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Corner of 5th Ave. and Union Street, Prince George, BC  250-563-9167                                                                                                                                                   

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  • Welcome
  • This Sunday
  • Worship Assistant Instructions
  • Potential Merger Between St. Andrew's United Church and Knox United
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  St. Andrew’s, United Church of Canada in Prince George, B.C.

We are a caring Christian community, celebrating God’s love, welcoming and valuing all people, responsive to challenge and change, seeking justice, embracing dialogue, and lead by the teachings of Jesus.

This is a very child friendly church with storytime and Sunday School for toddlers to grade 7.  Newcomers and visitors are always welcome.

As a one storey building, the church has ground level wheelchair access throughout including a wheelchair accessible washroom.  The main entrance includes an automatic door opener.  Designated handicap parking is available.

St. Andrew’s is located on the southwest corner of 5th Avenue and Union Street in Prince George. Our Sunday morning worship is at 10:00 a.m.

 

 

 

 

 

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Theme: Road to Freedom

(worship service is at 10:00 a.m.)

Sermon: Finding a Way

 Ministry of Music:  Come Follow Me

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WORSHIP ASSISTANTS HELP SHEET

Click here for the PDF version

 (Revised Feb. 2017)

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TEMPLATE FOR A POTENTIAL MERGER BETWEEN KNOX UNITED CHURCH
AND ST. ANDREWS UNITED CHURCH
 
A Way Forward – One River
1
September 2017
Preamble:
John at the conclusion of The Book of Revelation provides an image of what life with God will look like
when a new order, a New Jerusalem, comes into being. In the middle of that New Jerusalem flows a
river which has on its bank the tree of life with twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month and
leaves which are for the healing of the nation. In that city we will experience God in a new way.
For the last 57 years, St. Andrew’s and Knox United Churches in Prince George have lived on parallel
streams of the river of life harvesting its fruits each month for sustenance and using the leaves: for
healing, for reconciliation, and for living into the kin-dom of God.
Living on the banks of the Nechako and Fraser Rivers, we know that rivers join and merge and
eventually become the main stem of the river. Building on the heritage of being parallel stems of the
river of life, the two congregations intend to merge together becoming a new river nourishing with fresh
energy the tree of life which will lead to a renewed commitment to proclaim by word and action the
establishment of a new world in which we will live reconciled with God, each other, and all of creation.”
Tens of thousands of churches around the globe—are sensing that they can fulfill their God-given
mission better together than separately. They’re exploring new ways to join forces for the advancement
of God’s kingdom.
Mergers are happening with increasing frequency. And unlike in previous generations, many church
mergers today are producing positive growth and admirable fruit. Increasingly, they are becoming a
vehicle for unifying local congregations around a shared vision that is producing more effective spiritual
and social impact. The churches become one to achieve a common purpose: working together as a
vibrant, healthy expression of Christ’s body, the church.
What brought us to this point:
o Knox United Church Board requested exploration discussions with St Andrew’s with respect to a
potential amalgamation or merger;
o St Andrews’ Board agreed that it was willing to enter into exploratory discussions;
o Knox and St. Andrew’s Board’s appointed two people each to form a Merger Task Force;
o The Task Force has been provided with additional support from Rev. Victoria Andrews, BC
Conference Northern Personnel Minister, Rev. Dr. Bob Fillier of St Andrew’s United Church
and Rev. Michael Hare – Interim Minister at Knox United Church.
o The Merger Task Group presented a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to both
congregations as part of the consultation process. A vote on April 23, 2017 approved the MOU
and it is the foundation of this proposal.
o On September 10, 2017, the Merger Task Group presented the Merger Proposal to both
congregations, offered question and answer opportunities on September 17, 20, and 21; and
made themselves available for conversations with individuals. People were also encouraged to
call any of the task group members, not necessarily just the ones from their particular
congregation.
TEMPLATE FOR A POTENTIAL MERGER BETWEEN KNOX UNITED CHURCH
AND ST. ANDREWS UNITED CHURCH
A Way Forward – One River
2
September 2017
o A final merger vote is called for September 24, 2017 following worship to be held
simultaneously by both congregations. Due to the nature of the Merger Proposal, it is agreed that
no motions with amendments, changes, or a request that sections be dealt with in seriatim will be
accepted at these meetings.
Merger Principles
(Approved on April 23, 2017 in the MOU)
The Merger Proposal between Knox and St. Andrew’s United churches is based on principles that were
approved by both congregations as part of the MOU on April 23, 2017.
The general principles are:
A. Present programs and partnerships of both congregations would continue until integrated into the
new congregation.
B. The time and talents of both congregations will be respected in the merged congregation.
C. Do everything reasonable to protect paid positions that may enhance Sunday worship, programs,
and outreach ministries.
D. Use the talents and experience of the current Committee members and Committee Chairs as
merger talks and arrangements proceed.
E. To honour the legacy of Knox, some physical items of Knox need to become part of the merged
congregation
F. The merged congregation be positioned to enhance the spiritual growth of all its members and to
promote the work of The United Church of Canada in a substantive way in the Prince George
Community and beyond.
G. Both congregations need to be open to embracing new opportunities and as well as be willing to
honour and let go of certain traditions.
H. To honour both congregations there will be a new vision, mission, and name for the new
congregation.
I. Create a policy governance model based on maximizing the skills, gifts, and abilities from both
congregations needed for effective governance.
TEMPLATE FOR A POTENTIAL MERGER BETWEEN KNOX UNITED CHURCH
AND ST. ANDREWS UNITED CHURCH
A Way Forward – One River
3
September 2017
The specific principles are:
1. Use the site presently occupied by St. Andrews United.
2. Retain the new Minister at St. Andrew’s: The Rev. Dr. Bob K. Fillier.
3. Ensure a fair and equitable arrangement to use the talents of both Music Program Coordinators
(current Choir Directors) to further the musical mission of the United Church in Prince George.
4. Propose a staffing model that will include a combination of paid staff from both churches.
5. The Trustees of both Knox and St, Andrew’s will work with a hired professional assessment
person/company to:
o Create a viable and sustainable option (sell or redevelop) for the current Knox building;
o Create a proposal for the 3-undeveloped building lots at the current St. Andrew’s location;
o Provide a way to honour the history of Knox United in the community;
o Provide a way to honour the history of St. Andrew’s United in the community;
o Ensure that the vision and mission of the new congregation is reflected in the proposal.
6. The Trustees of both Knox United and St. Andrew’s United, along with the finance committee chairs
of each congregation will come together to create a proposal to deal with all the cash assets of Knox United
and St. Andrew’s United.
o the proposal will be in sync with the new vision of the merging congregation
o the proposal will provide a way to honour the history of Knox United and St. Andrew’s United in
the community
7. The launch date for the new congregation be January 1, 2018 with its first public worship service on
January 7, 2018.
TEMPLATE FOR A POTENTIAL MERGER BETWEEN KNOX UNITED CHURCH
AND ST. ANDREWS UNITED CHURCH
A Way Forward – One River
4
September 2017
The Merger/Amalgamation Proposal
Motion
That Knox and St. Andrew’s United Churches Merge/Amalgamate into one new congregation
effective January 1, 2018 in keeping with the details of the Merger Agreement and MOU.
Merger Agreement Details (in addition to the April 23, 2017 approved MOU)
1. Staffing Plan:
i. Ministry Personnel: The Rev. Dr. Bob K. Fillier will be the Lead Minister of the
new congregation.
ii. Music Ministry: (with appropriate job descriptions1)
1. Choir Directors:
a. Choir Director: Erica Skowron will be the adult choir director.
b. Assistant Choir Director: Diane Kjorven will be the adult choir
assistant director.
2. Accompanist:
a. Worship and Choir Accompanist: Angela Alba
b. Community and Worship Accompanist: Val Stanley and Vic
Steblin
3. Music Liaison2:
a. This position will continue to be filled by Sandy Long
iii. Support Staff: (with appropriate job descriptions)
1. Office Administrator:
Erica Skowron (Note: Jana Peters is willing to help with task specific and
time limited projects)
2. Building Manager:
Tom Hynd will be the new custodian for the new congregation with
responsibilities for both buildings. Tom will also be the building manager for
the Knox site.
3. Finance:
Faye Jarabek will retire from her position and offer support to the Finance
Committee of the new congregation. Trish Appleton will continue as the
Book Keeper for the new congregation.
4. Audio Visual:
An Audio-Visual Team and Coordinator position will be created for the new
congregation. Morry Feldstein has been invited to be part of the team.
5. Sunday School Coordinator:
Susie Wilson will continue in her current position.
1 Draft Job descriptions have been developed in consultation with all potential employees and with the
M&P committees of both congregations. The final versions will be shared with the new congregation.
2 This unpaid position serves as a consultant to all music staff, particularly in the areas of music
selection, music events, choir(s), and worship music. It reports to the Worship Committee.
TEMPLATE FOR A POTENTIAL MERGER BETWEEN KNOX UNITED CHURCH
AND ST. ANDREWS UNITED CHURCH
A Way Forward – One River
5
September 2017
2. Property Plan:
The Trustees3 of both Knox and St. Andrew’s will work with the Property Development Team
(PDT) of BC Conference throughout the fall of 2017 to develop a final property proposal for the new
congregation to consider that is in keeping with the guidelines approved in the MOU. Those principles
include:
a. All property held by both Knox and St. Andrew’s be part of the discussion
leading up to a final proposal;
b. Both congregations continue providing space to user groups until a final
decision is made with Board approval;
c. Any operational overage from operating the Knox site will be covered by the
joint assets of the new congregation.
d. Any operational overage of the Knox site will be recovered as part of any final
property proposal; and
e. Long-term user groups will be given ample warning of any property decisions or
policy changes.
f. The final property proposal will provide a legacy for both the previous
congregations and ongoing support for the new congregation.
Implementation: (not exhaustive)
Areas of ministry will to be given priority over the next 12-18 months. Priority will be given to
developing community and a smooth start for the new congregation.
3-6 Months:
1. Both Boards continue to oversee each respective congregation.
2. The Board of the new congregation will be an amalgamation of the two
previously existing boards until a revised governance model is in place.
3. Finance: both congregations will need to close their books. An investment
policy and strategy will need to be developed, in consultation with the
Trustees, for the new congregation’s assets.
4. Committees will start having joint meetings.
5. A Celebration Service for both congregations will be planned and one for the
new congregation.
6. The Trustees will work with the PDT of BC Conference to finalize a property
proposal.
7. A governance model will need to be developed for the new congregation in
keeping with the approved MOU.
8. Joint opportunities to be facilitated to get to know one another.
9. Decide on the name for the new congregation.
10. Continue existing programs and projects until the merger and beyond as
determined by the Board of the merged congregation.
3 Joint Trustees refers to the Trustees of both congregations in the period from September 25 –
December 31, 2017. As of January 1, 2018, there will only be ‘the Trustees’ as the new congregation
will have come into existence.
TEMPLATE FOR A POTENTIAL MERGER BETWEEN KNOX UNITED CHURCH
AND ST. ANDREWS UNITED CHURCH
A Way Forward – One River
6
September 2017
12-18 Months:
1. Build Community.
2. Ministry Inventory and Assessment.
3. Develop a Vision and Mission.
4. Develop a Ministry Plan.
5. Live into a new governance model
6. Embrace new traditions and celebrate the conclusion of others.
7. Undertake a building inventory and develop a plan
 

September 2017
1
Merger Questions & Answers
Q: What will happen to the Knox United building?
A: All property in The United Church of Canada is owned by the denomination. It is held in
trust by congregations on behalf of the denomination. This means that congregations do not
‘own’ their property in the usual sense. As such any decision regarding the Knox property must
also be approved by Cariboo Presbytery and BC Conference. Knox United does not have
historical building status, even though it has been an important landmark in PG for a very long
time. If the plan is to sell the building, proper real estate rules will be followed. In the 6 months
after a successful vote to merge/amalgamate the joint Trustees will work with the Property
Development Team (PDT) of BC Conference to develop a plan with the greatest viability for the
new congregation and the Knox building (including the St. Andrew’s properties). Any plan will:
a. Insure no long-term liability (must be cost neutral or revenue positive);
b. Be in line with the vision and mission of the new congregation;
c. Provide ongoing support for the new congregation; and
d. Propose a way to honour the history of Knox United in PG.
Q: Both congregations have property. What will happen to it?
A: The joint Trustees1 of both congregations will develop a property plan. Both Knox and
St. Andrew’s have property they will be bringing into any new congregation. While the MOU
states that the worship location for the new congregation will be the current St. Andrew’s
building, St. Andrew’s also has three building lots attached to its current property. A property
professional will be consulted to undertake a property assessment of all property held by both
congregations. The same criteria noted above will apply.
Q: If the Knox United building is sold, what happens to the proceeds?
A: If the congregations vote to merge/amalgamate, then any proceeds from the sale of any
property will become part of the assets of the new congregation as part of the financial plan. If,
instead of merging/amalgamating, Knox decided to close (disband), then all assets (including
those from any sale of property and any existing investments) would revert to BC Conference
for its use.
Q: What will happen to the assets of both congregations?
A: In The United Church of Canada when congregations merge/amalgamate the assets of
each congregation become part of the new congregation. Both congregations would bring
assets to the new congregation in terms of property and cash assets. A joint plan will be
developed by the Trustees and Finance Committees of each congregation to deal with all the
cash assets. This plan will be approved by the new congregation.
1 Joint Trustees refers to the Trustees of both congregations in the period from September 25 –
December 31, 2017. As of January 1, 2018, there will only be ‘the Trustees’ as the new
congregation will have come into existence.
September 2017
2
Q: What will happen to all the items at Knox?
A: Every household has stuff. The same is true of churches. Some we need to keep. Some
we need to let go of. Both congregations will need to take an inventory and, with appropriate
consultation, decide what needs to be kept and what can be let go. It’s important to remember
that the new congregation will need to create space to honour the history of both
congregations. It’s also important to remember it is the new vision and mission of the
congregation that will determine what is needed and what needs to be held onto.
Q: Who will the Trustees be for the new congregation?
A: it is up to every congregation to name who the Trustees will be and the length of their
term, as long as they are not in a staff position. The only exception is that ministry personnel
are automatically a Trustee. The new congregation will have to decide who its Trustees will be.
Typically, merged congregations combine the previous Trustees (assuming they want to
continue) and then have staggered terms for replacement.
Q: Why must we have a new name?
A: A new name acknowledges that both congregations are giving something up and are
becoming more than either one was on their own. In some ways, it’s symbolic of the new thing
we are doing and follows a strong biblical tradition. Jesus teaches us not to try putting new
wine into old skins – it doesn’t work and makes a mess when they burst. We’re starting
something new – it needs a new name (container). Name changes to reflect a new way of being
or something being significantly different are common in scripture too. Just think of Saul who
became Paul, Abram who became Abraham, and Sarai who became Sarah to name three
significant people. A new name reflects the possibility of what God is calling us towards and the
faith with which we take each step. As such church names aren’t ‘sacred’ and can be changed
relatively easily. Legally it is up to us what name we want for our congregation.
Q: How will our histories be honoured?
A: It is very important that the histories of both congregations be honoured in appropriate
and meaningful ways. There are so many options (plaques, room names, special celebration
days, designated funds, programs) that it is hard to list them all here, yet a plan will be
developed to ensure that this happens, not just before any effective merger date, but in an
ongoing way. We don’t want to lose our history – we want to celebrate it!
Q: What the proposed timeline for the merger process?
A: The goal is to take an appropriate amount of time. The amount of time we need to take
is different for each person. Some people need lots of time, others not so much. The goal is to
find a balance between the two, knowing there is no way to satisfy everyone. The proposed
timeline looks like this:
o September 24, 2017: Congregations vote, by secret ballot, to approve the
merger/amalgamation proposal.
o Fall 2017: A joint Implementation Team will help the two congregations come
together and get to know one another. Committees and groups will start to work
September 2017
3
together. Joint planning will start to take place. Celebrations for each
congregation will be undertaken.
o January 1, 2018: Official start of the newly merged/amalgamated congregation.
o January and beyond: It will take some time for us to get to know one another.
Some of that will happen in the fall of 2017, yet much of that cannot happen
until the two congregations are one. There will be a time of adjustment, of
learning, and of intentionally caring for one another in a way that best
exemplifies Christian community.
Q: What will our governance look like?
A: The MOU states that a policy governance model will be developed for the new
congregation. St. Andrew’s is already using this model. Initially the board might have increased
numbers during the first 12-18 months. After that, the goal is to have an effective Church Board
made up of no more than 12 people who have the skills, gifts, abilities, and time needed to be
an effective Church Board member.
Q: Will there be a place for me in the new congregation?
A: ABSOLUTELY! The goal is to make sure there is a place and a role for everyone in the
new congregation. Those roles might stay the same and be very familiar, they might be shared,
or they might change, yet the commitment is to ensure that where ever possible people find a
home in the new congregation.
Q: Is this the right time?
A: That’s a really hard question to answer, in part because there’s never a perfect time.
While both congregations are grieving changes in ministry personnel, this time of transition
affords us an opportunity to be open to new ideas, traditions, and ways of being. It gives us a
chance to examine what we really care about and want to carry forward with us. It creates the
space to discern where are we being called now in a way that is God centered. In short, while
there is no perfect time, it is believed that this is an appropriate and good time to ask this
question and embrace wherever God is leading us next.
Q: Are both congregations financially healthy?
A: Yes. Both congregations are financially viable as they are today, however the future
holds challenges for all of us. Merging the two congregations isn’t about a financial crisis or lack
of funding in either congregation. It is about being the most viable, vital, and vibrant
congregation of The United Church of Canada that we can be. It is about being proactive and
realistic, while listening for God’s call for us and discerning our vision and mission for where we
are today and would like to be in the future.
Q: What’s going to happen with the staff of both congregations?
A: Both congregations have staff, some of whom have been with them for a very long time.
Every effort will be made to ensure fair and equitable treatment, yet whether someone stays or
continues in their position with the new congregation will ultimately be a personal decision for
each individual. The goal is an effective staff team with skills, knowledge, and abilities that the
September 2017
4
new congregation needs; who are willing to work in a mutually supportive environment; and
willing to take direction from The Board and the Lead Minister. Every staff person has been
consulted about the proposed plan. What we’ve come up with is a plan that was developed
jointly! What is being proposed balances the needs of individuals and that of the new
congregation as much as possible, while leaving room for new opportunities and ministry.
Q: What’s the threshold for a successful vote on the Merger Proposal and who can vote?
A: In The United Church of Canada it is common practice for significant decisions to require
more than the minimum of 50%+1 to be successful. The threshold often used in our
denomination for votes like this one is to require a 2/3 or 66% majority. When issues like a
merger are being voted on each congregation must vote in favour of the proposal to move
forward. The task group is recommending that this higher requirement of a 2/3 or 66% majority
be used. (This means 66% of Knox full-members and 66% of the St. Andrew’s full-members
present on September 24, 2017 must vote yes to move forward) In The United Church of
Canada only those who are full-members and present the day of the meeting are eligible to
vote. The vote on September 24, 2017 will also be done by secret ballot. Each congregation is
developing a process to ensure that people who are eligible to vote can do so.
Q: Who will be able to use the buildings of the new congregation?
A: The new Board will develop a rental policy that is in keeping with the vision and mission
of the new congregation. Any group looking to rent space will be considered in light of that
policy. The goal is not to exclude anyone, yet we do need to be mindful of how user groups
reflect on the congregation and not being a cross purpose.
Q: How can I participate in the process/discussion?
A: The goal is to insure that everyone who wants to participate…can. To help that we’ve
set up some opportunities for discussion. However, we also know that these might not work for
some people. If you can’t make one of the sessions, please contact a member of the Task
Group. It doesn’t matter which congregation their part of. Contact whomever your most
comfortable with.
Sept. 17th – Q and A after church for those who have queries
Sept 20th Q&A at St. Andrew’s from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m
Sept. 21 Q&A at Knox from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m
Sept. 24th – merger overview and vote
Can’t make it? Contact a member of the task group:
Karen Hynd – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Sharon Vincent – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Les Waldie – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Don Homan – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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We are located at 3555 5th Avenue. 

On the corner of 5th Avenue and Union Street.

Click here for a map of our location.

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  • Welcome

      St. Andrew’s, United Church of Canada in Prince George, B.C. We are a caring Christian community, celebrating God’s love, welcoming and valuing all people, responsive to challenge and change, seeking justice, embracing dialogue, and lead by the teachings of Jesus. This is a very child friendly church with storytime and Sunday School for toddlers to grade 7.  Newcomers and visitors are always welcome. As a one storey building, the church has ground level wheelchair access throughout including a wheelchair accessible washroom.  The main entrance includes an automatic door opener.  Designated handicap parking is available. St. Andrew’s is located on the southwest corner of 5th Avenue and Union Street in Prince George. Our Sunday morning worship is at 10:00 a.m.           Read More
  • This Sunday

      Theme: Road to Freedom (worship service is at 10:00 a.m.) Sermon: Finding a Way  Ministry of Music:  Come Follow Me Read More
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