November 2020 Takeaways

Season of Advent

This month, the congregation met on November 29th for the Annual Congregational Meeting. An Annual Report summarizing committee activities formed part of the materials for that meeting. The Council met for its regular monthly meeting on November 25th. 

Coordinating Minister Report

Maggie Enwright

  • Care packages and Christmas greetings are small gestures that help to bind us together in this time of being apart. Thanks to In Reach for their successful initiatives.

  • The Advent theme will be “Those Who Dream” (from Sanctified Arts). Advent candle lighting from different households will replace Learning Together for December. Two December 24th video services will be an All Ages service (w/virtual pageant) and a service of lessons, carols and sermon. Another Zoom service is planned for December 27.
  • Council agreed to undertake a facilitated visioning process with the whole congregation one day when we are all able to meet together. The process will begin virtually and Maggie will reach out to Marc Coulombe, with whom we have worked before, for suggestions and ideas to begin online focus groups.

Arts Committee

CHAIR: Heather Swallow

  • Kathleen Barber will be the “art curator” for the refreshed welcome area at the Memorial Centre and will be reaching out to congregants for their creations to put on display.
  • An outdoor installation featuring lights and a dream catcher will be placed near the bench and will have a comment board as well.

Children Youth and Families

CHAIR: Kathryn Urquhart

  • In person meetings are again on hold. Virtual Youth Group has returned.
  • Pageant will air during the 4:00 service on Christmas Eve
  • Faith at Home kit will be online and will consist of family devotional activities through Advent. The tangible Faith at Home kits will be delivered in January.
  • Attendance is not high at Vespers, but reviews are positive: Bible story, music, and calming prayer. Children and youth continue to enjoy Hot Chocolate Hour as an opportunity to come together and remember we are all part of something bigger

Finance Committee

CHAIR: Julie Poznanski

  • Look for a comprehensive finance report attached to the meeting materials for the November 29 Annual Congregational Meeting.
  • Thanks to John Smith for his work on the Legacy Fund Declaration in preparation for approval/adoption by the congregation.

In-reach Committee

CHAIR: Sally Ball

  • Nil Roll Report for the month of November.
  • Care packages were delivered successfully.
  • Members of the committee enjoyed writing Christmas cards to the congregation, working together while apart!

Ministry and Personnel Committee

CHAIR: Arthur Ross

  • M&P conducted structured interviews concerning job performance were undertaken with selected members of the congregation who have had specific contacts with staff members. Thanks to all who participated. Meetings with staff are scheduled to conclude December 1.
  • M&P has asked the Property Oversight Committee to consider possible lingering mould in the sanctuary. A report done in 2019 found no mould in the building. Roof repairs completed in the summer of 2020 and continuing rejuvenation should significantly improve the building to reduce any possibility of mould accumulation. As a matter of safety for our staff, M&P has asked that the matter be monitored during the current phase of rejuvenation.

Outreach Committee

CHAIR: Maggie Hosgood

  • Outreach will send $500 to our partners in Guatemala (CCDA: Committee of Campesinos De Las Alturas (Farmers of the Highlands) to help with recovering from Hurricane Eta. They will also support the Ministers Fund, which is used for gift cards for people who come asking for food help.
  • Brian Thorpe spoke about the plan to rebuild first United in partnership with Luma Housing, a First Nations organization. First floors of the new building will be for the work of the mission and the upper eight floors will be housing. First United will cease to be a shelter.
  • Cheryl Bear, the new minister at First United and Bev Brown, the new chaplain for Indigenous people will be invited to the January or February meeting to discuss plans for going forward.
  • Hassan and Minilas’ first child, a daughter, will be born at the end of December. People in 5 supporting congregations will be invited to a virtual shower on Zoom in January. The Refugee Committee will send the family $200 to purchase necessities for the baby’s arrival.

Property Oversight Committee (POC)

CHAIR: Janis Esau

  • POC needs a substantial budget for Maintenance of Property.
  • POC members have historically done a large portion of the hands on work, but this is no longer sustainable. In that light, we are always open to more hands and capable volunteers on the committee or to help with special projects.

Property Development Committee

CHAIR: Gordon Esau

  • Council and the Pacific Mountain Region have approved the exercise by the Trustees of an option to purchase the last lot on the block on West 45th between Yew and Vine that are not currently owned by the Church. The home on the lot is leased and generates rental income. Ownership of the lot is required for most of the re-development alternatives. The Property Development Committee is instructing legal counsel in connection with the acquisition.

Rejuvenation Committee

Council Rep: Erin Peters

  • Nancy Holme has developed a project schedule for work in the Sanctuary, which will be unavailable for use by congregation, staff, guests, with some possible exceptions.
    • 27 Nov – clearing pews, furniture, small items
    • Replacement of Narthex lighting
    • 30 Nov (start) - Repairs and painting
    • 4 Jan 2021 – Refinishing main floor area
    • Cleaning/tuning organ | install shelving in Narthex
    • Install 100 new chairs
    • Project completion date: Early February 2021

  • Gardening work will also take place and funds from the Garden of Remembrance funds will be used for tree pruning and general landscaping.

Spiritual Nurture Committee

CHAIR: Chris Epting

  • The hosted Coffee Hour on November 15 included 9 hosts and 81 participants. It reaches more people than who participated in the spring. Looking for more hosts for the December Coffee Hour.
  • Isaiah Bible Study continues to meet via Zoom and is nearing the end. Three rotating leaders has been refreshing and supportinve for the leaders.
  • Questioning Faith group will be starting again soon.
  • Check out the very lengthy report in the Annual Report which captures the breadth of the spiritual nurture work at PSUC.
  • The committee is exploring how to provide interesting and easily accessible reviews of books and podcasts to the congregation. May include this in the announcement section in the virtual church services. Look for first reviews in January.

Worship Committee

CHAIR: Paul Westwick

  • Videotaping of services will be relocated during rejuvenation projects in the sanctuary
  • Women’s Advent Service will be shorter and more general and open to all genders due to it being online this year.
  • In planning next year’s budget, Worship will be optimistic, considering a hybrid approach of reduced ministry for the first half of the year and a “normal” approach for the balance, incorporating what we have learned in our shift to online ministry going forward.


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