Parish of Fall River & Oakfield
Annual Report 2019/2020 2
Rector’s Report 2019/2020
The Holy Scriptures bear breathtaking witness to the truth that ordinary people, with God’s help and spirit, accomplish immense deeds of power and work voluminous miracles. As you read this report, I pray you become aware that by God’s help and Spirit immense deeds of love and many wonders and signs, even miracles are still happening. I will not further delineate them, as they have been written so well and so wisely by the leaders of the parish and churches in their reports, but rather focus my words to you on moving forward into 2020.
Jesus called the disciples and invited them to participate in His work and ministry. As they followed, they became His partners in changing lives, freeing and healing people, in pushing back the darkness, in overturning injustice and laying the foundation for the kingdom of love, compassion, mercy and grace. Participation and partnership with God and others are the cornerstone of discipleship. This is still true, and as the church celebrates the sacraments, Jesus invites us afresh to participate in His life, death and resurrection and his ongoing ministry of transforming people and the world. 8
The Diocesan 2019 MORE Mission School – Joining God in our Neighbourhood – was an invitation for all of us to recognize the richness, potential and hope that flows from our partnership with God and our participation in His work and world. We believe that God is already at work in our wider community, because He loves the world, out ahead us beckoning us out of our comfort and our past, to partner and participate in forging a new future for our parish/churches, and a new hope for our neighbours and neighbourhoods.
As our Parish/Church Strategic Plans have coalesced and solidified over the past year, we now come time for deeper participation and partnership. Both Churches are inviting all the members of their congregations to participate in one of the 4 key areas that both churches will focus their energies and attention for the next 2 years and more.
This year – 2020 – must be the Year of Participation – where all of us must find a spot in these plans/initiatives , where each of us makes an offering not just to what we have to do to keep going, but to our efforts to do new things, to become even more vibrant and alive in God’s love.
“The fellowship of the Holy Spirit . . . means participation — partaking with and subsequently sharing with others. This fellowship is not just for reaching individual believers, but that every individual who participates also shares with others. If the love of God and the grace of Christ, that believers receive, do not reach others, the fellowship of the Holy Spirit is stifled . . . The fellowship of the Spirit is persistently seeking to expand, to include more partakers and dispensers of grace and love.” ― Henry Hon, ONE: Unfolding God’s Eternal Purpose from House to House
“Persistently seeking to expand” is the measure of maturity in faith – being willing and ready to participate in the expanding of love, the expanding of grace, of hope so that other come encounter and know the gift of God in Jesus, and the joy of fellowship in the Holy Spirit. All of our hope and plans and dreams, at heart, must embrace this persistent seeking to expand the influence and impact of God’s kingdom to the people of our community. Without the full participation of all, as the quote says, the Holy Spirit is stifled. This year, the Year of Participation is an invitation to each and every member of our parish to add their voices and passions, their hearts and hands to the work of bringing to life God’s plans through our strategic plan initiatives. 9
“If you want to do something that really changes someone’s life, the best thing you can do is make the person you’re trying to help a participant in the process.” ― John Stahl-Wert, The Serving Leader: Five Powerful Actions to Transform Your Team, Business, and Community Many resources are needed to move our parish forward into the future, but the most important investment is our committed participation – all of us – to these goals – especially to the realization of the Good News of Jesus in our midst. As we work together in new ways this year, inviting each other to be attentive to the incredible things God is doing and the wonderful opportunities God is opening up for us, we should always mindful of our need to partner with the wider community in their hopes and dreams and in turn invite the community to partner with us God’s dream. This means being persistent and intentional in inviting our neighbours to participate and partner with us in acts of kindness and compassion, for us to partner with them in their work so that as our Eucharsitic prayer says, “… peace and justice are revealed …”
“Participation – that’s what is going to save the human race.” Pete Seeger. As we look not just to our future, but to the future of our very world, is quote holds the essence of truth. Whether we are talking about addressing the climate crisis or ending poverty or the full acceptance and inclusion of LGTBTQ2+ community into the church and our world or helping others facing addictions and mental health troubles (everything from eating disorders to body shaming, to bringing to an end the violence of binary) or homelessness – whatever the issue, the need, the struggle – its solution lies along the path of participation – us getting involved personally – anything from reading and learning more, to praying for the efforts of leaders and front line workers, to joining in the work – if we want to save our people, our animals, our planet – it will and can only happen through our join in partnership and participation. 10
My friends, with joy for what has been done and accomplished, we praise God and thank you. With anticipation and hope for what need/want to accomplish this year, we ask please get involved. With your participation we can say with surety that we will enjoy shocking success and surprising blessings. As we come to this year, remembering that success and salvation lies in participation, let us also be careful because so also does it lie in not participating in some things.
“Conflict cannot survive without your participation.” – Wayne Dwyer. Someone put it another way – You are either supporting the vision or you are supporting division. Conflict is sometime necessary and helpful in clarifying what is stake in our discussions, but let us commit not to engage in pointless conflict or conflict based in selfishness. Participation means we have a goal and dream greater than our own – this moves us and inspires us onward. This year, do not participate in grumbling or triangulation (talking to others before you talk with the person you actually need/should talk to); this year do not give your power to negativity and defeatism by participating in – instead let our focus be on the good news, the hopeful, the possible, the necessary. Do not participate in being controlling, back biting or passive aggressive ways – rather participate in honestly, openness and risking for the sake of growth and love and truth. This year let us pray and encourage all who try to lead and do new things, not criticize them or tear them down. St Paul warned the church that these attitudes and way threaten the health and future of the church – Colossians 3.5 “And that means dropping everything connected with the way of death: you know better now, so make sure it’s all gone for good: bad temper, irritability, meanness.”
Said positively, St Paul writes, Philippians 2, “redouble your efforts. Be energetic in your life of salvation, reverent and sensitive before God. That energy is God’s energy, an energy deep within you, God himself willing and working in you … Do everything readily and cheerfully—no bickering, no grumbling allowed! Go out into the world a breath of fresh air … provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God. Carry the light-giving Message …”. Let these qualities be the measure and mark of our participation this coming year. Let us redouble our efforts for love’s sake, for God’s sake. 11
Finally, Mark McIntosh writes, “It’s always miraculous because revelation happens not through distant observation, but through participation.” Mysteries of Faith (New Church’s Teaching Series) (p. 76). With all of us partnering together on our plans and initiatives, I have no doubts that the miraculous will happen, that God will reveal to us His love in profound and rousing new ways and that we will gather a year from now in awe of what has been accomplished and how lives have been changed by the gospel and by our partnering with the God of Grace.
Our salvation lies in participation. May God bless us with strength, will and grace to participate fully and faithfully in persistently seeking to expand the love of God to all.
On a personal note, I want to once again thank you for your support of me and Gloria and our family through the difficulties of the fall 2019. There were lots of days with stress, fear and worries, but your kindness and prayers and love carried us through them – we are blessed to be part of this parish family.
Every Blessing is Ours in Christ
Associate Priest Report 2019
It has continued to be both my pleasure and great privilege to work with Reverend Carl in the leading of worship this year. I have led around 20 Sunday worship services and some Wednesday Eucharist Celebrations. I have attended Clericus meetings, the local clergy group, as well as the Ministerial meetings of Fall River Clergy. I have played a full part in Ecumenical service at St John’s United. I attend all council and parish meetings.
I would hope that in the year ahead we can reinstate the regular patterns we had for worship leading, so that one of us always has time to stay at St Margaret’s for their meeting time after church twice a month. This can only strengthen the links between the churches.
My thanks to Reverend Carl for his leadership in worship and planning.
Bible Study 2019
This has been a good year. We have a regular group of around 12 people
attending, from both congregations. We meet on Wednesday mornings after Eucharist, for around 90 minutes of wide-ranging discussion (including a few unplanned rabbit holes). This year our main study theme has been a book called Basic Christianity, written by Rev. Stott, an English Clergyman, which has proved to be most interesting and challenging.
Our future plans include a look at the Gospel of Thomas, a document long known about but only discovered, in Egypt, in 1945. A lovely development has been the generosity of members on bringing nibbles for us to partake of during the sessions. Thus, we feed the spirit, the soul and the body all in one!
All are welcome! If there is demand for a bible study group at another time, say after work, for example, please contact Reverend David. 13
Cross Shaped Jesus and Canoeing the Mountains
These were two themes which have developed over the past 18 months. Cross Shaped Jesus is a natural follow-up to Jesus Shaped People, and we used it during the Lenten Season. It follows very much the same pattern as JSP, as was very well received. Canoeing the Mountains was intended to be the basis for a book club, but this never developed, so it then became the basis for our summer worship, over a period of around 8 weeks we followed the themes of the book, which talks of the experience of the early explorers in the USA, and likens their experience when they came to the mountains with that of Christians who have to respond to challenges in their own lives and churches as they face hurdles before them. 14
Strategic Planning Report 2019/2020 15
Strategic Planning Report 2019 (Cont’d) 16
Parish of Fall River & Oakfield
Annual Parish Warden’s Report 2019
This year has been a good year for the Parish of Fall River and Oakfield. In 2018 Parish Council agreed that a strategic plan for the Parish was important and we embarked on a process led by Wendy Carroll and Rebecca Moore. While we are still in the midst of the process, we have made considerable progress over 2019.
As a Parish we have agreed upon Overall Goals to guide us. Our three goals were developed in relation to the Marks of Mission of the Anglican Church and are as follows:
1. Connect with the community to understand needs and to respond to those needs with ecumenical outreach
2. Create dialogue about and share the good news within the parish and community
3. Grow our presence in an inclusive way, with more people, young and old; and, ensure we have a sustainable and viable congregation.
Using these goals as a framework, each Church has developed a short list of initiatives to attain these goals. Implementation of these initiatives began and 2019 and will be a priority for our two churches and Parish for 2020 and beyond.
It has been a very positive experience of working together as a Parish and as two churches as we consider our priorities and actions. Healthy, sustainable and successful churches make a healthy Parish. Thank you, Becca and Wendy!
There continues to be a concern of the yearly budget sustainability for both churches and we know that strategic planning will help both churches actively address increasing attendance and cost issues as well as how we better engage our community.
We also hosted our second Vacation Bible School, “ROAR”– It was awesome! There were many involved in preparation, daily activities and making the week a success. It truly was a very successful Parish activity! So much so we are thinking of having two sessions in 2020 – one over March break and possibly a second during the summer. 17
Parish of Fall River & Oakfield
Annual Parish Warden’s Report 2019 (Cont’d)
Other important Parish–wide activities in 2019 included:
- a) having become the Sponsorship Agreement Holder (SAH) in 2018 for the Riverlakes Refugee Committee, our Parish has taken the lead in bringing our second refugee family to Canada. Over 2019, much energy was committed to completing the application process with the Government of Canada. Considerable energy has also been devoted to fund-raising in preparation for the new family’s arrival. As we close off 2019, it appears imminent that we will learn that our new family, Nour’s brother, Ahmad Ibraheem and family will be arriving in the first quarter of 2020. Also, together with our colleagues on the Riverlakes Refugee Committee, we have raised in excess of $25,000.00 and we are still climbing. Stand by for more good news in 2020.
- b) SafeRChurch requirements are in place. Thank you, Alma Tower and Janet Moody for pioneering this important work and thanks to Rick Shephard for taking over for Alma Tower.
- c) We once again enjoyed a blessed Summer Sunday Service and Parish Picnic in Oakfield Park. A very special event.
The churches of St. Thomas and St. Margaret’s are working together on a lot of activities (see individual reports)! But let’s do even more!
Thank you to Parish Council members for their contribution. A special thank you to Alma Tower who has moved out of our area. Alma, we will miss your quiet and effective leadership style and contagious smile.
And an overwhelming thank you to Rev. Carl and Rev. David for their amazing dedication.
Linda Chapman and Robert (Bob) Moody
January 20, 2020 18
Report for Dinner Theatre – 2019
Special Events in 2019 20
Upcoming in 2020 21
Parish Visitation Ministry Group – 2019
When you look at someone sitting in a nursing home, who is lying in a hospital bed, who is a shut in, who sits lonely at home, who is suffering, and perhaps depressed and you see them before they see you it often brings feelings of great sadness.
Then they see you and their faces light up and you get a feeling of glow that you might be bringing a few moments of happiness, company, love and care. It makes you feel you are bringing a gift from God to share with them.
They are so grateful, “my Church Ladies” one says although she can’t carry out a conversation with you. “You’re the 2 Linda’s!” Their smiles go from ear to ear. Everyone we visit either in hospital, nursing home or their own home have been so welcoming to us.
We visit on a monthly basis a regular number of ex-parishioners (approximately six) as well as any parishioners we hear are in hospital. Some of our ex-parishioners are in nursing homes 50 kilometres away. They love getting news, a birthday or greetings card of thinking of you, a prayer shawl. Some like us to pray and help them find peace. They love telling us about their families.
Rev. Carl carries out many visits, some we know about and some we don’t. He gives very freely of his time to families who are grieving a lost one and in helping them prepare for the celebration of their life at a funeral service. He also gives much comfort, support and prays with those both in Church, hospital or their home, who feel a need to be brought closer to God in particular circumstances.
We give thanks to those parishioners, who on their own initiative, make telephone calls and visit friends who they know need support and care.
Visiting is such a rewarding and humbling experience.
Thessalonians chpt 2 v1. ”For you yourselves know that our coming to you is not in vain.” 22
Parish Visitation Ministry Group – 2019 (Cont’d)
I would like to thank my visiting partner Linda Aikenhead. It is such a privilege to visit with you and share those precious times with you. (The fish and chips following visits are also part of the joy.)
An hour or so a week out of our lives is such a small price when we think of the joy and gifts we share when we make visits.
Please think about participating in this Ministry. There is so much more we can do within this Ministry to support our parishioners as well as meeting some of the recommendations of listening to the community as outlined in out 2020 Strategic Plan.
Linda Chapman 23
RiverLakes Syrian Refugee Project
In 2018, the Riverlakes Refugee Sponsorship Committee committed to sponsoring Nour Baroud’s brother Ahmad Ibraheem and family. St. Margaret’s Church committed to doing the administrative work required for the sponsorship and the previously organized committees agreed to continue with fundraising and sponsorship support.
Rebecca Moore, Janet Braunstein Moody, Linda Chapman and Sue MacLean with Nour Baroud’s support were involved in the application process. Marie Kettle, the Anglican Diocese of N.S. and PEI has been a wonderful support in ensuring g a strong application. Rebecca carried the majority of the process, so thank you Rebecca!
There have been several fundraisers this year. In February 2019, there was a small Wine and cheese event sponsored by St. Margaret’s Church. In March 2019 the fundraising committee threw a St. Patrick’s Day extravaganza where significant contributions were made. St. Margaret’s has donated matched funds from the Laurie Trust Fund for 2018 and 2019. Financially, we are meeting all guidelines for sponsorship requirements!
The application was submitted in the summer and embassy, security and medical checks were completed by December. Thank you to Norman Doucette from MP Darrell Sampson’s office for guidance and communication with Immigration Canada.
So now we are anxiously awaiting news of travel arrangements for the Ibraheem family! We are gathering furniture commitments, household requirements, clothing gift cards, applying for apartment etc. Nour is anxious to see her brother for the first time in 7 years. Thank you to everyone for their support!!!
The fundraising committee is planning a ‘Share The Love’ event at St. Thomas’ for February 14, 2020 so please come out and support us!!!
Linda Chapman and Janet Braunstein Moody 24
SafeR Church Report for AGM 2019
The goal and purpose of SafeR Church is to create, restore, build, nourish, and sustain communities of trust and trustworthy communities in our Parishes and Diocese. It is to create a SafeRChurch for everyone, by taking active measures to prevent and respond to the threat of all forms of abuse: sexual, physical, spiritual, psychological, emotional, etc., (including bullying and harassment), committed by anyone involved in our Parishes and Diocese: children, youth, adults, seniors, men, women, laypeople, and clergy, and committed against anyone involved in our parishes and diocese—children, youth, adults, seniors, men, women, laypeople, and clergy.
This has been our fourth year working on SafeRChurch and it has been a year of process. This year Parish Council reaffirmed the SaferChurch Policy and Plan. Sandy Logan, our administrative assistant extraordinaire has facilitated the process with Sterling Talent Solutions which tracks vulnerable sector checks, signatures for covenant of care and confidentiality undertaking. This is all done electronically. Thank you, Sandy for your work on this.
As well, all records have been transferred to the Parish Office and Sandy is maintaining the confidential electronic storage of same.
Many thanks go out Alma Tower who played a very strong role in the initial work related to SafeRChurch. Your leadership, commitment to ‘keeping things simple’ while ensuring integrity is greatly appreciated.
Rick Shephard from St. Thomas has agreed to take on the SafeRChurch role for St. Thomas and has been oriented by Janet Braunstein Moody and Sandy Logan. This coming year an assessment of expanding the reach of SafeRChurch will be explored.
We will also be looking for a St. Margaret’s member this year so Janet can retire!!
Janet Braunstein Moody and Rick Shephard 25
St. Margaret’s Financial Reports 2019
Building on 2018, 2019 was a year focused on maximizing returns on our financial resources and efforts to control costs while not reducing our outreach into the larger ecumenical community. Many thanks to our volunteer book keeper, Amy Doyle, who keeps our church books in fine order!
Our operating income was $56,597 up $5,578 from 2018
- • The increase is due to allocating 50% of the auction income to enhance our operating income and avoid a deficit
- • Fundraising events (other than the auction) brought in $484 more income – up 10%
- • PAR brought in $1,234 more income – up 8%
- • Offering income declined by $2,654, representing a 14% decline
- • The PAR income increase did not cover the Offering income decrease
Our operating expenses amounted to $52,167. We had a 3.5% drop in overall expenses, mostly due to a decrease in the shared Parish expenses of $1,710.
- • This means we had a net income surplus of $4,430.
- • We had immaterial operating cost increases, and small reduction of spending in a few areas, such as maintenance.
Our operating surplus is thanks to the excellent fundraising through the auction, and a reduction in the share Parish costs.
We continued to be frugal with our spending in 2019 and ensured that the use of the operating account surplus was minimized by leveraging the auction income and the new investment interest from the building account, which is growing very well. 43
Vacation Bible School 2019
34 kids registered, 25 adults and youth helpers … incredible!
The music, the faith, the learning and laughter … priceless! 26