St. Augustine Vision Meeting Minutes
Date: 11 March 2023
Rev. Jonathan Crane
June Miller (virtual)
Simone Klann (minutes)
Aaron Parker (and Aubrey and Delia Parker)
1. Parish Life Reports and Updates
Activity: review and share favorite themes to begin a new Vision Group Year
(using survey completed by congregation)
What Group/Activity/System/Happening/Pattern has been helpful for you? What
are you celebrating? Where have you seen God at work? “Looking back to see where
God has been…”
Responses shared by groups of two:
- Kids’ program
- Different modes of worship (Lectio & Indigenous)
- Memorial garden
- Sunshine garden
- Epiphany Women’s Retreat
- Welcoming community
- Broader expression/becoming a presence in the surrounding neighbourhood
- Forest School in the annex
- New younger families – more kids
- God sent us so many new people of all ages and they are now contributing so
much to our services.
- Prayer survey: nature and connection through music were highest on the list
of activities shared by congregation. Question: how are we meeting that need
in our community? How do we make room in the church for this?
a. Key questions:
1. Congregation of 2040 – what would they thank us for?
2. Where are we going?
3. Where do we see God?
- Vision group had a “floundering” final meeting last term… Why? Highlighted
a need for a more coherent vision, post-pandemic. This will take some time
for us to discover.
b. Group dynamics that can help us facilitate our focus (shared by all):
- commitment to disagreeing out loud
- diversity as strength
- honor this as a safe space
- trust your feelings
- invite others to share reservations
- respect others’ feelings
- address the idea rather than the person
- make a point of getting food before the meeting starts!
- commit to getting to know each other on a personal level
- connect with each other (*see below)
- have an opening question: start each meeting with a question to get everyone
talking and sharing
- remind the group at the start of the meeting re: commitment to safe space
- Use time boxing at the start of the meeting (e.g., “we will take 10 minutes to
discuss this item,” and then allowing for some comments at the end of each
- appoint a timekeeper
- it’s everyone’s responsibility to notice if someone has not said anything –
invite that person to contribute
- use a timer and have a method to allow for additional sharing or questions
- “introvert moment” – e.g., “Is anyone holding onto something they haven’t
- WAIT: Why am I talking? Or Why aren’t I talking?
- opening ritual and closing ritual or practice
- confirm your understanding when someone has spoken if you don’t fully
understand – clarify and confirm
o what would that look like?
o do you mean…?
* This was broadened to sharing about ourselves by speaking, writing something
about ourselves in a newsletter – lots of excitement about this! Could be synched
with the people on the prayer list. This should be opt-in versus opt-out. Not on
the website but only in the newsletter. Cheryl is happy to do this with Jacqui’s
help. Need to be submitted early enough to get into the newsletter.
c. How will we make decisions?
- Consensus, which would require talking things out until we find agreement
- May want to revisit this in the future
3. Business Items
Lower Hall & Annex
- some people have met to talk about how lower hall space could be used if we
were to do a renovation.
- Is it a rentable space?
- Youth group, Sunday School space, storage issues
- Lindsay, Sheri and Rita will meet on Tues Mar 14 to brainstorm some ideas
such as electric fireplace, painting kitchen and youth room, updating flooring,
ceiling spray, creating a focal point, installing acoustic panels, maintenance,
washrooms. Some things could be completed by volunteers, other items will
- Bob, Randy and Jonathan did a walk-through and talk-through re: what big
ticket items will need to be addressed in the upcoming 10 years; for example,
- Acoustics in the lower hall are not appropriate for music, very challenging re:
- Would it make sense to install a sound system at this time? Maybe more
versatile to have moveable equipment.
- Jordan has put together material list for acoustic panels
- St. Thomas just got a grant for updates, and Jonathan is connecting re: how to
apply for grants for needed renovations
- Coffee shop dreams?
ASK: Is Vision Group in agreement that we should continue with refresh plan and
securing funds to move in this direction, now (assuming grant money)? Yes,
1. VG needs an agreed-upon priority list – wants and needs
2. VG to read over list of items and provide feedback to Jonathan (by what date?).
Perhaps send a reminder with a deadline.
4. Other items:
Roof is paid off – celebration planning needs to happen and Bob now needs prayer.
How about a blue ice cream social?
Youth focus – table this for next meeting. Group in the parish that gets the least
attention is the youth (Megan and Tim have been doing some work but more
support is needed)
Confirmation Class – Leader will be needed for 12-18 year olds
Final thoughts contributed by Aubrey and Delia: We like kids time and goofing off
with friends. And being loud.