Thursday, February 19, 2009

do you want your toys with that?: updated

It’s our church annual meeting tonight. Which means for me, today is one of the more stressful days of the year. There is a huge amount of work, done by lots of people, needed to make a night like this go well – finances done, budgets agreed, ideas prepared with clarity and accuracy. An organisation has history that it brings to annual meetings, let alone the history that a baptist church might bring. That history can include people throwing their toys!

This is my 6th annual meeting at Opawa and to date they’ve been great – cordial, positive, smooth. But who knows what could happen at this time around.

Some of my missional and emerging friends pooh, pooh meetings. For me, I consider them essential to healthy living. I was listening to a friend raving about their new church that meet in a home and how great it was that together they talked about how they were going to distribute money that people gave. At which point I couldn’t help myself and cheekily suggested it sounded just like a church meeting. I then asked what would happen if 2 people had different ideas on spending the money. In the silence, I said I had some written guidelines about what to do at that point. Called a constitution of course! My point, amid the banter, was that all groups need ways to be talk and be accountable and do life together. Which makes finances and budgets and motions an essential part of healthy living.

So tonite Opawa gathers. And I wait, wondering how the agendas of a diverse and complex group will meet on this particular nite, amid this particular season, with all its particular pressures and joys …

Updated: Ok, if you are interested highlights included
– a harmonious and prayerful feel
– learning about the various congregations and appreciation of how our diversity as a multi-congregational church is enabling us to connect with many different types of people
– a very slight surplus for 2008, due mainly to a slight (1%) decline in offerings being matched by a decrease in staffing levels
– update on the church building project, with 4 tenders expected and likely to come in at the fundraising target of $495,000 (Yah!). A special meeting will be needed to approve the tender, clarify the cashflow and gain members approval in regard to borrowing.
– our current world financial times makes setting a 2009 budget a challenge. We have reduced ministry expenses and kept offerings at 2008 levels. Debbie Jaegar as church treasurer challenged us to keep the faith.
– Steve spoke about some of his dreams for 2009 including Bible days and mission collectives
– Deirdre Wilson was thanked for her role as office secretary for the last 25 years and commissioned into her new role as a crafts chaplain
– the reappointment of Sylvia Koppes for another term as Board member
– the search is underway for a Church Manager. The Board was asked to form a call committee who would interview and make a recommendation to the Board. Members are encouraged to suggest names to the call committee.
– with the church 100 years old in 2011, Allan Goulstone was commissioned as researcher, with the aim of putting together a history, written and oral, of the church.

A good night and my thanks goes to all those who work so hard to make evenings like this run smoothly.

Posted by steve at 06:05 PM

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