Through the power of the Holy Spirit, St John’s is called to be a parish community that worships and lives for God, constantly growing in our relationship to Jesus Christ and one another, caring about and helping our neighbours near and far; and sharing experiences of prayer, sacraments, learning, witness, outreach and fellowship.
We are called to communicate clearly our plans and needs; to seek wide participation in their discussion, support and implementation; and to wisely manage our financial and operational affairs.
At a Special Vestry held on December 6, 2009, the congregation agreed to move forward, on a trial basis, with changes to theworship space. The changes approved were:
- Removal of the red-carpeted platform, exposing the beautiful woodwork of the pulpit and chancel steps.
- Removal of the front rows of pews (which were put in storage) and installation of one row of pews at the back of the church.
- Tiling the newly exposed floor area and painting under the pews.
- Construction of a temporary altar. (A new altar cloth to cover the altar was donated.)
- Construction of a temporary platform for the altar and two sets of kneelers, one on each side of the altar.
The following additional changes were made in response to comments:
- The altar was raised an additional 6 inches for greater visibility.
- Choir risers were constructed providing greater visibility of the choir. Subsequently, it was determined that most preferred no risers.
Since these changes were undertaken on a trial basis, all of the structures were temporary, using construction-grade materials, in order to spend the least amount of money to assess the trial worship space.
To further enhance our worship, Gordon Johnston designed and built a new organ, which is situated on the nave floor. The organ uses digitally sampled sounds and provides the organist with a broad variety of sounds for playing the liturgy. Although it is a small piece of furniture compared to our Kney pipe organ, from a musical standpoint it is roughly four times the size of the pipe organ. Custom-built speakers are located on the wall behind the pipe organ, with special speakers for the Fanfare Trumpet located high on the west wall of the nave, on either side of the Ascension window. There has been an overwhelmingly positive response to this addition.
Initially, ARC intended to seek a decision on the trial in May, but realized that this would be premature. Therefore, at a Special Vestry on Sunday, June 6th, ARC received approval to continue the trial period until the fall. During the course of almost a year, ARC was able to assess how the new space worked for regular worship, weddings, funerals, and music events. ARC received many comments during this period and responded to the greatest extent possible with improvements. In early November, ARC circulated a report summarizing the feedback in preparation for a Special Vestry held on November 21, 2010. At that meeting, Vestry approved the continued use of the Nave for worship by the clergy, choir and congregation in the current open and flexible arrangement as well as further improvements to the altar and worship space. It was agreed that the chancel altar would also be used on occasion.
With the approval of changes to the nave, ARC completed its work and officially disbanded on December 7, 2010. The Corporation will ensure that the changes approved at Vestry move forward. In 2011, a first priority will be a new, beautiful wooden moveable nave altar. The Building Committee will set as a top priority for 2011 an improved sound system, and oversee the disposition of the pews in storage. These will be used to replace any damaged pews and the rest will be sold. Pews will be offered for sale to parishioners first. New chairs will be purchased and platform and risers built as funds become available. Opportunities will be given for people to contribute to or sponsor elements of the new worship space, including as memorials. For example, some parishioners may be interested in donating a chair.
During 2009, ARC undertook responsibility for long-term planning for major capital expenditures for St John’s, and established a sub-committee of ARC, called the Facilities Planning sub-committee, chaired by Bill Broughton. Its role is to assess major capital needs and recommend a list of priorities. This committee worked closely with the Stewardship Committee and the Building Committee. In 2010, the committee assessed options for a new roof (metal or asphalt) for the church, and drew up contract requirements. The roof was approved at a Special Vestry held on Nov. 7, 2010 at a cost not to exceed $109,000. Funding was provided by the temporary withdrawal of funds from St John’s Rectory Fund, to be repaid over a period of 10 years. The new roof was completed in December 2010 at a cost of $82,600, over $26,000 less than forecast. We now have, over the nave, chancel and narthex, an asphalt shingle roof with a 40 year material warranty and a 5 year labour warranty. We are grateful to the leadership of Hans Stenman, who oversaw the assessment and subsequent contract for the roof. With the disbanding of ARC, the Long-Term Planning committee will continue its work as a stand-alone committee. Members in 2010 were: Bill Broughton (chair), Hans Stenman, Catherine Malone and Carl Shriver. For 2011, Ian Culbert has replaced Carl and John Gallienne has joined the committee.
ARC Committee Members
Committee members in 2010 were: Bill Broughton, Ann Chaplin, Jim Cummings, Wanda Dillabough, Joan Dolphin, Sue Evans, Dana Fisher, Pat Fisher, John Gallienne, Gordon Johnston, Peter Johnston, Catherine Malone, Wendy McCutcheon, Gay Richardson (chair), Connie Snelgrove and Hans Stenman. Thanks to Catherine who was secretary for the first half of the year and to John who subsequently took over. While everyone on the committee has made very valuable contributions, very special thanks are due to Hans Stenman for the countless hours of work designing, costing, contracting, and overseeing the work done in the nave.
It has been a wonderful experience to be part of such a hard-working, constructive and creative team of people. Committee membership has changed over the years but the following have been members of ARC (initially called the Nave Committee) from its start in April 2001 until its wrap up in December 2010: Bill Broughton, Jim Cummings, Pat Fisher, John Gallienne, Gordon Johnston, Gay Richardson and Hans Stenman.
This year the building committee was able to complete one of the projects identified in the long term planning report prepared by the Facilities Planning Committee chaired by Bill Broughton.
Roof Over Nave and Chancel
The immediate need was the replacement of the asphalt shingles on the south facing side of the roof over the nave and chancel. The professional services of John Cooke and Associates , Consulting Engineers, were retained to prepare tender and construction documents. Three pre-qualified Ottawa roofing companies submitted prices for the installation of a 40 year asphalt shingle. Raymond and Associates submitted the lowest price and it was recommended that they be awarded the work. Although the tender was only for the most urgent area on the south side, the long term planning report had identified the need to also redo the north side in the near future. Consequently Raymond & Associates were asked to submit a new price for installing shingles over the complete roof as well as over the narthex and the Elgin Street entrance. The budget cost of $109,000 for re-roofing the complete area including engineering fees, contingencies and taxes was approved at a special vestry in November 2010. The work started in mid November and was successfully completed on December 15th 2010. As it was not necessary to spend any of the contingency money carried for new flashings and unforeseen deficiencies the total work was completed for a cost $82,577.
The long term planning report also identifies the need for repairs to the masonry and roofing in the upper portions of the tower. John Cooke, Consulting Engineer was retained to make an inspection of the tower to determine the condition of the tower and a schedule for repairs. The inspection, completed in June 2010, indicated that although there were no items requiring immediate attention, re-pointing of the masonry and caulking and replacement of metal flashings will necessary within the next two to four years.
Inspection after Earthquake
An additional inspection was carried out following the 5.0 magnitude earthquake which was felt in the Ottawa area on June 23, 2010. This visual inspection, covering the church building and tower, was conducted to determine whether there was any evidence of structural damage due to the earthquake. Based on his inspection, John Cooke reported that no structural damage appears to have occurred.
Other Capital Projects
In addition to the roof and tower, other capital works completed this year were the following:
- Painting of exterior woodwork on the Somerset Street side of church
- Installation of new lights in the 2nd floor choir room
- Installation of new windows in the general office and curate’s office
- Installation of a block wall to protect the area under the Elgin Street ramp from snow and rain
- Installation of a water fountain in the south corridor
- Insulation of heating pipes in The Well
- Cleaning of the nave ceiling and re-positioning of choir lights
The committee met nine times during the year on the first Thursday of every month except for the summer period. Many thanks to committee members; Gay Richardson, Bob Green, Glen Robinson, Glenn Calder, Jim Cummings, John Gallienne, Naomi Kabugi and our custodians Karen Grant and Roger Cloutier, for their dedicated participation in this important ministry.
Many thanks to Myra Clowes for counting for most of the past year and to Harvie Cocks for enabling us to keep going. John Nesbitt and Virginia Hill were joined in the fall by Gloria Gifford and Alice Doell. Three counters meet at 9:00 am on Monday mornings and often are through by 10:00 or 10:30am. They list envelope givings and other income including rentals, concert revenue, Loblaw’s cards and the Community Shop. If you have time and can bear the excitement of the final balance, please speak with Virginia Hill or the Rector about becoming a counter (we do use calculators!).
The role of the Envelope Secretary is to keep track of individual donations and issue charitable tax receipts each year. A database program specifically designed for church organizations makes this job much easier. Each week the donations are entered; the program adds everything up and is formatted to print quarterly statements and tax receipts.
Peggy Lister took over the role of Envelope Secretary in March 2010 from Paula MacPherson. She responds to requests for weekly envelopes, provides information on Pre-authorized Remittance (PAR) and clarifies information in statements and receipts. Thanks are due to everyone at St John’s in helping to keep the database names and addresses up to date so that the information for statements and receipts is accurate.
Pease contact Peggy if you would like to receive weekly offering envelopes or to enroll in PAR.
The Gardening Committee reports through the Building Committee and so decisions regarding any changes to the grounds of the church are first discussed and agreed to there. This year has been a busy year in the church garden. In the spring, we expanded the flower beds on the north side of the church. Aside from the purchase of 3 shrubs, all of the perennials in this new bed were donated by parishioners. The wood on the bench on the north side was replaced and stained to match the new trellis around The Well sitting area. The bench was also leveled. The City cut down the dead tree on the north side and removed the stump. As well, the unused hydro pole was removed by the City. New outdoor plugs were installed in the front of the church to use for Christmas tree lights on the cedars. The area behind the Christian Education wing was cleared of weeds, vines and debris. If you have spare perennials, we are particularly looking for tall white shasta daisies, purple coneflower (echinacea); sedum (Autumn Joy or Brilliant) and day lilies. Thanks to all those who have already donated plants.
We welcome new volunteers, either regularly on or occasion (for example, planting annuals). It is a wonderful ministry since we get to chat with many passers by. On the gardening team, we would like to particularly thank Alice Doell, who has gardened every week since the spring. Thanks also to other gardeners Jan Calder, Krister Partel, Frank Reia and Jane Maxwell for helping with special tasks during the year. As well, a special thank you to our caretaker, Roger Cloutier, who has done such an excellent job maintaining the lawns.
Parish Council meets on the third Tuesday of every month to reflect on the mission and ministries of the parish and to offer advice to Corporation. Additionally, Parish Council oversees expenditures to ensure that budgetary limits are respected and, if necessary, changes are approved.
Throughout the year, Parish Council has provided invaluable guidance as we collectively sought to discern God’s will for us as a community of faith. Our deliberations touched on topics as diverse as hospitality at St John’s, ARC and the long-range facilities plan, Christian education, the replacement of the roof, two special vestry meetings and our new statement on inclusion.
Our thanks to those members who will be ending their terms as of the 2011 Vestry: Maura Beecher, Ann Chaplin, Joan Dolphin, Gloria Gifford, Lynne Green, Vicki Milnes and Ken Ross. Earlier in the year, John Gallienne, Devon Baxter and Karina Hébert stepped down from their respective positions on Council.
“So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith.”
The Stewardship Committee over the last year continued to refine the program developed by former chair Jane Scanlon. A stewardship package was distributed in early November, including a pledge form, and financial offering worksheet. The results of the campaign were encouraging. There was a 62% increase in the number of pledge forms submitted. The amount parishioners pledged to support St John’s ministries through regular givings increased by 8.8%.
For the first time, the Stewardship Committee organized a Ministry Fair on October 17, giving parishioners opportunities to volunteer and to engage more fully in the life of the St John’s community. Additionally, the Stewardship Committee hosted the fall Parish Dinner, to celebrate the many activities that bring us together.
The Committee’s plans for 2011 include:
- ensuring that parishioners are given regular updates on the state of parish finances;
- contributing to the development of a package aimed at newcomers, outlining St John’s ministries, and ways to support our program by volunteering and financial contributions; and
- sharing information about planned giving.
Our parish website is now in its 14th year and is one of the oldest parish sites in the Diocese of Ottawa! While we continue to add to the website several times a week, the visits to our site appears to have stabilised at an average of 2700 visits a month. These visits varied between 2222 visits last June to 3268 visits last April.
We serve two quite different communities through our website. Our first concern is our own members who frequently visit the Bulletin and Announcements and other pages to see what is happening in the parish. Our second group of visitors come from outside the parish. Some of these visitors are looking for a new parish home or a place to worship while visiting Ottawa, while others are from more than 25 countries around the world who want to see what St John’s is doing.
We are aware that some people are having problems with our old left-hand menu system. We are actively looking at a redesign of the parish website - hopefully coming this spring.