COUNCIL

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COMMITTEE REPORTS for the November Meeting of Council

Pastor’s Report

SYNOPSIS

Movement. The one word I would use to describe this past month. I have been back and forth, up and down, but thanks to IT, I have remained “present” and aware of the goings on here at FSA, and for that matter, in the Antler River Watershed Region.

 

Membership and Nurture

This month, I have dealt with a minor bout of sickness in the home concerning my children, and had to be away for yet another wedding. As I mentioned above, being able to access FSA documents through Office 365 and having Zoom meeting assisted me tremendously. I did manage to call some of our members that have been unable to attend, and I connected with some of our “newcomers.”

Total Visits/Calls: 8

Hours Spent: 15

 

Under the larger umbrella of M & N, I have served as the transitional chair of our church’s Affirming Committee, which thankfully others have volunteered to take on. Wearing this hat, I have established a connection with the PRIDE Men’s Chorus of London, who will be performing at FSA (Chapel) later this month (December 1) for the World AIDS Day Vigil. That brings me to the next connection that I have worked to strengthen. Recently I met with Martin McIntosh at the new site for the Regional HIV/AIDS Connection, and he and I began to brainstorm about ways that we can be better partners going forward. He deeply appreciates the values and initiatives of First-St. Andrew’s, and we both believe that there are wonderful ways to collaboratively advocate and build new relationships through our shared commitments.

I have also worked with the M & N Committee to plan/coordinate a Newcomers’ Gathering in January, at which some of the new faces in our pews will be invite to come and get to know each other beyond what we are able to do on a Sunday morning.

Mission and Outreach

As with our other committees at FSA, our efforts towards service and outreach have “heated” up. Thanks to a government sponsored program that fits the situation of the Afghani refugee family we are helping, our Refugee Sponsorship Committee has undertaken some considerable tasks towards that end. I am beyond grateful for all the work that they have contributed, as well as the commitment of our Trustees and other congregation members to provide support for this value-aligned effort.

I know that M & O is waiting on a date for Mission Sunday for the new year, which I am going to discuss with our Faith Formation Committee (CD and Worship). I am also pleased to report that our efforts to participate in a collective Winter Response in London have incentivized others to step up. I know there are details waiting to be worked out, but I am as always thankful for the willingness of our community to step up and lean into our call.

 

Finally, in a different vein (one that is arguably a combination of Music, Mission, and Service), I managed to begin building a relationship with the outreach of Aeolian Hall, specifically as it concerns the El Sistema Program. I was even invited to speak to a group of about 20 teenagers in the program, who had also committed to a Leadership Module facilitated by Clark Bryan, the Executive Director of Aeolian Hall. It was an exciting conversation that I look forward to continuing in the new year.

 

Music

The planning has continued to go smoothly. Paul and Viki continue to educate me about the musical possibilities here at FSA and beyond, and they work tirelessly to accommodate some of the themes that emerge for upcoming worship services. We meet once per month and communicate via email to discuss various matters. In particular, we have put in a lot of effort to ensure that our Advent and Christmas Services are terrific, especially considering that there are so many different elements for which we must account.

 

Faith Formation

I am very encouraged by the energy and ideas of our Faith Formation Committee, which is a growing bond between our volunteers on Worship and Christian Development. At present, we are focused on maintaining our Sunday programming for children through volunteers until a coordinator is hired. And, we are coming up with new ways to support Marilyn Arthur, our YYA Minister. The feedback I am getting from our Youth is that they love what is happening and want more. So, that is a positive for me any day. I know that there will be even more opportunities for them with our ongoing partnership with Ark Aid.

I enjoy the team and want to continue to be a resource in any way I can for this amazing group of people.

 

Planning

  • It is with sincere sadness and appreciation for a life well lived that the Planning Committee, at its October 19th meeting, took time to reflect on Bob Swartman’s long-standing contribution to the committee and to FSA.

  • The Planning Committee is pleased that David Manness and John Eberhard have joined the Planning Committee as liaison members from the Board of Trustees.

  • A sub-group of Planning Committee members has agreed to develop a framework for a strategic planning process for FSA.

  • As a revenue generation idea, another sub-group of the committee is exploring the merits, and what would be involved in advertising FSA as a wedding venue.

  • Yet another sub-group is looking at putting a communal garden on the grounds of FSA using raised beds. This is seen as a neighbourhood outreach and engagement project.

  • As a follow-up to a workshop involving Council and staff held on October 4th the Planning Committee has agreed to develop follow-up steps and strategies to translate three general priority areas into action. The three opportunities for action are: Focus attention on Service/Outreach; Promote and facilitate intergenerational involvement; and, Promote and facilitate inter-congregational and interfaith collaboration. A sub-group of the Planning Committee has developed a proposal for moving forward and it will be brought to the next meeting of the Planning Committee on November 23rd. It is expected to be tabled at the December meeting of Council.

Membership & Nurture

 The M&N committee met on Wednesday November 9, 2022 to cover the following:

  • The group received the report of the Pastoral Care Task Group and was very pleased to learn about the motion passed at the recent Council meeting to pursue a part time pastoral care position if sustainable funding could be found.

  • We reviewed the reassignment of resources to the existing volunteer pastoral care teams. Gerry Meacham indicated that she had sent six more notes of support to people since our last meeting.

  • The proposed training opportunities for volunteers in the pastoral care teams has been postponed until the new year

  • The Newcomers Friendship Group will hold its first evening gathering since COVID on Wednesday January 18, 2023, at 7 PM.

  • A formal New Members’ Sunday will be held in the spring close to Easter.

  • The Volunteer Appreciation Sunday will be held on Sunday April 16, 2023.

  • The new approach to Coffee and Conversation is experiencing some hiccups. During months that your committee is providing the volunteers please ask the volunteers to read the instructions on the Coffee and Conversation cupboard door the week before and to contact either Glenna Hall or Heather Locking-Cusolito in advance if they have any questions.

Property

Since our last meeting we saw:

  • Completion of LED lighting upgrades in several rooms (upper room, Fireside room)

  • Asphalt repairs north driveway.  We are also looking into adding additional parking on the north side to generate revenue and for our own use.

  • Regular Boiler inspection and startup completed.

  • Replaced over door light (Music Entrance) and north driveway exterior lights

  • Chubb service calls to identify and correct source of trouble alarms

  • Garland stove repairs Proudfoot kitchen

 

Currently looking at:

  • LED upgrades to Sanctuary lighting and correcting backlighting issues in order to improve video quality for live streaming. This will be a significant project which hopefully will be partially covered by a grant from the United Church of Canada 

  • replacement/rental of new water softener.  Necessary to keep boiler/pipes functioning correctly.

 

Capital requests submitted for:

  • Sanctuary window repairs (June)

  • Lightning cable repairs

  • Exterior lighting upgrades north driveway

 

 Rental requests have been coming in regularly which places extra demands on the building and space management. 

Specifically, we have been approached by the law firm immediately north of us for up to 6 spots. We can provide 3 and possibly 4 spots by relocating staff parking to the rear lot where it used to be.

 

Discussions:

  • with a prospective long-term tenant for portions of St. Andrew's Hall.  Specifically, the second and third floors. Anticipated January 2023 move in. This will require a reorganization of spaces to consolidate our own operations into the lower floors. 

  • Lease renewal discussions are also beginning with MOW. 

 

Projects for consideration:

  • Lighting Upgrades – Sanctuary - Capital

  • Exterior Lighting repairs/replacement - Capital

  • Eave troughs on Sanctuary (seriously deteriorated) – Capital

  • Masonry repairs - Farquhar House, West Narthex entry

  • Heating/cooling system replacement – very high priority – capital

 

A recent building audit by our insurers will undoubtedly result in some recommendations for building/system improvements

 

The Property Committee strives to stay within budgetary limits which typically does not account for capital items and unexpected repairs.  Over the next couple of years, we can anticipate some small, medium and largescale capital request to come forward for approval.

Music

The Music Committee met on Sunday, November 13, 2022 2:00pm on zoom Music Budget Planning:

A main goal for this meeting was to plan the 2023 Music Budget. This is coming together and we hope to have it to Finance before the end of November.

 

The Music Committee voted to donate $1,000 from the Friends of Music fund to the Church Operating Budget. This is in appreciation of all the assistance the Music program receives from Kathryn Skelly and Colleen Garrett – managing Music finances and providing monthly reports, preparing programs for concerts in 2022 (3 x Lent, FSA Strings Spring and Fall concerts, 3 x Advent concerts, Sing-along Messiah, filming a Laudamus Bells piece being contributed for an online Christmas concert). Donations have been made in previous years for the same reason.

 

Scheduling Music Events:

With Ark Aid and El Sistema soon to begin their activities at FSA, we discussed how to schedule our concerts to fit with these tenants. Daytime concerts will not be a problem but access to Proudfoot Hall and the kitchen may not be available for evening events.

 

Scheduling space for the planned visit of the Tuskegee Choir on Wednesday, March 8 will have some challenges.

 

Concerts:

FSA Strings fall concert – November 23 at 7:30pm. This concert is being dedicated to the memory of Geoff Nuttall, founding member and first violinist of the St. Lawrence String Quartet, who died on October 19, 2022. The Nuttall family were long time members of FSA.

 

Friday Noon Advent Recitals – Dec 2 – Sonja Gustafson, soprano and Francesca Ranalli, mezzo soprano with Lynda Kennedy, piano; Dec 9 – Margaret Trethewey, flute and Paul Merritt, organ; Dec 16 – Laudamus Bells, Richard Frank, director.

 

Saturday, December 3 at 3:00pm – Sing-along Messiah. This performance is collaboration with the FSA Senior Choir, London Pro Music choir and the FSA Strings. Igor Saika and Paul Grambo will be sharing the conducting. FSA soloists will be covering some of the solos.

 

Worship Services:

So far 34 senior choir members, some new and many returning, have attended rehearsals and Sunday services.

 

Sunday, November 20 – the Laudamus Bells will be playing the piece “In Peace” written by Rob Cairns, Metropolitan United, in memory of Terry Head. The flowers in the sanctuary will be donated by Sharon and Barry Head, Terry’s parents.

 

Sunday, November 27 – RCCO Lessons and Carols at Metropolitan United Church. Paul Merritt, organist for this service, Viki Meredith is conducting one of the anthems, Joshua is doing one of the readings. A good turnout from the FSA senior choir is expected.

M/O

  1. MO Committee members have been doing coffee and conversation during Nov. First Sun was highlighted by Syrian Family Welcome and second Sun by Ark Aid Luncheon

  2. Afghan Refugee Committee has received a loan from the Trustees which will allow us to move forward with the Application. The individual applications for both the family members and the sponsoring group (FSA) are almost finished. We hope to have everything completed by the end of Nov. Over $42,000 has been raised by the committee to date.

  3. A mile of putts is planned for Jan 14th at Wesley Knox and a chili luncheon on Sun Jan 15th at Wesley Knox as part of the London Lifts Campaign as well as to help build bonds of collaboration with other churches in London. Further speaking engagements at other churches are being planned.

  4. Plans are also being made for an Easter Card campaign and a possible Garage Sale in the spring. (2,3 and 4 are all to help pay back the loan from the Trustees)

 

COUNCIL COMMITTEES

FAITH FORMATION (CD + Worship)

Jo Ann Silcox
Stephen Adams

David McKane
Jean Wright

Rev. Lawrence, staff

Michael Feeney

Allyson Watson, chair

Katie Glaves

Susan McKane

Christina Lindsay

Marilyn Arthur, staff

MEMBERSHIP & NURTURE

Heather Locking-Cusolito,

chair

Glenna Hall

Mary Mattar

Annabelle Logan

Gerry Meacham

Jo Ann Silcox

Donna Thompson

Lillian Reid

Rev. Lawrence, staff

 

MINISTRY & PERSONNEL

Kerry Hill, chair

Bruce Moor

Linda Badke
Stuart Eberhard

Ardath Finnbogason-Hill
Kathryn Patton

Margo Christodoulou

MISSION & OUTREACH

Kerry Hill

Barb Dalrymple
Pat Pettit,
Linda Badke
Marilyn Beach
Janice Elliott
Liz Galbraith

Jan Hendry
Laurel Kenney

Donna Thompson

David Knoppert, chair

Rev. Lawrence, staff

MUSIC

Merran Neville, chair

Jane Archer Smith

Glenda Baldwin

Igor Saika-Voivod

Terry Peters

Paul Cooper

Ardath Finnbogason-Hill

Ann MacPhail

Janis Wallace

Margaret Wardlaw

Paul Merritt, Viki Meredith, interim staff

PLANNING

Steve Elson, chair

Barrie Evans

Kerry Hill

George Jolink

Kathryn Patton

Nancy Johnson

Laura Wood

Rev. Lawrence, staff

PROPERTY

George Jolink, chair

Heather Vouvalidis

Sandra Black-Evans

Ron Bradley

Bill Guthrie, secretary

Peter Ross

Tim Miedema, staff

Willis Buckingham, consulting

FINANCE

Laura Wood, chair, treasurer

Kerry Hill

Tristin Hill

Ivana Klouda

Doug McGregor

Lesley Pergau

Barb Ridgewell

Colleen Garrett, (contract bookkeeper)

BOARD OF TRUSTEES

(not a Council committee but reports regularly to it)

Paul Cooper, co-chair

Jackie Williams, co-chair

John Eberhard

Janice Elliott

Russ Gonder

Don Jones

Bob Kennedy

David Manness

Al Salmoni

Jim Silcox

Mary Vernon

Jean Wright

David Wake

Katherine Wonfor

Rev. Lawrence, staff

+ advisors: Kaitlin Norman, Doug Jones, Del McLennan, Bob Schram, Michael Cooney

UCW

(not a Council committee but reports regularly to it)

To get the names of the current UCW executive, contact the church office

 
ARCHIVE OF COUNCIL MINUTES

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