- Naming of the New Congregation
A new name for the newly amalgamated congregation will need to be discerned and voted on by the joint congregation. A process to illicit ideas and find creative ways to name the new regional church in a way that will make sense to both those who currently belong and (perhaps more importantly) to those who are outside the church or unfamiliar with the united church will be important. This is no easy task but will be an important one moving forward.
2. Distilling Purpose and Mission in More Succinct Way
While the comprehensive vision statement (From Neighbourhood to Regional: A New Platform for a 21st Century Church) that was voted upon at the respective AGM’s at the beginning of 2019 contain all the elements that are guiding this process; there is a need to distill some of the elements into a more succinct statement and draw out the mission and purposes in concrete ways. We will work with an outside consultant who will help us and lead us in a process.
3. New Governance Model
Both congregations have strong governance but moving forward we will need a new model to help us achieve a new way of being. There are many different models for us to choose from, some that we know and others that we are less familiar with. Whatever model we choose must have the support and approval of the Regional Council of the UCC. We will be working with a consultant to help us design a new model using the best practices currently available that also match our vision, purpose and goals as a church.
4. New Staffing Model
Both congregations have good and competent ministerial staff. While job descriptions will change, there will be a place in the new model for each of the current 4. However, there will also be a need for additional program staff to meet the goals and mission of the new church. The design of the new staffing model will be tied to the new budget that is developed which will be looking at the multiple streams of incomes and expenses moving forward. On the effective date of the Amalgamation (May 31st, 2020), the current staff will be appointed until Dec 31, 2020 and then the new congregation will vote on the new staffing model and the staff to be called together before the end of the appointments. Our consultant will also be helping us through this task as well.
5. New Home – Building Reno/Design
The new design for our new church home will be the most fun part of this process. Imagining the possibilities to meet the new goals, mission, staffing models, worship and program needs and community partners involved will be a dynamic process. There will be room for lots of input, imagination and dreaming as we go forward. The involvement of several professionals to take our ideas and “napkin drawings” to a place where permits, architectural drawings and builders can be engaged will require the work of many. There will be several votes along the way by the new congregation to approve both designs and budgets related to this part of the amalgamation.
6. Reallocating and Leveraging Assets with a 5+ Year Plan for the Future Congregation
As per section 7, we have been blessed with many assets that we will need to discern wisely. What the best way forward is to leverage these and maintain a legacy for future generations as well. In addition to these assets are the social enterprise revenues, the legacy gifts and bequests, the ongoing sustaining donations of our congregation and income from our partners and grants. All of these will need to be balanced with the goals of the new congregation and the budget requirements to be sustainable. We will also be needing to consult and work with the Pacific Mountain Region who have oversight over some of the property assets and gain their support and approval. A comprehensive 5- 7 year budget will be presented to the new congregation as we get clearer about some of the other interfacing issues above.
7. Community Partnership Engagement
Moving forward we will need to be intentional about not living in an isolated bubble but rather engaged in a shared mission with other community partners. Some of those partners may reside with us in our location and others may not. An authentic relationship where we are engaged in the overlaps of our shared mission and supportive of the parts that are unique to one another will be key to our diversity and new identity in the future. We have begun some of the conversations with potential partnership and will be pursuing these further after the vote has occurred to obtain MOA’s (memorandums of understanding) in the new year.
8. Affirm Status
Both congregations are LGBTQ2 affirming and positive but St Aidan’s has completed the process to get their Affirming status and designation. CBUC has been in contact about what they need to do to complete the process to become designated and this will happen in the new year before the amalgamation date. Therefore this joint status will follow us both in the amalgamation and be applied to the new congregation.
9. Third Space
Third Space is a concept related to creating spaces where people want to gather that is not their home or work space but is a comfortable place to congregate. For many, places like coffee shops or community art spaces etc have begun to fulfil that function. Third space is a concept that we want to explore more and shape our mission and ministry to include the creation of a welcoming, inclusive and safe space that can become a third space for many and a gateway into the life of our community of faith. Some ideas are being played with and some research has been done. More research is needed and is underway and these insights will offer input to the design of our new church space.