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.