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!