The most recent National Council updates are listed below:
NATIONAL COUNCIL MARCH WEBEX MEETING
After a few technical difficulties, all council members plus the Treasurer and Secretary were able to connect to the WebEx meeting on March 10, 2014 p.m. Eastern Time. A sad note was that a former National Council member, Dr. Ian Simons, had recently died. Flowers were sent to the family.
The Chairman, Rainer Salomaa, reviewed the minutes of the previous meeting. Following the adoption of the minutes from the December 2, 2013, meeting, Anthony Wasilkoff gave the National Office report. He updated the Council on the excellent response received from the Subscriber Development letter that was mailed in December and informed them of the negotiation under way to replace the aging office photocopiers. The main unit being looked at has a saddle-stitch finisher, which would be of great help to the office.
Mr. Wasilkoff reported that the monthly church reports show that there are a number of health concerns across the country. New people are contacting us and some have begun to attend church.
Dennis Horlick gave a media update. He noted that we were concerned about having to change the time we air Beyond Today on Vision. However, it has worked out quite well with good response rates. Those responding are fairly evenly divided between new people and those already on file. Mr. Horlick noted that our contract with HOPE expires in June and our contract with Vision expires in December. He related some of the interesting phone calls from people as a result of the program.
Edwin van Pelt gave a financial report. He reported that our income is down about one percent from our projected budged partly because there was one less Holy Day that fell in this fiscal year. However, our expenses are under budget even more than our income is. He reminded everyone of Policy 5.8. If we do not have proper receipts submitted for reimbursement of expenses, we will lose out on GST reimbursement that is not noted. Additionally, we require the proper receipts for the auditor to see.
A concern for this next year is that we anticipate an increase in postage of about 20%. Usually, we have about six months advance notice of increases, but not this time. Mr. van Pelt said we will try to combine as much mail as possible to save on postage costs.
Rainer Salomaa gave a short update of the February 24-27 Council of Elders meeting.
The next item was updates to learn what the committees are working on and what might be presented for approval in June. The Strategic Planning/Finance Committee will be collecting data and will be working in conjunction with other committees as they discuss potential pension plans. Most of the work will be done face-to-face in June.
The Governance Committee is hoping to present two policies for approval in June. The Compensation Committee added categories to the salary range document and will also be working on potential pension plans in June.
The Chairman referred to an update from a law firm that noted that less than ten percent of non-profit corporations have registered under the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act. We had hoped to be in the middle of the field of those who registered, but obviously were among some of the very first.
Michael Erickson reported that the Compliancy Task Force is currently working on a copyright policy. It was briefly review by Larry Darden who suggested that we get input from a Canadian lawyer. This should be ready for approval in June. Additional policies should also be ready by June.
Joseph Sheperd’s term on the Amendment Committee is to expire on March 31. After discussion, the Council unanimously agreed to appoint him to another three-year term.
This year the international areas will be asked to have booths to set up at the General Conference of Elders. Rainer Salomaa suggested that Council members send any ideas for the Canadian booth to Patrick Read.
The Chairman asked that Paul Wasilkoff be invited to attend the June meeting. He will send a formal letter to Richard Kennebeck to ask for Paul to attend. Victor Kubik and Aaron Dean will also be present.
For the June meetings, Chairman Salomaa also asked for some research regarding costs, facts and locations for leasing or buying office space so that we can begin planning for when the current office lease expires.
National Council December 2 Meeting
The National Council had a WebEx meeting on the evening of December 2. The meeting commenced with an opening prayer by Bill Dimovski. As the first item of business, the Council approved the September 9 Minutes.
The National Office and Financial Reports were given by Anthony Wasilkoff and Edwin van Pelt. They reported that the latest Subscriber Development Letter is being in surprisingly good responses.
The National Council is responsible to approve the Operations Plan and Budget, which will be submitted to the National Conference for approval in March. Both of these were presented, discussed and approved during the meeting. The Strategic Plan had already been approved during the September meeting.
The National Office lease will expire in two years and the Council plans to begin reviewing options in June to give plenty of time for all the necessary research.
Committee chairmen gave an overview of the projects the committees are working on. The Finance Committee is reviewing mileage reimbursement rates and plans to discuss pension plans in June. In June, the Governance Committee plans to present a form that is needed for one of our policies. The Compensation Committee reviewed salary ranges and made suggestions for revisions. They will add one additional category.
Anthony Wasilkoff presented a proposed policy for dealing with persons with disabilities, which needed to be approved before the beginning of the new year to comply with legislation.
The chairman of the CNCA Compliancy Task Force suggested that because we must comply with more than just the legislation of the CNCA, the name of the Task Force might be changed to Compliancy Task Force. Then, it would be responsible for ensuring compliance with other legislation. The Council agreed and the name and mandate of the Task Force was changed.
Two Policies were approved in our efforts to ensure we are in compliance with the Canada Not-for-profit Act. A major one was detailing what, how and when Council members and Officers must report a potential conflict of interest. The other was to show the procedure for notifying the auditor of the church when the Annual Meeting of the National Conference will occur and a method for submitting questions to him.
The last item of business was to change the date of the next meeting of the National Council from March 3 to March 10, 2014.
2013 ANNUAL MEETING OF THE NATIONAL CONFERENCE
For the first time since UCG-Canada’s inception all members of the National Conference were invited to attend a face-to-face meeting. All but two elders were able to attend the meeting held at the National Office on June 23.
The first item of business was to ballot on several items: March 2012 Minutes, 2012 Financial Statements, Appointment of Auditor for 2014, Amended Bylaws and Council member selection. Everything was approved and the three selected to serve a three-year term were: Bill Dimovski, Rainer Salomaa and Lloyd Teetaert.
The address by the Director of Operation had the theme of “doors”. Many scriptures discuss an “open door” that the disciples walked through. The church has had doors open to us through the years – going on radio and then on television, starting a campus. More recently, we were told we could not get the Beyond Today program on the Vision network. Yet, the door opened to us.
David Palmer, Dennis Horlick and Edwin van Pelt reported on what is happening in our media efforts. We are no longer on the Grace channel because of a program swap they have made with a station from the United States. Negotiations are underway to put the program on a new station.
Anthony Wasilkoff gave a report on behalf of Ministerial Services. He noted that each pastor sends in Monthly Church Reports. They are each read and used to generate other reports.
The address from the Treasurer showed that there continues to be positive growth. We are one of 86,000 registered charities in Canada. Since our inception, with the exception of one year, we have seen a steady increase in income from tithes and offerings.
The Chairman’s address used the theme of “bookends.” January 1996 was one bookend. This meeting, in a sense was another bookend as the National Conference had to approve a new set of bylaws to conform to the new government regulations.
The initial meeting to form the corporation selected the first Council, it created a women’s advisory committee. Mr. Salomaa enumerated those who have served on the Council since then and mentioned many others who have attended our meetings to help by giving input.
By general consent the National Conference approved September 14, 2014 as the date of the next annual meeting. The meeting will be held by teleconference or other electronic means.
The National Conference also approved a resolution to appoint Bill Dimovski, Rainer Salomaa and Lloyd Teetaert to the National Council. Then a resolution to appoint Marsh Goulding Chartered Accountants to conduct the 2014 audit and give the National Council authorization to approve the remuneration for the audit was approved.
CANADIAN MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE 2013
All Canadian elders plus the two laymembers on the National Council were invited to the Canadian Conference held in Toronto on June 22 – 23. The guest speaker for the occasion was UCGIA President, Victor Kubik.
Meetings began before sundown on the Sabbath, with Mr. Kubik speaking on “Helpers of your Joy” and “Maintaining Doctrinal Integrity.”
On Sunday afternoon, Paul Wasilkoff showed how to effectively use the Ministerial website. He was able to answer questions the elders had.
A DVD entitled “Marriage: A CoG History” by Vernon Hargrove was shown. Mr. Hargrove gave the background of how divorce and remarriage has been viewed through the years by the church. He also gave the steps and rationale behind how decisions for such are made today.
At the end of the day, Mr. Kubik answered questions that had been submitted to him ahead of time and those that came from the floor.
We are very appreciative of the support of the Home Office in supplying two individuals to speak to the group. We are also very thankful that Mr. and Mrs. Kubik were able to schedule a trip to Canada at this time.
National Council June 2013 Meeting
The National Council met in Toronto for its June meetings. It is the only face-to-face meeting for the year and was held at the National Office. The first item of business was to adopt the minutes of the March meetings. Following this, the Chairman asked several to give updates on their health.
Rainer Salomaa gave an update on what the COE is doing. There will be meetings in August when he will be in Cincinnati for a week. One item of business will be a review of the Treasurer, which occurs every three years.
Michael Erickson gave a report on behalf of the Canadian Not-for-Profit Corporations Compliancy Task Force. He reminded the council of the penalties for charities that do not meeting the government requirements and the deadline. The Council requested the Task Force to continue working on additional documents related to the CNCA. Because of the changing legislation, the National Conference will need to approve several resolutions during the annual meeting.
Edwin van Pelt reported that two months into our fiscal year we see a slight increase in income. Membership is increasing again. Anthony Wasilkoff gave a report on behalf of the Ministerial Services Team and Dennis Horlick gave a report on behalf of the Media Team. Each of these teams had met the previous day.
The National Council gave formal thanks to Kevin Ford for his years of service to the church. He will retire the end of June. Kevin’s replacement, Dale van Zant, was introduced to the group.
Paul Wasilkoff gave a presentation on blogging as a way for members to become involved. There were brochures to be taken back to the local church areas. What would be especially helpful is a blog that would be of special interest to the Canadian audience such as something about Canadian holidays.
The Strategic Planning/Finance Committee reviewed the requirements for keeping registries and made a recommendation to keep both a hard copy and electronic copy for each registry in the National Office. Larry DeLong proposed and the council approved meeting dates for the next year. The committee proposed that the council continue to meet face-to-face only once a year and, for the foreseeable future to meet at the National Office to save money.
The Governance Committee recommended a method for choosing a chairman for the council prior to the current chairman’s term expiring. Their recommendation was approved. Patrick Read reviewed proposals for revising the Sexual Misconduct policy, which were approved. Two additional related policies were approved for youth protection. It was noted that there needs to be additional policies created for the protection of vulnerable individuals.
Victor Kubik was asked to speak on lessons he has learned serving on boards. He reminded the council that they govern through policy and that the purpose of a board is for fiduciary responsibility. He mentioned that keeping accurate minutes that record everything that has been decided is crucial.
After the National Conference met and chose new council members, the National Council had another short meeting. The first item of business was to select a chairman. Rainer Salomaa was re-selected to serve in this capacity for another three years. Next, it was determined that Mike Whyte would be appointed to the Amendment Committee and Ellsworth Stanley will act as an alternate for that committee.
The Council then approved two resolutions. One was to form a Compensation Committee. The second resolution was to have the Director of Operations file the necessary paperwork for continuance.
Token gifts were presented to the two outgoing council members, Ellsworth Stanley and Garry Lucas.
NATIONAL COUNCIL FIRST VIDEO CONFERENCE
On December 3, 2012, the National Council held its first meeting using WebEx technology. This allowed Council members to see and hear each other, which is much better (and more economical) than having a teleconference.
Minutes from the preceding meeting were reviewed and adopted making them official.
The office update by Anthony Wasilkoff and Edwin van Pelt showed that there continues to be positive indicators for God’s work here in Canada. A recent Subscriber Development Letter has received good responses and added some new donors. Our subscription list is growing slowly, but we continue to remove those not wishing to receive the Good News magazine. This past year our Bonnes Nouvelles subscription list has increased, which is most encouraging.
Five office staff members attended an all-day Church and Charity Law Seminar on November 15. A summary of the seminar sent to Council. This summary indicated several additional policies the church needs to create.
Michael Erickson gave an update on behalf of the Canada Not-for-Profit Corporations Act Compliancy Task Force. Council input was requested on several items. One concern that must be resolved is the potential confusion between a “member of the corporation” and a “member of the church”. A member of the corporation is someone who is a member of the National Conference, which is composed of all of our elders in Canada plus the two laymembers on the National Council. While the Church is a spiritual body, for legal purposed, a member of the church is someone whose baptism has been conducted by or recognized by the church and has filled out a membership form. The Council was presented with two scenarios on how this might be handled. They chose to more carefully define the terms. The Council also made decisions on two additional technicalities. The Task Force has almost completed its job and is appreciative of the input and help given from the Amendment Committee members.
Both the Operations Plan and Budget for the 2013-2014 fiscal year were presented and approved to be sent to the National Conference for ratification. The Council also approved sending a Resolution to the National Conference for their ratification. This resolution seeks to change the previously set date for the annual meeting of the National Conference from March to June this next year. This is to conform to new government rules.
If the Resolution is passed by the National Conference, the Strategic Plan, Operations Plan and Budget will still be sent to the National Conference to be approved prior to the fiscal year end. All other business will be done during the June meeting.
The final business matter was to schedule the next Council meeting for March 11. Plans for the June 2013 meetings are for the Media Team and Ministerial Services Team to meet on Wednesday, June 19. Council meetings will be on June 20 and June 21. There will be a Ministers’ Conference that Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. The annual meeting of the National Conference will be on Sunday morning and early afternoon, June 23.
Since the National Conference will be asked to approve the Bylaws that have been amended to meet new federal government standards, Michael Erickson suggested scheduling a WebEx conference call prior to the annual meeting for those who might have questions about any of the changes to the Bylaws.
NATIONAL COUNCIL SEPTEMBER TELECONFERENCE
The September meeting of the Council was held on Monday evening, September 10, by teleconference.
The National Office update included the news that the Canadian UCG website is currently being updated. With the new update, there will be the capability for creating a Canadian Ministerial website, which should be of use to all ministers in Canada and could possibly be used to post the annual Call and Notice for the National Conference – thus saving the cost of sending it out by registered mail to all conference members. An additional possibility is to move from teleconferences to videoconferences for the Council and perhaps, later, for the National Conference. It is hoped this might be possible for the next Council meeting.
Two new members have been added to the Amendment Committee – Charles Desgrosseilliers and Dale van Zant who was chosen to be chairman of the committee. Mike Whyte is the new alternate for the committee.
A Task Force was created last June to work on the compliance required of all charities by the Canada Not-For-Profit Corporations Act (CNCA). Michael Erickson gave an update on behalf of the CNCA Compliance Task Force. The initial work has been done on the first seven Articles of the Bylaws and a document comparing the current bylaws and the proposed amendments to the bylaws was sent to council members prior to the teleconference. The Task Force asked for input on four different matters. It was decided to determine these matters through email ballots.
One significant change which will be required by the CNCA has to do with the timing of the annual meeting of the National Conference. The requirement is that it will have to be within six months of the fiscal year-end (March 31). During the annual meeting, council members must be selected and the financial reports (Auditor’s report) must be approved. The council member terms must begin by the end of the annual meeting. This will also require a change in when council terms end. The Task Force was asked to write a potential resolution for changing when the council term ends and a timeline for changing the date of the annual meeting.
NATIONAL COUNCIL MEETING 2012
The summer meeting of the UCG-Canada National Council took place at the National Office on June 22 and 24. The meeting began with the chairman, Rainer Salomaa, reading an article about staying focused on what you do well. This set the tone for the meetings.
As usual, the first agenda item was to approve the minutes of the previous meeting. It has become a custom for the Code of Ethics and the Council Job Description to be read during the June meeting as a reminder of the Council’s responsibilities.
This was followed by an update from office staff, which included reading some recent letters received from subscribers and some current statistics. Of interest is that over the past few months, subscriptions to Bonnes Nouvelles has increased dramatically.
Dennis Horlick reported that the Media Team had met and reviewed potential new programs. He stated that there will be an increase in the rate for airing the Beyond Today program on the Vision network. He and the Director of Operations were given permission to negotiate a new rate.
Anthony Wasilkoff reported that the Ministerial Services Team had discussed some matters related to our various congregations. They also discussed the effectiveness of the Kingdom of God seminars and plans for the Feast of Tabernacles.
In December, several office staff and Council members attended a seminar explaining a new government Act (Canadian Not-for-profit Corporations Act or CNCA) which will require all charities to reapply for charity status. A PowerPoint presentation covering the key points of the new legislation was given and afterward Anthony and Linda Wasilkoff fielded questions. Three handouts were provided. The Council then discussed how to proceed with incorporating the necessary changes into the Bylaws along with the process of filing the Articles of Continuance and the revised Bylaws.
During the afternoon, the Council continued discussing the CNCA and determined that the work would be too involved to be completed by the Council committees. A CNCA Compliance Task Force was formally created consisting of Michael Erickson (chair), Anthony Wasilkoff and Linda Wasilkoff. The Task Force’s assignment is to incorporate needed changes into the current Bylaws to comply with the CNCA. The Task Force may utilize other advisors as needed. The target date for completion of the project is June 2013 when a special meeting of the National Conference, which includes all ministers in Canada, may be called.
Each year when there is a new member on Council, the Council must assign the individual to a Council committee. This year, in addition to assigning the new member to a committee, some members requested to switch committees. The committee members are now:
Patrick Read (chairman)
Strategic Planning/Finance Committee
Larry DeLong (chairman)
On Sunday morning, Larry DeLong gave the report for the Strategic Planning/Finance Committee. In order to more closely parallel UCGIA, they made recommendations for slight changes to the 2013-2014 Strategic Plan, which the Council approved. The Committee also made some recommendations for handling of some of the items necessitated by the CNCA.
Patrick Read followed with the Governance/Ethics/Pastoral Committee report. The Committee is working on some policies, which need further research before they are presented to the Council for approval.
The last agenda item was time for discussion. During that time, the Council explored elements that the church does well. Among the things discussed was our Internet presence and resources, our welcoming of new people, carefulness with doctrine, governance – a working board, and ministers (who conduct church services, weddings, funerals and visit people).
The afternoon was spent in an executive session and an informal session during which the evaluation of the Director of Operations occurred.