The Canadian Council of Churches Governing Board Meeting
May 19-21, 2021 – Video Conference
The Canadian Council of Churches (the Council) is the broadest and most inclusive ecumenical body in Canada. The Council’s Governing Board brings together representatives from Anglican; Evangelical; Free Church; Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox; Protestant; and Catholic member denominations to review and coordinate its Committees and Commissions, appoint officers, obtain funds, and determine external relations to other religious and secular organizations and movements.
At this semi-annual Governing Board meeting of the Council, we:
- Exchanged views with the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, and other Members of Parliament to a special session of the Governing Board meeting entitled “Preparing for a New Normal: A Vision for a Just and Caring Canada—The Prime Minister of Canada in conversation with The Canadian Council of Churches.” Other special guests: MP John McKay, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen (Minister of Families, Children and Social Development), the Honourable Filomena Tassi (Minister of Labour, and the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, President of the Treasury Board), and MP Rob Oliphant, Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs.
- Elected a new Executive Committee to lead the Council into the 2021-24 Triennium. The new President is the the Rev. Dr. Das Sydney (Canadian Baptists of Ontario and Quebec). The new Vice-Presidents are the Rev. Amanda Currie (Presbyterian Church in Canada), the Rev. Fr. Mebratu Kiros Gebru (Ethiopian Orthodox), and the Rev. Chung Yan Lam (Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada).
- Elected three new Youth Governing Board members (Jessica Stevenson, Erin Jamieson, and Maria Roman)—the first time that youth delegates have been appointed to the Governing Board since 2007.
- Welcomed the Women’s Inter-Church Council of Canada (WICC) and the Prairie Centre for Ecumenism as new affiliate members of the Council.
- Learned from the Rev. Dr. Carmen Lansdowne and Sr. Sue Wilson about the uneven burden economic, social, and environmental impacts COVID-19 pandemic has placed on vulnerable populations domestically and globally, and how Christians in Canada might minister to and advocate with them.
- Adopted a newly revised and updated Constitution and By-Laws.
- Adopted a New Governance Protocol for Project Ploughshares, the peace research institute of the Council.
- Discerned, discussed, and adopted the New Triennium Plan for 2021-24. These operating guidelines and program priorities will direct the work of the Council for the next three years.
- Gathered in a time of sharing and reconnection across the distance of space, Zoom, and COVID-19 isolation.
- Finalized a time-sensitive statement on the recent violence in the Middle East and its impact in Canada.
- Reflected with gratitude and careful hope on what the post-pandemic future many mean for the Council, our churches, and the world.
The next meeting of the Governing Board is scheduled to take place on November 17-19, 2021. We have a booking at Queen of Apostles Renewal Centre (Mississauga, ON), however this may be changed to a virtual meeting via videoconference. We will obviously take government health advice and plan accordingly.