Governance Model for Stoney Creek United Church

This governance model was approved by the congregation in June 2017 and confirmed by the Presbytery in October 2017.

We are a congregation (“SCUC”) within The United Church of Canada. (“the Church”)

We subscribe to the three statements of faith adopted by the Church.

We are governed by our Church Council and by the Manual of the Church (“the Manual”) as it is published by the Church from time to time. In the event of a contradiction between The Manual and this governance model or policies of SCUC, the former shall prevail.

The Manual requires that our governance model conform to certain regulations. (See Appendix Two regulations covering the congregation). In 2017, the Manual dated 2016 on page 62 stated the following:

7. Organization—Governing Body of the Congregation or

Pastoral Charge

The requirements set out here for a governing body of a congregation or pastoral charge may be customized for other local ministry units, with the approval of the presbytery.

7.1 Responsibilities of the Congregation or Pastoral Charge

A congregation or pastoral charge is responsible for having a governing body. It must

(a) decide on a governance model for the congregation or pastoral charge; and

When the congregation or pastoral charge has decided on its governance model, it must seek presbytery approval. See section B.7.2 below.

(b) elect the members of the governing body.

Some people are automatically members of the governing body because of the position they hold in the congregation or pastoral charge. See section B.7.3.1 below. These people are not elected by the congregation or pastoral charge.

The governing body is accountable to the congregation or pastoral charge

This document replaces the document known as The Constitution of SCUC.

In addition to measures mandated in The Manual, a majority of votes at a congregational meeting is required to decide the following:

Election of persons to positions

Approval of the annual budget

Approval of any single, un-budgeted expenditure in excess of $3,000.

Removal from office of any person elected by a congregational meeting.

In 2016, our mission statement “Discovering and Sharing God’s Love,” was adopted by SCUC. Our Mission, Vision and Values may be amended from time to time by SCUC.

The governing body shall be a Church Council


A congregational annual meeting shall elect persons to the following positions

Church Council Chair

Church Council Vice-Chair

Church Council Secretary

Church Treasurer (if not already elected at a separate Congregational Finance meeting)

A person who was Council Chair during the immediate past year shall be a member of the Church Council, with the title Past Chair.


Members of the Foundation Group

Members of the Mission Group      (the”Groups”)

The ideal number of members for each of the Groups is a minimum of seven.

A majority of those elected shall be Full Members1 of SCUC


The Groups shall have authority between Council meetings to act within the respective area of responsibility outlined in their Group mandates.

The Foundation Group mandate shall include:

To be spiritual leaders in SCUC, to seek God’s will in their work for SCUC and elsewhere and to conduct themselves as encouraged by Jesus Christ.

To provide for Wise Stewardship of Resources/Facility  (To live with respect in Creation – United Church Creed; using the gift that God gave me, I…laid the foundation…but each of you must be careful how you build – 1 Corinthians 3:10)

To address responsibly the financial and facility needs and realities of the whole body of the church.

To ensure provision of premises suitable to the needs of SCUC.

To ensure stewardship activities are conducted sufficient to provide resources suitable to the needs of SCUC

To report to the Church Council quarterly and to the SCUC.

The Mission Group mandate shall include

To be spiritual leaders in SCUC, to seek God’s will in their work for SCUC and elsewhere and to conduct themselves as encouraged by Jesus Christ.

To provide opportunities for Faith Formation and Worship (For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them – Matthew 18:20)

To provide opportunities to our Members/Adherents to develop a strong sense of community within SCUC (By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another – John 13:35)

To provide Service to our volunteers and church leaders (one body, many members given gifts of leadership – Romans 12:4-8)

To provide Service to our wider community (…do justice, love kindness, walk humbly with God – Micah 6:8)

To report to the Church Council quarterly and to the SCUC.


Other Church Council Officer Mandates

Chair of Church Council     As outlined in the Manual pg. 67, and

The Chair is also expected to assist the Groups in coordinating their activities where opportunities for conflict arise and to promote communication among within and between Groups.

Vice Chair of Church Council

To assist the Chair and to assume the duties of the Chair as necessary from time to time.

The Vice Chair is also expected to assist the Groups in coordinating their activities where opportunities for conflict arise and to promote communication among within and between Groups.

Secretary of Church Council

As outlined in the Manual pg. 67.

Treasurer of SCUC

As outlined in the Manual pg. 67.

The Past Chair shall be expected to provide advice to the Chair and Vice Chair and assist them in resolving conflicts and to lead the work of recruiting and supporting volunteers in all roles.

Term limits

For the health of the congregation and development of leaders, there is an expectation that Officers with the exception of the Treasurer will retire from their positions after serving no more than two years in a position.

Church Council

For greater clarity, we affirm that the Manual stipulates the Minister is a member of all Councils, Groups and other bodies with the exception of Ministry and Personnel Committee and any JNAC or JSC.

It shall also include all Elected Officers, Elected Group Members, Elected Presbytery Representatives and one Trustee appointed by the Trustees.

It shall be the governing body with duties, authority and responsibilities as outlined in the Manual (2016 edition pages 64-69) and the following:

It shall meet within thirty days after the annual congregational meeting and quarterly thereafter. In the event that an additional meeting is requested by one third or more of its members, or by the Minister or by the Chair of Council, it shall meet within fifteen days after such request.

In addition to requirements of the Manual, a quorum shall consist of a simple majority of Council Members.

It shall recommend an annual budget to the Congregation

It shall approve work plans for the Foundation Groups annually and approve changes as requested by the Groups from time to time.

It shall receive reports from the Groups.

In the event of an elected person leaving the position for any reason Council may, by simple majority, appoint a replacement to hold office until the next Congregational Meeting.

Trustees and Presbytery Representation

Shall be elected and serve as mandated in The Manual

End notes

1 Full Member, as defined in The Manual



Appendix One

Our Mission:

– Discovering and Sharing God’s Love –

Our Vision states that we are:

Discovering God’s Love through:

  • Each other
  • Meaningful discussion
  • Uplifting group studies
  • Engaging sermons that provide fresh approaches to scripture
  • Wonderful music

Sharing God’s Love by:

  • Being a part of a welcoming place for everybody
  • Celebrating together
  • Providing needed programs
  • Participating in fun social activities
  • Engaging in acts of kindness, gratitude, love and justice
  • Praying for and serving one another, our community and the world

Extending God’s Love by:

  • Creating a church home that provides a place of sanctuary, peace, prayer, comfort and fellowship to all who need us.

We Value:

Love – We believe our relationship with each other should be genuine, open and honest.  We endeavour to make every individual feel valued and respected.

Acceptance – We believe that each person has gifts beyond differences in age, material wealth, gender identity, culture, education, mental or physical health and ability.

Caring and Compassion – We believe as a church and as individuals we must always strive to treat people as taught through the messages of Jesus Christ.

Respect – We believe that everyone is a child of God and is sufficient in God’s sight.  We respect everyone’s place in their faith journey.

Curiosity – We believe that we discover God everywhere in public worship, in private prayer, in groups and alone, in work and play.  We welcome questions and intellectual exploration as we make our faith journey of discovery.

Generosity/Sacrifice – We believe that God wants us to do the right thing, even if it is difficult.  We are blessed in many ways and have an obligation to share.

Humility – We don’t pretend to have all the answers, but we strive to find them together.