From the General Council Office, United Church of Canada
These notes are designed to answer initial questions that people may have, and to provide information on how people can raise their questions or concerns about the remit implementation process.
Who is working on the implementation of the remits?
The whole church will eventually see changes if the remits are enacted. There are a lot of people involved in the implementation work now, and as the process unfolds, that number will increase as presbyteries, Conferences and the soon-to-be regions get involved in winding down, getting started, and setting priorities. The General Council office is also working on the changes it will need to make.
To help coordinate, plan and support the change processes, a small group of senior staff leaders representing the Conferences (through three Executive Secretaries) and General Council office (through three Executive Ministers) has been appointed. Rev. David Allen, former Executive Secretary of Toronto Conference, is providing staff support. His role is to work primarily with the task group, to gather questions and information from across the church, to bring people together to work out solutions, and to make sure that people have the information they need to make good decisions.
What are the key dates that are coming up?
September 30, 2017 GC42 is recalled to consider…
- Establishing a Boundaries Commission
- Naming members of the Boundaries Commission
- Establishing January 1, 2019 as the effective date for remit implementation
- Extending the term of office for the current General Council Executive
- Directing the Nominating Committee of the GCE to recruit for the Executive for the next triennium and to bring forward those nominations to GC 43
January 10, 2018 Boundaries Commission releases its preliminary report, and invites feedback January 10-31. This will be before a final report is released, which will be no later than March 15, 2018
July 21-28, 2018 GC43 decides whether to enact remits
January 1, 2019 Remits enacted, new regions come into existence
How will the Boundaries Commission do its work?
The mandate of the Boundaries Commission can be found at https://www.gc42.ca/special-meeting. Input is being sought from Conferences and presbyteries, and other groups who have been having conversations about boundaries. The Commission will meet in mid-October, will consult in October and November, and will meet again in early December to consider the input that has been received. The Commission is being supported by Rev. Carol Hancock, former General Council minister for regional relations.
Feedback: Because of the necessary tight timelines for remit implementation, there is a quick timeline for feedback to the Boundaries Commission, i.e. January 10-31, so if bodies of the church wish to review the initial report and provide feedback, they should tentatively schedule time for this now.
What will be the impact on my congregation or ministry?
Congregations and ministries within the United Church will not see any immediate changes during the implementation period leading up to January 1, 2019. Starting in 2019, there will be a new relationship with the region. The broad strokes of that relationship can be found in the actions of the 2015 General Council meeting; see https://www.gc42.ca/remits.
When will the assessments for pastoral charges be known?
Pastoral charges will receive their 2019 assessment notices by or around October 15, 2018.
What will presbyteries and Conferences be doing between now and January 1, 2019?
Current presbyteries and Conferences and their staffs will continue to function, even as plans are being made for the post-January 1, 2019 period. Plans will be made for celebrating the ministries of our current structures. Presbyteries and Conferences will identify actions that will continue into 2019 and beyond. Wind-down actions will be required.
In the meantime, the current structures are encouraged to start thinking about what the future will be like as the church evolves into its new form. They might want to discuss questions like:
- What clusters might emerge? How might communities of faith interact with each other, how often, around what topics?
- What resources will be needed? What finances can be transferred into the new regions? How will the current volunteers offer their gifts in the new regions?
- What information needs to be passed on to the new regions? What are the issues that are important that might be carried on? What are the stresses or problems that will need to be addressed?
How do I/we get on-going information or provide input and feedback?
Information about the remit implementation process will be available on the web on a regular basis at www.united-church.ca. Please search for remit implementation. The remit page will be available at the beginning of September.
Questions/comments/suggestions/concerns can be sent to View Email.