July/August Congregational Update

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 information arising from our meetings. In addition, you can find a variety of Board documents and congregational communications at you can find a variety of Board documents and congregational communications at https://www.mcctoronto.com/about-us/meet-the-board/

Experiencing Church Online and (soon) Onsite:

We continue to receive positive feedback on the quality of our online church experience since moving to a totally online format since March. Staff and volunteers have demonstrated tremendous creativity as they recreated our Celebration Worship Service by creating individual videos that have been seamlessly stitched together to keep us connected.

One minor challenge is one seen frequently on social media: the opportunity for an individual to be disruptive by posting real-time, inappropriate comments on YouTube/Facebook.  We reviewed several options: to delay the posting of all comments until they are vetted and approved, deleting them after they have been posted, or allowing them to be posted in real-time and developing the appropriate response ( or non-response) on a real-time basis. There are pros and cons of all three approaches, but we have decided against the first option. We will adopt the third option (which includes deleting the comment). We encourage everyone to remember that this is a worship service and let that guide their comments.

We will supplement our current online Worship Service by offering a restricted, in-person option for Sunday Services starting September 6, 10:30 AM. We have developed protocols for our in-person Services and urge everyone to read them on the MCC Toronto website. We are committed to continuing our high-quality online version while offering needed protocols for individuals comfortable attending in-person Services.

Financial update:

Good news:

  • We are monitoring the frequent updates to government wage subsidy programs. We have received some respite and continue to monitor our qualifications for higher levels of income subsidy and if we might qualify.
  • Bless 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 at giving@mcctoronto.com If you have not yet signed up, now is the time, if you can.  You can get more details and sign up via: https://www.mcctoronto.com/donate/
  • There are also some expense reductions: printing, sanctuary cleaning, special music, etc

Challenging News:

  • Our 2020 budget included the net goal of $150,000 to be raised from our Pride service, our annual mid-year fundraiser and Christmas Eve Service at Roy Thomson Hall. Our in-person Pride Service was cancelled which put us $20K under the plan, and we have now had to cancel our plans for a fundraising event in September. Our Christmas Eve Service at Roy Thomson remains a very dim possibility based on what we know at this point and the planning time required to make a service there happen. We are therefore in the planning stages of developing a response that will attempt to address these shortfalls ( in addition to monitoring our expenses as well) so we can continue to be the vibrant, inclusive, progressive church that is required in these unparalleled times.  Stay tuned!

Annual Congregational Business Meeting (ACBM):

Plans are currently underway for this year’s ACBM.  Here are our tentative plans:

ACBM Town Hall-

Date TBD (either Sept. 22 or 24, at 7 PM), held over ZOOM

This special on-line version of our Town Hall format will serve as a forum for all members to ask questions and voice concerns. The 2019 audited statements will be presented and the Governance Committee will present the slate of Board nominees.

ACBM Vote-

September 27, following Service

Members in attendance will be invited to vote.

Pre-read materials for the ACBM Town Hall will be available on MCC Toronto’s website on September 11. Please watch for further updates on our ACBM in The Query and on our social media channels.

Engagement Committee Update:

Bentley Spring and Lisa Chinnery are leading the charge in developing management tools that will enable objective measures for tracking our attendance, offerings, and volunteer efforts. 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….

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 at  bofd@mcctoronto.com.

Lori Boyce,
Chair, Governance Committee

Co-Vice Moderator of the Board

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