Our church council meets once each month, except July and August. The council consists of the Minister, Committee Chairs, and Trustee and Presbytery representatives.
The council reports to the congregation which holds ultimate decision-making authority. A minimum of three congregational meetings must be held each year.
Community & Discipleship Committee
The main purpose of this committee is to facilitate the building of community & spiritual life within the church, church communication, and outreach to potential members and the neighbourhoods around our church.
The committee has the following responsibilities:
- Develop and maintain outreach strategies to attract and retain new church members;
- Initiate and maintain groups for church members such as study groups, men’s/women’s/young adult groups, hobby groups, book clubs, and so forth;
- Plan social events for the congregation that facilitates community building and fun. This includes annual events such as church camping weekends, church socials, potlucks,and other events;
- Attend to newcomers in the church; help to integrate them into the life of the church as needed; alert the Minister or congregation care team of those with a special need;
- Monitor and follow up with members who are absent for extended periods of time or who have left the church community;
- Bridge communication channels between the church and the community, through the use of church newsletters, photo directories and social media.
As part of the United Church of Canada, we believe we strengthen one another to work, through God’s grace, for a better world. As a community of faith, Eastminster takes seriously our commitment to social justice. Issues of particular concern to us are safeguarding the environment, the eradication of poverty and homelessness, support for Refugees and the application of the Truth and Reconciliation recommendations and respect for Canada’s Indigenous People.
Our Justice Ministry Committee provides leadership and opportunities for the congregation to be involved in social justice initiatives by staying connected to like-minded faith and service organizations, including the Danforth Multi-Faith Community, and responding to issues and concerns as they arise in our community.
We liaise with and promote the work of the UCC Mission and Service Fund as possible and appropriate and provide opportunities for the congregation to deepen their understanding of and commitment to social justice issues.
As an Affirming United Church, Eastminster endeavors to make all of us feel welcome. We support an Interfaith Pride Facebook, offer special discussions and sermons on the LBBTQ experience and well as the occasional study group.
Ministry and Personnel Committee
Chair: Carol Bennett
Members: Christine Leblanc, Tom Veenstra, Cindy Zwicker-Reston
The Ministry and Personnel (M&P) Committee carefully balances three key roles.: We play a consultative and supportive role, a human relations role, and a conflict management role for the staff, volunteers, members and adherents of Eastminster. We are one of the few Committees that the United Church of Canada requires be established whatever type of governance model is adopted by a congregation. We are accountable to the Council and make recommendations to Council for decisions on matters that fall under our responsibility.
The primary responsibilities of the M&P Committee are to:
- support communication between the congregation, volunteers, ministry personnel and staff;
- review with ministry personnel and staff their salaries, allowances, and benefits, and to make appropriate recommendations to Council prior to the beginning of the regular budgeting process;
- clarify the responsibilities and lines of accountability of ministry personnel and staff, and to review with them their position descriptions;
- consult with ministry personnel and staff regarding continuing education plans and needs, and make recommendations to Council to ensure that time and money are made available;
- conduct regular reviews of the effectiveness of all ministry personnel and staff; and
- to work to resolve conflict at the earliest possible stage.
At Eastminster, our approach to addressing complaints or concerns related to members of the congregation, volunteers, ministry personnel or staff is:
- In a respectful way, raise the matter directly with the party with whom you have the concern. In the spirit of fostering fairness, transparency and good relationships, we believe individuals should receive feedback directly regarding their behaviour, decisions, etc. and be provided the opportunity to respond accordingly without third party intervention.
- If the approach described above doesn’t address or close the matter in a satisfactory way, or if the individual is very uncomfortable or it’s inappropriate to reach out directly to the party with whom you have a concern, please submit specific details in writing to the M&P Committee in order for them to take reasonable action. All issues brought to M&P will be handled confidentially.
The Nominating Committee is an ad hoc committee struck annually by Eastminster Church Council to encourage members of the congregation to bring their talents to committee work and to offer candidates for membership on the various committees.
Terms of office are defined by Eastminster’s constitution, so it is important that members of the Nominating Committee liaise with committee chairs to understand the needs of a given committee and to put forward the candidate(s) whose talents are a good match for the work of the committee. The Nominating Committee also strives to ensure that the committees remain diverse, vibrant and representative of the congregation.
The presbytery is a court of ministry personnel and representatives of local churches gathered to provide fellowship and support among congregations in the area. The presbytery is a cluster of pastoral charges, usually geographically based.
Property and Maintenance Committee
With an aging building this committee is kept on their toes as they constantly work to keep the building running. With a dedicated team of custodians there is a constant round of cleaning, repairs, room set up for groups, painting, providing security and attending to the needs of our many user groups and tenants.
The Stewardship and Finance Committee
The Stewardship and Finance Committee encourages members of Eastminster United Church to commit time, talents and dollars to God’s Mission through the work of the church at home and abroad. Our committee keeps the congregation aware of what their gifts are doing and invites members and adherents of all ages to live a stewardship lifestyle.
The committee is responsible for managing the financial obligations of the congregation through the volunteer Treasurer and paid bookkeeper positions. Annually this committee coordinates preparation and approval of an operating budget, identification of a commitment to the Mission and Service Fund, distribution of offering envelopes, subscription to the United Church Observer for all members as well as arranging for an external audit of the financial records.
On an ongoing basis, the committee is responsible for counting the Sunday offering and deposits, reporting on actual spending and budget overruns to Church Council, maintenance of all office equipment as well as disbursing funds according to the approved budget. Stewardship & Finance works closely with the Eastminster Trustees, through the Church Treasurer, to ensure the timely transfer of funds as required to the operating account of Eastminster United Church in a manner that optimizes overall investment income.
In the autumn each year, the committee facilitates a Stewardship Awareness campaign to encourage active participation in the life of Eastminster, strengthen the financial commitment of members through pledging, increase the utilization of Pre-Authorized Remittance (PAR) for stability of forecasting and raise support for the wider church through the United Church of Canada’s Mission and Service Fund. With gratitude, we strive to be good representatives of Eastminster’s mission in Church, and in our local and wider outreach. We support endeavours like refugee sponsorship and specific fundraising campaigns.
We welcome volunteers for longer term committee work or perhaps a shorter commitment is more to your liking. We meet on a monthly basis with some time off in the summer. If you are interested in volunteering your time and talents, we welcome you. Reach out to our Church office and we’ll put you in touch with the chair. We appreciate any talent and expertise that you are able to offer. We strive to work honorably in our stewardship and financial leadership for Eastminster United Church.
Board of Trustees
- Rev. Sarah Miller
- John Brown
- Victor Chan (Treasurer)
- Marjorie McAughey
- Dr. Alistair Murray
- Judith Ramsay
- Winston Roach
- Ted Sievenpiper (Chair)
- David Stokell
- Marilyn Wilcoxen
The Trustees of Eastminster are a separate body from Council who are charged with managing the financial and other gifts received by Eastminster United Church. With the support of MGI Investments who act as our investment advisors, the Trustees invest the funds received to optimize financial return for the benefit of Eastminster United Church. Investment policy is established by a subcommittee of the Trustees, and follows the “prudent investor” approach to investing. At present, the Trustees manage approximately $1.4 million in assets on behalf of Eastminster United Church.
The annual financial obligations of the Trustees are to provide for the salaries and housing allowance of the ministers, to make-up any operating deficit incurred by Eastminster United Church, and to cover other financial obligations of Eastminster United Church (such as capital expenditures) as directed by its Council. Another important function of the Board of Trustees is to ensure that the congregation carries adequate property and liability insurance; thus the Trustees manage all matters related to insurance for the Eastminster building on behalf of Eastminster Council.
The Board of Trustees serves under the direction of Eastminster Council, and reports regularly via a Trustee representative who sits on Eastminster Council. Typically Eastminster’s Trustees are members of Eastminster United Church who are serving or have served on other Council committees.
The main purposes of this committee are to oversee, with the Minister and Music Director, the development and delivery of worship and special services.
The committee has the following responsibilities:
- Provide input to the Minister and Music Director about the format of worship services and consider suggestions from the congregation for implementation;
- Ensure all people are welcomed to worship and special services;
- Prepare the annual worship budget;
- Assist in planning and decorating for special worship services
- Assist in facilitating lay participation in worship services, including assisting with the offering, scripture reading, sharing of prayer requests, sharing stories, etc.