Dear Fort George Baptist Community,
Welcome to our 2022 online Year End Congregational Meeting.
If you are a member at FGBC we are looking for your input on several points of business. These include:
~Passing the 2023 church budget (see attached)
~Ratifying the names nominated to leadership positions (see attached)
~Approving a change to our constitution (see attached both existing and proposed)
~Approving a change to our bylaws (see attached both existing and proposed)
As this is an online Congregational Meeting, we will follow the subsequent timeline:
-Question period (November 13th - 23rd)
-Answers and motions (November 25th)
-Voting open (November 27th – 29th – all votes must be in by noon on the 29th)
-Results provided (November 30th)
Why update the constitution?
Our existing constitution has two problems with it. First, our affiliation with the North American Baptist head office is problematic because they have moved from Illinois to California so the address in our existing constitution is wrong. To avoid this problem moving forward our affiliation has been moved from the constitution to the bylaws (see Article 1).
Second, the government wants constitutions to be as simple as possible. Our current constitution has some statement of faith stuff included in it which should not be there (our statement of faith is in our bylaws). The updated constitution comes at the recommendation of our Regional Minister, Bob Krahn, and is an adaptation of the College Heights Baptist Church constitution.
Why change the by-laws?
The reason we need to update our bylaws is to better reflect the way we are currently operating, and acknowledge the way our church culture has changed over the years.
In 1959, when our church began, people had great interest in participating in congregational meetings. In fact, coming to a church meeting was one of the major social highlights of the day. But this has changed. As a result, the way we do church business also needs to change. To this end there are two significant changes to our bylaws that we feel better reflect the way business is currently being handled at the church.
First, we seek to move toward a leadership structure where the board (which we will call "The Table") handles most of the church business. We will still have church members and congregational meetings, but those meetings won't handle the church business, instead the Table will handle the business. This is kind of how Canada is run - the citizens elect the government who handles the business.
The second change we seek to move towards is moving from two boards to one. The old leadership structure had a Deacon's Board which handled the "spiritual" aspects of ministry, and a Church Committee which handled the money and the "practical" aspects of ministry. The problem with this is that every aspect of ministry is both spiritual and practical. We want to move to one board which will hold these two ideas together while also streamlining our business so we don't have to handle everything twice (once with the Deacons and then once with the Committee).
We recognize this represents a significant change to our governance model, and so we suggest that we try the proposed bylaw changes for one year and revisit them a year from now to decide whether they are working well. If they aren’t, we will at that point return to our current bylaws or amend them as needed.
Please see the six attached documents and direct all questions, comments or concerns to Leanne at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the church 250-564-6287.
Thank you on behalf of the leadership team, for your consideration and participation on these matters. And please remember that God loves you and so do we.
Pat Duncan, Moderator