Mill Woods United Church
throughout the years
Mill Woods United Church began meeting in Grace Martin School in 1974 and was officially constituted in a worship service on November 14, 1976. In 1978, it purchased land near its current location and built a house for offices and meeting space.
By 1981, the congregation was too large for Grace Martin School. It was geographically divided into First Mill Woods United Church that met in Hillview School and Southwoods United Church that met in Sakaw School. Southwoods congregation worked with the community and the school to build Southwoods Community Centre which also served as their meeting place.
First Mill Woods constructed a church building on the land adjacent to the ‘church house’ and sold the house. The church building was dedicated on May 2 1993 by the Moderator, Reverend Stan McKay. The Southwoods congregation closed in 1999 for financial reasons. Many members came to enrich First Mill Woods United Church and their arrival in 1999 was followed by a decision to change the congregation’s name back to Mill Woods United Church. It is the only United Church in the Mill Woods area.
1972 & 1973
The City of Edmonton developed and began selling serviced lots in Mill Woods, which consisted of nine square miles of farmland the city had purchased as a land bank experiment. Edmonton Presbytery of the United Church of Canada bought a block of un-serviced land consisting of 14 lots that they held for a future United Church site at 38th Avenue and Grand Meadow Crescent. Later, 7 of these lots were serviced and sold for residential purposes to recover part of their investment and ownership costs.
1974, December 8
The first United Church service was conducted at Grace Martin school jointly by Rev. Stuart MacLeod of Knox-Metropolitan United Church, and Rev. Ian MacMillan of St. Paul’s United Church. Services continued for a few months as other visiting ministers took turns conducting services.
Rev. Douglas Berry was appointed pulpit supply by Edmonton Presbytery and continued to conduct services at Grace Martin School. During the summer months, services continued in private homes.
1975, September 8
Services resumed in the music room at Grace Martin school with 30 adults in attendance and 25 children registered in Sunday School.
The Mill Woods United Church Directive Committee was formed by a nucleus of eight people to build a foundation for a formal organization.
1975, December 31
By year-end our congregation had grown to about 60 families with 40 children in Sunday school.
Edmonton Presbytery extended financial support for a Minister and Knox-Metropolitan United Church extended help for the Sunday School after meetings with our Directive Committee.
Edmonton Presbytery announced that Rev. Bill Beach had accepted the position of Church Extension Minister for a 3-year period and would spend half his time with the Mill Woods congregation. He conducted his first service on August 28, 1976.
1976, November 14
At Grace Martin school gymnasium an evening Service of Constitution of Mill Woods United Church was jointly conducted by Rev. Stuart MacLeod, Rev. Aubrey Edworthy, and Rev. Ray Leppard, on the initiative of Edmonton Presbytery, our Minister and the Directive Committee. There were 48 charter members inducted and about 250 United Church members attended this service in a gesture of support from various other congregations in the city. This service of constitution elevated us from being a mission of the United Church to being an official congregation. By the end of 1976 the congregation had grown rapidly and there were now about 90 children in Sunday school.
1977, May 15
The congregation decided that a building (later dubbed “The Church House”) should be built in Mill Woods to provide us with office and mid-week group space. The minister’s temporary rented office space at Avonmore United Church would not be adequate in the long term. Planning for this project took place during the next year.
Services were moved from the music room to the gymnasium at Grace Martin due to the rapid growth of the congregation and the Sunday school expanded to 125 children.
1978, April 16
A House Action Committee was established to look after decisions concerning the building of the church house. Mortgage loans were obtained, $40,000 from Knox-Metropolitan United Church, and $10,000 from the United Church of Canada.
Construction of our Church House was begun on one residential lot the congregation purchased from Edmonton Presbytery at 27 Grand Meadow Crescent. A slightly modified 1,217 sq. ft., residence-type, 3 bedroom bi-level house with a fully developed basement level was chosen as being the most flexible to accommodate our need for offices and working space. A pre-fabricated shell package was purchased from Beaver Homes Ltd. so that our own congregational volunteers could easily do most of the erection and finishing, with limited sub-contracting required. It was completed during the fall and winter, and “officially” opened on June 10, 1979.
1979, July 1
Rev. Bill Beach was called as our first full-time minister after completing his 3-year appointment to Mill Woods United as Church Extension Minister from New Church Development, of Edmonton Presbytery.
Christmas Service was the first service held in the Church House. By now there were over 200 families in the congregation with 225 children registered in Sunday school.
1980, May 4
Doug Whidden, a student intern minister, was assigned to gain experience with our congregation and worked with us until the end of August.
Due to the rapid growth of our congregation, which now numbered over 300 families, a task force was set up to assess ways in which to better serve this large a congregation. Available school rental space was being stretched to the maximum for such a large Sunday school, which was said to be the largest in Edmonton. This task force concluded from their study that, in spite of these numbers, the congregation was not yet ready to commit itself to building their own church building.
1980, November 16
At a congregational meeting, the task force presented a motion that Mill Woods United Church support the development of a second congregation in south Mill Woods, to begin in September 1981. Motion passed. The north – south division line was determined to be 23rd Avenue, but everyone was given the freedom to choose the worship location they wished. Thus, a random division of members occurred.
1981, January 31
Rev. Bill Beach resigned due to health reasons. Two lay people from within the congregation, Pat Bourque and Linda Paddon, were hired on a part-time basis to co-ordinate church activities and arrange for visiting ministers. Rev. Don Mayne from Presbytery has been appointed to oversee our church operations.
1981, July 1
Rev. George Mossman accepted a call to serve as full-time minister at Mill Woods United Church with the prospect of the church becoming a 2-point charge in September. Pat Bourque continued as a part-time lay assistant.
Mill Woods now had two United Church communities of faith – one serving the south in Sakaw school and another serving the north in Grace Martin school – both served by one minister, Rev. George Mossman. The first service at Sakaw School was held September 13 by Rev. Tom Sawyer, after which Rev. Mossman led their services every third week, with guest ministers filling in. Later on, Sakaw’s Sunday services were at 9:30 a.m. and Grace Martin’s at 11:00 a.m. so that more services could be done by one minister.
The Grace Martin congregation decided to move to Hillview School, when it became evident that a satisfactory arrangement for more rented space at Grace Martin could not be negotiated.
Ross Smillie, a ministerial student, joined the staff until June of 1982. Summer services were held in the church house.
Both congregations chose new names, rather than being named after the school in which they met. Hillview chose the name “First Mill Woods United Church” and Sakaw decided on “Southwoods United Church”. At the end of 1982, First Mill Woods United Church had 132 Sunday school children registered and about 180 families on the church list.
Edmonton Presbytery approved the Southwoods name.
Rev. George Mossman resigned to take up an executive position at Bissell Centre. Pat Bourque, who by now had been appointed Staff Associate was joined by Rev. Tom Sawyer, who was appointed by Edmonton Presbytery to serve First Mill Woods until June 30, 1984 on a half-time interim basis.
1983, December 11
A motion passed at a congregational meeting to establish two separate pastoral charges in Mill Woods, each with their own full-time minister. This request was submitted to Edmonton Presbytery for their approval.
1984, January 24
Rev. Shelagh Parsons joined the ministerial staff. Edmonton Presbytery approved our request that there be two separate churches in Mill Woods. As a result of this, two full-time ministers were hired as follows: 1984, July 1 Rev. Tom Sawyer accepted a call to be full-time minister at First Mill Woods United Church and Rev. Dan Newell became the new minister at Southwoods United Church. Southwoods rented office space at the First Mill Woods church house for Rev. Dan Newell, and also shared secretarial services for the next four years.
The congregation of First Mill Woods made a decision to build a church structure on the six remaining lots adjacent to the church house. But it would be another five years before our financial position would allow us to purchase the land from Edmonton Presbytery. See 1989.
First Mill Woods became a distribution agency for the Edmonton Food Bank.
The Building Committee have begun the early stages of planning and have toured several new church buildings garnering ideas from other church’s experiences. At the end of the year, there was $9,551 in our new church Building Fund achieved from offerings and fund-raising.
1985, October 15
A draft constitution for our congregation was made available for further study to be presented for approval at the next annual congregational meeting.
The Christian Development committee catalogued and cross-referenced 280 volumes in our new church library in our church house.
This year saw more concentrated efforts to educate the congregation of the urgent need to somehow increase our general revenues in the face of having embarked on a three year phase-out of our reliance on an annual block grant of financial support from Edmonton Presbytery which will end in 1988. This is in addition to the pressure of trying to contribute to the building fund, which now stands at $22,557.
The remaining church house mortgage balance of $28,994 held by Knox-Metropolitan United Church was paid off out of the building fund, giving us clear title to the property and clearing the way to proceed with our church building plans.
1988, November 8
The Mission Statement had been created and was adopted.
We are partners on a faith journey, called to be the Church, Christ’s voice, hands and heart, to continue His mission in Mill Woods, Edmonton and throughout the world. As a part of the United Church of Canada, we strive to reach out to our community and beyond, growing and changing, but always as doers of the Word, not just hearers. While affirming our faith in Christ, we share global concerns with people of other faiths.
We undertake, with all Christians, the ministry of fostering and caring for all God’s people and creation. The nurturing and Christian education of our children and adults is an important part of our ministry, was it was in Christ’s.
We welcome all people to become part of our family, sharing in warm worship, meaningful fellowship and communion.
First Mill Woods United became the only Food Bank hamper distributor in Mill Woods. One room in our church house was dedicated full time to Food Bank use.
The Building Committee was hard at work researching and planning for a church building on the land adjacent to the church house. After paying off the mortgage on the church house last year, the Building Fund balance is back up to $14,417.
Some interesting statistics – Of the 40 congregations in Edmonton Presbytery, First Mill Woods had the largest number of people involved in various programs sponsored by the congregation and we placed third in the size of our Sunday School with 131 children.
1989, January 1
This is the beginning of our first year as a financially self-supporting congregation. We are no longer on the annual Block Grant Assistance program supported by the Mission & Service Fund of the United Church of Canada.
1989, April 16
The congregation approved the submission of our offer to purchase the six lots, which was later consolidated into one parcel of land to be known as 15 Grand Meadow Crescent, from Edmonton Presbytery for our church building site.
1989, June 27
Edmonton Presbytery accepted our offer to purchase the land for $135,000 with three payment years, interest free. By the end of this year, $25,000 of this debt was paid off.
The Building Committee persistently kept very active, having held 10 committee meetings, 2 congregational meetings, participated in 4 Presbytery level meetings, toured 10 churches, contacted 16 architects, and ran fund-raising projects.
The Building Committee continued to work diligently at collecting church design data, developing congregational awareness, establishing a fund base and selecting an architect. The excitement of the congregation had become very evident as our plans continued to progress towards actually realizing our building dreams. Another $30,000 was paid on the land mortgage, leaving a balance of $80,000.
Ground work was initiated with Edmonton Presbytery and Alberta & N.W. Conference leaders to confirm our intention to apply for a Ventures in Mission loan from the United Church of Canada for our church building needed in 1992.
1991, February 3
The congregation approved the selection of the architectural firm of Woolfenden, Hamilton, Brown Architectural Group Ltd., to design a church building and to supervise its construction.
1991, April 14
Preliminary Drawings and a scale model were presented to the congregation for the purpose of eliciting further input from individual members. The congregation accepted these preliminaries including the estimated cost of $735,000 as the basis for our Capital Fund Drive that was conducted from April to October, and reached a total of $190,584 in pledges and donations. The drawings also needed to be sent to the Architectural Advisory Resources Group of the Division of Missions in Canada of the United Church of Canada’s national office for their approval.
1991, December 1
The congregation approved that we proceed to a July, 1992 construction start and approved a motion by the building committee to apply for a Ventures in Mission fund loan of $600,000 from the United Church’s Division of Missions in Canada.
1991, December 31
Another annual payment of $40,000 was made out of the building fund on the land mortgage, leaving a balance of $40,000.
Edmonton Presbytery approved a loan of $110,000 interest-free from the Church Development Council until our church house was sold. The congregation determined that the church house would no longer be needed after the church building was in use, thereby providing much-needed funds for the church building.
The Financial Support Group at the United Church of Canada’s national office approved our application for our Ventures in Mission loan of $600,000 amortized over 20 years at 5% interest, with the first year interest-free. Monthly repayments were to begin July 1, 1993. (This repayment schedule was completely revised under a new plan effective July 1, 1996.)
1992, May 3
Final design development was completed and presented by the architects to the congregation for approval.
1992, May 23
Official sod turning ceremonies took place on the building site with guests from Alberta Conference, Edmonton Presbytery, Knox-Metropolitan United Church, former Ministers, Church Development Council, our project Architect, and a group of our church members. Board Chair Randy Round, Trustee Donna Skoreiko, Building Committee Chair Linda Paddon, and Youth Representative Kirsten Kitagawa turned sod.
inal payment of $40,000 made to Edmonton Presbytery to clear the land mortgage loan.
1992, August 7
Of the six general contractors invited to bid on our construction project, on the recommendation of the architect, Delnor Construction Ltd. was notified that they were awarded the building contract with their final bid of $722,308.
1992, August 11
At 7:40 a.m. sharp, construction of our church building finally began!
1992, December 24
Permission was obtained from Delnor Construction to hold our Christmas Eve service in the unfinished shell of the building before any furnaces were installed. About 220 very excited and very cold people attended the service.
The Building Committee held 20 meetings, 9 bi-weekly construction site meetings, and made countless numbers of phone calls. This pace also carried on through all of 1993, as a lot of work was yet to be done after the main construction was completed.
1993, February 5
The church steeple, having been built on the ground, was lifted to the top of the roof using a huge crane. This part of construction attracted much community attention and because the press was notified, pictures appeared in the Edmonton Journal and the Globe and Mail.
In addition to our Ventures in Mission first mortgage, a long-term loan of $100,000 was negotiated with Church Development Council of Edmonton Presbytery with a 20-year amortization at 5% interest, but only $78,000 was drawn to meet our needs. (The repayment schedule was revised under a new plan effective July 1, 1996.)
1993, April 5
The building passed substantial completion inspection. During the next two weeks, volunteers installed the sound system, and moved furnishings and things from the church house to the church.
1993, April 18
The congregation held part of their service in Hillview School, then went to the new church building for the final part of the service to commemorate the move.
1993, May 2
The church was officially dedicated in a worship service led by the Right Rev. Dr. Stan McKay, the Moderator of the United Church of Canada.
Our own volunteers worked on finishing and painting the church basement, installed kitchen fixtures including wiring, landscaping including planting trees and laying sod, installed lawn sprinklers, built a wooden storage shed, built an altar, baptismal font and communion table, along with many other projects.
1993, July 20 Final inspection by the Architect.
Fourteen years after it was built, the church house (along with a lot of emotional congregational tears) were sold for $98,000 to a Filipino church group who wanted to use it for the same purpose as we had used it. We deemed it to be surplus property and no longer needed for our church operations.
Sunday School registrations are now back up to 230 children, approaching our all-time high water mark, when our services were held in two schools in 1981. This year saw 52 adults joining our church membership by profession of faith and transfers. There were about 184 active families on our church list.
The Building Committee met 22 times and held 5 construction site meetings. They turned over operation of the building to the Property Committee, had a well-deserved party and disbanded. Members of the Building Committee were commended for a big job well done. More than 100 members of the congregation joined various work groups to complete the volunteer work required to bring the building to a more usable state.
Our church library was set up in the loft area. The books have been shelved and catalogued for signing out by anyone interested, including our youth, for reading or research.
Wim Kreeft, a student intern minister, joined the staff of First Mill Woods to gain practical experience. His term ended June 30, 1995.
With our new building in place, the congregation needed to cope with many major adjustments in the way we ran our church business. New rules and policies had to be developed, worship service format changes, and we had to face many new challenges, even financial ones. Some conflicts had to be resolved. There were also new opportunities to serve the community better, as we gained a greater visual presence and more confidence to become better leaders in the community.
Southwoods United Church Board passes a motion requesting that First Mill Woods Church be a part of discussions with them to see what the future holds for both congregations in Mill Woods. In September, representatives from Southwoods United Church, First Mill Woods United Church, Edmonton Presbytery staff, and the Presbytery Planning & Development Committee formed a Joint Visioning Committee, for the purpose of exploring ways in which the two congregations can work together as a partnership in Mill Woods.
1995, June 30
Rev. Tom Sawyer’s resignation became effective after submitting his resignation earlier this spring, on March 26. Wim Kreeft’s term as intern student ended.
1995, July 1
With too little time left to call a permanent replacement for Tom, the congregation decided to accept Edmonton Presbytery’s offer to appoint Rev. Norm Macdonald as interim minister for a one-year period.
1996, January 7
The congregation decided to recommend to Edmonton Presbytery that Rev. Norm Macdonald be kept on as interim minister for a second year ending June 30, 1997.
Under the guidance of our new minister, the church constitution was suspended to enable the congregation to pursue a new “vision”. A new “Visioning Board” was established to study topics such as Growth, Spiritual Identity, Congregational Makeup, and Stewardship Resources, during the first four months of the year. Some subtle changes took shape, but no extreme or drastic changes were deemed necessary. Work needed to be done on the Constitution and more time was allotted to this task. More emphasis was placed on the need to make our church more meaningful to the youth of our congregation.
During our stewardship visioning process, a finance sub-committee determined that the seven-year phase-in of our upwardly spiraling mortgage payments, which had been re-negotiated in October, 1993, was still happening faster than increasing revenues. As a result of this, a $10,000 operating loan from Presbytery Planning and Development Committee was negotiated amortized over 3 years.
1996, July 1
Miraculously and unsolicited by us, the Division of Missions in Canada of the United Church, who was administering all Ventures in Mission capital loans to all united churches, had begun work on developing some new repayment options on these loans. By the end of 1996, retroactive to July 1, 1996, they accepted our application for an option that included changing from a principal and interest model to an interest-free loan with payments geared to 10% of our gross revenue from all sources and for all purposes, except Mission & Service Fund offerings, with no amortization term. A pro-rated portion of this payment also goes to Edmonton Presbytery towards our long-term loan under the same arrangement. Implementation of this plan greatly reduced our financial burden to a tolerable level.
1996, October 6
The Joint Visioning Committee had worked continuously for over a year considering Southwoods-First Mill Woods relationship. It now became evident that an agreement could not be reached at this time, so further negotiations were suspended.
1996, October 27
The congregation recommended to Edmonton Presbytery that Rev. Norm Macdonald’s contract as Interim Minister be extended to June 30, 1998, when he plans to retire from active full-time ministry.
Our Clothing Bank was established in the east loft room which provides donated clothing of all kinds, free to needy families in the community. It is open to coincide with the Food Bank hours two evenings per week.
1997, February 2
The congregation agreed to suspend the Constitution for an additional year to January 31, 1998, so that proposed changes in the Board Composition & Design of 1997 can be incorporated.
1997, October 1
As the result of a motion passed by the Official Board on May 13, Deanna Cox was hired by the church to become our Youth Worker until May 31, 1998, with the contract renewable on yearly basis. Under the youth ministry program of Edmonton Presbytery, youth worker salary subsidies were made available over a 3-year period, on an annually reducing scale. Her job is to spend a minimum of 12 hours per week working with our church youth, and coordinating church youth activities, education and programs.
This year in general saw the re-energizing of many committees with some implementation of new ideas and re-vamping of areas of responsibility coming from the “Visioning” Board. A spirit of optimism and caring is evident among the church membership, but the process of re-establishing committee work has been a struggle after work habits were slowed down during the recent period of re-examination of our operations. Capital expenditures included a new, lighted sign on the front lawn and 150 new Voices United hymnbooks.
1998, June 30
Rev. Norm Macdonald’s term as interim minister expired, which coincided with his retirement from full-time ministry.
1998, July 1
Rev. Deborah Hoekstra accepted our call to be full-time minister at First Mill Woods.
1998, September 1
Deanna Cox, Youth Worker, was hired for another term ending May 31, 1999.
1999, March 21
The congregation of First Mill Woods United Church passed a motion, upon recommendation of the ad hoc Merger Committee, that we are pleased to have the congregation of Southwoods United Church merge with us. The Southwoods congregation would officially end June 30, 1999.
1999, May 30
Congregation approved the recommendation of an ad hoc committee of four people established in February to study and report back to the congregation if and how the “church year” should be changed from the present calendar year format to a more practical time frame. The new system approved was as follows: a) Fiscal year remains as the calendar year, with budget approval in early February. b) Stewardship year to be ongoing with major focus extending for a 4 week period beginning 7 weeks before Easter. c) Board position elections in early May to start June 1. d) Program year runs from September to June.
1999, June 13
A special merger service was held to commemorate the merger of Southwoods and First Mill Woods.
1999, June The latter half of this year and the first half of 2000 was a very stressful and disruptive time for our Minister, Ministry & Personnel Committee, Official Board and most members of the Congregation who all had to struggle with extraordinary conflict regarding personal feelings within the congregation. Various staff members from Edmonton Presbytery and Alberta & N.W. Conference were engaged to help guide us through this difficult period.
1999, September 1
Youth Worker Deanna Cox’s employment was extended for another term to May 31, 2000.
1999, December 31
Rev. Deborah Hoekstra’s resignation became effective as minister of First Mill Woods United Church, having made the request for a change in pastoral relations on November 28, 1999.
2000, January 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, January 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, September 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, November 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, November 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.
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, February 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, September 1
Nicole Imgrund became Student Intern Minister on our staff for 16 months to December 2003.
A new pulpit, designed, built, and fitted with a new microphone and reading light, by two of our church members, was put into use.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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, February 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, February 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.
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.
Neal Palmer was formally received by Edmonton Presbytery as a candidate for ordained ministry.
2004, December 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, February 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, February 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.
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.
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.
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.
$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, February 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, February 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, February 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.
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, September 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.
Neal Palmer started Theological studies at St. Andrew’s College in Saskatoon, SK.
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, November 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.