Churches Housing is changing….
Churches Housing Inc. is in the process of transforming itself. You would now have likely become used to our new communication style, new website and logo. These things are of course the easy, surface things to change. What matters most in an organisation is what happens behind the scenes and day to day. Over the years Churches Housing has increasingly engaged with the social service organisations representing the various denominations and many of them are now represented on our board. I imagine that perhaps you, as a reader of our newsletter, may also be linked with one of these faith-based organisations. However, our membership structure has not changed accordingly; meaning that our most engaged partner organisations are not actually official members of the association.
When Churches Community Housing was established some seventeen years ago, this was done in partnership with the Ecumenical Council and our membership was deemed to be the membership of the Ecumenical Council. What we now see is that the ecumenical church is in fact our client, the people and organisations that we serve and support. Our active and engaged membership is made up of those faith-based organisations that are engaged in housing as a part of their ministry: managing, developing, researching and/or advocating for housing across the industry whether in aged, disability, affordable, social, community, homeless and so on. Most churches that we engage with we do so over a period of time, then once we have done our job the church does not engage with us so much on an ongoing basis. Some churches/dioceses are exceptions to this and have housing front and centre to their ministry and we will still welcome membership from such churches, but it will no longer be automatic.
As such Churches Housing is putting forward a Special Resolution to its members, with a new constitution, to be voted on at the Ecumenical Council AGM on 30th August 2014. All existing members of the EC will be encouraged to vote. There will also be an opportunity for members to hear us speak into this change at the meeting and to ask questions or seek clarification. Shortly all member churches of the EC will receive a copy of the resolution as well as copies of the new constitution and a proxy voting form should they be unable to attend. If this is you, then please can I encourage you to vote as we require 75% of the membership to vote in favour for this to be enacted? We see, through this change, a more active and engaged membership that will still serve the ecumenical church. This will then free us up to ask for official application and acceptance of membership for any faith-based organisation engaged in housing. Finally, and importantly, we still carry forward the same vision to see the church ministering to their communities through the development of affordable community housing. Thanks for being part of this journey with us! If you would like to become a member after August 30, then please contact us here and we will send you an application pack.