2023 Annual Report





360 Kennedy Lane East, Orleans, ON K1E 3P3

Email: queenswood.uc@rogers.com Tel: 613-837-6784



Mission Statement
Community Statement
Chairs of Council
Nominating Committee
Celebration of Light and Life
Community Garden and Outside Maintenance
Craft Group
Eastern Ontario Outaouais Regional Council
Finance / Stewardship Committee
Marketing and Communications
Memorial Fund
Milestones (Statistical Report)
Minister’s Report
>Outreach Committee
QUC trustees
Outreach Committee
Pastoral Care< br>Property Development
Queenswood Crafters and Quilters
Transition Steering Committee
Worship Committee


At Queenswood United Church we serve God by taking care of God’s creation. We help those in need, we nurture the young, and we support our immediate community and the world community. We are conscientious stewards of God’s planet. Our service is centered in a commitment to living Christ’s love for all. It is nourished within an informal but meaningful worship life and a relationship with each other that is open, inquiring and accepting.

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We are a member congregation of the United Church of Canada. We are grounded in Christian tradition and are open to the truths of other faiths.

We are a small, energetic and friendly community of faith who find joy, support and strength in worshipping and working together. Our church family is precious to us.

We strive to be faithful servants of God in our time and place.

We welcome all who quest sincerely to join us in our faith journey.

Who we are

We are an engaged community of faith, finding Christian Fellowship in our activities together.

We are welcoming.

We are open, accepting, respectful and sincere.

We are seekers, striving to understand God’s Will for us.

We are nurturers of God’s creation.

We are a loving community in Christ.

What we believe

We believe that we are not alone, that we live in God’s world.

We believe that God bears unconditional love, mercy and compassion for all in all of creation.

We believe that we are called by God to act in love.

We believe that we are the hands and feet of God to serve others.

We believe that the challenge of growing our faith is a life-long journey, and that we are greatly enriched by sharing that journey within community.

We believe that, with God’s help, we can make a difference.

How we practice

We take care of each other, in prayer and in practice.

At worship we pray, sing, laugh, celebrate and reflect on the Word of God.

We have a strong ministry of music.

We provide a safe place to practice and explore.

We focus on living Christ’s teachings through our actions.

We continue our strong tradition of outreach to the greater community.

We accept that we are blessed to be able to share our gifts with one another and with all creation.

We celebrate the gift of God’s grace.

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Chairs of Council


The governance of Queenswood United continued as it had been organized the previous year with the three rotating chairs. Your Chairs of Council, in 2023, were Rose Marie MacLennan, Marilyn Joseph, and Don Morwick. Don was Chair of Council in February but passed away suddenly on March 16. The loss of Don and his long-standing contribution and devotion to QUC has been felt by us all. Rose Marie was Chair of Council in March, April, July, September, and November, while Marilyn was Chair of Council during January, May, June, August, October, and December.

During their allocated months, much of Chairs’ duty consisted of preparing for and presiding over Council, Annual, and Congregational meetings, as well as addressing all items requiring the approval of the Council Chair. We were also heavily involved with other church matters, including in the areas of property development, finance, and personnel, as chairs and members of a number of committees. Those contributions are covered elsewhere in the committee annual reports. It was agreed that each of the three Chairs would review their terms in the Chairs of Council Annual Report. The exception this year is that Marilyn has graciously offered to present items from February, when Don was Council Chair..

January – Marilyn Joseph, and February – Don Morwick (written by Marilyn Joseph)

The year 2023 began with our Council and congregation fully engaged on a number of fronts. During January, in addition to AGM preparation, we spent a large amount of time and effort preparing for the City of Ottawa Planning and Housing Committee meeting in February, when the outcome of our application for a zoning change could materially affect our property development path. We were equally concerned by the news that local councillor, Matthew Luloff, had altered his perspective regarding our property development, and by discovering that long- time renter, the Orleans Seventh-Day Adventist Church, was seriously looking at moving elsewhere due to the uncertainty of property development timelines. That same uncertainty plagued us, as we tried to build a budget for the year, and as during the pandemic years, budgeting required many estimates based on our experience.

In spite of the uncertainty, our congregation moved ahead with energy and an indomitable spirit. In response to a notice from Kindred Works to have the portables emptied by the end of April, a number of people went immediately to work, sifting tirelessly through the portable contents, determined to make every effort to keep items out of the landfill, and to find good homes for them. Property Co-Chair Archie Newby found buyers for most of the large items through online sales, and Elayne Bonnell worked through her heartache and tears to do her faithful best for the multitude of items that represented decades of QUC memories and activities. It was a very difficult time emotionally for QUC, as we still had no property development timeline, and could only see our future through very dark glasses! February saw a very successful Pancake Supper held at the chapel, (with deliveries made to those who needed them), and planning for a “Spring Fling” fundraiser.

Respectfully submitted,
Marilyn Joseph

March and April – Rose Marie MacLennan

Our March Council meeting began the only way that was possible, with an acknowledgement and prayer of gratitude for the life of Don Morwick, and his dedication and commitment to QUC. Don was a founding member of QUC, whose contribution over many decades had considerable impact, in the many roles and tasks he had accepted. His more recent positions included being one of the three rotating Council Chairs, Trustee, Chair of Ministry & Personnel, member of the Transition Steering Committee, and member of the Property Development Committee. In the last few years in particular, those roles took a great deal of Don’s time, focus and effort, for which we give our most sincere thanks and gratitude.

Rev. Miriam Bowlby, the Director of Church Engagement at Kindred Works visited QUC on March 23 and on March 26. On March 23, Rev. Miriam, Marilyn, and I met with the leadership of the Seventh-Day Adventist (SDA) Community of Faith to provide an opportunity to update them on our development project. SDA shared their need to seek another location for their services and activities, to provide more space for their many young families. We acknowledged our strong and mutually beneficial relationship over a 25-year period, with grateful thanks. On March 26, Rev. Miriam gave the message, and after our service facilitated a conversation with our gathered congregation to seek their input about how we could function during the actual construction period, which will require us to relocate. Specific questions included where we could meet for worship, and fellowship, and where we might find a location for our office. Marilyn and I gladly received this input to assist in the development of our relocation plan going forward.

We did not obtain quorum at the April Council meeting, so no motions could be addressed; however, timely items were discussed. One such item was the perceived need for a funeral policy, to address our current context, in terms of financial and personnel resources required to respond to a funeral request. A plan to produce a policy statement for review and discussion by Council next meeting was confirmed.

In terms of property development, Council was apprised of the receipt of an appeal regarding the City of Ottawa’s approval of our rezoning application. The rationale presented for the appeal was
unknown. However, we remained confident as to the eventual dismissal of the appeal, due to the project design quality, environmental initiatives, and its alignment with the City Housing Plan during a housing crisis.

Respectfully submitted,
Rose Marie MacLennan

May and June – Marilyn Joseph, Chair

Congregation member Al Tweddle’s death on May 1 was followed later in the week by an intimate family funeral at the chapel, officiated by former QUC minister Rev. Ed Gratton. An augmented choir led the singing, as requested by the family, and again, led the singing at a Celebration of Life for the community, that took place at the Heritage Funeral Complex.

As the spring wore on, QUC leadership continued our adaptation to the new reality of carrying on without the experience, steadiness and solid support of Don’s presence. Ministry and Personnel (M&P) functions were collapsed into the Transition Steering Committee (TSC), with Marilyn Joseph assuming the role of TSC Lead on M&P Matters. Marilyn’s responsibilities included being the main M&P liaison with our Regional Council and for our appointed Minister, while Rose Marie MacLennan became the primary M&P contact for the Office Administrator and the Pastoral Care ministry team. It had quickly become apparent to the two remaining rotating council chairs, who are also members of the TSC, the Finance and Stewardship, and Property Development Committees, that working closely and supporting each other was of prime importance, if we were to successfully move forward, with the numerous and varied tasks on QUC’s plate.

Mid-May saw the announcement of the disbanding of QUC’s Men’s Club, due to lack of membership, and the donation of the remaining balance in their bank account to QUC’s general operating account. This marked the end of an era for QUC, as the Men’s Club has contributed so much to the social fabric of our congregation in so many ways. Some activities that have come to mind include seasonal BBQs, black-tie gourmet dinners, pancake suppers, can collection at the Navan Fair, friendly banter between book sales and bake table, and fun digging in piles of mushroom compost at the start of the growing season. The people of QUC have appreciated every donation of time, talent, and money that the Men’s Club has contributed to the benefit of all at QUC and expressed their love and recognition in a special message in the June 4 CNN Newsletter.

In May, Council marked the ordination of St Helen’s Anglican (SHA) church ministry intern Rev. John Holgate with a congratulatory card and note. John was extremely supportive of QUC for Don’s Celebration of Life, held at SHA in March. QUC cherishes our relationship with our neighbours at SHA and hopes to see it strengthen in the coming months and years.

QUC held another successful Spring Fling fundraising event on Saturday May 20. The “Fling” featured craft sales, bake sale items, jewellery, and yard sale items. This year, it also featured the sale of the 266 jigsaw puzzles that remained after the Jigsaw Puzzle Lending Library was closed, following 29 months of operation during the pandemic. Friend of QUC Albert Joseph sold all of the remaining puzzles, including the shelving unit, at the Great Glebe Garage Sale, and donated the entire proceeds to QUC ($1,315) and to the Ottawa Food Bank ($62.20).

On May 28, the congregation celebrated the 40th anniversary of Rev Laurelle’s ordination, attended by QUC regulars and a host of family members, friends, and other supporters. It was a fitting acknowledgement of the many gifts that Laurelle has brought to her congregations, and to her military parishioners while serving at home and abroad over those years. The celebration culminated with a special cake and light refreshments in her honour.

Following worship on June 11, QUC celebrated the life of Pastoral Care Committee member and beloved friend of QUC, Sharon Boutin, at a memorial gathering held in her honour. Event pictures may be viewed at https://www.facebook.c om/QueenswoodUnitedC hurch/ .

Following Don’s death, Rose Marie MacLennan worked steadily during the spring months to draw up a workable policy and procedures concerning funeral requests, to enable QUC to serve our community of faith with sensitivity, given the very real restrictions of a small venue, and limited personnel resources. At the June Council meeting, we passed policy and related procedural documentation, and found it to be an extremely valuable tool while facing additional congregational deaths during 2023. A related policy, passed by Council in June, allows for “in Memoriam” donations to be deposited, by default, into QUC’s general bank account for operating expenses. The Memorial Fund bank account will henceforth be used for “special projects” only, as defined from time to time by Council.

After a 25-year relationship based on sharing sacred space, we said good-bye to the Orleans Seventh-Day Adventist Church at the end of June, as they moved on to another worship space to meet their changing needs. They have been good tenants, and we do miss them, as well as the rental income that they supplied! Next spring, QUC will give Pastor Bhookun a sprig of “aubépine” from our front bush, as requested by him. At its June meeting, Council approved the reappointment of Rev. Laurelle Callaghan for a one-year period from October 1, 2023 to September 30, 2024.

Respectfully submitted,
Marilyn Joseph

July – Rose Marie MacLennan

From a Council Chair perspective, July was a quiet month, with focus and efforts given to other areas of church responsibility as needed.

Respectfully submitted,
Rose Marie MacLennan

August – Marilyn Joseph

The summer months were punctuated by weekly deliveries of garden produce to the nearby Orléans Cumberland Community Resource Centre food bank. Queenswood is so proud of Bob and Lynda Rodney, who poured a great deal of sweat equity into their Community Garden ministry once again this year, and who represent the true meaning of loving your neighbour!

Near the end of August, our property experienced a nasty and distasteful episode of vandalism. After gaining admittance to the chapel, the vandals proceeded to do as much damage in the sanctuary as possible. Although nothing was stolen, and religious objects and the piano went untouched, they basically broke everything possible, spreading the contents of the fridge around, and adding broken glass and other broken objects to the mess in the middle of the sanctuary floor. They also smashed the two TV screens that we use for livestreaming our worship services. Local police were contacted immediately and were very thorough in their inspection of the crime site, but the attack, less than a week before the funeral of Pete Visser, was very deflating for all of us. We were fortunate to be able to replace the TV screens with ones identical to what we already had, and now await a response to our insurance claim.

Respectfully submitted,
Marilyn Joseph

September – Rose Marie MacLennan

September saw another successful outreach initiative in support of Centre 507 downtown. Relocation planning continued with the two rotating chairs consulting with Rev. Laurelle, and then with Marilyn Webster, our Office Administrator regarding relocation requirements pertaining to their respective positions. Council approved a wish list of special projects related to the Memorial Fund, with Council given discretion in setting priorities as necessary. Council also decided to vote on Remit 1 – Establishing an Autonomous Indigenous Organization at the November Council Meeting. Information concerning this Remit had been circulated in CNN to inform our congregation as well as Council, the latter having the responsibility to vote on this matter. Finally, next steps as to the vandalism experienced in late August were discussed. Council supported filing of a claim to follow-up initial contact with our insurance broker, the re- establishment of our live-streaming capability through the purchase of two new screens, and the sharing of key information about the vandalism incident in CNN.

Respectfully submitted,
Rose Marie MacLennan

October – Marilyn Joseph

In mid-month we received a resignation notice from our Office Administrator (OA), Marilyn Webster, who has been with QUC since February 2020. The What’s Up Group and other congregants gathered on October 24 to acknowledge the very appreciated efforts of Marilyn Webster who kept our office functioning, first out of her own home during the first part of the pandemic, and later back in our chapel building. Her resignation was followed by an action-packed two weeks for the TSC Committee, as they dealt with filling this vital position as soon as possible. Very fortunately, our former OA Denise Benoit agreed to return as our Office Administrator, which has ensured very effective office functioning, due to Denise’s previous work experience with us, and her high level of competency. Our Council meeting passed important motions to renew QUC’s annual membership in Multifaith Housing Initiative, as part of our Ministry Development efforts, and to acknowledge the needs of our aging congregation, by holding our traditional Candlelight Communion Christmas Eve service in the morning this year.

Respectfully submitted,
Marilyn Joseph

November – Rose Marie MacLennan

In November, Council met at a Special Meeting on November 5 concerning the need to actively explore becoming a new form of community of faith at QUC. Council was reminded that this theme is not a new one, but a follow-up to our past work as a congregation with Jane Dawson from Regional Council some years ago. We had previously acknowledged our awareness of declining personnel resources to effectively maintain our current governance model, and obligations to Regional Council as a Congregation. This has resulted in several people having a multitude of positions, which can not continue, from a duty of care perspective. Council gave their support to a proposal to explore our options within the UCC for a new form of being a community of faith that will better match both our spiritual call(s) and our current personnel resources.

On November 15, Council met with Rev. Dr. Peter Bartlett from Regional Council on this topic for exploration. He confirmed the openness to a variety of forms of being church within the UCC and provided key questions to be explored further. Peter explained that he was retiring on December 1, but that if we wished to pursue this exploration, we could request facilitator assistance from Regional Council for a discernment process. That request was subsequently made to Regional Council and was approved by its Executive Minister. At the time of writing, we are looking forward to hearing from the facilitator to make the necessary arrangements to begin our discernment process. The ability to recommend a future form of Community of Faith for QUC is held by the Congregation, not the Council. Once decided by the Congregation, the recommendation goes to Regional Council for approval. All active members and adherents will be encouraged to engage in this exploration, and decision-making process, in the best interests of QUC.

At the monthly Council meeting, a key focus was to have the opportunity to share our own thoughts about the need to explore another form of being church. Rev. Trisha Elliott, our Community of Faith Supervisor, facilitated that part of our meeting, with our sincere thanks. We also began our AGM planning process, with a tentative date for the AGM, and deadline to submit annual reports, with a draft 2024 budget to be hopefully presented at our January 2024 Council Meeting.

All UCC Regions and Councils across Canada had been tasked with voting prior to March 2024, on Remit 1: Establishing an Autonomous National Indigenous Organization. With the materials supplied by EOORC Lay Representative Marilyn Joseph, Council began to educate and inform itself on the issues involved over the spring, summer and early fall. Council held an email vote between November 18 and 24, and sent a resounding “yes” answer to the Remit question, to the General Council office.

QUC’s “Holy Rollers” ably led and inspired by Kim Gratton, made 124 dozen peanut butter balls this fall. Some were sold at the Snowflake Bazaar on November 4, and the rest went very quickly afterwards. At a cost of $10/dozen, QUC realized $1,240 to support our ministry and work in the community.

Respectfully submitted,
Rose Marie MacLennan, Chair

December – Marilyn Joseph

There was no Council meeting held in December, but Council members continued with preparations for the upcoming AGM, now set for early March.

After a shortened Advent 1 service on December 3, we held a “Congregational Conversation” to allow all interested Active Members and Adherents to listen and to express their thoughts on QUC transitioning to a new form of Community of Faith. About 20 people, including Marta Nuijten, who attended via Zoom, shared thoughts, and discussed how this transition may happen. This gathering is to be followed by further facilitated meetings in early 2024, as once again QUC has the opportunity to discern its future path.

As the Holy Season advanced, QUC Council, congregation and staff turned their thoughts towards family, and restorative activities. Following QUC tradition, the office was closed between Christmas and New Year, so that all could celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ with their loved ones.

Respectfully submitted,
Marilyn Joseph, Chair

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Nominating Committee

The following report presents a slate of Officer nominations for the Queenswood United Church Council, and Trustees for 2024. All representatives of the Council, and the Trustees must be voted in by the Congregation at the Annual General Meeting, with the exception explained below.

This report also acknowledges the current congregational discernment considering the future form of community of faith and governance for Queenswood United. Therefore this slate of Officers if approved by the Congregation at our AGM will stand until such time as there is a change of governance structure approved by Regional Council, and a new governance structure is implemented.

QUC Council

Chair (in rotation) Marilyn Joseph, Rose Marie MacLennen
Chair Elect Vacant
Past Chairs (in rotation) Marilyn Joseph, Rose Marie MacLennen
Transition Steering Committee Marilyn Joseph, Rose Marie MacLennen
Community of Faith Superviser Rev. Trisha Elliott
Administration Vacant
Treasurer Julia Picotte
Secretary Carol Pugsley
Finance (Stewardship) Marilyn Joseph
Worship Support Elayne Bonnell
Pastoral Care Liaison Lynda Rodney
Outreach Bev Morwick
Trustees Frank Stacey
Property Development Rose Marie MacLennan
Property Bob Rodney
Regional Representative Marilyn Joseph
Marketing and Communication Vacant
Members at Large Susanne Watt
Congregational Life Council Members
Christian Education Vacant
Youth Representative Vacant

Trustees: Frank Stacey (Chair), Rev. Trisha Elliott, Don Morwick, Marilyn Joseph, Bob Rodney, and Rose Marie MacLennan

Note: Rev. Trisha Elliott is both an automatic member of Council, and the Council Executive, as well as an automatic Trustee, by virtue of her position, as our Community of Faith Supervisor, in accordance with Bylaws within the 2024 Manual of the United Church of Canada. She is there-fore not elected by the Congregation.

Respectfully submitted,
Rose Marie MacLennan
Member, Nominating Committee

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As has been the case for several years, there is no Chair of Administration and no Administration Committee, just a loosely-associated group of volunteers to carry out a number of vital responsibilities and tasks associated with the smooth running of our pastoral charge.

The Administration portfolio consists of about 8 tasks that are quite independent of each other and include: the United Church of Canada (UCC) mandated Annual Statistical Report; insurance renewal; the maintenance, repair and replacement of office computers and printers; the maintenance of QUC Constitution and policy documents; maintenance of the Historical (Membership) Log and Database; Public Access Defibrillator (PAD); office supplies and keys; and rental contracts and oversight.

As in all areas of church endeavour, we have fewer remaining volunteers to carry out the above tasks, but our volunteers do a mighty job!

The most work-intensive and most worrisome file of 2023 was that of our United Church of Canada (UCC) insurance. In mid-2022, the UCC announced a self-insurance program aimed at a significant reduction in insurance costs for member pastoral charges, to be phased in beginning in December 2022. The phase-in period has been extremely painful for many pastoral charges, including QUC. For a year, communication with UCC Protect agents about our specific situation was impossible to achieve, and so we could not get answers about perceived inaccuracies in our coverage details. The UCC was very aware of the problems, and, thankfully, even though the short time when monthly payments were not withdrawn from our bank account, we and all other churches, continued to receive assurance from the Finance arm of General Council that our coverage was secure. Our principal concern was that insurance issues may not be resolved in time for the impending handover of the property in 2024, but now, at the end of 2023, we have reason to believe that a resolution is in sight.

Another major file, carried out by Treasurer Julia Picotte and myself is the completion of the Annual Statistical Report. It involves pulling in information from various sources about such aspects of church life as: membership numbers for church groups such as “What’s Up?”, the number of financially supporting households, the amount QUC gives to other charities, insurance costs, the number of rental groups, and a limited demographic profile of QUC’s members and adherents. Annual Statistical Reports can now be completed and submitted on ChurchHub, UCC’s multi-purpose hub-type platform. Much of the information on ChurchHub, such Annual Reports, and Annual Statistics, is available to appropriately-passworded staff at regional and General Council offices. Of note, is that QUC’s Annual Statistical Reports, now all posted on ChurchHub, date back to 1991, although we existed as a pastoral charge prior to that date.

A project that was carried out this year was to look at our accumulation of office hardware and miscellaneous electronics, and to divest ourselves of that which was no longer of use to us. We sold some items during portable contents sales, and sent other outdated electronics for responsible refurbishment or recycling.

We received notification from Rogers of a forced upgrade to our “business” phone system. A look at the Rogers website confirmed that the packages proposed were aimed at large companies with multiple phone lines and online technologies, and would not suit QUC at all. Luckily, a phone call and discussion with a “migration” specialist allowed us to choose a single-line set-up involving only the installation of a new modem. We are cautiously optimistic that this new system will cost us less per month while at the same time answering to our needs.

QUC’s constitution and its accompanying committee job descriptions have not been kept in current condition since early 2020, at the time the Transition Steering Committee (TSC) was struck to guide the pastoral charge through the inevitable structural changes that come with an institution in transition. The pace of change has been too rapid to document every change, so that one of the tasks facing QUC when the form of our new community of faith is decided, will be to document the functioning of that structure.

Our Office Administrator capably ensured that our PAD oversight agreement with the City of Ottawa (Ottawa Paramedic Service) was properly renewed so that we once again have all of the elements in place to maintain and support the Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) at the chapel for public use. Special thanks go to volunteer Elayne Bonnell, who performs monthly AED inspections and replaces the alarm battery annually, so that this important safety device is always in working order for us.

Special thanks go also to Stan Blythe, who continues to maintain, in both hard copy and digital formats, QUC’s Historical Log, a running log of past and current membership. All pastoral charges are mandated by The United Church of Canada to maintain this archival document, which has importance for historical and genealogical researchers.

Office supplies and keys are managed by the Office Administrator (OA) who now can order some supplies online with the new credit card. Rental contracts are also ably managed by the OA, and the days of having to frequently alter contracts to comply with ever-changing covid requirements, are, thankfully, behind us.

Thanks are extended to Marilyn Webster and Denise Benoit, who served as Office Administrator during 2023, for their roles in this vital area. Additionally, all of the volunteers involved in supporting church administration are thanked for their faithful service to Queenswood. Even the seemingly tiniest contribution is essential to keeping the church functioning well, and is recognized with gratitude.

Respectfully submitted,
Marilyn Joseph
Chair, Finance & Stewardship Committee

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Celebration of Light and Life

QUC honoured 26 contributions to the lights in our sanctuary in 2023. These lights mark the significant events in the lives of friends, family and our world.

The tradition began in 2004 from a suggestion by Glace Bay United Church. Who knows if – or how – we will continue our memorial acknowledgements as we go on.

Thank you to all who participate.

Respectfully Submitted
Elayne Bonnell

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Community Garden

We had another successful year of growing. The yield was very prolific. Community Resources Centre was very grateful for our weekly donations. We were able to maintain the flower gardens as well which provide nice color at the chapel entrance. All the existing shrubs were trimmed including the main property and the islands. The curbs were all cleaned of weeds down to the main road a number of times. All the grass cutting is done by a contractor. Garbage on the property and parking lot is still a problem that we have to address weekly.

Respectfully submitted,
Bob Rodney

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Craft Group

The Craft Group continued to work at home to make items for the Annual Snowflake Bazaar held on November 4, 2023. It was great to be back after the COVID restrictions of 2021 and 2022. The craft, jewelry and bake tables made $3,804.35. The sale of our famous peanut butter balls continued after the Bazaar, and by December 17 added another $126.00 to the total. More to come as sales continued in 2024.

Special thanks to Helen Keeney for her beautiful wall hangings and to an anonymous donor of many warm toques. Also to the Queenswood Quilters who donated cosmetic bags and the ever so popular mini change purses! Thanks for your support.

Respectfully submitted,
Lynda and Bob Rodney

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Eastern Ontario Outaouais Regional Council

This has been a significant year of change at the Eastern Ontario Outaouais Regional Council (EOORC).

Being Courageous Community in the Face of Unrelenting Change

The message coming from EOORC this year has been one designed to challenge our assumptions and to provoke deep thought, while encouraging Communities of Faith (COF) to reflect on their role as servants of God in our world.

At the early March winter meeting, we were asked to take a fresh look at how we view “strangers”, and how welcoming we are to them. A “stranger” could be anyone who walks through our doors for the first time, whether to attend a worship service or a social activity, or even to rent space. Welcoming “strangers” into our midst does not mean we should impose our way of being on them. We need to be cognizant that people who come to our community of faith (COF) are not all alike, and do not necessarily encounter God the same way we do. We do not want to impose our ways on them, instead we need to be open to engaging with them, to get to really know them, and to allow them to transform us. Allowing ourselves to be open to change as a community of faith can be infinitely rewarding, and can take us on a previously unforeseen faith journey, as we listen to God’s voice in unexpected places.

Further to the above ideas, we were shown that the profile of a community of faith that provides everything to its members is no longer seen as a sustainable model. We are not the Uniform Church of Canada; we are the United Church of Canada. Each COF is a part of the body of Christ, but we are all different, and have unique gifts to offer. We must bring these gifts to the table with neighbouring churches and organizations, to become the Church God wants us to be, and to work together for the common good.

The ideas touched upon at the Winter Meeting were deepened at May’s Annual General Meeting, where delegates were further inspired in their exploration of how COFs can be “courageous communities”. The need for COFs to be courageous communities arises from the situation in which churches of all denominations find themselves, that of diminishing adherents living with dizzily paced change and unrecognizable church life, facing an unknown future.

Change can be disruptive, stressful, discouraging, and tiring, but it can make us strong, make us question ourselves and our ways, and lead to new beginnings. COFs need the courage to “put on our cape”, and to do what is necessary, what we are called by God to do, even if we do not know the outcome.

Looking forward into this unknown future is both scary and wonderful, something with which we at QUC can identify. We need to remember above all, that planning is a sign of hope, and that:

We are not alone,
we live in God’s world.
We trust in God.

In life, in death, in life beyond death, God is with us.
We are not alone.
Thanks be to God.

A New Creed, 1968; rev. 1980, 1995.

Setting Our Sights – Working Group and Visioning for the Future

In the footsteps of General Council’s adoption in 2021 of its Call of Deep Spirituality, Bold Discipleship, and Daring Justice, EOORC conducted its own visioning process, to discern a strategic plan for the region in the short and longer term. At the Fall Meeting in early November, EOORC Council adopted the “Setting Our Sights” report as the strategic plan for work of the regional council for the years 2024 and 2025. Among the many comments and recommendations were the following:

– God is not done with us as a church.
– We are called to be the church. Each part of the body does not have to do it all. In the sharing of resources, our efforts can multiply.
– We must work ecumenically, with other faith denominations and with civil society, in the pursuit of our call to seek justice and resist evil.
– As we look to the future, new ways of functioning as communities of faith will be needed.
We need to expand our definition/understanding of “community of faith”.
– The Region must work with communities of faith to offer facilitation in processes that lead to renewal of vision, purpose and identity.
– EOORC will explore ways that the administrative work of congregations can be supported and shared.
– EOORC will integrate our call to live with respect in creation with how we operate our buildings and conduct our business.
– There is a sense of isolation and weariness among the leadership of the church. Leadership

ministry personnel and lay – needs support and connection with one another. EOORC will facilitate ways in which church leaders can connect with others for support.

The full Setting Our Sights Final Report, as adopted at the Fall Meeting, can be found at the following link: SOSfinalreport.oct24th.pdf (eoorc.ca)

Remit 1: Establishing An Autonomous National Indigenous Organization

At the 44th General Council, which met virtually between February 2022 and August 2022, General Council approved an amendment to the Basis of Union in The Manual of The United Church of Canada to establish an autonomous National Indigenous Organization. It also authorized a Category 3 Remit to test the will of the church with respect to this change. Therefore, every Regional Council and each Pastoral Charge’s governing body has been asked to vote on Remit 1, between March 15, 2023 and March 31, 2024.

QUC Council began addressing the remit last summer. As EOORC Lay Representative, I brought the educational materials provided by the UCC to the attention of Council, QUC congregation, and its friends through emails, a folder of print materials left at the chapel, and articles in CNN. The background is too detailed to contain within this report, but information, including a Study Guide, can be found via the following link https://eoorc.c a/resources/r emit1/ .

The Remit is a Category 3, which means, if passed, it will change the Basis of Union of the United Church of Canada and will require an Act of Parliament. A majority of all regional councils and all pastoral charges must pass the Remit in order for it to be adopted, and a non-vote is considered a “no”. EOORC voted in favour of Remit 1, at its AGM in May, and QUC Council voted in favour in November.

In the spirit of reconciliation, EOORC is also in the process of removing the word “mission” from its documentation, as that word brings pain to indigenous survivors of residential (mission) schools and their families and descendants. The word “mission” has been replaced by context- appropriate terms, such as “call” and “ministry” in the updated Governance Handbook and other documents. For example, a “Mission Statement” is now known as a “Living Call Statement”.

Communities of Faith are encouraged to follow suit.

EOORC Becomes An Affirming Regional Ministry

After years of research and prayer, EOORC voted at the AGM to become an Affirming Regional Ministry.

This action recognizes that some individuals have been deeply hurt and damaged by life. Some have been spiritually maimed by their upbringing, or by abuses or bullying throughout their life. They do not feel that they have any right to stand up for themselves, and often have been told that God does not love them.

EOORC believes that everyone should feel welcomed in our United Churches, to enjoy a relationship with God. God IS LOVE for ALL, and the Kingdom of God is for everyone. By becoming an Affirming Ministry, we are signaling to them that this is a safe place for them to be.

EOORC YouTube Channel

Please have a look at the EOORC YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/@eoorc-easternonta riooutaou530 4/videos , where you will be able to view videos dealing with issues of importance to the region and to other parts of the UCC.

EOORC staff have worked hard this year in order to be able to support its member pastoral charges as they adapt to a new, changed world for religious organizations. As we walk forward into this new reality, above all, we need to remember that we are accompanied every step of the way by God’s love and grace. “We are not alone, we live in God’s world”.

Respectfully submitted,
Marilyn Joseph
Lay Representative
Eastern Ontario Outaouais Regional Council

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Finance/Stewardship Committee

Finance & Stewardship Committee’s stated purpose is to “manage the financial affairs of the church in the best interests of the congregation, and in keeping with the over-all objectives of the church”. Its primary role is one of oversight, to make sure the framework is in place for church finances to take place in accordance with good governance practices and in compliance with relevant legislation. Current membership consists of Chair (Marilyn Joseph), Church Treasurer (Julia Picotte), and Stewardship lead, Rose Marie MacLennan.

The changes that the QUC community of faith has experienced this year, are reflected in our financial story. The uncertainty of property development timelines affected our ability to build a budget. We presented a deficit budget, monitored the bottom line as the year progressed, and found by mid-fall that, fortunately, the deficit had lessened over time

Rental Income

One of the great strengths of our financial foundation for years, rental income has decreased significantly. A major factor has been a lack of predictable property development timelines, leading to inability to rent too far ahead. The Orléans Seventh Day Adventist Church, who had rented chapel space and shared internet and phone costs with us for 25 years, left at the end of June. The uncertainty of chapel availability going forward prompted them to undergo a visioning process that led them to other, more suitable facilities. Another significant renter, Pedalheads, moved to St Helen’s Anglican Church parking lot when we could not guarantee them the use of our lot again this year. Our one remaining long-term renter is the Ottawa Community String Orchestra, which continues to use our space for weekly practices and twice annual concerts. We have been able to accept several one-time rental groups but have had to turn down anyone looking for long-term solutions.

Fundraising Income

Fundraising this year was accomplished by extraordinary effort on the part of congregation members and aided tremendously by help from “friends of QUC”. The Spring Fling, held on Saturday May 20 featured the usual craft and bake sales, plus jewellery and yard sale items, and was bolstered by table rentals to private individuals. This year, it also featured the sale of the 266 jigsaw puzzles that remained after the Jigsaw Puzzle Lending Library was closed following 29 months of operation during the pandemic. After the Fling, “friend” Albert Joseph sold all of the remaining puzzles and the shelving unit, at the Great Glebe Garage Sale, and donated the proceeds ($1315) to QUC.

November 4 saw the Craft Group taking the lead at what may be our last-ever Snowflake Bazaar. Missing were our traditional luncheon and Men’s Club book tables, but with an all-out effort from everyone, and good attendance, the event was very successful, both in revenue earned, and in the important areas of fellowship and fun. “Friends” contributions were made by the Thursday Quilters and Crafters Group, and by individuals who provided manpower at many of the sale tables. A feature of the bazaar was the extended sale of 124 dozen peanut butter balls made by QUC’s “Holy Rollers”, ably led and inspired by former congregation member and great friend of QUC, Kim Gratton. The balls were sold both at the Snowflake Bazaar, and in the weeks following. They sold very quickly, and, @ $10/dozen, QUC realized $1,240 to help carry out its ministry and work in the community.

Following the demise of the Men’s Club, Ray Bonnell, advised by Archie Newby, led the fall MacMillan’s fundraiser. Food cards, Light & Life, and bulletin sponsorship rounded out our fundraising income. Two community-minded businesses, Boston Pizza and Home Hardware, still offer their earn-back programmes, whereby they donate a percentage of sales to QUC, but our sales at their businesses are so low that we have not received a cheque from either business this year.

Givings and Donations

Our other principal source of income is from givings and other donations for which a tax receipt can be issued. Pre-authorized Remittances (PAR) is our only regular, predictable income, but the amount is declining every year due largely to declining congregation numbers. In light of the number of recent deaths of congregation members and adherents, Council took a hard look at how in memoriam donations are handled. In June, Council adopted the QUC In Memoriam Donations Policy, which directs in memoriam donations, by default, to church operating funds, but also provides for the option to specify that an in memoriam donation may go to the Memorial Fund to support special projects, as decided upon by Council from time to time. These changes are meant to offer QUC the flexibility to direct funds where they are most needed at any particular time, and have been very helpful in keeping our bottom line in an acceptable condition. Of note, is that we received a significant number of in memoriam donations through our CanadaHelps platform, which offers the welcome option of online donations to QUC.


Banking and Credit Card

Our application to BMO early in 2023 for an office credit card sent us on a far-ranging, frustrating, yet fruitful journey through the land of 21st century banking finances, and resulted in a new “business” banking account as well as a corporate credit card for QUC.

The credit card has already proven its worth, as we can now order and pay online for operating expenditures that used to be handled via the personal credit card of various volunteers, with reimbursement by cheque. The new system is much smoother and less onerous on office staff. The one disadvantage is that the card system includes an institutional requirement that the “corporate card” portal be self-monitored by QUC, which so far, means an unneeded additional task for some of our volunteers.

The new modern bank account has also had success, with bank fees cut in half, now that we no longer have overdraft protection. Complete transition to online banking, however, has been put on hiatus for two reasons: because it would require additional oversight tasks for already overburdened finance volunteers, and because the hiatus is logical while awaiting a truer picture of banking needs associated with the property development, and associated with the outcome of our discernment concerning the future of our community of faith.

This year we also placed additional signatories on all of our bank accounts (general, Memorial, and Trustees), augmenting coverage for at least a couple of years to come.

When referring to our financial picture, special mention must go to those congregation members and friends of QUC, who continue to be very careful stewards of our property and resources, who often do the required work without asking for compensation, and who therefore contribute greatly to the financial well-being of our community of faith. We are also grateful to those members of the wider community outside of our immediate church family, who support us financially through thoughtful donations, because they believe in what we are doing. Their encouragement means more to us than can be expressed here.

Your F&S committee members are stewards of QUC’s finances. We work and plan while always remembering that QUC’s financial health is not an end in itself – it is a means by which we can continue to do God’s work in the world. Rose Marie, Julia, and I are strongly committed to QUC, and strive to maximize our church’s ability to uphold our own congregation and to impact the wider community. We look forward to further supporting the QUC community of faith and its ministry in 2024.

Respectfully submitted,
Marilyn Joseph
Chair, Finance/Stewardship Committee

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Marketing and Communication Committee

Marketing & Communications is a loosely-associated group of volunteers who take responsibility for ensuring that QUC’s online presence reflects our Community of Faith to the local community, and to the world. This group has no specific structure and does not hold meetings. It functions with volunteers performing their specific tasks, financial oversight provided by the Chair of the Finance & Stewardship Committee, and decision-making input from Council and congregation members as needed. Tasks revolve around management of QUC’s website and Facebook social media sites, and provision of livestreaming via QUC’s YouTube site.

Current volunteers and their areas of responsibility are: Ron Newby (QUC Webmaster), Marta Nuijten (QUC Website Information Coordinator), and Carol Pugsley (QUC Facebook (FB) Information Coordinator). Brian Bertrand and Rose Marie MacLennan also have administrator status on the FB account.

Facebook lends itself to quick and easy updates, and we are fortunate that Carol does an excellent job keeping the site current and interesting. Also encouraging to see is that “likes” to our site come from a wide-ranging group of congregation and community members. It is much more difficult to maintain a current website, and, despite the best efforts of Ron and Marta, we just do not have the manpower in our congregation to write enough current content for posting to the website. If you have material for either the website or Facebook, please do not hesitate to submit it to either Marta or Carol, or both, for posting.

The Tech Team (Marilyn Joseph, Alexandra MacKinnon, and Gérard-Jean Sauvé) has been able to provide basic livestreaming of Sunday worship, but with only three team members remaining after the death of Don Morwick in early 2023, and with limited technical expertise, it is becoming a strain on our limited resources. An ongoing need is for someone with the technical ability to organize QUC’s YouTube channel – to label past streams, and to ensure that appropriate graphics and dating are affixed to each stream as it is produced. We know that our livestreams of worship and other QUC events are so important for those who are unable to join us in person for activities, and are determined to provide that connection whenever possible.

Thanks to our Marketing & Communications volunteers for doing their best to present an accurate, timely depiction of the essence of QUC to our congregation, our community, and the world!

Respectfully submitted,
Marilyn Joseph
Chair, Finance/Stewardship Committee

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Memorial Fund

In 2023, QUC received donations to the Memorial Fund totaling $5,424.24. Some donations were designated to the operating fund.

The following persons had their names added to the Memorial Board in the chapel:

  • Don Morwick: 1941-2023
  • Allen Tweeddle: 1938-2023
  • Peter Visser: 1948-2023
  • Sharon Boutin: 1954-2023

Total Donations: $5,424.24
Closing Balance: $6,315.05

Respectfully Submitted,
Lynne Stacey, Marilyn Joseph and Elayne Bonnell
Lynda Rodney

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Five members of the QUC congregation passed away in 2023:

  • Don Morwick (1941-2023)
  • Allen Tweeddle (1938-2023)
  • Peter Visser (1948-2023)
  • Sharon Boutin (1954-2023)
  • Bonna Booth (1937-2023)

There were no baptisms, marriages, confirmations or transfers in or out.

Respectfully submitted,
Elayne Bonnell

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Minister’s Report

The earth has made one more rotation around the sun and with it, it has been my privilege to once again serve Queenswood United as its ordained clergy. It has been quite a year!

My main responsibilities, as per my contract (renewed for one year on October 1, 2023) are leadership of Sunday worship and some congregational life activities conducted in 12 hours per week. I also attend zoom council meetings and have acted on several occasions both with council and the congregation as the ‘clergy’ presence when the congregational supervisor was unavailable. I also meet monthly with the Transition Steering Committee (TSC). In addition, this past year, I have engaged in some pastoral care and funeral ministry as per the request of the TSC. A great support for these additional ministry requests was the passage of the funeral policy which allows for payment over and above the 12 hour per week minimum. At the request of the TSC, I also participated in three meetings, council and congregation, that focused on the future of Queenswood UC. The congregation will continue this process in 2024, but I will not be participating.

Congregational life activities included participation in Tuesday’s ‘Whats Up?’ which continues to be a great opportunity for friendship, fellowship, conversation, often accompanied by some crafting. I have also participated in both bazaars that were held spring and fall this year. They were excellent opportunities not only for extended visits with congregants but also with people of the community. I have made home and hospital pastoral visits, at the request of congregants and approval of the TSC. The foray into pastoral care, I have worked closely with the Reverends Hillary and Rober Merritt in order to ensure continuity of care for everyone. I conducted one funeral and was able to liaise with the Rev’ds Merritt and Rev Ed Gratton for two others.

In leading congregational worship, I continued to enjoy the participation of the congregation in what we might traditionally call the sermon and at other times throughout the service. By sitting at tables vice in rows, we were able to have a natural flow of discussion surrounding many topics. In addition to what we would call ‘normal’ worship at Queenswood, we had some unique services which included a totally sung service, a Sunday School picnic Sunday, special Remembrance Day honouring ‘unsung heroes’ and Easter Sunrise.

From mid-August to Thanksgiving congregants kept track of their ‘volunteer’ hours in support of church activities—things ranging from bazaar prep to council meetings. In that time period, we recorded over 1000 hours—it was most likely more than this, but some were not as diligent at keeping track! It provided great awareness of how much people give and participate in QUC and how belonging often becomes a lifestyle.

From July 1 until Thanksgiving, church worship returned again to the ‘Gabbin’ with God’ format—this is a hybrid of a religious studies group and a worship service. It was created to facilitate the smaller congregations in the summer; last year proved extremely successful so it was reprised in summer 2023. We sat at tables in a square which made discussion easier. Each week I prepared a discussion question, with a ‘fact sheet’ that was promulgated in CNN. Discussions ranged from the ‘unknown books of the bible’ to the need for ordained clergy. It proved once again to be a meaningful learning and fellowship experience.

We closed the year with Advent and Christmas. This year during Advent we collected a special offering of ‘words/dreams’ written on scraps of paper; each week, the words we gathered matched the theme of the week’s Advent candle—hope, peace, joy and love. The words were collected in an offering plate and the after I sorted, we inscribed on a poster to reflect each week. I think it has proven to deepen the Advent experience and provoke thought. This year was a departure too from our regular Christmas eve service. Since the day of Christmas Eve was a Sunday, we had a morning ‘Christmas Eve Service’ at regular worship time. This departure from the ‘norm’ was discussed and approved by council.

I want to extend thanks to everyone who supported me this year. It has made my ministry fun and vital. I appreciated very much the counsel of the Transition Steering Committee where in our monthly meetings we were often able to consider points important to QUC. Special thanks to Elayne Bonnell who diligently worked as worship support coordinator, preparing the sanctuary, consulting on services, preparing communion and many other tasks sometimes unseen to us. Thanks Elayne.

It has been very exciting to be part of QUC as the building project was finally approved late this fall. I admire all who have worked for many years to reach this point and am excited to see what the future holds.

Respectfully submitted,
LCol(ret’d)the Rev’d Laurelle Callaghan

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Outreach Committee

“Whenever you did this (feed, clothe, visit) for one of the least important of these brothers of mine, you did it for me!” (Matthew 25:40).

The Outreach Committee is Queenswood United’s way of reaching out and supporting those in need in our community and around the world. We do this in many different ways – by supporting Centre 507 – a drop-in centre in downtown Ottawa, by helping the Miriam Center for young mothers and worldwide through donations to KIVA.

Our biggest support goes to Centre 507. We collect large cans of coffee on a continuing basis. Coffee warms hands and hearts on cold winter days. This year, we sent over 50 tins to help.

Many thanks to Jackie Tuttle who faithfully delivers the coffee to Richard Leblanc, executive director of Centre 507. Any monetary donations for Centre 507 are also hand-delivered to Richard. In the warm weather, we collected juice boxes and granola bars to help fill the lunch bags that the Centre provides. Often, we are given donations of gently used clothing which we send to the Centre.

The ‘Bread for Bread’ at each Communion service goes to help the lunch program at 507. This year, $486.20 was raised by emptying pocket or purse of loose change. Thanks to Vi Newby who keeps careful records of our ‘Bread for Bread’ donations and to Jackie who delivers them to Richard.

Each year at Christmas, we have our ‘Mission Tree’ on the second Sunday of Advent, where we collect warm clothing for the clients of Centre 507. Some highlights of that collection were 69 pairs of men’s socks, 20 pairs of ladies’ socks, 43 toques, 10 hoodies, 5 fleece-lined sweaters and 3 sleeping bags with covers!

An on-going need at the Centre is toilet paper. By October, we had collected over 100 rolls! Toiletries are not covered in the budget of 507 and they receive them only by donation. This year, our appeal in early November enabled us to send many of these essential items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, body lotion and deodorant (small individual sizes work best).

We support the Miriam Centre by collecting stamps, which in turn they sell to collectors at their May sale. They ask that we leave the postmark with the stamp as well as lots of paper around the stamp.

Our worldwide support is through KIVA. This program is excellently managed by Lucie Deschamps. Lucie maintains our “account” with them. Once we have $25.00 in the account, she carefully searches the website for an appropriate recipient and sends off our gift to KIVA. She regularly keeps us up-to-date on how our “loans” are repaid – some very quickly and others slowly as they were affected by COVID.

A new program this year was World Food Sunday in October. Some of the congregational gifts were coffee (5 tins), kraft dinner (12 boxes), chili (9 cans), stews (6 cans), pork and beans (2 cans), chicken (7 cans) and peanut butter (3 jars).

Thank you to the caring congregation of Queenswood United who so generously supports our requests. We could not do this without you.

This year, we welcomed Susanne Watt to the team.

The members of the Outreach group are Lucie Deschamps, Helen Keeney, Bev Morwick, Vi Newby, Jackie Tuttle and Susanne Watt.

Respectfully submitted,
Bev Morwick

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Pastoral Care

With the help of the Reverends Merritt, we were able to meet the needs of our congregation. It was a very difficult year with illness and loss. In the latter part of 2023, the Merritts were able to visit those in care and those who are not able to get to church. We continue to keep in touch with cards of sympathy, get well and thinking of you.

Respectively submitted,
Lynda Rodney & Sharon Boutin

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Property Development

Our property development project continued to move through the City Planning process, with the first meeting of the Planning and Housing Committee (PHC) held on February 27. At that meeting, I presented on behalf of our congregation to assure the PHC of our intent and perspective, in contributing the church property to a partnership under the umbrella of the UCC, to serve the common good. The application was always thought to result in a positive decision, due to the design quality, environmental initiatives, and solid alignment with the City Housing Plan, amid a housing crisis. Despite those attributes, the PHC decided to send the rezoning application back to City Staff for additional work with stakeholders, to address the traffic and parking issues (some long-standing for the area) presented by several community members. The PHC again addressed the rezoning application on March 20, and after hearing staff and stakeholder actions taken in the interim, unanimously approved the rezoning application. City Council then approved the rezoning application on March 22.

However, an appeal to that City Council decision was received, so the matter was sent to the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) for review and final decision. At that point, we started our wait for a decision, which was an exceedingly long one, in comparison to the time required for the majority of matters before the OLT. That said, good news was received on December 7 that the OLT had dismissed the appeal. Therefore, the project can now proceed with the necessary steps to be taken by our developer Kindred Works, to enable the start of construction. The step in which QUC will be directly involved will be the legal transfer of the church property to a partnership associated with the project. Many steps are required before construction can actually begin, but we are hoping for the earliest possible start in the Fall of 2024.

This good news was not heard by one of our Committee members, Don Morwick, having passed away suddenly on March 16, 2023; however, we like to believe that his spirit is aware. With experience in city planning matters, Don had been very engaged in the project, and always confident of a positive outcome. He is so missed by we committee members who remain, being Marilyn Joseph and myself. We take our awareness of his spirit with us in all we do.

In preparation for future construction, Kindred Works had previously asked us to commit to preparing the Portables for demolition or removal. The removal or recycling of most of the portable contents was undertaken by Elayne Bonnell, with able assistance from several folks, but in particular from Archie Newby. Archie made it his mission to sell the various items from the Portables using Facebook Marketplace and found that he was indeed very good at doing so! We realized that this process also had its emotional moments, while recalling our QUC history and memories, as each valued item was sent on its way, either to be disposed of, given to a new owner, or donated.

During the actual construction period, a relocation plan will be necessary to enable worship, office functioning, and fellowship for our congregation. During a visit in March by Rev. Miriam Bowlby, Director of Church Engagement at Kindred Works, the congregation was asked for their input into our relocation plan. In October, Council approved our Committee proposal to rent worship space during construction from our close neighbour, St. Helen’s Anglican Church.

Space on a rental basis will also be available to us for fellowship, if desired, and we have been invited to join established gatherings, such as their craft group. Their parish leadership have been very open to our use of their facilities and look forward to opportunities for shared fellowship with us. We so very deeply appreciate their wholehearted welcome. We will have a safe harbour during the time when we cannot be in our own sacred space. Thanks be to God.

Respectfully submitted,
Rose Marie MacLennan
Chair, Property Development Committee

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QUC Trustees

During 2023, the Trustees at Queenswood United were Frank Stacey (Chair), Rev. Trisha Elliott, Don Morwick (until his passing on March 16), Marilyn Joseph, Bob Rodney, and Rose Marie MacLennan.

There were no actual Trustee meetings during 2023; however, their representation was definitely active and continuous throughout the year, especially by means of the Trustees who are also members of the Property Development Committee. They were Rose Marie MacLennan (Chair), and members Don Morwick (until his passing), and Marilyn Joseph.

Due to the vandalism of our Chapel space during the last weekend in August 2023, the resultant claim for damages, replacement, and repair has been handled from a Trustee perspective.

Respectfully Submitted,
Rose Marie MacLennan
Trustee and Recorder
On behalf of Frank Stacey, Chair of Trustees

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Queenswood Crafters and Quilters

This has been a successful year for the Queenswood Quilters and Crafters who met regularly on Thursdays. Not only were many projects completed, but friendships deepened, and we were often able to lend support to one another in difficult times. The group participated in supplying items for both bazaars; the quilted items were a great support to the bazaars. As well as working on private projects, many charitable organizations were supported through work done—these included cuddle quilts for ICU babies at the Monfort, Quilts of Valour, Victoria’s quilts and other projects supported by the Common Threads Quilt Guild. A highlight of the year was a summer pot luck lunch which included not only the quilting group but all the ladies of QUC.

QUC has wonderful lighting and is a terrific space in which to work. We look forward to another successful year.

Respectfully submitted
Laurelle Callaghan

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Transition Steering Committee

The mandate of the Transition Steering Committee (TSC) includes the decision-making authority and oversight over the scope, amount, source, and selection of all ministry and ministry support personnel, with appropriate liaison with Regional Council, and responsibility for the development of all organizational changes during our transition to a new form of Community of Faith at QUC.

During 2023, the TSC has had regular monthly meetings with our appointed Minister, Rev. Laurelle Callaghan. These meetings have been key in supporting our pastoral relationship with Rev. Laurelle. Although already embedded within the TSC mandate, this year saw the former Ministry and Personnel Committee stood down and its function formally assumed by TSC.

Related activities have included the successful renewal of the Appointment of our Minister by Regional Council once again. We are very grateful indeed for the active ministry of Rev. Laurelle, as an experienced spiritual leader, during our transition as a community of faith. Her spiritual leadership within our community of faith has provided both hope, and a zest for learning to our collective spirit.

On the theme of spiritual care, ensuring pastoral care services for our Congregation also comes under the scope of our Committee mandate, while we are in transition. Our Ministry Team has also very fortunately included experienced Ministers Rev. Robert Merritt, and Rev. Hilary Merritt, who continue to very ably provide pastoral care to our Congregation. They have done so either by phone, or in person as appropriate, which has been greatly appreciated. This year, Rev. Robert Merritt also presided at a funeral for one of our congregants with whom they have had close and ongoing contact. We have truly been blessed in our total Ministry Team, who continued to walk with us on our pathway this year.

During this year, the TSC initiated the development of a Funeral Policy, approved by Council, to provide both context, and steps to be taken upon the receipt of a funeral request, from an active member or adherent of QUC. This policy established the role of our Funeral Liaison person, who coordinates the QUC congregational support offered to the requesting family or individual. This role is meant to complement the role of our Minister, whose focus is on the provision of pastoral care to the family, and the organization and leadership of the Celebration of Life or Funeral service to follow. We most sincerely thank Lynda Rodney for volunteering to be our Funeral Liaison for an initial period of one year, after which a review of the role will be completed by our Committee, and its results reported to Council.

The TSC has supported those involved in both the administrative and technical aspects required to enable the live-streaming of our worship services, which continues to serve as a key outreach initiative. In particular, our Committee focus has been on ensuring that the time and effort required for the PowerPoint production becomes more reasonable for all involved. We most sincerely thank each and every person, be they staff or volunteer, for their time and effort offered, within this evolving part of our ministry.

The nature of the TSC mandate requires active and ongoing engagement with other committees or persons to achieve overall goals. This has included liaison as needed with our whole Ministry Team, Elayne Bonnell, as Worship Support, and Lynda Rodney as our Pastoral Care Liaison.

Elayne actively supported our pianist Lynne Stacey in preparations for Sunday services, led worship services with special themes, and liaised with Licensed Lay Worship Leaders to lead services in the absence of our Minister. The collaboration of all has been most sincerely appreciated, in the best interests of our beloved Community of Faith.

This fall, with reference to our responsibility for organizational change management, and with regard to our own many leadership roles, and QUC’s diminishing personnel resources, TSC members assessed that it was time for QUC to actively explore options for becoming a new form of community of faith. Key to this assessment was the overall workload impact of our current QUC governance model, as well as the official responsibilities of being a congregation.

In fact, in the earlier days of launching our current property development project, we had already foreseen this trend. As you may recall, Jane Dawson from Regional Council, facilitated three sessions with us on the theme of how to be church in the future. During these sessions, we learned about what other communities of faith have already done to address their own need to evolve into other forms of being church, often due to dwindling resources, in terms of fewer people to do the required governance and congregational tasks. However, at that time, we did not make a decision on the exact form of community of faith appropriate for QUC.

The current aim is to reduce our administrative and financial responsibilities to the extent possible, while continuing to be an active body of Christ within our community. As previously shared with our active members and adherents, the UCC definition of a community of faith is broad enough to encompass many possible forms. This exploratory initiative was supported by QUC Council at a special meeting on November 5. On November 15, Council met with Rev. Dr. Peter Bartlett from Regional Council on this theme. Peter has since retired, but with Council’s support to explore our future options as a community of faith, Regional Council was asked to provide us with a facilitator for our exploration. In response, the Executive Minister at Regional Council agreed to provide us with a facilitator for our exploration regarding other possible forms of being church, early in 2024.

This process of discernment is one in which the Congregation, not the Council, makes the final recommendation to Regional Council. We therefore especially encourage every active member and adherent of QUC to become informed and engage in this exploration, in the best interests of our community of faith.

Respectfully submitted,
Rose Marie MacLennan
Member, Transition Steering Committee

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Many parishioners were Volunteers this past year and a great vote of thanks goes out to ALL of them. The volunteers are:

V – Vivacious
O – Open minded
L – Loving
U – Understanding
N – Noteworthy
T – Tireless
E – Energizing
E – Ever ready
R – Righteous
S – Sensitive

May God Bless them all.

Respectfully submitted,
Lynne Stacey

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Worship Committee

In 2023 we held 46 services, among them, the informal “Gabbing with God” format on summer Sundays. Attendance ranges from 14-45 with livestreaming from 4-12 viewers.

We appreciate the opportunity to welcome Licensed Lay Worship Leaders when needed. Thank you to Barb Johns, Heather McGrath, Dave Clemis and Marni Hunt-Stephens.

Communion was shared monthly with service at tables. On May 28, Pentecost Sunday, we celebrated the 40th Anniversary of ordination of Rev. Laurelle Callaghan.

These are challenging times: post pandemic, declining attendance and aging congregation. Thank you to the clergy support for pastoral care from Hilary and Robert Merritt.

Special services in 2023 included Indigenous Sunday, “Old Time Religion Song Service”. Picnic Sunday, World Food Sunday, Singing Services of Favourites, Outreach, Mission Tree Sunday, Service of Remembrance and Healing.

A great debt of gratitude is owed to Lynne Stacey, our pianist. We wouldn’t be Queenswood without singing “with gusto”. Thank you Lynne for giving us music with which we sing our praise and prayers.

We do not know yet where or how we will be Queenswood United Church in the coming years. We will gather in Worship and continue our commitment to community service.

In October 2023, The United Church of Canada developed a new call and vision:

Deep Spirituality
Daring Justice
Bold Discipleship

Is this a way forward for Queenswood United Church?

May God Bless us everyone as we work toward God’s dream for Queenswood.

Respectfully submitted,
Elayne Bonnell

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