Dear Members and Friends of the DOC,
I trust that this letter finds most of you physically well and much blessed. If you are among those who are struggling with physical ailments or with the loss of a job and the like, I pray that the Lord will meet your needs and bring peace to your soul.
Each year around this time I write a letter to all of our members and friends to set forth the state of the Order. As always, in addition to informing you about the state of the DOC, this letter also affords those of you who did not join the Order, renew your membership, or extend your friendship at an annual retreat, an opportunity to do so by return mail.
There has been only one major change in leadership this past year. LaDonna Clary moved from Ohio to North Carolina, and because of the move she felt the need to resign as a Member at Large on the National Board. We appreciate so much the contributions she has made to the cause in recent years, and we are trusting that she will become active in her new region, the Southeast.
At the annual board meeting in August the board elected Betsey Mulloy of Reston, VA as LaDonna’s replacement. Betsey is a dynamic conference and retreat speaker, who with her husband, Michael, also occasionally ministers in Kenya, Uganda, and Honduras. Betsey is the author of Your Secret Name (1988) and Divine Love Song: Discover God’s Passion for You in the Song of Solomon (2003). We are delighted that Betsey has agreed to serve in this capacity. She will be a great addition to the board. Apart from this one change, all of our officers from 2008 remain in place for 2009.
I had planned to communicate occasionally with all of you by e-mail, but this annual letter and the New Life News seems adequate for that purpose. However I would love to hear from you by e-mail on occasion (firstname.lastname@example.org). It always makes my day when I hear from one of you.
We have learned from experience that our best means of general (as opposed to a personal) communication is the DOC web site (www.dochr.org). My hope has been, and still is, that many of you would check on to the site at least once per week. I especially encourage you to visit the “Prayer Garden” on the site, where you directly can post prayer requests and praise notes. Thus your concerns can reach DOC prayer warriors across the country, and you can pray for those who have posted requests.
There are several series of essays (topical and Bible studies) on the site. I try to post something every week. The series currently being posted on the site is a study of “2 Samuel.” The others are archived and are available with a click or two of your mouse. You may wish to check them out. You are invited not only to respond to the essays (you can comment on any of them by clicking on the “comments” link). I would love to dialogue with many of you on biblical and spiritual formation issues.
There also is a location on the site called the “Sharing Corner” which allows you to share devotional thoughts, poems, testimonies, insightful essays, sermons, etc. You may even propose and write a series of your own. Simply e-mail whatever you want published to me, the editor (address above), and I will post it for you.
You will find enclosed a 2009 national budget. The national board has done everything in its power to reduce our costs and to produce a budget that we can meet without dipping into Trust Fund monies (which we have been doing for several years). Our budget for 2009 is only $15,170, but it appears that we may still have to use Trust Fund money to meet the budget.
We recognize that these are tough economic times, and we do not expect anyone to contribute what they do not have. Indeed we always have had a policy that a contribution is not necessary for membership if a person cannot afford to make one. And there are those who contribute more than the suggested annual donation. We appreciate those contributions very much.
In 2007 we raised the annual suggested donation from $25 to $50 (after many, many years at the lower rate). However it appears that some members and friends missed that change, because in 2008 quite a few still paid only $25, or sent in $25 for a couple. It will be quite helpful if you would give the larger contribution if you can afford to do so.
If you did not renew your annual membership, or make a contribution for 2009 at a 2008 retreat, a DOC commitment card and envelope are enclosed for your convenience in renewing and/or contributing now by return mail.
Sincerely in Christ,
Robert (Bob) R. Moore