Minutes: March 21st Meeting

Meeting Chair:    John Fraser
Recording Secretary:     Barbara Hill 

Attendees:   Ginger Comission, Rev. Tiina Cote, John Fraser, Lynne Green, D-J Heard, Barbara Hill, Jane Maass, Lynn Oliver, Peter Oliver, Dave Rutherford, 
Guests:         Katherine Bitzer
NOTE: JOINT Leadership Meal & Meeting  held 6:00-7:30 PM; Ministry Team facilitated and Barbara Bitzer Chaired.   The space requirements as presented by Steering Committee Chair, Graham Brown, was reviewed and no concerns were raised. The Steering Committee will use this information for discussions with prospective developers  

Chair John called the BOARD Meeting to order at 7:40 pm and opened with the Prayer for the Budget.
Motion to Approve Minutes of Feb 21, 2017
Moved by:        Peter
Seconded:         Lynne G
Motion Carried  

Motion to Approve   Board Agenda; two items were added and agenda approved as amended:
Moved by:        Ginger
Second:        Dave
Motion Carried 

Finance   Treasurer, John Fraser reported that the Financial. Statements were published in the annual report and the year ended with $35k deficit. John also noted:

  • $107,000 was withdrawn from the Legacy Fund in 2016. 
  • On average, each month, Church expenses are $12,000 more than offerings
  • Unbudgeted Elevator repairs ($1,000) as noted last month are in progress.
  • Legacy Fund as of Mar 20th @ $ 2,457,000 up about 3.5 % since January 1
  • The sanctuary roof lost shingles during heavy wind storms; quotes and unbudgeted emergency repairs in progress.
  • HopeSprings have committed to the next year of operations and are now cashing donation cheques. 

There was brief discussion on a ‘cheque presentation’ to HopeSpring; can we do this on Sunday morning Apr 30th at start of service?

ACTION: Peter will draft/craft a presentation Cheque board; 
ACTION: Dave will invite a Hope Spring rep to the presentation at Trinity. The Social Action Team rep will be involved.

DRAFT Budget for 2017 was distributed for review and discussion; there is an extraordinary requirement for Legacy funds as ‘givings’ continue to decline; annual ‘givings’ now at $150,000.

There was agreement that all costs associated with property sale (e.g. commission) should come from proceeds of sale rather than in the budget. There was robust discussion on trimming costs to reduce deficit and withdrawal of Legacy funds. The following reductions were made:  technology budget $5k, MTeam budget related to signage $20 k. One time relocation and renovation costs will be bundled.  These adjustments decrease the draw from Legacy from $427,000 to $297,000.

MOTION to Approve budget as amended to take forward to the congregational meeting for approval on March 26th, 2017
Moved by:         Lynn O
Seconded by:        Ginger C
Motion Carried 

Minister’s Update     Rev. Tiina    

Ministry Team Annual Plan                 Presented at JOINT mtg. 
     Staff / Volunteer Capacity (brief discussion)         Deferred
The Trinity list of members to be removed from the official church roll was a lengthy exercise to ensure all proposed removals are thoughtful and appropriate. 

MOTION: In accordance with Section B. 3.6.2 of the 2016 Manual of The United Church of Canada, we will proceed to remove 82 members from the role as identified   and confirmed to be no longer engaged with Trinity.

Moved by:        Lynn O
Seconded by:        Donna-Jean H
Motion Carried 

ACTION:    The Church Office (Dorothy) will proceed to send letters to the 82 members about the removal process. 

Rev. Tiina reported that Waterloo Presbytery Chair suggested a board motion would be appropriate to reflect agreement by Trinity to work with Presbytery Pastoral Relations Committee for M&P support.

MOTION:  To accept the support of  Pastoral Relations Committee of Waterloo Presbytery for  M&P assistance at  Trinity United Church, Kitchener and terms of reference and timelines to be mutually defined.

Moved by:        Peter O
Second:        Lynne G
Motion Carried 

New Agenda Item:  Staff Performance Appraisal process… It has been two years since any appraisals were done as we deferred due to anticipated disruption of relocation. There was discussion about employer obligation to ensure appraisals are done to support staff development and agreement that we initiate the process while we work towards support from Waterloo Presbytery.

ACTION:  Tiina will report back to Waterloo Presbytery. Board Secretary will review the process outlined by previous committee and refresh the appraisal templates.

Rev Tiina provided a quick update on the REMITS review, education and approval process.  Jane Maass, Marg Collard, Katharine Edmonstone and John Lochead will develop a process to educate the congregation. They are targeting June 4th for a congregational meeting to complete the necessary votes.

REMINDERS: Need to reassign leads for space design at St. Matthews.  
As D-J leaves the board we also need to reassign a lead for packing to move and a Communication Liaison.
Rev. Tiina will send the Halo report electronically to the BOARD. (Received 3/22/17)

Governance -  Katherine Bitzer spoke to her interest, commitment and past experience that she believes has prepared her to assume the role of Board Chair during this interesting time in the life of Trinity.

AGM Agenda – Draft 2 of the agenda was distributed which included proposed role assignments and the Slate of Nominees for election to the Church Board and Board of Trustees.   

Stewardship   (placeholder)    

Communication:  Board Bits schedule was circulated for signup.

Adjournment called at 9:20PM; Rev. Tiina provided a Closing Prayer. 

In Camera    deferred

Sun March 26        Annual Congregational Meeting             

Mon Apr 3    (Extra Meeting) Betty Pries  with Joint Leadership. Meet at 6:30, Betty at 7PM  

Tues April 18          Betty Pries  with Joint Leadership. Meet at 6:30, Betty at 7PM  

DRAFT minutes from AGM: March 25, 2017

Trinity United Church, Kitchener Ontario 175th Annual General Congregational Meeting Sunday March 26, 2017 11:00 AM – Fellowship Hall AGENDA

The congregation gathered after the worship services and sang the last 2 verses of Arise Your Light Has come; Gord Allgeier accompanied on the electric keyboard. An Opening Prayer was provided by Rev. Tiina Cote.
Presbytery Representative Jane Maass called the meeting to order at 11:20am and then called for the first two motions:

Motion to Appoint the Meeting Chair
Jane moved to Appoint Graham Brown as the Meeting Chair of the 175th Annual General Meeting of the Congregation of Trinity United Church, Kitchener Seconded by Elaine Struthers Motion Carried

Motion to appoint the Recording Secretary Jane moved to Appoint Barbara Hill as recording Secretary of the 175th Annual General Meeting of the Congregation of Trinity United Church, Kitchener Seconded Eric Johnston Motion Carried

Graham Brown commenced as Meeting Chair and reviewed Who Can Vote in accordance with the United Church Manual.
Pursuant to Section B.3.7 of the 2016 United Church Manual, only full members present may vote at Congregational Meetings, however with consent of members, adherents may vote on temporal matters (i.e. financial matters, but not on matters concerning the pastoral relationship or dealing with property).

Graham called for the following 5 MOTIONS:

Motion to permit Adherents to vote on Temporal Matters;
Moved by Jane Maass Seconded by Lohn Lochead Motion Carried

Motion to Approve the Agenda for 175th Annual Congregational Meeting on March 26, 2017; Moved by Marion Johnston Seconded by Lynn Oliver Motion Carried

Motion to approve the Minutes of the 174th Annual Congregational Meeting held Feb. 28, 2016 (printed in the Annual Report); Moved by Dave Rutherford Seconded by Pat Tummon Motion Carried

Motion to approve the Minutes of the Congregational Meeting held May 29, 2016 (distributed to the congregation June 2016; one copy is on every table); Moved by Peter Oliver Seconded by Jane Maass Motion Carried

Motion to accept the 2016 Annual Report as printed and distributed;
Moved by John Lochead Seconded ken Summers Motion Carried

Presentation of the 2016 Year End Financial Report (Treasurer, John Fraser) John highlighted the receipts and disbursements, noting that staffing costs were down $30k with the departure of Alison Clark and Teresa Carse and the retirement of Ken Summers. The interim music and choir services of Ken Seiling and the volunteer bookkeeper resulted in this savings. John noted some of the value added benefits of Keith Summers role in communication (enhanced website, weekly e-newsletter, compliance with regulations for music royalties etc.). Unanticipated property & maintenance costs continue along with our investment in L3 Group consulting. Each month $12,000 is disbursed in excess of cash received. This is not a sustainable business model. Trinity maintained its strong commitment to outreach including the Syrian Refugee fund with the help of organizations like Knox United in Ayr.

The Legacy Fund was down a year ago at this time but overall in 2016 it rose 12.5%. Thus far in 2017 it is up 3%. John reminded us that we live in an unpredictable future. Donations to the legacy are relatively modest, world markets are vulnerable and volatile. However, we do have control of our destiny, we’ve engaged L3 Consulting to help us manage change and our Legacy fund is in good hands.

Motion to Accept 2016 Year End Financial Statements The Chair called for the motion; Moved by Ken Summers Seconded by Eric Johnston Motion Carried

Presentation of the 2017 Budget Treasurer, John Fraser John laid out the assumptions of the budget and presented budget accountability between the Ministry Team ($143,000) and The Board ($367,000), as presented (attached).

$300k is required from the Legacy fund to meet the budget requirements; after paying 10 % of our offerings to the Mission and Service fund, there is a cash shortfall of approximately $90,000 just to pay our staff and contractors.

The following questions were presented: · What about ST. Matthews rent costs? (yet unknown, but anticipate reasonable) · Concerning HIGH banking fees; have we considered a credit union? (This can certainly be considered. We have a good relationship with RBC and many of the Legacy investments are with them.) · What is the projected membership decline for 2017… Currently at 166 members; (John indicated he has not done this analysis on membership) · Cost to maintain empty building? (We know there will be costs that include security monitoring and minimum requirement for lights and heat; costs have not been tabulated yet.) · HST is shown as cost recovery, is it recorded as an expense? (Yes) · Clarification of the CRA requirement that 3% of the endowment proceeds are to be spent each year. (It was acknowledged that the rate of $300k is unsustainable. The Treasurer acknowledged there are no real opportunities to cut more costs. Our goal is to get some growth momentum going and dig deep from a stewardship perspective. ) · Concern was expressed about scent sensitivities to incense and mould at St. Matthews; could we consider an alternative as a much better solution? (This was not answered directly; however, there will be a full cleaning and painting of our space at St. Matthews and an inquiry into mould will be done.)

Motion to accept 2017 BUDGET John Fraser presented the motion to accept the 2017 Budget as presented; Seconded by Jen Spaulding Motion Carried

Nominating Report & Election Lynne Oliver

Lynn thanked Dave Rutherford and D-J Heard for their many years of service in leadership at Trinity. She acknowledged new recruits to the slates for the Church Board and the Board of Trustees.

Motion to Accept slate for the Church Board was presented by Lynne Oliver Seconded by Ben Oliver Chair Graham called for any nominations from the floor to fill the vacant Vice-Chair role. Being none the vote was called. Motion Carried

Motion to Accept slate for the Board of Trustees was presented by Lynne Oliver Seconded by Kathy Eagles Chair Graham called for any nominations from the floor to fill vacancies on Board of Trustees. Being none the vote was called. Motion Carried

Looking ahead - Remarks from the New Chair Katherine Bitzer

Katherine reflected on what’s ahead for the church and building decisions. She provided personal reflections on why she is here, ready to lead. She drew from a children’s movie Inside Out about primary emotions (fear, anger, joy, sadness and disgust)- the most important message is that ALL emotions are important and this reminds us of our common humanity and that we are not alone. Katherine quoted from Ian Macdonald’s book Living Waters: Daily Reflections for Lent ('Third Sunday in Lent' If Nothing Changes, Nothing Changes) How can we be proactive in this sea of change? Katherine expressed hope for the future and “let us find faith together”.

Chair Graham answered a final question about the current status of the property listing. A couple of local developers are very interested and there are no givens on what an offer might look like. An offer will come to the congregation for a decision.

The Meeting Chair adjourned the meeting at 12:50 pm.

Closing Prayer was offered by Rev. Tiina Cote.

Sending Hymn “Draw the Circle Wide” was led by Gord Allgeier at the keyboard.

Minutes: February 21st Meeting

Meeting Chair:  Lynne Green            Recording Secretary: Barbara Hill 

Attendees - Board:   Rev. Tiina Cote, John Fraser, Lynne Green, D-J Heard, Barbara Hill, Jane Maass, Lynn Oliver, Peter Oliver, Dave Rutherford, 
Regrets:    Ginger Comission
Guests:    Katherine Bitzer, Ken Summers

Chair Lynne called the board to order.

Motion to Approve Minutes of Jan 17, 2017
Moved by:    Jane Maass
Seconded:    D-J heard
Motion Carried  

Motion to Approve Board Agenda for Feb 21, 2017    
Moved by:    Jane Maass
Second:    Lynn Oliver
Motion Carried 

Final check-in on discussion and motion to support Hope Spring Cancer Support Centre.

  •     Trinity will match up to $50k for the HopeSpring Cancer Support Centre campaign.
  •     Money is conditional on evidence of a sustainability plan and achieving their goal to raise
  •     $400k to meet their 2017 Operational Budget. They will return all cheques if they cannot
  •     reach their goal of $400k by February 27th .

:  Barb Hill will complete further due diligence with HopeSprings’ acting Executive Director and Board Chair concerning strategic planning and direction for the future. The Press Release will be sent once the conversation satisfies key questions about agency leadership and capacity to move forwards.  (Note: meeting held 3pm Feb 22)

Steering Committee Update – John provided a brief update on the property listing; Colliers provide weekly report on activities.

Q. is there a public listing price; initially Colliers suggested we not published but it is on the Colliers website as $2.6Mil.

John reported that 2 developers touring the site on Thursday; one local and one from TO

This message will be included in the Sunday Board Bit.

Finance/Budget Process - Treasurer, John Fraser

a)    2016 Tax receipts, done and delivered! (excellent!)

b)    Office Copier Lease (April end date) –   

ACTION:  Barb will follow up with Dorothy and Xerox to see if we can go month to month; 
NOTE, Dorothy has confirmed the lease runs to June 1, 2017

c)    Building Repairs- The elevator safety and repair contractor recommends new hoses be installed for $1000.  There was agreement to proceed with this work to mitigate safety risks or lack of accessibility.  (Trinity pays $180/ every 3 months ($800/yr) for regulatory inspections.) 

d)    Legacy Committee meeting - provided solid support and favourable response to HopeSpring Cancer Centre proposal. It was acknowledged again that we need process in place however, to support other community initiatives.

e)    Financial statements for 2016 – John stepped us through the statements and looked for Board support for not paying auditor fees this year.  Audited Financial statements are very expensive; in the past Trinity members David Martin and Gary Parker provided this service. It was noted that many small charities do not have audited financial statements due to the expense. (The Trinity Bylaws indicate this is a requirement however the bylaw can be amended at any time in the future.)

f)    Preliminary budget for 2017 - John distributed the 2017 budget process and assumptions. At first draft the planned deficit is $270k; our receipts (congregational giving) is projected to be $150k. There will be one-time costs incurred to relocate.

ACTION: John will draft the operational budget for March meeting; Board will informally approve it in order to go to the annual meeting

Stewardship - Peter reflected on timing and opportunities, suggesting it’s a hard time to ask for money when there is so much uncertainty. He has ideas for a special spring service to engage members in reflections and gratitude about Trinity as a kickoff to a stewardship message. Jane reminded us that she has not been asked to increase her givings in five years and urges us to do a simple ‘ask’. This prompted some discussion on membership and information sharing. Of the 150 that receive the weekly eBlast there are 70 emails that never get opened or read.  (Q. Should we add these 70 members to the monthly mailing of board bits like those not on online with technology?).  Katharine Edmonstone has been trying to gather information when she does pastoral visits about how people would like to receive information.

ACTION:  Communication discussion on number of unopened email and alternatives.

Communications -  D-J reported that a videographer asked to make a Hidden Spaces video at Trinity (no charge) as part of an artistic exhibit. Hopefully it will provide an interesting story to be shared.

Minister’s Update - Rev. Tiina

  • Ministry Team Annual Plan - Tiina noted the Ministry Team Plan (narrative) was previously distributed (this was outlined at December meeting).
  • Membership - The big review of membership lists is still in progress but ready to send out letters to those meeting criteria for removal from the roll.
  • Nominations - Tiina has been having active conversations to encourage engagement and a candidate or two identified for board roles.
  • M&P - Tiina has reported her concern for lack of M&P committee; Presbytery has confirmed to her that they are prepared to act as the M&P for Trinity.

REMITS    Remits 1, 2, 3, and 4: vote received by 30 June 2017
(Remit 6 by 28 February 2018; Presbytery Remits 5, 7, 8: votes were approved February 2017)
ACTION:    Rev.Tiina will distribute with some suggestions about process and dates.

L3 Consulting    Draft Agenda for Congregational Conversation March 5 was distributed for information.

ACTION:    Barb will follow up with Betty on meeting setup and logistics; and also with Board & Ministry Team on luncheon requirements

Planning for AGM DEFFERED   Draft Agenda was distributed for consideration

ACTION: Meeting Notice must be posted by Sunday March 5th; Barb will submit a notice to the Church Office for Sunday Bulletin (Mar 5, 12, 19) and eBlasts (Friday Mar 3, 10, 17)  
St. Matthews    DEFFERED
In Camera     DEFFERED 

Closing: Prayer and adjournment         9:45 PM


Sun March 5, 2017    Congregational Conversation with Betty Pries

Wed March 8        L3 & Joint Leadership (with Steering Committee)

Tues March 21        Monthly Leadership Meetings; 
Ministry Team 4pm; Shared supper 6pm; 
Joint Mtg. 6:30; Board Mtg. 7:30

Sun March 26        Annual Congregational Meeting

Minutes: January 17th Meeting

Meeting Chair:  Lynn Oliver

Attendees - Board:   Rev. Tiina Cote, John Fraser, Lynne Green, D-J Heard, Barbara Hill, Jane Maass, Lynn Oliver, Peter Oliver, Dave Rutherford,  

Guest: Katherine Bitzer, 

Lynn called the meeting to order promptly at 6:30pm and opened with a prayer. 

Approval of Minutes of December 13, 2016
Moved by:  Jane M
Seconded by:  Ginger C
Motion carried 

Approval of Agenda for Jan 17, 2017   
Moved by: Lynne G
Seconded by:  Jane M
Motion carried 

Steering Committee Update

As reported Sunday the property listing is done and ‘out there’.  We’ve received initial inquiry from Tim Welch the development consultant. Will connect with the Record to ensure accurate information should a story be written. This is not a multiple listing and confidentiality is recommended so the offer comes in without the purchaser knowing the desired amount. 

The offer first goes to the Steering committee to weigh against criteria and then to the Board to call a congregational meeting. 

Strategic Initiatives for 2017     

L3 Consulting Project     

Post it Questions and DRAFT Action items (response to questions) were typed and pre-circulated by the secretary; this document framed the discussion on ‘next steps’. There was consensus to roll out the information and action items starting with Friday’s eBlast. 

Email from K Bitzer to Rev. Tiina was shared, reflecting on the meeting and the continuum of decisions over the past 5 years. 

Rev Tiina indicated that Katharine Edmonstone regularly takes weekly eBlast to all her pastoral visits to share what’s happening. There is an action item to collect, print and mail these updates once a month to shut-ins. 

Action items from Jan 15 L3 Meeting discussion

K Bitzer’s suggestion for chronological timeline/ history will be considered further; Barb will acknowledge receipt and thank her for her input and thoughtful considerations. 

Interim Site - St. Matthews        

General discussion on next steps from Joint Meeting December 6th; space planning was the priority item. 

Space Planning team has not been identified yet.  Paul Kalbfleisch (St. Matthews) has requested a high level space assessment meeting in next 2-3 weeks. This is conceptual and not detailed. 

ACTION:Barb, Dave and Tiina will attend the site visit/ walk around; Barb will schedule with Paul.    

Barb will invite Matt Carse (IT/Tech) in the same visit to assess network implementation requirements. 

Community conversations

Barb (regional/municipal conversations re: role of the faith community in the core) 

Brief update on the conversations with Region, Dir or child care and Sr, and Mayor Vrbanovic 

Well received and leading to more conversations 

Stewardship  Dave is meeting with Peter Oliver. 

Minister’s Update Rev. Tiina
     Ministry Team Annual Plan - deferred to February
     Staff / Volunteer Capacity - deferred

In response to Rev. Tiina’s request to explore a joint Lenten service with St. Matthews this resulted in an invitation from St. Matthews to join in their Lenten series. Further dialogue is required. 

Rev. Tiina reported the Worship Committee has decided to scale down the sanctuary by removing banks of (side) pews to force a more intimate seating arrangement on Sundays. 

This will replicate a smaller space, (as we will experience it at St. Matthews). This received mixed response; more discussion would be helpful and nothing can happen without a carefully crafted communication strategy.   

Membership review process

The UCC Church Roll is the historic record, still a vintage, hand written process and the ledger includes all baptisms, deaths, births, marriages. 

It was noted that an accurate membership list is important when voting on property redevelopment decisions.   

The protocol   developed for this review, and the review done by Laurie Gilmore, Lynda Donohue, Ken Summers and Kathy Lees, is certainly appreciated. There was approval in principal of the process (for identifying removals) from the roll and board members review of the lists is to be done asap.  The recommendations for ‘removal’ from the roll will come to the February Board meeting for a Board Motion. 

Spirituality in the Arts

A college student (Rene) working with Rev Tiina will help roll out activities (drumming circles, painting, juggling etc.) as another new program. Rev. Tiina holds the action items and is exploring resources to facilitate these sessions.  

REMITS – Definition: Someone's remit is the area of activity which they are expected to deal with, or which they have authority to deal with. 

All churches are required to vote on remits and the congregation needs to be introduced to them and educated in advance.  

Eight remits were identified at General Conference 2016 which affect the structure of the United Church and how it is funded. Five require a congregation vote, four of these are to be submitted by end of June 2017. (Three remits are for Presbyteries only.) 

*** Additional NOTE : 

  • Remits 1, 2, 3, and 4: votes must be received by 30 June 2017 
  • Presbytery Remits 5, 7, 8: votes must be received by 17 February 2017 
  • Remit 6: votes must be received by 28 February 2018 

ACTION:  We need to plan remit learning session(s) this spring to meet the June 2017 deadline.   

Rev Tiina will send out remits (details) to the board as a first step.  

However, this link takes you to the 8 remits, the study guides are included.  http://www.gc42.ca/remits  

MINISTER/BOARD dialogue - regular Minister-Board meetings (dialogue with a subset of the Board) have been requested for some time. John is looking for another board member to join him in these conversations.  NOTE: Lynne Oliver has agreed to do this. 

Finance/Budget Process    

John reported our annual 2016 receipts   dropped another $25%K ($75K in the past three- four years) 

City of Kitchener wrote to say our gas billing was under charged by $1000, and this is now due. 

The Feb 21 Board meeting John will review statements and preliminary budget; Budget will be not fully developed until the Annual meeting in March. 

ACTION:   Board Report – The board secretary will go through 2016 minutes for highlights to draft the framework of the report. The Board will be asked to provide input; D-J will assist with crafting the report. 

Governance   (20-30min) 

M&P rebuild – (as per L3 report)Discussion - deferred 

Nominations - vacancies identified    NOTE:  AGM March 26, 2017 

ACTION: Barb will submit the list of vacancies and opportunities to Dorothy for the Sunday bulletin.     



BOARD BITS Jan 22nd, Ginger will provide an update on the Jan 15 Congregational meeting and action items  

Ask Min. Team to consider doing Board bits on Jan 29th 

ACTION:need to be assignedSun Feb 6;   Sun Feb 12 (Barb did this one); Sun Feb 19


L3 Meeting with Board & Ministry Team  Mon Feb 6th  

Regular Board Meeting Tues Feb 21st  

*** Additional NOTE: 

Following our JOINT meeting with Betty Pries on Feb 6, the Board and Ministry Team agreed to meet on the same night and have a shared cross over meeting with a meal. 

The Ministry Team will convene at 4:00; Supper at 6:00; joint meeting 6:30-7:30 

The Board will continue its meeting 7:30 -8:30 

Closing Prayer provided by Rev. Tiina 

Meeting adjourned at 9:00pm  

In Camera - none held 

Meeting Chair – Lynn Green

Board Secretary – Barb Hill