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Church of St. John the Evangelist

Annual Vestry Reports 2016

Annual Meeting: February 19, 2017


Table of Contents

Interim Pastor's Report

Warden's Report

Parochial Search Committee

Report of the Building and Property Committee

Envelope Secretary Report

Investment Committee Report

Columbarium Report

Report from Christ Church Drayton, ACTS -- Africa Community Technical Service

Outreach - Primates World Relief Development Fund

The Portage Connection, Service of Healing

Update of Parish Refugee Support Group

Parish Choir Report

Volunteer Choir and Youth Choir Report

Altar Guild Report, Ladies Dinner Group

11am Sunday Morning Coffee Hour, Pastoral Visiting

St. John's Patronal Lunch

St. John's Men's Club

Financial Report



Interim Pastor's Report to Vestry

Dear Friends and Parishioners;

I would like to thank you for the warm welcome and hospitality that I have received from you during my time here at St. John’s as an interim pastor. I have appreciated your willingness to share your wisdom about the parish, and your knowledge of its history. I would especially like to thank our Wardens, Doris M’Timkulu and Charlotte Logan for their encouragement and insight. Canon Robert Hulse who has such deep roots in the Church and larger community is a great source of knowledge and minister of pastoral care.

There are so many other people who make the operation of the parish run like a well-run ship, I am afraid that I will miss out some one’s name. Just know that your efforts are appreciated not only by me, but the entire St. John’s family.

The Parochial Search Committee is moving along with the discernment process and preparing the Parish Profile for publication. Those of you who were able to attend the parish planning workshop will have witnessed for yourselves the diligence of the committee in the organization of that very productive day. We expect the final publication of the profile to be quite soon and we will be ready to move on to the next steps.

St. John’s has been blessed not only with an abundance of talented people, but also, I believe, an abundance of God’s grace. I see it reflected in the lives, witness, and dedication of its members. The fruits of the Spirit are very much alive here. With an openness to that same Spirit, God will surely continue to bless this community of faith.

God’s Peace,
The Rev’d Gordon Walls.

Table of Contents


Warden's Report to Annual Vestry

The Corporation Team consists of the Rector, the two Wardens, Charlotte Logan and Doris M’Timkulu, Deputy Wardens Marcus Kramer and Lorna Kearns (the latter in her dual role this year as Deputy Warden and Treasurer), and the Chair of Building and Property, Walter Langford.  While the Rector and the two Wardens are given formal decision-making power by diocesan canon, decisions are made by consensus after careful deliberation of facts and potential impacts.

We met at eight scheduled full meetings, with numerous meetings in between to consider urgent or special issues. In addition we prepared for the Annual Vestry Meeting in February and for a Special Vestry Meeting in July.

Two events overshadowed everything else: the retirement of our Rector, Patrick Patterson; and the sale of the church property at 310 Geddes Street. But let’s review some of the less extraordinary business first.

Two service contracts were reviewed: the one for banking business, and another for communications (telephone and internet).  In both cases we found that our current providers, Bank of Montreal and Bell Canada, give us the best service at comparable  or better prices.

Volunteer Screening and Management continued to be on our to-do list. We now have a computerized system of the many volunteer roles at St. John’s and their current occupants.  Obtaining police checks for many of the roles / occupants will be a task for 2017.

In a very productive meeting with the Board of the Elora Festival and Singers we confirmed our continuing cooperation to our mutual enrichment. Due to cost factors, EFS cannot offer Choral Evensongs during the summer festival anymore. However, our parishioners and many guests will continue to enjoy the blessings of Festival Sundays with the Festival Choir and a guest organist.

An agreement of 50:50 ownership of the music library and a policy for its management was signed by St. John’s and EFS.

In September, Emily Petrenko accepted the artistic directorship of the prestigious Mississauga Children’s Choir. We were so glad that she continues to direct and inspire the Children’s and Youth Choir, but she had to give up the Volunteer Choir. To our relief and delight, Jurgen added that responsibility to his other roles. We can be so grateful that we have so many gifted and flexible leaders at St. John’s.

By the grace of God and the faithful giving pattern of our parishioners, we only have drawn on part of the annual income of our internal investment funds to assist with annual operating expenses in past years. We hope that this will remain so for many years. However, to protect these internal funds the following policy was approved:

Policy regarding use of Investment Income

This policy augments the Policy and Procedures regarding Donations of Property, Cash, Securities, Works of Art, or other Objects of Value, approved by the Corporation, September 21, 2011

  1. Investment Funds are managed, and their income is used, in accordance with the donor’s designation, or in cases where there is no donor designation, by decision of the Corporation or Vestry.
  2. To ensure the growth of the investment funds and guard against a drop in value due to inflation or market forces, a minimum of 20% of the annual income from the Beaufait, General Endowment and Thomasson Funds will be reinvested and a maximum of 80% of the annual income may be withdrawn for the purpose designated by the donor or for a purpose decided by the Corporation or Vestry.
  3. Any deviance from this policy in a given year needs to be approved by the Corporation, based on a clearly specified rationale, and reported to the Annual Vestry Meeting.

Approved by the Corporation April 26, 2016

Terri MacLean was the administrator of the Columbarium for many years and rendered a valuable, yet mostly unseen service. When her health did not allow her to continue in that role, Pat Ellis stepped in with great dedication and management skills.  To conform to provincial government regulations, our policies and procedures had to be thoroughly revised and rewritten.  Pat sought the input from government and diocesan officials and the much appreciated assistance of Norm Morris.  After further reviews by the Corporation team, our policies and procedures were approved by the Government of Ontario with only very minor adjustments. We are so very grateful to Pat for her untiring and dedicated work.

In late 2015, parishioners had agreed to sell the residence at 310 Geddes Street, based on a thorough business analysis.  After Synod Council approved this action in January, we contracted Peter Ellis as our real estate broker and began talks with the tenant, Terri MacLean. In view of the ill health of this long-time parishioner, Vestry had voted that the sale be executed “with due regard to the health and well-being of the current tenant.” The property was sold to Terri MacLean and her granddaughter, Jennifer Windsor, at a purchasing price of $275,000. After approval by Synod Council, the sale was ratified at a Special Vestry Meeting on July 24, 2016. The net proceeds are invested and earmarked “for future capital needs”, as per Special Vestry motion.

In a letter read at all services on April 10, 2016, Bishop Michael Bird announced “that the Reverend Canon Dr. Patrick Patterson has submitted his intention to retire and submitted his resignation as Rector of St. John’s, Elora, effective August 1, 2016.” This news was received with much sadness, to say the least; yet the overwhelming response was one of immense gratitude to God and to Patrick for his eleven wonderful years of dedicated and inspired service. Soon a slew of parishioners came together to prepare for an appropriate celebration on June 26 and on Patrick’s last Sunday, July 10.  Suzanne Kienapple coordinated a very busy group of folks to host the picnic at Noel Edison’s home, ensuring food and drink for over 100 persons, tents for welcome shade, beautiful decorations and gracious service. Under the leadership of Peter Barr another group planned the program, invited parishioners, friends and colleagues.  It was a most befitting celebration with thanksgiving for Patrick’s 40 years of ministry – the last eleven of which at St. John’s – and Beth’ and the children’s many contributions to the life of the parish.

Bishop Michael Bird met with about 60 parishioners on May 12 to explain the process of searching for and appointing a new incumbent.  According to diocesan canon, the Search (Parochial) Committee is formed by the Wardens and lay Delegates to Synod. Deputy Wardens may participate in all activities of the Search Committee with full voice, but without vote.  We are most grateful that Lorna Kearns in her capacity as Deputy Warden is a very fitting link to the 9.00 a.m. service attendees. The report of the Search Committee accounts for the busy time we have had since the Fall.

In August we welcomed the Rev’d Gordon Walls as our Interim Rector. As Wardens we have tried to assist him in whatever way was helpful and to guide him through the rather complex business and dynamics of our parish. We hope and pray that Gordon’s ministry with us will be as much a blessing to him as it is to us.

Through this year of transition we have become ever more aware of, and deeply grateful for the wide and thorough involvement of so many parishioners in the life of St. John’s.  Whether it is as members of standing committees – Building & Property, Investment, Altar Guild - or service groups such as Sunday School, Men’s Club, Women’s Dinner, the gardening crew, the flower arrangers, or ad-hoc groups such as that for Syrian Refugees, PWRDF, the Parish Picnic groups, or the incredibly dedicated Portage crew – all have provided leadership for St. John’s to the glory of God.  Thanks be to God.


Submitted by: Wardens: Charlotte Logan Doris M’Timkulu  
  Deputy Wardens: Lorna Kearns Marcus Kramer  

 Table of Contents


Report for Vestry, Parish Search Committee

The Search Committee consists of Gordon Walls, Interim Priest-in-Charge, Doris M’Timkulu, Rector’s Warden, Charlotte Logan, People’s Warden, Lorna Kearns, Marcus Kramer, Deputy Wardens, Susan Brown, Ellen Pearson, Ian Rice, Lay Delegates. Before we, the Search Committee, could begin any work at all, we had to participate in a Diocesan-required Workshop, led by Rev. Canon Terry DeForest, Diocesan Director of Human Resources, who would explain the whole Search process and indicate he would be available for further help.  With so many churches in the Diocese without rectors, he was not available till September!

Simply put, the Committee was to develop a Diocesan-approved Parish Survey, disseminate it, study the results, then have a Facilitator lead a Parish Workshop in early 2017 to discuss the Survey and receive Parish input. With the additional information gleaned from the Workshop, the Search Committee would have clarification of the needs of the Parish and be better prepared to craft a Parish Profile to be available in the Spring for the Bishop’s use in proposing potential quality candidates for the new Rector of St. John’s. After the necessary Workshop in September, we further familiarized ourselves as a working committee and signed the necessary Confidentiality Agreement for our work. Very quickly, the Committee realized the Search for a new Rector, with the process required by the Diocese, was going to take more than a few months!

A few general sections of the required Parish Profile were prepared in Draft by several contributors, not just the Search Committee, and by November, 2016, the Survey had been designed, mailed to all 255 names on the parish list, and emailed to about 110 households with email addresses. Parishioners and St. John’s friends had the choice of completing the hard copy or accessing Survey Monkey to complete the Survey online. A record response, 50%, of 46 online and 82 hard copies, the latter entered online by a Search Committee member, indicated the extreme interest the Parish had in the whole Search process. By the end of 2016, a date had been set for the Parish Workshop, January 28, 2017, with Facilitator, Rev. Canon Dr. Cathie Crawford Browning, known to many in the St. John’s community and definitely approved by the Diocese.

As the Search Committee continues again in earnest in 2017, it has a full workload, but is very impressed and thankful for the support and engagement of St. John’s parishioners, and the marvellous response to the Survey as we search for a new Rector for St. John’s. We shall continue to keep everyone posted as the Search process continues.

Respectfully submitted,
Susan Brown

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Report of Building and Property Committee to Vestry

At year’s end, the committee consisted of Walter Langford (chair), Goran Bengtsson, Gordon Bristowe, Graham Dunsmore, Gordon Martin, Guy Mommaerts, Edward Thomas and Dave Watkins. Recommendations to wardens, project management, annual inspections and maintenance form the duties. The chair attends Corporation meetings.

The following matters were dealt with in 2016:

  1. Due to the deteriorating condition of the wooden vents and quatrefoils in the bell tower, Hanscomb Glass undertook their repair and painting. Due to extensive rot in the vents’ sills, it was necessary to replace most and undertake masonry repair around the sills. This proved quite time consuming so the project was scaled back to stay within budget. The 2 quatrefoils and the vent looking out over the chancel roof will be completed in 2017. Budget allowing, we will also complete the restoration of the 3 remaining windows in the nave and chancel.
  2. Under Gordon Bristowe’s leadership, a utility shed was built, and the south and west entry doors painted.
  3. Some plaster in the basement stairwell was removed or repaired, and painted.
  4. Heritage plaques provided by TCW were installed on Church and parish centre.
  5. New carpet was installed in the nave, west entry and basement stairs.
  6. After the spring gardening, Judy Briggs-Bentgsson and Kathryn Houston retired from their leadership role in managing our parish gardens.  Last year’s adopt-a-garden program continued most successfully through the summer and fall.  Many thanks to the gardeners who maintained our tradition of beautiful grounds, and to both Kathy and Judy for their many years of service!

The committee will meet in early spring to consider plans for 2017. One expense required will be the replacement of the gas-fired, hot water heating system in the original section of the parish centre. After a thorough cleaning last fall it still barely passed the CO test, and given its age, replacement has been recommended.

As always, we appreciate the caring and supportive work of our custodian, Bob Ford, and thank the many, many volunteers who inspect, decorate, clean, paint, repair and garden, helping to make our Church buildings and grounds a beautiful and welcoming place. I encourage anyone interested in joining the committee, in doing handi-person work or in adopting a garden to approach me during coffee hour.


Respectfully submitted,
Walter Langford, Chair

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Report to Vestry
Envelope Secretary 2016

All donations and weekly offerings have been posted and tallied to each parishioner’s account for the year ending 2016.  216 tax receipts have been mailed. (140 envelope holders and 76 non envelope series 800 & 900).  This number covers St Johns and Christ Church Drayton.

Over the past year 160 tax receipts were issued for donations received from visitors throughout the year.

Pre-Authorized Payment Plan contributors have increased to 49 participants.  I would encourage you to consider this plan for your financial contributions.  This plan is consistent and will enable our council and clergy to plan and budget for the future. Forms are available at the back of the church or feel free to contact me.

In September the Wardens requested statements to be mailed to all parishioners.  This would enable us to update our givings for the year. All Statements were mailed the last week of September.

Over the past three years I have submitted a monthly report to the Parish Centre Committee reporting the monthly pledges for their perusal.  Reports were also submitted to the Warden on our Kenya Scholarship program.

Over the past year we have added a 3rd team to our counters. We now are able to rotate every three weeks.  I personally want to extend my thanks to them for their weekly dedication of collecting the offerings, (from every service, Christmas 5+) and recording and banking all funds.

Please feel free to contact me if you require further information regarding your donations or information on your tax receipt.

Respectfully submitted,
Barbara A. Gow
Envelope Secretary

A Comparitive Table of Dollar Amounts
Given by Contributors

$0-$500. 72
$501-$1000. 33
$1001-$2000. 44
$2001-$3000. 21
$3001-$4000. 10
$4001-$5000. 11
$5001-$6000. 6
$6001-$7000 4
$7001-$8000. 3
$8001-$9000. 2
$9001-10,000 2
$10,001-over 8


Contribution Category Totals
January - December 2016

OFFERINGS - INITIAL $      500.00
CHOIR FUND 87,318.04
OUTREACH 3,350.00
UGANDA (ACTS) 1,617.15
DRAYTON 19,763.00
9 O’CLOCK MUSIC 2,420.00
CURATE/ YOUTH 1,617.00
GRAND TOTAL: $ 487,215.87


The above totals do not include monies received from the sale of bonds and shares., totalling  $17,115.85  Proceeds were distributed as follows:  Parish Centre, Kenya Scholarship Fund, Smyth Lecture, Choir Fund, Capital Restoration, Uganda, P.W.R.D.F. Flowers. General Operating

The above amount of $17,115.85 is not included in the “Comparative Table of Dollars “

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Report of the Investment Committee
DECEMBER 31, 2016


The committee met as required during 2016. The members of the committee are Ken Edwards (Chair), Ellen Pearson, and James Prichard. There are two ex officio non-voting members, Lorna Kearns and Robert Hulse.  The committee is guided by an investment policy statement prepared by the members of the church corporation.

The investment funds managed by the committee are as follows:


Dec 31 2015

Market Value

Dec 31 2015


Dec 31 2016

Market Value

Dec 31 2016


The Beaufait Fund




$  914,305

The Harold Thomasson Choir Fund





The St John the Evangelist Endowment Fund





The St John’s Cemetery Fund





The St John’s Rectory Fund











The investment committee is directly responsible for the funds managed by RBC Dominion, which includes The Beaufait Fund, The Harold Thomasson Choir Fund, and The St John the Evangelist Endowment Fund. The committee is not directly responsible for the funds managed by Russell Investments which includes The St John’s Cemetery Fund and The St John’s Rectory Fund as these funds are under the control of the Diocese of Niagara which has a committee that monitors the activities of the manager.

The Gerald Punnett in Trust account which held the proceeds from the sale of the Henderson Street property amounting to $280,776 was transferred to the general account in 2014 to provide interim financing for the Parish Centre.  As parishioners met their pledges, funds were returned to the investment committee for reinvestment. After a final installment of $28,521 is received I 2017, the committee will have received a total of $206,360 for reinvestment, with the Henderson Fund contributing $74,516 to the Parish Centre Fund building project.

During the year the committee received $32,078 from the Barbara Hazlett Estate and $19,156 as the final amount from the Burke Estate which has been invested as provided by the terms of their wills.

The income from the various funds are used to finance the general operations of the parish.

If any member of the parish has questions or concerns they can direct them to a member of the committee who will strive to answer them.


Respectfully submitted,
Ken Edwards, Chair

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Columbarium Report to Vestry

The Columbarium of our Parish was initially erected in 1992 holding 89 niches. In 2011 it was realized that there was a need for more niches and 60 more were added. Over the years many Church volunteers oversaw the administration and maintenance of this most tranquil structure and area.

As reported in the last edition of Common Supplications there has been a lot of activity in this area. As the current Administrator I have taken seriously the responsibilities entrusted to me to meet the standards expected by the Corporation of St. John’s Church, the parishioners, the Interment Rights holders, and the Province.

The following is a summary of the present position of this area:


As of December 31, 2016 final approval was granted by the Registrar of the Bereavement
Authority of Ontario for the By-Laws for St. John’s Church Columbarium. I wish to thank the members of the Corporation for their assistance in this endeavour.
I wish to sincerely express my gratitude to Norman Morris for his guidance, words of wisdom, and assistance in meeting all the extensive requirements to accomplish this task.
Anyone wishing for a copy of the By-Laws please contact the church office.


It was approved in September of 2016 by members of the Corporation and the majority of Interment Rights holders to cover all the unused niches.
Fergus Monuments has ordered the required 92 plain black plaques which have arrived from India. The installation will begin in the spring by Al Thiessen who has been very faithful in his commitment to St. John’s.
The cost of each plaque was covered by the majority of the current Interment Rights holders.
The remainder of the cost will be realized at the time of need or when new Interment Rights are purchased.
To clarify, an “Interment Rights Holder” is a person who has purchased the Right to be interred in St. John’s Columbarium.  It does not include ownership of the niche.


Gordon and Dinah Bristowe have kindly offered to do the gardening for the Columbarium.
They have been wonderful! The area was cleaned and beautified for All Saints day and we received many messages of thanks and praise for this endeavour. In the spring they will assist Walter Langford in painting the fence and benches, putting in new lighting, and proceed with plantings for the year. Thank you!


All forms are current. Packages are available for all interested persons.  

I am most willing to meet with anyone with questions or interest in the Columbarium. It is a most tranquil place. It holds many memories for us who have loved ones there and know they rest in peace.

Respectfully submitted,
Patricia Ellis                                                                           

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A new steel roof has recently been installed on the little white church in Drayton.  The roof was financed by a fund set up fifty years ago with the proceeds from Rotary dinners.  A special thanks to Esther Lewis and her daughter, Shirley and the W.A. ladies who were dedicated church workers over the past half century.

We welcomed Barbara Murray, whose parents were devout members of St. John’s and whose father was the village barber for many years (I remember him well).  She has brought along some of her friends from St. David’s and St. Patrick’s which has had to close.

New members are always welcome!

Respectfully submitted,
Canon Robert Hulse

Report for Africa Community Technical Services (ACTS)

St. John's very generously continued to support ACTS in 2016 with a total donation of $2245.15 which will be matched by a Vancouver area private donor to double its impact in Uganda.

A message recently received from ACTS Director, Nate Lepp, is shared with you here:

"Your incredible support throughout the year has brought clean water to families across Uganda. As a caring ACTS supporter, you already know that water transforms lives and builds healthier communities. Families are freed to spend time growing food, going to school, and earning a living and it's all because of you.

Thank you.
Nate Lepp"


Jeff Golby, ACTS Director of Resource Development, is hoping to visit this region early in 2017 to bring first hand greetings, and you will hear the details about his trip as soon as they are available.

Respecfully submitted,
Judy-Anne Chapman

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pwrdf 1REACHING OUT TO THE WORLD VIA PWRDF                        

PWRDF continues to offer us a lens through which we can see the signs of God’s reign here and now. PWRDF offers us opportunities to sow the seeds of His reign and to see the plants sprout and bear fruit.

When many felt overwhelmed by the utter misery of Syrian and other refugees and before we could participate in welcoming some refugees in our land, we were reminded that the majority of refugees continues to linger in Near Eastern camps. Through PWRDF and their allied organizations their plight can be alleviated with our gifts of prayer and money.

pwrdf 2Our cooperation with St. James Fergus continued most successfully.  We raised $1,250 at our annual Harvest Tea in September. With over $7,000 in Government matching grants, this will equip two health centres in Mozambique with emergency power.

We also wrote a to-do manual to assist future committee members in the planning and organizing of this event.

On PWRDF Sunday in November we had the pleasure of welcoming Dr. Joel Mubiligi, Deputy Chief Medical Officer with Partners in Health Rwanda, and Sophie Matte with Village Health Works, Burundi, overseeing the All Mothers and Children Count program. I only wish there would have been more time for more of you to hear their extraordinary stories.

Please read carefully the following thank-you letter from PWRDF and the list of extraordinary program outcomes, i.e. signs of God’s enfolding reign.


Respectfully submitted,
Doris M’Timkulu, PWRDF Coordinator

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The Portage Connection - Vestry Report

Portage Ontario and St John’s Elora are continuing a long mutually beneficial fellowship. We have a ministry with residents and staff, and they in turn minister to us in a variety of ways. Portage residents participate as: altar servers, Sunday School assistants, servers at PWRDF teas, and many other events.

Fr. David Mulholland counsels Portage residents generally once per week, and concelebrates many Sundays. Catherine Clail faithfully trains the altar servers each week, and then supervises them at the services. (Catherine also gives the servers an appreciation of wild Canadian bears.)

Mon. Night Bible Study at Portage is led by Sharon Barrett and Anne Crawford, with frequent help from Betty Knight and Melanie Love. The boys Bible Study is led by some combination of Jeff Ostic, Craig Love, Peter Scott, and Dave Tinker.  All of the above can attest how much we learn from the residents and their questions.  Thanks to Nancy K & Nancy S for coaching the Portage reader at 9am.

Our Epiphany Party at Portage is an annual event when the residents learn from three wise men bearing gifts that Santa Claus was not the founder of the gift-giving tradition. Small stuffed toys are collected for the event by Anne Tinker, Betty Knight, and Catherine Clail. By the end of the evening each stuffed animal is usually named and will sleep with the grateful new owner. During the evening a guitarist, story-teller, and various parishioners join the residents in songs. Arguably the high point of the evening is when Maestros Peter & Nancy Scott conduct “The !2 Days of Christmas”. 

One of our church`s simplest, but most meaningful gifts to residents has been a willingness to lend an encouraging and attentive ear. John Knight and Jim Bottoms along with many others deserve kudos here.

If you want further involvement, one way is as a part-time driver, and Portage is looking. Peter Scott & Dave Tinker will be happy to answer your questions.

Respectfully submitted,
Dave Tinker



Once a month, (Sep through June), our small healing ministry team gathers to assist those who seek help in rediscovering their relationship with God and with others as well as themselves. These services, like Jesus` ministry, is open to members, and non-members of our parish community. The services are hosted by St John`s and Elora United, usually on the 3rd Sunday.

Respectfully submitted,
Dave Tinker

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St. John's Refugee Support Group

Our committee of nine members (Peter Barr, Susan Brown, Susan Hirst, Janet Hossack, Stan Litch, Deb Ostic, Jeff Ostic, Peter Scott, Wendy Donohue) has been meeting monthly.

Our mandate continues to be support for the four Centre Wellington organizations who have sponsored refugee families (Project Welcome, Under the Same Sky, Faith Lutheran Church, St. Andrew's Presbyterian Fergus). This support has been primarily financial, but in-kind donations and volunteer services have also been offered.

In 2016 we achieved a laudable outcome of financial support through various methods:

 - the on-going "Coins in Jars" continues to generate funds in several businesses around Elora

- the October 27 Evensong Service with the participation of Noel and The Parish Choir raised over $2000 for CW Refugee Support

- the sale of hot chocolate at the Elora Santa Claus Parade in November added $250 to the account

- weekly bulletin reminders for donations towards refugee support have encouraged financial and in-kind support from the congregation

In total for 2016, we have raised $7,647.74 which has been equally dispersed among the 4 participating sponsoring groups. Since the group was formed in 2015, we have raised over $10,000 for CW refugee support.

We are most grateful for the generosity of the congregation in this worthwhile outreach cause.

Respectfully submitted,
Wendy Donohue

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Parish Choir Report to Vestry

Psalm 100 Verse 1

O BE joyful in the LORD, all ye lands:
serve the LORD with gladness,
and come before his presence with a song.


Opportunities to “come before his presence with a song” are a weekly blessing for members of St. John's Parish Choir.  Music enhances worship at St. John’s through regular and special services.

The Year of Our Lord, 2016, began with the annual Epiphany Service of Lessons and Carols on January 17th. The month of February is one of fellowship, thankfulness and gratitude.  During the month of February, the choir humbly takes responsibility for coffee hour.  This is an opportunity for the choir to show appreciation for the generosity and commitment of this parish.  The choir enjoys preparing tasty treats for this time of fellowship.  Each year choir members ensure their culinary skills are as honed as their musical skills.  Singers are a competitive lot, especially when it comes to hosting coffee hour.

Significant services of Evening Prayer were on Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday and Ascension Day.  The Lenten season is a rewarding and moving time for all involved choristers, Jurgen and Noel. The Maundy Thursday service sung by the men and the Ante-Communion service and the singing of the Reproaches (a choir favourite) on Good Friday, may be from a chorister's point of view, the most intense worship experience of the church year. This serves to prepare us for the joy of Easter services, both Morning Prayer and Holy Communion. On Sunday, April 3rd a service of lessons and carols for Eastertide was presented.  Throughout the year the choir continued to offer bi-monthly Services of Evensong, culminating with the yearly Coronation Evensong on Sunday, June 5th.    

Although saddened by the news of Patrick’s retirement, we were honored to be part of the celebration of his ministry.  A word of thanks must be included to the organizing committee for the wonderful event that marked this milestone.  The choir was thrilled to have the opportunity to “Roast the Rector” with a psalm. 

This fall, the Refugee Committee organized an evensong to support local refugees.  This event raised funds to support Syrian refugees in the Centre Wellington area. The choir was delighted to be able to sing this service of worship.

Noel and members of the choir enjoy the opportunity to share in worship in Drayton and were also pleased to support the Founders’ Day Service at SJK. This year celebrated the 80th birthday of Founder and Chaplain, Canon Robert Hulse. These relationships are important elements of our shared history. The choir also continues to support parishioners as they mark life events such as weddings and funerals. 

We would also like to acknowledge and thank Father Gordon Walls for his ministry and support of the choir this fall. 

Noel’s patience and expertise has allowed the choir to gel and rise to meet the usual standard that parishioners love and enjoy. Members of the choir are humbled by the opportunities that the Parish Choir brings and are consistently moved by the music. 

The choir would like to thank Joel Vanderzee, and Jurgen Petrenko for their occasional music direction, Jurgen for his work in the library and Lisa Jones for her consistent and detailed managerial assistance. 

The opportunity provided by this parish for musical excellence in worship is unique to the region.  People may travel from afar to partake in the musical magic that has made St John’s known and loved, however, it thrives because of the conviction of clergy and ongoing support and commitment from parishioners. Specific mention of our musical leaders must be made. Jurgen's kind manner and musical skill is a huge asset. We also continue to be inspired by Noel’s direction and vision for musical worship at St. John's.

Respectfully submitted,
Bryan Rankine

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Volunteer Choir Report

St. John’s Volunteer Choir is a group of talented and enthusiastic singers who rehears on Tuesdays from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. The choir provides musical leadership at the 9:00 a.m. services on the second and fourth Sundays of the month, and at the 11:00 a.m. service on Advent I and IV.

For 11 years, the choir has been led by Emily Petrenko. This fall, Emily reluctantly had to relinquish this responsibility, as she took on the role of artistic director of the Mississauga Children’s Choir, which involves a considerable time commitment. With the agreement of the church’s administration, the leadership of the Volunteer Choir was turned over to me.

We continue to learn new music from the Oxford anthems books purchased last year, and this fall have added a Gounod mass for use at 11:00 a.m. services to our repertoire. I would like to extend thanks to our dedicated singers, who, without flinching, put up with my terrible jokes and occasional off-topic ramblings. Special thanks to Stan and Elizabeth Litch for hosting us all at our most recent party.

All are welcome to sing in the choir, and there is no audition required to join. Please speak to Jurgen to discuss the best time to start, and then reap the benefits of singing beautiful music, making new friends, and making an important contribution to choral music at St. John’s.

Respectfully submitted,
Jurgen Petrenko



Youth Choir Report to Vestry


The St. John’s Youth Choir is comprised of singers whose ages currently range from 4 to 15. In September, 2016, the choir changed rehearsal days from Tuesdays, and now rehearses on Thursdays from 4:45 to 5:15. The choir sings an introit and a blessing at the 11:00 service approximately ten times each year.

Youth Choir prefect Claire van Donkelaar helps to focus the youngsters long enough to learn new music for services approximately once per month. A choir prefect performs various roles including assisting with vocal warm-ups, organizing gowns, providing vocal leadership, taking attendance, handing out music books, and helping the youngest children follow along in the music.

The Youth Choir offers free musical training to all young people in the community, and provides new families an introduction to St. John’s. Our newest members are Laura (age 10), Bennett (age 9), Vivien (age 8), Clara (age 8), Lili (age 7), Elise (age 5), Izabel (age 4). If you know of a young family with potential recruits, or would like your little one to learn with the choir, please speak to Emily to determine the best time to join the group. This is a non-auditioned choir, there is no fee to participate, and all are most welcome!

Respectfully submitted,
Emily Petrenko

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The High Altar is centre of church worship along with the Side Altar and Font, all being part of church furniture.

We, the Guild, take great care; to the best of our ability to keep all in the best of condition.  The frontals and book marks are changed in accordance to the Church calendar.  Also, all linens are changed and laundered when needed.

To date, we are ten members with an added 'laundry lady' and an extra 'silver polisher'.  These two ladies are much appreciated.  We are always pleased and welcome any interested parties that would care to join us.  Please speak with Dinah or Father Gordon if this is something you would like to be part of.

We hold meeting roughly every tenth week in the Parish Centre and set weekly Sunday duties for setting-up Eucharist, Mattins, or Baptism.  We appreciate Father Gordon being with us and for his guidance.

We have an excellent supplier where candles, bread and hosts, communion wine, linens, and palms and any other church product or services are required.  Dinah is in close contact with ordering such things.

Respectfully submitted,
Dinah Bristowe


We meet monthly to eat, visit and learn together and to support each other.  In 2016, we went from the Bruce Trail to Holy week in Seville. We heard about progress at Grove's  Hospital and the life of bears. We explored the history of sacred spaces and iconography as well as our ways of communicating with each other. A Seder meal began our Easter observances. Our group was able to buy a dishwasher and to put $500 aside for the church kitchen. We have committed funds to the Diocese of Moosonee and to two local concerns. Thank you to all who joined us and to all who have spoken at our monthly dinners.

Respectfully submitted,
Charlotte Logan and Nancy Scott

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This past year brought another year of kindness and generosity as the coffee hour hosts welcomed us after the service. The Parish Choir exceeded itself in February, especially for the Open House for the new Parish Centre, and at the Annual Vestry Meeting.  We welcomed Colin Fox as the Men’s Club coffee hour host in March and give many thanks to Norman Morris for organizing the Men’s Club in past years.

Again, more parishioners joined as new coffee hour hosts, but the majority of hosts this year were those who have faithfully provided refreshments, year after year. A tremendous thanks to everyone is due. My thanks also to Linda Coultes and to Sue Adams for their help and support throughout the year. 

In the fall of 2016 we made the move to implement coffee hour hosting upstairs in the church in order to support those that have difficulty using the stairs (previously approved initiative). This began as a pilot type trial to see if/how we could make it work. With the help of on-going suggestions received, we were able to overcome some of the obstacles. With significant help from Nancy Scott, we managed to obtain support from the portage women, to carry the food and supplies up the stairs from the basement. We were able to extend to those having difficulty with the stairs, the number of opportunities per month, for coffee hour fellowship.

I received direct and indirect feedback. Three significant areas were identified as areas of concern as follows:

  1. Cleanliness of the area
  2. The feeling of the Nave/Sanctuary being a sacred space
  3. The carrying up of the food and supplies – including the coffee pot and tea jugs.

All the feedback received was valued. I was advised early December that coffee hour hosting upstairs is to remain at once a month. In addition, I just heard that the coffee hour hosting upstairs would be held on the last Choral Mattins Sunday of the month.

I believe it is important to acknowledge that we do have concerns with providing coffee hour to those that have difficulty with the stairs. Having said that, I continue to welcome feedback from parishioners in relation to your thoughts, ideas, or concerns on providing coffee hour fellowship that can include everyone, and, where possible, address known concerns. My email is  

Here are some thought provoking questions to help if needed:
What do you think about having coffee hour fellowship outside weather permitting as one of the options?
Is the Parish Centre an option?
Proceed with the elevator?
Is the back of the church considered sacred space by those with concerns?

To all our coffee hour hosts, I thank you again for your time, your smiles, your baking skills, (or in my case, Zehrs skills), your financial contributions towards coffee, juice, milk and cream and so on and so on!! Fellowship is so important and each of you contribute in a big way to ensuring it happens at St. John’s church!!

Finally, my time as coffee hour host scheduler comes to an end June 30th and I want to thank you for this opportunity to be involved. I have certainly learned and can say that my domestic skills in the kitchen have improved. If you are interested in coffee hour hosting and/or the role of coffee hour host scheduling please contact the church office.

Respectfully submitted,
Donna Keating


One of the biggest joys of Pastoral Visiting this past year has been how it involves so many of our parishioners. This includes, for example, the knitters that make prayer shawls for those we visit, donations towards treats and gifts over the recent Christmas holiday, and the ongoing gift of time and travel to achieve this important part of our church life.

A mighty thank you to Father Walls and Canon Hulse for their encouragement and support. Every month I attend meetings to review our parishioner list to ensure we are reaching out to as many as we can. I am happy to report we have had new offers of help to support this important calling.

In addition to the above, and just as important, many of our wonderful parishioners are reaching out to each other with offers of support, words of encouragement and kindness, just because it is what we naturally do.

Respectfully submitted,
Donna Keating

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St. John the Evangelist Patronal Lunch – 2016

This year the Patronal Lunch was, again, a wonderful occasion for 100 parishioners to share food and conversation at the Elora Community Centre, in celebration of our patron, St. John. As in 2015, we started with appetizers and catching up with friends before lunch, and sat down to a buffet meal, with dessert following. It was a bittersweet time as we had just learned that our Rector, Patrick, was retiring. We were grateful to have the opportunity to share a final meal with Beth, Elsa, Nerissa and Patrick.

We were fortunate to have many of the same tasty appetizers, some of which have become parishioners’ signature contribution. Wine, dessert, and flowers were supplied again by our fellow members, and we had a great selection of squares for dessert. Suzanne Kienapple and Kelly Muth kept parishioners apprised of their turn at the buffet line, and plied them with more appetizers as they waited.

Melanie Love and her family generously prepared and brought the salads, thank you so much. We had so many people ask to help with the food service that some were sent out into the room to just mingle and check on table settings, an impromptu hospitality committee. Thanks to Meg Prichard and the Langfords for looking after the linen and to all those who helped with table setting, and buffet food service. Judy Briggs, Anne Vaugeois and Betty Knight were our valued cleanup team this year.

Linda Coultes, Susan Adams, and the church office staff took the time to gather up the RSVPs.  Elizabeth Hanson graciously accepted the free-will offering at the door.

It was great to be with all of you. Thanks be to God for our parish life.


Respectfully submitted,
Lisa Staton

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Report from the St. John's Men's Club



2016 began with a traditional visit by our MP for Wellington-Halton Hills, Michael Chong, with his possible run for the leadership of the Conservative Party still at the rumour stage in January of last year…

In February one of our newest members, Raj Arora recounted his family’s struggle during the violent partition of his native India with Pakistan after the British withdrawl following World War II; and in March, Beth Patterson, Staff Occupational Therapist at St. Joseph’s in Guelph took us on The Rehab Journey with innovative ideas, preventative tips in avoiding accidents around the home and remarkable advances in continuing care.

In April, as chair of the Men’s Club, I took over the guest speaker spot to present my video on the extraordinary spectacle of Holy Week in Seville, Spain; and in May due to a huge response from the community, the Men’s Club invited the Women’s Group and the general public to attend a talk by Marina Nemat, author of the best selling “Prisoner of Tehran” a harrowing account of her imprisonment and torture at the hands of the revolutionary guards in the turmoil of Iran’s overthrow of the Shah in 1979. It was preceded by a dinner of pizza baked especially by recently arrived Syrian refugees, Rasheed and Awatef and donations amounting to over $1200 went to the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture. In June, we welcomed the return of David Hornsby, member Ian’s son, to his native Elora from his new home in South Africa which he described in light of the rapid changes taking place in his adopted country still under the receding shadow of Apartheid.

After the summer break we were delighted to welcome Leslie James, one of our members, whose career as a diplomat brought him rich experiences in representing Canada in the Far East. He spoke about “Reflections of a Diplomatic Career”;

In October, our member, Architect Fred Thompson, using sketches and photographs and drawing on his experience in visiting the temples of Japan and places of worship worldwide spoke about “Ritual and Space in Church Architecture”; and with Remembrance Day drawing near, we invited Anne Tinker, who recently celebrated a fiftieth anniversary with her husband Dave, who provided us with the diary entries and factual accounts of her father’s experiences as Chaplain in World War II in her November talk, “Call of Duty”;

Rounding out the year, we were brought up to date with visuals on the progress of the New Groves Hospital by Executive Director of the Groves Foundation, Lori Arsenault, followed by a detailed and interesting Q & A.

January 2017 with Michael Chong well into the leadership race, there was a large turnout despite harrowing weather conditions forcing some cancellations and a stimulating talk and questions that followed (en francais as well!) made for an enjoyable evening.

February 1st: We look forward to hearing Jan Beveridge on the politically charged issues surrounding Nestle’s purchase of property on Middlebrook Road with the intent of mining our water, of their desire to form a “partnership” with CW Council in order to do an end run around the provincial moratorium; and the question of not only their profits at our expense but the bottling of that water in containers that are polluting the planet. The award-winning documentary “Tapped” about a small community in Maine and their experience with Nestle will be shown.

More interesting guest speakers to come. The St. John’s Men’s Club welcomes new members.


Respectfully submitted,
Colin Fox, Chair

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Balance Sheet as at December 31, 2016


Assets                  Liabilities        
  Current Assets         Current Liabilities    
    Bank    $139,223       Receiver General  $1,113
    Accounts Receivable  1,065       Due to Endowment  67,889
    HST Recoverable  2,879            $69,002
    Prepaid Insurance  1,023            
    Suspense    16,762     Internal Trusts    97,063
         $160,953     Total Liabilities    $166,065
  Other Assets       Equity        
    Diocesan Trusts  $719,123            
    Endowment Trusts  2,831,916     Parish Equity    $(5,112)
         $3,551,039     External Trust Equity    
                Endowment Trusts  2,831,916
  Total Assets    $3,711,992       Diocesan Trusts  719,123
              Total Equity    $3,545,927
              Total Liabilities and Equity  $3,711,992


Income Statement January 1 - December 31, 2016


           Open  $15,032
  Regular  257,403
  Donations in Kind  3,627
  Total Offerings  $276,061
  Miscellaneous  $2,585
  Investment Revenue  42,674
  Diocesan Trust withdrawals  22,788
  Transfers from Internal Trusts  5,970
  Total Other Revenue  $74,017
  Total Revenue  $350,078
  Payroll  $166,433
  Property  31,207
  Overhead  46,721
  Other  93,643
  Total Expenses  $338,004
Net Income  $12,074

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