In the first phase of a major project to renew and update Brunstad Christian Church’s organizational structure, a meeting in the board of representatives was held on 15 April 2020 where it was decided to amend the organization’s statutes, with revitalization and diversity as key elements.
By Berit H. Nilsen – Photo by Sebastian Ådalen
The meeting in the board of representatives was conducted differently this time, with attendees joining by video link. This was due to restrictions on gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Only the BCC board, the church leader, the advisor to the Board, and the member representative were present where the meeting was chaired; the other 118 representatives connected via a link.
The church leader Kåre J. Smith welcomed the representatives and explained the background for the ongoing development of a business model for BCC. Over the years, BCC has become a large organization and it is imperative for it to evolve.
Issues and decisions from the meeting
All the representatives received case documents in advance and had the possibility to pose questions to the Board. Two questions were addressed in the meeting. The representatives also provided a written consent to conducting the meeting electronically.
Chairwoman Berit Hustad Nilsen was elected to chair the meeting, and Board member Finn Åge Ødegård was elected to preside over the minutes.
The notice and agenda were approved, and six representatives were chosen to sign the minutes.
The Board’s proposal for amendment to BCC’s statutes were reviewed and unanimously approved. The change applies to the Representative Assembly’s composition and function, which is an important body for all major decisions in BCC. However, the current statutes have few procedural rules for Assembly meetings, and the composition of the Assembly has not been diverse. The proposal presented in the meeting is applicable in both a short and medium term perspective, and the Board will continue working on long-term solutions for the Representative Assembly.
The new statutes are available at the end of this article.
The new statute § 2 states that the Assembly shall elect representatives from countries other than Norway.
Proposals were submitted for two representatives from Germany, the Netherlands, USA, and Denmark, respectively. In addition one representative was chosen from all other countries represented at last year’s meeting, including England, France, Poland, Romania, Russia, Switzerland, Turkey, Hungary, Austria, Argentina, Australia, Cameroon, Canada, Hong Kong and South Africa.
There were no alternative options proposed. According to the statutes, the next representative’s meeting will be held in July 2020.
Resolution on amendments to the statutes per 15 April 2020:
Pursuant to Sections §§ 2 and 9 of the Statues, the following amendments to the Statutes are confirmed:
The current § 2 is replaced in its entirety by the following provision:
“§ 2 The Representative Assembly
2.1 Authority of the Representative Assembly
The Representative Assembly is the Church’s highest authority in all matters that do not fall within the authority of the Leadership or the Board.
The Representative Assembly shall e.g.:
- Approve meeting notices / agendas, elect a chairperson and elect representatives to sign meeting minutes.
- Decide on amendments to the statutes, cf. 9
- Process and approve annual financial and general reports.
- Propose Board members to the Board, cf. 3.2
- Elect foreign representatives to the Representative Assembly
- Process other incoming proposals and cases
The Representative Assembly makes decisions by a simple majority of the votes cast, with exception to statute amendments.
2.2 Structure of the Representative Assembly
The Representative Assembly consists of one leader and one board member from each of the Church’s 19 localities in Norway, as well as representatives from countries other than Norway who have been elected by the Assembly by proposal from the Leadership.
The Leadership and the Board along with persons invited by these have the right to attend, present proposals and speak in the Representative Assembly meetings, but do not have voting rights.
2.3 Execution of ordinary Representative Assembly meetings
Ordinary meetings of the Representative Assembly shall be held annually within the end of July. The agenda and time for the meeting of the Representative Assembly shall be sent to the Norwegian churches and the foreign representatives by the end of April. The Norwegian churches shall register their participating representatives and board members within the end of May. Case documents including any statements from the Leadership on scheduled cases shall be sent to representatives at least four weeks before the meeting of the Representative Assembly.
- The Board provides for the summons, sharing of the agenda, case documents and record
- The minutes shall be signed by three representatives.
- The meetings of the Representative Assembly shall be chaired by an elected moderator.
- The number of representatives attending constitutes a quorum of the Representative Assembly.
- No representative shall have more than one vote and blank votes shall be deemed not cast.
2.4 Execution of extraordinary Representative Assembly meetings
Extraordinary Representative Assembly meetings shall be held upon request from the Leadership, the Board or a third of the latest elected representatives.
Extraordinary Representative Assembly meetings may be held with at least six weeks’ notice and shall otherwise comply with the provisions of an ordinary Representative Assembly meeting.
It is the latest elected representatives who can attend extraordinary Representative Assembly meetings.
Extraordinary Representative Assembly meetings shall only deal with matters specified in the summons.”
The current § 9 is replaced in its entirety by the following provision:
“§ 9 Amendments to the Statutes
Amendments to the Statutes for Brunstad Christian Church are adopted by the Representative Assembly and require at least two-thirds majority of the votes cast. Amendments that affect the basis/beliefs, purpose, or authority of the Leadership require approval from the Leadership.”