Minutes: February 21, 2018 Meeting

Trinity United Church, Kitchener
February 21, 2018 at 7:00 – 9:30 pm
Meeting Location:  Room 102 – Trinity on Church

Meeting Chair:    Katherine Bitzer        Recording Secretary:     Barbara Hill 

Board: Chair, Katherine Bitzer, Rev. Bill Bruce, Ginger Commission, John Fraser, Lynne Greene, Barbara Hill, Jane Maass, Lynn Oliver, Peter Oliver;
Ministry Team: Barbara Bitzer, Marg Collard, Tina Coutts, Peter Oliver, Pauline Underwood, Dennis Watson
Regrets: Ginger C., Jane Maass, Pat Tummon

NOTE:  Joint Leadership Meeting was held 6:00-7:15pm; Bill and MTeam provided a lovely caribbean buffet supper. See Joint Leadership Meeting Notes. The Ministry Team was excused at 7:15 pm.

An opening Prayer was offered by Katherine.

MOTION to Approve Minutes of January 17, 2018 as amended

Barb noted one housekeeping change to the document; Lynne Greens Transition notes have been submitted as an attachment to the minutes. 
Moved By:  Lynn Oliver
Seconded By:  Bill Bruce
Motion Carried

MOTION to Approve Agenda for February 21, 2018

Moved By:  Peter
Seconded By:  Lynne
Motion Carried


Remit #6 One Order of Ministry – A backgrounder document was pre-distributed and Chair, Katherine led the discussion and two ‘opinions’ from ministry personnel, Joan Gugeler and Katharine Edmonstone, were provided. Marg Collard was present to comment on the remit to ensure our full understanding of the implications of this change to ordained ministers, diaconal ministers and designated lay leaders. We appreciated the input from Marg and no questions were raised. (Bill noted that the majority of Presbytery voted ‘no’).

MOTION to Approve Remit #6 and agree that there should be one new order of ministry encompassing the present categories of recognized designated lay ministers, diaconal ministers, and ordained ministers, with ordination to the ministry of word, sacrament, education, service and pastoral care as the single rite of entry, and with provision for the continued identity of the diakonia within the ordained ministry;

Moved By:  Peter Oliver
Seconded By:  Lynn Oliver
Motion Carried

ACTION:  Barb to follow up with Dorothy and Bill for completing the UCC form to be completed and submitted. 

Minister's Report, pre-distributed by Bill Bruce

Good news, Bill is willing to continue with us, with ‘skin in the game’.
Under MyProcess (pg. 3),  #3, Discerning Responsibility, Bill comments on leveraging lay leadership for local economic development and municipal relationships so there be relationships that extend beyond his time at Trinity. Secretary Barb asked that there be further opportunity, in the near future, to discuss specific conversations that Bill sees need to happen.

From Joint Task #3: Managing Shifts in Leadership
The ACM Mar 25 should be a 2017 retrospectus and provide an optimistic high-level plan for 2018, that things are stable, realistic and we are not planning on spending the proceeds, or giving them to Presbytery. We are taking time to breath and consider the future.  Further, Bill proposes a subsequent congregational meeting in early June to address proposed governance and investment agreements.

Transition Team Report & Recommendations

Lynne Green spoke to the three recommendations from the Transition Team; 

  • That we renew Bill to continue in his role as transition/interim minister for another year
  • That we renew Betty Pries to continue her work with the congregation
  • That we budget $5000 to be used to support other Transition Team initiatives that may include hiring Betty 

to accept the recommendation of the Transition Team to renew Bill Bruce’s contract from June 2018 to June 2019 with compensation, hours and transition goals to be negotiated by an implementation team to include Treasurer John Fraser and Lynne Green of the Transition Team.

Moved By:  Pete O
Seconded By:  Lynn O
Motion Carried

ACTION: Lynne and John will define terms for the renewal with Bill

The Transition Team recommends that we engage consultant Betty Pries to continue working with TUC congregation for the purpose of redefining a new story, understanding the diversity of our spirituality to support healing relationships. Board discussion also considered that the Transition Team had the latitude to consider alternative consulting services and we should not tie the motion to a specific consulting solution.

MOTION to Approve Transition Team recommendation for a budget of up to $5000 for Transition Team initiatives which may include contracted consulting, such as an agreement with Betty Pries;

Moved By:  Lynn Oliver
Seconded By:  John Fraser
Motion Carried

ACTION: Lynne Green will take this approval back to the Transition Team.

Trustee Report & Recommendations Jane Maass, as per Feb 9, 2018 correspondence

  • Jane was not present, but the Board acknowledged receipt of the Trustees recommendations and the plan is to acknowledge an action plan for these at the ACM on Mar 25. (This might include a MOTION that capital funds be frozen for the next twelve months to settle and calm any concerns or expectations of quick disbursements or investments.)
  • Bill highlighted that Board and congregation lawfully instructs the Legacy Fund Committee and purpose is clear; but maintaining benchmarks for ‘base capital’ versus what’s available can certainly be clarified. 
  • Did the settler(s) or the trustees set the rules for defining ‘the base’ capital investments
  • There was consensus that this requires careful and clear conversation, that the Investment Committee needs to be engaged in the process and the June timeframe is a more realistic target date.  There is lots of skills on the Legacy Committee to support response to the Trustee recommendations.

ACTION: Barb will share minutes with Chair Jane, to share with Trustees.

ACTION: As follow up to the Trustees recommendations Katherine requested a draft of a new investment policy and a proposed governance structure; this was assigned to Bill based on his previous experience.  

ACTION: Barb will request the following updates from the Trustees:
The contracted Auctioneer and inventory process; Bill reported this process will launch after Easter.

  • The plan for removal of stained glass windows (Ken Summers)
  • The sale and de-install of the organ (Carl Weldon)
  • Specific updates on these assets will be provided at the ACM Mar 25.

We noted any remaining (historical/ architectural) icons or signage from inside 74 Frederick, to be removed and stored for the future needs to happen soon. (This is not a personal pillaging but a last chance to retrieve small items for storage.)  

Treasurer's Report  

John stepped us through the 2017 Financial Statements and presented two motions.

MOTION to give permission to the Treasurer to work with Royal Bank and RBCDS to close bank and investment accounts that are no longer required, specifically Benevolent account, T-Bill, Housing and Memorial Funds;

Moved by  John
Seconded by  Lynne G
Motion Carried

MOTION to Approve 2017 Financial Statements as presented;

Moved by  John
Seconded by  Peter
Motion Carried

The $5000 Our Place deposit (2016) for potential partnership is still sitting in a designated fund.

ACTION: Barb will follow-up with Our Place and close the loop with ED Dorothy Snyder, that we have a purpose with our children and youth and ensure they are OK with that direction.

Update on Cash and Draft 2018 Budget John stepped us through the draft.

Cash in the bank and Legacy Funds:
We continue to incur expenses far greater than our offerings. The monthly PAR deposit covers one biweekly payroll and the Sunday offerings are usually $500 - $600.
Bill’s “step it up” campaign to encourage increased giving’s is a work in progress. Bill increased his PAR by 50 % beginning yesterday and there has been one other PAR increase for a nominal amount.
Acknowledged we need to educate members and ASK; let’s make PAR sign-up and change forms more accessible.
Bill suggested a monthly envelope be included with weekly envelopes; good payback for those that miss a few weeks.

Additional Notes submitted by the Treasurer.
Legacy Funds: Total value of the Legacy Funds at close of business Feb 20th was $5,564,000 Cdn.
Legacy Fund 1 is fully invested in the equity markets, so it took a hit with the recent market correction. Value of Legacy Fund 1 at the end of January was $2,366, 600 – virtually the same as the end of December.
Legacy Fund 2 is up and running. After paying fees to Gowlings and Colliers, Trinity issued a cheque for $3,226,700 to RBC Dominion Securities. The objective is to invest approximately $500,000 per month until the money is fully invested. The Investment Committee seized the opportunity to buy some stocks at a bargain price during the correction. Money that isn’t invested in stocks is placed in corporate or provincial securities earning a wee bit of interest.

Annual General Meeting - March 25  

Nominations are everyone’s task. We have one candidate for Trustees and another request for consideration.
Bill suggests the ACM begins in worship service with memorials, singing and celebration of the past year
There was consensus to move the next Board meeting forward 1 week to March 14 to facilitate planning.

ACTION: Barb will prepare AGENDA template, Power Pt template, draft MOTIONS and work with Dorothy on any handouts.
Board will support sweet breads, muffins, cheese and fruit. 


Business coming forward from joint leadership, who best represents Trinity at a meeting with St. Matthews (e.g. staff, transition team, investment committee, board member) to respect and honour their invitation to consider a development partnership on property across Benton Street.  

MOTION:  to authorize the Chair to identify a minimum of three individuals to meet with St. Matthews leaders in response to their invitation to partner on their development project, to explore potential without a mandate to commit Trinity United Church to any further dialogue or action;

Moved by  Lynn
Seconded by  Lynne G
Motion Carried  
Lynn Oliver noted 3 Internal Key requests. Need to consider building access as part of the consideration.

Meeting adjourned at 10:00 pm

Board Bits (Katherine Bitzer)
    Sun. Feb 25 - Report on TUCC (Katherine B)
    Sun. Mar 4
    Sun. Mar 11
    Sun. Mar 18
    Sun. Mar 25

    Sunday March 4        All day, TUCC on site at Trinity on Church
    Sunday March 18        TUCC Toronto Tour    
    Wednesday March 14        Board Meeting; 6:30pm
    Sunday March 25        2018 ACM; immediately following worship

Meeting Chair – Katherine Bitzer

Board Secretary – Barb Hill