Committee on Governance Report 2018

The Committee on Governance (CoG) was formed by the 2010 Convention to provide an independent body commissioned to make specific recommendations regarding best practices, alignment with canons and existing governance structure meeting emerging needs. Its six members appointed equally by the Standing Committee and the Executive Council are asked by various bodies within the Diocese for recommendations in specific areas. We may also initiate recommendations by looking at current practices to ensure that they properly enhance the functions of the Diocese. The Committee on Governance has no authority other than to make recommendations, which are presented in writing to the appropriate Diocesan bodies.

This year we have been looking specifically at leasing practices of our congregations and overall communication in the Diocese. The Standing Committee informed us that there are wide discrepancies in the way congregations enter into leasing agreements of parish property. We have been analyzing various leasing documents to determine best practice for a smooth and complete process in initiating these contracts. While there may be a process in place, it may not be evident to those entering into these types of agreements. We will make written recommendations to the Standing Committee when we conclude our study.

We have also been looking broadly at Communication in the Diocese. What are the best ways for the governing bodies of the Diocese to transfer information to the Deaneries and ultimately to members of each congregation? Recognizing that communication is a dialogue, we look for ways to ensure that the voices of individual church members are heard. Talking Points from the executive council to the Deaneries is an example of progress that has been made.

The CoG is also looking at the Diocesan website to see if there are modifications that can be made to enable members to easily find information that they need. While the website is a great source of information and is very complete, we have heard and found by experience, that it may be somewhat difficult to navigate. We will meet with Stephane Taylor, Working Group Head for Communications, to offer our suggestions.

In the coming year, we plan to focus on our continued work as an independent body assigned to assist the governing bodies of the Diocese on best practices.

Thanks to members of the committee for their work and dedication, which they took on in addition to responsibilities they have in their parishes. Also, thanks to the Bishop, the Communications group, and other governance bodies for their collaboration.

— Jim Wiant, Chair, Committee on Governance