Category: Clerk of Session

Updates from the Clerk of Session

Saint Andrews’ welcomes the Hespeler Reunion 2016

Posted by on Sunday, February 28th, 2016 in Clerk of Session

In July, we celebrate the Great Hespeler Reunion 2016. During past reunions St. Andrews’ played an important role as host church for Sunday worship.  In 2016, we welcome Rev. Richard Warne as guest speaker for worship July 10th at 10:00 am. Rick was raised in Hespeler and was active in the community. Rick and Mary (nee Jackson) served at St. Andrew’s for many years; teaching Sunday School, Youth Group Leader, Session Elder leading to being Ordained into Ministry in 2012. “Rev. Rick” can usually be found leading the two-point Charge of Jarvis and Walpole Presbyterian Church. 
Reverend Scott McAndless and the congregation invite you to take a guided tour of the church on July 9th 10:00 am – 3:00 pm when you’re in town. Parents may take advantage of our child care services onsite during the tours. View this architecturally significant site on Queen Street from its birth in 1908 to present. 2016 marks the 160th Anniversary of Presbyterian worship in Hespeler – formerly known as New Hope Presbyterian Church.  St. Andrews’ has numerous people stories and histories you can view first-hand. In 2016, the Hespeler Place of New Hope Clothing centre was created to assist the sharing of free clothing in association with the satellite home of the Cambridge Food Bank. In addition the Thursday Night Supper and Social feed 50 guests on a weekly basis. With over 30 groups and users, St. Andrews’ serves our community by hosting peer sharing solutions in Hespeler.  Join us for a peek inside this historic building and view a giving community.
St. Andrews’ Hespeler congratulates the Reunion Board and Members that make this welcome home to Hespeler an enduring success. Best wishes and hopes for the future.

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Some interesting results:

Posted by on Thursday, January 28th, 2016 in Clerk of Session

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Many thanks to all of you who are looking at the blog. When Session vetted the conception of this blog we were unsure of the effectiveness of a web based communication. We obviously were mistaken - Saint Andrews Hespeler is computer savvy and looking for information. Our goal now is not to disappoint you. Please stay tuned for more exciting posts in the near future. And again thank you. Wow I'm blown away!

Rob H.

Now that I have your attention I'd like you to look below and see the comments line?  By all means use this space - start a dialogue. I'm looking forward to publish what you want to see. This is your site and I encourage you to share your amazing talents. Your humble scribe.

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The Session Year in review

Posted by on Wednesday, January 20th, 2016 in Clerk of Session

Session 2015 the Year in Review

The following details are in chronological order (February – December omitting July & August summer hiatus).

Rev. Scott brought Session up-to-date in the 2015 General Assembly in Vancouver - he has been confirmed as the Representative Minister for the Presbytery of Kitchener-Waterloo; June 1st to 7th, 2015.  Rev. McCandless and David Krueger would be traveling to the general assembly. 

Great Hespeler Reunion slated for July 8th, 9th and 10th of 2016. Elders heard how this would be a significant event with Saint Andrews as a central participant in the festivities.  Outlined how Rev. Richard Warne has been contacted and approved as guest speaker at worship service on Sunday, July 10.  Rev. Warren is a homegrown Hespeler boy with significant contacts within Cambridge.  A variety of events will be hosted during 2016.

In support of the Great Hespeler Reunion 2016 and in recognition that St. Andrew’s approaching its 160th anniversary Session discussed envisioning a yearlong celebration inclusive of: homecoming, worship service homilies, multiple planned evens throughout 2015-2016 and culminating in the Great Hespeler Reunion July 8-10, 2016. This celebration slated to run June 7th, 2015 until the church picnic to July 10th 2016.

The 2015 target for Presbyterian Sharing was set at the actual amount from 2014 which was $18,210. The budget 2015 was passed at the AGM shortly after this.

Session approved the Music and Worship committee recommendation to re-direct $25,000 interest free loan offered by the Presbytery for heating/reno (unspent – not required) to the audio/visual install. A request to Presbytery on re-directing the loan elicited a favorable response with no reservations. The loan is interest free and the payback terms are 10 years. There is a possibility that this loan may be a forgivable debt although no information is currently available. Session will schedule a Congregational meeting to approve up to $25,000 spent on A/V project at an appropriate time.

Approved by Session - the Human Resources Committee recommends that a revised User Fee/Charges Schedule for 2015; use of St. Andrews Church facilities be approved. This revision is based on a task group noting that many years have transpired since fees have been increased.
A workshop was facilitated at the Joint Deacon/Elder spring meeting. Rev Scott led us through a process of establishing key traits of Saint Andrews.  The rotating and changing groups were directed to eliminate lesser strengths while submitting group consensus on what were key before them. The process went through five iterations that reduced the 60 some key traits to five indicators of significant values are at Saint Andrews. The results were: Honesty/Integrity, Trust, Respect, Spirituality, and Service (not in any specific order).

Session implemented an open-ended schedule of joint Deacon/Elder meetings and workshops to develop:
1.     Share experiences and get to know each other.
2.     A better understanding between the two group’s duties and co-duties.
3.     Implement “best-practices” leading to new or better practices.
4.     Discover how to best communicate to the Districts of faith and congregation.
5.     Review accomplishments the have been discovered along the way (feedback). The next meeting is February 8, 2016.

Jane Neath has led the re-branding of the Hespeler Clothing Closet for 2015 by: outlining the history, detailing the evolution and endorsement of a strategic mission upon the insolvency of the former financer. Jane has been invaluable in creating a structural support inclusive of fund raising to make it all happen.  Details are as follows:  Elders agreed to rename the mission formerly known as the Clothing Closet to Hespeler Place of New Hope (HPNH). From this conception to established program two instrumental forces has shaped the success so far. Jane Neath has leveraged her time and talents to provide a business plan and financial framework that, although still early in the development seems to be off to a running start. The other instrumental force has been Karen Kincaid. Her talents at facilitating the day-to-day-operations, bootstrapping the launch of HPNH as well as an enthusiastic go-to-gal of the highest order are unequaled. People skills and work ethic are no stranger to her either.  Her team building skills are equally well developed. These two ladies have created an enduring mission at St. Andrews. Possibly one of the greatest happenings in recent times – due to the greater need now, compared to The Great Depression of the 1920’s.

As initiated by the 2014 AGM a task group to explore how to replace the church Auditors has been selected and met a number of times. Led by Donald Paddock and assisted by, Ray Godin and Glen Nixon have researched the best course of action. This Stewardship’s sub-committee recommends that appointing independent auditor(s), beginning in January 2016 to review the financial books for 2015 is the best solution. It is estimated that the ½ day review of the books and statements by independent auditor(s) will enable a surety report on the books. This new paradigm is necessitated by the need for oversight by qualified professionals.

In the summer of 2015 Session implemented the following ideas for deficit reductions from the Brainstorming Workshop recently held:
a.    Target deficit elimination communications to families to support St Andrews with hoped for $150 step increase.
b.   Hold an auction (walk-a-thon) and one other signature event for 2015/2016.
c.    Implement Fundscript Gift Card program – ongoing incremental income.
d.   Invite as many people as possible who have had an affiliation with Saint Andrews in the last 160 years to visit in 2016 and possibly make a donation towards eliminating our debt.

Early winter a task group was struck to explore the: Audio/Visual Project, roof repairs on the new addition side of the structure and any high priority projects for Session. The listing of projects and priorities for completion would be presented at a Congregational Meeting for review. In the interim Session postponed most significant expenditures in light of the recurring year end deficit.

Rev. Jeff Veenstra memorial walk-a-thon has been OK’d by both the Veenstra family and Session for 2016. This event was conceived by KW Presbytery but will be held in association with St Andrews – at a to-be-named site in or near Cambridge. In adjunct a tree planting service to be designated in memorial will be planned.

The General Assembly 2015 of the Presbyterian Church of Canada has embarked on defining how the LGBT community will play a role in the church in the near future. A support document Body, Mind and Soul – Study Guide on Human Sexuality has been produced by the church as announced at worship by Rev. Karen R. Horst on Anniversary Sunday.  The church is interested in ideas on the topic. Various avenues to express your thoughts will be made available.  Individual churches may, and can respond in a formal way before March 2016. St Andrews can meet to explore local thoughts on this transitional change. If support is found a group discussion and documentation recorded thoughts forwarded for incorporation into the final results.

The 2016 Budget process was discussed in light of the ongoing deficit contained within the Stewardship Report. Elders agreed that the budget controls that served for a number of years are no longer representative of changing economies. Elders agreed that help in defining a new working model, which takes into account: the congregation’s outlook; that annual shortfalls need to be rectified, Human Resources projections of 2015 and 2016, capital expenses both scheduled and some unexpected requirements (roof replacement on new section, AV Project currently on hiatus and uncertainty of utility increases) need analyzing. Expenses need to be optimized in addition to commencement of significant fund raising 4 or 5 times a year to offset these recurring negative balance sheets. By consent Session created a task group to deliberate what needs to happen. 

     Due to some “glitches” in executing meaningful communication directly from Session to the Congregation a revised communication channel was discussed. Session approved the launch of a Clerk of Session blog that would be available on-line and mirrored on the Saint Andrew’s web site.  Further, it was proposed that the Clerk of Session deliver to the congregation at worship an announcement of the blog on December 6, 2015.  link

As part of the 160th anniversary discussions Session sponsored of two ¼ page advertisements in the Hespeler Reunion 2016 official guide. The first ad in recognition of Saint Andrews Presbyterian Church and the second ad to support/communicate the ongoing efforts of Hespeler Place of New Hope were approved. Cost $250 each.
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Be a guest blogger

Posted by on Tuesday, January 12th, 2016 in Clerk of Session

     Yes you can. It's or your group can email or call the Clerk of Session with your story, share your groups good news, ask a question and even write about the people that make Saint Andrews a special place.  

     Share with others and we all grow!

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I heard it through the grape vine

Posted by on Monday, January 11th, 2016 in Clerk of Session

I heard it through the grape vine....

OK 2016 is just starting and we have many adventures before us:

Coming up in just a week or two Saint Andrews will launch an exciting and innovative event that has a chance to remove the debt accumulated in 2016.  No we are not asking you to open your purse or wallet. This opportunity allows you to have a spectacular time with family and friends and still help out with our missions. This event is called the "Amazing Shrinking Tea Party" and is being perfected right now!  You will see the details shortly.

Stewardship has advised me that equally fun events like:

  • Food trucks pulling into our parking lot and encouraging you to sample their wares could very well be seen in 2016.
  • Antique cars and or even a car rally could be in the offing
  • Silent auctions or the hugely popular Time and Talent Auction might return
  • Even eating in the dark could appear (OK I made that up)

  Watch the bulletin or this site for the skinny!

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Refugee sponsorship and the 106 group

Posted by on Monday, January 11th, 2016 in Clerk of Session

Updates and News

Refugee Sponsorship

The Presbyterian Church in Canada is an official Sponsorship Agreement Holder with Citizenship and Immigration Canada. This enables Presbyterian congregations to sponsor refugees to resettle in Canada. PWS&D advocates for refugees through a number of Canadian refugee advocacy groups, including the Canadian Council for RefugeesFor more information or if your church is interested in sponsoring a refugee, contact Rob Shropshire by e-mail or phone (416-441-1111 or 800-619-7301 x249)

Session has discussed the involvement of Cambridge becoming part of the solution to the needs of millions of displaced people. It is a crisis unlike any the world has seen. In response the Presbyterian Church of Canada has posted the announcement above. The need is great; the mission is obvious; let's start a dialogue on how we can help. Is it possible a coalition of Cambridge churches could sponsor a family or more?  There is help provided by the PCC all we need is someone to start the ball rolling. Step forward and make a difference today.

The "160 group"  

There is a group of individuals that are organizing the celebrations surrounding the 160th year of Saint Andrews in Hespeler. Coincidentally the 2016 Hespeler Reunion is also taking place with St. Andrews as part of the focus.  The 160 group is encouraging anyone who has an interest in helping both our individual celebration and the 2016 Reunion to contact Rev. McAndless or Joni Smith to volunteer time and talents.  
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Body, Mind and Soul 2016

Posted by on Monday, January 11th, 2016 in Clerk of Session

Introduction:   Body, Mind and Soul

Thinking together about human sexuality and sexual orientation in The Presbyterian Church in Canada

People throughout our denomination are wondering if there is a conflict between loving and affirming LGBTQ persons and being faithful to the Bible. Numerous commissioners at the 141st General Assembly expressed this struggle. Many have friends, neighbours, children or grandchildren who are gay or lesbian whom they love. They also believe that the Bible is “the standard of all doctrine,” the foundation of our ethics and the Word of God. Some faithful Christians aren’t even sure exactly what the Bible says or how to understand it. 

Saint Andrews Presbyterian Church Hespeler  "Body, Mind & Soul" study

When: Wed, January 20, 7:30pm – 8:30pm
Description:  We are holding a special study based on the document "Body, Mind and Soul: Thinking together about human sexual orientation in the Presbyterian Church in Canada." We are holding this study to help us to understand the issues in order to feed back to the General Assembly as they try and formulate a path forward. The study will begin this week and continue on from there based on participation and how quickly we are able to work through the materials.

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Posted by on Sunday, January 3rd, 2016 in Clerk of Session

Place of New Hope Advisory Committee
November 17, 2015

Information on New Hope:

  1.  Applications for grants to two more funds have been filed.
  2. We have promises from approximately 10 people/families to support Hope Clothing, financially ($150 each) for 2016 & 2017. Still lots of time to join these supporters!
  3. Jane Neath will continue to research funds for grant purposes.
  4. The BIG push is on for community involvement/understanding/recognition/use of Hew Hope. Please spread the word.
  5. Please consider purchasing "Lisa's Cookies" as a way for the volunteers of Hope Clothing to fund raise. They are an eager bunch who are pleased to accept the responsibility of growing their mission with your support. 
  6. There was an overabundance of clothing stored in the Fellowship Room. This has been sorted out and hopefully will not be repeated. The staff liaison for Hope Clothing is Joni Smith. In the future we would like to recommend that anyone who has inquiries, can contact Joni for info.
  7. Thank you for your patience as we grow.

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