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Transition Updates

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this process please email the team at

Please note newer information is highlighted in Blue

Nelson and Tansley United churches amalgamated in 2017. As part of the deliberations that later led to the amalgamation of St Stephen and Tansley United churches (2019) the Council/Board of each church agreed that in order for the newly formed congregation/community of faith to best discover its identity and mission and determine its direction, the leadership of an Intentional Interim Minister (IIM) would be needed.

 Rev. Helen Prior (IIM) began her 23 month appointment (August 1, 2019 – June 30, 2021 inclusive) with the congregation in August 2019. At the Congregational Meeting, September 27, 2020 the congregation unanimously supported the motion that the Human Resources Commission of Horseshoe Falls Regional Council be asked to extend this appointment for a period of up to 12 months beyond June 30, 2021. We anticipate the request being considered at the November meeting of the Human Resources Commission.

As required by the United Church of Canada (UCC) whenever a congregation is served by an IIM, a Transition Team (TT) was formed. The TT began its work in August 2019. The Team is made up of seven members elected by the congregation (Robert Chatterton, Linda Draddy, Sharyn Georgas, Stacy Goodale, Barb McKeown, Chisanga Puta-Chekwe and Sue Stephen), two representatives of Regional Council (Mel Matthias and Marilyn Parsons) and Rev. Helen. It is the role of the TT to work with Rev. Helen to help guide the work of the community of faith through the period of intentional ministry. We welcome your questions, comments or concerns. Please submit to the email above.

During September 2020 the congregation was asked to complete two surveys for the Transition Team. The first was to identify the top 5 Core Values (from a list of 40) that are being demonstrated by Grace United Church now (and since the July 1, 2019 amalgamation between St Stephen and Tansley United churches). Responders were also invited to share their personal top 5 Core Values. The second survey asked the members to identify the top 5 Core Values (from the same list of 40) they would like to see the church demonstrate in the future. The TT was interested in seeing what, if any, gaps exist between today and what’s hoped for in the future and is pleased to report a high level of consistency between “now and then”.  The top 10 responses from the first survey and the 6 chosen as our Future Core Values are shown in the chart below:

Between October 21 and October 28 focus groups were held to begin the process of defining each of the 6 Core Values (Fellowship, Spiritual Growth, Service (Acts of), Leadership, Inclusivity and Kindness). 19 members of the congregation participated and each Transition Team member attended one or more of the sessions more to listen and learn than to influence the discussion or definitions. Once recommended definitions are drafted, they will be shared with the Board and congregation.

The TT does not have authority to make decisions on behalf of the community of faith but regularly liaises and collaborates with the Board, and, communicates and consults with the community of faith and the Regional Council (RC).

In September 2019 5 Goals were established by the TT. The TT reported progress on the goals during the March 8, 2020 Congregational Meeting and will continue to give updates on a regular and ongoing basis.

5 Transition Team Goals

  1. Develop a shared vision and mission, including a new name.
  2. Build an inclusive and diverse church that reflects our community at large
  3. Engage the church in reviewing structures, programs and relationships
  4. Develop stewardship awareness
  5. Prepare the congregation to call and welcome the new minister

Updated 1 Nov 2020