Summary of James Bay United Church Board Meeting Board
January 17th, 2023

The Board met on Tuesday, January 17 with most of our time spent on the first draft of the 2023 budget. Although the figures for 2022 are not finalized yet, we are delighted that the revenues exceeded the budget by a significant amount and costs were close to budget leaving us with a much smaller deficit than expected. This is good news, especially as we know that there will be extra costs in the coming year as we seek a new minister when Karen retires in July. Interviews, moving, a new computer and various other expenses will be incurred in order to get an effective minister who fits with the congregation. The Board examines each line of the budget to see if it is realistic.

The Congregational Profile Team is working on the material that the United Church requires us to prepare—a Living Faith Story that tells about the life of our congregation, statistical material conveying the demographics and financial state of our community and the job description. The congregation will be asked to participate in a meeting on February 19 after worship to consider the Profile so that it can be posted on the United Church Website where ministers looking for positions can see it.

The Reports sent to the Board by the various staff and teams are inspiring to read. We have a great community of staff and volunteers providing a rich ministry to the James Bay Community and beyond.

Summary of James Bay United Church Board Meeting
November 29, 2022

Much of this month’s Board Meeting was hearing reports of all the activities going on in and through James Bay United Church. 

The Board spent time learning with United Church of Christ resources about part time ministries and how churches can thrive with part time leadership in conjunction with strong lay leadership. We noted that Kelby and a group of volunteers are busy with the Arts ministry with programs going and being planned. Sinan continues his work, along with others, with the unhoused, recently housed and on issues of food insecurity. Jennifer met with representatives of the Worship Committee recently. Everyone is pleased with the work she is doing with our Sunday morning music. The Thrift Shop continues its work serving the community and enhancing the financial resources of JBUC. Joanne Keelan and her Team have started a Thursday morning brunch at the church. We are grateful to have these people and many others giving leadership for James Bay United. 

The Board is moving toward preparing the budget for next year. The congregation passed a deficit budget this year, but we are delighted that the deficit will be lower than expected. 

Now we look forward to the celebration of Christmas. Watch the newsletter for special services and events. And the Board offers its best wishes for a blessed Christmas season to all of you.

Summary of James Bay United Church Board Meeting
November 1, 2022

As usual the Board covered a range of topics. Finances are always a key agenda item. Once again we celebrated the hard work of the Thrift Shop volunteers and the steady and substantial income from their work. Money is also coming from Jazz Night and donations are made for Social Justice work. However, the response to the Thanksgiving appeal was lower than anticipated—we hope people may continue to make special donations before the end of the year. We are concerned that little revenue has been marked for livestreaming. It costs about $12,000 per year to stream the service each Sunday but is appreciated by people unable for health reasons or who live in places other than Victoria to attend Sunday worship in-person, as well as by a large “unknown” group of people (95 people watched all or part of the livestreamed service last week.) This is a valuable ministry of the church in terms of worship, pastoral care, and outreach so we are committed to continuing it. 

Volunteers are needed in a variety of areas (e.g. education, finances, follow-up with new people.) Specifics will be noted in upcoming newsletters and announcements.

The work of the search process is beginning with Gail Miller from the Pacific Mountain Regional Council named as our liaison. A committee to prepare a profile about the congregation is being established.

Judy Krzesowski and Carol Garceau have requested to engage JBUC as a center for a Healing Pathway ministry (formerly known as Healing Touch). The Board has approved this in principle and will be receiving more information as it becomes available.

If you are around the church building, you will notice how well-kept it is with the ongoing upgrades and maintenance by Bev Tracey and the Property Team. Much gratitude to them.

Summary of James Bay United Church Board Meeting
September 27, 2022

The Board was pleased to welcome Chris Bodnarchuk as a new Board member. We were also pleased that Andre Fortaine has agreed to join the Ministry and Personnel Committee. More members for the Board and the various Teams will be needed as Steve Nichol has decided to end his time on the Board, Ministry and Personnel Committee and Trustees at the end of this year. 

Our finances are doing well, especially thanks to the work of the Thrift Shop volunteers. Although we are in a deficit (as we budgeted), our income has kept a steady pace. Unfortunately interest rates are down so the Victoria Foundation transfer is not as much as usual. The money to pay off CERB loan (the money loaned to us by the Federal Government during the pandemic) will be taken from the Grace Fund. 

The Worship Team is seeking people to share in worship leadership. A workshop on the practical process of preparing worship led by Charlotte Caron is coming up. Watch the newsletter for timing and details. 

As part of the church’s stewardship, a Thanksgiving letter is going out to the congregation, and a brochure is being prepared for the larger community.

The event on Sunday with Kelby MacNayr and Sinan Demirel speaking in worship followed by lunch with them, Christine Chepyha and Jennifer Turner went very well. There was a good turnout and people were engaged with questions and discussion. The Board was positive about the possibility of doing an Enrichment Time after church service once a month (maybe the third Sunday of the month) with 1 or 2 Teams sharing about their work.

Season of Creation begins on Thanksgiving Sunday through to November 13th. This year’s theme is “Lifting up our experiences of the sacredness of creation” when we will explore the sacredness of creation in our faith traditions combined with learning more about an Indigenous relationship with creation.

Our participation in the Art Walk was hugely significant. We hosted 13 artists (of 24) and several hundred people each day of the event.  There was real appreciation of our space as an exhibiting venue. 

The busy fall season has begun again!


James Bay United Church Board Meeting Summary
August 30, 2022

Congratulations were given for all the workers and great fun at the Community Picnic
on Sunday. It was a fine event engaging many people from the community and with lots
of help from church people.
Contracts for our new workers were discussed again. We are pleased to report that
Christine Chepyha has been contracted to be Communications Coordinator for the
coming year. She filled in last year when Gordon was on medical leave so is familiar with
the work. There will be opportunity for the congregation to meet Christine, Sinan
Demeril, and Kelby MacNayr one Sunday in September.
Besides the Communications contract, Christine will continue to work with the
Community Choir which will be starting up again for a new season quite soon.
The Thrift Shop continues to thrive, bringing pleasure to volunteers and to customers as
well as assisting the church to meet its budget obligations. We are grateful for their
Along with the delight of preparing for our new workers and fall programs, the Board
deals with things like getting email systems updated, receiving reports from various
Teams that keep the church going and other administrative tasks.

James Bay United Church Board Meeting Summary
August 9, 2022

The Board met to deal with a variety of things related to the upcoming season. Primarily we sorted the job contracts for new staff members (Kelby MacNayr for the Arts Ministry and Sinan Demeril for Social Justice). We are working to get a Communications person in place and are hopeful that an announcement may be made soon.

All of this is, of course, the result of Gordon Miller’s retirement. We recognize the diverse and extensive work that Gordon has done in the James Bay Community and with the church. So much changed during his five years—especially the changes brought by the pandemic and his leadership into the technological world of live-streamed services, email newsletter and social media connections. His adaptability has enabled us to function in new ways.

We are excited that the Community Choir is starting up again under the leadership of Christine Chepyha. Watch the newsletter for more details regarding registration for the fall.

A report was also received from Sarah Hovey regarding the Art/Creativity workshops she has started. We are grateful for these rich aspects in our Arts Ministry.

Doug Lunam continues to do birthday phone calls on behalf of the Pastoral Care Team . We are eager to add new participants in the church to his birthday call list.

And to close on an equally positive note, our financial situation continues to hold its own. We are grateful for the generosity of the donors (including the Thrift Shop) for the resources to carry on the ministries of James Bay United Church.


Staffing Announcement

As we anticipate Gordon’s retirement this Fall, we are excited to announce that we are moving forward with a plan to enable JBUC to grow the significant work started with the Communications and Neighbourhood Engagement position over the past few years.

Many of the small groups at the Annual Meeting said that they thought the job needed to be divided. So three part-time people will be hired, starting with one-year contracts — one in the area of Social Justice Ministry, one in the Arts, and one in Communications.

The Board had an opportunity to meet with Kelby MacNayr and Sinan Demeril and through our fruitful conversation with them, the Board has determined that they will fill two of these one-year positions.

Kelby has been very involved in curating Tuesday Night Jazz and is excited about potentials for advancing the Arts Ministry. He comes with an impressive range of networking connections combined with a wonderfully creative imagination and energy for expanding and enriching this valuable JBUC ministry.

Sinan is social justice activist with a vast experience in working with grassroots groups to address homelessness in Canada and the US. He now lives in James Bay and is deeply passionate about making a positive difference in his own community. He will be a highly effective person in our Social Justice Ministry position.

The Communications position is still in the works. But in the meantime, keep your eyes open for an announcement about a late summer picnic for the congregation to get to know these people.

Summary of James Bay United Church Board Meeting
June 24, 2022

The Board was pleased with the Reconciliation Grant service on June 19. Thirty-five people put slips onto the offering plate naming their commitments toward reconciliation with First Nations people, plus there were many donation envelopes. Some people who did not bring offerings wanted to add their donations so the money will be forwarded this week to the City Family and we will learn the amount at that time.

The Worship Team is busy preparing for summer services. Karen Dickey will be on holidays from after the first Sunday in July until the second Sunday in August. Jennifer Turner will also have a break. Fortunately we will have a rich variety of people will be sharing in the worship leadership.

The Board has determined that three one-year contracts will be offered to continue the work started with the Communications and Neighborhood Engagement position over the past few years.

The budget passed by the congregation at its Annual Meeting requires us to raise a substantial amount of money for our many ministries in the church, in the community and on-line. We are planning that September will be a time of reflection about how it matters that JBUC is in this place in the past, present and future with a special stewardship service at Thanksgiving.

Blessings as we live into the summer season know in the church year as “ordinary time.”