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NATIONAL COUNCIL DECEMBER MEETING

The latest National Council meeting commenced at 7:00 p.m. Eastern on December 6, 2021 using the Zoom platform. Eight of the nine Council members were present. In addition, Bill Dimovski (Treasurer), Linda Wasilkoff (Parliamentarian) and Edwin van Pelt (Secretary) were online.

After the opening prayer, the first order of business was to adopt the minutes from the September 12 Council meeting.

Jim Lucas, Chair of the Ethics, Governance, and Pastoral Committee read the National Council Code of Ethics.

Dennis O’Neill provided the Council with a Media Team update. Mr. O’Neill reported that the team is working on ways to attract traffic to our websites. There has been a shift in media communications over the past decade or so. We used to speak to people – broadcast out; now people come to us. Drawing people in is more cost-effective. The Team continues to work on the “Profiles of Faith” series (taken from the Good News magazines). A number have been completed. The idea is to keep them short to draw people to our website.

Director of Operations, Anthony Wasilkoff gave a National Office Update. Our Subscriber Development Letters advertise internally. The letters are sent throughout the year to Beyond Today magazine subscribers. We currently have 427 members on file, 159 co-workers, and 486 donors. Beyond Today magazine subscribers stand at 18,381 across Canada. On November 4, most of the National Office staff attended the annual Church and Charity Law Seminar. This year, like last year, was online. Topics that were covered this year included: The Essential Charity and Not-for-Profit Law Update, Key Issues in Drafting Employment Contracts, and Insurance Issues Involving Volunteers for Churches and Charities. Other presenters were the Public Guardian & Trustee of Ontario and the Director General of the Charities Directorate of the Canada Revenue Agency.

Mr. Wasilkoff noted that our annual insurance coverages were recently renewed. We must show due diligence in order to obtain or renew insurance coverage. He also noted that our National Office Planning Meeting for 2022 was scheduled for December 16, 2021.

The death of Patrick Read was sudden and unexpected. His church areas have been reassigned to Bruno Leclerc (Maritimes), Jim Lucas (London), and Paul Wasilkoff (Windsor). Anthony Wasilkoff will look after Newfoundland with assistance from resident elder and former National Council member Ellsworth Stanley.

Linda Wasilkoff provided and update on the Compliancy Task Force. All the policies will be reviewed over the next several months. The review will be completed in time for the June 2022 National Council meetings.

Anthony Wasilkoff noted that if we go to court for any reason, the question will be asked: Has the church been following its own documents? If not, why not? The Compliancy Task Force ascertains that our policies are in compliance with government regulations as well as our own bylaws and procedures.

The 2022-2023 Operations Plan was then presented by Anthony Wasilkoff. There were no substantive changes from the 2021-2022. Flexibility is important since there are so many unknowns. Our Strategic Plan is a long-term overview while the Operation Plan is an intermediate to short-term plan. The Budget is the financial plan that lays out what we can afford to accomplish. As a church we are conservative in our planning and, most importantly, we rely on God. No comments, concerns or questions were raised and the Plan was approved by the Council.

The next item of business was the presentation of the 2022-2023 Budget. Treasurer Bill Dimovski led the discussion. There are many unknown factors in planning a budget. One example is the current COVID situation. Mr. Dimosvki noted that all the Holy Day offerings will be in the 2022-2023 fiscal year. This fiscal year, we had 6 Holy Days; the First Day of Unleavened Bread was included in the 2020-2021 fiscal year. Most of our costs are fixed; we have little discretionary income. The Budget was approved by the Council.

The Strategic Plan, Operations Plan and Budget will be presented to the National Conference in March for their ratification.

The last item of business was to discuss and approve dates for 2022 National Council meetings. The proposed dates are:

Monday, March 7
Thursday, June 16 and Friday, June 17
Sunday, September 11 (after the Annual General Meeting concludes)

The Council approved the proposed dates.

The meeting concluded at 8:19 p.m. Eastern.

Edwin van Pelt

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