This Question-and-Answer Series was begun in the attempt to clarify questions and/or concerns that came up during the 2019 Lay Carmelite Convocation in Chicago, IL.
Before we go to our Q&A for this week I need to clarify an item in last week’s e-mail.
I indicated last week that only finally professed members hold active and passive voice. This is inaccurate. Temporary and Finally Professed members hold active and passive voice. This means that as long as they are eligible with 75% attendance all professed may hold office and vote in an election.
[Note from the webmaster: This correction has been made to Q&A 8 on our website.]
And now for our questions:
A speaker [at leadership day] mentioned videos, guest speakers, etc. during our monthly meetings. I was under the impression this was discouraged by the Lay Carmelite Office (LCO). Please discuss.
Here in the Province of the Most Pure Heart of Mary we discourage the use of “passive formation,” i.e., anything that does not require some effort by each member in the way of study, discussion, and reflection. Carmelite books on our spirituality are preferred. A recommended ongoing formation book list is available from the LCO. One exception to this policy is an approved webinar or video; in particular the Carmelite Institute (CI) webinars that have been released in recent months. I see no problem with occasionally showing a webinar of this caliber along with discussion afterward. The CI webinars usually last one hour and another hour of “unpacking” the webinars in small group discussions would in my opinion be acceptable as an occasional break from a book study. Once or twice a year would be the recommended use of the CI webinars. Some knowledge of setting up a projector and accessing the webinar at the community meeting would be required. Typically once one person signs up for the webinar it can be viewed multiple times for several weeks after the original airing date.
If a community does decide to use these webinars from time to time, I suggest that a collection be taken and forwarded to the CI. The CI is a non-profit religious organization that depends on donations for its livelihood. The usual fee for these webinars is a very affordable $10 per person. If you have a community of ten members viewing a webinar it seems that to compensate the loss of donation monies could be offset, at least in part, by a collection from the community and would be fair to the CI.
Record-keeping — How many years should we keep our records — Financial and Membership?
Financial records, such as bank statements, annual reports, etc., should be kept for seven (7) years. Membership records for individual members should be kept forever. Each member should have his/her own file. Membership records could include the initial application, any interview notes, documentation of behavior issues, reception and profession dates/certificates, as well as terms of leadership roles.
All records should be passed from outgoing officers of the council to incoming officers.