Report from the first meeting of the Prioritized Operational Plan Working Group

Held on September 25, 2006

This working group, mandated by the Council of General Synod, is made up of all members of the Management Team, along with the Prolocutor, two other members of CoGS, members of the Financial Management and Development Committee, and Archbishop Terry Finlay, who acted as the group’s theological reflector and facilitator.

Following a time of prayer and theological reflection, the group discussed offering some Operational Values for Church House staff. The following were agreed to as Operational Values and goals to strive for:

  • Enhancing a positive work environment in order to provide a better balance for all staff, including management team.
  • Ensuring that staff maintain a reasonable workload which can be accomplished in a normal work week.
  • Building in regular and on-going opportunities for strategic planning.
  • Ensuring that any new work which General Synod staff undertakes is both financially viable and sustainable from a human resources perspective.

Using the Framework as a backdrop for discussions, and reviewing input from both the staff “brown bag” responses and the Management Team retreat, the working group agreed to propose the following OPERATIONAL PRINCIPLES to the Council of General Synod as a means of testing whether current or suggested General Synod ministries ought to be undertaken or continued:

  • God’s mission in the world is the church’s focus locally, nationally and internationally.
  • All ministry initiatives need to be both realistic and balanced (in terms of human and financial resources).
  • All ministry initiatives will contribute to building healthy congregations and leadership.
  • We affirm and encourage ecumenical collaboration in carrying out our mission and ministry.
  • We will work at finding appropriate ways of investing for the future of our mission and ministry.

In terms of the 2007 budget, the POP Working Group makes the following recommendations to the Council of General Synod:

  • That General Synod gives up the right to move the ABC back to 600 Jarvis Street  by selling its option back and receiving a cash payment.
  • That the Anglican Book Centre be transformed into a telephone and web-based operation and that the storefront be shut down.
  • That the annual grant to the Anglican Journal be maintained at the 2006 budget level for next year.
  • That the annual grant to the Council of the North be maintained at the 2006 budget level for the next 5 years and the Council of the North dioceses be directed to develop their own strategic plans, including a section on how they will achieve self sufficiency, by 2008.
  • That the Letting Down the Nets initiative be reformatted in light of the positive results achieved thus far in the pilot dioceses.
  • That the ministries of all departments be examined with a view to working more collaboratively and that, whenever possible, groups with similar ministries find ways of amalgamating. One such example of this is the proposed merger of Partners in Mission and the Eco Justice Committees.

The POP Working Group plans to meet again after the November Council of General Synod meeting and will engage in further assessment and monitoring of this work.