The November Council meeting took place Tuesday November 23 by Zoom.
The first item for discussion was news from Bob Hilliard, Ministry and Personnel Chair, that Church Operations Manager Marta Hajek regretfully tendered her resignation, effective December 13. Marta, who joined the staff in this newly-established part-time role in July of 2018 will be taking some time for herself for a brief period. She also has responsibility for Elder Abuse Prevention Ontario and will now give more attention to her other part-time role.
Many thanks and best wishes were offered to Marta by Council generally and by many Council members individually. She will be wrapping up the Great Rehoming and continuing to address the December activities to prepare the church for redevelopment. She has also agreed to make herself available to support the transition to the individual selected to complete the big task of emptying our building by the end February 2022. Later in the meeting Council approved a hiring process for a project manager specifically tasked with completion of the removal, storage or transition of the building contents and then the final closeout prior to handover to the developer. This process is underway now.
Aptly, the next discussion focused on the 2022 Administrative Structure Review. As we leave our building and think about the next four years, our administrative structure needs some attention as we have a certain way of “doing things” at Bloor Street that might not be as supportive as required by staff or volunteers, particularly as we adjust to new office and work environments.
The Review will help us better understand, clarify and, as necessary, adjust our decision-making processes as well as our communication. In addition, the goal is to increase the understanding of the roles and responsibilities for staff and those which rest with volunteers. Council supported the proposal and many members expressed the hope that the end result will allow those who do the work to feel empowered and have a voice in how the work is done. This effort should also make it easier to engage new members in the life and work of the congregation.
An outside consultant will be hired and the project will involve gathering and analyzing input from staff and the congregation. It is expected to be underway in January and wrap up sometime in the late spring.
Russ reported that he is continuing his work to build the process and identify leadership for the adaptive conversation process that will lead us to a revisioning of our purpose and future together as a vibrant and meaningful organization in our local community…and beyond. A number of approaches and tools will be used to engage the congregation as well as the community. We can expect to see things getting underway in the new year.
Council reviewed the status of our temporary worship space with St. Andrews which will be available but limited in scope until late April or early May due to some necessary renovations now underway at St. Andrews. Given the uncertainty and the desire to keep our services at the 10:30 time on Sundays for the time being, there is now some work underway to explore a temporary option for worship space between January and April 2022. Stay tuned as we begin our official countdown in January.
We will begin our 2022 budget process in December. The preliminary budget view for 2021 is much better than anticipated due to a special in-year gift dedicated to operations from the Joanne Waddington estate trust. More to come in the new year.
As always, thank you to everyone for the wonderful and ongoing contributions to the events and activities that make up our life as a faith community.
And I leave you with the words of Advent to guide us: Peace, Faith, Love and Joy.
Chair of Council