Series 1 - Records of the Finance Committee/Board of Finance/Division of Finance

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Records of the Finance Committee/Board of Finance/Division of Finance

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  • Textual record
  • Graphic material

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  • 1926-2003 (Creation)

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4 m of textual records
24 photographs

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Church finances were administered until 1942 by the Finance Committee of General Council, established in 1926 following the expiration of the financial bodies of the uniting churches. The Finance Committee was responsible for the collection and investment of funds, gathering requests for funds from the boards, committees and agencies of the Church, and for apportioning these funds. It was also responsible for the General Council Fund, insurance funds and policies, and the general property of the church not specifically vested in a congregation or board or agency. Accounting, banking and investment duties were carried out by a Treasurer (assisted by a Deputy Treasurer), who served as Secretary of the Committee.

The Finance Committee was established in 1926 as a committee of the Executive of General Council. Its secretary was the Treasurer, who supervised the finances of the Church and performed accounting, banking and investment duties. In 1942 the Board of Finance was constituted, with three departments of work: Treasury, Missionary & Maintenance, and Pensions. A Board Secretary was first appointed in 1963, with responsibilities in both stewardship and financial areas, such as budget preparation. The Board was recognized as the Division of Finance in 1968, and the M & M Department was renamed Stewardship Services.

During the reorganization of the General Council Office in 2001, the duties of the Division of Finance were separated into two parts: Financial Services (investments, revenue, expenditure, budget & reporting, facility services) and Financial Stewardship (annual/future revenue generation, bulletin cover production).The Permanent Committee on Finance, a committee of the General Council, was also created and is responsible for overseeing and monitoring the financial life and policies of the General Council, including assets, income, expenditures, considerations of its short-and long-term financial issues, risk management, and investment and fund management; overseeing long-term financial planning of the General Council, recommending the overall expenditure and income budgets to the Executive; monitoring income, expenditures, assets, liabilities and capital initiatives and reporting them regularly to the Executive and recommending financial strategies. In 2009, Financial Services became the Finance Department and Stewardship Services work was transferred to the newly created Philanthropy Unit.

Robert Laird, Church Treasurer, served as Secretary of the Finance Committee from 1926 to 1940, when Harold L. Arnup became Recording Secretary until the appointment of George M. Morrison as Board Secretary, 1963-1966.  W. Norman McLeod was the long-standing lay chairman of the Board during 1946-1966, playing an important leadership role in the Board's work.   Harold L. Arnup served as Board and then Division Secretary, 1966-1977; followed in turn by Douglas N. Borgal, 1978-1983; William R.Davis, 1984-1990; Melanie Macdonald from 1990-1994,  Steven Adams from 1996-2001.  Executive Officers of Financial Services were Ron Olsen, 2001-2007 and William Kennedy, 2007-2009; Executive Officers of the Division of Finance were William Kennedy 2009-2010, and Erik Mathiesen, 2010-

Scope and content

Series consists of the following subseries: 1) minutes, agendas, and reports for the Annual/Executive meetings, 1926-1988, including an index for the period, 1926-1974; 2) printed year book reports with financial statements, 1926-1971; 3) budget files of the Board/Division Secretary, 1963-2003; 4) general correspondence/specific subject files of the Board/Division Secretary, 1964-2002; 5) records of committees and task forces relating to the administration of Church finances, 1947-1994; 6) records of Committee to Review the Church's Financial Structures and Task Force on Church-Wide Funding, 1977-1982; 7) records of Committee on Investing for Social Purposes and its South Africa Task Force, 1970-1981; 8) records relating to interchurch Task Force on the Churches and Corporate Responsibility (TCCR), 1971-1992; 9) records relating to interchurch committees and councils, 1968-1990.

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