Conference Executive November 1-3, 2008

BC Conference Executive

November 1-3, 2008
Summary of Actions
 
The BC Conference Executive met November 1-3, 2008 in the Mountainview Room at the Conference office in Burnaby. What follows is a list of significant actions and decisions of the Executive.
 
Goals and Objectives: The Executive affirmed the Goals for 2008-2011 and adopted a number of Objectives. Key areas of focus are: providing more extensive and accountable services for the personnel work within the Conference; providing better structural support to Presbyteries; and ensuring good oversight of church bodies.
 
Budget and Funding: A budget of $1.7 million was adopted. With significant increases in staffing for the Presbyteries the staff cost component of the budget increased from previous years. The mill rate (taxation rate) for Presbytery allocations was not increased. Since allocations are based on congregational expenditures, however, most Presbyteries will be paying a higher allocation amount in 2009. There will also be a slight increase to cover the increasing costs of the General Meeting. The Executive agreed that income should come from the Property Development Council and from the Camp Future monies to pay for work done on behalf of those two separate funding sources. It also agreed that some of the income earned from invested Camp Future monies could be used to ensure the priority work of the Conference (primarily the increase in Presbytery support) could be funded.
 
Mission Endowment monies: The Executive asked the Executive Secretary to report back to the March 2009 Executive meeting on progress made toward defining the terms of reference for the Mission Endowment Fund, those monies gained from the sale of church camps not needed in the Camp Future development and endowment work.
 
Audit 2007: The Executive received and accepted the audited 2007 financial report and statements from the auditor, Ernest and Young Chartered Accountants.
 
General Meeting: The Executive heard of the progress of plans to hold the next Conference General Meeting at the Langley Sportsplex on May 21-24, 2009. It was decided that the increasing cost of General Meetings necessitates a wide discussion on the frequency and format of General Meetings. This topic will be raised at Presbytery meetings and at the General Meeting in May 2009.
 
Conference Executive Membership: The Executive decided that the whole Conference needed to talk about how members are chosen for the Conference Executive. Presently most Executive members are chosen by Presbyteries and Conference Councils or committees. A report to the Executive suggested that a direct election of members at the General Meeting might allow more direct accountability, as well as the possibility of selecting people with specific skills needed for good governance. Executive members committed to raising this issue in Presbyteries. It will also be on the agenda of the May 2009 General Meeting.
 
Election of Commissioners: A process for the election of commissioners to the General Council meeting was adopted. The process would ensure representation from each Presbytery, as well as from several constituencies of the church. It will be similar to the process used in 2006 but with greater input from the floor of the General Meeting.
 
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.
 
Support of Residential School Task Force: A pledge of support was offered to First Nations in BC in their establishment of a task force to investigate the deaths and disappearance of children in residential schools.

Camp Future Update: The Executive heard of the start of development work at Camp Pringle (Vancouver Island) and Camp Fircom (Lower Mainland). Property developers, architect, and a business planner have been hired. Discussion continues with Kootenay Presbytery on the future of a camping ministry in that area while the discussion about the possible sale of Camp Moorecroft continues with Comox-Nanaimo Presbytery.
 
Fircom Property: A five acre piece of land belonging to Camp Fircom was traded for a 60 acre property adjoining the camp. This trade doubles the land base of the camp and protects it from encroachment from development on Gambier Island. It also increases the property assets of the Conference by $1,650,000.
 
Policy on Bequests and Unsolicited Donations: A policy on the reception of bequests and other unsolicited donations was adopted.
 
Staffing: The Executive heard of several staffing changes since its last meeting. Since March Michael Hare began work as Conference Minister: Prince Rupert Presbytery (1/2 time); Bill Laurie as Conference Minister: Comox-Nanaimo Presbytery (1/2 time); Graham Brownmiller as Assistant to the Finance Minister (1/2 time); and Terry Harrison as Conference Minister: Victoria Presbytery (1/2 time). Before the end of the year plans are to hire a Conference Minister: Kootenay Presbytery (1/2 time) and a Conference Minister: Kamloops-Okanagan Presbytery (3/4 time).
 
General Council Report: Marion Carr reported on recent work of the General Council Executive. She updated the Executive on the progress in the implementation of the centralized payroll system; the progress of implementing the Designated Lay Ministry program; the rationale for Home Missions cuts; and noted that a review of the admissions progress for ministers from other denominations is underway.
 
Next BC Conference Executive Meeting: March 12-14, 2009
 
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Conf Exec Minutes 08-11.pdf240.21 KB