Overview of 2019 financials
In our 2018 budgeting exercise for 2019, the Board committed to a growth-oriented approach to boost revenues. We created a budget in which we expected to spend about $35,000 more than our projected revenue from all sources. Our plan was to address this shortfall by using our reserves. We are now into our usual year end revenue crush as we heavily depend on two major sources of funds: our year- end appeal and Christmas Eve at Roy Thomson Hall (note: new 9PM start time).
We are continuing to track attendance and offerings: we will continue to focus on trying to get more individuals to commit to automating their offering via a regular credit card or bank account deduction. People who do this are known as “sustainers” and truly offer our church the stability to plan and strategize based on meaningful revenue projections.
2020 Budget has been approved
We thanked Jeff, Samuel, the Finance Committee and all those who contributed to the development of our 2020 budget. We believe that 2020 will be an important year for us as we attempt to provide more focus on congregational support, communication and engagement. We are again budgeting a revenue shortfall while simultaneously seeking to grow revenue and manage expenses.
Fund Development Committee’s mandate to be reviewed
We are excited to begin the process of exploring the optimal utilization of this Board committee (that also has congregational representation) and perhaps changing its name to the Engagement Development Committee to acknowledge its expanded role in fostering involvement in MCC Toronto in various ways including funding. We are examining how we can improve our congregational communications, engagement, recognition and commitment to sharing our gifts of time, talents and financial resources. Bentley Springer and Lisa Chinnery presented their proposal to shift focus to identifying improved methods to engage our congregation, the broader community, and our social justice allies and collaborators.
We understand that most of us on the Board had a similar early journey: from lacking awareness of MCC Toronto, to discovering MCC Toronto but perhaps being leery of attending our first service or event, to our first visit, to becoming a regular attendee, and then, as we personally observed and experienced the transformative powers of the church, committing our time to volunteer on some basis and/or giving financially – and eventually recognizing MCC Toronto as our spiritual home and committing our time, talents and gifts to MCC Toronto and becoming an advocate for our MCC Toronto in our community and in our world. How can we help others on their journey?
We know that we need to engage the congregation in order to truly live our Mission – to build bridges with a vibrant spirituality that transforms lives and transforms the world. We will need to continue to improve our communications, transparency and build on our commitments to inclusiveness and diversity. We are looking forward to their next report!
Rainbow Faith and Freedom (RFF) collaboration
We reviewed and supported an amended Memorandum of Understanding with RFF to a relationship that will be of mutual benefit to both organizations as we both work toward reducing religious based homophobia and building a more inclusive world for LGBT + individuals.
November 3 Congregational Conversation (formerly known as a “Town Hall”)
Jeff provided a staffing update, outlining the impact of phasing out the Executive Director role. He also advised we get a significant benefit from a City of Toronto program that provides funding for four part time staff for one year which provides a win-win: practical experience for the participants while we benefit from their expertise, skills and enthusiasm as they provide support our paid staff. Finally, we have posted for a Manager of Programs and Pastor Care position – full details are on our website.
An update was provided by Andrew Fleming, Janet Bridget Fitzsimmons, and Jeff regarding the MCC General Conference. The denomination came together and selected Rev Elder Cecilia Eggleston as our new Moderator. If you want a quick flavour of our new leader, check out this brief YOUTUBE video posted recently in recognition of World AIDS day. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEGTmaaXp5I
We proceeded to break into groups to reflect why MCC Toronto is our spiritual home, why we keep coming back, and what we must cherish about our church. We also chatted about if we recommend MCC Toronto to our friends, and if not, why not. We pondered what we do well and what we can improve on.
Finally, we dreamed a bit, about our dreams for MCC Toronto and how we can communicate more effectively.
While there was strong validation for what we have done and our current direction, we were reminded we cannot grow complacent. We are still not fully accessible (ie: choir loft and pulpit are not a mobility-friendly spaces). Many of us are uncomfortable with the idea of talking about our faith and church with non MCC’ers – we are hesitant due to the bad rap religion, church and proselytizing have received. We talked about inviting folks to concert, events and programs at the church as a door opener.
We look forward to future Congregational Conversations as we pause to listen, engage and dream together.
Remember that your Board represents and is responsible to you, the congregation. If you have questions or concerns you can contact us via a confidential email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chair, Governance Committee
Co-Vice Moderator of the Board