2000s

2000, Jan. 1 Knowing that our church would be without a minister for at least the next six months, the Ministry & Personnel Committee appointed Linda Paddon of our congregation as Ministerial Supply Co-coordinator. She was chosen because of her past experience in such matters, and her connections with a wide network of people around Presbytery and Conference. Services during the next seven months were covered approximately 50% by our own members, and the rest by paid ministerial supply of various ministers from around the city.

2000, Jan. 9 At a joint Presbytery-Congregational meeting a decision was made to establish a Conflict Resolution Committee which would include help from Presbytery, the larger church, and outside resources, first to hear the needs and concerns of those within the congregation who have concerns, and secondly to make recommendations for better problem resolution systems in the future. The responsibility for forming this committee was given to the Board at their next meeting and to report back to the congregation in two months. This objective was reached and the congregation duly accepted the committee’s report.

2000, May 7 A Revised Constitution of First Mill Woods United Church was accepted by the congregation after four years of suspension, and revision work was completed.

2000, July 1 Rev. Dale Irving was the successful applicant of five short-listed candidates to become our new full-time minister at First Mill Woods.

2000, Sept. 1 Our Youth Worker, Deanna Cox, who under Edmonton Presbytery rules, has completed her term as youth worker. On May 9, 2000, the Official Board passed a motion to add a position responsible for youth ministry to the staff of our church. Deanna has agreed to continue her work with our youth and steps are being taken to have her recognized as Staff Associate.

2001, May 6 As a result of a decision made at the Annual General Meeting of the congregation, First Mill Woods United Church will now be known as Mill Woods United Church. The name change was suggested in light of the 1999 merger of the two congregations of First Mill Woods and Southwoods.

2001, Nov. 14 This is the 25th Anniversary of the Service of Constitution conducted under the leadership of Edmonton Presbytery on November 14, 1976. On this date, Mill Woods United Church officially became recognized as a congregation of the United Church of Canada.

2001, Nov. 17 &18 The 25th Anniversary of our congregation was celebrated on Nov. 17 at the church. A large gathering of current and former members enjoyed a potluck supper, a program of shared memories from individuals and former clergy, and a picture slide show. The celebration was continued at a special worship service on Sunday, the 18th.

2002, Jan. Mill Woods United Church became a member congregation of Serenity Funeral Service. It is a not-for-profit organization and licensed with the Alberta Funeral Board. It’s mission statement is “To provide compassionate Christian service with dignity, while offering affordable prices on a not-for-profit basis by co-operating with the local churches in the community”. Each congregation provides two delegates.

2002, Feb. 10 Application for a Student Intern Minister for a period of 16 months from Sept. 2002 to Dec. 2003 was given approval at a congregational meeting.

2002, Feb. 10 The congregation approved that the 2002-03 pledge drive should continue with the initiative to make our church financially self-sufficient without fundraising.

2002, May A new Risograph, a piece of office equipment, was purchased out of the Memorial Fund to facilitate our printing and copying needs.

2002, June 9 At the annual congregational meeting, approval was given for the Board to reduce the size of the Official Board from the current 23 to 10 members in order to improve operating efficiency.

2002, June 9 A “Vision Statement” was presented to the congregation which reads:

Empowered by Christ’s Spirit, building on our unique gifts; we are a congregation committed to providing opportunities for individuals and families to grow by providing diverse experiences of worship and spiritual nurture to reach beyond ourselves to care for others in our community and share the Good News of God’s Love”.

This statement does not change or affect our existing “Mission Statement”. This endeavour is the culmination of work begun over a year ago. Many workshops were conducted involving many people to help determine our congregation’s core values, basic beliefs, motivating visions, and key mission. The result encouraged a transition from committee work to personal and small group ministries.

2002, Sept. 1 Nicole Imgrund became Student Intern Minister on our staff for 16 months to December 2003.

2002, Sept. A new pulpit, designed, built, and fitted with a new microphone and reading light, by two of our church members, was put into use.

2002, Sept. After a trial period last year worked so well, the Sunday School coordinators began a full year using the Rotation Model curriculum. This Workshop Rotation involves many more adults thereby greatly reducing the workload of teachers and providing room for more exciting innovations. The children also seem to learn more.

2003, Jan. Under the leadership of Nicole Imgrund, a group of six young adults formed the Beads of Hope Group. This was a United Church of Canada initiative to help raise public awareness and funds for treatment of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa and around the world.

2003, Jan. Mill Woods Fellowship Gospel Assembly began using (renting) our church building for their services Sunday afternoons. The Seventh Day Adventist Church continues to rent our building on Saturdays.

2003, May A Discernment Committee began working on church member Neal Palmer’s request for Mill Woods United Church to sponsor him as a candidate for ordained ministry. Its final report recommending Neal was presented to the Board in March 2004.

2003, May 25 At the annual congregational meeting a motion was carried to amend the constitution regarding the structure of the Official Board so that the constitution definition of the Church Board read as follows:

Church Board (Board) means the elected or appointed officers of Mill Woods United Church as authorized at the annual general meeting or subsequently appointed by the Board on the authority of the congregation as illustrated here. Voting members of the Board shall consist of: Chair (only in case of a tie) Past Chair, Chair Elect, Recording Steward, Financial Representative, Ministry & Personnel Representative, Worship Representative, Youth Representative, Member-at-Large, Stewardship Representative, Presbytery Representative”.

2003, Sept. Deanna Cox’s staff position as Youth Minister was discontinued. She had been skilfully and faithfully working with the youth of our congregation and coordinating our various youth programs since Oct. 1, 1997.

2003, Oct. 19 The congregation approved the Board’s recommendation that Edmonton Presbytery appoint Nicole Imgrund as Candidate Supply to our staff from Jan. 1, 2004 to April 30, 2004.

2003, Nov. The Official Board endorsed the formation of a study group to examine national and local church policies with regard to the social integration and inclusion of gay, lesbian, and bi-sexual persons within the United Church. A six-week “Together in Faith” study led by Nicole Imgrund at our church was inaugurated March 17, 2004.

2003, Nov. The Rico/Garcia family, Francisco & Olga with their children Luis, Juan, and Francisco Jr., arrived from their original home in Colombia at the home of church members Lynda & Brian Colgan under our congregation’s sponsorship. They came as refugee claimants after a stop-over in Ohio, U.S.A. They stayed with the Colgans until they could be permanently settled on their own. The Colgans continued to support them through their efforts to obtain work permits in Feb. 2004, and obtaining permanent residency granted by the Refugee Board in Dec. 2004 and many more errands around the city. Since the Ricos joined our church, they have become very active and valuable members of our congregation and our community.

2003, Dec. The Mill Woods United Church Young Adults Group’s “Beads of Hope” campaign officially ended after one year, raising a phenomenal grand total of $10,250 through various fundraising events including “A Taste of Africa” dinner & concert, a tree-lighting campaign, and a “Christmas Around the World” concert. This outstanding achievement was made possible by the enthusiastic and spirited leadership of our Student Intern Minister, Nicole Imgrund. Our participation in this campaign has raised awareness of issues related to HIV/AIDS in our community and around the world. It also resulted in our Minister, Dale Irving, having his head shaved in front of the congregation as he had promised to do if the amount raised reached a certain level.

2004, Feb. 8 The congregation approved an initiative to apply to a financial institution for an operating Line of Credit for up to $25,000 using church property as security, if necessary. The Board completed an Overdraft Protection Agreement with Capital City Savings & Credit Union for a maximum of $25,000 with interest on drawings set at prime plus 3%. No property security was needed.

2004, Feb. 29 An alternate projected service at 9:00 a.m. was started on a three-month trial basis with themes that repeat on a monthly schedule. The regular service remained at 10:30 a.m.

2004, Apr Children & Youth Ministries (CYM) was created to serve as a link to all youth and children’s activities/groups as well as to serve as a resource. The following groups fall under the umbrella of CYM: Nursery, Sunday School, Kids’ Night Out (includes Boys’ Group, Explorers, Messengers), Youth Night (for youth in grades 7 to 12), Confirmation (Making Disciples, pairing each youth with an “older” guide/mentor).

2004, May 7 Our former student Intern Minister, Nicole Imgrund, graduated from St. Andrew’s College in Saskatoon, SK. And was ordained into the Order of Ministry on June 6, 2004, at Third Avenue United Church in Saskatoon.

2004, June Neal Palmer was formally received by Edmonton Presbytery as a candidate for ordained ministry.

2004, Dec. 31 A final payment of $7,800 was made to retire our $18,000 short-term loan originally taken out in the year 2000 from Edmonton Presbytery. This left only our long-term building mortgage liability.

2005, Feb. 6 A Planned Giving Committee has been established to formulate a policy for handling gifts that come from estate planning including bequests, annuities, insurance, stocks and bonds, and legacy funds.

2005, Feb. 6 The Property Committee reported to the congregation that work is being done to establish a Capital Funding Plan to budget for future replacement requirements of major capital items over the next 25 to 30 years.

2005, May 15 A motion was passed at the annual general meeting that Mill Woods United Church provide covenanting services for same-gender couples at the discretion of the Minister.

2005, May 15 The congregation passed a motion that we should apply in the fall of 2005 to St. Andrew’s College for another student intern minister to begin in Sept. 2006.

2005. May 15 Sunday School coordinators reported that during the 2004-05 year, a computer lab was established in the west loft room with 3 donated computers, a scanner, and 2 printers, with some purchased software. 4 of our 7 rotations and some 3 & 4 year olds used these.

2005, Sept The Board adopted the objectives of: (a) Financing ongoing operations of the church from local offerings, building rentals, and other general revenue and (b) Using proceeds from fundraising activities for specific dreams or vision activities that meet mission, vision and core-value and belief criteria. Further detailed rules concerning fundraising projects were also drafted for the use of individuals or groups with new fundraising ideas.

2005, Oct. A new community outreach program was established where an organized group from our church go out on what is called a “Bread Run”. Every Saturday food is picked up from Safeway store in Millbourne Mall at 7:00 a.m. and delivered to the Richfield Community site where it is handed out to folks in need until 11:30 a.m. Food is also sent to a shelter for abused women in Mill Woods, to immigrants from South American countries, to a shelter for youth in danger, and a school in the area for their breakfast program.

2005, Nov. Eleven members of this congregation joined hosts Dale & Sharon Irving with a total group of 69 people on a Holy Land Tour through Egypt, Jordan, and Israel. The congregation on their return enjoyed a fantastic power point picture presentation and souvenir display of their trip.

2005, Dec. $2,140 was designated from this year’s lawn service fundraiser to purchase audio-visual equipment.

2006, Feb. Three years after the first study meetings of the “Together in Faith” group we are exploring the possibility of Mill Woods United Church becoming an “Affirming Congregation” – to include and to publicly state that we welcome gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and trans-gendered people.

2006, Feb. 5 Choir Director, Marilyn Blackall, acknowledged on behalf of the choir and congregation the milestone achieved by our longest-serving choir member and choir music librarian, Bill Paddon, having volunteered his services for over 30 consecutive years since our church began in 1976.

2006, Feb. 12 At a congregational meeting a motion passed that a planned gift fund be established by Mill Woods United Church as outlined in the proposal dated Dec. 15, 2005; that the fund be named the Mill Woods United Church Legacy Fund and the Board be authorized to make the necessary administrative arrangements such as opening an investment account to support the administration of the fund.

2006, Feb. 12 The Property Committee presented a report on the projected costs and timelines for capital replacements associated with maintaining the building, equipment, and fixtures over the next 25 years. The committee recommended hat $8,000 per year be set aside for these future capital replacements. This amount has been included in the 2006 Budget.

2006, March A commercial dishwasher was installed at a cost of $5,975 in the kitchen in the lower hall thanks to the fundraising efforts of the Heavenly Hospitality Group.

2006, June 4 The Annual General Meeting of the congregation approved that Mill Woods United Church become an “Affirming Congregation”.

2006, Sept. 5 Wendy Galloway started 16 months as Student Intern Minister on our staff, with a covenanting service on Sept. 17. Mill Woods United Church has become a steady learning site for ministry interns, as Wendy is our second intern in the last four years and the fifth since 1980.

2006, Sept. Neal Palmer started Theological studies at St. Andrew’s College in Saskatoon, SK.

2006, Sept. During this year at our regular 10:30 worship service, we have experienced a transition towards having our entire order of service projected on the wall, including all the hymns, prayers, readings, and announcements, etc. with full-time equipment operators in attendance.

2006, Nov. 18 To celebrate our 30th Anniversary a pot luck supper was held at the church. A slide presentation of church activities over the years was made by David Baker, and some reminiscences were offered by a few past ministers and present church members.