Canadian Mennonite Partnership Covenant


Canadian Mennonite (CM) is published by the Canadian Mennonite Publishing Service, Inc. (CMPS), which has representatives from seven partners on its Board: Mennonite Church Alberta (one representative), Mennonite Church British Columbia (one representative), Mennonite Church Canada (four representatives), Mennonite Church Eastern Canada (one representative), Mennonite Church Manitoba (one representative), Mennonite Church Saskatchewan (one representative), and CMPS (three representatives).

Each of the seven partners has a distinct relationship to the publication. This covenant provides a common understanding for the maintenance of editorial direction, funding commitments and procedure for amendments to the covenant. It was developed at a meeting of the seven partners on Nov. 11, 2005 at Waterloo-Kitchener United Mennonite Church in Waterloo, Ontario.


1. Ownership and governance

CMPS, a Canadian charitable corporation, employs staff and owns property and equipment. The CMPS Board has the power to set policies, define budgets, and hire and dismiss staff. Through their majority (75%) presence on the Board, the area conferences and MC Canada collectively control CMPS.

2. Shared ministry

CMPS works in partnership with the area conferences and MC Canada to serve and to build the missional church. CM is a ministry of and for the church.

3. Editorial direction

3.1 MC Canada and the area conferences set overall editorial direction for CM through their representatives on the CMPS board. (See Appendices A and B for more detail.)

3.2 In potentially controversial subjects or in exceptions to normal editorial policy, CMPS consults with its partners.

4. Circulation

CM is mailed directly to the homes of all members and adherents of churches in MC Canada and the area conferences, unless individuals or congregations specifically ask to be removed from the list. In some cases, churches may elect to have bulk packages sent to the church. Subscriptions are also sold directly to individuals, purchased as gifts or ordered by various institutions.

5. Funding formula

5.1 The ministry of Canadian Mennonite will be funded as follows:

            a) 45% from CMPS

            b) 27.5% from MC Canada

            c) 27.5% from the five area conferences, apportioned according to the most recent membership statistics available from the MC Canada membership data as of Nov. 11, 2005.

            For 2006, funding will be based on the fiscal year 2005 CMPS budget plus 2%. CMPS will notify partners annually, no later than Sept. 30, of inflationary increases required for the coming fiscal year.

5.2 The calculation of such apportionments in 5.1 c) shall be the responsibility of CMPS, which will in turn notify the other partners by Sept. 30.

5.3 We acknowledge that not all partners can fulfill the funding arrangement outlined in 5.1 at this time. Prior to this agreement taking effect, each of the partners will outline its minimum commitment to the funding formula and its commitment to the fiscal viability of CMPS.

5.4 CMPS is authorized to raise its allotment by whatever means it deems appropriate, including, for example, subscription sales outside the primary constituency and advertising sales. Fundraising within the primary constituency will be done in cooperation with the partners.

5.5 Given that the health of the enterprise hinges on advance planning and long term stability, and that mutual trust among the partners is paramount, the partners covenant to demonstrate transparency, good faith and clear communication, especially in those instances where a departure from the formula or overall budget projections becomes necessary.

5.6 If circumstances dictate that one of the partners needs to change its funding commitment or other aspects of this covenant, that partner shall notify the partners and the CMPS Board of its situation at least six months prior to CMPS’s budget year ending Dec. 31. The CMPS chair will initiate consultation among all partners to address the situation. If CMPS has significantly changed circumstances itself, it will likewise consult with its partners.

6. Partner consultation

CMPS will take the lead in nurturing the publication’s vision. CMPS will regularly consult with each partner to maintain close communication on the overall direction and vision for the publication.

7. Duration of covenant

This covenant is in effect from Jan. 1, 2006 to Dec. 31, 2008. The CMPS Board will initiate the process of developing a new partnership covenant no later than June 1, 2008.

8. Endorsements

Each partner will authorize two officials to sign the Partnership Covenant on its behalf.

The undersigned officials, on behalf of each respective partner, hereby adopt the above Partnership Covenant:

                                                   DATE                               NAME                                      SIGNATURE

            Mennonite Church

            Alberta            1. ____________            ________________            ________________________

                        2. ____________            ________________            ________________________

            Mennonite Church

            British Columbia            1. ____________            ________________            ________________________

                        2. ____________            ________________            ________________________

            Mennonite Church

            Canada            1. ____________            ________________            ________________________

                        2. ____________            ________________            ________________________

            Mennonite Church

            Eastern Canada            1. ____________            ________________            ________________________

                        2. ____________            ________________            ________________________

            Mennonite Church

            Manitoba            1. ____________            ________________            ________________________

                        2. ____________            ________________            ________________________

            Mennonite Church

            Saskatchewan            1. ____________            ________________            ________________________

                        2. ____________            ________________            ________________________

            Canadian Mennonite

            Publishing Service            1. ____________            ________________            ________________________

                        2. ____________            ________________            ________________________

APPENDIX A: Canadian Mennonite mission statement

Canadian Mennonite (CM) is a bi-weekly Anabaptist/Mennonite-oriented periodical which seeks to promote covenantal relationships within the church (Hebrews 10:23-25). It provides channels for sharing accurate and fair information, faith profiles, inspirational/educational materials, news and analyses of issues facing the church.

In fulfilling its mission, the primary constituency of CM is the people and churches of the Conference of Mennonites in Canada [now MC Canada] and its five related area conferences. CM also welcomes readers from the broader inter-Mennonite and inter-church scene. Editorial freedom is expressed through seeking and speaking the truth in love and by providing a balance of perspectives in news and commentary. CM will be a vehicle through which mutual accountability can be exercised within the community of believers; the paper also encourages its readers to have open hearts and minds in the process of discerning God’s will.

(Adopted by Canadian Mennonite Publishing Service Board, February 6, 1998.)

APPENDIX B: Canadian Mennonite editorial policy

Canadian Mennonite understands the church to be a covenanted community of believers—the body of Christ. A “covenant” is an agreement that establishes a relationship (1995 Confession of Faith, p. 33), and implies a commitment to: extend trust to each other; dialogue with each other; know and understand each other better; discern God’s will together; encourage the full use of our gifts to edify and build up the church; search for truth together; mutual encouragement and exhortation.

The fundamental purpose of a church press is to function as a communications instrument which promotes covenantal relationships (Hebrews 10:23-25). Therefore, CM will: establish and maintain channels through which accurate and fair information can be shared; provide spiritual direction and encouragement to obedience through faith profiles and inspirational/educational material; provide opportunities for discernment and analysis of the complex issues facing the life of the church in society; provide opportunities for dialogue, exhortation and exchange of diverse views for the readers. In the above ways, CM is one vehicle through which the principle of mutual accountability can be exercised within the community of believers.

Canadian Mennonite is guided by the church’s confession of faith, and thereby seeks the welfare and vitality of the church with the practice of editorial freedom. Editorial freedom is expressed through truth-seeking and openness to discernment, and by providing a balance of perspectives. Editorial freedom is conferred by the covenantal relationship and accountable to it. “Speaking the truth in love in the Christian community shows our commitment to right relationships as well as to accurate speech” (Confession of Faith, pp. 75-76).

(Adopted by Canadian Mennonite Publishing Service Board, February 6, 1998.)

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