Category: Clerk of Session

Updates from the Clerk of Session

A unique opportunity for people who want to volunteer but just not sure

Posted by on Friday, June 22nd, 2018 in Clerk of Session

I was privileged to be invited to share St Andrews experience with delivering meals to the community of Hespeler with a group that wants to expand our concept in Cambridge. Thanks go to Joni Smith for including me in the process.

You will find enclosed the Agenda and hand-outs used to open the discussion and lead us to the goals set near the end of this page.

Primarily, there were; 10 current providers of this service, 7 future providers that want to help and a host of professionals from the City, Region and others. 

Here are some of the responses I captured in my notes

  •  Bridges is a non-profit organization has reached the limit of their ability to satisfy the demand for meals and drop-in within the city. They have offered 100% support in the development of new sites by sharing their professional skills and observations.

  • Participants agreed a “loose collaborative structure” of a non-profit organization was ideal for the project. Meaning a lot of the administrative functions would fall on people selected to lead the daily operations. No fundraising by volunteers would be done unless that’s your thing and then your talents would be used. Anyone wanting to go deeper into the management of the NGO is encouraged to let them know. Everyone is important. The guests too will be encouraged to help with set-up, tear-down and other tasks. TNSS is exactly like this except we DO IT ALL! Again, TNSS will continue in our niche mission.

  • Long term goal to facilitate 7 days a week meal and drop-in centre, the physical building will be funded by the City of Cambridge. Short term Vineyards Forward Baptist Church has been offered free of charge (Ainsley St. Cambridge) to start. It is agreed that we cannot jump from no meals to 700 meals a week overnight. The first exposure will be Tuesdays @ Vineyards until we establish our legs.

  • The operational parameters were for a drop-in site that had the room and capacity to run year-round with meals and clothes washing, showers and amenities that are currently not available.

  • The model for operation was copied from the St John’s Kitchen which has been in operation for 35 years as a non-profit volunteer-based endeavor in Kitchener. Looks like what we do on a reduced scale.

  • The monthly calendar is broken into daily slots, the food for the meal is on-site and the volunteers arrive 1:00 pm to cook (just like we do here) and the bulk of the volunteers show up to serve, clean up and leave the kitchen for the next team. Very similar to what we do on Thursdays TNSS. The estimate need is 10-15 volunteers for one night.

  • This structure allows the current providers the ability to continue all the things they have been doing while allowing others to experience the process of short-term missional volunteering.

  • Training and best practices will be facilitated by the Region and City of Cambridge.

·         Here’s a breakdown of the short-term objectives

  •  Central location is need due to transportation issues. Work on free bus passes will be communicated but is expensive.

  • Amenities are in place to allow disadvantaged people to have a place in Cambridge.

  • Once a week to start on Tuesdays. (need providers for 4 Tuesdays in September say) 12 volunteers for each Tuesday.

  • One location – Vineyards for now.

  •  The future expectation is that St Andrews might take one night a month. Just twelve times a year. We could even team up with Westside – they have never done anything like this. Talking about outreach – this is a win-win. At one time a month it is hoped that sufficient teams will be placed to meet all 7 days as we build in confidence.

  • I accepted the challenge to raise St Andrews awareness to this opportunity and hopefully place a team in place to move our mission beyond the Hespeler core. A thing we have talked about and now can safely explore.

  • No trial program is envisioned – this is it! It is expected that we WILL be successful and the Cambridge Kitchen will grow as able with the backing of a huge amount of talent and skills.

  • I encourage all St Andrews people to look at the plusses of this experience, the joy of serving and the benefits to the City of Cambridge.

You might say I’ve been energized by this and you would be right. Let me give you a personal opinion – this endeavor will be organized and run by the volunteers in conjunction with the users. The City and Region are silent stake holders. I saw a group of people who want to make Cambridge better without endless meetings, meaningless rules and issues. This program is designed to appeal to people that want a short-term volunteer experience with defined benefits. In, volunteer clean up and out. I am counting on St Andrews to share our experience and I will be actively recruiting volunteers to be in on the exciting opportunity.

We have a huge supply of people who just don’t know they’re volunteers yet! Let’s build the dream.

Respectfully Rob Hodgson

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Posted by on Tuesday, May 15th, 2018 in Clerk of Session

Image result for lost and found images

Due to a situation I had no control over I have 3 fruit pies left from the recent delivery May 12, 2018

9" Apple Pie  yummy!!!

9" Cherry Pie  long-weekend for company?

9" Blueberry Pie  now who doesn't like blueberry!

The regular price for the frozen pies is $14.00 best offer over $12.00  can  take these scrumptious pies home.

Rob Hodgson



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CYOB is back

Posted by on Thursday, May 10th, 2018 in Clerk of Session

St. Andrews Hespeler is delighted to announce

CYOB - Camp in Your Own Backyard is once again available. The dates of the 2018 program will run August 7 – 10

Cairn’s Camp in Your Own Backyard (CYOB) is a week-long vacation Bible school program that offers the opportunity to bring camp-style fun to churches and communities around our Synod.
This program is designed for children ages 5 to 13, but also provides an opportunity for older youth to help as young adult volunteers. There is no limit to the number of children who can participate, so long as there is an appropriate ratio of adult volunteers provided by the church to assist with the programming. 
The curriculum is centered around a new theme every year and provides activities such as stories and lessons from the Bible, singing, games, music and drama, creations quest, arts and crafts, team-building initiatives, and “campfire” every day.

For more information, you can Call Jan @
St Andrews Hespeler 519-658-2652
Don’t wait the program fills fast!


The Cairn Family of Camps is owned and operated by the Presbyterian Church in Canada. The Synod of Central, Northeastern Ontario and Bermuda manages the day to day operations of our programs. We are made up of three Christian summer camp programs, Glen Mhor Camp, Camp Iona, and Presbyterian Music Camp, joined together by our mission.
At the Cairn Family of Camps, we don’t think it’s enough to just offer fun programming. We’re involved in camping because we believe that camp is an amazing life-changing experience. That’s why our mission is as follows:
To share God’s love through Christian camping and to ensure that its family of camps, and their leaders, provide supportive ministry and transformative programming. We believe in the extraordinary.

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Inter-mission 2018 (Rev. Scott McAndless)

Posted by on Monday, April 9th, 2018 in Clerk of Session

    Hello St. Andrews’

From April 16 to June 26, Rev. Scott will be observing his first Inter-mission.  This leave, has been available since 1995 to Ministers that have five years of service in a church. Until recently this was not commonly observed by Ministers. As you know from news and first-hand, stress is a major trauma in any society, industry, organization and the church. You certainly know that churches around the world are in a period of rapid change. Session has endorsed this Inter-mission in concordance with the Presbyterian Church in helping Ministers cope with the pressures of ministry.

The April Session Meeting established a plan of action to enable the day-to-day function of the church remain attentive to the needs of all.  A plan that attempts to have the who, what, when taken care of.  The Church Office (Jan & Joni) will be focused on delivering their representative functions and need to have time to complete them. Please try to spare their precious time so they can deliver the best in the next 10 weeks.

The Church Office will continue to be open as before 9:00 am to Noon daily.  The change will be that Tuesdays and Thursdays a volunteer greeter will be in place to take messages and arrange for answers to any questions. The greeters may not have the answers you need but will try to pass your request to someone who will get back to you. Your patience will be greatly appreciated.  Phone calls to the office on Tuesday & Thursday will go the voice mail – your call will be returned at a future date.

Session is aware this change will cause some delays in responding to requests.  In no way will the pastoral care ministry be affected by the inter-mission. Initiatives have been implemented to have a primary and backup Ministers available to meet emergency needs. By all means call one of the Ministers, the Church Office, the Clerk of Session or any Session Elder for help. We are committed to help our church family throughout the Inter-mission.

In delivering this plan we hope that the congregation will find a small change to the day-to-day operations. If you would like to volunteer for the greeter duties call Rob Hodgson @ 519-658-5237.

 Shown below is the Intermission Calendar of Pastoral Care, Office Greeters and Scheduled Preachers for worship

click to enlarge

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Opportunities for Spring of 2018 at St Andrews

Posted by on Thursday, March 22nd, 2018 in Clerk of Session

I just read an article on the web on how churches operate and how the bible states a congregation should view the church. My reason for reading this item was based on the past 5 years of our dogged pursuit for sustainable financing. I am not saying these pursuits weren’t necessary – they were vital to our continued existence. We have reached a plateau where we can take a deep breath and thank God for the reprieve.  So naturally, this leads to OK what next? Our mission of serving the community is a very good start. So to are all the dedicated people who make things happen here at St Andrews.

Jesus said that “no congregation would be able to rise above the level of its leadership” (John 13:16). If today’s churches are failing to realize the Lord’s vision for them it can only be because they have adopted some other vision to guide their lives and work. For most churches that vision can be summarized as “perpetuating the status quo indefinitely into the future.” Such a vision denies the plain teaching of Scripture concerning God’s will for His people. It fails to challenge the priorities and values of the followers of Christ and encourages them to spend most of their precious time, energy, and resources on temporal rather than eternal things. Such a vision settles for a “good enough” approach to managing the affairs of God’s people instead of the “press on” attitude recommended by the Apostle Paul (Philippians 3:12-15).

My mission today after reflecting on how we could move forward has revealed that in the short term we need to focus our attention on the next 6 months on some internal pressures that need to be challenged.  

The Prayer Chain needs a replacement coordinator upon the retirement of Mary Vincent. The interim replacement found is no longer able to continue in that function. Please pray we can find the right person! Or better be the right person.

The Meals Ministry needs your help. Call Joni and volunteer.

During Scott’s intermission (and vacation) it would be very helpful if a weekly “host” could be found for the guest preachers on Sundays. Session has implemented a strategy that the Beadle’s duties on Sunday be included in this function. Accordingly, the Beadles are requested to arrive @ 9:30 and assist the guest preacher in whatever needs or questions they may have.  This practice could be applied anytime Scott is absent to ensure we allow the pulpit supply the best experience @ St Andrews.

The Pastors Intermission runs April 16th to June 30th and a five-week vacation there-after. In these 15 weeks the administration of St Andrews will need volunteers to keep the status quo. We had a similar challenge with our last empty-pulpit before Scott arrived.  More so now with the Administrative Assistant having much fewer hours and Joni’s task list being full with current responsibilities. I ask that you declare this a mission critical situation and help lead us to a new plateau of realization.

I will share with you that elections for Deacon and Elders will be implemented in September of 2018. This too is a mission critical objective to fill Session and Deacon positions so those that are leading have a wider base of influence. Strength in numbers will result in opening more opportunities in the future. Currently Session has 9 full-time Elders. There need to be at least 12-15 to be effective.  We are short 3 Deacons to ensure Districts have a representative. An under-staffed Session will not lead us into a better vision of worship. We need help – your help in 2018.

Deacons and Elders have met twice to resolve the Youth Leader position at St Andrews. Mike Wasyluk leads the discussion and is very knowledgeable and charismatic. Mike has been seconded to the Waterloo Presbytery in his roll to increase youth church involvement. These meetings are scheduled to take place at least twice more and you are cordially invited to join us in the vital mission. Come join in a discussion of contemporary and educational matters – ask Joni for the next date.

I think we should have our house in order and then reflect on the true meaning of church in 2018 and beyond. It is my hope that in the Fall of 2018 we can endeavor to fulfill the true calling that we all are directed to be as a Christians.  We have come so far and now is the time to renew the charter of our faith.  In my humble opinion.

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Fundraising 2018

Posted by on Tuesday, March 6th, 2018 in Clerk of Session

Hello St Andrews'   

I am announcing our spring 2018 order window for meat pies and soups. Order forms will be available from April 3rd until April 21, 2018 for the delicious offerings you have come to know.

I thank you for your continued support of this program that, is now in its 3rd year and has raised in excess of $3,360 since 2016. 100% of these monies have been used in our quest to achieve sustainable financing. 

Session opened many continuing missions in 2015-2016 to offset expenses that were threatening our continued operation. Over a few years we have been blessed buy the efforts of many opening "giving doors of opportunity" and endowments that have created change. In addition, subtle changes in the staffing and operations has also been instrumental to more changes. You should know, that last year's fiscal results saw the deficit for 2017 was reduced to almost zero. A marked change that is welcome and quite remarkable compared to many churches.

Session was challenged to make changes and I think that the results speak for themselves.  The path forward has been difficult, but with God's providence, some astute decisions and the support of the congregation we are in a much better place than one would expect in 2018. Thank you for the support.

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Posted by on Tuesday, October 17th, 2017 in Clerk of Session

Hello St Andrews'          Just a reminder that meat pies and soups are available for order Until November 6th.Order forms are available from the Church Office, in the  Sanctuary and from me – Rob Hodgson. New lower prices and discount bulk orders for those that want.

In appreciation of the shortened order cycle I would like to offer a second order/delivery in December if sufficient support is shown. Ask me if you’d like a second opportunity to get these pies & soups.
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