobic. Referring to those who identify as LGBTQ, Sen. Tina Polsky, D-Boca Raton, asked, “Why do we have to pick on them, marginalize them, single them out? Why do we want to be part of this systemic discrimination that is going on across the country.”

LGBTQ students protested the measure when it was before both the House and Senate, rallying on the steps of the old Capitol and filling the rotunda between the House and Senate chambers. They said the bill will mark non-straight people as taboo and leave them isolated, without support from teachers, admin-istrators and their peers.


Ash Wednesday & Luncheon

  New Church Family cordially invites the public to our Ash Wednesday service at 11 a.m. March 2 to observe the beginning of the Lenten season. Rev Tom will distribute ashes through 1:30 PM.  We also will be serving a free lncheon of vegetarian soup and bread. Game Day activities will be held in the afternoon as usual, for those who sish to participate. 

  Rev. Tom will continue as our guest preacher at Sunday services through Easter. 

  Questions? Leave a message at 386-527-5952. We continue our deep cleaning procedures and seating is distanced, but face coverings are optional. 


    NCF Board President Teresa Wright called the Annual Meeting to order in the sanctuary at 11:25 a.m. Sunday  Feb. 13. 
ATTENDEES: Members attending in person: Teresa Wright, president; Sharron Mitchell, vice president; Tom Brown, secretary; Bonnie Frazee, social director; Jeff De Young bookkeeper; Dave McBride. Attending via conference call, Merrill Hendler, Non-voting visitors: Rev. Tom C., Slava M. and Craig H. Dave certified the Annual Meeting met our 20 percent quorum requirement.
BUDGET: A 2022 budget of $31,670 was approved unanimously on a voice vote. Of that amount, 51 percent is earmarked for utilities, insurance, cleaning and other building expenses. Most line items have been held to last year’s level or lower. Jeff noted the budget likely will be revised later this year after a bequest is released to the church.
BOARD ELECTIONS – One candidate listed on the printed ballot withdrew. Dave McBride, nominated from the floor, was elected unanimously to a two-year term. Two other seats remain vacant. If other members feel led to join the board, we can call a Congregational Meeting later this spring or summer. Board members continuing to serve are Teresa, Sharron and Bonnie. Tom B., completing his second term, said he no longer wished to be a voting member but remains available as a volunteer for secretarial tasks. The board designated Dave as treasurer, replacing the late Judi Omelia. Teresa remains president and Sharron vice president.
MINISTRY – Members scheduled a congregational forum March 20 to discuss ways to reshape ministry to draw more people to our church. There was a consensus to continue in-person worship and monthly potlucks but also to offer Zoom, Facebook Live and other technology so people can take part from their homes. Rev. Tom C., who is scheduled to start guest-preaching in March, suggested Lent be treated as a sort of “homecoming” -- a time of outreach and spiritual renewal. Members approved his proposal for an ash distribution and a free Soup & Bread meal on Ash Wednesday, starting 11 a.m. 

   The meeting adjourned 12:15 p./m.

Help Wanted -- Pulpit Supply Clergy


   New Church Family is seeking clergy of any denomination to fill its pulpit for one to four Sundays, or possibly longer, while the church continues to search for an interim or permanent pastor.  The supply clergy person would be expected to deliver a sermon or homily with Biblical content in the 15 to 25 minute range to anchor the 10 a.m. Sunday service, ideally presenting a theme of the clergy person's choosing over two to four services. New Church Family is a small congregation and has emphasized a GLBT-affirming ministry over its 36-year history.  We welcome people of any orientation, race or faith background. A stipend of $100 per service is our standard honorarium. To express an interest or to recommend someone to us please contact the Church Board at:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the subject line:  Guest Speaker Coordinator.  Inquiries can be made by calling the church phone number (386-527-5952} and leaving a call-back message.  We are currently looking to fill dates from mid-April on.

NCF Annual Meeting Feb. 13, 2022

    New Church Family will hold its Annual Congregational Meeting in its sanctuary Sunday Feb. 13 immediately after its 10 a.m. worship service.  Sign-in will start approximately 11:45 a.m. Anyone may attend and speak. Voting is limited to church  members who have atttended approximately at least a third of services in the past seven months. If you are uncertain of your standing, call the church office at 386-527-5952, or send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

     The agenda includes elections to fill three vacancies on the board of directors. Terms run two years. Canddioates must have at least six months of church membership A tentative 2022 budget also will be presented but with the understanding it probably will be revised later in the year depending on Probate Court actions affecting churchh fina(i.e. disbursement  of the Russell J. Van Allen estate).

    The ongoing search for guest preachers and a permanent pastor also will discussed. A proposal for one of more congregational forums starting in March also will be aired. 

     Members who cannot attend in person are welcome to listen in by telephone and cast a confidential vote by telephone. Please contact the church in advance to arrange this so that vote tellers can receive your call. 

NCF Board Meeting Sept. 2021

ew Church Family Board of Directors – Meeting, Sept. 12, 2021

ATTENDEES: Board members – Charlene Rywant, president; Rev. Donna Choate, interim pastor; Judi Omelia, treasurer; Tom Brown, secretary. Visitors – Jeff DeYoung, bookkeeper; Bonnie Frazee, Sharron Mitchell, volunteer social director; Pam Ware, Nancy Brady.

CALL to ORDER: Charlene, presiding, called the meeting to order in the Corlis Conference room at 11:46 a.m. Tom offered an opening prayer.

AGENDA: Tom moved approval of the agenda as submitted by the president. Approved on a voice vote.

PRESIDENT’s REPORT: Charlene reported Marsha Stevens-Pino of Bradenton has accepted our invitation to present a concert of contemporary gospel on Saturday evening, Oct. 30. She also will perform additional music for our Oct. 31 Sunday service. We will cover the cost of a night’s stay at the RV International Park on US 92. As discussed at the last board meeting, we also will present her with a love offering plus $100 for the use and set-up of her sound system.

Regarding board elections, Charlene proposed asking the congregation to waive the six-month membership requirement so that Pam Ware and Nancy Brady could be candidates at the October Special Congregational Meeting. She asked Tom for his opinion. He replied he had no objections to the two potential candidates but said he would abstain on granting a waiver. He recalled that a waiver granted in 2007 eventually led to a split in the church and its exit from the Metropolitan Community Churches fellowship. He noted his own term expires in January so there will be two open seats available at the February Annual Meeting. After further discussion, Pam and Nancy indicated willingness to wait for the February 2022 election and Charlene withdrew the waiver proposal.

PASTOR’S REPORT – Rev. Donna submitted a summary of her recent activities. Her report reiterated she is not seeking to be considered for a third term as “permanent pastor.” Tom asked if there was something the board could do to change her mind. Rev. Donna replied she feels strongly that she is not the best candidate to unify the church.

TREASURER’s REPORT – Judi and Jeff distributed monthly and Year to Date financial reports showing our deficit is growing as the virus pandemic continues to discourage attendance, currently ranging from 10 to 20 per Sunday. The August deficit was Minus $1049, mostly reflecting a large Workers Compensation premium, and the year to date General Fund deficit stands at Minus $2365 Both Judi & Jeff recommended the church generate more publicity to encourage online worshippers to tithe regularly. A placard will be displayed in the lobby to keep members informed of the church’s ongoing financial condition. Also, a special fund will be started to cover big maintenance expenses, including air conditioning repair and/or replacement and pump station maintenance

SOCIAL DIRECTOR’S REPORT: Sharron recommended a plan for holding a craft sale Oct. 23 be postponed until March and combined with a yard sale. Approved by a voice vote.


The board agreed to set Oct. 3 for a Special Congregational Meeting in order to fill at least two of the three vacant board seats immediately. A membership review will be conducted by Charlene, Judi and Sharron to determine which members are still active and entitled to vote. Teresa Wright and Sharron Mitchell have announced their candidacies for the vacancies.

Charlene, Judi and Pam are recruiting volunteers to help the church sell Pride souvenirs and promote the church’s ministry at the Oct. 9 Come Out with Pride Festival at Lake Eola, Orlando. Pam has offered to share table space with the church.

Charlene reported that CAN Community Outreach is seeking permission to hold another World AIDS Day observance Dec. 1 in the church’s parking lot. Permission granted on a voice vote.


Pastoral Search – The Pastoral Search Committee, now in recess, plans to resume work shortly, reported Sharron Mitchell, chairperson. Other members include Judi Omelia and Dave McBride; Pam Ware has volunteered to help.

Film Nights Proposal – Tom B., representing the four organizers, said the group has withdrawn its proposal for twice weekly social nights in light of the board’s concerns about virus risks and other issues.

IRS tax issue – Judi reported a $1,059 payment on self-employment taxes allegedly due for 2009 thru 2019 was submitted to IRS in June as requested. The church continues to contest the bill, and IRS has responded only that its review is continuing. It acknowledged receiving our tax return for 2020 but said it lost it and wants to us to supply a copy.

October 10 was set for the next monthly meeting. Rev. Donna offered a closing prayer and the meeting adjourned approximately 1:30 p.m.


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3520 W. Int'l Speedway Blvd.
Daytona Beach, FL 32124

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