God the Holy Spirit is always at work. Across Canada and around the world Jesus is still building His Church even though usual ways of meeting and ministering are curtailed. Every other year Alliance people gather at General Assembly (GA) to worship and listen to Jesus, enjoy fellowship with each other, rejoice over victories and successes, and in a deliberative forum seek God’s will together for The Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA). But GA 2020 is a casualty of COVID-19.
The C&MA is finding ways to keep pursuing its mission through re-imagining some aspects of GA. A one-of-a-kind Meeting of Members will convene on Thursday, June 18 to do necessary business and on Thursday, August 27 a live President’s Report will be presented to celebrate ministry and mission.
In light of COVID-19, Corporations Canada paved the way for organizations incorporated under the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act to conduct annual meetings virtually. Subsequently, the C&MA Board of Directors enacted a section in the General Operating Bylaw (GOB) permitting a 2020 annual Meeting of Members only to be conducted virtually. This meeting’s agenda will contain more than most Meetings of Members, but not everything that would occur in normal GA business sessions.
A certain amount of latitude is knowingly being taken with the letter of the law as contained in the GOB. But extensive effort is being made to align with the spirit of the law found in that same GOB.
Some elements of a GA will be part of this Meeting of Members:
- Delegates will register according to GA policies in order to participate.
- Reports prepared for GA will be received from the President, the Board of Directors, and the presidents of Ambrose University and École de Théologie Évangélique du Québec (ETEQ).
- The GA Committee on Finance will examine and recommend action regarding Global Advance Fund and Alliance Retiral Fund audited financial statements and appointments of auditors.
- Elections will be held for President, the Board of Directors, and executive positions on the 2022 GA Committee on Nominations.
Other regular GA components will look different:
- The three readings of the Report of the Committee on Nominations will not all occur at the meeting but be spread out over a 30-day period from May 19 to June 18.
- Electronic voting will replace paper ballots, and the GOB requirement that a voting delegate needs to be physically present at a meeting will not apply this time around.
- Board recommendations prepared for GA that would have been analyzed in committee and then brought to Assembly floor for debate and decision have either been enacted already (subject to ratification by GA 2022) or are being postponed until GA 2022.
Further details are contained in the Report of the Board of Directors.
Though GA 2020 is not happening, Alliance people right across the country are invited to participate in these events being held in its place. In all of this, the understanding and backing of the constituency is being sought in order to move our shared mission forward in the midst of current realities.