Dec15TueDecember 15, 2020
On behalf of your National Board and National Team, we extend Christmas blessings to our pastors, churches, global workers and partners and extended EMCC family. While this year’s Christmas narrative is playing out with all sorts of challenges, we all commit to approaching the manger with reverence, awe and gratitude – “for unto us a Saviour has been born and He is Christ the Lord.” While honouring restrictions, we honour Jesus and persevere as followers and communities of Jesus to share blessing and His Good News.
In our National Board meetings in early November, our business agenda allowed the board to spend a significant amount of time reflecting on John Cressman’s leadership over the last few months. Those reflections fostered a spirit of gratefulness for John’s excellent spiritual, relational and operational leadership during this time of unusual adjustments. It has certainly been a story of God leading us forward as a denomination during the time of Covid-19 stresses.
The National Board also wishes to extend our gratitude to our National Team and the many volunteer teams who seek to serve our local churches and global workers – many going extra miles to help us navigate through this uncharted territory. Thank you. We commend our pastors and church leaders for their adaptability, knowing decisions have been difficult and the workload has been greater. Please join us in praying for those in leadership (whether in the local church, national or global context) – praying for spiritual, emotional and physical replenishment, much discernment, creativity, courage and eyes to see the dawn of a hope-filled future.
As a Board, we met three times this fall. This update highlights our decisions and plans.
Announcing New Board Moderator – We thank Kerry Belt for his faithful and sacrificial service as our Moderator over the past number of years. As his term as a board member concludes in 2021, the Board is pleased to announce that Jim Hazzard is now serving as the Moderator of the EMCC National Board. Jim is a current National Board member and is from our St. Clair EMC congregation in Sombre, ON.
Board Training – The National Board follows a Policy Governance model. In November, we received extended training from an outside source on how to be more effective in our role. We are grateful to Wayne Durksen, The Slight Edge Leadership, for his helpful equipping and coaching. This fruitful presentation was very affirming of the Board’s governance practices and it also fostered discussions around how we as an EMCC can continue to improve our governance practices. Particularly affirming was the Board-President linkage material.
2020 Budget – Under the watchful stewardship of the National Team, we are pleased to report that we are on track to meet the operating needs of our revised and reduced budget for 2020. Thank you for your continuing contributions to our Common Cause, particularly during this time of economic uncertainty. Any additional year-end gifts are greatly appreciated.
General Assembly – Based on the many challenges related to the pandemic, the Board has chosen to host the 2021 General Assembly online. We acknowledged this not ideal or preferred, but prudent. All initial plans to meet in Calgary are now being shifted to host a one-day, online experience on Friday, April 30, 2021. All business matters/voting will be online. There will still be a registration procedure.
EMCC Family Chats – In preparation for the 2021 online Assembly, the National Board and Interim President will be hosting three online “Family Chats” in the early new year. These Zoom chats will be designed to introduce and provide opportunity for conversation around items and matters leading up to Assembly. Please mark these dates on your calendars: January 26, February 23, March 23, 2021. The plan is to host multiple timeslots during these Tuesdays in order to create opportunity for dialogue.
Presidential Search – The Board is moving forward in the recruitment and formation of a Presidential Search Committee. The plan is to present a Presidential nominee for election at the 2021 General Assembly. Thanks for your prayers through this discernment process.
Articles of Practice Review – At the 2021 Assembly, the Board will be recommending the formal review of our EMCC Articles of Practice. Our Articles of Faith were previously reviewed an updated. The Articles of Practice have not been reviewed for some time. Both the Articles of Faith and Practice are embedded into our EMCC Bylaws. The EMCC Theology Commission is drafting a process for review - to be discussed at Family Chats and shared at 2021 Assembly.
2021 Budget – The Board approved the 2021 General Ministries budget as presented by the Interim President. The budget reflects a reduction in Common Cause income by 10%, based on the economic projections for 2021. The budget also reflects some staff restructuring in order to achieve a balanced budget. Finally, and to be noted, the 2021 budget is a “combined” budget, reflecting the merger of the EMCC General Fund budget and the World Partners Operations budget into one budget.
World Partners has been operating under its own budget. Over the years, funding for World Partners operations (staffing & expenses) has been generated through administrative fees as well as asking our WP Directors to raise their own support. Our current WP Team has not been raising their support and this has put a strain on the WP budget. With the decrease in EMCC supervised global workers (primarily through retirement) and the reliance on reserves to make up any shortfalls, the Board directed the Interim President to bring World Partners operations “into the house” – financially as well as structurally. The implications of this strategic decision will be worked out in the days ahead. World Partners remains the “Mission” arm of the EMCC under the supervision of the President and will have a Director on the National Team. With this decision, World Partners operations (staffing and expenses) now falls under “Common Cause” giving. We believe this is an important step.
Nominations for National Board – The National Board Personnel Committee is in the process of recruiting nominations for the National Board. Three new candidates will be presented to the 2021 Assembly for election.
The EMCC National Board