April 2016 Congregational Update

2016 Financial update

The church is currently working on a strategy to increase the number of individuals who have committed to supporting us on the basis of automating their giving.

If you have automatic deductions from your bank account or credit card to pay for insurance, car payment or your mortgage, then you understand the Automated Giving principle. It means your weekly, monthly or quarterly contributions come to us throughout the year. This method saves us money by lowering administration costs and allows us to plan our budgets more accurately, because pre-authorized donations guarantee us a steady income stream on a regular basis.

Also by signing up for Automated Giving you don’t have to worry about missing your contribution when you cannot attend Sunday Service!

If you’d like to sign up for Automated Giving, you should:

  • decide the amount of your weekly, monthly, quarterly offering
  • fill in the flap on an Offertory Envelope located in your pew (you can either do it by credit card or include a sample cheque from your account marked “Void” if you’d like automatic withdrawals from your bank account).
  • place the envelope in the offering basket during service, give it to the Information Centre or mail it to us when complete.

If you prefer an online option, please visit our “donate” page.


Currently we are slightly ahead of our annual budget goal but we’re anticipating a drop in offerings that is customary in the summer months.

For many years we have committed to having a professional audit performed in order to provide reassurance to our donors that we are being good stewards of your generosity and to gain a critical external perspective that can provide suggestions for additional/enhanced procedures, policies, and processes. This year’s audit is underway and a final report will be available for our Annual Congregational Business Meeting in June.

Refugee program

Our recent campaign to increase the number of monthly donors to our Refugee Program was incredibly successful – thank you. 41 new donors made a commitment to give $10 a month to help us with this Program. We lack the funding needed to achieve the goals of the Program so we continue to invite new donors from within and outside the congregation.

Our Peer Support meetings are attracting about 100 inland refugee claimants a month and we continue to support the 5 refugees that MCC Toronto has sponsored under our Sponsorship Agreement Holder status with the federal government.

Larry Peloso, our part-time Program Leader (1 day a week) has completed his 1 year term with MCC Toronto. His replacement will start on May 3rd and we’re able to increase the hours for this position as a result of recent fundraising successes. We celebrate Larry for all his work and a formal announcement for Larry’s replacement will come in the week ahead.

Sam Morris recommended for ordination

Rev. Kevin Downer, the former Executive Pastor of MCC Toronto and supervising clergy, has stated that Sandra Ann Morris has met all criteria of the ordination process and highly recommends that she be approved for ordination. Therefore we recommend the Board has supported the recommendation of Rev. Kevin Downer to endorse Sandra Ann Morris for ordination. Well done Sam!

Community Fundraiser

Do not forget our Thursday June 23 major community fundraiser at the Daniels Spectrum Centre in celebration of the Triangle Program’s 20th anniversary. Further details and promotion are available on our website.

Senior Pastor Selection Process

A summary of the Church of the Future survey has been done and will be shared within the next month. It provides broad general direction in terms of the priorities of our next Senior Pastor.

The time-line for the public call for candidates is still being reviewed. We will continue to engage with congregation as we go through the process – via Town Hall meetings, small group meetings, and individual conversations.

Under our by-laws, the Board of Directors is charged with the responsibility of identifying, recruiting and presenting to the Congregation our next Senior Pastor who will be formally elected by members of MCC Toronto. The following individuals are on the selection committee:

Anne Brayley, Vice Moderator of the Board.

Anne is also a member of the Governance and Fund Development Committees. Anne has been attending MCC Toronto for 25 years and is serving her third term on the Board.

In her professional life, Anne is the Vice President, Philanthropic Services at Toronto Foundation. Anne has been actively involved with the Foundation for many years, including past service as a Board member and committee volunteer. She joined the staff team in 2008. In her role, Anne leads the team responsible for new donor development, donor relations, and marketing/communications for the Foundation. Prior to joining the Foundation staff, her career included roles in publishing, advertising and executive search. Anne is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Canadian Association of Gift Planners, and is a frequent writer on the subject of strategic philanthropy.

Lori Boyce, Board Member and Chair of the Governance Committee

Lori has been attending the church for over 25 years and has served multiple terms on the Board and is a regular member of the communion/healing team.

In her professional life, Lori is the AVP, Underwriting, Risk Management & Research/Development at Manulife Financial.

Lori’s career has focused on the assessment of risk for individual income replacement, critical illness and long term care products. Her technical expertise is applied in the development of new products, marketing and sales.

Andrew Fleming, Board Member and Chair of the Fund Development Committee. Andrew has been attending the church a number of years and is serving his first term on the Board.

In his professional life, Andrew is the Managing Partner – Toronto Office of, Norton Rose Fulbright.

Andrew has extensive experience in business law, including company, securities and banking law, and regulatory requirements relating to corporate transactions, financings and mergers and acquisitions. He has been involved in numerous not-for-profit organizations and presently serves as a Governor of the Shaw Festival Theatre.

The mandate of the search committee is to have a clear and robust senior pastor selection plan to ensure they identify the strongest possible candidate who will be strongly endorsed by the congregation to partner with us as we continue to grow as a vibrant, inclusive, progressive Christian church. They have developed criteria including a focus on progressive theology criteria for potential candidates.

They are also reviewing feedback provided at past Town Halls and from the Church of the Future survey. Our next Town Hall will focus on sharing the final results of this survey as we seek your wisdom and input in terms of your priorities and preferences.

At this point we are in the process of proactively identifying possible candidates who may be interested in applying. This search has extended beyond MCC. Within the next several months, we will be conducting an open call and inviting all interested parties to apply.

Ultimately the Selection Committee will come to the Board with a recommendation. When the Board has endorsed the candidate, the individual will be presented to the congregation. Members in good standing will then vote on the candidate.

Town Hall

Please note our next TOWN HALL is scheduled for: May 29, 2016 at 12:45 p.m. in the Sanctuary.

In advance of these meetings there will be supporting documents available on our Board of Directors webpage.

Our Board of Directors includes Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes, Senior Pastor, and your congregational representatives:

  • Anne Brayley, Vice Moderator Vice President, Philanthropic Services, Toronto Foundation
  • Lori Boyce, Board Member, AVP, Underwriting, Risk Management & Research/Development, Manulife
  • Cheryl Smith, Board Member, CPA, CA, MBA, MLS
  • Carol Osler, Board Member, SVP & Head of Financial Crimes and Fraud Management Group and Enterprise Project Management Office, TD Bank Group
  • Andrew Fleming, Board Member, Managing Partner – Toronto Office, Norton Rose Fulbright Canada

Other regular attendees at our Board meetings are:

  • Shelly Morris, Executive Director
  • Annabelle Menezes, Executive Assistant to Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes

If you have questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to contact any of us. You can also contact us via email at BofD@MCCToronto.com.

We welcome your feedback and engagement. Together, God has called us to do great things.

Lori Boyce,
Chair, Governance Committee