For a taste of “what’s new” with the Women’s Inter-Church Council of Canada (WICC) this year, please enjoy this excerpt from the President’s Report shared at WICC’s 2018 Annual General Meeting. If you’d like to see full annual reports (minutes, financials etc.), please contact us.
President’s Report (Excerpt)
As I reflect upon the past year, we have made progress in answering the question “How do we do our ministry?”
There are six parts to that answer below.
I. WITH GREATER USE OF TECHNOLOGY
In order to improve our communications within our organization and with those outside of WICC, and to make better use of our finances, time and people, we must use new tools. Here are several of tools we are utilizing:
▪ Google Docs and Dropbox – These tools make it possible for more than one person to work on a document at the same time and also provide access to documents online regardless of device or location. Using Dropbox to store our documents has also helped us to reduce printing costs as well.
▪ Zoom meetings – Zoom has proven to be a reliable tool for meetings. I use it for my frequent chats with our Executive Director and for our Board meetings. Instead of the Board meeting for a full day before the beginning of our June Council meeting, we were able to conduct our business beforehand using Zoom. That saved us money and also energy. I was able to meet most of our newest Council members first on Zoom. At our WICC 100th Anniversary celebration in Toronto in June many of us were very impressed with how well Zoom worked when our special speaker Emily Pelley was not able to attend the event in person but spoke to us live using this tool.
▪ Videos – Using video to communicate the impact of our World Day of Prayer grants is helping us tell the stories of women changed through our grants. Also, I found it very effective to communicate to the Board and Council ideas and issues for discussion by first presenting them in video form prior to the meetings. It is very helpful if everyone hears the same ideas presented the same way.
II. WITH FEWER FACE-TO-FACE MEETINGS
At our 2017 Annual Meeting, Council agreed that we would meet as a Council face-to-face only once a year in June.
III. WITH A NEW BOARD/COUNCIL STRUCTURE
At this year’s Annual Meeting, we will vote on a new structure that will enable us to make better use of members’ time and talents.
IV. WITH TEAMS
In 2016 we began focusing more on working in teams between Council meetings. A new structure will require even more commitment to working in teams rather than the Board doing most of the work.
V. WITH COMPETENT, COMMITTED CHRISTIAN WOMEN
One of the many joys of serving with WICC is working with exceptional women. I am delighted that our Council has three new enthusiastic appointees: Tina Rideout (Salvation Army); Valerie Hobson (Evangelical Lutheran) and Phyllis Buchner (United Church).
Our Council consists of amazing women! Thank you for the joy you bring to your work and for our shared faith. One of my goals this year was to encourage more time in our meetings to pray for one another. The feedback I have received from our last two meetings was that this time of prayer was meaningful to all of us.
Our Board consists of women with great patience and wisdom. Thank you for your cooperation, support and openness to change. I have valued our open and honest discussions. You have made my role as President easier and I have learned so much from you.
Our staff are women who work tirelessly behind the scenes providing support to Council members, World Day of Prayer Coordinators and financial supporters. Your gifts astound me and your cooperation brings energy and enthusiasm into the office.
Our Executive Director has competence in so many areas and is a delight to work with. Her vision and her faith stimulate ideas and team work. She leads with wisdom and compassion. She has helped us find ways to cut costs in our ministry and has helped us connect with younger women who have assisted us in many ways.
VI. BY CELEBRATING
WICC’S 100th Anniversary celebrations began in Lewisporte, Newfoundland in March. Next was Pembroke, ON in April. In June we held a grand celebration in Toronto and more celebrations are to take place before the end of this year. Our special event held in Toronto was a reminder to me of the importance of celebrating with others what we are doing. Joy spreads! Thank you to everyone who worked on the Anniversary Team, to our Chair Diane Dwarka and to Cath MacKeil.
As I look back on my two years as President I am filled with much gratitude for the privilege of leading and serving this organization. As Diane Dwarka soon takes on the role of President and I as Past President, I am confident that we will continue to change in order to more effectively meet that challenges of a world crying out for justice.
I would like to close with these words I wrote in a report to the Board in January 2018:
“Since my time as President will end in October this year I am thinking about what I would like to accomplish over the next ten months. I would like the momentum generated by the celebrations to spill over with enthusiasm to carry out our mission and vision for decades to come empowered by a structure that saves us money, channels the power of technology and unleashes the gifts and passion of women committed to restoring hope to women touched by injustice.”
Rev. Shirley DeMerchant
WICC President, 2016-2018