BCCs annual meeting of the assembly of representatives was online this year, and was attended by 118 people from churches across the globe. The assembly of representatives is BCC’s highest authority in legal and financial matters, where strategic decisions are anchored and key decisions are taken.
By Johanne Reiersrud – Photo by Randi Fosse
Every year BCC’s annual accounts and annual report are presented for approval in the meeting of the assembly of representatives. In addition management and the board present matters of significance for members and local churches. This summer’s meeting was held on the 13th of July at Oslofjord Convention Centre, with most attendees joining by video link.
Composition of the Assembly of Representatives
The attendees were made up of 61 voting representatives. Every Norwegian local church had two voting representatives, in addition observers participated from several of those churches. From abroad 23 representatives and 25 observers participated from 20 countries.
The leader Kåre J Smith welcomed the participants before handing over to the chairperson in BCC, Berit Hustad Nilsen. At the start of the meeting Hustad Nilsen was elected chair of the meeting, Finn Å Ødegård as secretary and six representatives were chosen to sign the minutes.
BCC’s board and management had prepared matters for consideration with proposed resolutions. The first matter to be dealt with on the agenda was the annual report and annual accounts for 2019, the representatives approved the annual accounts and supported the annual report.
Constitutional changes pave the way to a future association model
BCC today is undertaking diverse activities, including TV production, online mission, events and management of funds. There is therefore a need to organise the activity in the best possible way for the future. In addition the faith community has collaborating organisations across the globe, and it is preferable to have an organisational model which regulates the relationship between these.
Our own research, experiences from other Christian faith communities, and our own resolutions up to today, point towards an association model being the organisation of the future for the churches activity. Therefore the agenda included proposed changes to BCC’s constitution. This is the second step in updating the constitution, which paves the way for a gradual transition into a new organisation in an association.
Fall 2020: BCC Media becomes an independent organisation
BCC’s media activity is currently the largest activity in BCC by number of employees.
BCC Media includes BrunstadTV, BCC Online, Active Christianity and an environment for IT development. The department already has a strong organisation which has been built up over several years, and employees with strong technical skills who ensure that the preaching and church activity can make the most of modern communication technologies.
The first step in the direction of a federal model was taken in the meeting of the assembly of representatives on 13 July 2020:
- BCC Media was separated out from BCC and into a separate organisation
- Resolutions adopted in BCC which regulate the BCC federation
- BCC Media joins that federation
Kåre J Smith as leader of the church elders also informed about the elders role and authority in the context of the new federal model, which is to safeguard the church’s doctrine, Christian teaching and the content at Christian conferences. The church elders are not under the authority of the assembly of representatives in relation to these matters.
Unanimous resolutions for constitutional changes
The constitutional changes are the following as compared to the previous constitution:
New paragraph: §5 Association
- BCC becomes (for now) the associations central organ
- The assembly of representatives become a central organ to set budgets for BCC and extend grants within the association.
- Charitable and not-for-profit organisations which further the church’s Christian foundation can be added to the association by the assembly of representatives
- Members of the fassociation are bound by the church’s objectives and Christian foundation and put under the elders authority when it concerns questions of faith and Christian teaching
Board composition and authority
- The board is placed under the authority of the assembly of representatives who are given budget responsibility
- The assembly of representatives are given the authority to choose board members
Secretariat and appointment committee
- The assembly or representatives shall have a Secretariat with responsibility for the preparation for and successful completion of meetings of the assembly of representatives. The secretariat is instructed by the assembly of representatives
- BCC shall have an appointment committee which make recommendations to the assembly of representatives for appointments to the board, secretariat and appointment committee.
Board composition and choice of foreign representatives for the next meeting of the assembly of representatives
The board membership changed as Tore Aslaksen chose to leave the board. Trond Eivind Johnsen was chosen as a new board member. Berit Hustad Nilsen was re-elected as chairwoman, after the change the board consisted of Berit Hustad Nilsen, Finn Åge Ødegård and Trond Eivind Johnsen.
As per the constitution the assembly of representatives chose representatives from the foreign churches for the following period, from 1 August 2020 to 31 July 2021. 24 representatives were chosen from 19 countries.
In total in the meeting there was three matters for reporting and eight matters for decision.
Amongst these was a long term economical plan for BCC and Brunstadstiftelsen. The conference centre project at Oslofjord Convention Centre which Oslofjord Property has investigated was presented and the assembly of representatives supported that a reserve fund which several local churches have contributed to, could be used to cover the liquidity risk in the economic plan. That means that money can ultimately be lent to Brunstadstiftelsen if it becomes necessary, within the framework of design, budget and progress plan which was presented in the meeting.
All proposed resolutions, including the changes to the constitution, were presented to the assembly of representatives and unanimously adopted. 100% of persons eligible voted, voting took place digitally.