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1/24/15   5/14/15


Waltham MA - 1/24/15

FNCA Board of Directors
Mid-Winter Meeting Highlights

The FNCA Board of Directors held their regular mid-winter meeting at Studio Crossing, a coworking office space in Waltham MA. Special thanks to Board member Bob Perry for arranging this. With four member Skyping in from Pennsylvania and Maine, all 13 members of the Board were able to be in attendance despite the snowstormy weather.

All the usual stuff got done: reports from the treasurer and some committee chairs, set the rates, choose the lecture themes, select an Opening Weekend Program presenter, discuss the bulletin, etc. --- all the usual stuff.

So the interesting stuff is:

1. The FNCA received an unrestricted $25,000 grant from the Lydia S. Rotch Fund! This fund dispersed a boodle of money as part of transitioning over to management by Convention. Special thanks to Rotch Fund trustee, life-long FNCA member, core lecturer, and former camp director and Board member Rev. Gard Perry for his part in this.

2. The first annual Rev. Dr. George F. Dole Celebration Three Mile Road Race, which was held middle Saturday last year on the rail trail which starts at the Maine Information Center directly across the street from the Assembly, netted about $4,000! Nearly half the people at camp last year participated in the race, and many people we haven't seen at camp for years showed up middle weekend to be a part of it.

This summer, the race will again be held in the morning on middle Saturday. The Summer Session Committee will be discussing a way to still somehow fit the day's lectures and classes in this year.

Lots of local businesses donated financial support and/or prizes. Six local running clubs sent representatives to participate in the inaugural race last year, and all six told us that they would definitely recommend our race to their clubs! So this year, we expect at least double both participation and donors. Yipee!

Huge thanks to Race Director Jon Crowe and the entire Race Committee as well as to the crowd of local people and Assembly members who helped before, during, and after this huge new event we've started.
And this writer would especially like to give a big thank you to Outreach Committee member Nancy Little whose idea this race was in the first place. THANK YOU, NANCY!

3. The 2015 lecture themes will be Mothers in the Bible and The Doctrine of Life. It has yet to be determined which theme will be which week, but it will appear on the website as soon as that decision is made.

4. The Board accepted a proposal to initiate the Rev. Everett K. Bray (pictured right) Visiting Lecturer Program to pay for airfare to camp each year for one (or more) prominent Swedenborgian scholar who is beyond normal travel distance to camp. There was also talk of establishing an endowment fund for this purpose.

© Anna Rich 2009

5. The Board voted to fully fund a van to bring teens to camp from the Mid-West. This used to happen routinely every year but has not panned out the last few years resulting in the number of Flames at camp being considerably lower than usual because of that. (Now all we need is a driver.)

6. Hits on the FNCA website more than doubled in 2014 over the year before, in both unique users and total hits. This means that more people are spending more time on our site. One very interesting note is that someone is systematically going through all the Downloadable Lectures and (presumably) listening to them!

© Emily Woofenden 20107. Our waterfront safety equipment is going to be seriously upgraded this year to meet current waterfront safety standards. Thanks for this initiative goes to our Waterfront Director, Jon Crowe.

8. Did you know that members can rent the facility, anything from a single cabin to the entire camp, for anything from a private vacation to a major function, from Memorial Day to Labor day (except during camp, of course) for a day, a weekend, a week, or longer? Well, the former Non-Session Use Committee, chaired by Board member Beki Greenwood, very suitably renamed itself the Facilities Rental Committee, and the commitee chair is now called the Rental Coordinator. Makes more sense now, doesn't it?

9. Online registration will open March 1st with the bulletin going out shortly after that.

© Trevor 201110. And finally, Work Weekend 2015 will be held over Memorial Day weekend, as usual, from Saturday, May 23 through Monday, May 25. Please join us!


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3/1/14    4/8/14



Cambridge MA — March 1, 2014

Board of Directors (Finally)
Has Their Mid-Winter Meeting

After being postponed twice because of impending snow storms, the FNCA Board of Directors' mid-winter meeting, originally scheduled for January 5th, was finally held today at the Swedenborg Chapel (pictured right) in Cambridge MA.

Since some Board members had to leave early, the Board tried to make all decisions requiring a vote before the 1:00 lunch break. This provided for a quick and efficient meeting. Everything was actually discussed in full, but there were no side conversations and very few digressions from each agenda item.

The Board accepted the 2014 Lecture Themes and Opening Weekend Program theme from our Religious Program Coordinator, Rev. Susannah Currie. First week's theme is: "Divine Providence" and second week's theme is: "The Promised Land". The Opening Weekend Program will be on the theme: "Spiritual Practices Open Us to Divine Influx" presented by Jane Siebert.

The Board heard reports from the Treasurer, Camp Director, Building & Grounds Committee, Outreach Committee, and the Non-Session Use Coordinator; set the 2014 rates; discussed the camp pet policy; accepted a proposal from the Non-Session Use Coordinator for a significantly more extensive non-session rate schedule; and discussed other issues as well.

Here's one of the more exciting agenda items: The Board discussed at length a proposal from Jon Crowe of the Outreach Committee to hold the 1st Annual Rev. Dr. George F. Dole Road Race on the rail trail that starts at the information stand across the street from the Assembly! After vigorous discussion, the Board decided to go with it for this summer as a professionally timed race to be held during camp on the morning of middle Saturday, August 9, 2014. A committee consisting of Jon Crowe and the members of the Fundraising Committee (since this could be a major fundraising event) was appointed to iron out the rest of the details.

Due to our much compressed morning agenda, the afternoon part of the meeting was significantly shorter than planned. In fact, the Board set a new record for earliest adjournment ever: 2:42. Wow!




Two BIG Announcements!

The Virginia Branston FNCA Flames Scholarship Fund

The Rev. Dr. George F. Dole Celebration 3 Mile Road Race


The Virginia Branston FNCA Flames Scholarship Fund

The family of Virginia Flynn Branston is pleased to announce that they have created an annual scholarship fund in loving memory of their Mom, Grandmother and Great Grandmother: The Virginia Branston FNCA Flames Scholarship Fund.    

Virginia loved attending the Fryeburg New Church Assembly and shared that enthusiasm with her family. All of Virginia’s descendants were taken as Flames by their loving Matriarch to this oasis on the shores of the Saco River. To honor Virginia's memory, the family would like to extend this opportunity to other interested young people ages 13-22.

The scholarship will be open to a minimum of two Flames / Senior Flames per year who request the scholarship. It will be based on stated need, including either two full scholarships or multiple partial scholarships. Preference will be given to newcomers to the FNCA. If more than two people request that Virginia help them attend camp, the FNCA Scholarship Committee will determine who will be awarded the scholarships.

Please accept Virginia’s support and love just as her family has been blessed by her strength, wisdom, and relationship with God.

Click here for details on how to apply.


The Rev. Dr. George F. Dole Celebration
Three Mile Road Race

© Anna Rich 2009A little-known fact of George Dole’s younger life is that he was a Rhodes Scholar finalist, attending Oxford University in Oxford, England. Having been a strong half-miler while at Yale, George decided to continue running at Oxford.

This choice to compete with the Oxford track team led to an accidental collision with sporting history when, on May 6, 1954 he found himself one of 6 runners in one of the most celebrated athletic events of all time: The first sub-four-minute mile, the record achievement of Roger Bannister.

The Fryeburg New Church Assembly is organizing the “Dole 3 Miler” as a celebration of the life, legacy and good humor of Rev. Dr. George F. Dole, his great love of family and friends, of nature, of running and healthy competition, and his love of God.

Although there will more than likely be hardcore runners participating, there will also be a crowd of walkers who just want to support the cause. We will also need a crew of volunteers that morning to help run the race. Either way, please join us.

We are delighted to announce that Rev. Dr. Dole — now in is 80s and still running — will not only be leading off this new race held in his honor, but also will deliver a free public talk the evening before, Friday, August 8th, about that famous 1954 race.

Here's the scoop:

The Dole 3 Miler
Date: Saturday, August 8, 2015 (middle Saturday)
Time: 8:00 a.m.
Where: The Mountain Division Rail Trail at the Maine Information Stand directly across the street from the FNCA
Registration Fee: $20
Proceeds will benefit: Fryeburg New Church Assembly, the Fryeburg New Church, and the Mountain Division Rail Trail.

More information, including registration and sponsorship, is available on the official race website.

Photo of the race, as well as a very brief history of it, are on this site on the Dole 3 Miler page.





Everyone's Wondering:
What Happened to the Bulletin This Year?

© FNCA 2014Well, here it is straight off and then a very brief bit of history and a list of 9 reasons why:

The FNCA Outreach Committee (with the approval of the Board) decided earlier this Spring to discontinue the bulletin.

Through a series of unfortunate events (primarily massive computer failure), the printing date for the bulletin kept being pushed further and further from the traditional late February early March, with no relief in sight. Meanwhile, online registration opened up and camp registrations began pouring in. 

Sometime in mid-April, the problems still had not been resolved, and there was still little possibility for the bulletin to happen in even vaguely close to a timely manner... and registrations kept coming in.

That got a few members of the Outreach Committee thinking: Why are we doing all this work every year to produce the bulletin which (prior to the internet) was how we communicated with our membership about registering for camp, if all the information in the bulletin is already online before the bulletin is printed and everyone is registering without it?

So, after an actually rather short online discussion, the Outreach Committee voted unanimously to discontinue the bulletin. Here are 9 reasons why:

1. All the info in the bulletin is available on the website, some of it in more depth because there are no space restrictions there.
2. Virtually everyone (pun intended) registers online, a large percentage of them before the bulletin even comes out.
3. The internet has become our primary means of connecting with our membership and friends, via email, Facebook, and our website.
4. Each year, it takes 7-12 volunteers a total of more than 40 hours to produce the bulletin. It's especially a lot of work for the bulletin editor.
5. It costs the Assembly around $1,000 each year to print and mail the bulletin.
6. More than 50% of the bulletin content is the exact same information year after year after year, and — with very few exceptions — is basically only read by non-attendees and potential newbies who are either on our mailing list or else picked up a copy somewhere.
7. Most regulars only look at the themes, the photos, the rates, and a few random pages here and there anyhow.
8. It is very hard to justify the huge amount of work and the sizeable cost of producing the bulletin each year considering the rather negligible results and the fact that all the info in the bulletin is already on our website long before the bulletin comes out.
9. It's just SO last century!

It's time to move on, my friends. Yes, many of us get nostalgic for the Good Old Days (can we please go back to Friday night bean supper on the lawn? Please, please, please, please, please?), but the bulletin has served its purpose and served it well... and that purpose is now better served by other means.

© Trevor 2011There is, however, one thing we've been using the bulletin for that is still valid, and your friendly FNCA Outreach Committee has already come up with a much more practical solution than spending 40 hours of labor and $1,000. The use in question is as a handout with our FNCA Display when it's set up at Convention and various East Coast churches. The solution: A. Update our tri-fold brochure [the white tract in the photo above] making sure that it has enough info for a newbie to get the gist of what camp is all about. B. Each year, create a 1/3 page insert with this year's lecture themes, Opening Weekend Program, rates, etc. to go along with it. The Outreach Committee is planning on having this ready for Convention this summer.

Another thing the Outreach Committee is aware of is that many people just love seeing all the photos in the bulletin and often keep it handy in their homes, leafing through it repeatedly for brief moments of FNCA pleasure throughout the months leading up to camp. So, one idea the Outreach Committee has already bandied about is to create an FNCA photo book for the Sales Table. It could be a yearbook kind of thing published each year with photos from the previous year. It could be something that covers a 5-year span and gets done anew in that many years. It could be a coffee table book that covers our entire history. Don't hold your breath waiting because at this point it's just an idea, but it's a pretty © FNCA 1981good idea so there's a pretty good chance that it may actually happen, especially since self-publishing has gotten so much cheaper and easier than it every was before.

So, please join everyone in waving goodbye to the FNCA bulletin: You have led a long and useful life and we were glad to know you!






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