Friday, April 4, 2014
"Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good." 1 Corinthians 12:4–7 (NRSV)
Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,
I am writing today as Moderator to say thank you to the many thousands of volunteers who are part of our United Church family.
Volunteers are the heart, soul, and backbone of The United Church of Canada from coast to coast to coast. It's impossible to calculate the number of volunteer hours offered each day, week, month, and year in congregations and communities throughout Canada and around the world; the positive impact of that work is equally immeasurable. But when you stop to think about it, even within your own congregation, it is truly impressive.
In my travels as Moderator, I have met many hundreds of faithful volunteers, all of whom have offered countless hours in service to others. And United Church people don't limit their volunteering to church activities—you will find them involved in projects that benefit the whole community, assisting individuals in need, and contributing their time and talents in ways that help to make this a better world.
Whether it's working at a food bank, being a volunteer driver, organizing a fundraiser, or visiting a patient in hospital, there is always much to do. And you do it, faithfully, generously, and with a smile.
The Right Rev. Gary Paterson
The United Church of Canada/L'Église Unie du Canada
United Church of Canada General Council News Release:
The Downside of Upsizing Bank Executive Salaries
Toronto: Bill Davis is one Bank of Montreal shareholder who’s not happy to see his dividends being used to pay exorbitant salaries to top bank executives. In fact, he’s hoping other shareholders will agree with him when he addresses the bank’s annual general meeting in Toronto on April 1.
“Our global business model is broken. It has gradually fostered excessive levels of compensation for senior executives, placing them in a small elite who are drawing resources from our shareholders’ return and from other stakeholders,” says Davis.
Davis is a familiar face at these gatherings of shareholders. He regularly attends annual general meetings of all five major Canadian banks. In this instance he will be exercising his own proxy as well as representing The United Church of Canada. The United Church has asked Davis to add its voice to the effort to apply shareholder influence toward a more responsible program for executive compensation because it shares Davis’s concern about income inequality.
Davis’s pitch every time he speaks at one of these annual meetings is for banks to consider incorporating vertical benchmarking—comparing executives’ salaries to the society where their friends and neighbours live and work, to their staff, and to executives in other occupations—when they calculate executive compensation.
He says the banks’ overreliance on horizontal benchmarking—comparing salaries only to other bank executives who are also already excessively remunerated—has been a major factor in the past 20 years in spiralling senior levels of remuneration upwards.
“How do compensation packages of bank executives compare with the senior people at major universities or large medical facilities over the past 20 years? What role does cost of living or the consumer price index have? And, should there be a base level where all staff is protected but above which the percentage increase is entirely merit based?” asks Davis.
He also wonders why, as shareholders, “we passively accept the premise that senior executives are only motivated by excessive remuneration far beyond the range that senior leaders received 20 or 30 years ago.”
He notes, as well, that 21 pages of this year’s BMO proxy circular are devoted to justifying the enormous remuneration lavished on the bank’s senior people. “Where is there any reference to the real world where the 99 percent live and work?” asks Davis.
For further information:
Program Coordinator, Media and Public Relations
The United Church of Canada
Tel: 416-231-7680 ext. 2016
Toll-free: 1-800-268-3781 ext. 2016
E-mail: Mary-Frances Denis
The applications for IAC-YF are ready!
Please note there are some changes to the WAY the application process works! It is the second year, all money is collected by Halifax Presbytery so we are still trying to work out the kinks. If you have ANY questions, please do not hesitate to ask.
I have included a word document and an identical one in PDF format because it may be easier to print.
Shannon MacLean, Christian Life and Growth
WHAT IS IAC and YOUTH FORUM?
Intermediates at Conference (IAC) and Youth Forum (YF) are each a place of community and a place of faith where United Church youth, between the ages of Gr. 7 – Gr. 9 (IAC) and Grade 10 and age 19 (YF), meet from across the Maritimes, the Gaspé, and Bermuda. It takes place during the Annual Meeting of Maritime Conference, which is a gathering of representatives who make decisions and set policies for the United Church of Canada.
IAC and YF meet as two separate groups. Each group creates an inclusive, diverse and safe community of over a hundred youth in the name of Christ. Each provides a place for youth to explore their faith and to learn more about the United Church of Canada while sharing in music, worship and fun in a spirit-filled community.
COST AND FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
The cost of IAC and Youth Forum is $250 per participant. This fee includes all activities, meals, accommodations, and a t-shirt. Travel expenses are in addition to this price.
Don't let the cost frighten you from applying. Most churches have funding available to help cover the costs of registration and travel. Your church, UCW, presbytery and/or local community groups are good places to ask for support. Ask your minister about how these groups can help!
Halifax Presbytery will be providing $50 towards all registrations received by congregations before the deadline.
A non-refundable deposit of $50.00 must accompany your application.
This fee will be deducted from the total cost of your fee.
The remainder of your fee must be paid in full to the Presbytery by May 10th, 2014.
Payments will not be collected at the time of registration.
HOW TO APPLY
NOTE: In the last number of years, ALL APPLICANTS from Halifax Presbytery have been accepted. No congregation has a limit on how many young people they can send or the number of times a youth can attend.
1) APPLICANT: Please complete the form and return it to your minister, with the $50 non-refundable deposit by MARCH 11th. Please make cheques out to your home congregation.
2) MINISTERS: Collect the completed application(s) and the deposit(s). Have your church issue a cheque for the combined total of the deposits made out to HALIFAX PRESBYTERY. Deliver/mail this to the Christian Life and Growth representative, Nancy Creighton, 11 Pauline Cres, Dartmouth, NS, B2W 2A5 by MARCH 25th.
3) APPLCANT: Arrange to pay the remaining $150 (this represents the total $250 minus the $50 deposit and a $50 contribution made by Halifax Presbytery for those whose applications were received on time) to your minister by MAY 1st, 2014. Please make cheques out to your home congregation.
4) MINISTER: Collect the outstanding fees for all applicants. Have your church issue one cheque for the total registration fees to HALIFAX PRESBYTERY. This cheque is due to Nancy Creighton by MAY 10th (although the earlier the better :)).
5) You will be sent your official e-mail of acceptance by IAC or YF registrars by mid-May with further information for the event.