June 2018 update

Reverend Jeff Rock chairs first MCC Toronto ACBM on June 10, 2018

We had an historic annual congregational business meeting – our first led by Reverend Jeff Rock.  Approximately 50 members attended for our annual report to the membership regarding the state of our church in terms of finances, priorities and achievements.

Board of Directors: welcome Obim and Alex!

The congregation supported the Board sponsored by-law amendment to increase the number of Board members from six to “six to nine”, with the specific number for the year to be confirmed at each future ACBM.  The goal of this change was to two-fold: to continue our efforts to reflect the diversity of our congregation and to provide additional leadership support to the Board and the sub-committees: Finance, Fund Development, and Governance.   This year we agreed to increase the number of Board members to eight with the election of two new individuals, in addition to the re-election of four existing Board members.  We are thrilled to welcome Obim Okongwu and Alex De Melo and look forward to their new perspectives and expertise.

We thank Joe Jamieson and Bentley Spring for their continued commitment and we also thank Andrew Fleming, Bev Wybrow, and Cheryl Smith for generously offering to renew their terms with us. Their broad expertise and experience in financial management, fund-raising, governance, and commitment to MCC Toronto provides invaluable leadership and direction to our church.  I also agreed to renew my term on the Board and am thrilled to welcome in a new era promoting mentorship and renewal.

https://board.mcctoronto.com/directors/

Change in protocol:

The Governance committee acted as the nominating committee.  We conducted due diligence and discussed the role with five individuals.  We were pleased Obim and Alex agreed to be nominated.  In a break with our tradition of specifically listing all 6 nominees on a ballot for individual selection, we adopted a more common and efficient model: we voted on all six with one vote, for or against the “slate” of Nominating Committee candidates.

Senior Pastor Report 

Jeff provided a brief update re our primary 2018 MCC Toronto objectives:

  • Senior Pastor Transition
  • Plan to engage 2nd and 3rd time attendees/identified givers
  • Social events to foster friendships, fun and fund-raising
  • Congregational care initiatives
  • Capital Campaign: building the foundation

He also provided an overview in terms of staffing responsibilities.

2017 Audited Financial Statements discussed and received

Shelly Morris, our Executive Director presented the audited financial statements and a discussion overview provided by Cheryl Smith, CPA, CA and Chair of the Finance Committee.

A copy of these documents is available:   board.mcctoronto.com/news-from-the-mcc-toronto-board-of-directors/

2017 was a landmark year for us.  We emerged stronger than ever as Brent’s legal battles ended and we focused on the transition from Brent to Jeff.  We have continued to be a bridge within our community and beyond at a time of increased divisions and fractures.  Now more than ever we are called to be vigilant, to not grow complacent, and to be a vibrant, inclusive and progressive voice.

We also agreed to appoint Hillborn LLP as auditors for 2018.

2018 Financial update

Our greatest revenue challenge has been a decrease in giving from our automated givers: both in terms of individuals decreasing or cancelling their pledges.  Since this represents 34% of our planned revenue, a reduction in this area has significant implications for us.  As more individuals approach retirement and reduced fixed incomes, it is essential that we find innovative ways to invite more individuals to adopt automated giving as their primary method of supporting us. We need to better inform individuals of the importance of regular, sustained giving that supports our work.   The Board, staff, and Fund development team all understand the importance of individuals progressing through a pathway that typically entails a journey from occasional attendance, to more regular attendance, to volunteering, and along the way, embracing MCC Toronto as their church home and accepting ownership and responsibility for supporting with their time, talents, skills, and regular financial support.

We thank all those who could attend the meeting and provided their questions, provided their feedback, and gave us their support.

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

Lori Boyce,
Chair, Governance Committee, Co-Vice Moderator of the Board

Obim Okongwu

Obim has been attending the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto (MCC Toronto) for close to twenty years. For the past four years, he has been volunteering as Worship Coordinator, and recently joined the Peace and Justice Strategy Team.  Over the years attending MCC Toronto, he witnessed the impact the church has had in the community and on Canadian society; the church has also played a key role in deepening his spirituality.

In his professional life and career of twenty years, he has accumulated a wealth of experience, managing large projects, leading teams, delivering technology solutions, providing risk oversight, and supporting Boards of major financial institutions to meet their corporate governance mandates.

He has served as a Director on the Boards of two non-profit organizations, and also volunteered with other Charities and non-profits.  He has a Master of Engineering degree from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Business Administration degree from the Schulich School of Business, York University.

Alex De Melo

Alex is currently Legal Counsel for Peel Children’s Aid Society and was previously a Staff Lawyer for Legal Aid Ontario, practicing in the areas of family law and child protection. He has extensive experience in child custody, access, child support, spousal support, divorce, equalization of assets/division of property,  and litigates cases in both the Ontario and Superior Courts of Justice.

Alex received his B.A. Honours Degree from the University of Toronto with a double major in Criminology and Classical Civilizations and a minor in World Literature. He then graduated from University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law in 2011 obtaining his Juris Doctor degree, and was called to the Ontario Bar in 2013.

Alex lived in Siena, Italy studying Renaissance history; presented child related research in Brussels, Belgium as a representative of UNICEF Canada; lived in Berlin working at a tax law firm; lived in Freiburg, Germany working for an international child protection organization that prevents child prostitution and trafficking; and lived in Wellington, New Zealand, assisting Maori people with legal issues. Alex volunteered for Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Toronto and with children through Toronto Children’s Aid Society.

Alex has been coming to MCC Toronto for many years and has been an active leader and member of MCC Toronto Young Adults group organizing activities and serving as liaison to other ministries. He is also on the MCC Toronto Men’s Retreat committee and tries to foster community and engagement in the church.