Rt. Rev. Richard Bott was elected as the moderator of The United Church of Canada in July 2018, and will continue as the moderator until 2022. (Credit: Richard C. Choe)

Topics: October 2020, UCC in Focus | Church News

General Council 44 postponed to 2022

Commissioners voted over the weekend to push the meeting due to the COVID-19 pandemic


Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, The United Church of Canada’s commissioners voted over the weekend to postpone General Council 44, which was to take place in July 2021 in Calgary. The intention is to set a similar date in 2022, which extends General Council 43 by one extra year. Essentially, this means the current General Council, including Moderator Richard Bott, will remain in place for one year longer than normal.

More than 250 voting and non-voting members attended the virtual meeting on June 20. They discussed the pros and cons of postponing the event, versus moving it to a virtual format. Accessibility was consistently brought up, when members spoke about the idea of an online-only event. For instance, wifi is not equally distributed across the country, which makes streaming events difficult in small communities.

Members also brought up the toll that constant virtual meetings can take on people’s mental health. Others expressed fears that vendors might not refund money that General Council Executive had spent to reserve services and locations, should the event remain as scheduled but end up cancelled anyway.

Of primary concern was the importance of having a “plan B” in place, in case large groups are still unable to meet in 2022. In the end, the motion to postpone was carried, with only eight votes against.

Glynis Ratcliffe is Broadview’s senior writer.

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