November 4, 2020
One of the key elements to round out the Collaborative Model of functioning as a Canadian MB Conference is it Bylaws. During the past 12 months, many hours of drafting, discerning and gaining legal counsel have occurred in order to prepare a Proposed Amended General Operating Bylaw to the Membership. We have a few further discernment settings to go through but here is where we have come through early November.
Keeping Annual General Meeting and Including Member Organizations
Following an initial draft, our legal counsel reviewed the proposed bylaws for consistency with our founding Charter and this led to one of the more significant changes in the Bylaws and Collaborative Model. Whereas earlier there was a proposed substantial decision role for the gathering of boards (then called National Assembly) and that churches would express their will through the votes at Provincial Conferences, the new proposal is that we continue with our Annual General Meetings with Church delegates, but we also include a limited number of delegates from the Member Boards. That AGM gathering is now called National Assembly and is described in Article 6. That group is the sole decision-making body for the Members; the gathering of Boards is now called National Council (see Article 6.9) and has a planning, recommending, and monitoring role. We now have a more fully-represented constituency to make decisions for the well-being of our national denomination.
Preserving Provincial Authority regarding Admission and Discipline of Member Churches.
During the discernment meetings, one of the key issues has been the preservation of the Provinces to admit or suspend their member churches. See Article 4, section 4.6. for this point.
Role or Office Changes
There are a few changes to individual positions or roles:
In the area of Committees, please note the following:
Appointment of Board members to Partner Agencies
While representatives to various boards is maintained via election at a National Assembly (AGM), should there be a vacancy arise between conventions, the Executive Board is now mandated to appoint a representative to fulfill the vacated term. In the past the only option was to appoint a current EB member to fill such a vacancy. (See Articles 14.3 and 18.)
A Dispute Resolution Article (Article 23) has been added to help us resolve issues that may arise between partners or committees in our conference.