How We Govern Ourselves
At Hills of Peace, we have designed a system of governance that is custom made for our unique circumstances, yet consistent with our constitution. Our objective is to ensure that all aspects of leading and running the affairs of our congregation are handled effectively and efficiently.
The three key elements of governance include church council, a number of portfolios, and our pastor. Their areas of responsibility include:
- Church Council - Elected by and accountable to the congregation, Council’s primary responsibility is to provide overall leadership for the congregation, including:
- Providing vision, direction, goals, policies, budgets
- Ensuring support systems and structures are in place to effectively carry on the business of the congregation
- Ensuring wise stewardship of assets, resources and money
- Setting the tone and being agents of unity for our congregation
- Monitoring the overall health of the congregation
- Portfolios - a number of committees responsible for getting things done and making sure things are looked after within their defined mandate. Each portfolio is accountable to Council, and is responsible for:
- Fulfilling their defined mandate
- Developing annual plans and goals for their portfolio, consistent with overall congregational goals
- Managing budgets assigned to them by Council
- Serving as sounding boards for Council and taking on initiatives at request of Council
- Pastor - our Pastor is our Spiritual Leader, serving as ex officio member of Council with full voice at Council meeting, but does not vote or make motions. Our Pastor also participates in the work of individual portfolios in a manner that makes the best use of her time and gifts.
Our Council is made up of 7 members, elected for 2 year terms for a maximum of 3 terms or 6 years, before stepping aside for at least one year. Council Officers, elected each year by the Council, include the Council Chair [also Congregational Chair], Vice Chair, Treasurer and Secretary. Council meets monthly except during summer months, and special meetings may be held from time to time to deal with specific issues.
Council functions on a “shared leadership” model, with the Council as a whole responsible for fulfilling the mandate set out above. Council works cooperatively with and provides support to our Pastor in the spirit of partnering and shared leadership.
The “first among equals” is the Council Chair who is ultimately responsible for the effective functioning of Council on behalf of the congregation.
There are 9 portfolios:
- Children and Youth Ministry
- Worship and Music
- Financial Management
- Mutual Ministry
For each portfolio, Council ensures there is a leader and provides support in establishing a portfolio team. The portfolio leader does not necessarily have to be a member of Council. However, each portfolio has a liaison member on Council to foster communications and ensure accountability.
To foster good communication and involvement by the congregation, we have two general congregational meetings per year, plus special meetings which may be called from time to time for a specific reason.
The Annual General Meeting is held every January. At this meeting, we elect Council members, review and receive reports, set our budget for the coming year and identify vision goals to be achieved.
The mid-year meeting is held every June. At this meeting, we review our progress in carrying our vision forward and achieving specific goals, review our financial status and from this, provide direction for revisions to our goals and financial commitments if necessary.