Minutes of the meeting of the Board
Saturday, August 1, 2009, 7:30 p.m.
The meeting of the DARF/U-CAN Board was moved from the Bucca
de Beppo Italian Restaurant to a closed food court in the Exhibition center
because of the noise level of the restaurant.
Board members present for the meeting were Galan Clark, Fred
Erickson, WD9IXA, Dan Owen, W5AHC, Garry Sparks, and John Park
Also present were Robert Brown, WAØCVR, Susan Brown, and
In the absence of our president Sue Grigg, WA5ITW, Dan Owen,
W5AHC, called the meeting to order and asked for nominations for new
officers for DARF/U-CAN. The Board suggested John Park Winkler,
KAØZ, as President; Dan Owen, W5AHC, as Vice-president; and Howard
E. Grant, Jr., KA5CBT, as Secretary-treasurer. Fred Erickson moved, Galan
Clark seconded, that the nominations be closed and that the slate be elected
as named. Motion carried.
After discussing the need for a new Resident Agent to succeed Don
Mitchell, N9AIY, who passed away recently, it was moved by Fred
Erickson, seconded by Dan Owen, to elect Tim Staker, KB9FRR, of
Columbus, Indiana as Resident Agent, with Carol Sargent of Deputy,
Indiana, as an alternate if Tim is unable to serve. Motion carried.
The issue of finding a person or group to handle the mailing of the
“Mission-Aire” was raised. Fred Erickson explained that the ideal situation
would be to find a church willing to receive the “Mission-Aire”
electronically, duplicate it on their own copier, collate, fold, tape, and label
it; then mail it using their own non-profit postal indicia. (The latter would
work only if it could be shown that the “Mission-Aire” was an integral part
of their own mission outreach—meaning they would be incurring all of the
costs of re-producing and mailing the “Mission-Aire” as their contribution to
the worldwide outreach of the church.) This would be a great mission
project for a congregation of the Disciples or UCCs.
Fundraising for the Congo radio project was the next item of business
for the DARF/U-CAN Board. Fred explained that he had prepared drafts of
a fundraising packet which was examined and improved at a meeting of the
Executive Committee in Louisiana. He then duplicated it on his color laser
printer and mailed it out. The packet included a one-page letter, a FAQ
sheet (frequently asked questions), a reprint of a “DisciplesWorld” article
that described the 2006 survey trip, the general DARF/U-CAN brochure, a
brochure describing the Congo radio project with a response insert, four
postcards pointing out the need for communication from four different
Congo perspectives, a tent card giving the various ways to connect with
DARF/U-CAN, a response card, and a return envelop.
Fred also explained that he had sent out a second follow-up letter a
couple weeks later that explained the recently received time-limited offer
from the Ardicom company in Kinshasa that had 15 complete stations
available for $58,500. This letter also included the Congo radio project
brochure, response care, and return envelop.
Fred explained that the total costs for both of these packets, as well as
the costs for preparing most of the materials that were available for handout
at the general assembly and membership meeting, were $1,378.25. These
costs were for paper, toner, envelops, card stock, and postage. He pointed
out that the costs for doing this printing at Kinko’s would have been $3,772
and at a letter press would have been $2,600, and would not have included
the postage and envelops.
Both of these letters were sent to our entire mailing list of 350 persons
Fred presented the draft of a proposed “Mission-Aire” that could be
the next step in the fundraising. The “Mission-Aire” would include a CD of
all of the fundraising materials prepared so far, including the PowerPoint
presentation, script, display, brochures, and other handouts, as well as the
computer programs needed to view and use them. It would be a way of
putting in everybody’s hands all the resources needed to promote the Congo
After discussion, it was decided that inasmuch as all of these
resources were available online, that it was not necessary to send the CD. It
was taken by consensus that the next step should be another letter telling
how we were able to send $20,000 to the Congo for the purchase of five
complete stations, and that we still needed to raise the funds to purchase the
remaining ten stations that were available at the reduced price. The letter
should also point out that there were still additional stations needed beyond
the 15, and the training component still needed to be funded.
The Board agreed that following the letter, a “Mission-Aire” could
talk about the resources available online. It could also encourage recipients
to begin doing fundraising in their own areas. They can call, write, or e-mail
Fred if they want the resource CD instead of downloading the resources.
Particularly we need to encourage people to visit, call, or write persons they
know who might be potential donors to the project.
It was suggested that we might get a list of past donors from Howard
Grant, and we could make individual telephone calls to encourage their
support of the Congo project. John Park agreed to call Howard about this.
The question was raised about staff persons who do fundraising for
other units in the church. Would they know of persons who might be
interested in this kind of project?
The Board discussed the idea of a certificate for those who underwrite
an entire station. Should they get more than just a certificate? Fred
mentioned that a carved statue from the Congo, or the paintings he brought
back from Congo, and which he used in the documentary, could be made
available as a gift. Garry wondered if the cloths that were brought back
from Congo could be used. It was agreed that a certificate is important, and
should be given, but that providing carved wooden statues would be
something that the Disciples Community could provide, and it would give
them a sense of participation in the project.
It was agreed that the certificate and gift should be provided to all
those who give $4,000 or more to the Congo project. That would cover
anyone giving an amount that would pay for all of the equipment needed to
set up a whole station. A plaque would also be placed on the radio
acknowledging the gift. We would let the Disciples Community in the
Congo decide on which radios the plaques were placed.
Dan suggested that he would contact the editor of the “Lokole” the
newsletter of the former Congo missionaries. (Lokole is the name of the
“talking drums” used to communicate in the Congo.)
It was noted that we needed to send the $20,000 that we now have
immediately because the need in Congo is so great and so urgent. They have
assured us that they can obtain the expertise needed to install the stations and
train the operators.
The question of the relationship with the UCCs was discussed. It had
been suggested by a UCC former Board member that he thought the UCC
involvement was practically nil, and that trying to maintain the joint name
and relationship was more a burden than a help. He had suggested that we
revert back to just DARF, and not worry about trying to develop a joint
organization. After discussion, it was agreed that the U-CAN connection
really was a part of who we are, that Global Ministries is a joint organization
and we are working with UCCs through Global Ministries, that the Disciples
as a whole has a covenantal relationship with the UCCs, that there are some
UCCs who are participating and on our mailing list, and that it was
legitimate for us to continue to lead the way and to be proactive to help
communication hobbyists in the United Church become more involved in
John Park suggested that we needed to be having more Board
meetings throughout the year, and that we could be doing this by using
Skype. For those Board members who could not use Skype because they are
on dialup, they could be brought into the conversation through telephone.
Because the meetings would be on Skype, we could also make the Board
meetings more open to other members of DARF/U-CAN. We could also
involve international partners, such as Lucy Hobgood Brown, with Skype. It
was agreed that the best times for such a meeting would probably be mid-
afternoon week days.
The Board discussed the HF nets, and discussed ways they might be
revitalized. John Park suggested that a 75 meter Midwest net might be
restarted looking to include an area encompassing Houston, Branson,
Lincoln, and Columbia. He will e-mail those who might want to be
involved. He is thinking a weekday, 7:00 a.m. central. Dan Owen
suggested that we may need to find another frequency since the original
Mid-west frequency of 3.853 may only be available from 6:30 to 7:00 am
central. Any new frequency would need to be in the general class band.
Fred suggested that we should continue the cross-over experiment on
Saturdays connecting both the 20 meter HF net and the internet chat, but that
we should start a second internet chat that could include missionaries and
other overseas staff. This would bring back a practice of several decades
back when DARF would maintain a net that missionaries could join in order
to bring them a sense of fellowship with the wider church—it also gave
DARF a more immediate sense of purpose, and it would offer something to
which computer uses could identify. It was agreed that this was a good idea,
but we needed to get Skype figured out first, and become more proficient
with internet conversations.
Fred suggested that we think in terms of a 2010 Mid-west roundup.
These have been very important for maintaining the fellowship in the past,
and it would be a good way to revitalize DARF/U-CAN. John Park
suggested that we think in terms of such a roundup in Branson, in that he
was now an interim minister there. We should all be talking up the idea.
Fred raised the question of ads in the two denominational
publications: “DisciplesWorld,” and “UCC News.” We had planned to do
this before, but because we had lost the website and generic e-mail, the idea
had been laid aside. Although we had once talked about three ads in
“DisciplesWorld,” and two ads in “UCC News,” it was agreed that we might
think more in terms of one ad in each to promote the Congo project and to
solicit contacts from interested communication hobbyists. We could use the
idea that we are “expanding” communication.
The Board also discussed the idea of a news release to regions and
synods. This was first proposed at the 2008 Executive Committee meeting
with the news hook being the fact that DARF/U-CAN was broadening its
base by reaching out to other communication hobbyists, including computer
and internet users, but it was delayed because we didn’t have an active
website. However, the Board felt that it was more important to promote the
Congo project, and that the news hook was the $20,000 donation to purchase
radios for the Disciples Community. The idea of DARF/U-CAN’s
broadened base could be filler at the end describing who DARF/U-CAN is.
The meeting was adjourned.
Fred H. Erickson, WD9IXA