Dynamic Dunsford United Church Newsletter – Aug. 11, 2021

Update from the Chair

“Plan B”

August 11, 2021

Dear friends,

As you are all well aware, we have been struggling with financial obligations for some time now. Recently, the ECORC would not allow us to pursue a part time minister without first having completed a course on church finances. This is a BIG red flag! It is a clear sign that carrying on as we have for the last few years being hopeful, having faith and staying positive has not brought us to a position of financial stability in this pastoral charge.

At the start of this year, our bank balance was $38,249.74. It has occurred to me that if we hadn’t had a $40,000 bequest from the Clarke family in memory of Marguerite, we would be broke! We had been experiencing a shortfall of $1,500 to $2,000 per month pre-pandemic. During the current year, expenses have been reduced due to staff changes i.e., no minister and no music director to pay, and the building being mostly closed. We still are receiving some support from the government to pay our remaining staff, which is helpful, but this situation is not sustainable for a healthy church life.

As per the recommendation of the Stewardship Report, we should be putting a priority on a stewardship drive. Keep in mind that this report was focusing only on finances. In my view, increasing our financial bottom line is not going to do enough to get this congregation back on its feet. The serious shortfall in volunteers to operate the church has left a very few people doing more than their share of work. Positions have been left open for months and, in some cases, years. This is no way to carry on into the future.

The Search Committee set a goal of finding us a part time minister who could help build us back up. Though we all would like to see this happen, I think we need to consider if we are reaching for a goal that is so far out of our grasp that it is unrealistic. The following is an excerpt from a document provided by the ECORC.

When is it Time?

Like all living things, congregations experience a life cycle, with a birth, a middle and an end.  These changes may happen slowly over centuries or much faster.  Sometimes it can be difficult to identify the reasons why a congregation may no longer be viable, but often it is due to changes in the surrounding area, such as shifting demographics, social trends, escalating maintenance costs, fewer volunteers and dwindling finances.  The decision to disband is often difficult and emotional.  It is important to remember that the work of closing well, is a special type of ministry.  Those who find themselves carrying out this work are called to oversee the faithful “scattering of seeds” which will be the ongoing legacy of their community of faith.  This is a special and very important aspect of congregational ministry. 

Although no one wants to close pre-maturely, leaving the decision too late can lead to rushed decisions and missed opportunities.  Regularly reviewing a congregation’s financial viability, volunteer strength, energy levels, and sense of purpose (living faith story) helps identify when it may be time to start preparing to disband, amalgamate with another congregation or exploring re-development options.  Note that according to the regional council’s property policy, in the case of amalgamation, a congregation will normally take all of its asset into the newly formed congregation.  The formula for distribution of assets following disbanding is also detailed in the policy.

The board of Dunsford United Church has a responsibility to be good stewards of the assets entrusted to us. I am urging the board to take a leadership role in working towards a “Plan B” and the members of this congregation to listen and engage in the conversation respectfully. Any of the above options will take time to study and work out in detail. I am asking this community of faith to consider the options with the intention of meeting in the fall to discuss together. Guidance from knowledgeable staff at the Region office can be obtained. Written comments and/or questions would be welcomed. Please email me or write to me at our church address.



Chair of Mission Board  


We have a plan to reopen the church to in person services beginning September 12. Covid protocols including physical distancing, wearing of masks and hand sanitizing will be part of the plan. Please be prepared to return with a focus on keeping everyone safe.

Zoom News

Recordings of the services are currently suspended. CL will continue to email and send out print copies. There is also a convenient copy of all of our services (bulletins) on our fantastic web site! and a link on the home page to our Sunday Worship zoom meetings. Join us live Sunday mornings for chat 9:30 to 10 and service at 10!

Worship Schedule

August 15 – Anne Hepburn – Brian

August 22 – Documentary “Finding Peter Bryce” – Carol

August 29 – Darlene Hallett – Carolle

September 5 – Lisa Norman



CHURCH FINANCES: Attached are the Balance Sheet, and Profit and Loss for July.

Join Zoom Meeting on Sunday

Topic: Sunday Worship Service

Time: This is a recurring meeting Meet anytime


Meeting ID: 937 0530 3619

Passcode: worship

One tap mobile

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+12042727920,,93705303619#,,,,*8968106# Canada

Dial by your location

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Meeting ID: 937 0530 3619

Passcode: 8968106

Dunsford Community Food Bank: Contact Fay 705-341-3699 or faycarslake@hotmail.com

Prayer request: Please keep Emma in your prayers as she continues on her cancer journey. 

A note from Fay: A surprise 80th birthday for Betty and a 90th birthday for Jack will be held on Sunday, August 22 at 1085 County Rd. 24. They are also celebrating their 51st wedding anniversary. It is a drive-by or drop in depending on your comfort level, all Covid protocols will be in place. Please remember it’s a surprise if you have any questions contact Fay at 705-341-3699.

Cheer Ministry: Please call Mary when a church member/family needs to be remembered with a card: thinking of you; get well; or special birthday/anniversary wishes.


Upcoming Webinars with United in Learning

Take at look at some of the new and returning programs with United in Learning coming this fall! Webinars will continue to be posted throughout August, so check back often. United in Learning is the church’s hub of continuing education, for clergy lay people alike.

Anti-Racism Facebook Group

Are you looking to connect with others across the United Church about anti-racism work? Then consider joining a dedicated Facebook group, for discussion of the church’s anti-racism work and policies, the sharing of anti-racism tools and resources, and to contribute other items of interest related to racism and anti-racism work.

United Church Bookstore: Summer Sale

Finished your summer reading list already? Fear not—the United Church Bookstore summer sale continues! Shop today and discover devotionals, books on leadership, poetry, novels, and lots more. Plus, there’s free Canadian shipping for all orders over $80. Happy reading!

[Photo credit: Aaron Burden on Unsplash]


Greetings ECORC Family!

Registration for the East Central Ontario Regional Council Fall Meeting 2021 is now open. We gather Friday October 15, 7 pm – 9 pm and again Saturday morning, October 16, from 9 am to noon. But of course that is not all!
We all need time to connect and build relations within the Regional Council and our pre-meeting sessions proved very popular among those who attended. Here we go again, dedicated gatherings to dwell deeper onto the life and work of our Regional Council.
First, I wish to thank the Affirming Forum who have led us through educational events over the past two years that led to our determination to become and continue to become a welcoming, diverse and affirming Regional Council. I invite all to attend the celebration of recognition that East Central Ontario Regional Council is received as a fully Affirming Regional Council. The Celebration occurs – Wednesday, September 29/21, 7-9:30 PM on Zoom.
We all share opportunity to shape our denomination and the work we do through Proposals shared and considered at each gathering of the General Council. Proposals may seek address of a particular issue through a position, stance, or action. We are dedicating a Zoom gathering for those who would like to put forward a Proposal to the 44th General Council. You can come with an idea, a fully prepared Proposal or just curiosity. More details will be forthcoming, but the date is Thursday, September 9th from 7-9:30pm.
Our Annual Budget is a statement of mission and the Ministry through Property and Finance will prepare and present the 2022 budget at our October meeting. Our third pre-meeting session provides a bit of the ‘behind the scenes’ look at the process. Some of the concerns, deliberations and trade offs that must be made to balance wants, needs and resources. Decisions won’t be made but there will be a chance for feedback and comment. This Zoom session is scheduled for Wednesday, September 15th from 7-9:30pm.
Registration is open and may be completed here: Annual Fall Meeting – East Central Ontario Regional Council of the United Church of Canada (ecorcuccan.ca)
If you are unable to attend and wish your regrets noted, please e-mail Joel Miller.

Thank you for your commitment and dedication.
Rev. Paul Reed
Speaker, Assembly of Elders
East Central Ontario Regional Council

Photo Gallery

This week’s photo gallery includes: Submitted by Freda Burns; sunflower field Submitted by Andrew Macpherson: At Bobcaygeon & Providence Pastoral Charge – We are literally paving new roads for Jesus in Phase 3, Amen Submitted by Freda Burns; corner garden Submitted by Kathy Davidson; smokeweed Have summer photos to share? Photos can be emailed to me at KWilson@united-church.ca

A reminder from our Assembly of Elders
(previously sent in our June 24th e-news)

Greetings specifically to members of Ministry and Personnel Committees and to lay members of the Regional Council. I need to ask you, how is your minister? Does your minister need a break? We, on the Assembly of Elders are saying yes. Can you offer extra vacation time this year? Can you make sure your minister takes meaningful vacation time? It is essential for physical and mental health. Ministry is challenging. On-lone worship has taken a toll. That was a typing error that I almost went back to correct but I will let it stand. Of course, it was meant to be on-line worship, but you know on-line worship is often ministry alone. Ministry offered to an empty room. Do you know how much energy it takes to be upbeat, encouraging, passionate and animating speaking to an empty room? On-line worship leadership has been challenging, frustrating, and exhausting. It has required new tools, new programs, creativity and now we begin hybrid worship. How is one to be inclusive and engaging to two audiences at the same time? Ministry has always been hard work; Sunday morning, worship, study groups, pastoral visitation and when clergy are not on the front line, they are on call to support the front line by supporting lay leaders and offering pastoral care. Ministry is often lonely work; typically, it is solo ministry, colleagues are distant, confidences to maintain. Ministry is constant, in line at the bank, in the grocery aisle, on the sports field or social club, ministry personnel are expected to be the minister.  Ministry is unrelenting; when others look forward to a long weekend clergy are preparing for special services. While others may enjoy some people watching, clergy know that some people are always watching. The past fifteen months have been difficult for all of us, but I need to ask you, how is your minister? Does your minister need a break? We, on the Assembly of Elders are saying yes. Can you offer extra vacation time this year? Can you make sure your minister takes meaningful holidays for recreation – holy days for re-creation.
Rev. Paul Reed, Speaker
Assembly of Elders

Covid-19 Response

Reopening Ontario
Learn about the Roadmap to Reopen, the province’s three-step plan to safely and gradually lift public health measures based on ongoing progress of provincewide vaccination rates and improvements of key public health and health care indicators. Ontario is currently in Step Three of the Roadmap to Reopen. Click HERE to view the website for more information and as always, please also follow your local Public Health Guidelines.

For more Resources for Covid-19 updates, vaccinations etc, please click HERE.

Indigenous Justice and Respectful Relationships Forum

Resources to Bring the Children Home

The United Church of Canada is making funds available to support the work of Indigenous communities for the identification of unmarked graves, knowledge gathering, and ceremony to honour the children who did not return home from its 15 residential schools. This is an act of reparation and responds to Calls to Action 73–76 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. Click HERE to read the full news piece.

“Every Child Matters” Masks
As a request and with permission I have added this “Every Child Matters”  in Orange to my collection of  fund raising masks.  The artist for the logo is Andy Everson, from the Northwest Coast. All proceeds going to “The Indigenous Ministry Healing Fund”  UCC.  They are of 3 ply  100% reversible cotton with adjustable narrow elastics.  Price is $15.00  plus $2.50 shipping (I can get 1 to 4 in package for this amount).  E Transfer or Personal Cheque accepted.  To order email  marilynrodger@aol.com.  Thanks for your support.

Kawartha Highland Cluster 2021 Virtual VBS
(zoom and camp in a bag)

We have been operating as VIBE, Venturing in Biblical Experiences through Lindsay Presbytery, Kawartha Highlands Presbytery and now as a part of ECORC for 16 years. This year we faced many challenges in offering a virtual program based on a mixed audience not wanting any excessive computer time and those not completely comfortable with an in person camp. The idea of using the Go Project curriculum with a mix of zoom and camp in a bag seems to be a great solution. We were able to get a Canada Summer Jobs Grant for a part time virtual camp and through many challenges it is up and running. We just started on July 19th with a small group but with great enthusiasm. Our leaders Heather and Amanda engaged the kids in story, prayer, song and crafts. The families have already posted their off line challenges including finding the colour of the day scavenger hunt items, their Grow a Rainbow results and their Rainbow Mosaic window. We look forward to more kids joining when our August camp begins on the 9th. The August camp runs Monday to Thursday for a 2 week session, zoom on Monday and Thursday mornings and camp in a bag for Tuesday and Wednesday. If you were part of the Kawartha Highlands cluster or are on our borders or are just looking for a low key fun time adventure in biblical experiences based on the rainbow theme please contact us at vibe.vbs@gmail.com Blessings Mary-Margaret Boone

Job opportunities

Executive Minister, Theological Leadership
Opening/Closing Date: July 22, 2021 to August 20, 2021
The General Council Office is searching for an Executive Minister, Theological Leadership on a permanent full-time basis Read More Sydenham Street United Church, Kingston ON
Music Director and Organist – Contract position 10 hrs per week

Sydenham Street United Church congregation, with a rich history of meaningful music, seeks a music director/organist. This is a 10 hour per week, part-time, contract position, following the RCCO Table of Recommended Salaries. Responsibilities include playing the three-manual Casavant pipe organ, directing the choir (weekly practices and Sunday services), and meeting regularly with the Minister and monthly with the Worship Committee to plan the service music. As we exit COVID restrictions we look forward to a full choir and congregational singing. We welcome expressions of interest or applications. To obtain more information including the position description, or to submit an application, please contact Barb Carr at barbecarr@hotmail.com

Faith and the Common Good is looking for a half-time communicator. Join our team to help build a more resilient and sustainable Canada Do you believe that our diverse faith and spiritual communities can be a force for good? Are you passionate about protecting our environment for future generations? Do you thrive working in multi-cultural, multi-faith, grass-roots environments? Do you have a sense of humor about life? If you answered a strong “Yes!” to all these questions, join our network! Click HERE to view the complete job description!
Highland Hills Pastoral Charge is looking for a warm and enthusiastic Church Administrator who is comfortable with technology and works well with others who will assist the minister in the daily life of the Charge and ensure office routines and responsibilities are met. To see the complete job description and to apply, please click HERE.

Events Of Interest

Old Hay Bay Pilgrimage Service
On Sunday, August 22 the Board of Trustees welcome the Rev. Dr. Orville James as the guest speaker for our Pilgrimage Service. please click this LINK to be taken to the ECORC’s event page for all the details!

Drive Thru BBQ
Join us for a Drive Thru BBQ at Ebenezer United Church, Courtice, Ontario on Saturday, August 28 from 5 to 7 pm. Menu consists of:

  • Mesquite Style BBQ Chicken Leg
  • Smoked Pulled Pork
  • Southern Mac & Cheese
  • Steamed Corn
  • Dill & Vinegar Coleslaw ✓ Sliced Pickles ✓ Soft Roll & Butter
  • Sweet Corn Cookie & Butterscotch Bars

Reserve your Drive Thru Take-Out before Friday, August 20th
Call 905-436-2667 – $30 per plate
$ Payment Via E-Transfer Preferred
Click HERE to view the poster on our ECORC Events page!

Then Let Us Sing!
Announcing: Website launch and call for submissions to the online hymn and worship music portal, Then Let Us Sing! United Church Publishing House is excited to announce the website launch for Then Let Us Sing! (www.thenletussing.ca), an online music portal that will make all of the United Church’s hymn resources available in one digital location and under one copyright license. Click HERE to read more!!

Visit Old Hay Bay Church this summer!
Open weekends for the months of July and August – Canada’s oldest surviving Methodist Church. Built on Paul Huff’s farm, it was the first “meeting house” in Upper Canada (Ontario). For more information, please click HERE to view the poster and enjoy a visit to Old Hay Bay Church this summer!


Church Office Hours: Wed. 9-5

Tel: 705-793-2511

Email: dunsfordunitedchurch@bellnet.ca

Visit our new website: www.dunsfordunitedchurch.com

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