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A New Shape of Governance

A New Shape of Governance by Rev. Catherine Smith

The Governance ‘Bubble’ Group, comprising Marilyn Burrell, Ed Burridge and Craig Brett, along with Rev. Catherine, met over a concentrated period of time to look at who we are and who we might be becoming, a way that would honour what is and what has been and also make fertile space for what may grow.   We hope that this way of governance will encourage each of you, full of gifts, to take leadership in your own place of interest or passion and to invite others to gather with you around it.

We hope that this will nurture our congregation as spiritual community; in becoming one circle of service with many circles bubbling in and around it. We understand the circles of service as supportive of the living out of our experience of call and discipleship in faith community.

We found several foundation pieces to be vital.

Our governance:

  1. must fulfill all the functions mandated by the United Church of Canada, with attention to stewardship of finances, property and individual gifts

  2. must have at its very heart a commitment to faith formation and attention to the Spirit in discernment

  3. must encourage a community where all are encouraged to take leadership, inviting others to gather with them, in groups small or large, for two weeks or two months, around a book, a study, a justice initiative, a group for meditation or body prayer, visiting those shut in or planning a fund-raising initiative.

All these areas are addressed in the governance model we will present to the congregation on February 1st.

This is a new Governance Model for us and while we believe it will enliven the faith community in our context, its plan and process may also be helpful to other congregations. In this way it has the elements of a pilot project. We will ask the approval for the testing of this new Governance model in our congregation for a 14 month period March 1st, 2015 – May 1, 2016.

At that time we will seek the help of Presbytery in evaluating its effectiveness and if it has proven itself again seek approval both from the congregation and the Presbytery in adopting it as a long term model.

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