An Important Change Announcement

Dear MCC Toronto friends, family and faithful,

At our Worship Service this morning, we shared that MCC Toronto’s Board of Directors and Senior Pastor Rev. Jeff Rock had come to the difficult decision to part ways.

As a result, Rev. Jeff has resigned with immediate effect.

We know this news will be met with sadness among our MCC Toronto family, a feeling shared by every member of the Board.

Over the past five years, Rev. Jeff and MCC Toronto have accomplished much together: from a new Congregational Care Program, to bringing us together in new ways during the COVID storm, to the success of our $5 million ELEVATION Campaign, including the nearly completed renovations to our public spaces.

We will be forever grateful for Rev. Jeff’s lively and meaningful sermons and his ability to bring people together. We acknowledge and give credit to Rev. Jeff for his energy and creativity in making plans for the future and in overseeing changes that have allowed MCC Toronto to be more relevant to the needs of our members and congregants.

That being said, there are other parts of the Senior Pastor role that aren’t necessarily visible to the general congregation. The Board and Rev. Jeff had many conversations over a long period of time about the need to address a series of church management issues. When Rev. Jeff returned from his recent sabbatical, the Board engaged in further conversations to address these concerns.

At the conclusion of this process and after much thought, prayer, contemplation, and reflection, it was clear we could not resolve our differences and we mutually came to the decision announced today.

We are disappointed that things didn’t work out and can tell you that Rev. Jeff is as well. But he is doing okay. We were struck by the following passage in his letter of resignation, which Rev. Jeff has permitted us to share with you:

One of my favourite scripture passages is from the prophet Micah 6:8 “What does God require of you O mortal, but to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with your God?” May you continue to do the work of justice-seeking, building a loving, kind, and inclusive community, and walking in the ways of the divine – as I too continue on my journey of faith.

While Rev. Jeff’s departure means a change in our immediate workings, as a congregation and as a faith community, we have weathered change before – and in all cases, have persevered and become stronger. We want to assure all of you that MCC Toronto is on solid ground, and this change in leadership will not impact that.

During this interim period, Rev. Deana Dudley will continue as Acting Senior Pastor where she will be ably assisted by Rev. Junia Joplin. MCC Toronto operations and finances are in very good shape and are being led by Executive Director Shannon Malloch. Our new expanded slate of human rights programming – made possible through the ELEVATION Campaign – will be rolled out soon through the work of Bennett “BJ” Jensen, our inaugural Human Rights Director.

We apologize to all of you for not being able to update you more fully over the past two months. We do, however, hope that you will understand that confidentially was required as part of these sensitive discussions – not only for MCC Toronto but also for Rev. Jeff.

If you require any special spiritual care or comfort during this period of transition, please make a congregational care request at www.mcctoronto.com/care.

In the coming weeks, the Board will host a Town Hall following a Sunday Worship Service to provide you with further updates on our more immediate plans including the search for a new Senior Pastor. We invite members and congregants to share their thoughts and suggestions with us directly via bofd@mcctoronto.com.

In our hearts – and we hope in yours – Rev. Jeff’s time at MCC Toronto will always be remembered and appreciated.

Sincerely,

Bradley Hickman & Susan Leslie-Berkis
Co-Chairs
MCC Toronto Board of Directors

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