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The Council of Elders

The Council of Elders is the executive of the East Central Ontario Regional Council (ECORC) of The United Church of Canada. The presiding officer of the Council of Elders is called the Speaker.

The vision of the Council of Elders by which we evaluate progress is based on:

  1. Supporting and enhancing the life of Communities of Faith where ministry takes place
  2. Nurturing Social Justice and Outreach programs
  3. Building Communications

Three council structure

As of January 1, 2019, The United Church of Canada adopted a three-council structure, consisting of communities of faith, regional councils and a denominational council.  The East Central Ontario Regional Council is one of 16 new regional councils in The United Church of Canada, replacing former conferences and presbyteries.

Governance handbook

This Handbook contains an outline of the East Central Ontario Regional Council (ECORC) governance structure; descriptions of its leadership teams; and terms of reference for its policies. Updated as of April 30, 2022. Download or read online by clicking the link below.

ECORC Governance Handbook

From the Manual

From The Manual (2024) p. 75
C. Regional Council | C.3 Organization | C.3.1 Executive

C.3.1.1 Appointment
The regional council is responsible for appointing an executive to do the continuing work of the regional council when the regional council is not meeting.

C.3.1.2 Membership
The executive must consist, to the extent possible, of a balance of ministry personnel and lay members who are not ministry personnel.

C.3.1.3 Responsibilities
The executive has all of the responsibilities of the regional council, unless the regional council has decided otherwise.

C.3.1.4 Reporting
The executive must report its actions to the regional council for information and for inclusion in the minutes of the regional council.

C.3.2 Committees and Other Bodies
The regional council may fulfill its responsibilities with the help of officers, committees, task groups, steering groups, teams, and other bodies, as determined by the regional council. The regional council must designate a member to fill the role of the leading Elder or presiding officer under section D.1.1 d).

2024 Council of Elders Meeting Schedule

Please note: This list includes regular in-person and interim (zoom) meetings and take place from 9am to noon unless otherwise stated


  • Tuesday, February 6, 2024
  • Tuesday, March 5, 2024
  • Tuesday, April 2, 2024
  • Tuesday, May 7, 2024 IN-PERSON
  • Tuesday, June 4, 2024
  • Tuesday, September 3, 2024
  • Tuesday, October 8, 2024
  • Tuesday, November 5, 2024

Council of Elders Minutes

2024 Minutes

Please note that Minutes are posted the following month after they are reviewed and accepted by the Council of Elders.


2023 Minutes

Please note that Minutes are posted the following month after they are reviewed and accepted by the Assembly of Elders.

January 5, 2023
January 27, 2023
February 24, 2023
March 31, 2023
April 28, 2023
May 30, 2023
June 27, 2023
September 5, 2023
October 3, 2023
November 7, 2023
December 5, 2023




2022 Minutes

Please note that Minutes are posted the following month after they are reviewed and accepted by the Assembly of Elders.

January 28, 2022
February 25, 2022
April 1, 2022
May 27, 2022
June 24, 2022
September 23, 2022
November 25, 2022


2021 Minutes

Please note, there will be no Assembly of Elder’s Meeting in July, August, October or December. Minutes are posted a month after each meeting. October’s minutes below are a continuation of our September meeting.

January 29, 2021
February 26, 2021
March 26, 2021
April 23, 2021
May 21, 2021
June 18, 2021
September 24, 2021
October 1, 2021
November 26, 2021
December 10, 2021





Speaker (Presiding Officer)
  • The Reverend Wanda Stride, Brighton
Lay Members
  • Stephen Coles, Bowmanville
  • Brian James (Treasurer), Lakefield
  • William (Bill) Sheaves, Ajax
  • Ted Meyers, Uxbridge
  • Margaret Curtis, Sunderland
  • Patricia Long, Courtice
Ministry Personnel
  • Executive Minister, The Reverend Éric Hébert-Daly, Ottawa
  • Reverend Paul Reed, Kirkfield
  • Reverend Lynn Watson, 
  • Reverend Edward (Ned) Wells, Courtice
  • Reverend Kaitlyn Ostrander, Arden
  • Reverend Kevin Fitzpatrick, 
Corresponding (non-voting) Members
  • Joel Miller, Program Assistant to the Executive Minister and Recording Secretary
  • The Reverend Darren Liepold, Pastoral Relations Minister
  • Sharon Hull, Minister for Spiritual Nurture, Respectful Relationships and Justice with All Ages
  • The Reverend Rodney Smith-Merkley, Minister for Respectful Relationship and Indigenous Justice
  • Karen Wilson, Communications and Administration Assistant
  • The Reverend Roger Janes, Stewardship & Gifts Officer, Philanthropy Unit
  • The Reverend Lillian Roberts, Vocational Minister – Ministry Personnel Accountability
  • The Reverend Caroline Penhale, Vocational Minister responsible for the Candidacy Pathway