Special Congregational Meeting Cancelled

A Message From The Chair of the Unified Board

To the Congregation of North Kildonan United Church:

As you are no doubt aware, the Major Capital Projects Task Group have started working toward a plan that would hopefully improve accessibility to all three levels of our church, as well as provide a much needed upgrade to the Narthex. To that end, we had scheduled a special congregational meeting to be held following the service May 24. However, the Executive of the Unified Board, on the recommendation of the Major Capital Projects Committee, has decided to postpone this meeting to a date, yet to be determined, in the fall of 2015.

Based on feedback — from the congregation following the Major Capital Projects Committee (MCP) presentation on May 4, the Open Houses held on May 6, and additional information from the Conference of Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario — it was felt that this postponement would allow the Major Capital Projects Committee to consult more widely with the congregation as a whole, for the congregation at large to become more familiar with the various proposals before us, and to allow the Major Capital Projects Committee to gather additional information.

Both the Board and the Major Capital Projects Committee recognize the important contributions and appreciate the unique perspectives which each of our people bring to this community. In deciding whether or not to undertake something as significant to our common life as a major building project, it is the desire of both the Board and the members of MCP that all those who wish to participate in this discernment and decision-making process are able to do so. Were it up to the Board and MCP alone, we would find a way in which everyone who is part of this community could cast a vote whether they could be present for the congregational meeting or not.

That said, the Board has been informed that under the governing rules of the United Church of Canada, only full members of the UCC in attendance at a duly called congregational meeting are able to vote on matters that require Presbytery approval (such as a major capital project).

The Board and MCP recognized that such a rule would exclude many whose wisdom we value, and whose guidance we seek, while placing the heavy responsibility for making a decision which would impact all of us, in the hands of those who were physically able to be present at the meeting.

While it is probably impossible to choose a date and time for a meeting which would allow everyone to participate in the actual vote, by postponing the congregational meeting until the fall of 2015, the Board hopes to ensure that as many of our people as possible will be able to participate fully in the consultation, discernment and decision making processes. It is the intention of the Board and the MCP that over the next few months, we will provide opportunities which will allow the congregation to hear from, and to take into account, the voices of those whose circumstances may not allow them to participate in the actual vote on the date that it is held.

While not every one may be in a position to cast a vote, our hope is that over the next few months we will be able to guarantee that everyone has been able to make their voice heard, and can trust that their position will be prayerfully and respectfully considered.

If you have any questions or comments regarding any of the construction proposals under consideration, please feel free to contact either Clayton Gording or Dan Gauthier.

Thank you for patience and assistance in this matter,

Peter Latimer,
Chair, Unified Board of North Kildonan United Church

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