March 17, 2019

Reported to the congregation March 17 th by Lynn Oliver, board member

As Promised last week I am able to provide you the names of our search committee who will work with Rev. Gary Clark to find our new minister.  Katherine and I want to thank the following Trinity members who have accepted the call to form this committee on your behalf.

 They are:

Mark Breathwaite

Lynne Green

Pauline Underwood

Graham Brown

Kenda Allan

Meagan Heard

Eleanor Brent

 The search committee will provide updates on their progress.

March 10, 2019

Reported to the congregation March 10th by Lynn Oliver, board member

My name is Lynn Oliver, a member of your board.  Today I am here to share with you an update on the search committee to find a new minister.  Bill was hired almost two years ago as our Interim Transition minister to help us set our path for the future as we moved from 74 Frederick to 54 Church Street to?

As we are all aware, Bill’s term as Interim Transition minister and our time in transition ministry are both wrapping up in June 2019.  We hope to welcome a new 3/4 time minister sometime soon after that.  The search process began back in December 2018 when chair Katherine submitted a request to Presbytery to initiate the process to identify new ministry leadership.  This request was approved under Presbytery, and Rev Gary Clark from Forest Hill United Church was appointed to assist us in this work.

Under this new Regional structure, the process is run a bit differently than in the past, and so we have been learning along side everyone else.  First, paperwork had to be submitted for approval.  This included a Community of Faith profile – a living document that tells our story – as well as a summary of our financials.  Thanks to the Transition Team and Treasure John Fraser for their diligent and successful work on this documentation.  Our vacancy has now been officially declared!!

At the February Board meeting the board appointed Katherine and myself to find members of the Trinity family to form the Search Committee.

Katherine and I met to start the process and listed off different demographical groups within the church.  We wanted to make sure we had a well rounded representation of who we are today and what we want to be in the future.

Katherine and I had the privilege of calling and chatting with many members in our church family.  The conversations were enlightening and educational.  At this point a list of names representing the Transition Team, The Board and our different facets of the church ranging from the youth to the more experienced of us have been presented to the Board for their approval.  Once we have Board approval, we will introduce the committee to the congregation.   The Search Committee’s first task will be to meet with Rev Gary Clark for a training session and then their work begins.  Stay tuned for further updates!!

February 24, 2019

Reported to the congregation February 24th by Lori Ann Livingston, Social Justice Coordinator.

Email justice@trinityunitedkw.ca for further information.

Blanket Exercise

On this past Saturday, I spent the day at the Mennonite Central Committee head office learning to become a facilitator for the Blanket Exercise. For those who don’t know what that is, it’s an agreed-upon interactive learning experience developed by Kairos that tells 400 years of colonialism and its impact on our Indigenous peoples.

I will now be able to participate as a volunteer to run these exercises in our community, either through Kairos or through the MCC. Beyond my own personal commitment to reconciliation, as you know, we are financially supporting Kairos this year, and have committed to doing more beyond writing a cheque.

Learning about our settler history and the generational trauma it has caused through the Blanket Exercise is one way to do that. We are hoping to do a Blanket Exercise in June, so watch for details about that closer to spring.

Cooking day

Our first cooking day was held in the kitchen of St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church. Three people attended, and we made Myrta’s lentil soup, a vegetable curry and pumpkin muffins. A lot of it. We left about a third of the food in the fridge in the Social Development Centre (their office is in the church).

No two cooking days are alike. It was good to have a small group for our first time using the St. John kitchen. We have to bring everything with us – the kitchen is not equipped with staples or pots or pans or large cooking utensils, the way Trinity was.

Our next cooking day is March 30, and we are hoping that Hameda Hejjo will instruct us on how to cook some of her favourite recipes.

The kitchen is also booked for these days: April 27, June 1, July 27, Aug. 24.  Email justice@trinityunitedkw.ca if you’re interested in participating.

Social Development Centre

In the past month, I attended, with Rev. Bill, a brainstorming round table hosted by the Social Development Centre, who is initiating a civic hub. We are also supporting the SDC financially and have committed to doing more with them beyond writing a cheque.

The meeting was an opportunity to share some of the feedback gathered by the SDC from grassroots organizations in the last 12 months, to revisit the language used to talk about the initiative, to sharpen up goals and objectives. New groups joined, and the work on the shared understanding of the purpose and vision for the Civic Hub continues. A few of us will meet this week to do some further brainstorming about communicating about the initiative, which is aimed to provide an umbrella organization for grassroots community groups to share resources, such as administration, space, grant-writing, communications support and so on.

On March 5 at 3 p.m. at Fresh Ground Café in Kitchener, Aleksandra from the SDC and Rev. Preston Parsons of St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church are going to meet with our social justice action group, to tell us more about the initiative and how we may help further their goals. Anyone else is welcome to join.

City Movement

On March 6, 9:30-11:30 a.m. at Creekside Community Church in Waterloo, Christians Together Waterloo Region is meeting for the morning in partnership with Alpha Canada, Ending Poverty Together, the Global Leadership Summit, and a network of national student ministries.

The team at City Movement has mapped data on all Canadian Christian ministries from all streams (Catholic, evangelical, mainline, etc.). This includes all churches, shelters, group homes, camps, counselling offices. At this gathering, City Movement will:

•        Present new data on the activities and trends of Christian ministries in the region;

•        Introduce a new data-driven search engine called WayBase that has profiles for all 27,000 Christian ministries across Canada (including ours); there will be a demonstration of how it will let people easily find us and help us partner on causes;

•        Show how working together can have a measurable impact on your community.

Register online if you’re interested in joining us.

Lent

Our theme for Lent is climate change, and we’re challenging you to go meatless twice a week through Lent.

I’m working with Vi and Barbara to organize a film series for every Tuesday through Lent, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the church. These will be a meatless potluck meal, a film and a discussion if time allows.

·         March 12: Beyond Crisis, presented by Transition KW.

·         March 19: The Story of Stuff

·         March 26: Do the Math, presented by Divest Waterloo

·         April 2: Ed Burtynsky: Manufactured Landscapes

·         April 9: Before the Flood

Bring your own dishes and utensils, and a meatless dish, and settle in to watch a compelling movie followed by a discussion.

 

February 17, 2019

Reported to the Congregation on February 17th,

by Lynne Green, Transition Team Chair

After the Annual Congregational Meeting on Sunday, February 10th, the Transition Team met together on Monday evening, February 11th. We met Rev. Gary Clark, who will be the WOW Region’s representative on the Search Committee, when the committee is established by the Board. We looked at the reflections that members of the congregation communicated and shared with us during the service on Sunday, February 10th. The full set of reflections can be found in hard copy on the bulletin board in the hallway.

We discussed the information needed for the Community of Faith profile and worked on a draft subsequently throughout the week. It is a ‘living document’ which we will continue to tweak. We will share the draft with the Board at the Wednesday, February 20th Board meeting.

We also planned some next steps in our work on the mission plan. We have sent out a request to groups Credence and Co., TUCC and Edge, asking them to conduct research on ‘fresh expressions’ work that other faith communities are involved in. This information will help to inform the TT’s work at our next meeting at the end of March.

We will continue to describe ourselves as a ‘pastoral-size’ church, 50-150 people attending. “It is big enough to look to the visitor like a real church and small enough to feel personal.” Smaller congregations are referred to as family-size church, and larger congregations as program-size church or corporate-size church.

 

Feburary 10, 2019

Reflection from Katherine Bitzer

at the AGM on Sunday February 10th, 2019

Board Chair, Katherine Bitzer highlighted a number of key events from 2018 (all found within the Annual Report), and then offered the following reflection.  On the screen was an image of a small seedling growing from the middle of an old tree stump.

 When you look at the image on the screen, what do you see?  Do you see an old, dead tree stump or do you see the promise of new life?  

 In the midst of my reflections on 2018, I came across an article I had cut out of the paper a couple of years ago.  Written by a Rev. Micah Smith, he reminds us that if we look to the natural world, God's world, free from human planning and control stumps play a crucial role in ensuring rebirth and renewal.  Paraphrasing Rev. Smith:

In any healthy forest environment, you will find what are known as nursery stumps.  To the untrained eye, they can appear rotting or dead, but not so.  The remains of the original tree that fell to the ground, in reality, is thriving.  It is busy giving life to a new generation of trees through the provision of fertile soil and a protected growing environment.

For those who would prefer that this reflection shift out of the forest and into the Bible, we move to the Book of Isaiah, chapter 11, verse 1:  "A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit".  A familiar passage to most I assume.  In Rev. Smith's words:  

What a picture of hope for Israel and for us...the prophet Isaiah doesn't describe the shoot springing up out of a carefully prepared, plowed and furrowed field, but rather out of the pain of loss.  In the place where it seems as though life's circumstances have sheared off our hope for the future...amazingly that is where the shoot grows best.   

When I look at this image I see the numerous rings on the stump - a testament to the years the tree had stood tall.  Most importantly, I see a relationship that exists perfectly in God's world...whereby a nursery stump is now fulfilling its very purpose and promise: to provide a sunny, nutrient-rich and protected growing environment for the next generation that one day will stand just as tall.