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