Confidentiality should be secured by instructing office bearers not to show
these minutes to any one else. If you don't trust your council members
you could even ask them to hand in their minutes after having approved
them. But is that really necessary? In any case, some minutes might be
open to the congregation, some only to office bearers.
For me it was frustrating to hear proposals to make decisions which were
years ago already adopted, but never properly dealt with. We took the same
decision again. It might be good that consistories/councils had a book in
which they record the decisions under headings, so that in particular case
we could find previous decisions on that subject. With the modern computer
technology it shoulb be easy to implement.
In our church we have a clerk, not a member of consistory, who types
minutes while the meeting is going on. The executive meets a week before
the general meeting and deals with setting the agends, listing the incoming
mail in two groups: the largest just listed but not read in council, the
smallest summarized, read if necessary, and dealt with in council. If
anyone does not trust the judgment of the executive, (s)he can read the
letter in break-time or after the meeting, since it is available at the table.
Thus far I have not heard any complaints about the procedure. I must say,
that at the moment I am not in council.
Jan de Koning