Moderator’s Town Halls: July Strategic Planning Update

In the month of June, we wrapped up the consultation phase of the Strategic Planning process and are now moving through analysis to framing and drafting the plan. We continue to work toward a proposed plan for the General Council Office going to General Council Executive by the end of September, and a proposed mission and vision for the whole church going to the General Council 43 Recall meeting in October. We will also try to identify conversations that will not be completed by this process but are needed.

As well as two staff surveys, five Town Halls, and four Indigenous Church Circles we held 23 other virtual consultations, overall reaching about 1,000 people from across the church and partnerships. Thank you to all who contributed their insights in the consultation process. In addition to the Strategic Plan, we are working on an operational plan and plotting out a transition period (January‒August 2022) for getting from where we are now to fully implementing the plan.

From all of the consultation and from exploring different scenarios, we are narrowing down to a proposed mission and vision. We have coalesced around six words to express a proposed mission:

Deep Spirituality. Bold Discipleship. Daring Justice.

We have a growing sense that these words reflect what The United Church of Canada seeks to be about at this time. Each phrase stands on its own, but together they reflect a process. From deep faith we are called to a life of worship, community, and service, made visible through expressions of justice in and beyond the church. We have also begun to focus on four key themes related to growth, leadership, equity and sustainability in property and resources, and justice in and beyond the church. The content of these themes will be shaped in reference to commitments (such as the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples or Becoming an Anti-Racist Denomination), and will be lived out in relation to operating principles such as around collaboration and creativity. We now begin to shape objectives, benchmarks, and key initiatives to enliven these themes. Much thanks to the Project Team from across the church that has helped to guide us.

If you are a General Council 43 Commissioner, please anticipate a brief survey in mid-July as we continue to develop the plan.