August 2018 Update

Building repairs.

Major storms this year caused flooding near our electrical panel. While we have had water issues for years, we recently commissioned a report from a structural engineer to guide our decision making in prioritizing critical repairs. Our Finance Committee has been working overtime reviewing potential funding methods to address the major building repair that have been identified. We will soon be requesting tenders. We believe that we may be able to leverage long term investments to finance the required work.

Toronto Foundation investments.

A representative of the Toronto Foundation presented at the Finance meeting and provided an overview of their history, philosophy, and track record (our investments are managed by the Toronto Foundation).

2018 Budget.

While attendance is up, there has been a downward trend in offerings – both in the plate and from our sustainers (those who donate automatically via pre-authorized payments).  The decrease has been apparent in a variety of forms: some sustainers have reducing their regular offering, some have cancelled, and some credit cards have been declined (when you get a new credit card, the information at the church needs to be updated if you have pre-authorized payments on your card). At this point we are continuing to focus on containing our expenses as we tackle what appears to be a growing budget deficit.

Even though Pride required last minute changes, we exceeded our goal due to decreased expenses for chair rentals and staging expenses. Staff is exploring possible Pride alternatives for 2019 to mitigate our reliance on reasonable weather.

Denomination update.

MCC Toronto is part of the Metropolitan Community Churches denomination.  As a member, we pay a “tithe” to the denomination to support the global church. The reality is that many smaller MCCs have been unable to pay their tithes, leading to significant financial pressures and re-structuring. The denomination has offered a proposal to alter the tithing arrangement. This arrangement will be subject to a vote in the Fall. We discussed the options provided and decided to maintain our status quo – 10% to the denomination and 1.5% to specifically strengthen the churches in Canada. Our tithing is based on regular congregational offerings and automatic congregational giving only (not bequests, external events, rental revenue, etc.). This decision was made years ago upon review and discussion regarding the unique roles that MCC Toronto has played – and is playing – based on our stature, circumstances, and unique programs:

a) our ground-breaking work on the marriage front which laid the foundation for other countries and states to springboard their own battles for recognition;
b) our Refugee Ministry;
c) the Triangle Program: Canada’s only high school for LGBTQ youth and one of only two in North America;
d) International Human Rights advocacy.

Major Fundraising/Capital Campaign.

Significant efforts are happening behind the scenes as we lay the groundwork for the public stage of this campaign, currently scheduled for the spring of 2019.  Anne Brayley and Michael McCain are the co-chairs and several respected, high profile individuals have offered their support as members of the Capital Fund “cabinet”.

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.

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:

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

Alex De Melo

Alex is currently Legal Counsel for Children’s Aid Society of Toronto and was previously Legal Counsel for Peel Children’s Aid Society preceded by being 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.

2017 Financial Statement for ACBM

Fiscal 2017 was a busy year for Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto (“MCC Toronto”): Brent’s final year, Jeff’s arrival, ongoing programming in worship and community involvement. All these activities are clearly reflected in the financial results for the year.

The audit of the financial statements was completed and approved by the Board on May 30th, 2018. In the notes below I will highlight some important considerations in our results.

You will notice a significant difference between the results reported in the audited financial statements and the budget to actual results reported at the end of the year. The audited financial statements are prepared on an accrual basis, whereas the budget monitoring done during the year is closer to a cash reporting basis. For our purposes, this means that the audited financial statements report all liabilities and expenses that MCC Toronto is committed to paying, regardless of when the payment comes due. For budget to actual reporting, payments are reported as the money is paid – to match the cash based budget.

The Statement of Financial Position shows the financial status of MCC Toronto as at December 31, 2017. As you can see, we hold net assets (assets available less liabilities committed) of $3.1 million. Of this total, $1.1 million is held in the Mission and Restricted funds, so only available for use to fund specific expenses for which the money was donated. A further $2.2 million represents the value of capital assets (e.g. the building). Therefore, assets available for use to fund ongoing operations is limited, with a net deficiency in the operating fund of $161,000 (see Note 6 to the financial statements).
The Statement of Operations reports the revenues and expenses incurred for the period January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2017. MCC Toronto had total revenue of $1.88 million, with expenses of $1.87 million, for a net surplus of $7,500. This near breakeven result on revenue of nearly $2 million highlights the need for continued fund raising and donations to support the operations of the church.

The net surplus of $7,500 is a combination of surpluses in both the Mission and Restricted Funds and a deficit in the Operating Fund. In general, the surplus in the Restricted Fund relates to collection of money from the Elevation Campaign, the capital fundraising campaign to be widely launched in the near future. This surplus is offset by a significant deficit in the Operating Fund – of which $237,000 relates to retirement benefit payments to be made in the future. A further $175,000 of this deficit was funded by amounts from the Mission and Restricted funds (see Statement of Changes in Net Assets). Normalizing for these two items results in a deficit of approximately $46,000, including $94,000 of amortization of capital assets.

MCC Toronto is a very active church, with activities related to worship and congregants as well as services to the community. Staff, the Finance Committee and the Board of Directors, monitor the financial operations of the church on a regular basis. While the deficit reported in 2017 is significant, the causes of it are identifiable, manageable and relates to specific decisions made in the year. These results highlight our need for continued involvement and contributions to fund ongoing operations.

Final Signed Audited Statements

MCC Toronto 2018 Budget

April 2018 Update

News from the MCC Toronto Board of Directors

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 Board website, you can find a variety of Board documents and congregational communications.

April 25 Board meeting notes

Primary 2018 Staff objectives

  1. Senior Pastor Transition
  2. New Visitors engagement
  3. Increased Social Events
  4. Congregational Care Initiatives
  5. Capital Campaign

Primary 2018 Board objectives

Critical to our success this year:

  • our active support and management of the transition of Jeff as our new Senior Pastor
  • our leadership and support for the Capital Campaign
  • ensuring our key resource documents are identified, secured, and accessible
  • our continuing focus on financial stewardship

Senior Pastor transition process

Jeff is continuing in his work with the MCC denomination to complete the requirements to officially become an accredited MCC Pastor. The formal requirements will be done prior to the next MCC conference and in no way limit Jeff’s ability to serve as our Senior Pastor.

Jeff meets regularly with the retired Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes, our Governance committee, and Executive Director Shelly Morris to share insights and seek feedback. Jeff has also reached out to Rev. Bruce Lee of MCC London, attended a Sunday Social Meet & Greet hosted by Kelly Vollering and Pat Elfer, and met with many congregants and church supporters.

Annual Congregation Business Meeting (ACBM)

All members in good standing can vote in our ACBM on Sunday June 10. The formal agenda will include the presentation of our audited financial statements, the election of several Directors, and an important vote for a by-law amendment to increase the number of Directors for our Board from the current fixed maximum of six to a more flexible rage of “six to nine”.  A copy of the “Roles and Responsibilities” of the Board of Directors is available on our website: Board members are also working members on one of three sub-committees: Fund Development, Finance, or Governance. Our goal is to better support the committees, better reflect our church demographics, and provide an opportunity to mentor and support new Board members.

Bridges Event

We discussed the challenges of hosting a major fund-raising event in an external venue. When we use an external venue, we are required to use the venue’s audio-visual equipment and staff support, food, bar, etc. In practical terms, this means significant sponsorship & donations are required just to meet the up-front fixed expenses.  Unfortunately, we didn’t have the required sponsorships and donations this year. As a result, we’re postponing the event until October 10 and bringing it back to the church.

Estate Gift

We have been blessed with a generous donation from Ken Rose’s estate. Ken’s commitment to MCC Toronto was reflected in his estate planning and we appreciate Ken’s legacy in its many forms.

2018 Budget

So far, we are below our projected expenses and ahead on our revenue. However, we have identified major structural issues after the recent ice storm and have empowered Shelly and Ned to obtain a structural engineer’s report and proceed on required work.

Capital Campaign Update

Groundwork for our Major Capital Campaign will be co-led by Anne Brayley and Michael McCain.


March 2018 Update

News from the MCC Toronto Board of Directors

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 Board website, you can find a variety of Board documents and congregational communications.

Primary 2018 MCC Toronto objectives:

  • Senior Pastor Transition
  • Capital Campaign
  • Newcomers Program
  • Social events to foster friendships, fun and fund-raising
  • Congregational Care initiatives


2018 Board primary objectives: Critical to our success this year will be:


  • our active support and management of the transition of Jeff becoming our new Senior Pastor
  • our leadership and support to the Capital campaign
  • ensuring our key resource documents are identified, secured, and accessible
  • our continuing focus on financial stewardship


Senior Pastor transition process


We have received consistent, favourable feedback in terms of congregational support for Jeff.  While some questioned the four-month over-lap with Brent, we feel that Jeff, the congregation, and Brent all benefited from the staged transition.  Jeff’s installation service on January 21 and Brent’s final service on January 28 were landmark events for our church and the energy was palatable for both.


Jeff is continuing in his work with the MCC denomination to complete the requirements to officially become an accredited MCC Pastor. The formal requirements will be done prior to the next MCC conference and in no way limit Jeff’s ability to serve as our Senior Pastor.


Board discussions included


  • Update re: groundwork being done for the Capital campaign which will be co-lead by Anne Brayley and Michael McCain;
  • Creation of a policy re: Selection and support of MCC student clergy candidates;
  • Timing of the Annual Congregation Business Meeting and our annual audit;
  • Reviewing our policy re: confidentiality re: staff salaries.


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



Joe Jamieson

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

Bentley Springer is a seasoned IT professional and certified PMP, leading teams providing IT services, and managing projects for large national organizations for two decades. He is currently a technology Project Manager for Compass Group.

Passionate about community capacity building, Bentley has also served as a leader in the black community for the past 2 decades.  He was founder and President of Black Habits from 1998-2008, and performed leadership roles for the Lions Circle from 2005-2016, including President for 6 years and the Inaugural Board Chair for 3 years. 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 has participated in various committees, including the hiring of our current Senior Pastor and the hiring of our upcoming Music Director, and is a proud father of twin boys.

Cheryl Smith

Cheryl Smith, CPA, CA is a partner at Monte-Lisi & Smith, Chartered Accountants (“ML&S”).   Cheryl graduated from Queen’s University with a Bachelor of Science, Honours, before earning her MBA at the University of Toronto.  Cheryl provides responsive, value-driven, services to assist owner-managed businesses and not-for-profit organizations with their audit, accounting, tax and advisory needs.

In addition to her role at ML&S, Cheryl’s recent volunteer experience includes sitting on the Board of the Pride and Remembrance Association and the finance committee of MCC Toronto. Cheryl enjoys travelling, going to the theatre, golfing and spending time with friends and family.

Andrew Fleming

Andrew Fleming is a Partner of Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP and is Managing Partner of the Toronto office. He is a member of the Business Law Group of Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP and its Banking and Financial Products practice team. He has extensive experience in business law, including banking, company and securities law, and regulatory requirements relating to financial institutions and products, as well as corporate transactions, financings and mergers & acquisitions. In the area of banking law, he has participated in structuring some of the largest corporate credits in Canada and assisted on banking matters related to the ABCP (asset-backed commercial paper) crisis. On the financial regulatory front, Mr. Fleming participated in structuring the first global covered bond programme by Canadian issuer (RBC), and the first ever covered bond issue in Canada, also for RBC. In addition, he participated in the structuring of an innovative structured finance shelf offering for RBC in Canada. In both cases, a detailed understanding of the regulatory environment applicable to financial institutions was required, as well as, an appreciation of the related policy issues. Also has acted as arbitrator in international business matters. Andrew is a Past Member of the Continuous Disclosure Advisory Committee of the Ontario Securities Commission and of the Committee on Corporate Disclosure of the TSX. He was called to the Bar of Quebec in 1975 and to the Bar of Ontario in 1999. He is listed as one of Canada’s leading Capital Markets lawyers in The Legal Media Group Guide to the World’s Leading Capital Markets Lawyers. Andrew also volunteers as a Governor of the Shaw Festival and is Chair of the Advisory Committee of the Ryerson Theatre School.