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Transition Updates

The following information is to document the progression of the Transition process regarding the creation of a New Church following the amalgamation of Tansley United Church and St Stephen United Church.  

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this process please email the team at  transitionteamquestions@gmail.com

Congratulations New Church!!

On March 18, the Covenant Commission of Horseshoe Falls Regional Council approved the motion to rename our congregation Grace United Church. This is an exciting and important milestone, but it is only the first of many before we are able to start using our new name legally and publicly. This will take time, especially given our current reality. Listen to the update from Sue Stephen, Chair of the Transition Team, describe what you can expect next https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzqekX9k2-U

 

This was sent out to the congregation on Monday February 24, 2020

Greetings New Church!

The Transition Team would like to thank everyone again for the level of participation in the survey relating to determining a new name. We would also like to thank all of you who were able to stay after church yesterday (February 23) when we shared the name that we are recommending for acceptance by the congregation at the meeting on March 8, 2020.  

Attached you will find a document that the information shared yesterday outlining the process we went through and the factors we considered as we worked to determine our recommendation for a name. 

Please be assured that the Transition Team was unanimous in recommending the name “Grace United Church”.

We wish to thank you for your comments, questions and the support.

 Respectfully

The Transition Team

Transition Team Recommendation for a Future New Church Name

Although no process is perfect, we, the Transition Team, have tried hard to design and execute a fair and transparent process. Even so, we know that not everyone will be happy. Many people will grieve the loss of their favoured name. In particular, we understand that letting go of the Tansley name will be difficult for some. Others may be upset that Tansley was “on the list” at all, and we hear and empathize with their concerns too. If you have an unexpressed concern or if you’re happy, angry or hurting and want to talk, we’re happy to chat with you. And if it’s helpful, we’re always willing to explain more about what we did and why.

As the TT reflected on the data and the comments we believe we have a good understanding and idea of both the serious concerns and earnest hopes of many congregants. The majority of comments strongly reflected the desire for a speedy resolution of a new name and the need for our new name to fully include and represent everyone here at New Church.

Consideration of Grace, Hope and Trinity

As the TT considered the 3 top names – Grace Community, Hope and Trinity we shared the following reasoning:

  • Weighing the 3 names – Hope and Trinity were more acceptable (liked & neutral) than Grace. Grace and Trinity had more people liking or really liking the name. We gave more weight to the “liking” verses “acceptability” and therefore leaned towards Grace and Trinity
  • From the comments in the data we heard that many had problems with the word “Community” being attached to Grace. Therefore we decided to consider Grace UC instead of Grace Community Church. 
  • There was a concern that we would be mistakenly perceived as being aligned with Grace Community Church in Guelph, which we perceived as a conservative, evangelical church.
  • There was an expressed desire that our identity with the United Church remain clear

Characteristics of an Ideal Name (based on psychological/market research)

  1. Makes an emotional connection
  2. Uses vibrant aspirational descriptors
  3. Is distinctive and memorable (sticky) – stands out from the crowd and is easily remembered
  4. Modern rather than archaic to invite new members (families and children)
  5. Contains action word(s)
  6. Signals core values – what we stand for, what matters to us as church, what we aspire to do in the world.

Concerns with the Name Trinity

  • There are a number of concerns with the name Trinity
  • The focus on three maintains a notion that we remain 3 legacy churches worshipping under one umbrella/roof. The TT team believes this identity will hinder us ever becoming one
  • Trinity is extremely common across all denominations & there are already 110 Trinity United Churches across Canada
  • We believe Trinity might describe who we are demographically at present, but is not a name that will attract youth, and young families that have children ensuring a strong future

Recommendation of Grace United Church

The TT concluded that our recommendation to the New Church congregation will be Grace United Church. Some of our rationale:

  • We have been brought together by the grace of God
  • Through our legacy endowment funds, we as a congregation will serve as a conduit for God’s grace to Burlington for many years to come. (At the last Board meeting we became more aware of the abundance being generated from Endowment Funds, and then forwarded onto Outreach endeavors in the community and beyond).
  • We considered Grace Outreach – which sounds a little clunky – but felt the acronym GO! would align with the desire we’ve heard from our congregation to actively engage in outreach. And there are numerous examples in the Gospels of Jesus telling His disciples to “Go Out”. 
  • GO! Is just an example of how we could leverage a name like Grace United to visually “brand” our church and our mission/vision in a modern way to the community, as well as a reminder to ourselves of who we are called to be and what we are called to do.  

Next Steps

  • A motion will be made at the congregational meeting on March 8, 2020 that the name for New Church (the amalgamation of Nelson, St Stephen and Tansley United churches) be Grace United Church
  • The vote will be conducted using paper ballots and individuals unable to be physically present will be given the opportunity to call in and participate/vote
  • Anticipating that the Governance Model will be accepted, approval of the proposed name by 60% will be required
  • If the motion to name New Church Grace United Church does not pass on March 8, the TT will need to work to make a new recommendation for the name.
  • TT will begin with by reexamining Trinity, Grace and Hope and will invite other names, not previously nominated, for consideration.

As outlined in the first paragraph, please contact any member of the TT for more information. We are happy to meet with you or to respond to email inquiries transitionteamquestions@gmail.com

Respectfully,

Sue Stephen on behalf of the Transition Team

Robert Chatterton, Linda Draddy, Sharyn Georgas, Stacy Goodale, Barb McKeown, Chisanga Puta-Chekwe, Rev. Helen Prior, Rev.Charlie Hogg, Mel Matthias

New Church Naming Survey Results – Feb. 23, 2020

This was sent by email to all members

Goal of the Transition Team – The mandate of the Transition team is to facilitate the successful amalgamation of three legacy churches into one life-giving community of faith, capable of thriving well into the future. Helping the congregation to identify a consensual name is a critical aspect of this work. Participation – Participation in the survey was outstanding with a total of 141 surveys completed (110 online and 31 paper). The high return rate (approx. 60-70%) and extensive comments of respondents showed strong interest and effort. Thank you! Blind Review and Full Review Process – To reduce the potential for bias, the Transition Team performed a “blind review” of the results. This review showed all the numbers and charts without names attached. This allowed the Team to fully evaluate the pattern of results without their own beliefs or expectations clouding their interpretation of the data. Transition Team members shared their comments and initial conclusions with other members of the TT before they were made aware of how specific names scored. The Transition Team then met in person on February 19, 2020 to further discern the best way forward, given the patterns in the data.

Calculated “Averages” for Each Name We looked first at the ratings of each name and calculated the average score of all ratings for each name. This revealed the relative feelings of all respondents toward each name (e.g., liked or disliked), as shown in the table below.
Rank Name Average
1 Trinity UC 3.23
2 Grace Community UC 3.21
3 Hope UC 3.05
4 North Burlington UC 2.91
5 Tansley UC 2.78
6 Walkers Line UC 2.48
7 Heritage UC 2.42
8 Great Spirit UC 2.05
9 Christian Harmony UC 1.96
10 New Life UC 1.96

Of the 10 names only the top 3 Trinity, Grace Community and Hope fell into the “Neutral” category of feeling (that is 3.0 or above). This means that NO names were rated as being “liked”
2 of 2
or “really liked”. On the other hand, of the remaining 7 names, 5 names, (North Burlington, Tansley, Walkers Line, Heritage and Great Spirit) were on average “disliked” and the final 2 names, (Christian Harmony and New Life) were “very disliked”. This pattern of results led the Transition Team to decide that the first 3 names should move forward, in their consideration of a recommendation, and the remainder be eliminated.
Objections – Respondents had the opportunity to identify up to 3 names that they “strongly object” to. Out of 141 respondents, 104 (74%) objected to at least 1 name. The frequencies for each name are shown in the distribution table at the bottom of Page 2.

Distribution of Scores – We also explored the distribution of likes/dislikes for each name.

This chart shows that Trinity and Grace are liked or really liked by 46%. Hope and Trinity are acceptable (neutral & liked) to 70% of respondents, with Grace Community acceptable to about 65%. Moreover, each of these 3 names has fewer than 10 objections. Although North Burlington was rated as acceptable by 63% of respondents, the 14 objections (10%) against it make it a more divisive choice. Moreover, in the Dotmocracy exercise, we observed a very polarized discussion about the hotly contested topic of the boundaries of “North Burlington”. As no factions are likely to change their perceptions, the Transition Team at its meeting confirmed its decision to move forward with the first 3 names, and removed North Burlington from further consideration.
Open-Ended Responses – We also coded all responses to the open-ended questions on the survey. The responses included 26 kudos to the TT, 3 process-related concerns and 33 related to the strong objections people had with particular names.
Transition Team Reflection As a Transition Team, we believe we have been tasked with bringing one name forward as a recommendation, to be voted on by the congregation on March 8. The recommendation will be the name we feel reflects the will of the majority of the congregation. We believe that arriving at a consensual name is critical to the long-term health and well-being of our newly amalgamated church. At the gathering after church on February 23 the TT will present their reasoning and the one recommended name for consideration on March 8.

Verbal Report to the Board – February 18, 2020

Some updates on what’s happened with/for the Transition Team (TT) since I submitted the written report on February 11, 2020.

  1. The TT learned that Kim U and Lynne A (Regional Council staff who led the Listening Circle exercise on January 25) are not permitted to accept the gift cards we gave them as an expression of our thanks. Leading us through the Listening Circle was part of their work – paid/supported through M+S. They will be reimbursing the church for the gift cards ($200) and we are asking that money be designated to M+S.
  1. about the survey-
  • The TT will meet on Wednesday and will discuss the detailed findings that have already been distributed to them
  • I can confirm that 141 surveys were completed (110 on line and 31 paper)
  • 200 emails were sent out. The survey process allowed for some clean-up of the mailing list. If we factor that many of the people who completed paper surveys were on the original list the response rate is between 60-70% which is very good and might even approach exceptional!
  • Reasons for folks on the mailing list completing paper surveys included:
  1. More than one person in a household shared an email address and so the other(s) completed the survey on paper
  2. Email addresses were wrong or outdated
  3. The invitation went to spam or trash and wasn’t found
  4. Some stated they were more comfortable with a paper process
  • If any obstacle was made known to us we accommodated the request.
  • Of the general comments made there were many giving Kudos to the TT for the work that’s being done and the manner in which the TT is doing their work. Comments included some recognition of the degree of difficulty the team faces generally with any of its tasks and specifically in regard to the selection of a name. The TT appreciates the comments and the support those comments represent.
  • Out of the 141 responses to the survey, there were only 3 concerns expressed about the process. These concerns represent only 2% of the participants and is only that high if each concern was expressed by a different person.
  • The TT will be presenting its recommendation to the congregation based on the statistical information from the survey which is supported by anecdotal comments.
  • With a rating scale, it’s really not about the “most votes” but the most support as being liked or disliked. We will definitely use this standard to put forth names with the most support (i.e. most liked and least disliked) overall.
  • As individuals, members of the TT have personal views and preferences. However, we work (and will continue to work) diligently to remain unbiased and committed to a fair solution that honours the overall will of the congregation. As an example of this, the first TT review of the survey results was done as a “blind” review, showing the relevant data without showing the associated names. This blind review allowed us to reflect as individuals on what the data showed us (without bias) and to share within the team our thoughts on how we should proceed.
  • Our TT meeting tomorrow (February 19, 2020) will allow us to further discuss the findings and discern about the best/fairest way forward for the next stage of the process.
  • We remain committed to the responsibility given to us and accepted by us to assist the three legacy churches to successfully amalgamate into a new coherent and united community of faith. We believe the processes we have used have been faithful to collaboratively seeking the will of the entire congregation.

Submitted by Sue Stephen

Intel from the Interim Nov. 30, 2019 (this was handed out to the congregation at the December 2nd, 2019 service)

We Heard You – Thanks for the great participation in the Nov. 24th visioning exercise! The Transition Team heard your joys and concerns with respect to your Sunday experience and have starting work with the appropriate committee to help introduce changes that can be easily made (i.e., additional mobility-friendly parking spaces). We appreciate your input.

Preparing to Fly – In our congregational meeting, I heard several comments reflecting a desire for me to stay as the New Church minister. I feel the need to address these comments now. While it’s a very flattering endorsement of the ministry we’ve shared to this point, I need you to know that my passion and my strength is in Interim ministry. So, I expect we will only work together with me until June 30, 2021. After 50+ years I have enough self-knowledge to know where my gifts are, and where they aren’t. If we use a plane analogy, I am good at cleaning up from previous flights. I am good at clearing the runway and getting the plane fueled and on the correct runway, heading in the right direction. I may even be able to suggest some of the best qualities for you to seek in the next pilot. There are many other fine ministers who will have the specific gifts and skills that will help you soar with God’s Spirit. But I also know very clearly, those aren’t my gifts, and after numerous years, I know enough to get out of the way so you can soar. Early in 2021, your church leaders and I will need to discern whether this community is ready to search for your new pilot. If you are, I will possibly stay with you until you find a new Minister. If you’re not, at times within amalgamations, it’s wise to extend an interim ministry with the same person. Alternatively, in some cases, it’s best to find a different interim to travel the next leg of the journey with the congregation. So, let’s enjoy our time together for now, with the knowledge that it is time-limited for a good reason.

What’s In a Name? – If you look at my business card or at my signature, you may note I am “Helen J”, not just Helen Prior. The J is very important to me for this reason. My parents are Jason and Jean, my brother Geoff, my aunts are Jan, Joan and Gillian, then there’s uncle John and cousin Joanna. With time, I have forgiven my parents for not branding me with a J name and have grown into Helen which means “shining light” or “the bright one.” While I don’t always act or feel bright, I aspire to live into my name’s meaning. As New Church embarks on a journey to consider our future name, I am hoping we will identify and embrace a name that reflects a shared and consensual identity and values. In our visioning event on Nov. 24, the shared values of strong relationships, music and outreach came through loud and clear. The Transition Team also heard the congregation clearly state we are ready to embark on a process to determine a name, and while we have heard some fears that this might be a divisive item, it’s time to make a start. To be clear: the Transition Team will not be choosing a name, nor will the Board. The Congregation will go through a process of discernment and in an ideal world would reach consensus on a name that describes and inspires us, and that offers everyone a sense of true belonging. As indicated in the sermon on December 1, 2019, we have identified four main categories of church names out there: Geographic or Locational names; Biblical or Historical Christian names; Valuebased names; and names honouring the Indigenous peoples of this land. We believe that each of these ways of naming a church have their pros and cons, but we need your input.

  • What names inspire you?
  • What type of name do you resonate to?
  • What kind of name do you think would enable everyone to feel an equal part of New Church?

Hoping to stir your creative spirits, the Transition Team has taken some time to come up with some suggestions in each category. The Transition Team’s “seed” suggestions (in alphabetical order) are: 

Geographic or Locational:

  • Burloak United Church
  • Jordan United Church
  • Millcroft United Church
  • North Burlington United Church
  • North Burlington Community United Church
  • Walker’s Line United Church

Value based:

  • Hope United Church
  • Legacy United Church
  • Living Faith United Church
  • Living Legacy United Church
  • New Hope United Church
  • One Community United Church
  • Seekers United Church

Indigenous:

  • Saint Kateri Tekakwitha United Church (see Biblical)
  • Great Spirit United Church
  • Mino-o dapin United Church (Ojibwe for welcome)
  • Wachiya United Church (Cree for welcome).

Biblical or Historical Christian:

  • Archbishop Janani Luwum United Church
  • Saint Josephine Margarate Bakhita United Church
  • Saint Kateri Tekakwitha United Church
  • Saint Manche Masemola United Church
  • Saint Peter Wu United Church
  • St. Tabitha United Church

Let’s work together to add more to this sample list!

If you love them, great – let’s talk more. If you dislike all of them, that’s great too. Let us know what you think and put your suggestion “out there”. We hope members of the congregation will dream up and share other options for consideration. Please send any ideas to the Transition Team email: transitionteamquestions@gmail.com

If you wish to wait until after Advent and Christmas, we will collect names until Sunday, Jan 12th. On that day, we hope to schedule another congregational gathering after church, solely dedicated to discussing the suggestions.

1 These suggestions are meant to start the conversation, and are NOT the only options. 2 Archbishop Luwum was born, in 1922. He had served as Archbishop of the Church of Uganda from 1974 until his death in 1977. Luwum was murdered by the Amin regime as part of the anti-Christian campaign in Uganda. At the height of that campaign, Luwum declared, “I am prepared to die in the army of Jesus.” The Church of England commemorates the Ugandan martyrs on 3 June. 3 Josephine was a Sudanese-Italian Canossian religious sister who was born in 1869 in Darfur and served in Italy for 45 years. She had previously been a slave in Sudan, brought to Italy by a kind master who left her to stay with Canossian sisters. That is where she had her transformation. She successfully petitioned to be declared a free person on the basis that her initial enslavement in Sudan had been unlawful. Josephine died on February 08, 1947 in Schio, Italy. She was beatified in 1992 and declared a saint in 2000. 4 This Algonquin-Mohawk laywoman was born in 1656 and baptized “Catherine” after St. Catherine of Siena (Kateri was the Mohawk form of the name) at the age of 19. She died on April 17, 1680 5 In 1919, 14 year old Manche was a keen student of Christianity in Ga Marishane, in South Africa. Upon her intention of baptism her parents first took to a traditional healer who failed to exorcise the ‘curse’. On February 04, 1928 they took Mache to a secluded spot and hacked to death. Four years later, the Church declared her burial place a pilgrimage site. Ten years later, she was declared a martyr by the Anglican church of the Province of Southern Africa and later canonized a saint before being immortalized in a statue at Westminster Abbey. 6 Peter Wu Gausheng was a Chinese lay catechist born in 1768 at Langping in Guizhou Province. He was baptized in 1796 and spent the rest of his life spreading the Gospel. Following a backlash against Christianity, Peter was arrested in 1814, imprisoned, tortured and sentenced to death. A line from a letter sent to his wife reads: “Be loyal to the Lord, accept his will.” 7 In Greek known as Dorcas was known for her good works and acts of charity. She sewed for others and gave to the needy

November 24, 2019 Congregation Visioning – Summary Results (this was handed out at the December 2nd, 2019 service)

Note the Top 6 Themes Weighted Avg are listed

Question 1 – What are the joys/benefits you are experiencing at New Church?

  • Sense of community 27%
  • Fellowship 14%
  • Music & Choir 13%
  • Increased attendance/engagement 13%
  • Leadership 9%
  • New ideas/strengths 7% 
      • Powerful quotes: “Three churches becoming one congregation”; “Vibrancy” 

Question 2 – What are the losses or places of discomfort for you at New Church?

  • Meeting new people / Learning new names 14%
  • Sunday Experience 12%
  • Resistance to Change / Change is hard 10%
  • Missing old church family 10%
  • Fear of offending people 9%
  • Name change 9% 

Question 3 – What would an “Ideal” New Church look like to you?

  • Increase youth presence 19%
  • Physical Space Changes 15%
  • Outreach 11%
  • Music & choir 8%
  • Name change Decision 8%
  • Increase attendance/engagement 7%

Question 4 – How might New Church better serve or become more relevant to our surrounding community?

  • Community Events 15%
  • Connect with youth/families 14%
  • Continue outreach 11%
  • Offer variety of Church Services 10%
  • Expand Music 9%
  • Community Partnerships 8%

Transition Team Update (this was handed out the the congregation at the December 2nd service)

A standing item on each Transition Team (TT) meeting’s agenda is Concerns and Compliments or Kudos. Sharing your concerns or compliments on what is happening is significant to our work and our communication with the Board and congregation. Sometimes topics come to us verbally, sometimes in emails to individual members. To date only one person has contacted us using the TT email address: transitionteamquestions@gmail.com

The following is an update from the Transition Team shared with the Board on November 19, 2019: “In discussing a recent communication to the team it became evident that there are many examples of systems and processes in place in New Church that are carry overs from Tansley, and few, if any that have their roots in either Nelson or St Stephen. This is a fact, not a value statement. It is generally accepted that processes and roles at Tansley were more formalized than at either of the other legacy churches. There is also a general acceptance and perception that the systems do represent a high level of organization and that there is always an intent to do the right thing and the best thing for all. But, have the systems been reviewed with the intent of ensuring they are open and inclusive to best represent New Church? Regional Council has suggested that churches, we, look at the work we have ahead of us (as we determine the service we want to provide) as opportunities and not chores. Not all people may agree, but it is a fact all 3 of the founding or legacy congregations, while once thriving and vibrant individually were faced with the need to change. That’s what gave way to the amalgamations. It is no secret that all 3 were experiencing declining membership, attendance and financial support with a risk of closure sooner or later. However, through amalgamation our new entity has been given a profound opportunity. It’s one that churches don’t get very often. We have the opportunity, the gift of being able to create a new way of doing God’s work, and being Christ in and to the North Burlington community. We have the opportunity to evolve together and grow as disciples of Jesus. The TT wants to encourage, support, and even provoke our new congregation to evolve together and to reimagine what it is God is calling us to do. We’d like to help by asking for representatives to be invited to attend future committee meetings to encourage (and challenge) committees to think more “new church” in their 2020 plans and activities — both by deliberately inviting in a wider range of voices (even if not as members of the committee but connecting for feedback and input), and asking questions/exploring proactively how we have always done things at legacy Tansley, and legacy St.Stephen and legacy Nelson and together building a way for New Church. The result may be that the best one of those legacy ways may be chosen or a totally new way might be determined. We already have good examples of where this has happened or is happening. The nonexhaustive list includes Candy Cane Traditions, Outreach and Worship planning. We have made a start. It’s worth our time and energy to get even better about acknowledging where our collective old ways could result in something better. We know there are some tough topics to be discussed and believe that if the TT is a part of, or party to, the discussions we can help to minimize the potential for hurt and upset that can be expected especially when change is linked to traditional times/holidays or significant life events.”

Preparing for our event/discussions during worship on November 24, 2019, the Transition Team was hopeful that the day would give us a first indication of our core values as a new church and how aligned we are (or are not). We were not disappointed! It appears there is a readiness to examine legacy ways, and move towards a new shared vision.


We are hopeful that in January we can talk about whether or not there is a willingness to consider a name for the new community of faith that is reflective of a new shared vision.


Respectfully submitted, Sue Stephen on behalf of the Transition Team

Meet your Transition Team: (posted December 3rd, 2019)

Each of the congregational members of the Transition Team was chosen because they exhibit at least one of the following qualities. They are:  • trusted • respected • prayerful • spiritually wise • gentle truth-teller • able to listen and hear all perspectives • able to commit time and energy • regular attender • regular contributor to the life of the community.

Name: Barb McKeown

Was a member of: Nelson

I was asked to be on the Transition Team because: I am respected, trusted and attend regularly. I have participated in a similar process while attending Nelson.

I accepted the invitation because: I wanted to be involved in the creation of the “New Church”. I felt I had the support and respect of other members and could help to lead the congregation in this exciting spiritual journey.

Current involvement in the life and work of the church:  I am a member of the Choir, Archives Committee, a Reader, Communion Server, and the decorating team of Worship, as well as being a member of the Transition Team.

Name: Chisanga Puta-Chekwe

Was a member of: St Stephen

I was asked to be on the Transition Team because: I am a gentle truth teller with an ability to bring new perspectives and think outside the box.

I accepted the invitation because: I see great opportunity for positive change in the Church

Current involvement in the life and work of the church: Member of the Transition Team

Name: Linda Draddy

Was a member of: St Stephen

I was asked to be on the Transition Team because: I attend regularly, am respected and am able to commit time and energy to this process.

I accepted the invitation because: I accepted the invitation because I want to help all of the congregations to come together as one very active place of worship and togetherness. I think my organizational and leadership skills are suited to this work.

Current involvement in the life and work of the church: Chairperson of Fundraising, Chairperson of Fund and Fellowship.  I have started a Wednesday Morning Coffee Group, Member of the Women’s Group

Name: Robert Chatterton

Was a member of: Tansley

I was asked to be on the Transition Team because:  I am a gentle truth-teller and able to listen and hear all perspective.

I accepted the invitation because: I believe I can contribute positively towards an impactful change to our church and community.

Current involvement in the life and work of the church: Transition Team

Name: Sharyn Georgas

Was a member of: St Stephen

I was asked to be on the Transition Team because: I have the time to attend, am trusted, respected, I am a good listener and a gentle truth-teller.

I accepted the invitation because: I want to be involved with the process of amalgamating and to understand the steps we will be taking. I think I have an honest, open-minded opinion of our future and believe we have the potential to become an active, vibrant church. I want to be part of that future.

Current involvement in the life and work of the church: Transition Team, Outreach, UCW and the Board.

Name: Stacy Goodale

Was a member of: Tansley

I was asked to be on the Transition Team because: I am a good listener and open to different perspectives as well as a trusted spiritual leader for the children and youth in our congregation. I also offer a different perspective to the work of the Transition Team – specifically of a family with teenagers.

I accepted the invitation because: I want to be a part of helping to shape the future identity of the church in our community. And I want the voice of our children and youth to be considered in the work of the transition team.

Current involvement in the life and work of the church: Kids Program/Sunday School Coordinator, Member of Faith Formation, Transition Team and Crop Circle

Name: Sue Stephen

Was a member of: Tansley

I was asked to be on the Transition Team because: I was seen to be a gentle truth-teller, able to listen and hear all perspectives. I have knowledge of and am involved in the work United Church through Regional Council

I accepted the invitation because: I believe that our New Church has been given a gift, an opportunity to do God’s work with new/renewed energy and determination within our community through prayer, worship and service.

Current involvement in the life and work of the church: Locally – Choir, Prayer Shawls, Faithful Readers, Communion Server, Reader, Rep to Regional Council, chair of the Transition Team.  Regionally – member of the Human Resources Commission for Horseshoe Falls.

 

Ministry Opportunity Fair – October 20, 2019 – Transition Team Survey Results 45 total survey respondents

What do you think is the greatest opportunity created by our newly amalgamated church? CHOOSE YOUR TOP 2 ONLY

  • Grow our congregational family – 31
  • Expand our outreach and relevance to the community – 22
  • Discover new possibilities – 18
  • I don’t know – 2

Other

  • Grow children’s learning
  • Rebuild to create community affordable housing and worship space
  • More spiritual learning opportunities throughout the week

What new possibilities are you most excited about?

  • Having more spiritual learning opportunities
  • Opportunities to engage youth and vulnerable persons in skill development and life skills
  • Come together to create a unified vision and what we can do for Burlington
  • Add alternative services at alternate times/days
  • New ways of doing things. Thinking outside the box
  • I think today was a sad, disappointing response for the amount of work I put into the boards
  • Become a voice for social and environmental issues

 

October 3, 2019 – Updates + New Information

Transition Team Q + A’s

(Short forms used in the Q+A)

Q+A =Questions and Answers

TT = Transition Team

UCC = United Church of Canada

RC = Regional Council

HRC = Human Resources Commission

Rep = Representative appointed by the Human Resources Commission of the Regional Council

Who’s on the Transition Team? The members of the TT are our Intentional Interim Minister, Rev. Helen Prior, two Reps, Mel Matthias and Rev. Charlie Hogg, and representatives of the 3 congregations forming New Church (Nelson, St Stephen and Tansley). Barb McKeown (N) Linda Draddy,  Sharyn Georgas and Chisanga Puta-Checkwe (SS) and Robert Chatterton, Stacy Goodale and Sue Stephen (T).

How were they chosen?

The Reps were appointed by the HRC-RC. Mel (July 24, 2019) Charlie (September 25, 2019)

The first five congregational members of the TT were selected by the chairs of the former Boards or Councils. Their names were submitted to, and accepted by the Human Resources Commission (HRC) of RC on July 24, 2019. Their approval was an item of business on the agenda of the August 20, 2019 Board Meeting. They fulfill the expectations for appointment to a TT as they:

      • Are active participants in the community of faith
      • Represent a cross-section of the community of faith
      • Are some of the community of faith’s key leaders
      • Understand the challenges ahead
      • Are prepared to make a time-intensive commitment over the entire period of the interim ministry (to June 30, 2021)
      • Are not members of the M+P Committee or staff members.

At the recommendation of Mel Matthias the membership of the TT was increased by 2 congregational members. The 7 congregational members of the TT were elected at the September 15, 2019 Congregational Meeting.

 Has the TT begun its work? Yes! The TT has met 5 times between August 7,and October 2, 2019 and currently has meetings scheduled every 2 weeks. The Team is working on setting goals, establishing processes for developing a mission and vision for the congregation and for considering the name of the new congregation. Their first actions are

      • Planning and implementing a “Ministry Opportunity Fair” to be held following worship on October 20, 2019. This will give everyone an opportunity to learn what’s already happening at the church, find a place to get involved, or help to identify what may be missing.
      • Inviting comments and on-going communication with all members of the congregation. An email address has been set up transitionteamquestions@gmail.com

——————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Summer 2019

When will they begin their work? In anticipation of approval of its membership at the August 20, 2019 Board Meeting, the TT will gather for the first time on Wednesday, August 7, 2019. Key goals for that meeting will be to:

      1. Get to know each other and the shared skill sets* within the team
      2. Understand the role of the Transition Team
      3. Commit that they are ready to:
      • Consider the well-being of the community of faith FIRST
      • Consider differing points of view within the TT and congregation
      • Work as a team, cooperate and be ready to be challenged
      • Invest their time and energy to do the work well etc.,
      1. Set a meeting schedule –the group will meet frequently

*Required Skills and Abilities

      • Communication, social media and presentation
      • Facilitation, delegation and encouragement of leadership in others
      • Staying calm during times of change and inspiring hope and positivity
      • Research, writing and computer use
      • Knowledge of the local community of faith and its culture (this will be emerging)
      • Knowledge of the UCC and its polity
      • Understanding the Christian story as it was told in the first century and is being told today

What is a Transition Team? A transition team (TT) is a group of 4-6 people from the community of faith (congregation) and 1 or 2 from the regional council (RC) who work with the Intentional Interim Minister (in our case, Rev. Helen Prior) to help guide the community of faith(New Church) through the period of interim ministry.

Why do we (New Church) have a Transition Team?   It is a requirement of the United Church of Canada (UCC) to be in place whenever there is an Intentional Interim Minister. Our church requested an Intentional Interim Minister because of our amalgamation and because as a new congregation we need to discover our identity and mission so that we (New Church) can determine the direction in which we wish to move.

Is the work of the TT secret? NO! They will liaise and collaborate regularly with the governing body (Board) and one member of the TT will be a member of the Board for the duration of the interim ministry. The TT will communicate and consult regularly with the congregation the and with the RC.

What power does the TT have?

      • They will liaise and collaborate regularly with the governing body (Board) and one member of the TT will be a member of the Board for the duration of the interim ministry.
      • The TT will communicate regularly with the congregation and with the RC.
      • They will make recommendations to the Board and congregation regarding next stages and future directions beyond the interim ministry.
      • They will participate in the evaluation of the intentional interim minister and the interim ministry.
      • The TT will be dissolved at the end of the intentional interim ministry. Individual members may offer other leadership for a period of time to assist in integrating changes.

This was posted July 2019

Transition Team (TT)   Questions and Answers (Q&A)

(Short forms used in the Q+A)

HRC = Human Resources Commission

Rep = Representative appointed by the Human Resources Commission of the Regional Council

 What is a Transition Team?

A transition team (TT) is a group of 4-6 people from the community of faith (congregation) and 1 or 2 from the Regional Council (RC) who work with the Intentional Interim Minister (in our case, Rev. Helen Prior) to help guide the community of faith (New Church) through the period of interim ministry.

Why do we (New Church) have a Transition Team?   

It is a requirement of the United Church of Canada (UCC) to be in place whenever there is an

Intentional Interim Minister. Our church requested an Intentional Interim Minister because of our amalgamation and because as a new congregation we need to discover our identity and mission so that we (New Church) can determine the direction in which we wish to move.

Who’s on the Transition Team?

The members of the TT are our Intentional Interim Minister, Rev. Helen Prior, a Rep, Mel Matthias, and representatives of the 3 congregations forming New Church (Nelson, St Stephen and Tansley). Barb McKeown (N) Linda Draddy and Sharyn Georgas (SS) and Stacy Goodale and Sue Stephen (T). A second Rep may be appointed by HRC-RC to ensure each meeting has quorum.

How were they chosen? 

The Rep was appointed by the HRC-RC.

The congregational members of the TT were selected by the chairs of the former Boards or

Councils. Their names were submitted to, and accepted by the Human Resources Commission (HRC) of RC on July 24, 2019. Their approval will be an item of business on the agenda of the

August 20, 2019 Board Meeting. They fulfill the expectations for appointment to a TT as they:

      • Are active participants in the community of faith
      • Represent a cross-section of the community of faith
      • Are some of the community of faith’s key leaders
      • Understand the challenges ahead
      • Are prepared to make a time-intensive commitment over the entire period of the interim ministry (to June 30, 2021)
      • Are not members of the M+P Committee or staff members. 

Is their work secret? 

NO! They will liaise and collaborate regularly with the governing body (Board) and one member of the TT will be a member of the Board for the duration of the interim ministry. The TT will communicate and consult regularly with the congregation and with the RC.

What power do they have? 

      • They will liaise and collaborate regularly with the governing body (Board) and one member of the TT will be a member of the Board for the duration of the interim ministry.
      • The TT will communicate regularly with the congregation and with the RC.
      • They will make recommendations to the Board and congregation regarding next stages and future directions beyond the interim ministry.
      • They will participate in the evaluation of the intentional interim minister and the interim ministry.
      • The TT will be dissolved at the end of the intentional interim ministry. Individual members may offer other leadership for a period of time to assist in integrating changes.

When will they begin their work? 

In anticipation of approval of its membership at the August 20, 2019 Board Meeting, the TT will gather for the first time on Wednesday, August 7, 2019. Key goals for that meeting will be to:

      • Get to know each other and the shared skill sets* within the team
      • Understand the role of the Transition Team
      • Commit that they are ready to:
      • Consider the well-being of the community of faith FIRST
      • Consider differing points of view within the TT and congregation
      • Work as a team, cooperate and be ready to be challenged
      • Invest their time and energy to do the work well etc.,
      • Set a meeting schedule –the group will meet frequently 

*Required Skills and Abilities

      • Communication, social media and presentation
      • Facilitation, delegation and encouragement of leadership in others
      • Staying calm during times of change and inspiring hope and positivity
      • Research, writing and computer use
      • Knowledge of the local community of faith and its culture (this will be emerging)
      • Knowledge of the UCC and its polity
      • Understanding the Christian story as it was told in the first century and is being told today

 

The following information exists to show the progression of the meetings regarding the Amalgamation of Tansley United Church and St Stephen United Church.  This happened on July 1, 2019.

Please note the most current information is listed first.

New Church Founding Board Meeting May 28, 2019 – Summary

The highlights of the most recent meeting of the Founding Board are –

      1. Discussion was held with respect to a Transition Team. We will be looking for four to six people to work with the Intentional Interim Minister, engaging the congregation in creating goals, communicating with the board and community of faith.  The hope is that there will be representatives on this team from the former Nelson, St. Stephen and Tansley folk
      2. Over the summer we generally have suspended emails and/or newsletters. For this summer, there will be on-going communication keeping everyone informed.  Check your emails.
      3. We are in the process of determining who will serve on the board of New Church. Should you be interested in working with one of the committees, again, please advise.  The board of New Church do plan to meet over the summer to continue their work.
      4. Worship will be encouraging all members of our newly amalgamated church to participate in greeting, ushering, announcements, scripture reading etc. Be sure to ask names if someone new is helping in one of these roles.
      5. Allison Playfair and Steve will work together as worship leaders for the June 16th Allison will be taking the June 23 and Steve will be the worship leader on June 30.
      6. The property committee is hoping to mount the St. Stephen cross in this building for the first service of the amalgamated church on June 16th.
      7. M&P confirmed that Rev. Helen Prior, recently of St. Paul’s United Church in Dundas, will begin Aug 1. as our Intentional Interim Minister pending the approval of Regional Council.

 

New Church Founding Board Meeting May 7, 2019 – Summary

The Founding Board met at Tansley United Church

The meeting opened with a prayer and an Acknowledgement of the Territories.  Highlights are…

      • We have been advised by Regional Council that the request for a change in pastoral relationship as of June 30th was approved. Both ministers have been advised of this.  The 90 days notice began April 24. 
      • Both congregations approved moving forward with an interim/supply minister. The search committee are pursuing a strong candidate for the Intentional Interim Ministers position effective Aug 1.
      • Barbara Morrison has agreed to supply for the month of July
      • A Governance Model was considered. It is based on the existing governance models and with a few revisions was accepted by the Founding Board for use after July 1.  This model will need to be approved by the newly amalgamated congregation post July 1.
      • The board membership, post July 1st, is being worked on. If you are interested in serving on any of the board committees after July 1, please let any member of the current board/council  or a Founding Board member know.
      • Mark your calendars for June 22. The Faith Formation committee is planning a potluck for members of both St. Stephen and Tansley.  This is an opportunity for everyone to get to know one other better.  The dinner will be held at Tansley.  More details to follow.

New Church Founding Board Meeting  April 23, 2019 – Summary

The Founding Board met at Tansley United Church

The meeting opened with a prayer and an Acknowledgement of the Territories.

      • Steve Shaver, Chair of the Amalgamation committee at Christ First Church in Port Credit shared some of his learning experiences with their recent amalgamation. One of his key messages was to focus on similarities between the 2 churches when working together. He also discussed the importance of maintaining some of the key traditions of each of the churches.
      • A new Governance Model was circulated to all members. It was based on the existing model at Tansley but discussion about this model was deferred until our next meeting.  Several members of the Founding Board will be attending a Governance Workshop on April 29th which may bring about some new ideas to incorporate.
      • As required the M & P have asked the Regional Council for approval to end the call of the 2 ministers and are awaiting the outcome. In the meantime, they are looking into Intentional Interim Ministers.  Two strong possibilities exist but we cannot move forward until we receive official approval.  The Intentional Interim Ministers position is a temporary position.  The purpose is to assist New Church through the transitional period.
      • The sale of St. Stephen is complete. The Carpenter Hospice now owns the building and the property.
      • The Worship committee chairs have met. They have identified many similarities with each of the services, but some instrumental issues need to be sorted out.  Many of these will be determined by the style and wishes of the new minister.
      • The 2 outreach chairs will be meeting to review each of the outreach activities from each church.
      • The property committee at Tansley would like to take the cross down from the St Stephen sanctuary on June 10th following the last service at St Stephen so that it can be up and in place for the next service at the New Church location.
      • The members of St. Stephen will begin worshipping at the Tansley facility on June 16th.

If you have any questions, at any time please send them to nbcuquestions@gmail.com  and a member of the founding board will respond as soon as possible. 

New Church Founding Board Meeting April 9, 2019 – Summary

The Founding Board met at St Stephen United Church

The meeting opened with a prayer and an Acknowledgement of the Territories.

A new governance model has been proposed and has been circulated to the Founding Board.  This will be reviewed at the next meeting.  There are other policies that need to be reviewed and revised as needed.  Existing policies from each of the churches will be gathered and it is suggested that a task force be stuck to review them all and develop new policies for New Church.

The Worship committee chairs met and indicated that there would not be a Vacation Bible School this summer but there has been some discussion about a PA day camp.  Volunteers would be required before this could be planned.

Feedback from the Habits, Norms and Expectations Workshop was provided.  9 people attended.  The workshop provided some helpful information that we can use moving forward but did not meet everyone’s expectations.  We did learn that an Amalgamation Conference is being planned for the fall but no dates are available yet.  We did meet the Amalgamation Committee chair from Christ First church.  While their experiences have been very different from ours, Sandra Baker volunteered to contact him and see if it would be worthwhile meeting with him. Contact information was given to Sandra.

Information was shared about a Governance Workshop on April 29th.  Three people volunteered to attend and hopefully there may be 1-2 more joining them.

An ‘in camera’ discussion was held related to M & P matters.

If the Regional Council approves our requests to end our pastoral relationships as of June 30, 2019 the 90 days notice starts on April 25th. Founding Board passed a motion recommending that the St Stephen Council and Tansley Board request that the last working day for Rev. Allison Playfair and Rev. Stephen Huntley still be June 30th. They will continue to be paid until July 24th.

A motion was also passed that the Founding Board co-chairs and the M & P co-chairs form a selection committee for an Intentional Interim minister and bring forward a recommendation to the Founding Board. This is subject to ensuring the plan meets with the requirements of the Pastoral Relations manual and processes.

Motions approved by the Founding Board will be ratified on July 1, 2019 when the Founding Board has the official capacity to make decisions on behalf of New Church.

Next meeting:  April 23rd at Tansley United Church

 

Sent to the Congregation on on April 3, 2019 

Message to the Tansley Family –

On March 31, 2019 a congregational meeting was held to deal with motions to change the pastoral relationship for Tansley United Church.  There were over 80 members/adherents either physically present or taking part via conference call.  The motions were presented along with background information that had previously been forwarded to everyone.  

      1. MOTION – That Tansley United Church request a change that will end the pastoral relationship effective June 30, 2019
      2. MOTION– That Tansley United Church request the appointment of an Intentional Interim Minister or Supply for the New Church effective July 1, 2019.

There was much discussion.  The M & P Committee members answered all questions as completely as possible while respecting confidentiality and personal privacy.  The most often asked question was: “Why are we losing our minister?”

In his comments to the Congregational Meeting on March 31, 2019, Reverend Huntley reminded us that the process that has led to our amalgamation with Nelson and the upcoming amalgamation with St. Stephen began more than 5 years ago through the work of the North Burlington Churches united (NBCu).

Throughout this process both Reverends Playfair and Huntley have been actively supportive and, in fact, proactive of St Stephen and Tansley amalgamating, knowing full well that they would likely not be part of a new congregation moving forward. Their desire was to see the combined congregations of Nelson, St Stephen and Tansley thrive as a new community of faith in North Burlington. In consultation with the United Church of Canada, every attempt is being made to ensure that our ministers are treated with dignity, respect and support as they transition from their respective calls and move on to new roles. We thank them both for their selfless leadership and pray for their personal, professional and spiritual success.

To recap:   Tansley members previously voted to amalgamate with St. Stephen United Church.  This means they are coming to our facility as equal partners. They are not joining Tansley but together we are forming a “New Church”.  This is an amalgamation of not two, but three churches, Nelson, St. Stephen and Tansley.  When Nelson amalgamated, all Nelson staff remained with Lowville United, the other church in the two-point charge.  Staffing was not impacted.  In this situation, both St. Stephen and Tansley have full time ministers.  A decision had to be made how to deal with this.  The 3 options were, maintain two full time positions, have one stay and one leave or have both leave.  The Founding Board of the New Church and the Tansley Board recommended to request a change in the pastoral relationship ending Rev. Stephen Huntley’s call and to request an Intentional Interim Minister as of July 1, 2019.  At the same time, we were considering this motion, St. Stephen was holding their own congregational meeting to consider a like motion to change their pastoral relationship with Rev. Allison Playfair.

73% of the potential voter’s present, voted to accept the motions to request that Regional Council approve a change in pastoral relationship between Tansley and Rev. Stephen Huntley effective June 30, 2019 and to request the appointment of an Interim Minister/Supply for the “New Church” formed through the amalgamation of St. Stephen and Tansley United Churches effective July 1, 2019.   St. Stephen congregation also approved the motions. 

A formal letter of request has been sent to Regional Council for their approval asking that our request be considered at their next meeting, April 24, 2019.  In the meantime, the Founding Board will continue its work planning for the upcoming amalgamation, making recommendations to the Tansley Board and St. Stephen Council.

If you have any questions, at any time please send them to nbcuquestions@gmail.com  and a member of the founding board will respond as soon as possible. 

It is a time of change. It is also a time of great opportunity.  

Carol Boyle                                         Dale Martin

Co-Chair                                               Co-Chair

 

Please be advised that there will be a congregational meeting on
Sunday March  31st regarding amalgamation decisions that must be made.   
Please make every effort to attend.

 

Amalgamation Update – March 10, 2019: Message given by Carol Boyle during Congregational Finance Meeting at Tansley United Church

Four or five years ago, the challenges that Lowville / Nelson were facing, and that St. Stephen had begun exploring the possibility of selling their land and closing, moving or merging were recognized.  Out of that the North Burlington Churches united was born leading to the eventual amalgamation of Nelson and Tansley and now the anticipated amalgamation of St. Stephen and Tansley.  Over the last four or five years, a many people have spent a lot of time walking together in faith to get to this point, and everyone’s efforts are to be commended. 

Fast forward to 2017 and Nelson joined Tansley, breathing new life and energy into our combined congregation. 

On June 17th, 2018, Tansley and St Stephen both voted to enter formal discussions to determine whether to amalgamate, and a Due Diligence team made up of 3 people from Tansley and 3 people from St Stephen was formed.    Three detailed Q&A’s were subsequently distributed to both congregations answering questions that were raised by members of the congregations as well as questions that were determined by the Due Diligence Committee.  The Due Diligence Committee recommended to their respective board/council that the congregations proceed with a formal vote to Amalgamate on November 18th.  The board/council and both congregations passed this motion.  On January 27 we met once again as a congregation to vote on the members of the Founding Board for this New Church, who will represent Tansley.  St. Stephen also voted on members to represent them.  On February 4 the first meeting of the Founding Board took place.  

At that meeting Jim Harding of Tansley took time to address the Founding Board. From his experiences, through several amalgamations, he shared some of his thoughts around the challenges we will all face in this coming together of not just two congregations but, three.  I am paraphrasing some of his comments but would like to share them with all.  I think we all, not just the founding board, need to hear them. 

      • We are all passionate about our churches, but this can become an impediment if we are not careful
      • There are things we must make peace with as we leave Tansley or St. Stephen, there will be a fear of change.
      • There can be a fear of letting go of the past. We need to understand that the past can shine a bright light on the path to the future.
      • Inflexibility stops us from moving forward. Saying “this is how we do it here” or “this is how we used to do it” will hold us back.
      • We should not mourn but we should rejoice that we are building a new church.
      • This whole process can be successful, because we are Christians, and we have a duty to love one another. Jesus said we should “love one another as I have loved you.” If we follow Jesus through this process, then there will be less conflict and better decisions will be made.
      • Listen carefully with heart and conscience to what others have to say. We all have something good, right and important to say but we must listen respectfully and empathetically to each other. Nothing is achieved without hard work.

We offer our thanks to Jim for sharing his experience and wisdom.

I understand that there are questions coming forward.  Some folk are getting anxious about this whole process.    Steve has often made the comparison of an amalgamation being like a marriage.   That after the “I do’s”, life is never quite the same.  We are the same people but still there are subtle changes.  In a successful marriage or amalgamation there are far more positives than negatives.  New energy, new life and new opportunities are available.    Some compromises will be necessary as we move forward but they are on both sides, not just ours.  Remember we were the “groom” inviting both Nelson and now St. Stephen to join us in our home.  Remember too, we asked them to join us as equal partners not just as a friend to come and stay awhile.  Each will have given up their home in order to come here.  In the case of Nelson, they chose the timing.  Our Nelson family could have stayed open for a number of years using their endowment fund to finance the bills until it was gone.  Instead, they chose to amalgamate and have given us the privilege to work with them in both capital and more importantly outreach projects.  St. Stephen folk too are looking forward to working with us.  However, their situation is somewhat different.  They are being forced to make changes as they are no longer able to support the combined expenses of the building and salaries.  Unfortunately, just as Nelson experienced, not everyone will come to this new church home. Some will choose another path, leaving another sense of loss.   Once the sale of the property is finalized (which will take some time), and after their outstanding debts are paid, St. Stephen folk will determine what will be done with the remaining money.  Possibly some donations and/or an endowment fund with specific conditions.  We just don’t know yet.   

Looking to the future, the founding board has members representing all three churches.  We will look at all aspects of church life and work to bring the congregations together.  The property committee has already looked at what items St. Stephen folk may like to bring and incorporate into our space.  That said, just as in our marriage comparison there is only so much room, and space and storage availability must be taken into consideration.  Tough decisions will have to be made.  Donna and I had a chance to choose some of the items from the kitchen.  We will now have some matching silverware.  This may seem mundane, but we have never had that!  Yeah!  The worship, faith formation, outreach etc. committees are all be working together to compare the similarities and differences in how things are done, bringing forward recommendations for the New Church.  For indeed it will be a new church with everyone’s involvement.  We will all be Charter Members in this venture. 

The greatest challenges facing us relate to staffing and the question of a name change.  The M & P committees are working together with the financial committees to look at all scenarios and make recommendations to the founding board.  As you are aware, the founding board can make no decisions, only recommendations to the individual board/councils.  This is being done with the assistance of our local regional representatives of the UCC.

Some are concerned about a name change.  Just as in a marriage a name change is likely.  It is anticipated that this will help all of us realize that together, we are indeed a brand-new church.  Will this be done quickly? NO!  It will be done with careful thought and the participation of all, most likely as a part of the visioning process after the amalgamation.  Remember that nothing can be done without the approval of the board and the congregation.   It will also be a slow process knowing that many folks recognize the name Tansley, and for them it is synonymous with many of our outreach projects.  In the meantime, the Founding Board has decided to refer to our future amalgamated church as “New Church”.

After July 1 we anticipate a visioning process to occur.  This step was not done at the time Nelson amalgamated as we were aware of the possibility of St. Stephen making the decision to join us as well.  This is an important step and imperative that every member have the opportunity to participate.  It did not make sense to go through any visioning until we knew whether St. Stephen would indeed help to form a new congregation.

In a nutshell, we have the opportunity to re-set our future with the help of both Nelson and St Stephen and are honoured to be entrusted with their legacies moving forward.  Their legacies being their combined long histories in the Burlington community encompassing all their Sunday services, weddings, baptisms, funerals, Christmas Pageants, pot luck suppers, and yes, their endowment funds, which are really a physical manifestation of their past.  By combining our congregations, we are able to preserve and continue our combined legacy moving forward.  This is really a once in a lifetime blessing that we can all jointly share. 

 

Posted March 8th, 2019

Founding Board Meeting  February 26, 2019 – Summary

The Founding Board had a very productive second meeting.

After an opening prayer an Acknowledgement of the Territories we welcomed John Neff Minister, Congregational Support and Mission Western Ontario Waterways Regional Council.  Although not the rep for our region, John was present to give advice and guidance to this group. Lynn Allin will be the rep for our region, Horseshoe Falls beginning March 1.

Updates were provided from the various committee chairs who have started working together. At this time, no recommendations have come forward from these committees.  A checklist has been put together to assist everyone in recognizing the work that needs to be done and in what time frame. 

Staffing is on everyone minds. Please know that M & P are working diligently to come up with a recommendation.  They hope to have a recommendation to the Founding Board that can then be taken back to our respective Council/Board soon.

John Neff then spoke to the group regarding his recommendations moving forward.

Our next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday March 12th.

Posted February 21, 2019

St. Stephen – Tansley Founding Board Meeting   February 4, 2019

The members of the Founding Board met on Feb 4, 2019.  The purpose of this board is to provide guidance to the existing boards in making key decisions prior to amalgamation. 

We began with a statement of Land Acknowledgement, prayer and a reflection.

This was an opportunity to get to know one another better.  With representatives from both churches who had never met time was taken to share names and information about each other. 

Jim Harding, a member at Tansley, has experienced several amalgamations throughout his career and took time to share some of his thoughts in order to assist us with this process.

      • Whatever the organization the challenges of joining together are the same.
      • Our passion for our church can actually become an impediment.
      • We stand a better chance of success because we are Christians and we have a duty to love one another. Jesus said we should “love one another as I have loved you.” If we follow Jesus through this process, then there will be less conflict and better decisions made.
      • We should not mourn but we should rejoice that we are building a new church.
      • There are things we must make peace with as we leave Tansley or St. Stephen, there will be a fear of change.
      • Inflexibility stops us from moving forward and saying this is how we did it here or used to do it, will hold us back.
      • There is a fear of letting go of the past. Understanding the past shines a bright light on the path to the future.
      • Listen carefully with heart and conscience to what others have to say. We all have something good, right and important to say but we must listen respectfully and empathetically to each other. Nothing is achieved without hard work.

 There are co-chairs for each of the committees, one from St. Stephen and one from Tansley. Each of the committees will be working to blend the two communities of faith.  All aspects will to be looked at including, staffing, worship, board structure, faith formation, outreach, policy etc.  Recommendations will then be made to the existing boards.  

The work of the New Church has begun!

Next meeting will be held February 26th, 2019 at 7:00 pm

Note:  On January 30th the property of St. Stephen was sold (closing date April 1, 2019) to the Burlington Hospice after a unanimous vote from the Congregation. The Congregation will leave St. Stephen in mid to late June. After that all items will be removed from the Church.

Posted February 8, 2019

On behalf of St Stephen United Church, we are pleased to advise that the St Stephen church property has been sold to their friend and neighbour, the Carpenter Hospice.  The congregation of St Stephen have had a long and meaningful relationship with Carpenter Hospice and they are excited that this sale has been approved unanimously by the St Stephen congregation and the new Horseshoe Falls Regional Council.  Carpenter Hospice will take possession of the property April 1, 2019, and St Stephen will be able to continue to rent the property for $1 per month until they join with Tansley on July 1, 2019.

 On the amalgamation front, The New Church Founding Board held their first meeting on February 4th to begin discussions on amalgamation of the two congregations.

 

FOUNDING BOARD MEMBERS 

Chairs                                                 Heather McGavin /Carol Boyle

Secretary                                           Sian Baker

Communications                           Jack Seedhouse/ Susan Ward-England

Faith Formation                             Donna Lelievre

Finance                                              Dave Shilton / Sandra Baker

Fund Raising                                   Linda Draddy

M & P                                                  Paul Bartu / Sue Stephen

Nominations

Outreach                                           Marilyn Martin / Janice Martin

Property                                            Bob England

Regional Reps

Stewardship                                    Kathy Seedhouse

Trustees                                            Paul Bartu  / Mike Lawton

Welcoming

Worship                                            Lloyd Pong  / Jennifer Brezina

Members at Large                         Sharyn Georgas / Gary Goodale, Carol D’Amelio, Dale Martin

 

 

AGENDA – TANSLEY CONGREGATIONAL MEETING, January  27, 2019

MISSION    “To grow people of faith who participate in God’s work in the world.”

Acknowledgement of Territory

            “We acknowledge that we gather for our work on the traditional territories of the Neutral Tribes, Erie, Huron and the other Native peoples who followed them, as the original nations of this land, and we acknowledge with respect their history, their spirituality and their culture.”

 Check-In – Please sign in and pass along to your neighbour.

Attendees:

Cliff Lelievre

Donna Levievre

Kathryn Munn

Jennifer Brezina

Sharon Allchin

Joan Hunt

Michael Mulrooney

Shirley Hobden

Peter Hobden

Jane Jenner

Dennis Marshall

Sue Marshall

Sheila Young

Lynn Merwart

Sandy Wright

Bruce Merwart

Darryl Balckie

Bonnie Blackie

Garry MacDonald

Marsh MacDonald

Ruth Goodale

Jim Allchin

Carol D’Amelio

Shirley King

Susan Ward-England

May Turner

Susan Stephen

Lorraine Yamamoto

Cheryl Caldwell

Leslie Williams

Mike Lawton

Ross Stephen

Wayne Burroughs

Elisabeth Burroughs

Jennifer B???

Dave Mycroft

Wendy Mycroft

Dale McKeown

Barb McKeown

Sandy McKeown

Coreen Athens

Sue Clarke

Karen Saevil-Turges

Paula Harding

Jim Harding

Bob Turcott

Gail Turcott

Linda Trotter

Janice Scott

Sandra Newcombe

Gwen Morris

Bryan Morris

Jane Hunter

Kevin Brown

Myrna-Gail McDonald

Gary Goodale

Janet Saunders

Debbie Lauzon

Carol Boyle

Mark Goodale

 

 

 

 

      1. MOTIONTo allow all those in attendance eligible to vote on motions.

Motion made by – Gary Goodale   Seconded by – Dale McKeown    RESULT: MOTION CARRIED          

     2(B)   MOTION – To have Carol Boyle chair the meeting and Mark Goodale record the minutes.

Motion made by –  Carol D’Amelio    Seconded – Sue Stephen     RESULT: MOTION CARRIED

 

 3.PURPOSE OF MEETING

To vote on Tansley’s nominated representatives on the Founding Board for the amalgamated church.

      1. BACKGROUND

As outlined previously, the Founding Board will investigate and make any recommendations needed for the new amalgamated church and submit those to each respective Board/Council for approval at each church’s Board/Council meeting. The Founding Board will not have any decision-making authority.  On July 1, 2019, the Founding Board, (including respective committee members at that time), will become the Official Board/Council of the newly amalgamated church, and the existing Tansley Board will cease to exist.  Nominees are listed on the screen.  If anyone else would like to offer their services, please advise. 

 

Position

Nominated Representative from Tansley United Church

Co-Chair

Carol Boyle

Communications

Susan Ward-England

Faith Formation

Donna Lelievre

Finance

Sandra Baker

Fund Raising

VACANT

Members at Large

Gary Goodale, Carol D’Amelio, Dale Martin

M & P

Sue Stephen

Outreach

Janice Martin

Property

Bob England

Stewardship

VACANT

Trustees/Endowment

Mike Lawton

Welcome

VACANT

Worship

Jennifer Brezina

Note: All positions are Co-Chairs with representatives from St. Stephen

      MOTION – Request a move to accept Tansley’s representatives as nominated.

Motion made by – May Turner   Seconded – Sandra Baker   RESULT: MOTION CARRIED

 

      MOTION – Request a move that any vacancies/changes can be addressed by the Founding Board.

Motion made by – Don Hunt    Seconded – Cheryl Caldwell   RESULT: MOTION CARRIED

 

MOTION – to extend the term of the current Tansley Board members until June 30th, 2019, and delay the full Congregational Meeting until closer to the end of their new term (~June 30, 2019)

Motion made by – Don Hunt    Seconded – Ross Stephen    RESULT: MOTION CARRIED

NOTE:  With the creation of a newly amalgamated church as of July 1, the Tansley Board approved a motion that Tansley’s current Board remain in effect until June 30, 2019.   We will have our Annual General Meeting on March 10.  This meeting will be a Financial Report only, reporting the Financials for 2018 and the Proposed Budget for 2019.    

 

Questions from the Congregation:

Question 1

What happens on July 2nd ?

Answer 1:

The founding Board will remain in place, unless others decide not to continue with their position.  It is our hope that each of the members of the founding Board will stay in place for a full term.  The Founding Board will gain voting and decision authority on July 1, 2019.

Question 2:

Are the 6 Tansley trustees going to stay in place?

Answer 2:

Yes.  And we are hopeful that they will be joined by trustees that are moving over from St Stephen.

Question 3:

Can the names of the current Board and Founding Board members be shared in the email announcements?

Answer 3:

Yes.  When we have the names from both churches, we will add them to the email announcements.

      1. Request motion to adjourn 

 Motion made by – Carol D’Amelio 

      1. Benediction – Steve Huntley     

Meeting Adjourned.

 

Sent out January 3, 2019

The following motion was passed by both the St. Stephen Council and the Tansley Board:

A new combined St Stephen / Tansley “board” will be created, referred to as the Founding Board. The Founding Board will be created via respective congregational votes to be held on January 27, 2019. The Founding Board will be comprised of Co-Chairs for each of the committees that currently exist with the current job profiles from the Tansley Board (this covers all positions on the  St Stephen Council plus the additional Tansley roles as well). Each church has the potential to nominate 1 co-chair for each position (that will give the possibility of 2 co-chairs and equal representation from both churches).

Positions will be filled by: 

      • Open nominations with job profiles attached (where available) in each separate church.
      • Nominations will be accepted from anyone that is electing to be a member of the newly amalgamated church
      • Concurrent votes will take place in each congregation on Jan 27th
      • The successful nominee from each church for each position will then take on the “co-chair” role for that position effective January 28, 2019
      • If one church chooses to not elect a member for a specific committee chair position, then the Founding Board will operate with a single Committee Chair for that committee
      • This Founding Board will not have ‘decision making ability’ until July 1, 2019
      • Between January 28 – June 30th, the founding board will investigate and make any recommendations needed for the new amalgamated church and submit those to each respective Board/Council for approval at each church’s Board/Council meeting.
      • Only decisions that were approved by both respective Boards/Council will be enacted prior to July 1st
      • On July 1, 2019, the Founding Board, (including respective committee members at that time), will become the official Board/Council of the newly amalgamated church, and the existing Tansley Board will cease to exist.

Note – the pre-existing St Stephen Board may need to carry on for a period of time to deal with limited issues regarding the legacy property/sale.

It has been acknowledged that the following, (but not limited to), broad issues will need to be investigated and recommendations made (in consultation with the United Church of Canada) to the respective Boards early by the Founding Board to facilitate amalgamation by July 1, 2019:

      • New Church Organizational structure and potential impact on current churches’ paid staff and clergy
      • To determine the process and timing of when to begin the New Church Visioning, (which might include eventually a new name for the combined congregation)
      • Management of the combined finances of the New Church on July 1st
      • How to create new worship in the New Church beyond July 1st
      • Recommendations on process for how to facilitate the physical bringing of the congregations and working committees together post July 1st