Southwoods Timeline

1984, May 6 Southwoods was recognized as a chartered and duly constituted congregation. Rev. Dan Newell was called to our congregation effective July 1, 1984.

1984, Sept. 30 Covenanting Service of Induction for our first minister, Rev. Dan Newell and Southwoods.

1986, Spring The first lawn maintenance program fundraiser (and exercise program) was held.

1986, Sept. The congregation paraded from Sakaw school to Meyokumin school.

1987, Jan. Our congregation held a debt reduction drive to raise $4,500. We exceeded this goal. We went on to raise an additional $3,000 when we resurrected the “Project of the Talents”.

1987, Fall There were 31 young folks sharing their ministry of music!

1988, Jan. Mission Statement was accepted at our annual meeting.

1988, April Our first Spring Dance and Silent Auction was held.

1989, Jan. We changed the Board structure that we operated under and continued to look for office space, leaving hiring a secretary until space was found.

1989, Feb. This was a difficult time for our congregation financially and emotionally. Ottewell United graciously extended an invitation to us to share their home for our worship services. They were kind and supportive to us during our months there.

1989, March After signing a one-year lease at Mariner Square, Jacquie Bretkreitz was hired as our secretary. Our congregation committed to washing cups after service, rather than using Styrofoam cups.

1989, June 18 After many years of wonderful leadership, Dan Newell led his last service at Southwoods. He had gone on extended medical leave on May 15.

1989, Sept. Covenanting service with Shelagh Parsons as she begins her Interim Ministry with us.

1989, Fall Southwoods began negotiations with the Southwood Community League to enter into an agreement as co-tenants in the Community Centre that would be constructed.

1989, Fall The Southwoods Choir produced a tape “Simply Sunday” as a fundraiser for the congregation. Over 800 copies were sold.

1989, Dec. The congregation began meeting at Daly Grove School while the Southwood Community Centre was being built.

1990, Feb. Dan Newell submitted his letter of resignation and request for change of pastoral relations, due to ongoing health problems.

1990, Mar. 18 A special service was held with Ottewell and Rev. Curly Doan to thank them for all the support they gave us during our time with them.

1990, April Our trustees signed a co-tenant agreement with the Southwood Community League.

1990, June Shelagh Parsons’ contract was renegotiated for a further one-year interim appointment at three-quarter time. The office at Mariner Square was closed and our possessions put in storage at Daly Grove School until the new building was completed.

1990, Sept. Southwoods milestone – worship services were held for the first time in the new Southwood Community Centre.

1990, Oct. 28 A special Dedication and Celebration Service for our new space was held. The Choir (with help from the Barton Family) proudly presented the congregation with a Digital Electronic Keyboard and Computerized Sound Module.

1991, Spring Interviews of candidates took place and Rev. Bob Harper was hired, via a conference call. July saw Bob and his family move here from Ontario in a U-Haul.

1991, Sept. A covenanting service was held with Rev. Bob Harper. Bob and his bagpipes began their Mill Woods ministry.

1992, Feb. The Lazzers hosted our first Trivia Night. They discovered Trivia Nights during their year in Australia and brought it back as another ‘fun’draiser.

1992, Spring The Sunday School started to support the Mount Olivet Boys’ Home in Jamaica. We knew about this opportunity through the Morrison-Wrights, who left our congregation to go on a mission in Jamaica.

1993, Feb. Youth Group planned a ski trip to Jasper.

1993 The Sunday School continued to support Mount Olivet Boys’ Home.

1993, Dec. We ended the year with a large deficit unfortunately.

1994, March The Board started holding its meetings at Rainbow Harbour.

1994, May A facilities committee was set up as our lease was up for renewal in 1995.

1994, Fall We celebrated our 10th Anniversary with past and present Clergy/Lay leadership, songs, and of course, food.

1995 This was a difficult year for our congregation until a new lease agreement was reached with the Community League. There were issues around the new league board members not understanding the financial contributions that Southwoods had paid and other benefits the Community League had received. Southwoods looked in-depth at the various options open to our congregation. Finally, a one year lease was signed.

1996, Jan. Southwoods accepted this as our identity statement: “Caring Community of Faith” and came up with a strategic plan for growth.

1996, Jan. Space Committee started to meet to negotiate a new lease agreement.

1996 We negotiated a one-year lease with the Southwoods Community League.

1996 We continued our negotiations with First Mill Woods, but when those collapsed, we had to re-examine how we could continue as Southwoods.

1996, Spring Wim Kreeft was ordained as a minister. Wim had been a member of our congregation and we sponsored him to attend Theological College.

1997, April Southwoods initiated the circulation of a collection box for the Healing Fund at Presbytery meetings.

1997, March We decided to create a new “shared vision” for Southwoods.

1997, May A new lease agreement was finally reached with the Community League.

1997, Sept. We submitted a 3-year plan to Presbytery.

1997, Fall The choir’s “Simply Christmas” CD was finally completed after working on it for two years. We celebrated with a CD release party that brought together a variety of neighbourhood musicians for a musical evening.

1997, Dec. We closed out the year knowing that 1998 was a critical one for Southwoods.

1998, Spring This was a year of creative searching for answers to our funding problems. We explored possible partnerships and ways of working in the community. Congregational representatives from Sherwood Park, Ottewell, Devon, Calmar, and Ritchie United Churches attended our partnership exploration workshops. Unfortunately, many of the congregations were in the middle of changes, so were not able to pursue partnering. We developed a wonderful relationship with Sherwood Park United, as we found ways to work together. Unfortunately, this did not address a major concern of having to have a congregation to share ministerial time with, so we could eliminate or significantly reduce our financial support from Presbytery.

1998, Summer Southwoods and Sherwood Park United worked together to sponsor a Croatian refugee family.

1998, Fall This was a heartbreaking time for Southwoods as we struggled to understand the path that we needed to take. We sought an answer to merging with another congregation, continuing as a congregation but with a part time minister, or just closing our doors. Through our tears and worries, we continued to care for each other and know that everyone wanted what was best for our congregation.

1999, Winter Southwoods discovered that the closing down process was a complicated one. Following Presbytery guidelines, we went through many rushed meetings and analyzing our options until a decision was reached to merge with First Mill Woods.

1999, Spring Decisions were made about where people and the congregation’s belongings were going.

1999, Spring Grieving Workshops were held to help people cope with the loss of our church.

1999, June 6 Our last service was held before the merger service with First Mill Woods United. God had truly blessed us with a “Caring Community of Faith” and we prayed together that we could take that identity statement with each of us to our new faith communities and share that with them.