Reverend Dimock talked with the Session about the Evangelism and Discipleship conference she attended in Toronto in October. She shared a definition of evangelism attributed to Leslie Newbigin: one hungry beggar telling another where food is to be found. Members of the Session considered and some spoke about when they have last shared with someone else the importance of their own faith.
The Session received Tracey Stabback’s resignation effective January 1st with regret and also gave thanks to God for the 6 ½ years she has led our Junior Choir, Heather Pilkey, Recording Clerk and Reverend Dimock were charged with establishing a committee to find a new Choir Director. The Kirk Session asked the Christian Education team to take the lead in planning a farewell and thank you for Tracey.
The Kirk Session received a letter to the congregation from the Special Committee of Former Moderators that was formed last June at General Assembly. The committee was charged with identifying a way forward for the denomination on the questions of Human Sexuality and inclusion of members of the LGBTQI community in the life and work of the church. The Kirk Session will make the letter available in the narthex of the church and will include it in St. Andrew’s in Action as well.
The Kirk Session agreed to spend time at its December meeting discussing a response to the Special Committee of Moderators on the study document “On the question of Unity and Diversity”
Tom Znotins, a member of the Stewardship committee, gave a presentation to the Kirk Session on work he has been and continues to do to better understand stewardship efforts
Noral Rebin, convenor of the Membership and Fellowship committee, thanked Bob Ferris and the memorials committee, as well as Peter Lamont and Elizabeth Phillipson for their work in the wonderful Anniversary Celebration on October 20th. The Kirk Session extended thanks to Noral and his committee as well.
A letter of thanks was received from Rev. Dr. Andrew Johnston, for welcoming him and his wife to be part of the Anniversary Service and Celebration.
Neil Wick was appointed to the Christian Education Committee
From the Memorials Committee the Kirk Session received a report on a special event to be held in the Sanctuary on February 23, from 7 – 9, in cooperation with Black History Ottawa.
Kirk Session was updated that Operation Come Home has now been meeting for four weeks at St. Andrew’s on Monday afternoons for food and fellowship. Operation Come Home will be our local charity for the 2018 Christmas Offering
Kirk Session was glad to hear that progress is being made on the installation and activation of personal security hardware for the church, in accordance with police recommendations. Convex mirrors have been installed at strategic points in the basement so that areas previously hidden from sight are now visible
Thank you to Karen Dimock, Scott Inrig and Sydney Johnson who have worked very hard to ensure the success of the Fall Wednesday Evening Studies.
The session approved a second baptism request for October, prayed for members and families who are going through hard times, illness and loss and gave thanks to God for the gift of new babies!
We received reports from the CE committee and learned that the Gracefield Retreat in September was a wonderful success, many thanks to Aisling Boomgaardt for her leadership, and to Peter Lamont for his presentation on his trip to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Volunteers have already come forward to plan next years retreat on the second weekend in September.
The Kirk Session also learned that the Church School is off to a good start. Thanks to Laura McGregor,and Ian MacKay who helped organize the Rally Day picnic and to our church School Superintendent Althea Williams-Goodman and the team of Sunday School teachers who do so much that our children might grow in faith and love of God. The Session was encouraged to hear there are three new teachers in the Sunday School this year. The Session also learned that new security measures including mirrors and door locks have been installed in the Church School area.
We welcomed Sydney Johnson as our new part-time Christian Education Coordinator.
Richard Lauzon, from the temporal committee, gave a presentation sharing the learning gained from the spring fire drill.
We learned about plans for worship in October including Reformation Sunday on October 28th. On October 14th we will be welcoming Ms. Clara Maranzano to the pulpit for Colleges Sunday. She is a third year student at Presbyterian College. On October 21st the Rev Dr. Andrew Johnston will be in the pulpit for our anniversary service and the bells will be back and playing in worship that Sunday as well.
Rev. Dimock will be in Toronto from October 18th – 20th for an evangelism conference at St. Paul’s Anglican Church. (She will be back well in time for the anniversary dinner).
The Session supported the stewardship team’s plans for an appeal called compassion and community, to be shared in the worship bulletins from Thanksgiving through the end of November.
The Christian Communications Committee has held its initial meeting to plan its strategy and undertake specific tasks.
The Kirk Session continued to discuss opportunities to reach out to the needs of the local community through partnerships with downtown organizations.
The Kirk Session held a moment of appreciation to express thanks to Diane Shaughnessy for her service on the Session. Diane has demitted from the court after years of service but continues to be a member of the Pastoral Care committee.