May 2007
Approximately forty people attended the Stewardship Visioning Session for St Mark’s on Sunday, May 6, following the 10:00 AM service and a potluck lunch. Although this was not a huge number, the session, which ended at approximately 2:15 PM, was very productive. This was the first stewardship meeting since the appointment of Terry Thompson and Ann Matthews as Stewardship Officers at the 2006 Vestry Meeting.

The session began with worship, followed by an introduction on what the Stewardship Team had done prior to this event… which included their attendance at a Diocesan Conference and four stewardship workshops: Visioning, Narrative Budgets, Tithing (for Clergy only) and Mentoring. (A fifth workshop, From Scarcity to Abundance, was held in late May.) Those present then formed small groups to discuss their “visions” for St. Mark’s in the future. Each group reported back their ideas to the group at large, at which time all the visions were recorded. Following this, each parishioner was allowed three votes to establish the top choices. The outcome of the visioning session resulted in many ideas being generated.

The top six are as follows, in alphabetical order:

1. Announcements, Communications, Keeping in Touch: This was almost universally agreed upon as
an area in our ministry that needs considerable improvement.

2.Contemporary Service: It was proposed that we re-attempt a new format for worship with more
modern language and music.

3. Praying Church: The praying ministries already in place in our parish can be enhanced, so that we
come to be known as a praying Church.

4. Welcoming Committee: This would be aimed at generally making visitors and newcomers feel more
at home among us.

5. Youth Ministry: This will attempt to encourage the youth of our parish to become more involved
and to provide them with the support they need.

The work to be undertaken in these areas is not to affect any ongoing ministries, but rather to enhance what is already happening at St Marks and/or to initiate new ideas. Another of the six visions was to maintain the present Parish Nursing and Debra Dynes ministries and to increase the Pastoral Care ministry (no particular individual took responsibility for leading this effort).

The session included scripture readings and praise throughout the entire meeting and ended with worship. The Stewardship Team will be reporting back to the congregation in due course.

Stewardship Team Members:
Lindsay Hawn, Erik Kristjansson, Ann Matthews, David Matthews, Gillian Morris and Terry Thompson.

September 2007
St. Mark’s Stewardship Officers are Terry Thompson (613-248-1817) and Ann Matthews (613-737-3664).
They were appointed at the 2006 Vestry Meeting and their term ends in 2008. They are appointed by and answerable to the Corporation. (Shortly thereafter, the Diocese requested that Stewardship Officers be members
of Parish Councils.) If you have questions about stewardship, please do not hesitate to contact one of the Stewardship Officers.

In September 2006 the Stewardship Officers (with others) attended the Stewardship Conference related to the Diocesan Stewardship programme, Letting Down the Nets.

The Diocese plans to present nine workshops to assist parishes in their stewardship endeavours.
To-date there have been five:
(a) Visioning,
(b) Narrative Budgets,
(c) Tithing (for clergy only),
(d) Parish Mentoring and
(e) From Scarcity to Abundance.

The Diocese recommends the Visioning process every five years to “include a plan for the initiation, continuation, and/or enhancement of existing or new parish ministries, including time-lines and action plans.” On May 6, 2007, following the 10:00 a.m. service and a light lunch, a visioning session was held. Questionnaires were provided to members of the congregation prior to this event and the responses were posted and discussed at the meeting. These responses revealed that there is a great deal of stewardship happening at St. Mark’s. In a Biblical sense, stewardship means God owns everything and we are His managers. We own nothing! By His grace we have been given the use of all our time, talent, and treasure, and He expects us to give back to Him in thanksgiving.

Arising out of the Visioning session it was agreed that:
(1) There was a need for a “Youth Ministry” at St. Mark’s and this was undertaken by Cynthia Greer
and the Mothers' Union.
(2) St. Mark’s be known as a “Praying Church” and Terry Thompson took on the responsibility of
heading up this project by enhancing what is already being done.
(3) “Announcements, Communications, Keeping in Touch” was also an area identified for
enhancement and Les and Donna Cundell took on this responsibility.
(4) An enhanced “Welcoming Committee” is needed, and Lindsay Hawn and Erik Kristjansson
took on the responsibility to oversee this project, and
(5) There is a need for a “Contemporary Service” and Sheila Vaudrey agreed to oversee this project.

Since the Visioning session, work has been ongoing in each of these identified areas along with the usual good stewardship of St. Mark’s people. We give great thanks for all stewardship at St. Mark’s and thank God for blessing us in such a wonderful way. Praise be to God!

The “Praying Church” (item 2 arising out of the Visioning session) is pleased to announce a new prayer group called Experience Something More. This group will be focussing solely on prayer with the intention of spreading a blanket of prayer across the city as they meet in parishioners’ homes and various locations. For information, including meeting times and places, please call Terry at 613-248-1817 or Keith at 613-248-1987.

The “Youth Ministry” (item 1 arising out of the Visioning session) is working on re-allocating the nursery back into the conference room and setting up a new schedule to provide a suitable area and supervision for our children from birth to four years of age. We praise God and thank Him for blessing us with the young people we have at St. Mark’s.