Tough questions, tough answers at Creative Care workshop
By Gisele McKnight
“We get so tired out raising money to stay alive that we have no energy for missions.”
This provocative statement came from the small group discussions at the stewardship workshop on Saturday, Oct. 18. That heartfelt statement turned out to be the central focus of the day-long session that sought an answer to this question: Does your building hinder your mission? In this case, and many others, the answer was yes.
St. John’s Church Parish Centre, Parish of Douglas and Nashwaaksis hosted the Creative Care – Rethinking the Sacred workshop, with 100 participants from parishes around the province. Randal Goodfellow, a member of the parish of Ottawa, was the keynote speaker. He is a senior executive in the renewable energy, clean technology and green buildings sectors.
He relied heavily on the Five Marks of Mission and the Baptismal Covenant to illustrate that sometimes, an old, underused, crumbling, expensive building may be hindering a congregation’s ability to meet its mission to nurture new believers, to respond to human need, challenge injustice and to safeguard the integrity of creation.
Goodfellow repeated the theme of a building’s help or hindrance throughout the day: a mission is not a building. It’s a tool that helps or hinders. A church is not a building; it’s a community.
The morning speakers also included Amy Murdock of Grant-Thorton discussing the tax implications of revenue-generating activities within the church; and Jarvis deCondé ,diocesan insurance advisor, who underscored the need for liability insurance for church property, and for us to make sure outside users of our church spaces have it too.
Canon David Kierstead, chair of the property committee, reminded us that we must contact him if we contemplate building changes that will alter our structures, thy have lots of good advice and encouragement to offer and can save us some headaches too.
21 October 2014