June was a month filled with many activities. This message comes a little later than originally planned as a result. In keeping with the habit of previous Council Chairs I will provide a brief check-in on Council meetings on a regular basis.
Council met Tuesday June 22 with a very full agenda. The major item for consideration was the compensation equity discussion and decision which was facilitated by Beth Symes on behalf of Martha ter Kuile. Bloor Streeters received a message on this issue June 26 so I will not go into the details here except to thank the many people who acknowledged and fully support this decision. As part of the Ministry and Personnel discussion Council explored what if any support Martha might find helpful in preparing for her four-month transitional sabbatical. Martha is giving this consideration and will respond soon.
In keeping with the theme of support, Council also spent time talking about what assistance our new Minister Russell Daye might find helpful with his transition to Toronto and Bloor Street. He has been receiving some help in finding housing. Russ and his partner expect to be in Toronto in mid to late July when there will be a better opportunity to speak with him to determine what he might wish including a possible transition group.
Council received a request from City Shul to access the sanctuary for the High Holiday services in early September, as they had been able to do in 2020. Council approved the City Shul request with the proviso that all public health requirements are met and a full plan regarding access, use and sanitization requirements is provided by City Shul. Church Operations Manager Marta Hajek has been asked work out the details with City Shul including an appropriate usage cost.
Council also spent talking about the potential use of the church by Bloor Street in the fall for services or meetings. There was a general sense that there will be very limited use of the building but a hope that one or more Sunday services might be possible during the Christmas season. Input from our new minister is required on this issue. Assuming we will turn the building over to the developers by the end of February significant work will be required to empty the building contents in the late fall. Planning for this is well underway, including the removal of the organ which is currently scheduled for the month of January.
A small group led by Jennifer Gordon has been meeting to explore possible hybrid service options such as keeping Zoom services while moving towards in-person services at some point in 2022. Several options are possible and will be explored with Russ Daye.
M&P – Council agreed to extend the contract terms for Amanda Christie (Church Communications Co-ordinator) and Tina Edwards (Pastoral Care Connector) for one year to the fall of 2022.
Communications – Council has agreed to an idea proposed by Amanda to create profiles of Council members for posting on the Bloor Street website. There was also an update on the roll-out of Church Social. The goal is to have this completed by early August.
Social Justice – Council approved a recommendation for Social Justice to develop a template letter for signature to be shared with the congregation in support of the litigation for a moratorium on the development of Six Nations Territory known as 1492 Land Back Lane.
Council also approved the Social Justice recommendation that the Thanksgiving offering go to Pond Inlet and the FCJ Refugee Centre, both of which have received BSUC support in the past.
The July Council meeting will have a considerable amount of time devoted to exploring plans for 2021/22.