The most recent National Council updates are listed below:

National Council June 2017 Meeting

On June 7 the Ministerial Services team and the Media Team met by WebEx. The Ministerial Team discussed Pentecost attendance; future Feast planning, ordinations and other church related items. The Media Team discussed current and potential future advertising.

The annual face-to-face meeting of the National Council was held on June 8-9 at the National Office.  The meeting began with approving the minutes of the previous meeting.

On Thursday morning Rainer Salomaa and Anthony Wasilkoff gave an update on recent COE meetings. Those who were present for the General Conference of Elders in May gave their perspective of the highlights of that meeting. General consensus was that the round table discussions were most profitable.

Office staff worked together to give an office and financial update. Of note was that the National Office is in the process of getting new signage over the office door. Included in the financial discussion is retirement of the baby boomers and what affect that might have on the income of the church. The source of our donations is: 70% from members; 20% from donors and 10% from coworkers. It was suggested it would be a good idea to give sermons as to the importance of giving tithes and offerings and what the scriptural basis for doing so is.

Edwin van Pelt presented a PowerPoint showing a breakdown of statistics regarding the Beyond Today television program. This past year responses have dropped about 1/3 from the previous year. However, almost 30 percent of those responding each week are new people. It was asked if we should try a different station or time. This is a possibility, but can be quite costly even if there is a time slot available.

The Readers Digest ad has generated 124 responses with 96 percent of those being from new people.  The Media Team is doing research and working to find new means to reach people.

A portion of the morning was reserved for brainstorming. Included in the discussion was: media challenges, trends, the Ministerial Newsletter, current challenges facing the church (lack of commitment, not registering for the Feast,  the need for succession planning for replacing the Secretary, and the lack of individuals willing to have name on ballot selection for council,

Our bylaws require that the Council formally approve the composition of committees. Council members were given the opportunity to change the committee on which they served. The Committees are listed at: http://www.ucg.ca/about/national-council.

The committees met during the afternoon on Thursday.
On Friday, the Council began by welcomed Donald Ward and John Elliott as guests. Then the committee reports followed.

The Strategic Planning/Finance Committee had run a test for online balloting. The system still needs some fine tuning before it is put into use by the National Council and National Conference. They also discussed phone, internet and cell phone reimbursement and gave their recommendations to be sure all are reimbursed equitably. The committee has worked on forecasting future income based upon several factors that are expected to come into play in the future. Finally, the committee suggested that the council approve taking funds out of reserves to be used by the Media Team to implement an advertising campaign targeting specific demographics. Dates for future Council meetings were submitted and approved.

The Governance/Ethics/Pastoral Committee has been asked to review all policies on a yearly basis. They reported on how they will be doing that.

The Compensation Committee asked if the Council wished to change or update their mandate. It was determined to leave it as it is for the time being.

Michael Erickson presented concerns to be aware of regarding Canada’s Anti-Spam legislation. Part of the problem is a lack of definition of terms. The legislation concerns “commercial electronic messages”. It is not clear if some of our emails might fall into that category since they may sometimes advertise an event (socials, feasts, etc.). Much of the definition will be determined in court so the church needs to do what it can to protect itself from potential lawsuits. By July 1 all corporations need to have explicit consent to send the commercial electronic messages. We must also find a way to provide an easy unsubscribe for those who no longer wish to receive messages. The legislation applies to both corporations and individuals and all electronic forms of sending messages. It carries a hefty fine.

The agenda for the annual meeting of the National Conference in September was approved.

During Friday afternoon, the Council conducted the annual evaluation of the Director of Operations.

Linda Wasilkoff

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