January’s Council Gleanings

Last Wednesday (January 18th) saw your Council gather for its first meeting of the new calendar year. After being welcomed by our Chair, John Eldridge, we worked our way through the “usual” items of our opening: spending a few minutes on Respectful Communication Guidelines, a devotion, the agenda and the Minutes of our last Council gathering before moving on to the three main areas of each Council meeting.

In the first — Emerging Spirit — (a) we signalled the need to ensure that our rental rates were regularly reviewed; (b) we accepted, with great reluctance, the resignation of our Church Office Administrator and reviewed the process by which it is hoped to fill the vacancy as quickly as possible; and (c) affirmed March 5th as the date of our Annual Congregational Meeting, which will once again be enfolded within our worship. As happened last year, and in order to facilitate discussion, there will be two separate opportunities before March 5th for the congregation to gather and review both the budget and any M&P matters. Town Hall meetings have therefore been set  for Sunday, 19 February, in the sanctuary following worship, and Shrove Tuesday, 28 February, in the Heritage Wing after our Pancake Supper.

The second area — God’s Continuing Work — saw us quickly note that there has been no movement on the Habitat for Humanity build in Richmond and very little movement on the Refugee front. Council were reminded of our opportunity to listen to the congregation around the proposed changes to The United Church being brought forward by General Council 42 on Saturday, January 28th at 10am. Provocatively entitled “Blowing Up the Church,” we hope to host a lively conversation, and build on the insights generated at subsequent Council deliberations.

Under our third area — God’s Church at Work — we heard reports from Property Management (which will include in its proposed budget for 2017 the purchase of a storage unit and of chairs to replace our some of our rapidly deteriorating stock), Worship, and Finance. Council expressed its gratitude to all. With the ACM in our near future, we also reviewed our Nominating process, reminding all Committee Chairs to let Council Secretary Dawna English know very soon of any changes to and any needs for their committees for 2017. Council also acknowledged receipt of a letter from our ordained minister confirming his plans to retire no later than 30 June 2019. This will be addressed at a later date.

Council was also reminded of Presbytery’s guidance regarding an annual review of our congregational finances. Coming out of that conversation, Council asked Vicki Warfield to engage neighbouring United Churches in conversation about how each is addressing the issue of an annual review, with the possibility of each congregation offering an appropriately equipped member of their household to review another household’s books. With that goal in mind, Council is inviting volunteers to contact our Council Secretary if they have the requisite knowledge and willingness to offer this gift to their community of faith.

As always, if further conversation is required about any of the above, feel free to speak with any member of your Church Council.