Monday, April 20, 2009

What Is It All About?

(30.04.09 - Latest ADDENDUM at the end of this article : Bro Hong Meng’s response to Josh’s comments @ April 29, 2009 10:43 AM )

“What did he do wrong? Who did he offend?” Very good questions indeed.

The issues at Calvary Church had taken such convoluted turns over such an extended period of time that most of us have forgotten what the real issues are. But for those of us who are burdened and had laboured for more than a year, we have kept the real issues in focus, not allowing ourselves to be distracted by the witch hunt, personal attacks, victimization and even condemnation from the pulpit. It is not about personal hurt or personal offences, though there must have been many judging by the outpouring in the blog and at the recent EGM.

The real issues are about the lack of transparency and accountability in dealing with Church matters especially with regards to finance management, are about abuse of powers and the obstinate resistance to be held accountable for mistakes and misdeeds, and are about trying to protect and preserve unreasonable power and authority in the Church.

So what are the real issues? What has been done to address these issues? Here’s an attempt to re-cap and consolidate one year’s events to a few paragraphs.

#1 - The Issue on the Extended Ministries

Two simple questions were asked at the 2007 AGM:

1) “Is CalvaryLand reflected in the Balance Sheet of the Church?”
2) “Are the financials of the Extended Ministries included in the Church accounts?”

From the answers given to these two questions, and the subsequent follow-up by a concerned member, it was established that the Church leadership deemed Calvaryland as well as ALL the Extended Ministries as not belonging to the Church. They were independent and not accountable to members of the Church. (To read HM's article, click onThe Extended Ministries”)

Why do we say so?
These ministries had their own bank accounts and payrolls. They were even outside of the supervision of the Board of Deacons. Up to now there remained no satisfactory answers from the Board to the following questions.

a) “If they did not belong to the Church to whom did they belong?”
b) “What good reason and what benefit to the Church are there to make them separate and independent?”

At the 2008 AGM, we were told in no uncertain terms that the accounts of the Extended Ministries were not given to the members because these ministries did not belong to the Church. There was absolutely no willingness to return these ministries to our Church ownership. One of our Auditors confirmed beyond all doubts that ALL the accounts of ALL the ministries of the Church must be presented to the members. Even then, an attempt was made to avoid giving the members the accounts by calling for a vote to remain status quo, meaning there is no need to furnish the members with the Extended Ministries accounts.

Through divine intervention, and perhaps because members were adequately informed through the two Teh-Tarik Sessions, the members voted for the accounts to be given to the members including those of the Extended Ministries, with a majority of about 60 votes. With this majority vote for the provision of the audited accounts of the Extended Ministries to the members, it can be assumed that the ownership of these ministries would be returned to the Church. Praise the Lord for this.

Please remember that the Extended Ministries were not willingly or happily returned to the Church ownership. The Board resisted all the way but the members decided and voted rightly. If members had been ignorant or manipulated to vote to remain status quo at last year's AGM, the Church would have lost Calvary Land and the Extended Ministries forever. Again, God is to be praised for causing Church members to vote wisely last year.

# 2 - The Issue of Calvary International Ministry (CIM)

The 2008 AGM also sowed the seed for the revelations on CIM. Most of us knew that CIM was a personal ministry of Senior Pastor (SP) established in 2002. It was announced publicly and with great fanfare that the Church contributed RM30,000 for SP’s 30 years of service, to kick off CIM. Then through the effort of a few concerned members, it was gradually exposed that about RM1.9 million had been transferred from the Missions Department to CIM from 2002 to 2007. The almost automatic transfer of RM200,000 per year from Missions Department to CIM was already put in place and it would have continued for years to come if not for the sudden exposure. (To read HM's article, click on Healing and Reconciliation" 3rd Update)

Why the fanfare on the first RM30,000 and then the secrecy on the RM1.9 million transferred subsequently into CIM, a personal ministry of SP?
Even with the unexpected exposure, the Board of Deacons (BOD) refused to acknowledge any mistake or wrong doing. They engaged a forensic accountant and a criminal lawyer to browbeat and intimidate the members, thus justifying their actions. So at the EGM in August 2008, it was made abundantly clear that the money given to CIM, would be kept in CIM bank account, to fulfil the objectives of CIM.

Again through divine intervention, it was declared beyond all doubts by the lawyer that CIM was a personal ministry and had nothing to do with Calvary Church. With this confirmation, CIM membership in NECF could not be sustained. With its membership status in NECF “rectified”, CIM could not maintain a bank account.

What to do with the RM1.1 million still in CIM bank account?
CIM had to “release” it back to the Missions Department. The CIM money did not come back to the Church willingly or cheerfully. They had no choice. CIM had no intention of retuning the money. They were forced to return the balance money because of the effort of some concerned members.

Now that the ownership of the Extended Ministries had been established and the money in CIM account had been returned to the Church, why then the continuing aggravation?
Because the fundamental issues had not been dealt with and unless they are dealt with properly and conclusively the issues like the Extended Ministries and CIM could resurface again. Up till today, the BOD have not acknowledged that the Extended Ministries do belong to the Church. From the recent EGM where 4 Resolutions were put up for adoption by Church members, they have continued to evade the issue of the actual ownership of the Extended Ministries.

This is an issue of utmost importance because there are least 10 ministries currently parked under Extended Ministries of which a few are Income generating ministries which collects money for services rendered which are also open the the public.

#3 - The Fundamental Issues

At the foundation of the Church Constitution lies the root of all our problems. On the surface the Constitution looks acceptable but when analysed properly it gives the Senior Pastor and the Board of Deacons almost dictatorial power.

As we have seen in the recent AGMs & EGMs, they have no qualms about using their constitutional powers to control the Church and deny members their basic rights. The BOD also abused its powers in the witch hunt of members deemed unsubmissive to them, in rejecting the Resolutions put in for the EGM, in the Kangaroo Court on Dr Lum and in his eventual sacking as a church member.

To appear to satisfy the demands for justice and fairness by concerned members, they set up a Constitutional Review Committee. Two members appointed to the Committee had indicated that they are not suited for the assignment yet they were appointed. (To read HM's article, click on “The Need for Constitutional Amendments”)

What have we heard from this Committee since the August EGM?
The four resolutions put up for the April 2009 EGM were from the Financial Governance Task Force (FGTF). The Constitution must be amended to provide adequate checks and balances without hindering the work of the Church. From what was presented by the BOD, it would appear that the instruction to the Committee could be that the Constitution may be amended but the supremacy of the Senior Pastor, “Ketuanan Senior Pastor”, must be retained.

Why are they restricted to only looking at the financial processes?
The FGTF appears to be doing a good work but their mandate does not go far enough. Their mandate should cover all aspects of governance including organization structures, legal structures, human resource procedures and processes, management processes, risks management and relationship with the General Council and the authorities.

Who does Missions Department report to?
Another fundamental issue is the extra-constitutional powers and authority of the Missions Department. This department which receives all our Faith Promise giving, Monthly Missions Offerings and Designated Offerings, amounting to a few millions a year is not covered by the Church Constitution. It operates from a Missions Manual which had not been approved by the Church members. The BOD also has little or no control over its decisions and operations.

The Missions Committee is appointed by the Senior Pastor and the Missions Director. This results in a Missions Department that is outside of members control except for the tabling of the Annual Accounts at the AGM. Over the years the information content of these accounts had been diluted such that we learn nothing much from it. The Missions Department and all its components must be covered by the Church Constitution and brought back under the BOD’s control and supervision with ultimate responsibility to the members at General Meetings.

Is the Board moving forward with the Constitution Review and improving governance?
Yes but not much, more cosmetic than real. They are treating some minor symptoms but not curing the sickness. They are so protective of the status quo that they ignore the normal rules of meetings and refused members amendments to their resolutions at the recent EGM. They would rather go back to amend the resolutions themselves and then represent them again at, yet another meeting. This process can go on forever.

It would have been more efficient if members were allowed to agree on the amendments and have the resolutions passed as amended. If this route was adopted by the BOD, by now, the four Resolutions would have been done with. However, they are so fearful that allowing Church members this fundamental right would cause them to lose their powers and control over the Church.

“What did he do wrong? Who did he offend?”
We all know that we are forgiven by God and we are willing to forgive others. However, in our church context now, it is not just about forgiving. It is about getting our foundation made right. It is about the need for a Constitution Review. It is about truthful and transparent reporting to Church members about important decisions and happenings.

Was there admission of mistakes or wrong doing? Was there remorse or repentance? Was there a genuine desire to rectify the situation to prevent such problems from happening again?
When something is wrong, it must be admitted to and it must be made right.
Thus far what had been made right was not done willingly or voluntarily. It was extracted through persistent hard work by some concerned members.

Other than heartaches, brokenness, vilification, condemnation and curses, what have the concerned members gained from all this?
Nothing! Except the knowledge that we have acted in obedience to God’s will - To pursue the need for change in the current system of Church Administration, so that the future generations can worship God in Calvary Church with no qualms of possible "skeletons in the closet" and that is most important to TTG.

Article contributed by Bro Wong Hong Meng

ADDENDUM added on 21 April 2009.

Three of the five resolutions tabled at the April EGM relating to financial provisions contained input, comments and recommendations from the FGTF. However, the proposed resolutions were not drafted or put up by the FGTF at the EGM. I stand corrected.

Hong Meng

ADDENDUM: Bro Hong Meng’s response to Josh’s comments @ April 29, 2009 10:43 AM

Josh said…
It has been some time since our Easter amnesty and after the blessed weekend, I took some time off from CT to clear my thoughts. Work has since overtaken a lot of that free time.

"Need more be said?" however got me thinking again. There's enough speculation and self interpretation posted for plausible deniability I guess... meaning it ain't fact why even bother.

CT has been keen to take the high road on the nature of postings, only to turn a blind eye when it suits them. See how a speculative posting is allowed to dwell without response? Then again, it's probably the same in CU.

But truly I agree, this is magnifying peanuts. More importantly is the AGM in June.

In that respect, I wholeheartedly question Hong Meng's intention in his article "What is it all about". He writes about focusing on the "real issues" and then highlights the hurt and offences etc. Why not focus on the issues instead of fanning the fire?

HM’s response…
I reread the article and I am afraid I cannot see how you came to the conclusion that I had highlighted the hurt and offences. Perhaps we could ask the readers of Calvary Today whether they agree with you. Intentions are very difficult to demonstrate much less prove or disprove. Only God knows our true intentions. And I am fully aware I have to answer to Him. You have every right to question my intentions just as I have to question yours in remaining anonymous. What are you afraid of that you cannot stand in the light? We must not be afraid of vilification if we are standing for truth and righteousness.

Josh said…
He writes that "If members had been ignorant or manipulated to vote to remain status quo at last year's AGM, the Church would have lost Calvary Land and the Extended Ministries forever." Think about it... firstly, if Calverites had voted to maintain status quo they are either ignorant or manipulated? And do you take all Calverites for fools if it were to come to light that these initiatives were lost? What do you think it would do to the bigger scheme of things? I will no doubt be vilified by supporters of CT, but Hong Meng, if you take the role of prosecutor, leave out your personal inclinations.

HM’s response…
You are absolutely right. Our members are no fools. But can they be ignorant? Yes, not because they are dumb but because relevant and necessary information had been withheld from them. Accountability is providing the information before they are asked for. In that the BOD had failed. Who knew, before the 2007 AGM, that Calvary Land and the Extended Ministries did not belong to the Church? Perhaps only some deacons and some pastors. I did not know. Therefore I asked the two questions. Who knew that besides the RM30,000 to kick off CIM, about RM1.9 million was transferred into CIM from the Missions Department? Perhaps some deacons did not even know that. We can be ignorant simply because we trust and therefore we don’t ask.

Can they be manipulated? Yes, spiritual authority is a very powerful thing. We have been conditioned not to question those in positions of spiritual authority. “Trust and obey” and the all too commonly misused, “Touch not God’s anointed”. Take for example the vote on the RM150 million for the CCC. Asking members to stand up in support of the Church leadership cannot be taken to be a vote on a motion to approve the RM150 million. It was unconstitutional and in my view, manipulative. So we stood up as commanded from the pulpit and then it was minuted that the members had approved the RM150 million. Really?

Was I the prosecutor at the 2008 AGM? I only spoke twice. The first time to amend the minutes as my two questions in 2007 were not minuted. The second time was to read out from a prepare script to ask for the accounts not to be tabled for adoption by the AGM but to defer it to when the accounts of the Extended Ministries could be included. I just presented the situation to the members. Others added their comments. That they voted for the accounts to be annexed is proof enough it was not my personal inclination. It was the will of the members.

Josh said…
I have genuine reasons for this because I realize I do know you. And while I reserve my personal opinion of you as private, I am concerned at the subtle work of your pen.

The issues at hand are this:
1. Structural - via the AGM, FGTF etc. this are being addressed. If we are concerned about the slow pace of development, the right forum is the AGM. To be fair, I think change is imminent and deserves a chance. I can think of reasons why Calvaryland for example can operate better outside the structure of the church, but at the same time expect financial accountability on the account of my having participated in funding the program.

HM’s response…
Not only the slow pace of development but the fact is that the Committees cannot be said to be independent and impartial. You said the right forum is the AGM. That is debatable. But the fact is that it is the only forum available to the concerned members. The members need to know what has happened in the last one year. They must exercise their membership responsibility with due care and diligence. They must vote wisely as they did at the last year’s AGM. But would the seven resolutions submitted by the concerned members be on the table?

Josh said…
I would lump CIM under this issue. Again, I see no useful reason for stating that they did not return the money "cheerfully". This matter was disputed and the resolution meant that monies was transferred back. There was no unaccounted use of the funds and the onus is now on ensuring that any future transfer of funds are verified and accounted for.

HM’s response…
CIM was not resolved. An attempt was made at the August EGM to justify their actions. Did the members accept the reports from the forensic accountant and the lawyer? There was no vote. We were not allowed to say whether we accept their justification or not. The reports were not made available to the members. So it was assumed that it was resolved. It was assumed to be even more resolved when the money was returned. The money was returned because CIM was no longer a legal entity. The money was not returned as a solution to the dispute. Josh, what happened in CIM was wrong. I am not in a position to argue on the legality of the fund transfer but definitely, it was morally wrong. If our Church was registered as a company or a society it would be CBT. And many churches are so registered.

Josh said…
A lot of opinions have been offered by various people - some using multiple aliases - both pro and con. Senior Pastor did not have to make that apology on Easter service. Not in front of the whole church and visitors. Maybe time for us to go beyond the hurts and give love a chance to cover the multitude of sin.

HM’s response…
Was that an apology? When an apology is prefixed with an “If”, at best it was a half-hearted apology. And if I am not wrong, the “If” was in connection to “hurt”. As I have said, it is not about hurt and offences. It is about transparency, accountability and governance. It is about the extended ministries being taken away from church ownership without as much as an “excuse me”. It is about the RM200,000 a year transfer from Missions Department to CIM as well as the RM41,000 contributed by us for the Indonesian earthquake victims and not received by them. Would there be an apology for these mistakes? Must the constitution be amended such that these mistakes would not be repeated?

Yes, SP did not have to make that apology. Why did he?

Yes, give love a chance. Show that to Dr Lum, please.

Josh said…
On each side of the argument, sentiments run high and self-righteousness is there for all to see. But no one, least of all myself, is perfect. The fundamental grace of our faith is one of reconciliation.

HM’s response…
None of us are perfect. But when obvious faults and serious weaknesses are so apparent in the procedures and processes we must make all effort to correct them as soon as possible. That is how we can become less and less spotty before God. Reconcile we must but the mistakes and wrong-doings must not be allowed to happen again. Almost as soon as the CIM transfers were revealed in May 2008 I asked for healing and reconciliation through a Truth Committee and a Constitution Review Committee. I offered myself and my friends to be part of the process but it fell on deaf ears.

Josh said…
And to be an agent for Godly change, Hong Meng, even me, we need to set aside the personal agenda.

HM’s response…
Personal agenda? What possible personal agenda could I have? I have no ambition to be a pastor or a deacon. I have no desire to manage or run the church. I am already retired. I have told my TTG friends that in August 2008 whilst in HCMC, the Lord convicted me that I am not to hold any position in Calvary Church, whether elected or appointed. I did not want them to have any misplaced expectation. I will serve the Lord but with no position.

No, my agenda is not personal, but corporate (as in the body). Lawyer KK Wong observed rightly. He said, he had never seen a group of church members who were so protective of church money. Yes, my agenda and those of my TTG friends is to protect the church money. That is stewardship. To be accountable to God and man for the money He entrusted to us and to hold those to whom we transferred that stewardship to be similarly accountable. I am not prepared to accept the erroneous teaching that what I give to the Church I cannot ask question. Even Moses provided accountability.

Josh said…

I have genuine reasons for this because I realize I do know you. And while I reserve my personal opinion of you as private, ... (quoting your earlier statement)
I shall not say more because you know precisely what I mean.

HM’s response…
Josh, it is grossly unfair that you can claim to know me personally whilst I have no inkling who you are. You have the advantage of being able to evaluate what I say against what you know of me. I do not have that advantage. Therefore I suggest that we meet one on one, "empat mata", without the need for others to know. Then I can explain to you my position and I can understand yours too. However if you are a sister, then I can only meet you together with my wife. Or you can meet me together with your husband.

I also issue out an open invitation. I am prepared to explain my position and the basis thereof to any member, or group of members, of Calvary Church. Just set it up and notify me through Calvary Today. Then they can come to their own conclusion as to my intentions. I will of course be accompanied by one or more of my friends as witnesses.

Posted on April 30, 2009

Friday, April 17, 2009

Information Update

Following the announcement of Preliminary Notice of AGM set for 19 June 2009, several members of the core TTG group have, yesterday, submitted seven (7) resolutions on various areas of concern to the Board of Deacons (BOD) for inclusion in the agenda for the AGM.

For the benefit of all concerned Calvarites, the details of the resolutions will be published in CT in a later posting together with the rationale or explanation for the resolutions. The TTG group hopes that this third time round, the BOD will accord some respect to the members’ rights as enshrined in our Church Constitution and allow the resolutions to be tabled. Please pray that the BOD will accept this in the right spirit.

The core TTG group met for prayers on Tuesday and took some time to debate on the call to have dialogues with the BOD. As we have stated before, the TTG group has always been upfront on their desire to resolve the many issues and concerns affecting our Church within our local Calvary body. From the onset more than a year ago, it was the TTG core members who wrote individually to the BOD and pastors to voice their concerns. Individually as well as in small groups, they have also met with various pastors including Senior Pastor (SP) and BOD on several occasions.

In the last meeting with the BOD on 31 May 2008, the group gave a 7-page memo setting out all the areas of concern with proposed solutions and suggestions. Sadly, hardly anything has developed from that.

The TTG group reaffirms that they are open to meeting the BOD if and when they are called. The TTG group will even welcome CU and CK to join the dialogue.

The group, however, felt that there is no necessity to suspend the CT blog for 2 weeks as suggested by the anonymous “Discernment Needed” especially since the AGM date has been fixed not too far away and members need to be kept abreast of the developments.

All concerned members who support the call for truth, transparency and governance need not wear white for Sunday services anymore. Of course, if anyone wish to wear white because they love white, they are perfectly free to do as they wish.

The group are of the opinion that their cause has been well-publicized and that the majority of the members are now quite informed of the situation in Calvary Church.

As announced in an earlier post, CT publishes here a statement from Dr Paul Nah, an ex-deacon of Calvary Church who served the Church for 18 years from 1978 to 1996. Dr Paul Nah came as a witness for Dr Lum for the Inquiry on 28 February 2009 but was, unfortunately, not given the chance to testify.

(Click on image above to enlarge)

Also as announced in the earlier post, CT publishes below a page from the Missions accounts for December 2002. Therein you will see an expenditure of RM21,000 incurred by the Calvary Communication Dept for the purchase of 8 wireless microphones and 1 headphone.

In the previous month November 2002, the Communication Department spent RM53,731 on various audio video equipment and software. This Department’s purchase of equipments and overheads are funded by the Missions Fund (from Faith Promise pledges) but income surpluses from sales of AV tapes are not returned to the Missions Fund or the Church.

As was seen in last year’s presentation of the accounts at the AGM, this Department has a fairly large cash balance in its bank account and yet, it continues to be funded from Faith Promise pledges.

The BOD’s plan is that this extended ministry will, one day, become independent. We cannot imagine how any church could ever allow such an integral part of church ministry to become independent. It is ludicrous, to say the least.

(Click on image above to enlarge)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Have A Blessed Easter!

Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ,

Today we reverence God for 2000 years ago, He gave us His only Son, to die for our sins so that we all may have eternal life. Let us all come before Him with humble hearts to remember Jesus' sacrifice on the cross for us and we bring a sacrifice of our worship and thanksgiving to Him.

We received this interesting Obituary written about Jesus' death.

Jerusalem OBITUARIES, 33AD


Jesus Christ, 33, of Nazareth,
Died Friday on Mount Calvary, also
known as Golgotha, the place of the skull.
Betrayed by the apostle Judas,
Jesus was crucified by the Romans,
by order of the Ruler Pontius Pilate.
The causes of death were crucifixion,
extreme exhaustion, severe torture,
and loss of blood.

Jesus Christ, a descendant of Abraham,
was a member of the house of David.
He was the Son of the late Joseph,
a carpenter of Nazareth, and Mary,
His devoted Mother. Jesus was born
in a stable in the city of Bethlehem, Judea.
He is survived by His mother Mary, His
faithful Apostles, numerous disciples,
and many other followers.

Jesus was self educated and spent
most of his adult life working as
a Teacher. Jesus also occasionally
worked as a Medical Doctor and
it is reported that he healed many patients.
Up until the time of His death,
Jesus was teaching and sharing the Good News,
healing the sick, touching the lonely,
feeding the hungry, and helping the poor.

Jesus was most noted for telling parables
about His Father’s Kingdom and
performing miracles, such as feeding
over 5,000 people with only five loaves
of bread and two fish, and healing a man who
was born blind. On the day before His death,
He held a Last Supper celebrating the
Passover Feast, at which He foretold His death.

The body was quickly buried in a stone grave,
which was donated by Joseph Arimathea,
a loyal friend of the family. By order of
Pontius Pilate, a boulder was rolled in
front of the tomb. Roman soldiers
were put on guard.

In lieu of flowers, the family has
requested that everyone try to
live as Jesus did. Donations may
be sent to anyone in need.

Monday, April 6, 2009

EGM Update

Praise the Lord for He is the Almighty God.

Praise God in His sanctuary;
Praise Him in His mighty heavens.
Praise Him for His acts of power; …
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. (Psalm 150: 1-3 & 6)

The EGM last Saturday 4 April 2009 was an event that will be long remembered by Calvarites. The fiery marathon 5-hour EGM was a clear message to the leadership that members are dissatisfied and unhappy and many have lost respect and trust for Senior Pastor (SP) Prince and the Board of Deacons (BOD).

The twisting and turning of SP of his own words, the half-truths he told and the rudeness he displayed left many members including staunch SP ‘supporters’ (for want of better word, no divisive meaning intended) gaping in sheer astonishment and shaking their heads in disbelief. Although he was obviously agitated by the many members vying to speak, his rudeness in instructing them to sit, without the basic courtesy of saying ‘Please’ riled many.

What was apparent from the EGM was that members are becoming more vocal in voicing their opinions, have better understanding of the issues being discussed and taking ownership of matters affecting the church. This is a good sign and bodes well for the future of the church. However, for healing of the church to take place, this will require the corresponding cooperation, acceptance and openness of SP and the BOD to feedback and suggestions from members. With the SP-centric mentality, non-transparency and questionable integrity of SP and the current BOD, this appears to be wishful thinking at this time.

Adoption of House Rules and Agenda

The meeting took more than a hour just to approve the house rules and agenda. Much of the delay was due to the lively debate and arguments concerning the Proposed Resolutions of Bro Teng and Bro Robert Ng to annul the termination of Dr Lum’s membership and allow Dr Lum to join the meeting.

The said resolutions were submitted to the BOD prior to the meeting but were rejected. Bro Teng and Bro Robert attempted to get the Chairman (SP) to have the resolutions included in the agenda but were unsuccessful despite overwhelming support from the members present.

Several attempts and appeals by various members including Bro Sam Ho, Bro Tuck Yun, and Bro Edwin to seek SP’s consent to allow Dr Lum to join the meeting so that he can answer the charges against him, failed.

An almost heated debate ensued when SP insinuated that Bro Teng and Bro Robert had left their meeting with SP and the BOD a few days earlier, happy with the explanation by the BOD on why their proposed resolutions on Dr Lum’s position cannot be tabled at this EGM. Bro Teng rose to say that just because he has a smiley face does not mean he was happy with the BOD’s explanation. Bro Robert countered that he had left that meeting with a clear message to SP and the BOD that both of them do not accept their explanation.

One of the house rules which did not go well with the members was that the associate members could only speak or ask questions if there are no other voting members waiting to speak. To justify this rule, SP informed the meeting that this is in accordance with the Constitution. This is actually an outright lie as the Church Constitution does not have any provision concerning this.

There were also some arguments on the use of Robert’s Rules of Order in the conduct and proceedings of the EGM. In the past AGMs and EGMs, SP had always used the Robert’s Rules to limit members’ questions but when a few members quoted their rights under the Rules, SP conveniently state that he is not adopting Robert’s Rules for this meeting. This statement caused a stir because at the outset, SP had set some of the house rules based on Robert’s Rules. Therefore, Robert’s Rules were used when advantageous to SP and ignored when not so. This is the typical SP’s Rules.

Debate on the 5 Proposed Resolutions

The meeting then moved on to the 5 resolutions proposed by the BOD. Out of the 5 resolutions, the concerned members had come with proposed amendments for 4 of the resolutions, briefly as follows:

Proposed Resolution 1
Bro Hong Meng proposed an amendment that the annual accounts of the church should include accounts of the Missions Department, auxiliary ministries, extended ministries and all ministries financed and managed by the church or personnel from the church. He also proposed that audited accounts be made available at the church office for the perusal of associate members as well. Currently, only voting members can view the accounts.

Proposed Resolution 2
Sis Liza proposed a few amendments which sought to include a definition of “External Auditor”, that the External Auditor shall not hold office for more than 5 years, that the church accounts include accounts of the Missions Department, auxiliary ministries, extended ministries and all ministries financed and managed by the church or personnel from the church and that the External Auditor or another accounting firm may be required by BOD or members at a General Meeting to undertake any investigative or forensic audit.

Proposed Resolution 3
Bro KC proposed an amendment that SP and his nominee and all pastors be excluded as cheque signatories. He emphasized that the most important aspect of a church is the spiritual aspect and therefore, all pastors should devote 100% of their time in this area and leave the operations and management to the BOD and church employees.

Proposed Resolution 4
This resolution sought to remove a clause in the constitution which is no longer applicable and it was unanimously approved by the members.

Proposed Resolution 5
Bro Joseph proposed an amendment to exclude SP from the Nominating Committee and that the appointed committee members elect a chairman from among themselves. He also suggested that none of the committee members shall be a spouse, parent or child of an existing deacon.

The full details of the proposed amendments and the rationale are set out in the previous article by Bro Hong Meng. All the above Proposed Resolutions No. 1,2,3 and 5 in their present form were rejected by the members.

Immediately, after the rejection of 4 out of 5 Proposed Resolutions, one member stood up to propose a vote of no confidence in the BOD but SP quickly threw it out.

Church Issues – Findings of the Special Audit

The next agenda was on Church Issues and the church auditors were called to present their findings on a special audit conducted on 9 issues. The special audit requested by members include some of the issues raised by Dr Lum.

The findings are as follows (with comments by CT in italics):-

1. Dr Guynes was indeed given a love offering of US$10,000 for coming and chairing the previous EGM. The money was paid from tithes. Approval was only officially ratified by the BOD one month after the event. The meeting was informed that the day before the EGM, SP and 5 deacons in the working committee discussed and agreed verbally to give the love offering to Dr Guynes.

During question time, SP clarified that the US$10,000 was given to Dr Guynes as a missionary offering but this is contradictory to the findings which revealed that the offering was paid out from the church tithes.

After much persistent questioning by Dr Lalitha Lum, it was finally established that Dr Lum was not invited for the abovementioned working meeting and therefore, he was unaware of the verbal decision of SP and the 5 deacons to give the love offering to Dr Guynes.

2. One return airfare for SP’s grandchildren was paid from Church Missions Funds. This payment was not part of the terms of employment of SP but a goal to encourage fulltime staff by offering one-time sponsorship to their children. The members were told that other staff have enjoyed this benefit as well. The meeting was informed that this benefit was not documented and not made known to all the church staff.

Bro Winslow stood up after the presentation to comment that while he was working as an employee of the church, serving under Calvaryland, he was never informed of such a benefit. In simple language, the benefit was known only to SP.

It was confirmed that the airfare for the deacon’s son was paid but there was no mention if this payment was approved by anyone and if approved, the basis for this payment since the deacon is not a fulltime staff. This issue still begs to be addressed.
Perhaps Patrick Wong, being the deacon in question, can issue a statement on this.

3. It was confirmed that SP’s children’s education covering books, tuition fees and airfare was partially sponsored by the church. Similarly, this payment was not part of the terms of employment of SP. The meeting was told that other staff have enjoyed this benefit as well. The meeting was informed that this benefit was not documented and not made known to all the church staff. Again, it was a benefit known only to SP.

4. On the rumor that S$60,000 was collected by a Singapore church and given for SP’s grandson’s medical treatment, the finding was that the rumor is not true. Only the RM40,000 was paid from our church for his grandson’s operation.

5. It was confirmed that SP’s gym membership fees was paid by the church in 2005 and this payment was deemed to be in lieu of a stipend increase for SP in year 1994.

According to Dr Lum, when SP claimed reimbursement for this gym fees in 2005 and said it was a benefit promised to him in 1994, it got the whole BOD stumped. Who would not be, considering that it was so long ago and no deacon had any copy of any board minutes to verify. With no one else keeping the board minutes except SP, who is to say that the minutes have not been tampered with, especially when the auditors have confirmed that in the earlier years, the Secretary did not initial all the pages of board minutes.

6. The meeting was informed that the church has a existing self-declaration policy for staff but there were no mention of any declaration of love offerings received by SP.

7. The meeting was informed that Pastor Adeline Koh was paid an honorarium by the Church as she was a BCM student and not a church staff.

The amount of honorarium paid to her was not mentioned and one can only assume that the figure of RM250 per month is correct since the figure was not denied. The fact that she was not a fulltime staff does not absolve the church of the responsibility to look after the welfare of their Outreach Pastor. The BOD and SP must realize that outreach pastors and missions workers are also human beings with the same needs and should be adequately compensated. They must realize that how they treat the least of their workers is how they are treating Jesus.

8. The findings confirmed that the offering collected for Rev Phil Stevenson was not paid to him but was instead used to offset the airfare expenses of Rev Phil to come to KL.

As many members know, our church often pays for the airfare of our guest speakers. In addition, our church also gives love offerings to them, regardless pf whether a love offering was collected from the congregation. In the previous article, you would have seen that besides paying for Rev Robert Lim’s airfare, the church gave him S$10,000 as a love gift. When his son came to preach at one of our youth camps, similar treatment was accorded. Same goes for Dr Guynes and other guest speakers. Therefore, it is baffling that the church leadership chose to discriminate against Rev Phil who comes from a ‘poor’ church. He sacrifice his time, left his family and his church behind in Australia, came to bless our youth and went home with just a handshake and a “thank you”. Of course, he did not come for money. Of course, God will bless him. But why do we want embark on a RM250 million building to proclaim the love of God and then deny a simple Godly pastor of RM1,858 which was given sacrificially by the youth to bless him. May God have mercy on us!

9. The findings confirmed that SP does the annual appraisal of all departmental heads which includes his family members (presumably this includes his wife, children,, son-in-law and daughter-in-law) while the salary increments were decided by SP together with the HR deacon.

Out of the above 9 items, 8 items were among the 23 issues raised by Dr Lum. The above findings of the Special Audit actually confirm that all the above 8 issues raised by Dr Lum are true.

After the presentation, Bro Hong Meng and another member requested for a copy of the findings but their requests were denied by the Church Treasurer who chaired this item on the agenda.

Several pleas were made again at this juncture by Bro Edwin and others to persuade SP to allow Dr Lum to come in to respond to the findings of the special audit, and explain the 23 issues raised by him and to clear the air on discrepancies in differing versions of what had transpired. The pleas fell on deaf ears.

Alternate Blogs

During the question time, Bro KC highlighted that the audit findings may not be totally acceptable due to the fact that one of the auditors’ impartiality and independence is in question.

To arrive at this conclusion, he informed the meeting that besides Calvary Today, there are 2 other inter-linked blogs, Calvary Kini (CK) and Calvary Unity (CU) discussing church issues. CU blog (closely linked to CK) publishes condemnation and curses against members who support truth and transparency. Senior Associate Pastor Petrina in a recent message said that condemnation and curses come from the devil. Therefore CK and CU are devilish blogs.

CK blog home page features an image of our church sanctuary while the CU blog home page has a link to our church website. The photo of the church sanctuary belongs to the Communication Dept. These give the impression that both blogs are endorsed by the church or linked to the BOD or pastors. Their recent publication of SP’s California Fitness gym membership details (which CU claims to have obtained from the gym) also proves that it is linked to the BOD or pastors. This is because when Bro KC wrote in to the gym to inquire on SP’s membership, they replied that they are not allowed to divulge their member’s details to third parties.

To the shock of the members, Bro KC revealed that both CK and CU were promoted by one of the deacons, one of the church auditors and one of the pastors’ brother in Australia. Bro KC called for the deacon and auditor to be sacked like Dr Lum as they have similarly caused confusion, strife and division in the church with their open support.

Bro Han stood up to clarify that he had asked his life group members to read CK and CU blogs in his personal capacity and not as a deacon. Bro Han should realize that as long as he sits in the BOD, he will be regarded as deacon in the eyes of the members, whether in or out of the church. He forgot that as a Christian, he should not have dual personalities. Whether as a deacon or an ordinary member, one’s Christian values should not change.

The meeting ended shortly after this with a time of prayer.

CT’S NOTE: This article was written based on the writer’s personal witness account at the EGM and corroborated with the audio recording of the EGM. Some of the comments were paraphrased to give a clearer understanding of what was said.

Chinese Translation of Dr Lum's Interview

Recommended Amendments to 4 Resolutions by Members

Dear Calvary Today,

After the EGM some members had asked for the amended resolutions which some concerned members had intended to propose. Making his own rules, the Chairman disallowed amendments to the resolutions in clear violation of Robert's Rules of Orders, the very rules of meeting which he himself had used to control previous meetings of members.

In response to the members' request I am submitting to you the four resolutions with the proposed amendments. The words to be inserted are in GREEN and the words to be deleted are struck through and in BLUE.

As can be seen, there are good reasons for the proposed amendments.

Hong Meng

Note : The GREEN is the proposed addition by Concerned Members and the BLUE is to be dropped.

EGM Resolution No. 1

The BOD had only made one technical change from “receipts and payments” to “income and expenditure”. It was noticed that Rule XII(2c) is not consistent with Rule IV which states:

“The Board of Deacons shall cause true accounts to be kept:-
a) of the assets and liabilities of the Church; and
b) of all sums of money received and expended by the Church.

The accounts shall be opened to the inspection of members of the Church upon written request to the Board of Deacons and subject to any reasonable restrictions as to the time and manner of inspecting the same that may be imposed by the Board of Deacons.”

The resolution can be improved by making clear that the Church accounts include the financials of all its components. This would be in line with Rule IV which requires “all” sums of money received by the Church to be accounted for. At last year’s AGM, we were similarly advised by the technical partner of the largest firm of accountants in the world that the financials of the various components must be consolidated into the Church accounts. The members at that AGM also voted for the accounts of the extended ministries to be annexed to the main Church accounts.

Rule IV allows all members to inspect the accounts. Therefore this inconsistency must be removed. The resolution for Rule XII(2c) must allow all members to peruse the accounts and not be restricted to only “Voting” members.

EGM Resolution No.2 Rationale:
The proposal by the Board for the Church to appoint external professional auditors is to be welcome. However, it is important to define who can be the external auditors. As the constitution does not have a list of definitions it has to be done here. To avoid potential conflict of interest the actual auditor doing the work should not be a member of the Church.

To limit the auditors to a maximum of a 5 year continuous term is to prevent the development of too much familiarity. It will also allow for opportunities to bring fresh approaches to the audit.

The addition of the last paragraph is to allow the Board as well as the members to appoint auditors for special work.

EGM Resolution No. 3

The proposed amendments are to relieve pastors from the burden of cheque signing. This would not remove the Senior Pastor from involvement in the approving of expenditure for the Church. Cheque signing is the tail end of the expenditure process. The start of the process is when the Church incurs or commits to an expenditure. As is clear from the first paragraph of the resolution the Senior Pastor being a member of the Board would be part of the approving process of all expenditure for the Church save for what the Board chooses to delegate to others.

The restriction on family members being signatories is obvious.

As the position of the Financial Controller is not presently covered by the Constitution or the by-laws, it is proposed that the appointment and reporting line of the position be covered here.

EGM Resolution No. 5
The change made by the Board is that each member of the Nominating Committee no longer requires the specific approval of the Senior Pastor. This is not adequate to correct the circularity of the process as described in my paper, “The Need for Constitutional Amendments”.

The Board had proposed that the Nominating Committee be appointed jointly by the Board and the Elders, if any. The Senior Pastor is the Chairman of the Board and will therefore be participating in the appointment of the Nominating Committee. He also appoints the Elders. Therefore there would be no necessity for him to be on the Nominating Committee itself. His presence would compromise the independence of the Committee. However, it is important that the Senior Pastor gives his input to the Committee if he knows of any reason why a certain nominee is not suitable to serve as a deacon. The current process is that the members of the Nominating Committee submit their shortlist to the Chairman by early January. The Chairman, who would be elected from among themselves from the appointed members, would compile a complete list of nominees. This list can be submitted to the Senior Pastor for him to eliminate any name for justifiable reason. The Nominating Committee must respect the input from the Senior Pastor.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Give and it shall be given.....

Whether you believe it or not, our Senior Pastor (SP) is a very generous giver. We are not referring to his giving away his money because we are in no position to comment on that.

We are referring to his giving away money from our Church Missions Fund. Please do not be mistaken. We are totally in support of giving to missions, to the poor and needy, to the underprivileged and to bring the Gospel to the dying world. But when it comes to giving a love offering to a guest speaker using Missions Fund, there should be a limit as to the quantum.

If our Church collects a love offering from the congregation and gives it all to the guest speaker, it is alright. In fact, that should be the correct approach. If, for some reason, we did not collect a love offering from the congregation but instead take from the Missions Fund and give a love gift to the guest speaker, it may still be acceptable provided it is reasonable. But is it reasonable when SP take a substantial sum from the Missions Fund and gives it as a love offering to his good-buddy preacher from down south?

That is what he did when Rev Robert Lim came to preach in our Church in 2003 for our Faith Promise Sunday. The June 2003 Missions accounts show that a love gift of S$10,000 was given to him (see the Missions accounts document attached). For just preaching at our 2 or 3 services in DH, this love gift is certainly a very big sum. We wonder what was the justification for this generous gift. This is a question SP and the Missions director have to answer. As we have no access to subsequent years’ accounts, we cannot comment if similar gifts were made for Rev Robert’s subsequent visits to Calvary.

The grapevine talk is that this is a common practice among some pastors, not all, we must add. It is their “holy” version of “You scratch my back, I scratch your back”. Call this speculation or what have you but this is human weakness and human nature. For example, if you are invited by your friend for his son’s wedding, what is the first thing you do. Yes, you would immediately check your diary or notebook to find out how much that friend gave you for your own son’s wedding. Our natural response is to make sure that we do not give less than what we have received.

The same with Chinese New Year ang-pows. Haven’t you parents been guilty at one time or another of asking your little son or daughter to peep into the ang-pow she has just received to see how much that aunty gave. You do this so that you can determine how much to give to that aunty’s children.

There is a benefit of giving generously, the more you give, the more you shall receive. Sounds biblical except that the giving pocket is different from the receiving pocket. So SP, in making this generous gift to Rev Robert, can expect a reciprocal treatment when he preaches at Rev Robert’s church in Singapore.

When Dr Lum first brought out the issue of the US$10,000 love gift that SP gave (without prior BOD approval) to Dr Guynes for chairing the last EGM, we had thought that it was a one-off extraordinary event. It would now appear that such arbitrary giving by SP is not uncommon. If the funds came from his own pocket, no one will complain but in both cases, the funds were taken from the Missions account.

Strangely, Rev Phil Stevenson was not given the same treatment. In his case, a love offering was even collected in his presence (unlike in Rev Robert and Dr Guynes’ cases) but whatever love offering collected WAS NOT given to Rev Phil (see the attached email from Rev Phil to Dr Lum confirming this fact).

From here, the readers can see the biasness of SP. He is generous to Rev Robert because they are good friends and SP stands to benefit (or may have benefited) from such giving. Rev Robert’s church is one of the larger churches in Singapore which means they can afford a generous love offering for their guest speakers. Rev Robert’s church is also said to have given SP’s wife her Honda Civic or so she claims.

Rev Phil, on the other hand, comes from a relatively small church in Perth and his church can barely afford a decent team of staff. There is no way they can offer a generous gift for their guest speakers. In this case, any love gift to Rev Phil will just be a pure giving away and so, poor Phil’s love offering was kept by our church. This immoral act is an embarrassment for Calvary Church and someone should be held accountable.

Someone should also be answerable for misusing the Missions Funds for this selective and arbitrary giving of love gifts.

Will the Chief Executive of Calvary Church, please stand up?

Both Dr Guynes and Rev Phil’s cases were among the 23 issues raised by Dr Lum, who was then subjected to a Kangaroo trial and summarily terminated as a member. Dr Lum brought Rev Phil’s email to the Kangaroo Court on 28 Feb as evidence to prove his statement but was not given the opportunity to do so.


We will be publishing a statement from an ex-deacon. The statement supports 1 of the 23 issues raised by Dr Lum. In the self-explanatory statement, you will see that SP’s autocratic style is not something new. You will find out that from a long time ago, SP already had an dictatorial hold over the deacons and what has unfolded in the last one year is not that surprising.

Would anyone spend RM21,000 on 8 wireless microphones and 1 headphone? Apparently our church did………with your money, of course!!

Both the Proposer and Seconder for the resolutions to reinstate Dr Lum were called to meet with the deacons and SP on April Fools’ Day. They were told point blank in their faces that their resolutions will NOT be tabled at this Saturday’s EGM. There was no room for negotiation or consideration. Another display of brazen dictatorial management.

All members who support a change in our Church must attend the EGM tomorrow and speak out boldly and vote wisely.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The 5 Proposed Resolutions for EGM on Sat 4 April

This coming Saturday’s EGM has been called by the BOD to consider and approve 5 resolutions pertaining to amendments to several sections of the Church Constitution.

CT wishes to state here that our Church’s way of communicating such Notices of EGM to members all these years leaves much room for improvement. For a 48-year old Church and one our size, we are certainly still very backward and disorganised where communication is concerned.

All Notices of EGM (and AGM) should be despatched to members as early as possible via the postal mail, email, handouts and church website in addition to announcements from the pulpit. All such notices should be accompanied by the full details of the proposed resolutions with supporting explanations and rationale. This is to enable members to study, comprehend and evaluate the proposals so that they will be in a position to vote wisely and with understanding. Early despatch of such notices will also allow members sufficient time to provide feedback and suggestions to further improve on the proposals, if need be.

Of course, the BOD's present style of notification is ideal for an authoritative and dictatorial leadership which do not wish to be transparent or which wants members to be mere blind followers. We hope this is not the case. We also hope that these few changes are not the completion of the Financial Governance and Constitutional Review and ‘Moving Forward’ plan that our church has been talking about. It will be a great shame and a despicable scam if this is so.

The 5 Proposed Resolutions are:

1. Proposed amendments to Church Constitution RULE XII: FINANCIAL PROVISIONS, Item 2c

2. Proposed amendment to Church Constitution RULE XII: FINANCIAL PROVISIONS, Items 3a, 3b and 3c

3. Proposed amendment to Church Constitution BY-LAWS ARTICLE IV: FINANCIAL PROVISIONS. Item 2

4. Proposed amendment to Church Constitution BY-LAWS ARTICLE III: THE BOARD OF DEACONS. Item 3: Transition Period

5. Proposed amendment to Church Constitution RULE XI: OFFICE-BEARERS, Item 6 : NOMINATING COMMITTEE

Details of the Changes and CT’s comments

1. Proposed amendment to Church Constitution RULE XII: FINANCIAL PROVISIONS, Item 2c

Existing Wordings
As soon as possible after the end of each financial year, a statement of receipts and payments and a balance sheet for the year shall be prepared and audited by the Auditors. The audited accounts shall be submitted for approval at the next Annual General Meeting and copies shall be made available at the registered office or place of meeting of the Church for the perusal of Voting members.

Proposed Changes
As soon as possible after the end of each financial year, a statement of income and expenditure and a balance sheet for the year shall be prepared and audited by the External Auditors. The audited accounts shall be submitted for approval at the next Annual General Meeting and copies shall be made available at the registered office or place of meeting of the Church for the perusal of Voting members.

CT’s comments
The proposed change is to facilitate the engagement of external auditors to audit the accounts. This is what the concerned members have proposed to the Treasurer, SP and BOD more than a year ago and should be well received. However, to re-affirm what was established at last year’s AGM, the audited accounts should include the Missions Department accounts and all the Extended Ministries and Auxiliary Ministries’ accounts besides the Main Church accounts.

If these other accounts are not included, then members are advised to reject the resolution.

2. Proposed amendment to Church Constitution RULE XII: FINANCIAL PROVISIONS, Items 3a, 3b and 3c

Existing Wordings
a) One or more Auditors shall be elected at a General Meeting by a simple majority vote. The Auditors shall not be members of the Board of Deacons, the Board of Trustees, Church Elders or paid employees of the Church.

b) The Board of Deacons shall nominate at least two candidates to each vacancy.

c) The Auditors shall be required to audit the accounts of the Church for the year, and to prepare a report or certificate for the Annual General Meeting. They may also be required by the Board of Deacons to audit the accounts of the Church for any period within their tenure of office at any date, and to make a report to the Board of Deacons.

Proposed Changes
a) External Auditors shall be nominated by the Board of Deacons and shall be elected at a General Meeting by a simple majority vote.

b) The Board of Deacons is authorized to fix their remuneration.

c) The External Auditors shall be required to audit the accounts of the for the year, and to prepare a report or certificate for the Annual General Meeting. They may also be required by the Board of Deacons to audit the accounts of the Church for any period within their tenure of office at any date, and to make a report to the Board of Deacons.

CT’s comments
Again, this proposed change is to facilitate the engagement of external auditors to audit the accounts. Again, our stand is that the audited accounts should include the Missions Department accounts and all the Extended Ministries and Auxiliary Ministries’ accounts besides the Main Church accounts.

If these other accounts are not included, then members are advised to reject the resolution.

3. Proposed amendment to Church Constitution BY-LAWS ARTICLE IV: FINANCIAL PROVISIONS, Item 2

Existing Wordings
Subject to any resolution passed at a meeting of the Board of Deacons, all cheques or withdrawal notices on the Church’s accounts shall be signed jointly by any two persons mentioned herein below provided always that:

i) Below RM 5,000.00 – any two persons from Groups 1 and 3
ii) RM 5,000.00 and above – any two persons from Groups 1 and 2 provided always that both of them cannot be from the same group

Group 1
a) Senior Pastor
b) A nominee of the Senior Pastor approved by the Board of Deacons

Group 2
a) Secretary of the Board of Deacons
b) Treasurer
c) One member of the Board of Deacons as may be approved by the Board of Deacons

Group 3
a) Church Office and Operations Manager
b) Finance Administrator

Proposed Changes
Subject to any resolution passed at a meeting of the Board of Deacons, all cheques or withdrawal notices on the Church’s accounts shall be signed by any two persons mentioned herein below provided always that:

i) Below RM 5,000.00 – Financial Controller and any other person from Group 3.
ii) RM 50,000.00 or less – any two persons from Group 2 and 3 provided always that both of them cannot be from the same Group.
iii) Above RM 50,000.00 – any two persons from Group 1 and 2 provided always that both of them cannot be from the same Group.

Group 1
a) Senior Pastor
b) A nominee of the Senior Pastor approved by the Board of Deacons

Group 2
a) Secretary of the Board of Deacons
b) Treasurer

c) One member of the Board of Deacons as may be approved by the Board of Deacons

Group 3
a) Financial Controller
b) Executive Administrator
c) A nominee approved by the Board of Deacons

CT’s comments
The only change is the Group 3 signatories. As there are plans to appoint a Financial Controller, including that person as a signatory is acceptable. However, adding in the Executive Administrator (position now held by Jim Guneratnam) and a nominee approved by the BOD is highly suspicious. Who will be this nominee?

Further, the concerned members’ stand is that all pastors, including SP should not be a cheque signatory. A nominee of SP as a signatory is also not acceptable. Since the church is not a business enterprise belonging to SP, there is no necessity for him to appoint a nominee.

The resolution as it is, is totally unacceptable and should be rejected by members unless an amended resolution acceptable to members is put to vote at the EGM.

4. Proposed amendment to Church Constitution BY-LAWS ARTICLE III: THE BOARD OF DEACONS, Item 3: Transition Period

CT’s comments
This resolution seeks to remove this entire clause which relates to the appointment of deacons during the transition period following the adoption of our Constitution By-Laws in the early years. This clause is no longer applicable and its deletion will not have any effect on the Constitution.

Members can vote in favour of this resolution.

5. Proposed amendment to Church Constitution RULE XI: OFFICE-BEARERS, Item 6: NOMINATING COMMITTEE

Existing Wordings
The Nominating Committee shall comprise the Senior Pastor and a minimum of six Voting members of the Church appointed by the Board of Deacons and approved by the Senior Pastor . Two of these should be the Elders (if Elders have been appointed and are available) but none of the six Voting members so appointed shall be existing members of the Board of Deacons.

Proposed Changes
The Nominating Committee shall comprise the Senior Pastor and a minimum of six Voting members of the Church appointed jointly by the Board of Deacons and the Church Elders (if Church Elders have been appointed). None of the six Voting members appointed shall be existing members of the Board of Deacons.

CT’s comments
The removal of the requirement of SP’s approval of the Nominating Committee members is a right step. However, to avoid any undue influence by SP on the nominees for deaconship, SP should not be on the Nomination Committee. The Committee members must also not be related to any of the existing deacons to avoid any conflict of interest.

The resolution as it is, should be rejected by members unless it is amended to exclude SP from the Nomination Committee.