Annual Meetings During the Pandemic
Do you need to meet?
Congregations hold meetings to receive information and make decisions. With current provincial restrictions on gatherings of people, the best course of action may be to defer any meetings already scheduled and those not yet called, including the annual general meeting.
If you decide to proceed with a meeting, any electronic method is acceptable as long as the participants have the ability to communicate with each other orally or through typed messaging at the same time. As long as most members have and can use the needed technology, it is a reasonable choice to proceed with a meeting. The congregation must be given advance notice of a congregational meeting, read aloud during public worship. Please see the document linked on the Governance in Congregations During COVID -19 website of The United Church of Canada for more information about meeting requirements.
On April 25, 2021, the General Council Executive approved a temporary amendment to extend an allowance for pastoral charges to delay holding an annual meeting and have the governing body (usually a Board or Council) approve the budget. Here’s the text of the motion:
The General Secretary recommends that the General Council Executive:
(a) further extend the temporary amendments to pastoral relations policies that were originally adopted in April, 2020;
(b) temporarily suspend the requirement in section B.5.1 of The Manual for congregations or pastoral charges to hold an annual meeting; and
(c) temporarily amend the responsibility of the congregation or pastoral charge to make a decision on their annual draft budget by allowing the governing body of the congregation or pastoral charge to fulfil this responsibility where necessary,
with each of the foregoing to be in effect until December 31, 2021, subject to earlier cancellation or further extension by decision of the Executive or Sub-Executive of the General Council.
The Communities of Faith Commission approved a prior version of this motion in December:
that the Communities of Faith Commission of Shining Waters Regional Council permits congregations or pastoral charges in Shining Waters Region to allow the governing body of the congregation or pastoral charge to make a decision on their annual draft budget, and that this permission is in effect until June 30, 2021.
Zoom Tip Sheets
These documents were created by regional staff from Shining Waters and Canadian Shield Regional Council based on our experience of hosting regional meetings. We offer them as our best advice toward planning your own meetings using the Zoom Video Conference platform.
- Zoom Tip Sheet: Voting (Updated January 28, 2021) Outlines the various voting options within Zoom
- Zoom Tip Sheet: Account Settings (Updated January 28, 2021) Recommended meeting settings for your online Zoom account
- Zoom Tip Sheet: Technical Hosting (Updated January 28, 2021) Registration, Preparation, Rehearsing, Orientation and Sample Scripts for orienting participants
- Zoom Tip Sheet: Orienting Participants (Updated January 28, 2021) to Zoom Two Powerpoint Slides to support the script for orienting participants to the meeting features. Can be customized to your meeting. The script is included in the slide notes.
- Zoom Tip Sheet Technical Hosting Roles A one page description of how to share hosting and cohosting roles
- Zoom Tip Sheet: Meeting Security (Updated January 28, 2021) Considerations for security in Zoom meetings including prevention and preparedness
- General Zoom Support
- Getting Started with Zoom (beginners)
- Zoom Blog How-To Articles
- Online Event Best Practices
- How to update your account
- Scheduling Meetings
- Non-verbal Feedback and Reactions (raise your hand)
- Using Breakout Rooms
- Zoom Blog All You Need to Know about Breakout Rooms
- Polling for Meetings
- Generating Meeting Reports
- Combating Meeting Disruptions
Meeting Controls Overview [10:17]
Zoom Changes to Reactions Menu [3:54]
How to Use Zoom Polls [2:15]
How to Host A Congregational Meeting with Zoom [1:34]
Sample Motion and Vote from SWRC: Consent Agenda [4.23]
How to Host a Zoom Meeting CSRC
For governance/policy/process questions contact Jody Maltby
Regional Staff Lead and Communities of Faith Minister
Serves in: Shining Waters Regional Council
Location: Teleworks and works from the Guthrie Main Office
Role: Jody coordinates the support to communities of faith, including coordinating the work of regional staff.
Contact Jody about: Conflict Resolution; Community Ministries; Congregational Finance; Covenants; Governance; Grants; Property Renovation or Sale; Transitions – amalgamations, collaboration, closures.
For technical/Zoom questions contact Donna Rutz
Serves in: Shining Waters Regional Council
Location: Teleworks and works in the Toronto Office. Please call ahead to ensure the office is open.
Role: Donna provides administrative support to the region as a whole including communications, record-keeping, event planning, office management, and reception.
Contact Donna about: General Inquiries; Community Events; Covenanting Services; General Inquiries; Records Management; Regional Events; Updating Contact/Subscription Information; Website.