December 2017 Update from the Canonical Committee

It has been several weeks since Bishop Melissa approved the start of the Canonical process at St. John’s. The Canonical Committee has been meeting every two weeks since the process started We would like to let you know what has been happening and what will happen in the next little while.

Progress to Date

We have:

  • Met with the Archdeacon of Burrard and Lougheed, the Venerable Phillipa Seagrave-Pride, to learn more about the process and get her advice
  • Reviewed a variety of parish profiles from other parishes
  • Reviewed the data we gathered in the parish including the results of our Lenten study and our parish survey
  • Organized a gathering of photographs to select the ones that best represent who we are to be used in the parish profile
  • Started to develop various contents for the parish profile

Results of the Parish Survey

We surveyed the parish in August and September. We are pleased to report that 65 surveys were completed. The following are the highlights of the results:

  • The new mission statement received great support. Over 87% of respondents were supportive. The mission statement was later formally adopted by parish council. Our mission statement appears in the weekly E-postle communication and is: “The Parish of St. John the Apostle is called to be a Spirited Community at the heart of Port Moody, transformed through the experience of the presence of Christ and sent out to share God’s Love.”
  • We asked parishioners what was most important in achieving the mission and the top three items were:
    • Outreach (93.9%)
    • Worship Style (93.2%)
    • Pastoral Care (89.1%)
  • We asked what should be the priorities for our buildings and the top three priorities were:
    • Accessibility was by far the top priority (scoring 8.16 out of 9)
    • Expand capacity of the worship space (5.81 out of 9)
    • Washroom on the same level as the worship spaced (5.47 out of 9)
  • One of the ways to describe the primary task of a parish (taught at the Diocesan Parish Development School) is to gather those called by God into Christ’s body, the Church, a community of transformation of mind, heart and actions, and to send these same into the world to be and to act as God’s loving and transforming presence. In the survey, we listed the various aspects of gathering, transforming and sending and asked how well you thought St. John’s did the various aspects. The survey revealed the following:
    • What we do the best: prayer and worship, greet people when they come and life in community (hospitality, food, conversation, etc.)
    • What we do well with room for improvement: study & learning, action (outreach), equipping people to live the Good News in the community
    • What we don’t do as well and could be improved: equipping people to live the Good News at home, orient newcomers to our life at St. John’s, equipping people to live the Good news at work (although many commented that they were retired so the item wasn’t relevant to them), inviting new people to church
  • We asked parishioners to select words/phrases they would use to describe our Sunday worship. The top four for each service were:
    • 8:30 am service – comforting, familiar, contemplative, contemporary within the Anglican tradition
    • 10:00 am service – family friendly, musical, uplifting, multi-generation participation
  • We asked parishioners to name the qualities/attributes/talents we should be looking for in a new priest. The top five were:
    • Inspirational leader
    • Strong pastoral gifts
    • Joyful presider
    • Thoughtful teacher
    • Wise counselor

Next steps:

  • We will continue to develop the parish profile – our goal is to have a first draft for review at the 2018 Annual Vestry meeting. The parish profile ordinarily goes through several drafts, which are presented to the parish and the diocese for input and amendment.
  • The parish profile is posted by the Diocesan office and is normally posted for a period of 6 weeks (avoiding busy seasons such as Advent, Christmas and Lent).
  • The applications come to the Bishop’s Advisory Committee on Appointments (BACA) at the closing date to select candidates for interviews (short list). Two members of the Canonical Committee will meet with BACA.
  • The Canonical Committee arranges interviews for those short-listed. If any candidate is remote, the first round of interviews is done by Skype. If there is a 2nd round of interviews, these may be held by Skype or in-person interviews. Any candidate travelling from a remote location will need arrangements made for travel and accommodation, which may take longer. If this process of interviewing reveals a suitable candidate, then a recommendation goes from the Canonical Committee to the Bishop and an offer is made. A 3-month notice period is usual for a priest leaving another position.
  • If all goes well, we hope that we can have a new priest by September 1, 2018.

Questions? Feedback?

If you have any questions or feedback, please reach out to anyone on the Canonical Committee:

Terry Walton Geri Grigg Maureen Simons
Mary Kyle Tony Pellett Ruby Ng
Teri Hazelton Natasha McDonald Sheila De Vaal