parkdale united church

429 Parkdale Avenue, OTTAWA, Ontario K1Y 1H3


Section 1: General Terms of Reference for the Council

For purposes of this document, the term Church refers to the Congregation of Parkdale United



A. Purpose:

Responsible to the Congregation, the Church Council is the decision-making authority of the

Church. The purpose of the Council is to lead the congregation in the fulfillment of the Vision

and Mission of the Church. The Council oversees all activities of the Church in a manner

values. It is structured so as to represent a broad range of Church

interests and to facilitate communication within the Church.

The Council is responsible, along with the Committees of the Church, and with the support of its

membership, for:

· the spiritual well-being of the Congregation,

· the management of the Church's financial affairs, and

· the administration of the Church's property.

All of the Committees and groups of the Church are accountable to the Church Council for their



B. Duties and Responsibilities:

The primary responsibilities of the Church Council (as reflected in the United Church Manual),


1. To oversee the spiritual interests as well as the temporal and financial affairs of the


2. To oversee the outreach of the Congregation in evangelism and social action.

3. To act as the Court of the Pastoral Charge, receiving and judging petitions and appeals

from the Congregation, and submitting them to the Presbytery as appropriate.

4. To oversee the work of the Church's Committees and groups by:

i. providing guidance and assistance as required;

ii. fostering communication between the Church's Committees and groups and the


iii. ensuring that all Committees and groups have adequate members and resources and

are fulfilling their mandates;

iv. receiving, reviewing, and acting upon reports and decisions from Committees and



5. To develop, review or modify Church policy in accordance with the current Manual of

the United Church of Canada.

6. To keep a record of proceedings and transmit annually to the Presbytery for review.

7. To report formally each year to the Congregation on the activities of the Church.

8. To oversee the finances of the Church through the Finance Committee, and to ensure that

financial statements are produced and presented at the Annual General Meeting.


9. To give guidance to the Property Trustees on property matters.

10. To oversee the hiring of lay staff for the Church.

11. To oversee human resource issues for Ministry Personnel and lay staff through the

Ministry and Personnel Committee.

12. To recognize suitable lay members of the Church as Inquirers and to recommend to the

Presbytery suitable Inquirers to be Candidates for Ministry.

13. To recommend to the Presbytery suitable lay members of the Church who may be

licensed as lay preachers or appointed as Lay Pastoral Ministers-in-Training, or as

Designated Lay Ministers.

14. To receive reports from Presbytery, Conference, and General Council, and make them

available to the Congregation as appropriate.

15. To evaluate the effectiveness of the Council through periodic reviews.

16. To review and approve proposed adjustments to the Terms of Reference of Committees

and groups, and report approved material changes at the Annual General Meeting.

17. To present proposed adjustments to Council’s Terms of Reference to a congregational

meeting or the Annual General Meeting, for approval.

18. To strike ad hoc Committees for specific matters affecting the Church as required.


C. Council Membership:

Formal Committees are represented directly on the Church Council. The Council includes

elected and ex officio members, all of whom are entitled to vote on Council issues. (Ex officio

members are included by virtue of another position that they hold within the church.) Elected

members of Council must be members of Parkdale United Church.

The elected members are:

· Chair

· Vice-Chair

· Secretary

· Treasurer

· Representatives to Presbytery

· Committee Chairs

· Two members-at-large from the


The ex officio members are:

· Ministry Personnel

· Past Chair of Council

Other working groups and task forces have access to the Council through Members-at-Large

and/or through Committee Chairs. Individuals or groups of individuals wishing to undertake

new initiatives to extend the work of Parkdale may seek approval by submitting a request to

Council in the form set out in Appendix E. Upon approval by the Council, the group will assume

responsibility for delivery of the planned initiative.


D. Meetings:

The Church Council shall conduct a minimum of four meetings each year. Any interested

member or adherent of Parkdale may attend Council meetings as an observer, but voting is

limited to the Council members. Council meetings will be announced to the congregation in

advance via the regular church worship bulletins. Meeting outcomes will be communicated to

the Congregation.


E. Quorum:

Quorum shall be 50% + 1 of Council members, including either a member of the Church's

Ministry Personnel or, when the Church is without a permanent minister, an appointee by


Quorums for each Committee will be determined by the Committee unless dictated by The

Manual of The United Church of Canada.


F. Elections and Term of Office:

Election to the Council shall be made at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the

Congregation and be for a term of two years. Members are eligible for reelection at the end of

their term. If an elected member of Council resigns in mid-term, the Council may appoint a

replacement to serve until the next AGM. If a Council position remains vacant following the

AGM, the Council may fill it when an appropriate candidate is found. Changes to Council

membership will be communicated to the Congregation in a timely manner. Approval of

membership changes will be sought at the following AGM.

Likewise, members of the Property Trustees and Finance Committee will be elected at the AGM

for two year terms. Vacancies in these Committees may also be filled in the manner described

above. As the Manual of the United Church of Canada stipulates a maximum of 15 Trustees,

they will be assigned as follows:

i. A maximum of 12 Trustees will serve as members of the Property Trustees

ii. A minimum of 3 Trustees will serve as members of the Finance Committee

(designated as Financial Trustees).


G. Amendments:

The Council may determine that the number or mandate of formal Committees or Council

Members may require changes. Minor or routine changes to the Council structure will be

approved by a vote of the Council and be in effect until the following AGM at which time the

amended Council structure will be presented to the Congregation for approval.

However, in cases where a Council Member feels that proposed changes to the Council structure

are substantial, s/he may bring a motion to Council that the changes need to be approved by the

Congregation prior to the next AGM. If this motion is approved, the Chair will call a meeting of

the Congregation with at least thirty days notice. This will be announced via the Church worship

bulletin. Two-thirds of the eligible voters in attendance are required to approve changes to the