As may be known to you or suspected, we will be cancelling this January's Annual Gathering for a myriad of reasons.
First and foremost I want to ask for your continued prayers for Lisa, our Treasurer, who is mourning the passing of her mother. We are more than anything a large family.
I wanted to take a few days over the Christmas break to take account and think this all through. Sorry for the delay, as I then was laid out with back pain.
At this point, we probably can only expect half of CORE to even be able to be at the AG. Before anything, that's not sufficient to hold our AGM.
Second, we simply seem to be working upstream against many factors. This has been a difficult road the last few months, and every new hurdle has made me weary of doubling our efforts for this AG, and sensing we need to pull the plug and refocus our efforts more appropriately.
We've seen people leave us for new positions (congrats Andrew!), personal struggles for core members, the sudden departure of Sr. Maybelle from her role as administrator of Summer Seminar (which I'm temporarily overseeing until we can hire someone else) and simply an overwhelm of too many tasks with too little time and personnel.
We had big plans to finalize a new constitution that would redefine what WCACYM has become; a community of networking and support and a mechanism for training opportunities not available at a local level. With the emergence of CCYMN and support from Diocesan & Eparchial Directors the new approach was to be funded at that level and membership automatic and free to any involved in Youth Ministry.
We're on the verge of launching our Solidarity Fund with parameters to allow local leaders to find support for the training and events they couldn't experience without outside financial aid. But we're behind in some of our financial status work and struggling to find an accountant willing to help.
All to say is I take full responsibility of not getting us ready and able to offer an Annual Gathering worthy of your time and money to approve and finalize all these great initiatives. It was a failure of leadership that I'm learning from. But I do not think it would be good stewardship to host a conference and cause all of us to spend limited funds when we're not able to achieve our desired goals and give you the experience you expect from the last few amazing Annual Gatherings.
My thought upon some of the leg work on the new constitution, is currently it says we need to meet every 15 months. Although I don't think it is realistic or ideal to organize another gathering in 3 months - I think we can honour that by holding an AGM.
My thought is perhaps during the week of CCYMN meetings for the directors in Kelowna in February. With consultation with their steering committee and the Western Directors perhaps we can find a soft spot in the schedule at a lunch, morning or evening and host an abbreviated AGM meeting. We can offer a way to conference call/video in non director members to be present as well, and email out to members before things needing review to be voted on there or by proxy. I will try to give an update to members about this option by mid January.
It could save the cost of organizing another gathering on short notice, but still ensuring we fulfill our obligations without incurring lots of work and costs. Also, we can be sure many of the key people we need in the work ahead of us will be there. WCACYM is for all, but will only thrive according to the support and direction of our Diocesan and Eparchial leaders. Their leadership and support is critical in communication and reaching the grass root communities.
It also gives us about a month and a half to get some of these reports and proposals ready to give.
We also need to get members to renew, because technically at this point we only have about 4-5 paid members. So if you or your Diocese or Eparchy hasn't renewed your paid membership please do so. Without a quorum of members present we can't proceed with any of these new proposals and membership structure for the coming year (2015-2016).
Thank you for all the effort and concern you have given to WCACYM, and I apologize for a lot of the failings we have had. A lot is a failure of leadership and I've not been the best chairperson these last few months, but I hope to finish my run this coming year better.
WCACYM has been a massive blessing in my life and I'm truly sorry I've let you down. But I believe under the circumstances this is the hard but right decision.
Peace and love to you all.