Diocesan council approves property sales, puts refugee sponsorship on hold

By on May 1, 2022
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Diocesan council met online on Thursday, April 27, 2022.  

Bishop Anna opened the meeting by introducing the Stockdale paradox, which is the ability to have unfailing hope that you will prevail in the end, at the same time as having the courage to face “the most brutal facts of your current reality.” This idea comes from Jim Collin’s Good to Great which is about the common attributes of long-lasting, successful companies and not-for-profits. 

Parishes in transition and financial update 

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In her opening conversation, Bishop Anna presented a “Diocesan scan.” Highlighted was the fact that one-third of our parishes are currently in transition. Out of the sixteen parishes in transition, only four are in the position to be able to advertise for a full-time incumbent. Bishop Anna also talked about how parish assessments for 2022 are approximately $200k lower than 2021, and it is unlikely that they will rebound quickly. Diocesan council discussed how we need to be aware of this reality while at the same time, not lose hope.  

Welcome to new council member, Tim Ray! 

Diocesan council, in consultation with the bishop, appointed Tim Ray, a parishioner at St John the Divine, Courntney, as a member of council. Tim has served as warden and parish council member, had a secular career as a judge, and leads weekday Celtic services. He has also agreed to join the canons committee. Welcome aboard Tim!  

Human resources 

Diocesan council formally accepted a rewrite of appendix G, the human resources policy manual, in the canons. It will be uploaded to the canons shortly and clergy and wardens will be invited to a Zoom presentation with Isabel Weeks, vice-chancellor, to walk them through the new regulations and forms.  

Property sales 

A motion was passed to sell the St Mark property on Salt Spring Island. A second motion was also passed to sell the Strawberry Vale property to the preschool that has been renting that facility from the diocese for several years. 

The refugee program 

Brendon Neilson, our vision animator, gave an update on the refugee program. There are currently 101 individuals sponsored by the diocese who we are still waiting to welcome to Vancouver Island. We will soon be facing a decision about our capacity (both financial and human) to fulfil all the government requirements of a sponsorship agreement holder. In anticipation of this, we have decided that (with a few exceptions) we will not be submitting new applications this year, until we have a clearer picture of what those requirements will be. The refugee program anticipates having this information by September 2022.  

The retirement of Gail Gauthier, finance officer 

Diocesan council took some time to say goodbye and thank you to Gail Gauthier, as the April meeting was her last meeting before retirement. We presented Gail with a print of a heron entitled The Warrior and thanked her for her tireless work for the diocese.  

The next diocesan council 

The next meeting of diocesan council will be on Thursday, June 2, 2022. 

Author

  • Anna van der Hooft is the administrative assistant in the diocese of BC synod office.