Mar 29 2012

2012 Annual General Meeting

Published by under Annual Meeting

Minutes of the AGM of Dunedin Sea of Faith, on 24th March 2011 at 6.15 p.m.

Present: Marjorie Spittle [Chair] and 21 members.

Apologies: Janet Wishart, Chris Bloore, Robbie Highton, Ian Bartlett.

Chairperson’s report: Accepted with the correction of St Barnabas, not St Andrew’s supplying the food. (Marjorie Spittle/Geof Neilson)

Treasurer’s report: Accepted.  (Ruth Morgan/Margaret Feist)
Ian Fleming thanked Ruth for her excellent record keeping.
Ian suggested that we keep our funds as low as possible.
Andrew Meek proposed that we should make sure that $1200 be kept in reserve because of the possible need to underwrite future speakers.
It was moved by Geoff Neilson that we keep $500 in the cheque account and move the rest to the Achiever Account. Seconded Andrew Meek. Passed.
The incoming Committee will look at term investments.
Alan Jackson moved that we return to $3 for the hall hire fee. Seconded Robin Smith. Lapsed.
Alan Jackson moved that we send $250 to Christchurch Sea of Faith to so towards earthquake relief. Seconded Margaret Feist. Passed.

Web Master report: Accepted. (lan Fleming Alan Jackson)
Ian informed us that Bruce Spittle has agreed to be a back up web site operator.
Don Feist congratulated Ian on the great web site which is referred to by many nationally.

Election of Officers:
Geoff Neilson took the Chair for the election of the Chairperson. He thanked Marjorie Spittle for her work over the past year.
Marjorie thanked the out going members of the Committee for their contribution during their terms in office: Andrew Meek, Geoff Neilson, Bruce Spittle.

Officers elected:
Chairperson: Marjorie Spittle (Don Feist/ Ian Fleming)
Treasurer: Ruth Morgan (Geoff Neilson/Ian Fleming)
Website master: Ian Fleming
Editor: Don Feist
Committee: The following were all elected. (Marjorie Spittle/ Andrew Meek)
Continuing members: Aelred Edmunds, Sheila Clarke, David Kitchingman, Pen Whitaker
New nominations: Alan Jackson, Peter Wishart, Margaret Feist, Frances Smithson.

General Business:

Bruce Spittle suggested the Star advertisement could contain the website address.
Robin Smith suggested to attract students we could advertise in the university student newspaper.
The incoming committee will look at how we should advertise our meetings.

National Conference
Don announced the annual conference this year in Christchurch in October.

A letter of resignation had been received from Joan de Hamel. This was read out and Marjorie will respond.

The meeting closed at 6.45 p.m.


Chairperson’s Annual Report

22nd March 2012

It is appropriate at the start of this report to pay tribute to the life of Don Feist who passed away on 22nd February after a brief illness. It is difficult to put into words all the ways in which Don contributed to our local Sea of Faith group over many years. Not only did Don play a significant role in the planning of our programmes, but he also presented many programmes himself which were always thoughtfully prepared, clearly presented and opened up much discussion. Don always took an active part in our discussions and we all appreciated his honesty, sincerity and his mental vitality. He was constantly exploring ideas and ever ready to discuss and pass on his insights or to share what he had read. He held the office of Chairperson from 2004 till 2006.

For several years Don produced our newsletter every month and saw that it was circulated to all members, past members and other interested persons whether by e-mail, post or hand delivered. The newsletter not only outlined our programme for the current month but very often contained a book review or paragraph written by Don on some topic that stimulated thought.

Don also helped in the often unnoticed small duties that are so important for the smooth running of a meeting. He was always first at the hall and last away, taking responsibility for opening up and locking the doors, setting out the chairs and making sure the microphone was working.

Don was a huge presence in our local group and we will miss him greatly.

The programmes over the past year are summarised as follows:

February: Jim Neilan : Vatican Council
March: AGM. Arthur Templeton talked about and displayed his carvings. We produced “bus slogans” in small groups.
April: Lynne Baab spoke on spiritual practices, why the growing interest and how they work.
May: Don Feist spoke on “Religion and Violence”. What is the connection?
June: Six of our members introduced the theme of the year’s conference: “Pulling us back from the brink” by presenting the cases for and against science, economics and religion being able to save us.
July: Mai Tamimi: From the Holy land to New Zealand: a challenging but exciting journey.
August: Andrew Bradstock Public Theology
September: David Kitchingman: Moving Planet
October: Alan Musgrave: Can I decide what to believe?
November: We shared our favourite quotes.

Several of our members were able to attend the national conference in Christchurch this year where there were excellent addresses on the topic of: Pulling us back from the brink: science, economics, religion.

Early in the year Alan Jackson produced coloured cards with eye-catching statements and contact details which we displayed in various public places around the city. We hope that this exercise raised awareness of our group. Thank you Alan for the work you put into this.

We continue to enjoy the food supplied by St. Barnabas home and thank Frances Smithson for her delivery service each month.

I would like to thank all the members of the committee for their support and help in planning the programmes, Ruth Morgan for her conscientious work as Treasurer, Ian Fleming for the sterling job he does with the website, Peter Wishart, our librarian, and Alan Jackson who has stepped into the breach for the last two months to produce and circulate the newsletter.

Also thanks to all who have helped with the tea making and dish washing.

As a group we continue to enjoy coming together to share and explore ideas of a religious nature in a non threatening environment. The Committee will be reviewing our programme at the start of this year to ensure that we are meeting the expectations of our members.

We welcome suggestions from our members and as always value the contributions each person makes.

Marjorie Spittle


Website Administrator’s Report

Our website continues to function without trouble.

Criticism was raised during the year about the small Google ads displayed on the Posts.These were the cost of the “free” website.
The Committee agreed to pay a Supporter’s annual contribution of $50.00. For this the ads were removed.

A further “Supporters” provision is a gigabyte of graphics instead of the megabyte provided in the “free” website. (Although of course we have little need of graphics. But it’s there!)

Of the many blog providers I looked at, Stuart Maxwell’s Blogtown provided the most flexible and resourceful platform I could find.

Blogtown is provided by Amanzi  (, an IT services company in Wellington ”that provides consultancy, services, sales and support to small and medium-sized businesses in New Zealand”. Its director is Stuart Maxwell.

[For those who might wish to know: The website html (hypertext markup language and the basic building block code behind everything on a website) is powered by WordPress,  “a free and open-source blogging tool and content management system (CMS) based on PHP (a scripting language) and MySQL (a data-based management system).]

Ian Fleming


Treasurer’s Report.

Dunedin Sea of Faith Group
Financial Statement for the calendar year 2011.
INCOME 2011 2010
– Achiever Ac $15.49 $15.33
– Current Ac $2.65 $3.74
Food Sales $507.60 $294.20
Meeting Cash $468.00 $525.60
INCOME – TOTAL $993.74 $838.87
Cheque Book stamp duty $2.50 $2.50
Earthquake Relief 4 $250.00
Food Provision 1 $450.00 $230.00
Hall Hire $400.00 $455.00
Library Books $19.79 $107.99
Newsletter $200.00 $200.00
Publicity 3 $10.40 $52.90
Donations to Outside Speakers (2) $50.00
Tea Duty Reimbursement $35.00 $45.00
Website 2 $50.00 $0.00
$1,467.69 $1,093.39
Surplus/deficit for year -$473.95 -$254.52
Accumulated Funds 31/12/2011
Equity at start of period $2,495.85 $2,750.37
Add surplus/subtract deficit -$473.95 -$254.52
Equity at end of period $2,021.90 $2,495.85
FINANCIAL POSITION AS AT DATE 31/12/2011 21/12/2010
Achiever Savings 5 $1,249.62 $1,234.13
Current Account $772.28 $1,261.72
Total $2,021.90 $2,495.85
1. Includes $50.00 petrol reimbursement to Frances.
2. Necessary to leave website free of Google ads.
3. Advertisement in the Star.
4. Once only donation through Christchurch SOF Treasurer.
5. The Achiever A/c originated from the Spong 2004 meeting surplus.

 Ruth Morgan


Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of the Dunedin Sea of Faith

held on Thursday 22 March 2012 at 6 p.m.

Number present: 21.

Apologies: Andrew Meek, Janet Wishart

Minutes of the previous AGM were read and confirmed: Geoff/ Robin

The Chairperson presented her report which was accepted: Marjorie/Evelyn

The Treasurer presented the financial report which was accepted: Ruth/ Evelyn

The webmaster presented his report which was accepted: Ian/Howard

Election of Officers
The following were elected:
Chairperson: Marjorie Spittle
Treasurer: Ruth Morgan
Editor: Alan Jackson
Webmaster: Ian Fleming
There were no new members elected to the Committee.
The following will continue their terms in office: Sheila Clarke, Margaret Feist, Alan Jackson, David Kitchingman, Frances Smithson, Pen Whitaker and Peter Wishart.

General Business: It was moved that the cost for the hall hire be raised from $2 to $3: Alan/ Robbie. After some discussion the motion was lost, although the members were made aware that costs need to be reviewed periodically and could rise in the future.
Robin asked whether thought had been given to his suggestion of advertising our meetings in the student magazine. Postcard advertisements had been placed around the University last year. The committee will look at the question of advertising at its next meeting.

The meeting closed at 6.25 p.m.


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