Mennonite Church Canada leadership approves updated Operating Agreement

Agreement affirms organization’s separate identity and roles of executive leadership


Mennonite Church Canada’s Joint Council approved updates to the Mennonite Church Canada Operating Agreement at its latest meeting on June 8, 2022.

“The latest revision of the Operating Agreement builds on our learning over the past four years so that we can better operationalize the priorities we share as a nationwide church,” says Calvin Quan, moderator of Mennonite Church Canada.

The “Operating Agreement between Five Regional Churches in their Collaboration as Mennonite Church Canada” (O.A.) is an amalgamation of governance principles and protocols for Mennonite Church Canada and replaces the operating agreement that was created after Special Assembly 2017, in which delegates voted to change the organizational structure of Mennonite Church Canada.

The O.A. was redrafted by a Joint Council subcommittee after consultation with Credence and Co., an industry leader in organizational health, which identified inefficiencies within Mennonite Church Canada’s organizational system.

Updates to the O.A. address the lack of autonomy given to Mennonite Church Canada within the covenanted partnership of five regional churches in 2017 and the roles of the regional church executive ministers group (EMG, formerly the Executive Staff Group) in nationwide decision-making. It recognizes MC Canada as a legal entity with its own identity and clarifies the EMG as an advisory group for the executive minister, not as staff accomplishing tasks for the nationwide church. Joint Council was reaffirmed as “the primary setting in which the Regional Churches collaborate and exercise governance of MC Canada” (O.A., 7.1).

“One of the most important things to have in any governance structure is clarity around identity, roles, authority and responsibilities,” says Doug Klassen, executive minister for Mennonite Church Canada. “This new operating agreement not only simplifies the structure, but offers the necessary clarity to make it more efficient.”

The O.A. will serve as a foundational document when Mennonite Church Canada leadership updates related policies and renews its covenant with the regional churches every three years.

The O.A. was adopted as a working document on June 8, 2022. Joint Council will be reviewing pending changes to Section 12 of the operating agreement in October 2022. Unlike the Operating Bylaws, the Operating Agreement does not require Mennonite Church Canada delegate approval.

The Operating Agreement is available to view on CommonWord.


Media contact: Katie Doke Sawatzky

Communications Coordinator/Writer