Joint Needs Assessment Committee
Kingston Community Profile
Our city of approximately 125,000 residents is located where the eastern shores of Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence River and the Cataraqui River meet. These waterways are a significant part of our historic place as Canada’s first capital. Today they contribute to our consistent economic growth by providing easy access for cottagers as well as being a focus for tourism along with our bustling waterfront downtown area.
This area has seen revitalization in both commercial and residential development. The small shops, restaurants, theatres, galleries and museums all contribute to a wide range of activities for all who visit and reside here. The City is particularly proud of the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts. In addition, our historic market place located just behind our city hall, has been updated to accommodate year round activities by the addition of an outdoor skating rink. The Kingston area boasts many outdoor activities, including exceptional sailing and boating, fishing, hunting, camping, hiking and golf. There are many organized sports for children including soccer, hockey, baseball, basketball, volleyball and gymnastics.
Kingston has been placed high for employment opportunities with various long standing employers such as Queen’s University, Royal Military College, St. Lawrence College, Canadian Forces Base Kingston, medical/health care facilities and many retail outlets. Newer industrial plants, hi-tech companies and large “box stores” have expanded both in Kingston West and East. Kingston boasts a regional airport and VIA rail which both provide easy access to Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa.
Highway 401 has given our citizens the opportunity to enjoy country living while being only minutes away from employment, shopping, entertainment and medical care. Our immediate community for Faith United is bound by Highway 401 on the north, the St. Lawrence River on the south, the Cataraqui River on the west and the Kingston City limits/Leeds and Thousand Islands Township Municipality line on the East. Our congregation is by no means confined to this area. Members from other parts of Kingston play a significant role in everything we do. Many drive across the city to join us.
The numerous health care centres include Kingston General Hospital, Hotel Dieu Hospital, Providence Continuing Care Centre and the Cancer Centre of Southeastern Ontario. They are supported by several After Hours Clinics located throughout the city. You will also find a wide variety of facilities from retirement centres, including nearby Fairfield Manor East, to a complete range of geriatric and palliative nursing care.
The school system here has been enriched by various public and private facilities (many bilingual) which will satisfy the learning needs from preschool through to college and university.
Faith United Church began as a dream of the Kingston Presbytery that a new church community be planted in the east end of Kingston. It began as a new church development. Four acres of land were purchased for a future church site and Rev. Nadene Grieve-Deslippe was called. In Setember, 1989, the first meeting was held in the gymnasium of a local school. In 1993, we negotiated rental of St. Mark’s Anglican Church in Barriefield where we had access to the sanctuary and church hall from 8:30 to 10:30 on Sunday mornings.
In the year 2000, we no longer received financial support from the Mission and Service Fund of the Kingston Presbytery and, in order to become self-supporting, had to reduce the Minister’s paid employment to two-third’s time.
In 2006, the Board of St. Mark’s Church asked Faith to find another location and we moved to LaSalle Secondary School and use the Little Theatre on Sunday mornings (where we have access for 3 hours). The school is available for other events at other times as well.
Faith United is a community of questers who gather to share our hopes, dreams, pain and sorrow as we seek to understand God’s call to us, individually and collectively, in today’s world. It is a safe place for all, from babies to adults, with a non-judgemental acceptance for all along the theological continuum. We tend not to be “traditionalists” which allows us to risk. We are rooted and grounded in the gospel of Jesus Christ and we believe that the minister and the people are servants. It is God’s church. We are a congregation who respond to needs as much as possible and in many ways as they are drawn to our attention. Our worship services are conducted in an invitational and inclusive style. We promote the concept of a congregation consisting of brothers and sisters in Christ with an informal relationship between minister and congregation. Our services are conducted with reverence and respect for the gospel. We explore further ways to involve the congregation in the service. Children, babies to teens, are appreciated and loved by the congregation as they make their presence known at our services.
We are a small community where we enjoy knowing one another by name and are open and welcoming to new people. We appreciate being greeted by our minister when we arrive and having new people introduced before the service begins. We feel that pastoral visits are important, especially with newcomers. Activities include refreshments after church services, monthly supper club, pot lucks, dinners for six and games nights. Food drives, participation in local charity fundraisers, and response to global disasters are part of our outreach.
Faith has been a forward focused congregation for much of its short history. At regular intervals, we have multi-year goal setting exercises. Our most recent exercise began in 2016 under the name of Faith in Motion. Our objectives include:
- offering solid, spiritually rich, topically relevant “nourishment” through worship, music, friendship, study and other opportunities;
- “walking the talk” through doing good deeds for others, locally and internationally
- sharing community conversations – listening to others;
- sharpening our brand – heightening our presence and visibility;
- exploring specific possible uses for the land originally purchased for a church site;
- praying- listening to God and asking for guidance and energy;
- offering community events.
Faith has over sixty families comprising its congregation with 79% of these families providing regular financial support. The congregation is blessed with dedicated people many of whom are in the midst of, or have retired from, professional careers. Several families connected with the nearby military base bring with them a multiplicity of church experiences due to their mobility within the military. Our members come from a variety of backgrounds: United Church, Anglican, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Free Methodist and Jewish. Families and individuals who have, or have had, loved ones living in Fairfield Manor East, have become part of our community as a result of our contact there.
A strong Council is in place to govern the church’s affairs. The committees of the Council include Worship, Stewardship and Finance, Communication and Publicity as well as Ministry and Personnel to provide support for the minister.
We have an accomplished director of music who is a member of our congregation. Our choir, fondly known as “Hallelujah Anyway” sing for special occasions with rehearsals taking place in the homes of members. Others from the congregation share musical talents during worship playing instruments (flute, violin, piano).
Our church community is blessed to be able to focus on people and their spiritual, emotional and physical needs. Without the concern of obtaining and sustaining material goods, we can spend our time and energy on people in our church community and those in the surrounding area.
- a Bible
- 2 offering baskets
- a baptismal jug, dish and towel
- a small wooden cross
- a cross of vines
- a chalice and plate for communion
- a quilted Faith banner
- a Faith stone
- a large change can (Phil-Up McCann) for children and others
- 40+ copies of “Voices United” and “More Voices”
- two large plastic containers of numerous coffee mugs, a coffee maker and related supplies
- Sunday School supplies, e.g. Bibles, craft material, resources and VBS material
- an electronic piano
- a digital projector
- a battery candle
In our present rental situation, we have access to the school kitchen and the use of dishes, cutlery, stoves, fridges and microwave, three student lockers as well as the tables and chairs for our events in the school. We have use of a small storage space for our supplies.
However, we do not have the following:
- Church office
- paid secretarial time.
Treasurer’s Report - for Fiscal Year 2016
As I take a step back and consider the ‘big’ picture of the 2016 financial report, I am struck by how many different directions have caught the enthusiasm of our congregation. The cornerstones of our existence have not changed: the money necessary for our on-going existence as a church continues to appear; money to support the wider church through M&S gifts increases each year; responses to worldwide suffering like earthquakes and droughts comes to me regularly to be passed on to the appropriate agencies, and we continue to support the hungry and less fortunate in our own Kingston.
However, it is in the proliferation of designated funds that this new vibrancy is so apparent. In my report of 2015, there were only two special funds – a Faith in the Future one which was looking towards sometime, maybe soon and the Fill-Up-Ma-Can Initiative for Kingston Refugee Children . This year there are five more. A Ministry of Music, our own initiative for the Kingston Refugees’ support, money for a New Sign, a fund to advertise on the big electronic billboard at RMC and with much excitement, a fund to actually develop the land on Hwy 15, Highway 15 Development fund. I have included a summary of the actual activity in these funds this year. It seems as if the future at Faith United is rapidly become the now.
A closer look at the actual 2016 financial figures outlines some interesting changes. In the income section there has been, regrettably, a gradual decline in the amount of dollars coming through PAR commitments. However, there has been an increase in the amount of Gifts of Securities, that is to say, an increase in the number of folks who take advantage of the benefits of tax planning in their donations to Faith. Our claims for GST and PST rebates have been honoured and amount to slightly over half of the amounts we pay. A word to those of you who purchase goods and services on behalf of Faith – please, remember to give me the receipts – I can claim for some of the HST.
On the expense side, changes have not been extraordinary. However, our rent did increase in September which led to an increase over the year of $2000 and will impact 2017 quite severely. Please note that, although Depreciation of our equipment appears as a line item in the statement, it has no impact on our cash balance. Also – do not be misled by the apparent reduction in the Service Charge we pay ADP – the Payroll processing company. I have incorporated it into the Employer’s costs for the Minister since the United Church has mandated that we pay our Ministers through this firm.
2017 looks to be a wonderfully exciting year, but like all excitement , not exactly comfortable. I am so glad that it is my Faith family who will be working together for there is no other group of people who know how better to support each other when things are challenging!!
Desired Skills and Attributes:
We are seeking a minister who:
- can support the creation of meaningful Sunday mornings through reflective and interactive worship, illuminating how scripture relates to our lives as well as challenging us spiritually;
- can provide pastoral care with a genuine approach that does not see it as a duty;
- can foster leadership for outreach through an ability to articulate a vision, provide leadership in small groups, help to focus our energies so that whatever we do, we do it well and encourage the work of the church to be spread among our members;
- does possess the interpersonal skills to participate, be a good communicator, demonstrably show interest in us as individuals and help everyone who comes to be and feel welcomed;
- can support our social justice emphasis;
- can help create our “home atmosphere” wherever we are based;
- is able to effectively manage time.
Terms of Position:
- A part-time role amounting to ¾ of a full-time forty hour week, with commensurate (pro-rated) salary, benefits and allowances
- Salary at ¾ of full-time, up to Category F
- All other benefits and allowances in accordance with The Manual and Presbytery policy