November 4, 2018

Reported to the congregation on November 4, by Barbara Bitzer - Worship and Music coordinator

Good morning.  My name is Barbara Bitzer and I am the Worship and Music coordinator, one of 5 coordinators under our new governance structure.

I want to bring you up to date with the plans to replace Gord as our Director of Music.  We initially issued a call for applicants to fill this position with a deadline of October 14th.  That did not produce any results so the position has been advertised again with a closing date of November 30 and starting date of January 1.  This will be a temporary contract position from January to June while we determine our future staffing needs.

The good news is that we have many talented people in the choir who have agreed to step in to share the conducting and playing for the next 2 months.  Jen has worked with the choral scholars to draw up a schedule so that each week one will conduct the choir and another provide the music.  This morning Jen has filled both positions and we are grateful to her.  The choral scholars tell me that they are both excited and a little nervous to share their gifts in this way.  I encourage you to find time to show your appreciation and welcome them.

Very quickly I also want to tell you about the service on November 18th.  We are having special guests from Reception House to share their work and lead a workshop on refugees following a light lunch.  Please plan to stay for this.  Our most recent refugee family the Heejo’s will be joining us for coffee and lunch as well.

October 28, 2018

Reported to the congregation on October 28, by Katherine Bitzer, Chair of the Board at Trinity.

On the occasion of Director of Music, Gord Allgeier's, final Sunday at Trinity:

Gord, thank you very much for all of the gifts you have shared with us during your time at Trinity.  You have been with us during a significant time of change and transition, and we have most deeply appreciated the music, joy and laughter that you have shared with us over the past year and a half.  We know it was not an easy decision for you to make to leave at this time, but we wish you all the best as you go forward.  We have been blessed to have had you in our midst.

On behalf of the congregation, and as a token of our appreciation, a donation will be made in your name to The Salvation Army - one of your preferred charities.  As well, I have something for you to take home to remember us by.  Created by Garry Kvidstad, a Grammy Award winning musician and instrument designer, please accept this musical gift from Trinity.  These windchimes play the famous bells of Westminister, pealing out glorious sounds of celebration and spiritual richness as they act in concert with the wind.  As you have lifted our spirits, we hope these heavenly notes will be a reminder of the joy and fellowship that we shared together.             

 

September 16, 2018

Reported by Jennifer Spaulding, Transition Team -

Good morning! I stand before you as one of the members of the Transition Team this morning. This team was formed in August 2017 to help oversee our time of transition, as we prepared for Rev. Tiina to leave in September, as we prepared to relocate from our building on 74 Frederick a couple months later, and as we prepared to make decisions about Trinity’s future in the months to come.

In our first year of work, our team was made up of five congregation members - myself, Lynne Green, Barbara Bitzer, Janet Howitt and Ian Rutherford. We are grateful to also benefit from the wisdom and guidance of our minister, Bill, and two presbytery representatives, Cathie Stewart-Savage and Rev. Paul Miller. In our second year of work, we have bid a grateful and fond farewell to Janet and Ian, and are thrilled to welcome Mark Breathwaite to the team. Lynne has been named as our chairperson and I will act as secretary for the team.

One of the key tasks of our team is to move our congregation into the future. We started this process by literally moving, out of 74 Frederick St. and down the street, temporarily, to St. Matthew’s. We then began experimenting within our worship services and collecting feedback so that we could glean what is and is not important to us as far as worship is concerned. In March, we arranged for us to learn about and tour some of the churches associated with the TUCC that have explored new ways of being a United Church presence in their communities. We hoped you would be inspired by these practical examples and we collected and reflected upon your impressions afterward. Then, in June, we asked you to reflect over the summer and into September about all you had tried, and seen, and prayed about, and to encapsulate your vision for Trinity’s future in the form of a What-If story. To date, we have received 23 different What-If stories, and we hope that you have taken the time to read each of them, shared electronically and posted on the bulletin board outside of the Chapel.

 We know that we have some important decisions and recommendations to make in the near future and that we need to have a clearer direction in mind in order to make these decisions and to keep moving ahead. Our team is in the process of analyzing the What-if stories, discerning commonalities in our shared vision, discovering where there are polarities and gaps, and distilling what, exactly, we might begin working toward. We urge you one last time to contribute your story to the narrative; we will continue to collect these What-if stories until the end of September.

At the congregational meeting on October 14th, we will aim to reflect back to you what we have heard and share the insights that we have gleaned from our analysis.  Please plan to attend that meeting so that you can once again share your voice, listen to the voices of others, and join us in setting a direction for Trinity.

Thank you to those who have shared their stories with us already - we hope that in the next couple weeks, yours will find its way to us too!

 

September 9, 2018

Reported by Katherine Bitzer, Board Chair -

I am here this morning to announce, with a heavy heart, that the Board has received and accepted a letter of resignation from our Director of Music Gord A.  Gord's final Sunday with us will be October 28. 

Deciding to resign from his position at Trinity was not an easy decision for Gord, but it was one that he came to after much prayerful consideration.  Board representatives also met with Gord for conversation about various options, but moving forward in this way is what is best for Gord and his family at this time. 

I am sure there will be a line-up of people after the service wanting to speak with you Gord, so I thought I'd take the opportunity to share with all members of the congregation some sentiments that you've expressed to the Board in writing:

"It has been a great privilege and honour to be at Trinity and to work with such a talented choir, dedicated volunteers, and staff.  I have been honoured to be here, especially during these difficult times of change and transition for the congregation, as you seek to determine your future and way forward.  In some small way, I feel that I was able to help the choir and congregation through this time. My only regret is that my time at Trinity was so short."

"The next two months will be sad and exciting at the same time!  The choir and I are looking forward to working hard to create the most beautiful and worshipful music we can over the next two months.  I hope you enjoy the fruits of our love and labours.  I wish Trinity United continued blessings and prosperity for the future." 

Gord - you have also said that you feel blessed to have been a part of the Trinity family.  We too have been blessed to have had you in our midst.   

There will of course be a formal opportunity to thank Gord for all of the gifts that he has shared with us during his time with Trinity, and to wish him well.  But for now, for these next two months, let us continue to share in the joy of music and laughter together.  Thanks be to God.  

 

 

August 26, 2018

Reported by Katherine Bitzer, Board Chair:

1.  What If Stories

Since the spring, the invitation has been out to write and submit a What If... story.  These stories - your fellow congregants' vision of Trinity in 2020 - have started to be posted on the hallway bulletin board and are now available via a link in the e-blasts and on the website.  Have you read them?  Have any resonated with you?  Have any shocked or surprised you?  Have any inspired you?  Have you shared your story of what you would like to see Trinity doing and being in 2020? 

This is not an exercise to see if you remember your high school writing styles.  Nor is it a vague, abstract request that will be forgotten about by Christmas.  This is real, concrete work that is laying the foundation for Trinity's direction forward.  The Transition Team will begin to look at these stories Sept 10, and they will inform the core of our next Congregational Meeting on Oct 14 as we focus on Visioning and determining our direction forward.   As Billl says: don't say we didn't ask you, don't say we didn't tell you!  Now is the time.  If you haven't done so yet, write your story.  If you've already written one, but have been inspired with some new ideas, write another one!  And keep reading...it's our way forward.

There is a template to follow if that is helpful to you, or you can just start writing!

2.  New Governance Model

Approved by the congregation at our June 10 Congregational Meeting, we are now in the process of finalizing the slate for your new leadership team.  We are hoping to draw from existing leadership to provide continuity during this time of transition, but also to invite new people in.  Two Coordinator positions remain open:

The Faith Formation Coordinator:  responsible for faith development for all ages. Included in this responsibility shall be those of a Christian Development Committee as defined by The Manual. 

The Finance and Facilities Coordinator: support the administration of the financial operation and use of leased space of the congregation, to ensure that material resources entrusted to the church are used to serve its religious and charitable purposes.  Included in the responsibilities are those of a Stewardship Committee as defined by The Manual.  The Coordinator shall also provide supervision and accountability for administrative and facilities staff.

Please speak to any Board member if you are interested in either of these positions, or want to know how you can support any of the mission areas as defined by our new governance model.