Highlights and Decisions from the November 2017 Governing Board Meeting
The Canadian Council of Churches Governing Board met on November 15-17 at Queen of the Apostles Renewal Centre in Mississauga, Ontario.
The Governing Board meets biannually to review ecumenical life in Canada, reflect on its significance, identify needs and direct the affairs of the Council to express the unity which member churches desire. The Governing Board reflects on the common mission of the churches, long-range planning and policy formation and the relationship between or among commissions.
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.
The purposes and functions of the Council shall be to serve God’s mission in the world, to give expression to the unity which is offered to the world through Jesus Christ, to witness to the continuing renewal of the Church by the Holy Spirit, to promote the growth of ecumenical and missionary obedience among all Christians, and to facilitate common action by the member churches.
At this semi-annual meeting of the Governing Board we:
- Voted to approve the application for membership by the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church. When their membership is confirmed, The Canadian Council of Churches will have 26 member churches.
- Welcomed Peter Noteboom to his first Governing Board meeting as Acting General Secretary.
- Adopted 2018 budgets with a projected surplus for both The Canadian Council of Churches and its operating division Project Ploughshares.
- Worshipped together using the 2018 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity materials on the theme from the Caribbean “Your right hand, O LORD, glorious in power” (Exodus 15:6) and practiced downloading free materials at weekofprayer.ca; www.semainedepriere.ca.
- Conveyed the invitation from the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada to participate in their new Young Adult Transition’s research study, a follow-up to their 2011 young adult study called Hemorrhaging Faith.
- Learned about the Government’s efforts to remove The Canadian Council of Churches, the Canadian Council for Refugees and Amnesty International Canada from the Safe Third Country Agreement court challenge.
- Marked the recognition of Project Ploughshares’ instrumental and collaborative role with the International Committee to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) and their Nobel Peace Prize award for 2017.
- Decided to schedule a forum panel on Christian-Jewish relations at next year’s Governing Board meeting.
- Tested possible nominations for a new President and Vice-Presidents for the next triennium in 2018-21.
- Workshopped new learning materials on the topic of salvation and the question Why Be a Christian?
- Visited tables of learning on synthetic biology, gene drives and bio-peace; nuclear disarmament, the arms trade, and efforts to ban lethal autonomous weapons; engaging difference across cultures, the Doctrine of Discovery, and intercultural leadership and learning.
- Began a journey of strategic and program planning for 2018-21 by sharing perspectives on strategic questions like Who are we? Why are we? What are we?
- Proposed scenarios to celebrate the 75th anniversary of The Canadian Council of Churches in 2019.
- Encouraged one another in prayer.