January 2021 Update

News from the MCC Toronto Board of Directors

As part of our continuing commitment to be transparent and timely in communicating with our members and congregants we want to highlight some of our recent activities. Your Board meets bi-monthly and works to provide you with the key items arising from our meetings. In addition, you can find a variety of Board documents and congregational communications here.

 

LGBTQ+ Refugee Programs Update:

Aleks Dughman-Manzur, Director, provided an update re: our signature ministry:

  • We currently have 60 hours of management support from Aleks and Martha Singh-Jennings. We will soon be posting to hire a part-time administrative person (paid for by the City of Toronto). They are supported by several key volunteers.
  • Peer Support went on-line with COVID-19: support for virtual hearings, a Pride Guide, access to social services, job search workshops, media workshops, one-on-one support, social and mental/physical health.
  • 1,760 subscribe to our weekly newsletters. We provided 408 Membership letters to assist in hearings.
  • 90+ people received in-kind donations of clothing/furniture.

We have external partnerships with:

  • Several refugee lawyers to provide workshops to prepare for hearings.
  • Ryerson University to support media workshops and storytelling.
  • LQBTQ+ Refugee Mentorship Initiative.
  • Lisa Trudell, Career Specialist.

We did 15 submissions for sponsorship and 4 have arrived.

We are part of:

  • Rainbow Coalition for Refugees
  • Canadian Council for Refugees (Aleks is Vice-President)
  • Canadian Refugee Sponsorship Agreement Holders Association
  • LBGTQ Advisor Council

Advocacy Wins:

  • Eligibility for COVID-19 benefits
  • Increase from 25 to 50 Rainbow Resettlement Assistant Program (RAP) cost-sharing spots
  • Unlimited Rainbow RAP non-cost sharing spots
  • Resume travel for refugees as “essential travellers” (ie: were VISA ready prior to COVID onset)
  • Safe Third-Party Country Agreement – US no longer considered a safe country (decision currently being appealed)
  • Health care workers have a pathway to permanent residency.

 

Financial update:

Keeping the Faith Year-end appeal

As we considered the adverse impact of COVID-19 on our revenue, we developed an ambitious goal of $150K which included a $75K match from the Hon. Margaret “Margie” McCain.  We rolled out the campaign on October 2, 2020.

In 2019 we had 92 donors who raised $85,000 for our year-end campaign.  In 2020 275 donors gave anywhere from $20 to $75,000 and raised $225,000.  We are thrilled by the width and depth of the generosity of our supporters.

We are blessed by our Sustainers who make regular, automated donations via credit card or bank account withdrawal! We are happy to report that this income stream has remained remarkably steady through this period with new donors almost making up for some donors who have understandably had to reduce or terminate their commitments. We greatly appreciate all of you can maintain your current giving. Some of you may have the capacity and desire to increase your support during these trying times – thank you.  Please contact our team here if you have not yet signed up, now is the time, if you can.  You can get more details and sign up here.

We do not yet have a final 2020 financial update.

 

Engagement Committee Update:

Bentley Spring and Lisa Chinnery are finetuning Key Performance Indicators and visual representation tools that will enable objective measures for tracking our attendance, offerings, and volunteer efforts.

We look forward to being able to focus on volunteer leadership tracking later on in 2021.

We know that a congregation that is engaged, feels valued, and part of a vital community is the key to our continued success and is essential to our vital work as we build bridges and transform the world through transformed lives.  A review of the measurements will be incorporated into future Board meetings to inform and challenge us as we make decisions.

We are pleased that our attendance and giving have remained steady in the past year despite the uncertainty, restrictions and variability created by COVID-19.

Our Christmas Concert and Christmas Eve Service both had more than 5,000 views.

 

Risk Management Review

Rev. Jeff Rock provided an overview of work that is being done by the staff in reviewing current policies and procedures in place to address risk review and mitigation.

 

Senior Pastor Update

COVID-19 related: We can still have up to 10 people in the church for videotaping.  We are also uncertain regarding the impact of new shutdowns on Kitchen renovation.

We are updating a new job description for a Manager of Communications and Development and an IIN administrative support for the LGBTQ+ Refugee Programs.

Programming continues on-line.

 

We are a community of faith, providing connection and hope in uncertain time:

We have a rare opportunity to truly distinguish ourselves as a faith community, non-profit, and employer, by the example we provide.  We are committed to using our many gifts and talents to continue to do God’s work in new and innovative ways. We have Jeff, his team, outstanding volunteers, congregants, supporters, this Board…and GOD. Our goal is to emerge from this crisis as a true leader – and this will provide optimal positioning for earning the respect and support of people who may not yet know or support us. Let us know if you believe there is a need we are uniquely positioned to fulfill in these historic times. Stay safe!   Remember, “We are not alone, God is with us”.

 

Contact us:

Remember that your Board represents and is responsible to you, the congregation.   If you have questions or concerns you can contact us via a confidential email here.

Lori Boyce,
Chair, Governance Committee

Co-Vice Moderator of the Board

 

 

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