A clear mandate is a great gift. The recent mandate given by our members will encourage and direct our Board of Directors for years to come. The many members, about 111 in all, who attended General Convention 2018, voted on challenging questions. The result is our mandate.
What does this mandate tell us?
It says a smaller Board of Directors and fewer standing committees is appropriate given our membership size. It says that involving the membership in decisions annually, not every two years, gives us the ability to request bylaw changes, to share financial information, and to elect leaders in a timely way. The structure and role of Central Council, as created in 1975, is replaced by the Annual Conference. We have 6 standing committees, not 11, along with the ability to establish time-limited, task-driven, ad hoc committees as needed. Your Board of Directors attended an orientation on June 2 and a 3-day working retreat at the end of August. Spurred on by your voices, the implementation has already begun. They are on the go!
There were the decisions that we hoped we would never have to make. One was the decision to close the Chautauqua Scholarship Program after its one hundredth year of service, which is after the 2020 program. We have 2 years, “to finish well”, to use a phrase from Rev. Billy Graham. This is strong motivation for each of us to talk to the young adults around us and explain that they have only 2019 and 2020 to experience a gift of a lifetime. Let’s go!
Our fledgling internship program needs your support to find the colleges and universities that require internships in order to graduate. We will post opportunities with those Career Development offices. Investigate the opportunities at your local post-secondary schools and send me the information. Let’s go!
This mandate also encourages the Branches to continue to serve their members well. At the international level, our ability to impact membership numbers has been limited, our service to juniors not easily measurable and our mission support simply a flow-through of your dollars. I am asking Branch members to tell their stories to friends, neighbours and acquaintances. People want to be a part of helping their neighbours. I am asking Branches to reach out and encourage their junior members. Tell us if you have Junior Circle leaders who would attend a New Horizons Program. We can train, but only you can sustain. And, choose your missions. If you wish to have an impact, select your missions carefully, support them as fully as possible and develop a personal relationship with their leaders. Development is more than dollars. Let’s go!
The projects of your Circles, Unions and Branches are not directly affected by these changes. The impact may only be noticeable in our effort to stretch your dues even further. No dues increase for 2019. Four issues of The Silver Cross in 2019. Come on beloved community, there is work to do, let’s go!