What’s the Latest with LInc?
By Anna Koop and Maureen O’Connell
Loretto Incorporated (LInc) was affirmed at the 2017 Loretto Assembly with the following Mission statement: “We believe it is imperative to carry forward the mission and spirit of Loretto in companionship with the Congregation and Community of Loretto in spiritual community with equal participation and voice to all who choose to belong.”
After the Assembly, Loretto vowed and co-members were invited to consider belonging to LInc. Currently, LInc membership totals 133 members, almost exactly half of whom are co-members and half vowed members. Dues to belong to LInc were set symbolically at $18.12 or anything additional one wished to send (1812 is the founding date of Loretto!). Current update — all LInc members have sent in dues, except three folks who have promised to send them in — you know who you are!
After transitional work last fall by the Civil Incorporation Working Group, a new transitional LInc Board was formed, made up of self-nominating Community members and three Civil Incorporation Working Group members for continuity.
The new transitional board has met each month since January. LInc Board members are Libby Comeaux, Eileen Custy, Sally Dunne, Kim Klein, Karen Knoll, Anna Koop, Maureen O’Connell and Paulette Peterson. Assisted by some members of the Civil Incorporation Working Group, the board initiated several working groups to get the LInc organization off the ground.
Working group to apply for a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status from the IRS. The application was sent to the IRS in January and by March was approved. Many who are familiar with the usual slow pace of the IRS on such applications have marveled at the speed of approval. Congratulations to this working group! Having this tax-exempt status means that LInc now can receive tax-deductible contributions.
Working group to draft initial LInc By-laws. Goals of this initial set of by-laws were to capture the values and principles that will inform LInc, while outlining a minimal structure in simple (rather than legalistic) language to guide the initial functioning of the group. Draft by-laws were sent to LInc members in early April with a ballot for approval, including a way to communicate concerns and suggestions. More than two-thirds of LInc members returned ballots with 100 percent approval of by-laws and several very good suggestions that the LInc Board will take into consideration in the future. Thanks to all who voted and for your suggestions.
Working group on communications. Dedicated to transparent communications both within LInc and with the whole Loretto Community, the LInc Board asked Loretto Communication staff to set up a special (yellow) LInc button on the Loretto Community member website where minutes of monthly board meetings and other important communications are available for any Community member to view. Announcements of new material on this site are made in the regular Loretto announcements. This posting is in addition to a special mail service directly to all LInc members. A special LInc website is in the creation process and will be announced soon.
The LInc Board will meet face-to-face in Denver in early June. The agenda is full, with discussion about identifying initial work or projects, clarifying how we articulate our identity as a spiritual community, engaging members in decision-making and the work of the organization, possibility of engaging new members, sketching an initial process by which our organization will arrive at decisions and accomplish work, and being responsive to the need to settle on a permanent name.
The work has been rewarding and the board is excited to be able to keep moving things forward. Thanks for your continued suggestions and encouragement.