GC43 Governance Decisions Made

On Tuesday morning the General Council began its first decision-making session, concluding three decisions on diverse topics made related to matters of governance:

  • The Manual of the United Church will be amended to allow for meetings by e-mail in exceptional circumstances. Clear parameters and policies will be developed by the General Secretary.
  • UCW (United Church Women) representation on the new regional councils will be left up to each regional council.
  • Faithful decision-making on social issues will follow principles and practices outlined in a General Council Executive report (GCE12).

The latter report contains preliminary work that came before the 42nd General Council 2015 from Alberta and Northwest Conference. The report identifies three core principles:

  • A dedication to making social justice decisions that reflect The United Church of Canada’s core convictions to love God and neighbour, and to respond to the call to be participants in the healing of creation
  • A dedication to speaking out, when others are mostly silent, on behalf of vulnerable and marginalized people in our society
  • An openness when making social justice decisions to hear from all the diverse voices that make up our church, including people from different racial, cultural, economic, and age groups, as well as regions, community sizes, and abilities

Hewitt Holmes reporting for the faciltation group said, “Discussion groups said that governance is about decision making, accountability, transparency, accessibility, and keeping our vision and mission clear. It’s how we relate, but not how we rule each other. It’s conciliatory. It has both organizational and theological implications.”