Minutes: May 16th Meeting

Trinity United Church, Kitchener
May 16, 2018 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Meeting Location:  Room 102 – Trinity on Church

Meeting Chair:    Katherine Bitzer        Recording Secretary:     Barb Hill

Attendees: Board Chair, Katherine Bitzer, Rev. Bill Bruce, Ginger Comission, John Fraser, Lynne Greene, Barbara Hill, Jane Maass, Lynn Oliver;
Ministry Team: Barbara Bitzer, Peter Oliver;
Regrets: Mark Breathwaite, Tina Coutts, Marg Collard, Pat Tummon, Dennis Watson
Eleanor Brent, Vi Peters
*note: Joint Leadership Session began at 6pm with a buffet meal we enjoyed in the courtyard.

Jane provided a brief update on the final clearing of 74 Frederick St. A final moving truck is scheduled for May 23rd and final revenue from auction as $41,652. A large batch of hymn books went to a church in Fort Erie for $200. The stained-glass windows go to a local storage locker on Weber Street next week and there is space to store any other items that have not been dealt with.

Chair Katherine welcomed Eleanor Brent and Vi Peters as observers to learn more about how the meetings were conducted and the nature of the discussions.
An opening prayer was provided by Ginger.

MOTION to Approve Minutes of April 18, 2018
Moved By: Peter
Seconded By: Jane
Motion Carried

MOTION to Approve Agenda for May 16, 2018
Moved By: Ginger
Seconded By: Lynn O
Motion Carried


  • Barb introduced the process and proposed model for revised leadership model with the goal to define a more efficient structure, more reflective of our current size. The Diagram with notes was distributed; there was brief discussion on introducing new names for Finance & Facilities; Fellowship & Caring; Faith Formation and Social Justice. There is a strong perspective from the Worship Committee on separating WORSHIP from Christian Education.
  • Bill reflected on the importance of leadership recruitment versus the task of the Coordinators recruiting for their specific groups and tasks.
  • Implementation of the model is more important than reams of documentation on decision making, authority, accountability, who has made what decision and on what basis. There was brief discussion on voting versus consensus versus acclamation. Some discussion may still be required but it is clearly understood that consensus may not yield best results depending on the specific decision required. 
  • Consensus is a complex system with different methods. (Refer to Presbytery notes of May 2018).  It potentially gives everyone at the table veto power. If we go with consensus decision making then training would be necessary and thoughtful implementation is paramount. 
  • The implementation implies Ministry Team is dissolved; questions how we fill the coordinator roles is important.
  • Further discussion required on how to fill coordinator roles, to honour current Ministry Team members and open up opportunities for congregants to ‘find themselves in the diagram’ and volunteer.
  • The pastoral year ends at June 30th, it is a logical time to introduce this shift in governance from a duo model (Board & Ministry Team) to a mono leadership model (modified Board) 
  • The word ‘communication` (with voice, vote, veto) requires further discussion, where it fits as a function, not representing group-interest.
  • Further discussion on committees required
  • UCC Manual specifies that M&P representative(s) and Trustees are elected by the congregation. 
  • It was agreed a Nominating/ recruiting body should be named despite the inability to form a nominating committee (due to too few people).

Barbara B., Barb H and Lynne G will take next attempt at finishing a DRAFT document to circulate to the Board early next week, to be distributed to the congregation in e-blast on Friday.

Trustees Report    John Fraser

John briefed us on the Legacy Fund 1 and Legacy Fund 2 Recommendations document that was previously distributed.
John provided clarification on the purpose of the legacy 1 Fund as per Board minutes of Sept 2013, see attached.

Motion to approve the recommendations of the Trustees subject to congregational approval on the Legacy 1 statement of purpose and disbursement and Legacy 2 freezing of funds through 2020.
Moved By: Lynn O
Seconded By: Ginger C
Motion Carried

ACTION: Trustees recommendations with Motion to be distributed to the congregation on May 27.

Treasurer's Report    John Fraser

  1. Cash in bank at end of April was approximately $60,000 – no immediate need to withdraw money from LF1
    1. Dodingtons - paid the remaining $7,000 for the organ
    2. Timewell - proceeds from the auction are $41,652. 
    3. Gross proceeds were almost $60,000; 25 % was Timewell’s cut with 135 hours of their time.
    4. The Treasurer and the Trustees Chair agreed to deposit this in the chequing account to pay our bills. We also received $1,000 from Mr. Gibbings re: some artifacts. We are ‘cash flush’ for now and don’t expect to transfer cash from LF1 (Legacy Fund 1) for several months.
  2. Legacy Funds
    1. Legacy Fund 1 at end of April - $2,266,122, down 2 % YTD
    2. Legacy Fund 2 at end of April - $3,273,584 – up 1.4 % YTD (24 % invested in risk based securities)
    3. Total Legacy Fund monies $5,539,706
    4. Toronto Stock Market up in May so LF1 should show better performance unless there’s a collapse
  3. Waterloo Presbytery Extension Council
    1. Dave Rutherford and John Fraser represented TUC at the Annual meeting held at Wesley United in Cambridge. The Treasurer reported poor representation from the 40 Churches eligible to send reps as no more than 40 people attended the annual meeting. 
    2. With the re-org of the United Church in progress there is much uncertainty about the extension councils.   John Fraser was elected to the Board of Directors; it is prudent to have someone working at the Board level with that organization.  Thank you, John.
    3. There is lots of work to do with WPEC including the defining processes to allocate money, an investment policy, bylaws, changes to letters patent and an awkward business model where the Council rebates interest paid by a congregation after the loan is fully paid. 
    4. With the new Regional organization, Toronto Churches and churches in our area will be in the same region. There was some frustration at the annual meeting over the slow pace of change. 
  4. Emmanuel Emerging
    1. Emmanuel United Church invited TUCC (Toronto United Church Council) and TUC to attend a meeting on Monday (May 7) to discuss their dire financial situation, the most pressing issue is the roof that requires $100,000 this year. Their capital projects are estimated at $600,000. 
    2. Their Legacy Fund is $75,000 and they’ve launched a three-pronged stewardship campaign.  It will be very challenging to come up with the funds required to cover necessary repairs. Ron Ewart from TUCC was in attendance and their short term need for roofing funds will likely be met by TUCC. 

      NOTE: Trinity will not be lending money directly to any congregation.
  5. Other matters
    1. Cost to remove the three (3) corner stones was $1,300
    2. No changes to PAR in the past month. 
    3. R. Ross has an evaluation in the next couple of weeks; the STD benefits will conclude in early July.

Lease with St. Matthews now signed and delivered. 
Bill for TUCC consulting and our Toronto bus tour came in at $5500.
Contracts for Keith Summers and Katharine Edmontone due for renewal by June 30
Letters will be drafted (for all staff) re: upcoming review of Trinity’s staffing needs

Minister's Report    Bill Bruce- pre-distributed. No questions asked.

Other Updates

Communications – Lynn O. reported on a congregant that spoke to her last Saturday about lack of communication, feeling unaware of the future etc., not being heard. It was learned that three congregants had been approached about an opportunity to consider an alternative pastoral leader. Lynn consulted on the situation and it was resolved from a process perspective.

In a happy story, a community colleague was really interested in the stories on how the church has moved on, where chattels have ended up, and a great story appeared in the Kitchener Citizen. 

Lynn posted a final video of Gord playing the organ after the pews had been removed; former congregant Connie Carpenter found it on FaceBook and responded with a nice letter.

Staffing, Ginger will develop the staff vacation schedule and will publish.

  • Gord’s annual review is in process of being scheduled.
  • This summer we are not joining the other churches for joint services; Bill is committed to the perception that ‘we are open’ and not exploring closure.
  • Not doing joint summer services with others creates both new challenges and opportunities. The choir has the summer off however the worship team has flexibility to engage others and may even consider student musicians. 

Congregational Meeting
Planning for Board Bits on May 27 and a luncheon meeting June 10.    

  • Tues May 29 – Transition Team Meeting
  • Sun June 3 – Moderator speaking at First United, Waterloo
  • Sun June 10 - 11:00am, Congregational Meeting
  • Presbytery meets June 13; what needs to go forward to them?  Legacy Decisions & Governance model
  • Wed June 20 - 6:30pm, Board Meeting

May 27th Board Bit will focus on the handouts
Trustee recommendations Legacy funds and
Proposed modification of our governance model.
Ginger will deliver Board Bits.

Thoughts for June 10th.
We moved! and we’re still alive.
Preamble, where we came from, where we’re headed.
We think we have consensus on not spending money till 2020; Legacy 1 & 2 recommendations from trustees.
Brief table discussion.
We think we have consensus on moving to a single model Board rather than a dual model of Board and Ministry team
Brief table discussion.
Transition team…..What will Trinity’s story be in 2020? 
Nurture generative discussion on the next chapter but without a destination.  … directional not destinational.

NOTE:    Time Capsules
Suggested we open time capsules of 1948; 1963 and take the 2005 steel box forward to the next place we pitch a tent.

Meeting Chair – Katherine Bitzer

Board Secretary – Barb Hill