National Council Autumn Meeting
On the weekend of Oct. 30 – Nov. 1 the National Council held their Autumn meeting at IPEC in Las Vegas. This was the first meeting for the Council at IPEC. We were grateful to be one of the first groups to be able to use the facility. It is visually stunning, and the meeting rooms were first rate. A big thanks to Steven Jares and the staff there for their help. The meeting was presided over by Dr. David Burgess, Council Chair from District 10. The meeting agenda was to hear and discuss district reports, reports from each of the Council committees and to conduct Council business by voting on the recommendations from the committees.
During the course of the year, the Council committees met remotely to conduct committee business. The meeting allowed the entire Council to hear the reports of the committees’ work. Council committees include:
Recommendations Committee – chaired by Noah Ross, District 2
Charter Committee – chaired by Libby Henkin, District 1
Grants Committee – chaired by Christine Hempowicz, District 4
Judicial Committee – chaired by Allen Tamelessio, District 3
Financial Committee – chaired by Cindy Pfeiffer, District 7, and
Executive Committee composed of Council officers – David Burgess, Chair, Lucy Park, Vice Chair, District 6 and Terry Yamane, Secretary, District 5.
On Saturday, October 31st, the Council reviewed and discussed the committee reports. Highlights of the committee work for this year included a national strategy summit convened July 17 – 19 by the Recommendations Committee. Members of National HQ and affiliated organizations, the National Council, local pastors and youth leaders engaged in church growth and development met at East Garden to create a strategic plan. The Charter Committee conducted four webinars over the summer to clarify questions about the charter and its implementation. The Grants Committee collected reports from last year’s grants and made recommendations for improving the program. The Judicial Committee met with Susan Bouachri, National HR Director, to discuss the policy handbook. The Financial Committee reviewed the church’s audit report and made recommendations to facilitate better communication of financial information between HQ and the membership. Those committee reports are now available on the website.
In addition to committee reports, the Council also reviewed the district reports on Oct. 31st. Districts wrote extensive reports about “bright spots” and challenges that they are facing. Three issues emerged as the common ones that most districts are confronting: a concern over lack of 2nd generation participation in the local churches, a sense of disconnect between HQ and the field, and a lack of clarity about the role and importance of the District Councils. These district reports were shared with President Michael Balcomb and a free-ranging discussion of these issues as well as future church governance ideas ensued. Highlights of that discussion are available on the website.
On November 1st, the Council conducted its business meeting. The report of the Recommendations’ Committee based on the National Witnessing Summit held in July was approved. The report of the Grant’s Committee from the grants distributed in 2014 was discussed and its recommendations were voted on and approved. The Charter Committee proposed a number of amendments and changes to the Charter that were discussed and voted upon. The results of the business meeting, including an explanation of the Charter changes are now posted on the website.