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I am a new clerk in our church. In past years getting our council minutes signed by the chairman and the clerk has been a practise. That Practise seems to have stopped. I was wondering if I needed to start that practise once again or  is it unnecessary?

I am trying to do a proper job as clerk. Any tips would be helpful. 


You’re doing it right, I think. The benefit of signed minutes is the “blessed assurance” that there is one true copy, and that any edits made to the draft minutes have been done. Having both the secretary and the president of the body sign the minutes increases confidence that the minutes are true. In these “what can you trust” days, every bit of check and balance helps.

I have served as clerk numerous times over the years as well as stated clerk of classis for six years. I don't ever recall having the chair of council sign the minutes.  Minutes of the last meeting are always approved by motion in a subsequent meeting. That way the entire council endorses those minutes.

So here's a new twist. What could a council meeting in 2024 look like? Would it be more efficient to meet via Zoom, from the comfort of your own home ... but then meet in executive session (in person) for sensitive matters?

I raise this because I regularly host meetings via Zoom and I use AI -- artificial intelligence -- generally offered free by Zoom.   AI automatically records and transcribes the meeting, it provides a meeting summary and it provides action items at the end of the document. Those minutes could be stored on your computer for future reference.

I would venture to say that 90 per cent of council minutes could be considered public. In other words, church members should have the right to access those. The other 10 per cent could be considered executive session matters that would be safely secured by the clerk. 

Thanks Keith. Great info. The signature part is what I was thinking. Kinda overkill, but it has been done that way for a long time in the past and I'm not too quick to change if there is a good reason to stay with the old way. As far as Zoom and AI, I will check it out. I'm still learning to type and a transcription would be great. Even if I just zoom myself to get the transcription. 

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