St. Thomas’ Church Annual Congregational Meeting 2012

On Sunday March 18th, 57 of St. Thomas’ parishioners, clergy and staff met to discuss the progress of the church over the past year. The meeting opened with a hymn and a prayer, followed by a welcome by Rev. John-Paul Westin. The list of names of the departed faithful were read out by Rev. Peter Young and time was given for respect and remembrance. Each of the attendants was given a booklet entitled “ Reports and Parish Accounts 2011”, and treasurer Eric Albrechtsons opened the floor for any amendments of its contents. The estate of Ms. Jean E.C. Lewis generated much discussion from concerned parishioners who wanted to ensure that the monies would be used for what they were intended – to preserve the heritage of St. Thomas’ Church, perhaps in the form of a church museum. Mr. Albrechtsons affirmed that this was indeed the plan and that the estate was earmarked for that purpose. Questions arose about the replacement of Rev. Gail Coley MacDonald to which Rev. Westin replied it is going to be discussed at the Vestry Spring Retreat on April 28th. He mentioned that the church is looking at a new direction of leadership, and rather than replacing Rev. MacDonald we would be raising up people within the church to carry out her individual duties.

Three new Vestry members were acclaimed, and Michele Roberts replaced David Read as the Rector’s Warden. The Cemetery Committee was unable to find a suitable nominee, leaving one of the two seats open. A highly spirited discussion took place surrounding the issue of the Book of Common Prayers (BCP) which has been omitted from the services until the end of the summer as a trial period. Comments from those in disagreement said the BCP was important to their spiritual life and growth, that it is part of the Anglican heritage that should be preserved, and disappointment that it was taken out of the service after being promised it would remain after the combined service was put in place. Those in favour of the move stated it is necessary to make the service accessible for those who did not grow up in the Anglican tradition and that the language of the BCP makes it difficult for them to take part in worship. It was encouraged for members to make their opinions known on paper, which is collected during the offertory each Sunday. The Worship Committee is planning to review all comments and make a final decision at the end of the summer. Comments can also be emailed in to the office.

The meeting was then adjourned, followed by Compline and a closing hymn.