Minutes: November 21

Meeting Chair: Katherine Bitzer Recording Secretary: Barbara Hill

Attendees: Board Chair, Katherine Bitzer, Barbara Bitzer, Rev. Bill Bruce, Ginger Comission, John Fraser, Barbara Hill, Lori-Ann Livingston-Breathwaite, Jane Maass, Lynn Oliver, Peter Oliver, Vi Peters, Pauline Underwood;

Corresponding Member: Lynne Green, Transition Chair; Graham Brown, Trustees Chair;

Guests/Observers: Eleanor Brent;

Katherine opened the meeting by welcoming a full board, corresponding members and one guest. An opening prayer was offered by Pauline Underwood.

MOTION to Approve Minutes of October 17, 2018

Moved By: Peter

Seconded By: Jane

Motion Carried

MOTION to Approve Agenda for November 21, 2018

Moved By: Peter

Seconded By: Lori-Ann

Motion Carried

Transition Team Discussion; Lynne Green

TT - update via Board Bits given Nov 11, 2018 by Mark Breathwaite.

Next Transition Team (TT) meeting is Nov 28th, all are welcome.

All data gathered is being analysed and the TT will start to craft a plan, a time table and anticipate a 3 year plan inclusive of location, staffing, purpose, activities and work.

Lynne answered questions related to the weighting of feedback (e.g. status quo, stay together vs amalgamate) and what options were taken off the table simply because they represented a very minor perspective.

A qualitative feasibility assessment of staying together is still work to be done (i.e. can we afford to stay together simply for the sake of staying together). At this time dissolution is not an option the TT has considered. Currently there is little expressed support or interest in the idea of disbanding (or buying real estate). Graham commented: eliminating these options by default generates a recommendation for staying together, however, the justification of staying together is not clear. The TT analysis is still a work in progress.

Trustees Report Graham Brown; comments from the Trustees

Trustees are drafting a new investment policy (revising 2014 policy) for the Legacy 1 Fund to reflect changes since then in the use of the Fund, changes in the markets, changes in the congregation’s time horizon for decisions about the future, and the fact that the Investment Committee’s current investment approach is not consistent with the 2014 policy. The Investment Committee is assisting in the effort to revise the Legacy 1 Fund investment policy. A key purpose of Legacy 1 is income for the use in the operation of the congregation, i.e., to support the operating budget. The investment policy revision will continue to reflect this purpose.

The committee also has determined that Legacy 2 Fund requires a different and separate investment policy due to the fact that the Presbytery (now Region) has some degree of oversight on the Fund, and, more importantly, that the original asset value should be protected and be fairly liquid since the congregation may wish to expense a large amount of it in the near future (2 – 3 years) on its mission.

An element missing from the 2014 Investment Policy for Legacy 1 is socially responsible investment goals (SIGs), including social impact investing. The United Church’s own corporate investment policy includes SIGs and the Trustees are exploring the possibility of doing the same. It is proposed that the Board and congregation be provided with a good deal of background about SIGs so that they can make an informed decision at some future point about whether or not to include SIGs in the congregation’s investment policies.

Finally, the Trustees are seeking direction on what the Board intends by “living within our means” particularly with respect to the practice of drawing on the income in the Legacy 1 Fund to support operations. The current available surplus income in Legacy 1 is about $300K. At the Board’s recent rate of demand on the Fund, this amount would be run down in 3 or 4 years. Of course, it is likely that investment yield will add to that surplus income figure, but there is no guarantee of that. The Trustees are concerned that the recent historical draw amounts will continue, and we are concerned about the stewardship implications of this.

After discussion, it was acknowledged without a motion, as follows:

• There is support for revising the investment policy for Legacy 1

• There is agreement that Legacy 2 Fund should be invested with reasonable short-term liquidity and protection of capital in mind

• That Brown and Fraser will prepare a backgrounder to assist the Board to decide on who best to define the laudable concept of “living within our means”.

Treasurer's Report John Fraser (Distributed with Agenda)

Are salary increases expected?

Some unspent communications budget for social media; Ginger is actually the Coordinator for communications. Question about whether to invest in a social media marketing strategy to extend invitations for Christmas services.

ACTION: Compensation recommendations for 2019 required for approval at December Board Meeting.

ACTION: Ginger to connect with Lori-Ann and Keith and manage social media for Christmas services.

ACTION: John to include revenue numbers in his next report.

SMLC Lease Renewal Peter Oliver

There has been good in-depth conversations with St. Matthews and Katherine completed a thorough analysis of Trinity’s space utilization in the past year. We use very little of the space we negotiated and paid for in 2018. Any miscellaneous room rentals will now be expensed outside of the lease.

Peter is negotiating on the installation of a hot water in Rm. 102 and potentially a dishwasher to help mitigate risks associated with carrying large trays up and down stairs to the main kitchen.

2019 lease costs $35,290 annualized; $2,940.83/month with cleaning and two parking spots included.

MOTION to accept the lease agreement as presented at a fee of $2,940.83 per month;

Moved By: Peter

Seconded By: Lynn

Motion Carried

ACTION: Coordinators are requested to submit a budget number by December 19th.

Coordinator Reports

The consolidated coordinator report was distributed with agenda; consensus that receiving reports in advance was helpful.

Vi added that a Wednesday morning prayer group has been started by Pauline Underwood and Mary Edith Tondreau and prayers may be placed in the prayer box.

Messy Church is on hold for now, currently it has no leadership.

SMLC has invited Trinity and St. Stephens for a shared reading of LUKE in Advent on Wed Dec 5 at 1pm.

ACTION: Budget numbers to Peter by Dec 19; key consideration is program costs as opposed to staffing numbers.

ACTION: Barb will provide 2019 COL salary increases (cost of living increase) under the United Church

Minister's Report (Distributed with Agenda) No questions!

Region 8 Update (formerly Presbytery) - (Update distributed with Agenda)

Last Presbytery meeting is next Tuesday (Nov 27th).

There is no process yet to determine representatives to attend Region 8 meetings and expect current reps will continue until the spring.

Communications Lynn Oliver

Any “need to know” congregational correspondence/ communication?

• Shirley Diefenbacher thank you for flowers

• Note from Pastor Sebastien, in their prayers as our building is demolished and grateful for their relationship with us.

• Letter from UCC Archives acknowledging full receipt and cataloguing our records submitted last spring.

• Phone call from a member thanking Joan Gugelar for prayers also sought clarity on a comment that “Gord may come back”; Gord has offered to come back to play during the Christmas week.

• IN8 confirmed that as the buyer of 74 Frederick they will honour their commitment to agreed upon affordable housing units in the complex.

ACTION: Jane will inquire at Presbytery on Paul Miller’s role and how his duties will be reassigned?

Specifically support of TUC employment issues (NO M&P) and the transition team.

Board Bits

Roster circulated for board sign up for Board Bit messaging on Sunday mornings.

Other (Additions to the agenda)

Timelines for AGM prep; submissions for Annual Report to Dorothy by January 6, 2019

Discussion on WHO writes reports in retrospect of the past year; Coordinators will need to talk to predecessors and to each other.

ACTION: Coordinators are expected to bring an outline of their annual report to the December 19 meeting and social.

ACTION: Barb / Dorothy send note to Fellowship Club, Investment Committee, Communications Consultant and the Choir for a year end report.

Lori-Ann, Mark, Lynn and Katherine attended David Wells lecture at St Jerome’s in October, “Where are all the young people” when church doesn’t connect with identity and gender issue as social justice. Refer to Lori-Ann’s article for Trinity News Nov 2018; stats were interesting on when youth disconnect. Smaller but highly dedicated churches predicted for the future.

NOTICE: Annual meeting for the Not For Profit Corporation will be held December 19th.

Consensus that we would pay the $20 to renew the corporation for another year as our future is not yet defined.

Eleanor asked for more information on purpose, what we’re supposed to be doing and for whom? More concrete information on purpose would be helpful.


Joint Advent Lessons & Carols Dec 2, 2018 (7PM)

Annual Congregational Meeting Feb 10, 2019

Congregational Mtg. June 2, 2019

ACTION: Coordinator Reports due Dec 12/13 and Board Package should be distributed Dec 14.

Board Meetings 3rd Wednesdays at 6:30 PM

Nov 21; Dec 19 (with supper); Jan 16; Feb 20; Mar 20 (March break, tbd);

Apr 17; May 15; Jun 19.

NOTE: December 19th is at 93 John Street W., Waterloo, 5pm gathering & 6pm dinner

The TT is scheduling a Planning Day, Sat Jan 12 or Sun Jan 13. 

Board BITS


Nov 25 Peter O Lease Renewal

Dec 2 Lori-Ann Social Justice Update

Dec 9 Jane Maass Presbytery Update

Dec 16 Transition Team

Dec 23 Ginger C Nursery

Dec 30

Jan 6 2019 Graham Brown Investment Policy; affordable units at 74 Frederick

Jan 13

Jan 20

Jan 27

Feb 3

Feb 10

Feb 17

Feb 24

Appendix A – Coordinators Monthly Update Report November - 2018 pg 151 – 156

Appendix B – Region 8’s First Gathering Report October- 2018 pg 157

Appendix C – Report: social justice – 2018 pg 159

Appendix D – TM Staff Accountability – Minister – 2018 pg 161 – 162

Appendix E – Transition Report – 2018 pg 163 – 165

Appendix F – Lease Agreement – 2018 pg 166 – 172

Appendix G – Treasurer’s Report for October – 2018 pg 173

Minutes: October 17

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 Carried

MOTION to Approve Agenda for October 17, 2018 as amended with additions under OTHER

Moved By: Lynn O
Seconded By: Jane

Motion Carried

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

Motion Carried

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

Board Meetings

Nov 21

Dec 19

Sat Jan 12 or Sun Jan 13 TT Plan - tbd

Jan 16

Feb 20

Mar 20 (March break)

Apr 17

May 15

Jun 19


None other noted

Katherine adjourned the meeting at 9:00pm

Moved by Peter
Seconded by Vi

Motion carried

Meeting Chair – Katherine Bitzer Board Secretary – Barb Hill

Minutes: August 22 Meeting

Meeting Chair:  Katherine Bitzer Recording Secretary:  Barb Hill

Attendees: Board Chair, Katherine Bitzer, Mark Breathwaite, Rev. Bill Bruce, Ginger Comission, John Fraser, Barbara Hill, Jane Maass, Lynn Oliver, Peter Oliver;

Regrets: Lynne Green,

Guests/Observers: Barbara Bitzer, Eleanor Brent, Graham Brown, John Lochead

Katherine welcomed us back; an Opening Prayer was provided by Peter.

MOTION to Approve Minutes of June 20, 2018 as amended.

Moved By: Peter O

Seconded By: Jane M

Motion Carried

MOTION to Approve Agenda for August 22, 2018

Moved By: Ginger

Seconded By: Peter

Motion Carried

John asked about Presbytery update on new church model; this will begin in January with a transition year. Further UCC update will be included on the October Board agenda.

New Governance Model Katherine Bitzer briefly reviewed the lead-up to the revised leadership (governance) model and the process for acceptance by the congregation in June. Bill then provided a draft document describing duties of the Coordinator roles.

The following leadership intentions were affirmed:

  • Chair - Katherine Bitzer

  • Treasurer - John Fraser

  • Secretary - Barbara Hill

  • Minister - Bill Bruce

  • Lay Presbytery Rep - Jane Maass

Coordinator leadership roles:

  • Faith Formation Coordinator VACANT

  • Finance & Facilities* VACANT

  • Fellowship & Caring Coordinator - Ginger Comission

  • Worship & Music Coordinator - Barbara Bitzer

  • Social Justice – Lori-Ann Livingston

Vice Chair VACANT


*Key contact and priority for finance in the upcoming year is income (stewardship), spending (advocacy & approvals), facility & lease relationships. The income required to support a plan needs to drive fund raising and define the fund-raising goal for 2019.

The Transition Team members include: Jen Spaulding, Ian Rutherford, Lynne Green, Barbara Bitzer and (new) Mark Braithwaite; (Janet Howitt retired Aug 2018). Priority of the TT is to present a staffing model and budget by January that makes sense for the June 2019 PLAN moving forwards.

ACTION: Complete a document review (governance documents) as circulated and identify priority tasks for 2019. Any comments/feedback from the board are to be submitted to the Secretary (Barb) by Wed. Aug 29, she will meet with BBitzer and LGreen.

ACTION: Recruitment conversations to fill vacancies will be led by Katherine B and Mark B.

Treasurer's Report John Fraser

  1. Cash in bank and legacy funds

Bank balance as of noon today approximately $69,000. We transferred $50,000 into the chequing account from LF1 near the end of July.

Legacy Fund 1 – market value at end of July $2,363,000 – up 4.2 % this year

Legacy Fund 2 – market value at end of May $3,346,000 – up 3.7 % this year. The Investment Committee remains cautious in their outlook.  For sure we have resisted the temptation to boost returns higher, so to speak, and avoided any investment in cannabis related stocks.

All of the bills related to 74 Frederick have been paid.

  1. R.Ross - Short term benefits (STD) expired in early July. Great West Life inquired about opportunities for his return to work (fewer hours per week or less onerous work) but those disappeared with his new diagnosis.  Robert is now on LTD (long term disability) and paid by Great West Life. He remains on the payroll but Trinity is not supporting him financially. Vacation credits were earned while on STD but no vacation credits are earned while on LTD.

  2. PAR - no cancellations in the past month.  John and Roberta Wrigglesworth have left Trinity and they were regular contributors through envelopes.

  3. Laurie Gilmore asked me about financial contributions for about a dozen people who have not been to church for several years. Apparently, if you haven’t contributed money to the church, that puts you on a list that Laurie reviews before making recommendations to the Board to be removed from the roll.

  4. Parkminster and refugee support - Wheels are grinding slowly on this work but there is a meeting tomorrow to sign some paperwork and move the application for support of a refugee forward. (Trinity is assisting with the fund allocation process.)


Gord's Resignation was discussed; since his initial resignation letter the worship committee has discussed alternatives and Gord has communicated flexibility for an LOA option (Leave of Absence).  Gord has confirmed the services he can do in September.

ACTION: Katherine will take the lead on an initial call to Gord and work with Ginger and Lynn on exploring options with the utmost of compassion for his situation.

ACTION: Katherine will follow up with Jen Spaulding on Transition team concerning interim music leadership.

Staffing Model will be developed by the Transition Team inclusive of a Music Director role appropriate to the 2019 Plan.

Minister's Report - Bill Bruce circulated monthly report in advance.

Bill has advocated for sizing staff to meet needs.  By January we need a staff model and to be ready to start searching for a minister to support our plan for a modest group of 50 members. The proposed 2019 Plan must include the plan for how our (little) congregation will pay for it.

What If Stories... We need to continue to encourage more What If stories to expand the dialogue and fuel transition team visioning and planning.

Discussion about specific expectations of the Transition Team, to develop the 2019 Plan and staffing model, must be communicated (again) to enhance understanding of current process.



Congregational Survey of engagement opportunities will be done after the congregational meeting in October.  It was suggested we call it a Congregational Harvest of activities.

ACTION: Barb can build it through Survey Monkey once the questions are formulated.

Jane received a call from St. Mark’s Lutheran concerning contents and windows although uncertain about the future of the building.  St. Mark’s Lutheran is also in the process of dealing with assets and property and preparing to move in to St. John’s Lutheran, with Redeemer Lutheran.  Graham Brown, as chair of Trustees will assist Jane with conversations as required.

TUC News should also include the invitation to submit a What If.  Other stories are required.

ACTION: include an invitation to submit a What If and how these will be used to support transition planning

Board Bits:  

August 26 What If stories

Coordinator roles and vacancies

Sept 9 Resignation received from Director of Music

Sept 16 Transition Team update for Board Bits

Logistics Planning 'Team' for Sept 23 & 30:  Ginger and Pete

Oct 14:


Saturday Sept 15 Doors Open 10:00am - 4:00pm (in partnership with St. Matthews).

Contact Lori-Ann Livingston if you can help

Sunday Sept 16 St. Matthews BBQ after services (Invitation to all + Volunteers requested) Contact Mark Breathwaite if you’d like to help.

Wed Sept 19? 6:30pm, Board Meeting

Sunday Sept 23 11:00am, "Fresh Start" Governance training for the congregation (Paul Miller)

Sunday Sept 30 11:00am, Discussion on Urban Election Issues

(led by Social Dev’t. Resource Ctr.)

All Candidates Meeting to follow

(12:00 to 2:00PM in Fellowship Hall)

(Candidates include Regional Chair, Regional Councillors, Mayor & Councillors)

Sunday Oct 14 11:00am, "Visioning" Congregational Meeting.

What did What if stories tell us

Minutes: June 20 Meeting


Trinity United Church, Kitchener

June 20, 2018 6:30 – 9:00 pm

Meeting Location: Chapel – Trinity on Church

Meeting Chair: Katherine Bitzer Recording Secretary: Barb Hill


Attendees: Board Chair, Katherine Bitzer, Mark Breathwaite, Rev. Bill Bruce, Ginger Comission, John Fraser, Lynne Greene, Barbara Hill, Jane Maass, Lynn Oliver, Peter Oliver;




Katherine opened the meeting at 6:30. Anticipating changes this fall with staffing a new board model, Katherine stated appreciation to the current board for the cohesive and functional working group we’ve become and expressed further thanks for the hard work of the board over the past year.

Bill provided an opening prayer.

MOTION to Approve Minutes of May 16, 2018 as amended and with Board Minutes of Sept 17, 2013 attached.

Moved By: Ginger

Seconded By: Lynn O

Motion Carried

MOTION to Approve Agenda for June 20, 2018 as corrected and with addition noted;

Moved By: Jane

Seconded By: Lynne

Motion Carried

Governance Katherine invited a debrief of the congregational meeting on June 10th, specifically response to the governance model draft.

There was discussion about an ongoing cohort of negative perspective on Trinity leadership, a huddle or two of covert negative discourse. Perhaps there are specific, concrete questions that can be asked as we consider more opportunities and spaces for people to air / share any concerns.

The new governance model is similar to a previous model with the Coordinating Committee.

It was noted that Paul Miller was enthusiastic about our revised model.


The June 10th Congregational Meeting Minutes, the PowerPoint presentation and the governance Diagram will go out in the e-Blast on Friday June 29th

Nominations for (new) Coordinators positions;

No names came forward on June 10th, so a process is required for nominating a new slate of leadership.

Check in with all current leadership volunteers on their intentions for the next year and staff the slate with existing volunteers first. These positions were confirmed:

  • Chair, Katherine Bitzer

  • Treasurer, John Fraser

  • Secretary, Barbara Hill

  • Lay Presbytery Rep, Jane Maass

  • (Vice Chair VACANT)

  • (Member-at-large TO BE ASSIGNED)

The current board members-at-large have specific roles that will be realigned under the new model:

  • Staffing Matters (Ginger Comission)

  • Congregational Communication (Lynn Oliver)

  • Transition Team Liaison (Lynne Green)

We will remind the congregation to bring forward their personal interest(s) in one of the new coordinator roles, corresponding member roles, or simply where they see themselves contributing to the life of Trinity.


  • Faith Formation Coordinator

  • Fellowship & Caring Coordinator

  • Finance and Facilities Coordinator

  • Social Justice Coordination

  • Worship & Music Coordinator

Corresponding members:

  • Ministry & Personnel

  • Investments & Legacy Committee

More definition on roles of the coordinators is required however there was agreement that the (new) Coordinators should help define the roles.

Supervision of staff is part of the Coordinator role. For example; Dorothy will report to Finance and Facilities Coordinator; Gord (Music Minister) will report to Worship & Music Coordinator. The Media & Communication Contractor (Keith) and Pastoral Care Minister may (likely) report to the Fellowship & Caring Coordinator. The current Contract renewal letters should include a note about the new reporting structure

Concerning nominations process for Coordinating and Corresponding roles, it was suggested that one on one ‘key conversations’ take place (quickly) with those currently doing specific jobs. The conversation is not to coerce the person into the Coordinator role on behalf of Trinity but rather to ask who THEY suggest would do a good job in a specific Coordinator role. Who would they like to work with in that role? For example, Laurie Gilmore is very involved in fellowship (coffee hour, lunches etc.) as well as worship planning, greets, ushers). Is Laurie still intending to do those jobs that she has loved to do? Who would she trust, or like to work with as the coordinator(s)?


John will include a statement on ‘reporting structure’ in current renewal letters to contractors.

eBlast June 29 update on Nominations for the Board slate (‘no names received; some positions are now staffed by incumbents and there is a process to staff others’.)

Q. Who is having the ‘key conversations’ for nominations?

Noted that the covering message is critical.

It is important not to ask someone if they are interested in a position if we’re not prepared to use them in a timely way (people are tired of expressing their interest and then there is no follow up).

Congregational Survey of Engagement Opportunities in the fall (September) to encourage all members to find a place to use their skills and passions.

(Q. WHO will draft questions?)

Barb will electronic build the survey based on input (questions provided).

Treasurer's Report John Fraser

  • Cash in bank and legacy funds

  • Bank balance as of noon today approximately $60,000

  • Legacy Fund 1 – market value at end of May $2,296,000 – down 2.2 % this year

  • Legacy Fund 2 – market value at end of May $3,276,000 – up 1.4 % this year. The Investment Committee is being cautious with their purchase of securities. Over $2 million is invested in super-safe vehicles paying very little interest.

  • We expected to be almost fully invested by now but world events suggest that we be wary.

  • We are running a large deficit. Our deposits are greater than our disbursements by about $35,000 year to date however, the deposits include several one-time items including transfers from Legacy Fund 1, Timewell Auctions, Dodingtons re: the organ, bank accounts that we’ve closed, etc.

  • After accounting for all the one-time items, our deficit to date is $130,000 or about $25,000 per month. Similar to 2017.

  • We sold $100,000 of the investments in LF1 earlier this month to ensure we have the money we need to pay our bills well into the fall, if not to year end.

  • 74 Frederick St. expenses

  • We’ve cancelled all the services associated with 74 Fred and have just a few bills left to pay. The cost of maintaining the building to the end of May will be approximately $23,000.

  • Our experience over the next few months will give us a good sense for the costs of running our operation on a monthly basis and help with the 2019 budget process.

  • Stained glass windows

  • PAR – two cancellations in the past month. Effect this year is $750 and the annual impact is $1,200. Our PAR deposit for June is $8,860 or just about the amount of one biweekly payroll.

  • Our monthly contributions from PAR are down about $1,000 in the past year.

  • Stained glass windows

  • Were successfully transported to Public Storage on Weber Street near Union a couple of weeks ago. Cost is $260 per month and we can cancel at any time.

  • Sunrise Stained Glass in London were the right organization for us to use – they were very professional throughout. Storage locker is ample.

  • There was brief discussion about St. Mark’s Lutheran having sold their King Street property to a developer and could they use some of our storage locker for their windows? What is their intention.


Barb will talk to Graham B about speaking with St. Marks re: windows.

Bill will speak to Calvary at Presbytery about the St. Marks partnership on parish nursing.

More conversations required.

Parkminster United and refugee support

Jim Welch from Parkminster reached out to Ron Gadbois on behalf of Parkminster’s Treasurer, Jack Reynolds. Parkminster are big in refugee support – they have two families that receive support similar to our support of the Hejjo family and they also provide “back office” support for two other families. Back office or administrative support implies they accept cheques for deposit, issue tax receipts and prepare cheques based on authorized requests – very similar to what Ken Summers and I did for the Refugee fund here.

Jack is 76 and doesn’t know how long he will be Treasurer but he is looking for another Church to take on the back-office support role for another refugee opportunity.

John met with Jack last week, reviewed the formal documentation they have used in the past. It was prepared by a lawyer in their congregation.

The impact on us would be minimal. In this particular situation, the refugee is a carpenter and has a job waiting from him when he arrives. Parkminster has a robust support program in place.

There would be no requirement that we provide support similar to the Hejjo family.

John committed to getting back to Parkminster – the refugee queue and support from UCC is first in, first served so there is some urgency.

Motion “Trinity United Church provide administrative support for a refugee family referred to us by Parkminster United Church”

Moved By: John

Seconded By: Pete

Motion Carried

Staffing Ginger Comission

Reviews & Contracts

  • Gord’s review/PA (performance appraisal) will be completed Sunday with assistance from Lynn O

  • Dorothy’s review to be scheduled

Under new governance model the supervision roles are clarified

Summer Schedule:

Gord plans to be here for the summer long weekends; he has his music supply schedule in place.

Dorothy is planning a fall vacation (October?)

Bill will be here Sundays and in Southampton on Tuesdays through Saturdays.

Minister's Report Bill Bruce

  • Agenda Item: a Pastoral Care update was requested

  • Appreciation was noted for Bill’s candor and assessment of the past year.

  • A question was raised about the discussions on ‘denominational linkages’ that includes Presbytery representatives (three).

ACTION: For complete transparency we will release Bill’s status report through the e-blast and make it available on Sundays.

Transition Team Update Lynne Green

  • Lynne reported on the May 29th meeting and planning a meeting next week

  • They have identified questions and areas for consideration in identifying opportunities

  • The `What If`` stories (discerning direction) will help with emerging plans for Year 2

  • Summer communication to the congregation includes the Stories about, ‘What If…?’

  • The fall will include supporting implementation of new governance, clarity of language

  • The Transition teams key focus is defining a road map for the next 18 months and discerning staffing to support the model.

  • They hope to report back to the board by calendar year end.

ACTION: Board members to really encourage folks to write their 200 word ‘What if…?” story

Communications Lynn and Katherine

Keith's Report highlights web traffic volume and the growth in ‘hits’. There is lots of learning on ‘narrow casting’ with purchased google ads to target and drive an increase in engagement with Trinity and response to our content.

ACTION: Leveraging social media is a larger, very focused conversation requiring dedicated meeting time.

Correspondence: Lynn O followed up with a Trinity member on a previous communication issue and a concern that was raised about the future of Trinity. Lynn shared the full extent of her investigation and confirmed that misinformation had generated unfortunate concerns. We must continually remind ourselves and each other to come forward with fears and concerns and not leave them in huddles and parking lot conversations.

Presbytery report Jane had circulated the Hamilton Conference Annual Meeting report (see attached). Jane noted a more peaceful tone at the last meeting as decisions are now made and implementation of the remits is barely underway.

  • Keys for 74 Frederick were all returned and delivered to IN8, the new owner on June 12th.

  • Keys for St. Matthews is still a consideration for some Trinity members with routine commitments in the building after hours (e.g. choir). Staff keys are not to be lent to others and all staff signed an agreement that they will not lend their keys. The question is ‘do we request another exterior key for a specific volunteer’? More discussion and consideration is required.

  • Bill shared the risk for a key holder in the building alone, and specifically the vulnerability of a lone male when there is/are female(s) in the building. As part of our duty of care do we require policy about being in the building alone?


Ginger will remind staff about the policy that their key is not to be lent.

More discussion and consideration is required before requesting & issuing another exterior key. (by whom? and when?)

Trinity News timeline: All content to be submitted by June 30 with one week to compile it. Dorothy does her magic formatting the newsletter in the second week of July.

Content for TUC News & Board Bits for June 24 & July 1

Jane will send Keith the Hamilton Conference Report for the Trinity News

Advertise Doors Open (Saturday Sept 15) in Trinity News and solicit a volunteer to organize the other volunteers required for Doors Open

Include Bills year end report

Invitation to consider a Coordinators role;


Wednesday August 22 - 6:30pm, Board Meeting (current Board).

Saturday Sept 15 - Doors Open (in partnership with St. Matthews)

Sunday Sept 30 - Governance Training with Paul Miller

Sunday Oct 14? - "Visioning" Congregational Meeting

Meeting Chair – Katherine Bitzer

Board Secretary – Barb Hill

Electronically copied from Gmail – referenced in minutes page 124

Hamilton Conference

Jane Maass

Wed, Jun 20, 2018 at 11:30 AM

To: office@trinityunitedkw.ca

Hamilton Conference Annual Meeting May 25, 2018 –May 27, 2018

The annual gathering of this year’s conference again took place at the UNIFOR Centre in Port Elgin. We were there from 9 am Fri morning until after supper Sun evening. This is expected to be our final meeting of conference as the church expects in response to remits that conferences and presbyteries shall be blended to form new regional areas which will do the work that these two bodies previously handled. Therefore there was a certain amount of melancholy throughout the three days but also a feeling of hope as we move forward.

Work at conference is done at table groups of 10 people. Each day we had a time for worship, a time for Theological reflection and time for discussion. The music provided was upbeat and delivered by a 3 piece band and a music leader. There were enticing book reviews from The Book Room.

The moderator “Jordan Cantwell” addressed us each day telling about some of her experiences over the last 3 years and over the 3 days the various committees of Conference presented their reports.

Retirees and Jubilands were presented and honored and we celebrated the ordination of New Ministers (only 2 this year) and a minister transferring from South Africa

Even though our days were 12 hours long the meals were great and we did have a bit of free time to enjoy our surroundings.

Jane Maass