Updated: Feb 8, 2022
A congregational meeting has been rescheduled to February 13th to ensure that all members and supporters of Trinity have received all the information. In preparation for our Congregational meeting on February 13th we wanted to share more information and input as we prayerfully consider the research and recommendation to hire a second full-time minister, which was presented by the Vision Implementation Team on Nov. 28, 2021.
Attached is a copy of their Feasibility Report along with thoughts shared by the Trustees, including the following question they've posed:
"The graphs outlining the “…Data Concerning the United Church of Canada” predicts the demise of the United Church of Canada. In the 7 years starting 2018 – 2025 they predict Membership -40%, Congregations -23%, Attendance -71%, and Sunday School -100%. Yet their only solution is to become property managers. We are not sure how this supports any congregation looking at its own viability. Is The United Church of Canada not offering congregations outreach, direction or a plan to help reverse this trend?"
We wanted to offer clarification as it is not the belief or recommendation of the Visioning Team or the United Church of Canada that the only solution to the viability of the church is to act as 'property manager'. In fact, the UCC, Shining Waters Council, and the Innovative Ministry Centre (Toronto UC Council) are consistent in their recognition of and encouragement for what our own Congregation identified as focus areas through input into the visioning process that began in Sept 2020. UCC offers resources to support new youth and young adult ministries, for example, and Innovative Ministry Centre continues to develop and share aspirational and innovative resources.
The Feasibility Report includes examples of local churches whose high attendance is driven by additional full-time ministry staff focused on children, youth, young family programming. To avoid the fate of some shrinking Congregations that have resorted to selling assets, the recommendation is to invest in growing our church community through a concerted effort to engage and meet the spiritual needs of a broader demographic. Relying on UCC or a group of volunteers to 'save us' belies Trinity's own commitment, strength and vision for the future. The people who will be tasked with maintaining Trinity's bricks and mortar are the same ones who we need to reach out to and engage now to sustain it.
The questions and answers from the zoom information sessions are included on the website trinityuc.ca
A Prayer for Trinity
God of Grace, We pray for Trinity Clear the road before us. Enable us to envision your hope for Trinity We pray for healing of whatever is lacking within our community Increase our love for one another and for all people. Pour on us your love so it fills our lives and splashes over on everyone around us. Infuse us with strength and purity. Fill us with confidence in your presence and our purpose. As followers of Jesus, enable us to share the Good News of your love with all generations in our words and actions. Stir within us a hope for tomorrow and all the tomorrows to come. We pray in the name Jesus, the One who reveals your love and our path. Amen Adapted from Thessalonians 3:11-13