Conference Executive November 5-7, 2009

BC Conference Executive
November 5-7, 2009
Summary of Key Actions
 
 
The BC Conference Executive met November 5-7, 2009 in the Mountainview Room at the Conference office in Burnaby. What follows is a list of significant actions and decisions of the Executive.
 
Emerging Spirit: As part of its commitment to “listen to the ownership”, the Executive heard from Keith Howard, Executive Director of Emerging Spirit, who summarized some of the key learnings of the Emerging Spirit project. Keith pointed out that the church is not in a position of waiting for change to happen but, in fact, is already immersed in a time of great change. The question is: how shall the church respond? Two areas of current congregational life were highlighted: the state of our leadership and the impact of these times upon congregational life.
 
Policy Development: Several finance policies were revised to provide better clarity and to ensure Conference assets are appropriately protected. The “Priorities” policy was also reviewed; discussion will take place at the next meeting to determine whether the policy should be changed or not at this time.
 
Monitoring Executive Secretary: As happens at every meeting, extensive time was spent monitoring the work of the Executive Secretary against the established policies of the Executive. The Goals adopted by the Executive at its November 2008 meeting are generally being met. More support is being provided for Presbyteries and for Ministry Personnel in the Conference. The only Goal behind schedule is the development of a Strategic Communication Plan for the Conference. A new web site is being developed for the Conference.
 
Ten Year Financial Vision: An outline for the structure of Conference finances was adopted in principle. The “vision” calls for three streams of Conference finances: Core, Camping, and Ministry. Each stream will have endowment funds to support them. Once “Core” funding is adequate to provide sustainability, all additional funding can be used to support other Ministry ventures. The Camping endowment has already been established from the sale of Camp Kwomais.
 
Budget 2010: The Executive adopted a $1.6 million operating budget for 2010. Financial support from the General Council decreases by $43,000 from 2009; income from endowments decreases a further $96,000. Income from the Conference’s share of recent property sales, however, will compensate for these losses in 2010. The Conference will also use some income (approximately 22% of anticipated income) from Camp Future funds to support new staff positions in Presbyteries. The original capital of the Camp Future funds will not be touched. The budget also anticipates a $80,000 budget shortfall which can be covered by the Conference’s Budget Stabilization Fund.
 
Camp Future Project: It was reported that capital development has now begun at Camps Fircom and Pringle. New dining areas and accommodations, in particular, are being built. Construction is expected to continue until the end of the summer 2010 at Pringle and into the fall 2010 at Fircom.
 
Property Sales: The Executive was reminded of the recent sales of Renfrew and St. John’s United Church properties. Discussion with Vancouver-Burrard Presbytery has resulted in a joint decision on how the assets from those sales are to be used. More discussion will take place over the coming months to shape a Ministry Fund which will provide financial support primarily for Vancouver-Burrard projects but also some for other Conference initiatives. The sale of East Burnaby United Church is expected to take place soon. The Executive will discuss a new policy on the use of assets from the sale of properties at its next meeting.
 
General Meeting Vision: The Executive discussed what its guiding “vision” is for the Conference General Meeting. Work will continue on this at the spring 2010 meeting of the Executive.
 
Executive Membership: It was decided to encourage Presbyteries to continue discussing issues regarding the membership of the Conference Executive. Should members be chosen by the Conference at the General Meeting or by each Presbytery? Should members be chosen primarily because of their geographic location or because of the skills they might bring? Should chairs of Conference committees continue to sit on the Executive? A discussion paper has been prepared and will again be distributed to Presbyteries for consideration.
 
Organizational Audit: Every three years the Executive asks an objective, third-party to review the Conference operations to ensure the Executive’s policies are being followed. Plans will be made over the next months for such an “audit” to take place, with a report to the Executive at its next meeting.
 
Next BC Conference Executive Meeting: March 18-20, 2010
 
Celebration of Ministry: June 5, 2010 (Ryerson United Church, Vancouver)

 

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