2017 Nominees to the Board of Directors

Joe Jamieson – election for a 3-year term

Joe Jamieson is the Deputy Registrar of the Ontario College of Teachers.

Joe was first certified to teach in Quebec in 1992 and began his 23-year career in education with the Halton Catholic District School Board. He has served as a teacher, writer, curriculum consultant and as the Director of the College Standards of Practice and Accreditation department and Director of the Investigations and Hearings department. He holds a MEd from the University of Toronto, a BA from the University of Waterloo and a diploma in Secondary Education from McGill University.

Joe is influential in managing the College’s financial systems, including its $40 million annual operating budget, working closely with the 37 elected and appointed members of the College’s governing Council, leading major College initiatives and speaking frequently to community partners. Joe is a compelling and sought after presenter within the education sector. He speaks frequently at public and education conferences on topics such as professional conduct, leadership, education law, and LGBTQ issues in education.

Most recently, Joe led our Reference Group in providing support for the congregation and staff. Joe is also a member of the Finance Committee.

 

Bentley Springer – election for a 3-year term

Bentley Springer is a seasoned IT professional, leading teams providing IT services for large national organizations for almost two decades. He is currently the Manager of IT Support Services for CARA Operations.

Passionate about community capacity building, Bentley has served as a leader in the black community for the past 18 years.  He was founder and President of Black Habits from 1998-2008, and performed leadership roles for the Lions Circle from 2005-2016, including President and Chair. Bentley is also a trained mediator, and leverages these skills in a volunteer capacity.

Bentley first attended MCC Toronto in February 2012. Five months later, he and his partner, Denise, became members and dedicated MCC volunteers, and were proudly married by Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes, C.M. in July 2013. In 2016, Bentley was elected to the MCC Toronto board and also participated in the Reference Group.

 

Beverley Wybrow – election for a 1-year term

Bev recently retired after 22 years as CEO of Canadian Women’s Foundation.

The Foundation works to empower women and girls in Canada to move out of poverty, out of violence and into confidence. The Foundation has raised money and supported more than 1,400 programs across Canada. It is now one of the ten largest women’s foundations in the world.

Bev is currently on the Board of the Assaulted Women’s Helpline, and is a member of the MCC Toronto Refugee Program Strategic and Fundraising Advisory Committee.  She is the former Chair of the Board of Directors of MCC Toronto, and has extensive volunteer experience, including serving on the Boards of Directors of the Toronto YWCA, the global Women’s Funding Network, and the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation. Bev was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in 2012.

2017 ACBM Agenda

2017 Annual Congregational Business Meeting

AGENDA

June 18, 2017, 12:45-2:00 pm

Sanctuary

12:45 pm Call to Order and Opening Prayer
12:50 pm Approval of 2016 ACBM Minutes
12:53 pm Explanation and Approval of Agenda
12:55 pm Senior Pastor’s Address & Report & 2017 Goals and Budget
1:15 pm Senior Pastor Search Update
1:25 pm Election of Members to the Board of Directors
1:45 pm Motion to receive Audited Financial Statements for 2016
1:50 pm Motion to appoint Hilborn LLC as the Auditor for 2017
1:55 pm Acknowledgements Call for Adjournment and Closing Prayer

April 2017 Congregational Update

 

Senior Pastor Selection update

We are pleased by the response to the open call that started March 6 and closed April 7.   Our applicants reflect diverse experiences and backgrounds and we are excited to move into the next stage of our journey.  We have reviewed the applications and started initial interviews with the selected candidates. First interviews should be completed by early May.  The final candidate (s) will also meet with the entire Board, Shelly Morris and Diane Leah.  We will then have an opportunity to consider all input before ultimately the Board selects the final candidate who will come to Toronto for a week or 10 days to meet the rest of the staff, team leaders, deacons, key volunteers, and preach one Sunday.   The eligible voting Members will then be asked to confirm the candidate via a vote.

We also identified the possible need to have a “relocation” team if the successful candidate is not from Toronto.  We will need to be intentional as we build for a successful integration of the individual.

We are committed to being open and embracing our core values in our search – spirituality, advocacy and diversity.  We will not be limited based on gender, orientation, nationality, denomination or cultural background.  We are a vibrant, inclusive and progressive Christian church community and we will live these values in our discernment.

We are using our various communication vehicles to communicate and seek input.  We are in the process of developing a FAQ (“Frequently Asked Question”) sheet which will be available on the Board website soon.  If there are any questions or insights you want to share, please contact any of the Search committee directly in person or via our email address: BofD@mcctoronto.com.  You can also find the Senior Pastor Job description, qualifications, skill and personal attributes on our micro-website at website http://board.mcctoronto.com/#senior-pastor-search,

Financial update

We are focused on working with our external auditor on our annual audit.

As reported previously, while we approved a balanced Operating Budget for 2017 with a 2% increase projected for both revenues and expenses, we expressed our concern that this once again means we have opted to postpone investments in our people and infrastructure.  We will seek to apply a different approach for 2018.

Pride update

Progress is being made in terms of identifying a new location for our service since our usual location is now a construction zone.  While emotions have run high this year, we continue to seek to be peace makers and bridge builders.  Toronto Pride has come under attack in the past and we feel that even in times of conflict – we are stronger together.   It is critical we value the long history of Pride and the Pride Parade as a public statement in support of GLBTQ rights.  We will not surrender our presence in the parade.  Our church service and participation in the parade are major outreach opportunities and a significant source of revenue so we ask that  you prayerfully consider your continued commitment to volunteer or attend the service and to be part of our contingent in the parade.

DATES TO PUT IN YOUR CALENDAR

Sunday June 18, 12:45 pm: Annual Congregational Business Meeting

Sunday June 25: Happy Pride!

Sunday July 16: Anniversary Sunday

Sunday August 20: Brent’s 40th Anniversary

Thursday October 19: set the date aside for Brent’s Retirement Celebration and Tribute

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

February 2017 Congregational Update

Board of Directors

Carol Osler, SVP & Head of Financial Crimes and Fraud Management Group and Enterprise Project Management Office, TD Bank Group, has resigned from the Board and as Chair of the Finance Committee as she tackles additional professional responsibilities. We express our heartfelt gratitude to Carol for her expertise, unique insights, passion and commitment that has helped to guide and shape us. We wish her our best as she focuses on further professional development.

Joe Jamieson, Deputy Registrar, Ontario College of Teachers, has joined the Board.

We are thrilled to appoint Joe to the Board as Carol’s replacement. Joe was first certified to teach in Quebec in 1992 and began his 23-year career in education with the Halton Catholic District School Board. He has served as a teacher, writer, curriculum consultant and as the Director of the College Standards of Practice and Accreditation department and Director of the Investigations and Hearings department. He holds a MEd from the University of Toronto, a BA from the University of Waterloo and a diploma in Secondary Education from McGill University.

Joe is influential in managing the College’s financial systems, including its $40 million annual operating budget, working closely with the 37 elected and appointed members of the College’s governing Council, leading major College initiatives and speaking frequently to community partners. Joe is a compelling and sought after presenter within the education sector. He speaks frequently at public and education conferences on topics such as professional conduct, leadership, education law, and LGBTQ issues in education.

Most recently, Joe led our Reference Group in providing support for the congregation and staff.

We are thrilled to have him replace Carol on the Finance Committee.

Senior Pastor Selection update

At this point we have proactively identified several qualified individuals who may be interested in applying. This search has extended beyond MCC. In early March, we will be conducting an open call and inviting interested parties to apply. We will be advertising on the MCC website and in both the print version of the United Church Observer and on the on-line version. There will also be information available on our own website. Look forward to our more detailed update to the congregation on Sunday March 5th during worship services.

In addition, there is information available here.

We are also creating a communications plan to gather input and engage the staff and congregation.

Strategic vision for the Refugee Ministry

The Refugee Ministry has three core strategic areas:

  1. Private sponsorship of LGBT refugees and resettlement to Canada;
  2. Peer support for in land refugee claimants;
  3. Networking and advocacy on issues concerning LGBT refuges in Canada and abroad.

MCC Toronto has a unique opportunity and responsibility as the only charitable organization in Canada to have a Sponsorship Agreement with the Government of Canada that is specifically focused on LGBTQ refugees. We will have a renewed focus on building partnerships with other organizations who share a similar passion for our refugee community. In order to increase our effectiveness, we will offer training programs, an open and clear sponsorship/settlement application process, assistance in the creation of settlement plans and oversight/support to the partners we’ve established formal agreements with.

To implement our strategy, we will commit to:

  • Continuing to seek financial support for the staffing, programming and settlement funds needed for the program;
  • Recruitment, training, and oversight of volunteers;
  • Community engagement and integration into our MCC Toronto spiritual community;
  • Enhanced communications to better tell our story of directly transforming lives.

Financial update

Our supporters once again rose to the challenge, exceeding our Christmas Eve Sponsorship target of $50,000 by $3,375 and our Christmas appeal goal of $69,000 by $3,000.

At the end of 2015 we presented a challenging “right sized” budget indicating we would spend no more than $1,255,400 and we’re happy to announce that we achieved this

In fact we were 2.5% under budget. Each year we account for major capital purchases made in previous years and the depreciation of these assets as “non-cash” items. This year’s depreciation expense was $92,117. We ended the year with a budget surplus but these depreciation expenses leave us with a slight deficit position of $26,000.

We approved a balanced Operating Budget for 2017. Revenues and expenses are predicted to rise by 2%. An infogram (visual depiction of revenues and expenses) has become a popular format for communicating our financial health and we’ll have an infogram representing our 2017 Budget available later this month.

Dates to put in your calendar

Saturday Feb 25, 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Progressive Christianity workshop with Rev. Dr. John Pentland, minister at Hillhurst United Church in Calgary since September of 2005 and author of “Fishing Tips: How Curiosity Transformed a Community of Faith.” Tickets are $22 per person, $25 at the door.

This will be an interactive workshop on the 9 ways Hillhurst United Church engaged curiosity to transform its church. Through stories, slides and conversation we will explore what needs to happen and where we are on the journey… not a manual or road map, rather, an invitation to explore.

Lunch will be provided. More details: www.mcctoronto.com/john-pentland

Sunday Feb 26: Rev. Dr. Pentland will preach at all three services.

Sunday March 19: Rev. Rachelle Brown will preach at all three of our Sunday services.

Rev. (Elder) Rachelle Brown is the third global leader for Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC) since its founding in 1968. The denomination’s Governing Board elected Rev. Brown in 2016 to serve a three-year term as Interim Moderator.

Rev. Brown is an educator and theologian. Since 1996, she has been an instructor, trainer, facilitator, adjunct professor, and guest lecturer at Chicago Theological Seminary, Eden Theological Seminary, Missouri State University, and the University of Phoenix. Rev. Brown explores intersections of queer ethics, human sciences, and communications with a deep understanding regarding the historiography of modern religious thought and practices.

Rev. Brown has a background in media and marketing where she oversaw and participated in strategic planning, project and budget management for national, regional, and local consumer and business-to-business clients.

Sunday March 19 12:45 p.m.: Town Hall with Rev. Rachelle Brown.

Sunday June 18, 12:45 p.m.: Annual Congregational Business Meeting

If you have questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to contact any of us. You can also reach us by 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

2016 3rd Quarter Results

PM Worship

A. The PM service has seen many small, discrete changes over the past 8 months that are beginning to coalesce into something so spirit filled that people are saying things like…’I can’t put my finger on it…’ and ‘There is something about this service…it’s different…’
B. Rev. Sam Morris has committed to developing the vision/plan for the future of the evening service.
C. The Creative Liturgy Team meets every week for three hours to take apart the service and look at each element, theologically, technically, creatively. They first make sure it is invitational, accessible to the congregation and easily involving them in the service. They make sure all parts connect to the same message, and deliver it kinaesthetically. They have changed the order of the service so that it flows better and makes more sense. The energy in that space every Sunday night is amazing.
D. It has been a complete joy to witness how so many individuals have risen up since the changes in music leadership and not just assumed leadership, but really leading…by their attitudes, their preparation and their cohesiveness.

Pastoral Care Review and Revamp

A. There has been great progress with our Community Care Ministry (CCM):
I. Bryan Blenkin has accepted the position of Program Developer and Rev Carmen Llanos is the Assistant Program Developer. Bryan is an MCC Toronto congregant with a wealth of experience in program development. Bryan enjoyed a very successful career as a Business Executive within the IT industry. Following his retirement from corporate life, Bryan began to volunteer extensively within the non-profit sector. Most recently, Bryan joined Canadian Executive Services Organization (CESO) and has freely shared his program development gifts with non-profit executives looking to design and implement transformative change within their organization. Bryan wanted to do the lead Program Developer role in our Community Care Ministry as a volunteer and we are so thrilled that he has agreed to mentor Carmen over the coming months. Rev. Carmen Llanos is currently our Pastor of Alternative Worship. In her capacity as Assistant Program Developer for the Community Care Ministry, she will work closely with Bryan for 20 hours a week. Thanks to the generosity of the late Kay Lehman, this is a paid position for Carmen. Carmen’s deep spirituality and solid understanding of the MCC Toronto community will be a tremendous asset to her work in Community Care Ministry.
II. Bryan and Carmen’s mandate is to work with the Community Care Team Leaders to recruit additional volunteers, build solid teams and design/launch programs that will address the current and future care needs of the congregation.
III. A CCM Project Charter has been developed, revised and finalized by Bryan and Carmen in collaboration with Executive Staff. Please refer to 2016-10-24 Project Charter V5.1 (http://www.mcctoronto.com/wp-content/uploads/images/2016-10-24-Project-Charter-V5.1-FINAL.pdf).
B. An external consultant, L3 Ministries – Thriving Congregations, has been engaged to assist the church over the past few months in journeying through a time of challenge for the community with Brent’s impending trial in November. Our objective with this initiative is to learn how to listen to the congregation in new ways and to create an extended pastoral care team that is able to support our large and diverse congregation. The lead facilitator is Kathryn Smith, a highly skilled and deeply faith rooted ordained minister who has rich experience in working with boards, staff and congregations in times of discernment and challenge. An L3/MCC Toronto Issues Management Reference Group for Pastoral Care has been established and includes the following individuals: Joe Jamieson (chair), Bentley Springer (Board representative), Rev. Sam Morris (Staff/Clergy representative), Andrew Holmes (Staff representative), Sandra Fontenelle & Kevin Wilcock (Deacon representatives) and Liz Gildner (former choir rep and congregant). The Reference Group met on September 21st, 28th and October 20th. A listening circle also took place on October 1st for Staff, Board, Clergy, Deacons, and key leaders/volunteers. There was also a training day (“Caring for the Congregation in Crisis”) on October 15th for a larger group of folks including Staff, Board, Clergy, Deacons, lay leaders and congregants who have pastoral skills/potential. These meetings/sessions are facilitated by Kathryn Smith from L3 Ministries and her colleague Shelley Schanzenbacher.

Refugee and Immigration Program

A. Transition of the new part-time Program Leader, Aleks Dughman-Manzur, is complete. Primary focus continues to be:
i. Ensuring the 5 refugees we’re sponsoring/settling are receiving the support they need. This has become the primary responsibility of the Program Leader at this time as the volunteer settlement teams have dissolved.
ii. Continuing to provide peer support opportunities for inland asylum claimants. Monthly meetings and support letters are the two primary activities associated with this work. A new volunteer leadership team has been formed and this team is providing our part-time Team Leader of Peer Support (Anthony Ojo) with assistance in planning and organizing the monthly meetings.
iii. Assessing the effectiveness and efficiency of the overall Program and making recommendations on what we should start/stop/continue in the future. A new strategy for improving our ability to sponsor and settle refugees will be created in collaboration with the Refugee Advisory Committee. This new strategy will be presented to the Board in January 2017.

Children’s and Family Ministry

A. Took a “summer break” and resumed in September. Through the leadership of Andrew Holmes, our part-time staff member who leads this Ministry, volunteers and families continue to be engaged in the planning and rollout of exciting new curriculum.
B. Facilities continue to be a major roadblock to the growth of this Ministry. The “Sunday School Room” located in the basement has suffered from flooding and is not useable at this time. We’re currently seeking donor assistance to renovate the space into a vibrant, inclusive and progressive environment that the children can return to and would become available for other groups and ministries seeking space during the week.
C. We’re seeing record numbers of children participate in the program (Nursery and Children’s Church). The growth rate is almost 400% (from an average of 10 children to almost 40).
D. In addition, we’re seeing a transformation in how children and families participate in worship. Our new Program Leader (Andrew Holmes) continues to engage the worship leaders in creative ways to actively involve children during worship. In turn, more families feel welcome and valued and this feeling of inclusion is also translating into a growing number of volunteers.

Senior Leadership Transitions

A. The Executive Search Process continues.
B. The Search Committee has been represented by the Governance Committee of the Board – Anne Brayley and Lori Boyce. Andrew Fleming’s Board role has been expanded to included participation in this Committee (he is also the Chair of the Fund Development Committee).
C. The Governance Committee met with the Young Adults group on August 25th to talk about the Senior Pastor Transition. Brent did an introduction and a brief update around his transition and future retirement, then Lori and Anne stayed on to get input from the Young Adults on the Church of the Future.
D. Church of the Future Survey – key result of the survey was feedback that we need to revisit our Vision and talk about the application of our Values. Next step is to work with the Culture Shift Committee (including Jim Allen and Kelly Dickenson) to develop a recommendation on how we engage the congregation in this. Recommendations will first be shared with the Board.
E. One of our objectives before Brent retires is to ensure we have a solid staff team with clear priorities/goals and an effective coaching model that helps to bring out the best in our people. A few initiatives are key to this:
I. Having clear goals/plans for all staff – now complete and performance evaluations are underway.
II. Ensuring the strategic work we’re doing on giving, engagement and growth are aligned to the appropriate staff roles with clear accountabilities for collaboration – completed for giving and engagement but we need more conversations on growth objectives before staff accountabilities can be confirmed.
F. Two meetings took place for major donors on October 11th and 19th, to update them on the Senior Pastor transition and to get their input and feedback. We used these meetings as an opportunity to thank our donors as well as we won’t be doing a major donation recognition party this year.
G. A special announcement was made at all services on October 2nd around the Senior Pastor Transition and timelines. The Senior Pastor Search Committee was introduced and commissioned, and a 1-pager on the Senior Pastor Search Committee, including contact information, was provided to congregants and continues to be available at the Information Center.

Community Engagement & Spirituality

A. Mike Dodds, our part-time Ministry Leader continued to focus on 3 main priorities:
1. Stabilizing key teams that are struggling without a leader or enough volunteers (Café Connection, Reception, Info Center);
2. Membership criteria/covenant/process and list clean-up
3. Launching a new Life Long Learning Program.
B. Effective communication is a key characteristic of a vibrant community. The primary goal of our communications team has been to effectively represent the diverse voices of our community. The transformation with Sunday News and eNews is essentially complete. Our part-time Communications professional, Kendrew Pape, is now focused on improving website content/navigation and developing a communication survey for the congregation that will allow us to benchmark current satisfaction levels and implement improvement ideas.
C. Significant progress has been made in stabilizing the Café Connection and Reception Teams (2 new Team Leaders in place) and the Info Center (resolving their core issues around lack of volunteers and information)
D. Planning for the launch of Life Long Learning is well underway with a highly experienced team of volunteers who have formed a Strategy Committee (all are education professionals). In addition, 2 pilot sessions of the Spiritual Location exercise have been conducted to test out how this will be received by the broader congregation. Very positive feedback so far and Mike continues to recruit people who are willing to host/facilitate a session when we launch.
E. A new membership clean-up initiative is underway. This work is being done in collaboration with Lori Boyce as Chair of the Governance Committee and proposals on how we work with the existing criteria and covenant will be shared with the Board in coming months.
F. Received some good feedback on communications at the Town Hall. Primary theme was the ineffectiveness of our website (too cluttered and hard to find stuff). Kendrew Pape, our Team Leader of Communications, is building small sites for the Board, Giving, Volunteering etc. that will address the navigation challenges. Pace will be slow as we’re only able to afford Kendrew for 19 hours a week.

Web Enabled Congregational Engagement

Early in 2015 we formed a team of staff and volunteers to begin the search for new technology. This new technology will replace our current membership/financial management database (PowerChurch) and introduce a “Facebook-like” application that will allow ministries/groups to more effectively connect online. The team did some great work in developing requirements and in identifying a list of technology vendors that could fulfill these requirements.

Due to a lack of funding, we deeply regret this initiative continues to be on hold. We look forward to renewing our efforts when we have sufficient financial stability to proceed.

Congregational Giving Program

A. The goal of our congregational giving program is to create a culture of appreciation and generosity. Kevin Coutu, our part-time Team Leader of Giving Programs, has created a strategy to do this. Once completed, this can be shared with the Board via the Senior Pastor’s Report.
B. This strategy balances new approaches to increasing congregational giving with the desire to remain focused on the things we know are working: a) building a team of volunteers who are passionate about the work we do (“Ambassadors”); b) calling donors to simply thank them for their support; c) improved transparency on our financial health and d) frequently sharing all the amazing work that is happening as a result of the congregation’s generosity (“impact stories” and simple messages of the community’s accomplishments during the offering call).
C. We recently completed our Fall Pledge Campaign. Unfortunately, we didn’t achieve the campaign’s goals and we continue to look for ways to grow our automated giving donor base. Highlights of the campaign are:
I. 42 people participated – 13 new automated givers
II. Raised $23,444 in new giving
III. Some people had to reduce their giving which resulted in a loss of $11,440
IV. Net raised was $12,005 versus the goal of $60,000
D. Our attention is now on the Christmas Eve and Christmas Appeal fundraisers. We will proactively continue donors who supported these fundraisers last year and ask them if they’re able to provide the same level of support this year.

Improve Worship Planning & Innovation

A. We had two recent AM Worship Department Meeting on September 14th and October 4th. Brent, Brad Hickman (October 4th only), Mark Purcell and Annie Menezes participated. Great progress has been made with these meetings, especially in identifying key issues and priorities in AM Worship.
I. Our top priority has been getting a new Team Leader for the Anointer and Communion Server Ministry, and restructuring this Ministry. A Team Leader, Denise Campbell, has been confirmed, and we have had some discussion on ways to restructure the Ministry.
II. Our second priority is to provide more support for Team Leaders. Brad Hickman has agreed to facilitate team leader meetings, and the first one took place on October 30th. We also discussed the role of Staff (i.e. Pastor of AM Worship) with Team Leaders, i.e. support, training, communications and accountability.
B. A meeting took place on October 5th on the Alternative Worship Services, i.e. what did and didn’t work, and Rev Carmen Llanos’ role moving forward. Brent and Carmen met with Team Leaders/Co-Leaders from HOLA, Blacks in Praise and Worship and Young Adults. The meeting was very received by everyone.

Major Donor Asks

A. A meeting was held on August 24th to discuss the purpose and focus of the Fund Development Committee. The outcome was a new statement of purpose for this Committee (http://www.mcctoronto.com/wp-content/uploads/images/MCC-Statement-of-Purpose-Fund-Development-Committee.pdf). The Committee is now in the process of rebuilding the team in order to fulfill this mandate.
B. A key priority for Brent and Shelly in the coming months is to work collaboratively with the Board/Major Donor Primes/Fund Development Committee to confirm our funding priorities and reach out to high potential donors in an attempt to fulfill the organization’s financial needs before Brent’s retirement.
C. A list of all our funding needs has been developed. It includes priorities for the building, technology, people/programs and adequate contingencies/reserves. Total at this point is almost $8MM. Donor conversations are being set up for November.

Achieve our Financial Health Goals

A. We’re projecting a year end deficit of $35,000 because our revenues have fallen short of budget and our building repairs have been greater than expected.
B. As we reflect on the trends of annual pledged giving, we note that 2016 is expected to fall short of 2015 by about 4% (a decrease of $17,000). Some of the decrease has been offset by an increase in plate offerings ($5,700). We were hopeful our Fall Pledge Campaign would have resulted in an increase in pledged giving but the results weren’t what we hoped for (raised $12,000 on a goal of $60,000).
C. In our Fall Pledge Campaign, we shared information on the cost of running the church ($36.95 per person per week). A breakdown of the cost drivers was also included. Although we’ve received positive feedback about sharing this information, it isn’t resulting in a significant increase in giving yet. We still face the challenging reality that 50% of the congregation gives $5 a week or less. We’re looking for congregants that would like to help us assess the root causes of current giving patters and develop strategies for engaging the congregation in creating a culture of generosity.

Community Framework

A. The Community Framework (C.F.) is a tool developed in 2015 that helps Ministries and groups clarify the purpose and identify ways in which they will engage the broader congregation. Progress in completing Community Frameworks has been slow and we’re looking for ways to simplify the tool.
B. The Framework will be a public document (virtual binder) to be made available on the MCC Toronto website. A detailed index will be created, and any content that goes into this public document first needs to be approved by the Executive in order to ensure alignment with MCC Toronto’s vision and mission. We acknowledge that this is a living document, and revisions will be made on an ongoing basis.
C. We are planning to have a C.F. Month each year, where the importance and process of the C.F. is reinforced, and various groups/ministries will be encouraged to make revisions to their part of the C.F. Groups that have successfully accomplished this will be commissioned during service.
D. We are planning a retreat day (possibly Spring of 2017) for Team Leaders which will include the C.F. process/training which they can take with them to their teams.
E. We identified about 15 people who have the skills/potential to be facilitators for various groups for the C.F. process. They would each be asked to come to an orientation meeting and then work with 4-5 groups a year to get their C.F. done.

Other

A. We had a great Anniversary Sunday service on July 17, 2016. There were 22 members who qualified for 10 year medals and 16 members who qualified for 25 year medals. We gave out awards to the following people: Kevin Coutu (Beloved Disciple Award), Darlene Morris (Vision Alive Award for 12 Step Program), Linda Leenders (Vision Alive Award for Depression Initiative) and Doug Kerr (Community Service Award).
B. We had an ordination ceremony for Sam Morris on August 20, 2016. It was a beautiful service and with approximately 200 people in attendance.
C. August 24th was Brent’s 39th Anniversary at MCC Toronto. It was acknowledged at the August 21st services, with announcements made by Andrew Fleming (9am) and Lori Boyce (10:50am).
D. Brent completed a written Sabbatical Summary (http://www.mcctoronto.com/wp-content/uploads/images/2015-Sabbatical-Summary.pdf)
E. 2% Fund/Update on work being done by Florin Buhuceanu (LGBTQ activist in Eastern Europe): On September 12, 2016, the Global LGBT Coalition met with the WCC Staff in Geneva, who are working with the Reference Group on Human Sexuality (RGHS). An international group of newly elected Lutheran bishops were introduced next to us as Global LGBT Coalition. Later that day they shared the new developments and strategic direction the RGHS is taking. On September 13th, 2016, we met with Chian Yew Lim, Human Rights Officer, Special Procedures Branch. She reported on the conference in June on “Freedom of Religion or Belief and Sexuality”. Soon a book will be published, Florin and Andre´ contributed to that conference.
F. We had our annual Emergency Services Sunday on October 2nd. Chief Mark Saunders brought us greetings and there were reps from Police, Fire and Paramedics. Planning work was done by Brent and the Healing Racism Initiative Team Leaders (Sandra Fontenelle, Caroline O’Reilly and Michael Went) and by Brent and the Intervention Team (Rev. Sam Morris, Sandra Fontenelle and Caroline O’Reilly) in preparation for potential service disruptions. The service went smoothly and was overall well-received. Information about our four race issues initiatives and contact info was included in SNews (Education, White People Educating White People About Racism, and Creating Safe Spaces for People of Color to Share).
G. On October 5th Brent met again with the Healing Racism Initiative Team Leaders to continue our discussions and planning around the above topics. Meetings will continue on a monthly basis. Again, I am very pleased on how this is developing.
H. Rev. Rachelle Brown was appointed as Interim Moderator for Metropolitan Community Churches on October 3rd, 2016. Her appointment is until the 2019 General Conference.
I. Work on scenario planning for Brent’s November trial continues.

Attendance statistics

Third Quarter Attendance Jul-Sep 2014-16
Service Average Weekly Attendance
Jul – Sep 2014 Average Weekly Attendance
Jul – Sep 2015 Average Weekly Attendance
Jul – Sep 2016 % Change 2014-16 % Change 2015-16
9AM 87 76 89 +2.3% +17.1%
11AM 309 279 304 -1.6% +9.0%
7PM 67 60 65 -3.0% +8.3%
Total Weekly Average 463 415 458 -1.1% +10.4%
*Does not include live webcast stats

Year-to-Date Attendance January – September 2014-16
Service Average Weekly Attendance
January – September 2014 Average Weekly Attendance
January – September 2015 Average Weekly Attendance
January – September 2016 % Change 2014-16 % Change 2015-16
9AM 91 86 94 +3.2% +10.3%
10:50AM 350 352 374 +6.8% +6.1%
7PM 70 60 60 -13.7% 0.0%
Total Weekly
Average 511 498 528 +3.3% +6.2%

Report from the Board of Directors

We hope you are checking out our “Congregational Updates” that are featured in Sunday e-News, the Sunday service bulletin, and are included on our website. We have committed to regular, transparent and timely communication with the Congregation. We meet every six to eight weeks and provide you with the key points arising from our meetings. In addition, on our church website, you can find a variety of Board documents, including the Board Roles and Responsibilities, our role as a “Policy” Board, our slate of individual responsibilities, our strategic plan, and our Senior Pastor Selection process. We encourage you to check out: http://www.mcctoronto.com/who-we-are/board-of-directors

As a Board we focus on policies, vision development and refinement, strategy, and oversight. In 2016 we have two major objectives that Brent has already touched on:

Building the foundation to support financial stability and sustainability

We have worked with staff to target both increasing revenue and reducing expenses as we seek to find the delicate balance of challenging ourselves to do all that we are called to do – while also recognizing the challenges of people’s capacity to give. And so we have made difficult decisions re: staffing and continue to leave ourselves financially exposed by our modest attempts to build our contingency funds. At the same time we are working on a strategy to increase the number of people who support us via automated giving.

Senior Pastor Selection Process

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 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.

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.

In March 2017 we will conduct a public open-call for candidates. Information regarding the position, roles and responsibilities will be available on our website and interested candidates will be invited to apply.

In the meantime, we are in the process of proactively identifying possible candidates who may be interested in applying. This search has extended beyond MCC as we search for our next visionary leader who lead work with us and help us to achieve our Mission and Vision. At this point initial interviews have been conducted with 6-8 individuals and we are confident that we will identify a strong candidate to continue to lead us in our commitment to our Vision and Mission to be a progressive Christian church which build bridges and transforms individuals.

Primary Responsibilities and Qualifications for the Senior Pastor

October 2016 Congregational Update

As part of our commitment to more regular, transparent and timely communication with the Congregation we want to highlight some of our recent activities. We meet bi-monthly and will provide you with the key points arising from our meetings. In addition, on our church website, you can find a variety of Board documents, including the Board Roles and Responsibilities, our role as a “Policy” Board, our slate of individual responsibilities, our strategic plan, and our Transition Plan to identify, recruit and elect our next Senior Pastor.

Senior Pastor Selection

We noted the need for increased communications and in response we have confirmed our search plans moving forward including a planned March 2017 open call for interested parties to apply for the Senior Pastor position.

This timing anticipates a new Senior Pastor will be commissioned between October 2016 and March 2017. This timing is consistent with Brent’s initial announcement re: his retirement at a point following his 40th anniversary as our pastor. It also allows us continue to build a stronger foundation for the incoming Senior Pastor by ensuring we have the required skills, gifts and support in place to support our mission and vision, that we have built increased financial sustainability, and we have shifted our culture to support this fundamental change.

This time frame also allows the Senior Pastor Search committee to continue to seek congregational input regarding the skill set of the new individual, while preparing for the interview and selection process. Finally, it allows for a period of time post-trial and also recognizes that November, December and January are not optimal times to be launching a search for a new minister.

In our meetings we have received a common inquiry in terms of why we did not choose to select an “interim” pastor to bridge the time before Brent and before our new permanent candidate.

We have provided a response to this inquiry and will also address other questions and comments on our website. www.mcctoronto.com/news/interim-pastor

The committee (Anne Brayley, Lori Boyce and Andrew Fleming) was commissioned October 2 at the 10:50 am service.

For more information, contact seniorpastorsearch@mcctoronto.com

Congregational support related to the trial

In recognition of the need for congregational support, the Board approved a proposal by management to engage the services of the L3 Group to work with us to provide insight, skills, confidence and assistance to the congregation related to Brent’s trial which is scheduled to start November 14.

A team led by Joe Jamieson and includes Bentley Springer, Andrew Holmes, Rev. Sam Morris, Sandra Fontenelle, Kevin Wilcock and Liz Gildner, have worked together to provide two opportunities for church leaders to gather, share, and develop skills and confidence in the strength of our community and leadership.

These sessions have offered a unique and timely team building exercise as staff, Board and key leaders have journeyed together and are building a plan that will provide support for the congregation – especially during and in the aftermath of the trial.

In addition, the staff and management of the church are engaged in scenario planning to ensure we have identified and addressed the impact of various outcomes.

New MCC Interim Moderator Selected

Reverend Rachelle D. Brown was announced as the Metropolitan Community Churches’ new interim moderator, details can be found at www.mccchurch.org/interim-moderator/

Reports to the Board

We received these reports:

  • A project charter for the Community Care Ministry, identifying an action plan to reinforce the goal of providing support to individuals experiencing episodic and ongoing spiritual questions related to life events and challenges. The ministry includes all ordained staff, clergy candidates and Deacons as well as some laity with specific related competencies and skills (e.g: social workers and grief workers).
  • A summary of Brent’s 2015 sabbatical which included a number of meetings focused on global LGBT human rights and a book he plans to write based on the Church of the Future.

2016 2nd Quarter Results

PM Worship

In late 2015, we began a consultative process regarding the evening service and suggestions for changes that need to be made in order to get the service back on a growth trend. As a result of those consultations, a different staffing model was chosen which enabled us to add clergy candidate Sam Morris as a part time staff position for the evening service. We have also modified our approach to music for the evening service. Staff and Team Leaders continue to meet to discuss the future changes for the evening service. We reported to the evening congregation and gave them an update on planned changes to the evening service.

Pastoral Care Review and Revamp

Beyond great worship and a growing number of ways to connect, we know that from time to time people turn to MCC Toronto to find emotional and spiritual support to navigate life’s disappointments, challenges and difficulties. As a result, we have developed a new Community Care Ministry. This Ministry includes the following 4 pillars: 1) Grief and Loss; 2) Other Care Support Groups; 3) Mental Health & Wellness and 4) Care & Prayer (including Deacons). Funding for this initiative has been secured thanks to the generous estate gift of the late Kay Lehman. Our goal is to hire 2 people on a part-time basis to put the needed support systems in place and to bring in “crisis management” training to support the congregation, clergy and staff as the need arises.

Refugee and Immigration Program

When the funding for this Program ran out in 2014, our primary goal was to secure new funding sources and rebuild the program. Much of the success of this Program can be attributed to the amazing work of the volunteers in the Strategy and Fundraising Committee. We are also very grateful for the strong support we received from the congregation during a recent fundraising campaign. The funding we received from this campaign has allowed us to hire a new Program Leader, Aleks Dughman-Manzur and increase the number of hours they’re able to spend rebuilding the program. The goals of the new Program Leader include: 1) ensuring the 5 refugees we’re sponsoring/settling are receiving the support they need and 2) to develop a vision and plan for the future of the Ministry.

Children’s and Family Ministry

The number of children and families participating in this Ministry continues to grow. In response to the growing need, we have hired Andrew Holmes as our new Children’s Animator. Andrew has a tremendous amount of skills and experience in building family-oriented spiritual programming. The Ministry has a clear vision and the primary goal now is to collaboratively develop a plan with the families to make it happen. We continue to be challenged by facility issues and we’re looking for funding so we can create space suitable to the programming we want to deliver.

Senior Leadership Transitions

Following the mid-March departure of Rev Kevin Downer, MCC Toronto’s Executive Pastor, the ministries/teams that reported to him have all been transitioned to Shelly Morris as our Executive Director or to me as the Senior Pastor. Many of these teams have initiated some great planning work of their own through the Community Framework model and we continue to support their efforts in these areas.

With respect to the Senior Pastor Transition process, our “Church of the Future” survey provided some good feedback about the selection criteria for the next Senior Pastor. The majority of survey respondents were individuals who have been coming to the 11am service for many years and this left several groups underrepresented. Our short-term goal is to set up meetings with diverse groups in the congregation e.g. HOLA/PACE/Young Adults/Choir in order to hear their views. The Board will be sharing more information about the search process and timelines in the weeks to come.

Community Engagement & Spirituality

We hired Mike Dodds as our new Team Leader for this Ministry. Our short-term and long term goals include: 1) Stabilizing key teams that are struggling without a leader or enough volunteers; 2) Volunteer scouting for our events (Pride & 20th Anniversary of Triangle); 3) Membership criteria/covenant/process and list clean-up and getting an ASE program ready to go for the fall.

Effective communication is a key characteristic of a vibrant community. The goal with communications has been to establish a number of new volunteer teams that allows us to support the communication needs of the ministries/social groups; increase our social media presence; “report” on more of what’s happening within our community and produce more vibrant digital arts for our web and outreach events. The work of these volunteer teams has been amazing to date and our goal is to continue growing these teams. A future goal is to develop a communication survey for the congregation that will allow us to benchmark current satisfaction levels and implement improvement ideas.

Web Enabled Congregational Engagement

 

Early in 2015 we formed a team of staff and volunteers to begin the search for new technology. This new technology will replace our current membership/financial management database (PowerChurch) and introduce a “Facebook-like” application that will allow ministries/groups to more effectively connect online. The team did some great work in developing requirements and in identifying a list of technology vendors that could fulfill these requirements.

Due to a lack of funding, we deeply regret this initiative is now on hold. We look forward to renewing our efforts when we have sufficient financial stability to proceed.

Congregational Giving Program

The goal of our congregational giving program is to create a culture of appreciation and generosity. Calling donors to thank them for their gifts is a key aspect of this program. Another goal is to frequently share all the amazing work that is happening as a result of the congregation’s generosity. These stories are very powerful testaments to the strength of our community. Lastly, we continue to look for ways to make it easier to give.

Improve Worship Planning & Innovation

In 2015 we implemented a new web enabled planning tool called “WorshipPlanning.com”. The benefits of this tool have been significant: far less reliance on email communication, collaboration is much easier and more effective and all the teams involved in worship can remain well informed about each other’s plans. Following the amazing success of this initiative, our goal is to introduce more innovation in worship. A key aspect of this goal was to hire Rev. Carmen Llanos as our Pastor of Alternative Worship, a newly created temporary contract position that is funded from our 2% Fund. Great progress has been made so far, with alternative services that have taken place with HOLA, Blacks in Praise and Worship and Young Adults.

Culture Shift

Culture is a way of describing many of the qualities, attitudes and priorities which shape how we are with one another in community and how we work together to fulfill our vision and mission. We will continually evolve our culture to meet the changing needs of our congregation and of society. Collectively we all contribute to culture and therefore we each contribute to affirming, nurturing and supporting – or not – what Culture Shift can be and where we might go with it.

In 2015 we formed a Culture Shift Committee that includes staff and volunteers. We have a much clearer sense of the journey we’re on. Our goal is to develop a “compelling vision” and write succinct statements that summarize how we see our culture changing. This will allow us to engage the ministries and the congregation as a whole in meaningful conversations about this journey and how we get there together.

Achieve our Financial Health Goals

Our primary financial health goal is to be able to sustain the ministries/programs from the offerings we receive from the congregation. Achieving this required us to “right-size” the organization in 2016 and to establish a more conservative budget that doesn’t have a reliance on estate funds. The Board approved a conservative budget in January of 2016 and results to date indicate that we are on track to produce the income and expenses we anticipated.

Other

Attendance: There was a 0.8% drop in overall attendance (including live webcast) YTD from 2014-15, which included a 9% drop during Brent’s sabbatical. The reason for the drop needs more analysis. The attendance for the live webcast category grew by 20.4% from 2014-15. For the first six months of 2016, there was a 3.6% increase in attendance from 2015.

YTD December total and average attendance for 2013-2015

Service 2013 2014 2015 % change 2013-15 % change 2014-15
9AM 4671 4587 4362 -6.6% -4.9%
10:50AM 19572 18269 17965 -8.2% -1.7%
Webcast live 3550 3313 3990 12.4% 20.4%
7PM 3951 3716 3330 -15.7% -10.4%
Total 31744 29885 29647 -6.6% -0.8%
Average/week for all services and live webcast 622 586 581 -6.6% -0.8%

(excludes Pride)

Attendance Stats January – June 2014-16

Service Average Weekly AttendanceJanuary – June 2014 Average Weekly AttendanceJanuary – June 2015 Average Weekly AttendanceJanuary – June 2016 % Change 2014-16 % Change 2015-16
9AM 94 90 98 4.3% 8.5%
10:50AM 371 390 403 8.6% 3.4%
Webcast live 69 78 80 15.6% 1.7%
7PM 72 60 60 -16.3% -0.2%
Total WeeklyAverage 606 619 641 5.8% 3.6%

(excludes Pride)

Report from the Board of Directors

We hope you are checking out our “Congregational Updates” that are featured in Sunday e-News, the Sunday service bulletin, and are included on our website. We have committed to regular, transparent and timely communication with the Congregation. We meet every six to eight weeks and provide you with the key points arising from our meetings. In addition, on our church website, you can find a variety of Board documents, including the Board Roles and Responsibilities, our role as a “Policy” Board, our slate of individual responsibilities, our strategic plan, and our Senior Pastor Selection process. We encourage you to check out: http://www.mcctoronto.com/who-we-are/board-of-directors

As a Board we focus on policies, vision development and refinement, strategy, and oversight. In 2016 we have two major objectives that Brent has already touched on:

Building the foundation to support financial stability and sustainability: we have worked with staff to target both increasing revenue and reducing expenses as we seek to find the delicate balance of challenging ourselves to do all that we are called to do – while also recognizing the challenges of people’s capacity to give. And so we have made difficult decisions re: staffing and continue to leave ourselves financially exposed by our modest attempts to build our contingency funds. At the same time we are working on a strategy to increase the number of people who support us via automated giving.

Senior Pastor Selection Process: We have summarized the Church of the Future survey and will be communicating the results this summer. It will provide a 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 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.

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. We will also 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.

July 2016 Congregational Update

Since our last update we have had two Board meetings, our Annual Congregational Business Meeting, been part of the historic apology for the 1981 Bathhouse Raids, a very successful community fundraising event, Pride, and have been represented at the MCC General Conference in Victoria! Here are some of our highlights from this very busy and exciting time!

2015 audited financial statements

We reviewed and accepted the 2015 audited financial statements and report that were then presented to the congregation at our ACBM.

2016 budget is available on our website

This year’s budget incorporated staff and operational cuts which will not directly impact programs and services, however it will demand some shifting and additional responsibilities for the remaining staff. We are vigorously monitoring our revenue and expenses. The summer time typically creates cash flow challenges for us so if you have not yet opted to have your offering automatically deducted from your account or credit card – now would be a great time! Details are available here.

Welcome Bentley Springer to the Board of Directors!

Bentley and his wife Denise have been active in the ushering ministry and just assumed new responsibilities in communion serving and anointing. Bentley is an IT professional with strong experience in leading organizational change by planning and executing strategic projects, leading teams to dramatically improve the customer experience and creating efficiency. He will complete the one year Board term vacancy from Michael Serapio and will join our Fund Development Committee. Welcome aboard Bentley!

Cheryl Smith, CPA, CA, MBA, MLS

Cheryl was also elected for two years to complete Darrell Jensen’s mandate. Cheryl’s professional knowledge and familiarity with our financial area gained through her generous volunteer efforts give her vital insights in her role on the Finance and Audit Committee. We value her questions and answers!

Regrets expressed for Bath House Raids

On June 22, 2016 Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes was part of a historic event when he acknowledged and accepted Chief of Police Mark Saunders’ apology for the actions of the Toronto police in 1981 at the bath houses. Brent approached him months ago and assisted in the crafting of the statement. It was a remarkable evening as the police and LGBTQ community recognized their challenging history and committed to a continued improved relationships – including Mark Saunders announcement of a commitment to education and sensitivity to the Trans community.

Successful fundraiser

At our 20th Anniversary celebration “Safe to Learn” on June 23, Rick Mercer hosted a fabulous evening starring the students of the Triangle Program, and our fabulous choir and special guests.

Event co-chairs Meredith Cartwright & Vicky Bassett, Bonte Minnema, and Michael Dolan and their teams, with Diane Leah leading the Staff team, hosted another great event. We were thrilled to recognize our Honorary Event Co-chair John Campey. Funds will be used to support all the programs at MCC Toronto, including the Triangle school. Although we don’t have the final financial results at the time of writing, we do expect to have modestly exceeded our budget goal of $50,000 (net of expenses).

2016 Pride

We had a very successful Pride, with the Prime Minister and a number of other dignitaries in attendance at our Church on Church St. service. All 900 seats were occupied and we estimate another several hundred people were standing to take in our service. Although we don’t have the final financial results at the time of writing, we do expect to have achieved our conservative budget goal of $8,200 (net of expenses). More to come on this in the week ahead.

Senior Pastor Selection Process

The Governance Committee (Lori Boyce, Anne Brayley and Brent) are responsible to the Board and the congregation for ensuring we have a clear and robust Senior Pastor selection plan. This is a major objective in 2016 and we commit to continued communication via Town Hall meetings, eNews, etc. This has already been a major topic at our last two Town Halls.

The Governance Committee has developed criteria including a focus on progressive theology criteria for potential candidates. The congregational survey endorsed our criteria. We will continue to seek input and opinions in this critical journey. Andrew Fleming has joined the selection committee. Ultimately the search team 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.

Our mandate is to 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.

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. Next we will be conducting an open call and inviting interested parties to apply.

Congregational survey results are summarized

We are now in the process identifying the optimal methods to communicate and engage the congregation with our summary – and next steps. The survey focused on understanding what is critical for us to do as we strive to be the church that God calls us to be. This is of particular urgency with Brent’s planned retirement within the next several years.

The survey addresses four key sections:
1) What you value most about MCC Toronto
2) Your thoughts about being and becoming the Church of the Future
3) Your input regarding the criteria and characteristics needed in our NEXT Senior Pastor
4) Basic, anonymous background to help us better understand our collective input

Please note our next FUTURE TOWN HALL is scheduled for September 25, 2016.

Minutes of the 2016 Annual Congregational Business Meeting

2017 Board Nominees

2017 ACBM agenda

2016 Audited Financial Statements – signed

Chair: Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes, Moderator
Minutes: Annabelle Menezes, Executive Assistant to Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes
Item/Description
1. Call to Order – The Annual Congregational Business Meeting was called to order at 12NOON, at the conclusion of the 10:50AM worship service. Voting members were identified and a quorum was established. The ACBM was recessed until 12:45PM on the same day. The meeting reconvened at 12:45PM
2. Opening Prayer – Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes
3. Approval of 2015 ACBM Minutes
Moved by: John Letters Seconded by: Marilyn Byers Motion: Carried
4.. Explanation & Approval of Agenda – Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes (see agenda handout)
The Moderator introduced and discussed the agenda.
Motion to approve Agenda:
Moved by: Darlene Morris Seconded by: Theresa Harvey Motion: Carried
5. Senior Pastor’s Address & Report & 2016 Goals & Budget (see handout)
The Senior Pastor’s Report was delivered verbally by Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes, and questions were entertained.
Key items were discussed:
2015 was a challenging year
Brent thanked members of the Board and Staff for the extra work put in during the sabbatical, especially Anne Brayley (Chair of the Board), Shelly Morris, Rev. Kevin Downer, Diane Leah and Annie Menezes (Staff) and Carol Osler and Darrell Jensen (Board Finance Committee members). Brent also thanked Darrell Jensen and Michael Serapio for their time on the Board. Brent also thanked Shelly and her team of Staff and the Finance Committee for management of the budget.
The 2016 Goals & Budget and first quarter 2016 financials were summarized by Shelly Morris, and questions were entertained.
Motion to approve the Senior Pastor’s Report and the 2016 Goals and Budget:
Moved by: Brian Birkby Seconded by: Duncan Broom Motion: Carried
6. Senior Pastor Search Update – Anne Brayley
 Anne Brayley gave an update on the Senior Pastor search process. Rev. Brent Hawkes and Rev. Don Eastman have started the
search process. The next phase is an open call. Anne Brayley, Lori Boyce and Andrew Fleming will be on the Search Committee.
 Various groups have been engaged in conversation including through the congregational survey. Future meetings include HOLA and
PACE.
7. Election of members to Board of Directors (see handout)
Anne Brayley gave an overview of the MCCT Board of Directors, subcommittees and who is up for election. The Board of Directors consists of 6 elected board members and Brent.
Nominating Committee recommendations for filling board positions: Cheryl Smith, Bentley Springer Distribution & Counting of Ballots – Annabelle Menezes, Mike Dodds, Ned Yuzefowich & Kendrew Pape
Both candidates were elected unanimously:
Cheryl Smith – Appointed to her first 2-year term
Bentley Springer – Appointed to his first 1-year term
8. Motion to Receive the 2015 Audited Financial Statements (see handout) – Cheryl Smith
The financial statements were explained by Cheryl Smith who also responded to questions.
Recommendations made by auditors.
There was an explanation of the deficit.
Motion to receive Audited Financial Statements for 2015:
Moved by: Debbie Brown Seconded by: Marilyn Byers Motion: Carried
9. Motion to Appoint Hillborn LLP as Auditor for 2016 – Cheryl Smith
Moved by: Cheryl Smith Seconded by: Denise Campbell Motion: Carried
10. Acknowledgements – Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes
Brent acknowledged the Staff, Board and volunteers for their work in preparation of the ACBM.
11. Call for Adjournment – Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes
Closing Prayer – Rev. Deana Dudley
Motion to Adjourn:
Moved by: Nicole Borthwick Seconded by: Dolly Smith Motion: Carried

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