Highlights and Decisions The Canadian Council of Churches Governing Board Meeting

May 13-15, 2015 – St. Paul’s University, Ottawa, ON

Flickr: Shankaronline (CC-BY-2.0)
Flickr: Shankaronline (CC-BY-2.0)


Download a PDF version of these highlights.

The Canadian Council of Churches is the broadest and most inclusive ecumenical body in Canada. The Governing Board brings together representatives from Anglican; Evangelical; Free Church; Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox; Protestant; and Catholic member denominations to review and coordinate its Committees and Commissions, appoint officers, obtain funds, and determine external relations to other religious and secular organizations and movements.

At this semi-annual meeting of the Governing Board we:

1. Heard a summary of major accomplishments during the 2012-15 Triennium and thanked outgoing President Jim Champ (Salvation Army), Vice-President Das Sydney (Canadian Baptists of Ontario and Quebec), Vice-President Susan Eagle (United Church of Canada) and Cyprian Hutcheon (Orthodox Church in America) for faithful service.

2. Voted for new officers of the 2015-18 Triennium and installed them: President Alyson Barnett-Cowan (Anglican Church of Canada), Vice-President Willard Metzger (Mennonite Church Canada), Vice-President Stephen Kendall (Presbyterian Church in Canada), and Vice-President Ronald Fabbro (Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops).

3. Received a report from General Secretary Karen Hamilton documenting her participation and leadership in the Canadian Theological Students’ Conference in Winnipeg on human rights; the Whole Society Conference in Vancouver on bridging the religious secular divide; the North American conference and webinar series on Mission and Evangelism; and 8 stops of Justice Tour 2015 in Vancouver, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Kitchener Waterloo, Halifax, Montreal and Ottawa on climate justice and ending poverty in Canada.

4. Attended the Ottawa stop of Justice Tour 2015 on climate justice and ending poverty in Canada at Christ Church Anglican Cathedral with 130 other participants and were alerted by Susan Johnson, National Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada and Willard Metzger, Executive Director of Mennonite Church Canada to a forthcoming statement for
denominational and faith community endorsement and engagement in the coming weeks and months.

5. Applauded John Siebert for a decade of inspired leadership as Executive Director of Project Ploughshares and welcomed Cesar Jaramillo as the new Executive Director.

6. Received briefing notes on physician assisted death; Justice Tour 2015 (climate justice and ending poverty in Canada); commemorating Canada 150; and Canada, refugees, Syria then met with Members of Parliament and staff from the Office of the Prime Minister, the New Democratic Party, the Liberal Party, the Green Party, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, the Minister of Canadian Heritage, the Minister of State of Social Development, and the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.

7. Noted the release of the 2015 Federal Election Resource from leading ecumenical and justice charities in Canada.

8. Accepted the 2014 audited financial statements and appointed auditors for 2015.

9. Participated in the President’s Workshop on Ukraine and were blessed by Metropolitan Yurij from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Canada providing a comprehensive overview of the situation in Ukraine with comments from Fr. Peter Galadza from the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Canada; Professor in Conflict Studies Vern Neufeld Redekop from the University of St. Paul; and Cesar Jaramillo from Project Ploughshares on the nuclear backdrop to the conflict.

10. Worshipped in the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahado Tradition and were challenged by Fr. Messale Engeda on the situation in Ethiopia, especially for Ethiopian migrants to South Africa, Yemen and transit to Europe via the Mediterranean, lamenting the killing of 21 Ethiopian Christians in Libya.

11. Approved by consensus two important resolutions requesting action and engagement by member denominations on the Canadian Churches’ Forum for Global Ministries and a Statement on Religious Freedom (see full below).

12. Adjourned with a sense of accomplishment and prayerful humility for three years of important achievements and anticipation for three years of new leadership and challenges.

The next meeting of the Governing Board is scheduled for November 25-27, 2015 at Crieff Hills Conference Centre. Visit www.facebook.com/CCC.CCE for more pictures and highlights!

Canadian Churches’ Forum for Global Ministries

Consensus resolution prepared by

  • Andre Lavergne, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada
  • Jaroslaw Buciora, Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Canada
  • Das Sydney, Canadian Baptists of Ontario and Quebec
  • Gail Allan, United Church of Canada
  • Ronald Fabbro, Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops
  • Anthony Elenbaas, Christian Reformed Church in North America
  • Peter Noteboom, Canadian Council of Churches


  • The Canadian Council of Churches (the Council)
  • Canadian Churches’Forum on Global Ministries (the Forum)

That the Governing Board

1) mandate the staff and Executive Committee of the Governing Board of the Council to proceed with practical integration of the two bodies (the Council and the Forum) where mutual
agreement is evident such as in administration, personnel, event planning, communications and finances.

2) request that the Board of Management and staff of the Forum organize a forum on mission, evangelism/evangelization and culture in November 2015 in connection with the next
Governing Board meeting of the Council.

3) request that member denominations of the Council consider proposing representatives to the Forum.

4) mandate the Executive to work with the Board of Management and staff of the Forum, during the 2015-18 Triennium, in shaping by consensus—through consultation and member
denomination approval processes—the terms of reference of an appropriate entity (such as a Commission, Project, Program Agency for example) to direct this work.

5) request the Executive Committee of the Governing Board to involve the existing Commissions in the consultative process.

6) express our gratitude for the initiative of the Forum to bring this proposal before us and commit to working toward greater synergy together.

–Approved by Consensus, Friday May 15, Governing Board of The Canadian Council of Churches

Resolution Regarding the Statement on Religious Freedom (DRAFT)
Christian Interfaith Reference Group, The Canadian Council of Churches

BE IT RESOLVED that this Governing Board:

1) receive the draft Statement on Religious Freedom (attached), prepared and approved by consensus by the Christian Interfaith Reference Group, at the request of the Executive

2) request the Executive Committee to clarify the nature and status of the statement;

3) commend the statement to the member churches for review and response;

4) refer the statement to the Commission on Faith and Witness, the Commission on Justice and Peace, and the Canadian Churches’ Forum on Global Ministries for review and response;

5) direct these responses to the statement to be received through the General Secretariat no later than January 1, 2016.

–Approved by Consensus, Friday May 15, Governing Board of The Canadian Council of Churches

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