CHURCH BOARD MINUTES Trinity United Church, Kitchener
October 17, 2018 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Meeting Location: Chapel
Meeting Chair: Katherine Bitzer Recording Secretary: Barb Hill
Attendees: Board Chair, Katherine Bitzer, Barbara Bitzer, Rev. Bill Bruce, Ginger Comission, John Fraser, Lynne Green, Barbara Hill, Jane Maass, Lynn Oliver, Peter Oliver, Vi Peters.
Regrets: Lori-Ann Livingston-Breathwaite, Pauline Underwood
Guests/Observers: Eleanor Brent, John Lochead
Katherine welcomed the new coordinators and opened the meeting with prayer.
MOTION to Approve Minutes of Sept 19, 2018
Moved By: Peter
Seconded By: Ginger
MOTION to Approve Agenda for October 17, 2018 as amended with additions under OTHER
Moved By: Lynn O
Seconded By: Jane
New Governance Model Katherine
Expectations of all board members were reviewed with emphasis on pursuing the Vision of the congregation and coordinating the mission activities to inform the Vision.
Managing the operations to meet the budget, receive reports and recommendations from members and making decisions in response. Duties and responsibilities as set out by the UCC Manual also apply.
Coordinator model (as discussed 10-14-18) requires a monthly summary report submitted to the secretary a week prior to the Board mtg for compilation and distribution with the Agenda.
Katherine emphasized a key message from Paul Miller that good governance is taking care of the whole, communication is paramount to bring the whole along.
Keith has requested a brief profile from each Board member for the Trinity News and pictures will be included.
•Dorothy will be asked to coordinate; we will confirm that she has all ‘head shots’ from the last Directory. These will be posted in church space for visual recognition (simply with a name)
•Update the listing on the last page of the Sunday bulletin with emails.
•A mail slot or desktop file sorter for hard copy resources or correspondence for each specific coordinator.
Priorities - Katherine opened the discussion on priorities and how each coordinator will engage others to accomplish.
Reinforce the message and communicate broadly…what we’re each doing e.g. Transition team, coordinators, board… Bring clarity on direction, where are we going.
United Church of Canada update on new governance model and current presbytery rep is looking to understand ‘what’s next’ for Region 8.
Each coordinator trying to understand a pathway forward; uncertainty on what the Transition Team is working through and how to support/respond
Some frustration expressed with the focus on governance and administrivia and not on partnerships and vision. We need to keep momentum going, clarify a vision while mindful of the budget.
Staffing for the future needs to be in place by June.
Work of the transition team is paramount as well as living within our means.
How to conserve the ministries of Trinity (e.g. faith formation) and get direction (work of the transition team).
Communication of what is being done is paramount; work that has been done is not necessarily visible
(Poses the question of what the congregants expectation for ‘work’ actually is.)
Transition Team debrief provided by Lynne Green, she expressed appreciation for other board members that have been attending TT meetings (Bill, John Fraser).
Discussion on music ministry; no applications received in response to the current posting. Jen S will draft a music plan through Christmas with Choral scholars etc. The vacancy will be reposted in the new year. Lynne trying to consolidate and analyze the data collected on Sunday (Oct 14) and the additional feedback gathered.
The process/ goal will address two key questions: WHO are we….and what’s important to us? Lots of thinking and discussion is required and has been done.
The process is evolving and once the data is analyzed it will be brought forward and informed by the What If stories. Bill expressed confidence with the process.
The TT needs to also identify the tasks to build the plan, and the Staffing model is a priority concern.
The TT is looking for a 3rd party resource to assess current staffing level and define requirements going forward.
Lynne’s concern is succession and a 3-5 year plan…WHO is going to carry the plan forward.
Bill confirmed TT is in relationship with the congregation and not the board.
The coordinators will budget for 2019 informed by the 2019 plan. Next month’s coordinators reports on what IS (as of now) and what is possible ahead. What is the gap?
There was agreement that we need to grasp the future (2019 plan) in order to budget for the next year.
Negative chatter from the congregation should be redirected to a person, either a related coordinator or Lynn Oliver who retains the member communication role.
ACTION: The board needs to help champion the work of the TT and communicate broadly. (When and how to be defined, but never miss an opportunity in casual conversations.
Treasurer's Report John Fraser
1) Cash in bank and legacy funds
Bank balance as of noon today approximately $52,000. I don’t expect to need another cash infusion from Legacy Fund 1 until the new year.
Legacy Fund 1 – market value at end of September $2,326,000 – up 2.6 % this year
Legacy Fund 2 – market value at end of September $3,324,000 – up 3.0 % this year.
It’s been a wild ride in the stock markets over the past ten days. Volatility is now the norm and we should take some comfort with our long term investing horizon for LF1. However, it is gut wrenching to see paper losses of tens of thousands of $ like we experienced last week.
Balance at end of day Monday $5,444,000, down $106,000 since 30Sep. End of day Tuesday $5,501,987 up $57,000 since Monday.
LF2 – CRA frowns on charities that hoard their money – they require charities to disburse 3.5 % of the value of the fund each year. This could be problematic for us with LF2 since we don’t know how we will use the proceeds from the sale of the building.
We can ask CRA for a waiver on that requirement – Bill has reached into his Rolodex and I have the name of a lawyer in Toronto who does a lot of work with charities. We’re hoping that he will write a letter on our behalf and explain the situation so we can hang onto our money until the 2020 budget year.
2) Deficit for the month of September $13,700 and year to date is $119,000.
3) Congregational meeting on Sunday – we received $83.25 from the free will offering. One person put $20 in the basket (and didn’t make change) so everyone else contributed approximately $1 each. Good news is that was all profit because the food was donated.
4) Refugee support – you might remember that Parkminster approached Treasurer John in the spring to provide administrative support for one of their refugee initiatives. That agreement should be in place by month end (Oct 31),
Parkminster also has another refugee opportunity that they would like us to consider and the time commitment is minimal. The first refugee may never get to Canada but if they do, it won’t be for a year or more as the application moves through UCC to the federal government, etc.
The Treasurer suggested we sign an agreement with the sponsoring group that we accept a deposit, invest it in a GIC and eventually pay out the money based on authorized requests. The money is stated on our balance sheet as an asset and a liability.
Motion that “Trinity enter into a second refugee sponsorship agreement to provide back end administrative support for a refugee from Turkey that Parkminster Church has vetted but cannot take on because of limited resources.”
Motion that “Trinity United Church, Kitchener, enter into a second refugee sponsorship agreement to provide back end administrative support for a refugee from Turkey that Parkminster Church has vetted but cannot currently accept due to limited resources.”
Moved by: John F
Seconded by: Lynn O
John Lochead reported that our refugee family will attend coffee after service on Nov 18th, an example of another family still being supported.
The Treasurer asked if any guidelines been received from UCC or St. Matthews concerning the legalization of marijuana.
Staffing Barbara’s update on hiring Director of Music noted above; Jennifer is defining a plan for November & December when the job will be reposted.
Barbara confirmed that the posted compensation of up to $400/wk can be used in the interim for supply resources.
Presbytery Update Bill attended the last meeting; General Council was good, well attended by youth and now three courts reduced from four. Next meeting is Oct 20 when implementation should be clarified.
Ministers Report distributed by Bill Bruce
Communications Lynn Oliver
Lynn’s received a couple of congregants feedback: “church is like a funeral”, “need to change the Moving Sign at 74 Frederick”; “is the board coming back to congregation with every decision?”; “it’s hard to be optimistic”; “we’re losing out on start-up church movement; need mission, need vision”;
ACTION: we are all reminded to redirect negative talk to Lynn
ACTION: TUC News- reminder to direct any stories and updates to Keith
ACTION: Board Bits - to be assigned for next two months; Katherine and Barb can prepare a roster of topics
Oct 21 Bd Bit – TT to report back on last Sunday’s activity
Planning for Oct 28th. Katherine will confer with Jennifer Spaulding on ‘gift and cake’ for Oct 28th and a budget was identified.
An exit interview should be done with Gord and the TT staffing consultant will be asked to do this.
Jane asked if Dorothy or a volunteer can collect newspaper articles for Trinity?
Outstanding: Who can be assigned to the ARCHIVES role?
Worship Planning – The worship Coordinator and choir will work in seasons and gowns will be worn in alternating seasons. (Gowns will be worn throughout Advent.)
Reception House is speaking on Sunday Nov 18 followed by luncheon and workshop
Joint Advent Lessons & Carols with St. Matthews is on December 2. An ad hoc work group is being formed for Advent planning.
Catering versus volunteer lunches; Jane commented on lunches and the ‘old days’ when a broad roster of congregants took turns making sandwiches and were engaged through this process. Ginger, as the new Fellowship Coordinator can think about ways to leverage this past practice. The board should not own the practice of providing lunches. Some What If stories tells us that some people want to be involved in food.
ACTION: Ginger to put together a plan for phone callers / coordinator for future lunches.
Date/time for future board meeting was confirmed and will remain the third Wednesday, 6:30 pm.
Dates for congregational meetings have been identified.
Sundays: Feb 3, 10, 17, 24 AGM Feb 10, 2019
June: 2, 9, 16, 23 Congregational Mtg June 2
Sat Jan 12 or Sun Jan 13 TT Plan - tbd
Mar 20 (March break)
None other noted
Katherine adjourned the meeting at 9:00pm
Moved by Peter
Seconded by Vi
Meeting Chair – Katherine Bitzer Board Secretary – Barb Hill