Conference Executive November 1-3, 2007

BC Conference Executive
November 1-3, 2007
Summary of Actions

 
The BC Conference Executive met November 1-3, 2007 in the Mountain View Room at the Conference office in Burnaby. What follows is a list of significant actions and decisions of the Executive.
 
Welcomed General Council Guest: We welcomed Carol Hancock, General Council Minister for Regional Relations, to the entire meeting. She presented a renewed job description for the Executive Secretary.
 
Work on Ends Policies: Derek Evans led the Executive through the first stage of a process to develop good Ends policies. He will use the information gathered to prepare a draft set of policies for consideration by the Executive at its March 2008 meeting. “Ends” policies state what things the Executive wants accomplished. They answer the question, “what good is to be provided, for whom, at what cost?” Although the Conference Mission Statement (“healthy congregations and ministries, effective leadership, faithful public witness”) is an Ends policy, more concrete and measurable ones now need to be developed and used.
 
Monitoring of Work: A large part of each Executive meeting is monitoring the work of the Executive Secretary. The Executive heard of recent work in each of the Mission Statement areas, and checked to ensure previously set standards and values are being upheld. In a Policy Governance system the Executive Secretary is accountable to the Executive for all of the work of the Conference office and committees.

2008 Budget: The Executive adopted a budget for 2008 that is 10% larger than the 2007 budget, yet still very close to balanced. The mill rate (taxation rate) for presbyteries remains the same for 2008 as in 2007. No Camp Future Project monies are used in the Conference operating budget. Increased income is from investment income while significant increases in expenditures are in native ministries, staffing, direct financial support to presbyteries, and legal and audit.
 
Audited Financial Statements: The Executive received and accepted the audited financial statements for 2006.
 
Extraordinary Grants: The Executive was informed that a signed agreement to sell a piece of property at Bethany-Newton United Church, Surrey, would benefit both the congregation and the Conference some time in 2008. This allowed the Executive to pledge $500,000 to the Naramata Centre Capital Campaign and $300,000 to the Vancouver School of Theology for the construction of the new, shared archives. It also authorized the transfer of $100,000 into the Bob Stewart Legacy Fund, the income from which would give the Conference archives adequate regular funding without drawing from the rest of the Conference budget. Other monies from the sale will be used by the Mission Through Finance Committee to help fund new mission ventures in the Conference.
 
Governance Review: The Executive heard an interim report from Brian Thorpe and Sandy Ferguson on the progress of the Governance Review that is presently underway. A final report is expected to be ready for presbyteries and the Conference Executive in the new year.
 
General Council: The representatives to the General Council Executive from BC, Marion Carr and Heather Burton, reported on recent decisions made by the GC Executive.
 
Camp Future Project: The Executive considered an extensive update on the progress of the Camp Future Project and spent an evening discussing the Project. It decided that the liabilities of Camps Fircom and Kwomais should be paid at the end of this fiscal year (December 31), as recommended by the original camping report. The Executive also affirmed the directions the Project is taking.
 
Reviewed Policies: Following its usual, scheduled pattern, the Executive reviewed a number of policies related to the way the Executive itself functions. The time was also used as training in Policy Governance.
 
First Nations Conversations: The Executive reviewed what it heard at its last gathering while meeting with the Native Ministries Council. The Executive Secretary reported on some of the ways the Conference is following up on this conversation: increased budget for Native Ministries; working with the General Council and VST on a new training program for native leadership; search for a new Conference Minister for Native Ministries. A commitment was made for ongoing dialogue.
 
General Meeting 2008: Plans for the General Meeting of BC Conference were heard. The meeting is being held May 22-25, 2008 at Capilano College in North Vancouver. The President spoke about the theme of the meeting: Reconciliation.
 
General Meeting 2009: The dates for the General Meeting of BC Conference in 2009 were decided: May 21-24, 2009. Sites in Fraser Presbytery are being investigated as the potential meeting place.
 
Election of Commissioners: A process for the election of Commissioners to the General Council was adopted in principle. It will be distributed to presbyteries and others for comment.
 
Linking to “Owners”: The Executive identified that it needs to look at the ways it links to the Conference, both in how it communicates to the church and in how it hears the many voices that need to be heard. This discussion will take place at a future meeting.
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