WELCOME BACK! We hope that you had a relaxing couple of months, enjoying your summer meanderings. Your Transition Team did take some time off, but continued to work during July and August. We are a dedicated bunch!
Perhaps a short recap of our mission and our work is in order, especially for those folks who may have just joined us at Central. Over a year ago now, the Board appointed a team of people to work with a Transition Minister to begin the work of setting up a governance model for the church after the retirement of two long-serving Ministers. This work included examining various governance models to determine the best fit for Central; reviewing our Constitution; developing policy documents; creating a Duty of Care document to ensure the safety of everyone who calls Central their spiritual home, especially the most vulnerable among us; writing a Behavioural Covenant; updating our “brand” and our communications strategy. All of this work is to precede the calling of a new minister to Central.
Why is this work important? It is important because it will create an environment in which Central can move forward in shaping the future of its ministry as a downtown church in the heart of the city.
Early last spring, we wrote a Behavioural Covenant that was ratified by the congregation at the Annual Congregational Meeting. Now, we have 11 policy documents for you to review before we call another Congregational Meeting. Policy documents provide the rules and guidelines for conducting the work of the church. The policy documents that need your review are: Alcohol and Gambling, Baptism, Copyright, Document Retention, Funerals, Holy Communion, Membership, Privacy and Confidentiality, Property Usage, Social Media, Weddings. The Board has already reviewed and ratified, in principle, all of these documents. However, input from the congregation is a critical part of the process before you vote on them at a duly called Congregational Meeting.
With that in mind, the Transition Team is inviting you to join us for a focus group session, to be held directly following the morning worship service on SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 16th. Our team will lead you through the various documents and address any questions or concerns you may have about them. Then, sometime in October, the Board will call a special Congregational Meeting so that the documents can be formally ratified. You are invited to download a PDF of the policy documents below so that you might read over them before our focus group session on September 16th.
In the coming weeks of the fall, we will also be presenting to you the Duty of Care Policy and Procedures Manual, a proposed governance model, as well as our newly written Constitution.
At every stage, your input will be invited. It is important, in moving forward, that there is a sense that we are in this together and that all of us are needed to make decisions about the continuing ministry of Central.
As your Transition Minister and as Chair of the Transition Team, I wish to thank the members of the team for their dedication to the task at hand. Some days it can feel quite daunting, however, we embrace our work as a people called by God to do it.
Two valued members of our team, Terri Berg and Angel Mangay-at, have found it necessary to resign from our committee due to personal circumstances. I would take this opportunity, on behalf of all of you, to thank them for the many hours they have poured into our work.
We have been joined on the team by Marivic Dela Cerna who adds her wisdom to our many and varied discussions. As well, Lori Bazin and Norm Barnecut have joined us as we begin our work on reviewing the Constitution. The remaining members of the team are Bill Moore and Kimberley Farley who are tireless in their efforts to ensure that the work we have undertaken as a team moves forward. Bless them all!
We look forward to being with you next SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 16th for our focus group session. Snacks will be provided!
Rev. Linda Hunter, Transition Minister and Chair