Minutes: June 5th Meeting

JOINT Meeting    6:00-6:55 PM
Board Meeting     7:00-9:00 PM
Meeting Chair:       Katherine Bitzer
Recording Secretary:     Barb Hill         

Board:  (Chair) Katherine Bitzer, Rev. Tiina Cote, Ginger Comission, John Fraser, Lynne Green, Barbara Hill, Jane Maass, Lynn Oliver, Peter Oliver

Ministry Team: Barbara Bitzer, Marg Collard, Tina Coutts, Pat Tummon, Dennis Watson, Pauline Underwood

Katherine opened the JOINT Leadership Meeting at 6:00pm with Rev. Tiina’s letter of resignation effective Sept 8. This was respectfully followed by silence, prayer, reflections and a short break.

Katherine initiated a debrief of the L3 Group Closing Report and distributed personal reference cards on our four decision-filters.

Comments on the L3 Report were invited, and include: positive, good governance review, pathway, report was fair, balanced, process was helpful but seemed to lag in last few sessions. The report reflected our process and outcomes. Not sure all congregational conversations were meaningful to everyone.  Key message is respectful interaction and kindness amongst us… (‘soft on the people and hard on the problem’). Being hard on the people is our tougher challenge.
 ‘Next steps’ is most interesting part… there is work to be done, need to hold each other accountable to action items; important that we implement.  Continue to communicate with congregation in a strong way; compassionate care, momentum (tough to keep ‘energy going’), can’t believe the narrative of Trinity as a cathedral church is still ‘out there’,  not everyone has let go of the past

NEXT STEPS:    Consensus that we need to communicate a key point or two (pearls) that highlight or illustrate the impact of the investment in the process of the last 10 months.  One example is the coming together of the Board and Ministry Team each month as a more collaborative leadership body.  We will bring back the conversation on “next steps” on June 20.   
The Joint Meeting adjourned at 7:10 PM.

BOARD MEETING commenced at 7:12 PM; Tiina provided an opening prayer.

Motion to Approve Minutes of April 18, 2017 (+ recording of e-votes)
Moved by Ginger C
Seconded by Peter O
Motion approved with noted correction to meeting attendees.
Barb noted that she keeps an e-record of the e-votes

Motion to Approve Board Agenda for June 5, 2017    
Moved by Lynne
Seconded by Jane M
Motion approved with noted addition under ‘staffing’.
Governance     Marg Collard stayed for Remits review and discussion; there were two opportunities for congregation discussion and consideration; 7 people were involved. Each remit was reviewed by the Board.

Remit #1
MOTION that Trinity United Church agrees that:

(a) the United Church of Canada be re-organized into the three-council model approved by the 42nd General Council 2015; and   (b) that the Basis of Union be amended to reflect this change;
Moved by Peter Oliver
Seconded by Jane Maass
Motion approved

Remit #2
MOTION that Trinity United Church agrees that:

(a)    the processes of transfer and settlement for members of the order of ministry within the United Church of Canada be eliminated, including the elimination of the General Council Transfer Committee; and  
(b) that the Basis of Union be amended to reflect this change;

-Moved by Lynn Oliver
Seconded by Ginger Comission
Motion approved

Remit #3
MOTION that Trinity United Church agrees that:

(a) a denominational office of vocation be established in the structure of the United Church of Canada, with responsibilities and structure as approved by the 42nd General Council 2015; and that
(b) the Basis of Union be amended to reflect this change; 

Moved by John Fraser
Seconded by Lynne Green
Motion approved

Remit #4 generated question and discussion about principle #5, “encourage’ sharing of all resources across the church including property and investments.” 
MOTION that:

Trinity United Church agrees to a new funding model for the United Church of Canada with the budgeting process guided by the following five principles:

(1) use Mission and Service to fund ministry and mission activities;
(2) fund governance and support services of other courts/councils by assessing communities of faith/pastoral charges;
(3) share assessments equitably across the whole church;
(4) permit Conferences/presbyteries/regional councils to use additional resources for regional purposes; 
(5) encourage sharing of all resources across the church – including property and investments.

Moved by Peter O
Seconded by Lynn O
Motion approved

Marg Collard left the meeting at 7:55PM.

Treasurer's Report     John Fraser updated the board on the financial and property status of Trinity's Finances:

  • Cash balance Dec 31 was $59k and down to $ 55k end of May. 
  • We forecast a draw of $300k from legacy; $125K has been drawn over past 5 mos.
  • PAR has 71 contributors at end of May, cancellations and increases have resulted in a slight monthly increase. 
  • Legacy Fund at the end of May was $2,433,000 Cdn; up $55,000 from year end


The Steering Committee presentation on June 15 will provide four options for consideration.

  • Due diligence on the developers construction proposals is being done by contacting independent third parties in the development business to vet “the numbers” 
  • Condo cautions – it is an expensive option without control (condo fees on 8,000 sq ft could be $40k/yr
  • Rob Dalgleisch from EDGE (UCC), A Network for Ministry Development” has met with Trinity and are early in their process of being consultants on property redevelopment. John shared that it is becoming clear that redevelopment will not solve the issue of our operating fund challenges.


Dave and John attended the recent meeting of the Waterloo Presbytery Extension Council (WPEC).  They have $2.2Mil invested in securities but use of funds is restricted. They have property they can’t sell because of the Grand River moraine (conservation issues). They are seeking board members; most have been there for many years (even decades) when the initial charter was acquiring land for new United Church projects.


  • The extension (deadline) from the City of Kitchener for repairing the Chapel roof is approaching at end of September.
  • The gas stove is officially decommissioned in the kitchen and fire inspection is cleared.
  • The Access Repairs were approved by e-vote and in progress (quote was $1,200)
  • Photocopier is at end of lease and now on a month-to-month plan until future requirements are clear.
  • The $10,000 to be held in trust for the Rishan family refugee sponsorship now being paid out over 10 months.

Minister’s Report

  • Rev. Tiina noted the impact of the recent loss of Cash Vanderberg has been most profound with families with youth/ teenagers.
  • Tiina highlighted conversations with study group, HopeSpring. 
  • The vacancy in church school leadership is concerning and needs priority. Tiina shared the imagery of the banyon tree and multiple roots.
    • Conference: Some comments from Conference Meeting she attended with Jane at the UNIFOR Education Centre in Port Elgin. Jane commented on how beautiful the worship and music was, led by Etienne.  Hamilton Conference approved motion to be an Affirming Conference.
    • Five Oaks has new business plan with multicultural, inter faith dimensions. 
  • Tiina reflected on impact of clergy coaching (with Betty Pries) as very helpful to her discernment of her ministry calling and, understand what her ministry has been about.
  • Membership LISTS Review process for non-regional members, about 62 in total, is in progress and waiting for feedback.


  • Katherine B visited St. Matthews with Dennis Watson last week and the Worship committee met there May 30th; Paul Kalbfleisch facilitated another tour of the building.
  • Rev Tiina and Ministry team are assessing space requirements for the ministries we currently offer and potential renovations required to meet those needs; Oct 22 is the target move date.
  • Barb noted that IT infrastructure is a significant project (both financial and time line) that needs to be factored into the relocation plan.


  • Keith's Communications Report was distributed for information purposes; this will be included in the next Trinity News… “Did you know?”
  • Communication to congregation for the next three Sundays is of concern leading up into the July hiatus
  • Communication will be identified following the Steering Committee presentation on June 15
  • The quick Survey Idea generated some discussion and noted that the context in the covering communication (simply trying to get the pulse of the congregation) was important.

Staffing Updates

a. Contract Positions - Barb and John will do these contract renewals by the end of June
b. All Other Staff - deferred to June 20
c. M&P -Katherine gave an update on process for re-establishing M&P (finding a core nucleus of 3 people to work with Paul Miller from Presbytery).  So far seven people have been asked to consider this role - six have declined for various reasons, she is waiting to hear back from one. 


  • The process for Interim Ministry is being initiated. 
  • The Board also supported the idea of hiring a P/T Family and Youth Minister, potentially shared with ST. Matthews (or another congregation) to make it a F/T position.
  • Katherine and Barb will follow-up on mechanics of filling these roles. 

Board Bits -Schedule:   Lynn Oliver June 11th; June 18th Graham??; June 25th ; Lynne Green

  • Thurs June 15, 6:30 pm    Special Board meeting (Steering Committee presentation)
  • Tues June 20, 6:00pm    Joint Leadership (Board facilitates and provides meal)
  • Tues June 20, 7:00pm    Regular Board meeting
  • Sun June 25   Celebration Sunday LUNCH

Minutes: April 18th Meeting

Following a short break after the meeting with consultant Betty Pries, the Board reconvened at 9:15 for a brief meeting.

Present Ministry Team: Gord Allgeier, Barbara Bitzer, Rev. Tiina Côté, Tina Coutts, Pat Tummon, Pauline Underwood, Dennis Watson, 

Present Board:  Ginger Comission, Graham Brown, Lynne Green, Barbara Hill-Rutherford, Jane Maass,  Lynn Oliver,  Peter Oliver,  David Rutherford, Steering Committee Chair:  Graham Brown 

Regrets:   John Fraser

Motion to approve Minutes of Board meeting held March 21, 2017;
Moved By: Ginger Comission    
Seconded : Jane Maass
Motion Carried

Motion to approve the Ministry Team members for 2017
Barbara Bitzer; Marg Collard; Tina Coutts; Pat Tummon; Pauline Underwood; Dennis Watson 

Moved By:    Lynne Green
Seconded:    Lynn Oliver
Motion Carried

Follow up to the earlier presentation by the Steering Committee Chair to Joint Leadership (at 6:30 PM) a motion is required enabling them to proceed as follows:

That the Board authorizes the Steering Committee, and such consultants and advisors as the Committee deems necessary, to identify the developer best suited to support the Congregation’s development goals as presented in the Committee’s Report to the Board this evening, and to negotiate specific terms of sale with a view to achieving those goals with manageable risk.

Moved By:    Peter Oliver
Seconded:    Jane Maass
Motion Carried

There was some discussion on potential timing of ‘a deal’. This is unknown as some work is required on the part of the developers regarding site plans and concept drawings, etc. Both developers have expressed interest in acquiring the corner property.

It was stated and is understood that a negotiated deal, when achieved, will need approval from Board, Presbytery and the Congregation.

The meeting adjourned at 9:30

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.