March 2021


Arts Committee

Heather Swallow, Chair

  • We reviewed the online coffee house and a recommendation was made to try an open-mic style event in the summer. If gatherings are okay for some, it would be a hybrid event – on the lawn and on Zoom.

  • The Easter cross (for daffodils) will be installed on April 3 at 10:00 am with an Easter Monday afternoon takedown planned. Maggie will invite the congregation to drop by to place a daffodil and possibly tie a prayer or a hope ribbon to the cross or a tree on Easter Sunday. Videotaping of the Easter service with the Players is underway.

  • Terms of Reference were reviewed and updated. We are waiting for a refreshed visioning plan to reference before finalizing this document but noted several opportunities we haven’t pursued yet and are excited to try.

Children, Youth and Family Committee

Irene Griffiths, Chair

  • As an initial venture the first Operation Hearts Together (in February) was a success, although we hope more families will become involved as we continue. 
    • The families and youth were creatively caring when preparing gifts and cards for the recipients.
    • The porch chats during delivery went well,  so no follow-up Zoom meetings were necessary between families and recipients. This may make it more feasible for other families to participate.
    • Our next Operation Hearts Together delivery, the “Be a Bunny” edition, will take place around Easter.  Please contact Cathy Cryder if you know of a family or potential recipients who might want to be involved.
    • Everyone reported that great connections were made been the youth and older members of the congregation.
  • See also the M&P Committee and Coordinating Minister's report regarding the CYF Minister role.

Coordinating Minister's Report

Maggie Enwright, Coordinating Minister

Worship for Easter and beyond

  • The Arts Committee, particularly the “Players Group” is preparing most of the service for Easter Sunday.  Great thanks go to Heather Swallow for offering her gift of video production.
  • During the Easter season (beginning April 18), different committee chairs will be invited to offer “the welcome” piece for the weekly worship video.
  • The plan is to continue with online worship through the Easter season, Pentecost and through the shared summer services with Summer Spirit.  Most of these will continue to be pre-recorded videos, but there are Zoom services planned for April 11 (the Sunday following Easter) and May 30 (the Sunday following Pentecost).  There is a plan to invite congregants to come (singly or in their household groups) to the cross outside the church on Easter Sunday afternoon to place flowers in the cross to help form our outdoor display (which will be initiated by the Arts Committee on Saturday, April 3).
  • The ministry staff and the Worship Committee will begin in May to plan for some form of in-person worship in September, providing vaccine roll-out continues and COVID case numbers drop. We are in the process of scheduling the installation of live-streaming equipment, so that when some are attending in-person worship, it can be broadcast to those who still wish to attend virtually.

 Cathy’s Resignation

  • The ministry staff team, like most of the congregation, was saddened to hear of Cathy’s resignation.  We have begun to talk about all that this might mean for the rest of the staff team – in the short term and in the longer term. 
  • Camp Spirit is scheduled to be held at Pacific Spirit United Church, July 26 – July 30, and I will be acting as site liaison.
  • We are beginning to discuss the possibility of holding Pneumapalooza camp in the last week of August.

 Garden Plots

  • Sabina Harpe is acting as coordinator for the garden plots and eight of the ten plots have been assigned and paperwork has been completed.  There are five congregation members, the Scouting group, and three neighbourhood families involved.  The guidelines make it clear that the assigning of plots is only guaranteed for a year and is not a year-to-year entitlement.


  • The person who was hoping to donate outdoor benches in honour of his mother was disappointed to hear of Council’s decision disallowing the affixing of a plaque and asked if I might ask Council to reconsider.  He will not be sponsoring the benches if the decision holds.
  • Work in the Memorial Centre continues.  Painting and light replacement has been completed in the East-West room. Painting and floor replacement has been completed in the Dogwood-Fireside rooms.  Carpets have been replaced in the Coordinating Minister’s office and the CYF Minister’s office.  Work is scheduled to be completed by early April.

Finance Committee Report

Julie Poznanski, Chair

  • The finance committee did not meet in February but accounting was reviewed. The committee will provide a full reporting of the first quarter at next month’s Council meeting. 
  • Rejuvenation work is progressing well and on budget.  Plasterwork around the large sanctuary window is being deferred pending resolution of water problems with budget monies held back for that purpose.
  • The transfer of investments from RBC Dominion Securities to Connor Clark & Lunn was completed in early March.  We are now set up to receive securities donations through CCL. The new forms have been posted on our donations webpage.
  • The 2020 independent financial review is underway. Final statements and reviewer’s report will be presented to Council on May 26 for approval.
  • The budget presentation on March 14 went very well with interesting discussion, particularly around sharing of our abundant resources. This reminds us of the Five Principles of Financial Stewardship considered by Council in 2019 (document reproduced below).  The congregation’s interest and thoughtfulness around financial stewardship is impressive.

In Reach Report

Sally Ball, Chair

  • No report for March

Ministry & Personnel

Jacqueline Kelly, Chair

  • Following the regular M&P meeting, discussions took place with respect to replacing Cathy Cryder involving the Chair of Council, the Coordinating Minister, the Children, Youth and Families Committee and the M&P Committee. Maggie has also spoken with Cathy to obtain her views. This committee brought two motions to Council to advance the recommendations of this group.

  • Pacific Spirit is beginning a visioning process to consider how we might best use our abundant resources in property and investments to advance the directions of our Strategic Ministry Plan. It is hoped that this process will be complete by the end of 2021.

Property Oversight Committee

  • No report for March

Spiritual nurture

Chris Epting, Chair

  • Hosted Virtual Coffee Hour on February 28th included a total 97 participants. 

    March 28th is the next hosted coffee hour
  • A new printing of the directory has been distributed to hosts who were able to arrange a time to pick it up.
  • Our entire committee was very impressed with the wonderful PIE day service and the associated making the invisible visible messages.
  • The sub groups of Spiritual Nurture continue to meet via Zoom on a regular basis. Resuming after Easter, Isaiah Bible Study – part 3
  • The Library Committee has started two archiving projects as part of their work.
    • Archiving Brian Thorpe’s sermons

    • Organizing legacy Ryerson’s archives

Trustees Report

Doug Smart, Chair

  • Our primary focus of the March meeting was to deal with the Property Insurance Renewal.
  • The trustees had an extensive discussion and adopted the following motion:
    • That we renew the Pacific Spirit United Church Property Insurance Policy with Ecclesiastical Insurance with the $5,000 deductible for a 6-month term with an automatic renewal for an additional 12-month term (total of 18 months) for a total premium of $89,140.00.

Update on new Investment Advisor - Connor, Clark & Lunn

  • The transfers of funds from RBC – Dominion Securities to Connor, Clark & Lunn Private Capital was completed by March 3, 2021.

  • The new process for donations of publicly traded shares are in place CC & L and Credential Securities


Merrilee Thompson, Chair | Paul Westwick, Council Rep

  • Easter and Post-Easter Worship-

    • Heather Swallow will record and edit the Easter Sunday  service and Jordan Esau will concentrate on Good Friday.
    • There will be no worship event scheduled for Maundy Thursday.
    • Cathy Cryder has suggested that the theme for the Easter season should be Resurrection.
    • Communion will be offered during the Zoom services, approximately every six weeks.
    • We will participate in the Pacific Mountain Region Service on June 13.
    • Summer Spirit will be via Zoom.

  • At Worship Committee's request, Council reaffirmed that in-person worship will not take place at Pacific Spirit before September and that there will be some lead-in time to prepare any necessary protocols. 
  • The worship committee hopes to meet with the search committee to offer thoughts on the CYF Minister's role in worship.

Appended to Finance Report:


Five Principles of Financial Stewardship

1.      Building a thriving church on Vancouver’s west side for generations to come.

a.   Honouring our commitment to be and do church differently for the sake of the wider community.

b.  Funding decisions that balance short term needs with the longer view of ministry growth and sustainability.

2.      Using our abundant resources wisely, effectively and confidently.

a. Recognizing our wealth, not only in assets but in the spirit of gratitude, renewal, and leadership in our response to God’s call in our community and world.

b.  Value-for-money as a key principle of faithful stewardship. All program and resource allocation decisions are measured against overall goals using established criteria.

c.   A governance model that supports effective implementation of our strategic ministry plan and effective programming consistent with our mission.

d.  Primary oversight by MPSS of hiring and employment policy to maintain a staffing model that aligns with strategic goals and value for money principles.

3.      Sharing our abundance with the wider church and community initiatives.

a.      Looking outward as an important aspect of Building the Body of Christ

b. Ministry goals and values may be more effectively advanced through community partnerships or support of wider church initiatives such as the Mission and Service Fund.

c.       Consider a significant gift to the wider church from the W. 24th Legacy.

4.      Optimal balance between personal offerings and stability funding.

a.  Personal offerings remain our primary source of funding and call forth the personal commitment and active engagement of all congregation members in God’s work, both in terms financial support and talent sharing.

b.      2/3 of ministry funding to come from offerings and facilities use income

c.   An integral and engaging stewardship program is an important element of spiritual growth.

5.      Legacy Fund Management

a.  Legacy fund income and capital will provide stability and sustainability for ambitious programming.

b.      Long term fund managers set a spending rate of between 3% and 5%. This rate is reviewed every 3 years or so. Maintaining an appropriate spending rate would ensure a significant portion of the fund is maintained in the long term.

c.       A spending rate of 3% is meant to ensure that capital is preserved after management fees and inflation are taken into account.

d.      Over time, a 5% spending rate will likely mean that capital will be used in at least some years. The rate will be reviewed every 3-5 years and can be adjusted to respond to investment returns and changing needs.


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