Minutes: June 20 Meeting


Trinity United Church, Kitchener

June 20, 2018 6:30 – 9:00 pm

Meeting Location: Chapel – Trinity on Church

Meeting Chair: Katherine Bitzer Recording Secretary: Barb Hill


Attendees: Board Chair, Katherine Bitzer, Mark Breathwaite, Rev. Bill Bruce, Ginger Comission, John Fraser, Lynne Greene, Barbara Hill, Jane Maass, Lynn Oliver, Peter Oliver;




Katherine opened the meeting at 6:30. Anticipating changes this fall with staffing a new board model, Katherine stated appreciation to the current board for the cohesive and functional working group we’ve become and expressed further thanks for the hard work of the board over the past year.

Bill provided an opening prayer.

MOTION to Approve Minutes of May 16, 2018 as amended and with Board Minutes of Sept 17, 2013 attached.

Moved By: Ginger

Seconded By: Lynn O

Motion Carried

MOTION to Approve Agenda for June 20, 2018 as corrected and with addition noted;

Moved By: Jane

Seconded By: Lynne

Motion Carried

Governance Katherine invited a debrief of the congregational meeting on June 10th, specifically response to the governance model draft.

There was discussion about an ongoing cohort of negative perspective on Trinity leadership, a huddle or two of covert negative discourse. Perhaps there are specific, concrete questions that can be asked as we consider more opportunities and spaces for people to air / share any concerns.

The new governance model is similar to a previous model with the Coordinating Committee.

It was noted that Paul Miller was enthusiastic about our revised model.


The June 10th Congregational Meeting Minutes, the PowerPoint presentation and the governance Diagram will go out in the e-Blast on Friday June 29th

Nominations for (new) Coordinators positions;

No names came forward on June 10th, so a process is required for nominating a new slate of leadership.

Check in with all current leadership volunteers on their intentions for the next year and staff the slate with existing volunteers first. These positions were confirmed:

  • Chair, Katherine Bitzer

  • Treasurer, John Fraser

  • Secretary, Barbara Hill

  • Lay Presbytery Rep, Jane Maass

  • (Vice Chair VACANT)

  • (Member-at-large TO BE ASSIGNED)

The current board members-at-large have specific roles that will be realigned under the new model:

  • Staffing Matters (Ginger Comission)

  • Congregational Communication (Lynn Oliver)

  • Transition Team Liaison (Lynne Green)

We will remind the congregation to bring forward their personal interest(s) in one of the new coordinator roles, corresponding member roles, or simply where they see themselves contributing to the life of Trinity.


  • Faith Formation Coordinator

  • Fellowship & Caring Coordinator

  • Finance and Facilities Coordinator

  • Social Justice Coordination

  • Worship & Music Coordinator

Corresponding members:

  • Ministry & Personnel

  • Investments & Legacy Committee

More definition on roles of the coordinators is required however there was agreement that the (new) Coordinators should help define the roles.

Supervision of staff is part of the Coordinator role. For example; Dorothy will report to Finance and Facilities Coordinator; Gord (Music Minister) will report to Worship & Music Coordinator. The Media & Communication Contractor (Keith) and Pastoral Care Minister may (likely) report to the Fellowship & Caring Coordinator. The current Contract renewal letters should include a note about the new reporting structure

Concerning nominations process for Coordinating and Corresponding roles, it was suggested that one on one ‘key conversations’ take place (quickly) with those currently doing specific jobs. The conversation is not to coerce the person into the Coordinator role on behalf of Trinity but rather to ask who THEY suggest would do a good job in a specific Coordinator role. Who would they like to work with in that role? For example, Laurie Gilmore is very involved in fellowship (coffee hour, lunches etc.) as well as worship planning, greets, ushers). Is Laurie still intending to do those jobs that she has loved to do? Who would she trust, or like to work with as the coordinator(s)?


John will include a statement on ‘reporting structure’ in current renewal letters to contractors.

eBlast June 29 update on Nominations for the Board slate (‘no names received; some positions are now staffed by incumbents and there is a process to staff others’.)

Q. Who is having the ‘key conversations’ for nominations?

Noted that the covering message is critical.

It is important not to ask someone if they are interested in a position if we’re not prepared to use them in a timely way (people are tired of expressing their interest and then there is no follow up).

Congregational Survey of Engagement Opportunities in the fall (September) to encourage all members to find a place to use their skills and passions.

(Q. WHO will draft questions?)

Barb will electronic build the survey based on input (questions provided).

Treasurer's Report John Fraser

  • Cash in bank and legacy funds

  • Bank balance as of noon today approximately $60,000

  • Legacy Fund 1 – market value at end of May $2,296,000 – down 2.2 % this year

  • Legacy Fund 2 – market value at end of May $3,276,000 – up 1.4 % this year. The Investment Committee is being cautious with their purchase of securities. Over $2 million is invested in super-safe vehicles paying very little interest.

  • We expected to be almost fully invested by now but world events suggest that we be wary.

  • We are running a large deficit. Our deposits are greater than our disbursements by about $35,000 year to date however, the deposits include several one-time items including transfers from Legacy Fund 1, Timewell Auctions, Dodingtons re: the organ, bank accounts that we’ve closed, etc.

  • After accounting for all the one-time items, our deficit to date is $130,000 or about $25,000 per month. Similar to 2017.

  • We sold $100,000 of the investments in LF1 earlier this month to ensure we have the money we need to pay our bills well into the fall, if not to year end.

  • 74 Frederick St. expenses

  • We’ve cancelled all the services associated with 74 Fred and have just a few bills left to pay. The cost of maintaining the building to the end of May will be approximately $23,000.

  • Our experience over the next few months will give us a good sense for the costs of running our operation on a monthly basis and help with the 2019 budget process.

  • Stained glass windows

  • PAR – two cancellations in the past month. Effect this year is $750 and the annual impact is $1,200. Our PAR deposit for June is $8,860 or just about the amount of one biweekly payroll.

  • Our monthly contributions from PAR are down about $1,000 in the past year.

  • Stained glass windows

  • Were successfully transported to Public Storage on Weber Street near Union a couple of weeks ago. Cost is $260 per month and we can cancel at any time.

  • Sunrise Stained Glass in London were the right organization for us to use – they were very professional throughout. Storage locker is ample.

  • There was brief discussion about St. Mark’s Lutheran having sold their King Street property to a developer and could they use some of our storage locker for their windows? What is their intention.


Barb will talk to Graham B about speaking with St. Marks re: windows.

Bill will speak to Calvary at Presbytery about the St. Marks partnership on parish nursing.

More conversations required.

Parkminster United and refugee support

Jim Welch from Parkminster reached out to Ron Gadbois on behalf of Parkminster’s Treasurer, Jack Reynolds. Parkminster are big in refugee support – they have two families that receive support similar to our support of the Hejjo family and they also provide “back office” support for two other families. Back office or administrative support implies they accept cheques for deposit, issue tax receipts and prepare cheques based on authorized requests – very similar to what Ken Summers and I did for the Refugee fund here.

Jack is 76 and doesn’t know how long he will be Treasurer but he is looking for another Church to take on the back-office support role for another refugee opportunity.

John met with Jack last week, reviewed the formal documentation they have used in the past. It was prepared by a lawyer in their congregation.

The impact on us would be minimal. In this particular situation, the refugee is a carpenter and has a job waiting from him when he arrives. Parkminster has a robust support program in place.

There would be no requirement that we provide support similar to the Hejjo family.

John committed to getting back to Parkminster – the refugee queue and support from UCC is first in, first served so there is some urgency.

Motion “Trinity United Church provide administrative support for a refugee family referred to us by Parkminster United Church”

Moved By: John

Seconded By: Pete

Motion Carried

Staffing Ginger Comission

Reviews & Contracts

  • Gord’s review/PA (performance appraisal) will be completed Sunday with assistance from Lynn O

  • Dorothy’s review to be scheduled

Under new governance model the supervision roles are clarified

Summer Schedule:

Gord plans to be here for the summer long weekends; he has his music supply schedule in place.

Dorothy is planning a fall vacation (October?)

Bill will be here Sundays and in Southampton on Tuesdays through Saturdays.

Minister's Report Bill Bruce

  • Agenda Item: a Pastoral Care update was requested

  • Appreciation was noted for Bill’s candor and assessment of the past year.

  • A question was raised about the discussions on ‘denominational linkages’ that includes Presbytery representatives (three).

ACTION: For complete transparency we will release Bill’s status report through the e-blast and make it available on Sundays.

Transition Team Update Lynne Green

  • Lynne reported on the May 29th meeting and planning a meeting next week

  • They have identified questions and areas for consideration in identifying opportunities

  • The `What If`` stories (discerning direction) will help with emerging plans for Year 2

  • Summer communication to the congregation includes the Stories about, ‘What If…?’

  • The fall will include supporting implementation of new governance, clarity of language

  • The Transition teams key focus is defining a road map for the next 18 months and discerning staffing to support the model.

  • They hope to report back to the board by calendar year end.

ACTION: Board members to really encourage folks to write their 200 word ‘What if…?” story

Communications Lynn and Katherine

Keith's Report highlights web traffic volume and the growth in ‘hits’. There is lots of learning on ‘narrow casting’ with purchased google ads to target and drive an increase in engagement with Trinity and response to our content.

ACTION: Leveraging social media is a larger, very focused conversation requiring dedicated meeting time.

Correspondence: Lynn O followed up with a Trinity member on a previous communication issue and a concern that was raised about the future of Trinity. Lynn shared the full extent of her investigation and confirmed that misinformation had generated unfortunate concerns. We must continually remind ourselves and each other to come forward with fears and concerns and not leave them in huddles and parking lot conversations.

Presbytery report Jane had circulated the Hamilton Conference Annual Meeting report (see attached). Jane noted a more peaceful tone at the last meeting as decisions are now made and implementation of the remits is barely underway.

  • Keys for 74 Frederick were all returned and delivered to IN8, the new owner on June 12th.

  • Keys for St. Matthews is still a consideration for some Trinity members with routine commitments in the building after hours (e.g. choir). Staff keys are not to be lent to others and all staff signed an agreement that they will not lend their keys. The question is ‘do we request another exterior key for a specific volunteer’? More discussion and consideration is required.

  • Bill shared the risk for a key holder in the building alone, and specifically the vulnerability of a lone male when there is/are female(s) in the building. As part of our duty of care do we require policy about being in the building alone?


Ginger will remind staff about the policy that their key is not to be lent.

More discussion and consideration is required before requesting & issuing another exterior key. (by whom? and when?)

Trinity News timeline: All content to be submitted by June 30 with one week to compile it. Dorothy does her magic formatting the newsletter in the second week of July.

Content for TUC News & Board Bits for June 24 & July 1

Jane will send Keith the Hamilton Conference Report for the Trinity News

Advertise Doors Open (Saturday Sept 15) in Trinity News and solicit a volunteer to organize the other volunteers required for Doors Open

Include Bills year end report

Invitation to consider a Coordinators role;


Wednesday August 22 - 6:30pm, Board Meeting (current Board).

Saturday Sept 15 - Doors Open (in partnership with St. Matthews)

Sunday Sept 30 - Governance Training with Paul Miller

Sunday Oct 14? - "Visioning" Congregational Meeting

Meeting Chair – Katherine Bitzer

Board Secretary – Barb Hill

Electronically copied from Gmail – referenced in minutes page 124

Hamilton Conference

Jane Maass

Wed, Jun 20, 2018 at 11:30 AM

To: office@trinityunitedkw.ca

Hamilton Conference Annual Meeting May 25, 2018 –May 27, 2018

The annual gathering of this year’s conference again took place at the UNIFOR Centre in Port Elgin. We were there from 9 am Fri morning until after supper Sun evening. This is expected to be our final meeting of conference as the church expects in response to remits that conferences and presbyteries shall be blended to form new regional areas which will do the work that these two bodies previously handled. Therefore there was a certain amount of melancholy throughout the three days but also a feeling of hope as we move forward.

Work at conference is done at table groups of 10 people. Each day we had a time for worship, a time for Theological reflection and time for discussion. The music provided was upbeat and delivered by a 3 piece band and a music leader. There were enticing book reviews from The Book Room.

The moderator “Jordan Cantwell” addressed us each day telling about some of her experiences over the last 3 years and over the 3 days the various committees of Conference presented their reports.

Retirees and Jubilands were presented and honored and we celebrated the ordination of New Ministers (only 2 this year) and a minister transferring from South Africa

Even though our days were 12 hours long the meals were great and we did have a bit of free time to enjoy our surroundings.

Jane Maass