General Council is the National court of the United Church of Canada. It meets every three years to discuss matters relating to the life and work of the church, to hear reports from General Council Staff, to elect a Moderator, and to set some priorities and goals for the future. 2006 is a meeting year for General Council, and it will be meeting at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay August 13-19. For this meeting there will be around 700 clergy and laypeople from across the country descending on Northwestern Ontario.
If you want to know more about General Council and what will be discussed this year you can find lots of stuff here. (also click below for some summarizing) There is a copy of the draft agenda and you can also download a copy of the workbook that is being sent to all the commissioners. One of the major reports in the workbook is on clergy compensation (salary and allowances) along with a proposal for some fairly major changes in how that happens. See pages 93-120 in the COMMISSIONS section of the workbook (beware that it is a big download). There is also a discussion around authorizing Laypeople to preside at baptism and communion when no member of the Order of Ministry is available (pages 121-136) along with many other issues big and small.
Decisions made at General Council effect how we operate as a congregation. I encourage everyone to check it out and keep informed as the commissioners have their discussions and make their decisions.