Hello everyone, I trust that this note finds you safe and well as we navigate these unusual days.
The EMCC National Board met for our board meetings via Zoom March 26-28 and then again on April 19. Please receive this note as an update on those meetings.
I am always struck by the amount of work that is done when we meet: the high quality of work we see in the reports from the National Team, and; the strength and wisdom in our board members. Those characteristics have been particularly evident now in this Covid-19 crisis.
Among the many items of business that were cared for in these meetings, we:
Received the Auditors Report which showed that our financial processes are in good order and well maintained.
Received the 2019 financial report noting that the World Partners Fund ended up with a shortfall of $56,000. However, the General Fund ended the year in the black by $735.00. Thank you for your help in achieving that. This is significant progress which we are thankful for, but the board believes that there is more work to be done to achieve financial health and we are pursuing that.
Asked the Theology Commission to review our Articles of Practice and bring recommendations for affirmation and revision at Assembly 2021
In light of Covid-19 we advised the national team to revise the 2020 budget and financial planning with a goal of a balanced budget at year-end. At this time adjustments are being made and they do not affect our staffing map.
Established Calgary as the site for the EMCC National Assembly in 2021
Discussed a new and revised World Partners model that was presented and asked for further fine-tuning of the model, including the financial base.
Established the date for our Ordinary Annual Meeting as May 20, 2020.
As part of our meetings, we receive operational activity updates from the National Team. As we reviewed those reports we spent considerable time prayerfully discussing the Covid-19 pandemic we find ourselves in and the implications it causes. We are very thankful for John Cressman’s leadership and the National Team’s mature response during this time of so much transition. This is particularly true of their leadership coaching with churches, and caring for pastors as we all align with the many government restrictions. Thank you to all of you that are leading so well in Canada at this time. May God guide and bless you in this unusual time.
In this blizzard of change we appreciate your continued support of Common Cause giving, and the sacrifices that has required. Much of the work of the National Team continues, and even escalates, as they lead in this time. Please also know that the board has been praying for all of you in the midst of this unusual time. We are asking our heavenly Father to care for all of us and to energize us to touch the lives of those Canadians we live and serve among. Please pray for the National Team as they too can grow weary in doing good.
We continue to pray and work with President Kervin regarding his return to full health and ministry. Please be assured that he is under medical advisement and we are asking our heavenly Father to care for him with his health as the primary concern. Please join with us in praying for Kervin and his family in this time.
GO FORWARD TASK FORCE
The Go Forward Taskforce is in the process of gathering information on a number of fronts so that we can understand how we can go forward together in a healthy way. Research includes a review of the current model that we are using, data on local church engagement in the EMCC, and how other denominations are doing in this regard. The task force was going to bring questions for discussion and input to Regional Gatherings but will need to find another means to gather that input.
The board is thankful to Andrew Epp for chairing this committee and to Mark Raju Mauleeson, Jim Hazzard, Tracy Minke, Murray Swalm, Dave Barbour, Kerry Belt and our President Kervin for serving on this committee.
EMCC HIGHLAND CENTRE, KITCHENER
A decade ago, conventional wisdom instructed us that there were strong benefits to owning denominational office space. The Highland Centre property in Kitchener, Ontario was acquired in 2010 and renovated with the following expectations:
that EMCC would have an office from which staff could work;
that Kitchener would remain a hub for our operations (EMCC is registered charity in Ontario and therefore requires an address in Ontario);
that the Highland Centre might be used as an EMCC training centre.
It has been recognized that the EMCC President may not always reside in the Kitchener area but that some administrative functions and records would remain there. Currently, EMCC records and archives are housed at the Highland Centre.
In recent years, with improvements in technology, the EMCC National Team has been exploring and adapting to work remotely. This has enabled better stewardship of our Common Cause resources. The majority of our files are now online and our staff is equipped to resource our pastors and churches from their home offices and cars. We use the Highland Centre minimally for meetings and continue to maintain offices at Rocky Mountain College in Calgary.
This new reality has changed the paradigm which initially guided the decision to purchase the Highland Centre property. It is now clear that our EMCC team can function efficiently and effectively with just a small office space in Ontario. Therefore, the EMCC National Board and National Team have decided to sell the Highland property and pursue a smaller space in a strategic location in Ontario. This new space may be rented or purchased. It may be shared with another EMCC entity (one of our churches), or it may stand alone. All of these and other options are being considered. Currently, we are looking for a temporary space to house our files and archives. Proceeds of the sale will be re-invested in the work of EMCC. If you have any questions, you may contact John Stokoe firstname.lastname@example.org or Jim Hazzard email@example.com, who are members of our EMCC National Board.
FUTURE BOARD MEETINGS
The National Board will continue to meet much more regularly in the weeks and months ahead to support the national team, measure the Covid-19 impact on local churches and our denomination. In between meetings we continue to pray for you as you continue to minister to those that God brings your way.
EMCC National Board Moderator