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CoF Ministry Articulation Profile

(Vacancy Reference #567156687)

Growing in Faith (Discipleship) Priority: 2

Description of Current Ministry (6-8 sentences):

Knox, Agincourt supports its members, adherents, members of the Church School and its Mandarin speaking Chinese Fellowship group to grow in their knowledge and Christian faith. This important part of our ministry is demonstrated through the programs we have at Knox including a Sunday School with up to 60 children and youth registered and an average weekly attendance of 40 including children, youth and leaders. Confirmation classes for youth and adults as required; youth group activities within the church and outside for those recently confirmed; an adult weekly Bible study group; an adult small group doing book study; a variety of activities organized by the Chinese Fellowship group including badminton and exercises; an adult Mandarin Bible study group; a Men’s Group; two United Church Women (UCW) units; a small weekly prayer group; an adult Alpha course, including a film series, with a primary focus on new Canadians from mainland China. These groups have lay leaders with staff support. There is a desire to have additional periodic studies during Lent and Advent led by the Minister. Small group activities have been a larger part of ministry at Knox in the past and are dependent upon the need and interest in this form of faith formation. These activities are both staff and volunteer led with the primary providers being lay people. The activities are very important for faith formation and growth at Knox and are reviewed periodically to assess their effectiveness and relevance, mainly through reviewing the numbers of people attending and participation by those attending. An appropriate amount of the annual budget is allocated to these activities including allocating part of the time of the Minister, the Coordinator of Chinese Ministry; the time of the CE Coordinator, the two Church School assistants, and the Nursery supervisor; and the expenses related to Church School programs for curriculum and other activities and the expenses related to the Chinese Fellowship.

We have a specific goal as follows:

Our specific goal this year (2018 – 2019) is to increase the number of part time staff to include a Youth CE Assistant to facilitate a Youth program. The technology in our Sunday school is being improved to engage the children more actively in Sunday school activities. From the CE goals from 2016 3-5 year plan.
Justice, Outreach & Sharing the Good News (Justice and Outreach) Priority: 6

Description of Current Ministry (6-8 sentences):

Knox, Agincourt has had an extensive and active outreach commitment to the local community and, through Mission and Service of the United Church of Canada, to the global community. The efforts of the Church are aided by an Outreach committee. Additional support is provided by organizations within the church, including the United Church Women (UCW) and the Nearly New Shop. Community events include the Fall Fair, a GST Auction, a Concert Series, and exercise programs including line dancing and badminton. Local commitments include significant financial and other support for the Agincourt Community Services Association (ACSA) which is a social agency that Knox helped found in the 1970’s. ACSA provides a broad range of social services to Scarborough residents. In 2016 Knox members and friends contributed significant funding to ACSA to help its efforts to support Syrian newcomers in Scarborough. Some of the funds directly helped a Syrian refugee family and members of the congregation helped them settle in Toronto. Knox also opens its doors to the community through a Nearly New Shop, which makes gently used clothing and other household items available at a low cost. Knox provides a weekly location for an ongoing Out of the Cold program which provides shelter and meals to the community’s poor and homeless over 22 weeks during the winter months. Knox provides ongoing financial support for more than 25 social service agencies in the Toronto region. All of this is in addition to a major financial commitment to Mission and Service of the United Church of Canada, a commitment which makes it possible to provide Mission and Service programs across Canada and around the world. Knox endeavours to increase its financial support for outreach each year, if possible.

We have a specific goal as follows:

Knox recently obtained an Environics report of the neighbouring area. A Task Group has been established to review the information and to report to Council in September. 5
Leadership Priority: 5

Description of Current Ministry (6-8 sentences):

Like many other United Church congregations, Knox needs to find new ways to meet the challenge of recruiting leaders. Knox has an active Leadership Development Committee that performs the function of finding chairpersons, committee members for the various Committees and visiting elders as outlined in the Constitution. The Minister is a resource when seeking volunteers. Primary leadership at Knox, Agincourt is the responsibility of the lay leaders on Church Council in consultation with the Minister. The leadership style at Knox can be described as collaborative and enabling. A modest amount of the budget is devoted to leadership development, as most is handled by the lay volunteers and a modest amount of time allocation by the Minister. When identified, Leadership programs and workshops may be attended by the minister and lay leaders with the costs being borne by Knox.

We have a specific goal as follows:

The goal is to meet the challenge of recruiting new members and provide orientation
Wider Relationships (Ministry Partnerships) Priority: 8

Description of Current Ministry (6-8 sentences):

Knox, Agincourt members and staff have provided core leadership in the various levels of governance and courts of the United Church of Canada. Members of Knox currently serve as Secretary of the Presbytery, Chair of the Property and Finance Team, member of the Nominations Team, Chair of Congregational Health. The current minster served as co-Chair of Mission and Outreach. Lay members of Knox have served as President of Toronto Conference, General Council Commissioners and a member of the General Council executive. It is anticipated that there will be some involvement in Region 10. It is an expectation that the Minister will be active in this work. Knox works with other United Churches in our area and ecumenically with other churches through the area “Ministerial Group”. Knox, for many years has held Good Friday joint services with the nearby Baptist and Presbyterian churches. Recently, members of the Chinese Ministry and the Knox Choir joined in celebrations at Toronto Chinese United Church which is a neighbouring ethnic congregation of Cantonese-speaking members. The 22-week winter Out of the Cold program involves volunteers hosting the program with many churches from across Scarborough providing food and support. Knox also supports the Agincourt Community Services Association (ACSA) which provides aid to the needy and homeless in the area.

We have a specific goal as follows:

Knox will continue to develop relationships with neighbouring congregations.
Pastoral/Spiritual Care Priority: 4

Description of Current Ministry (6-8 sentences):

Pastoral Care at Knox, Agincourt includes caring for all members with compassion, empathy and joy. Knox provides excellent pastoral care and it has been identified as a priority to continue into the future. Since 2014, Knox has employed a 10-hour per week Visitation Minister. In 2017, Knox applied for and received a Presbyteries of Toronto Conference (PTCC) grant and in February 2018, the hours for the Visitation Minster were increased from 10 hours per week, to 16 hours per week. The expanded hours are to be focused on programming for seniors. Currently, the program is serving members of the congregation. A goal is to extend this to the community. Over the past few years, Knox has welcomed members from neighbouring churches which have closed. Many of these have been seniors. Knox will continue to offer a genuine welcome to visitors and newcomers. Pastoral care is provided to most members through home visits and phone calls by over 30 visiting Elders. Personal cards are sent out if members are ill, in hospital or at a time of bereavement. There are seniors and shut-ins within the Knox family who are unable to attend church and Knox provides CD players and CD copies of the weekly service so they can still be part of the activities of the congregation. Shepherd Village, a facility which offers a variety of accommodation, including long term care, is located near Knox. The Minister of Visitation and members of Knox provide leadership for a monthly worship service and /or communion service. The services include worship, music and helping the residents to attend the service. Spiritual care is on-going with weekly Bible Study, a Men’s Group and two UCW units. These groups have lay leaders. Knox provides Pastoral Care to our members and adherents with a budget that reflects the time of our part-time Minister of Visitation, with support from the Office Administrator. The Minister is responsible for the urgent and critical pastoral care needs of the congregation and the part-time Minister of Visitation and Seniors’ Programs spends 16 hours a week, communicating and visiting shut-ins by telephone and/or personal home visits.

We have a specific goal as follows:

In 2018/ 19 Council and the congregation will work closely with the Pastoral Care Committee and the Minister of Visitation and Seniors’ Programs to develop the newly expanded Seniors’ Programming. This may also develop as a new outreach ministry into the Community.
Belonging, Extravagant Welcome, Wellness (Spirituality/Self-Care) Priority: 7

Description of Current Ministry (6-8 sentences):

Welcoming is an important part of the life at Knox. Ranking this as Number 7 does not make it less important but indicates that we believe we are doing this quite well and will continue. Everyone at Knox has a responsibility to welcome visitors either in worship or at coffee time. Knox, Agincourt is a welcoming community as demonstrated by the strong attendance at Sunday worship over the past few years which ranges from 110 to 150, plus children, teachers and volunteers in the Church School. Our Sunday school has about 60 registrants with an average attendance of 40 children and youth attending each Sunday. Many people continue their fellowship during coffee hour following worship. In the past few years, we have welcomed former members of local churches which have closed. They are now engaged in the life and activities at Knox. Our community is “Diverse in culture and United in Faith” with a significant component of the congregation who have immigrated from China. This group is supported by a Coordinator for Chinese Ministry. We celebrate being an intercultural church with people from approximately 20 countries, islands, and regions, including south Asia and China. Young adults from the Manorwood Home attend Knox. Knox people like to have fun, and to share a meal together along with many other social and fundraising activities. Our Coordinator of Chinese Ministry supports our Chinese brothers and sisters in mid-week programs and special events, attended by over 100 persons, such as the fall Moon Festival, and the Chinese New Year celebrations. Knox is fortunate to have excellent participation from our volunteers in the annual Fall Fair fundraiser, where over 100 volunteers, including the women of the UCW and the volunteers in our Nearly New Shop, raise money for Knox programs. There is a strong sense of belonging at Knox and helping others in need through prayer and other means of support. The Minister is an important part of the welcoming ministry at Knox, nurturing all aspects of the volunteers’ needs to promote belonging and wellness within the Congregation. Knox demonstrates its “spiritual life” in a number of ways. Active groups in the Church that support and nurture self-care include the UCW, the Men’s Group, the Chinese Fellowship group, a book study group, and the chancel and hand bell choirs. Through these groups and an informal communication network using email and telephone, crisis situations are communicated and support is given by the ministerial staff and others in the congregation. Financial support of outside groups in the community and for Mission and Service of the United Church of Canada is a strong part of our “spiritual life” at Knox. Knox is partially accessible. There is a ramp from the parking lot to an accessible entrance into the sanctuary building. There is a lift from the sanctuary level to the lower level, the Heritage Room, which is used for coffee hour and meetings. There is an accessible washroom on that level. The Christian Centre, a separate building has a stairlift from the front entrance to the auditorium and an accessible washroom.

We have a specific goal as follows:

Goal #1: to continue to be known as a comfortable place for people ‘to land’ and find a church home. This includes continuing to work with the Chinese community.
Stewardship Priority: 3

Description of Current Ministry (6-8 sentences):

Knox has adopted the United Church of Canada Stewardship theme of Inspire, Invite and Thank. A newly reconstituted Stewardship Committee has been established. An important aspect of our spiritual life is the many hours of volunteer time spent at Knox, the talents of our staff and volunteers, and recognizing the financial support given by the members and adherents to successfully carry out God’s work in the community of Agincourt and beyond. Knox is a strong contributor to Mission and Service through contributions from members. As well, Knox contributes to other organizations through the Outreach Committee. Knox’s active Property Committee and volunteers maintain the Church buildings and grounds in good condition and the Trustees manage the church investments. The Finance and Administration Committee manages the annual budget and seeks ways to control expenses. The Stewardship Committee has an important role in maintaining the Stewardship message at Knox throughout the year and especially during the fall annual Stewardship Program where financial commitments are sought for the following year. Support for local church expenses is sought through a stewardship message and material, with the Minister involved in the planning of the program and preaching on Stewardship Sunday. Commitments are received and dedicated at the end of the program on the final Stewardship Sunday. The Minister is a resource and should not be afraid to talk openly about stewardship. The minister helps when needed in the planning and delivery of the annual Mission and Service and Outreach Sunday Worship Services. Knox allocates appropriate financial resources for its annual Stewardship Program and has in the past funded staff and volunteers to attend Stewardship seminars and workshops.

We have a specific goal as follows:

The Stewardship Committee, Council and congregation have a challenge to increase financial donations at a rate greater than expenditures, greater than the rate of inflation and greater than in previous years. There are renovations and repairs required in 2018 to the heating system of the Christian Education building.
Worship Priority: 1

Description of Current Ministry (6-8 sentences):

Sunday Worship at Knox includes hymns and anthems, prayers led by the Minister, scripture readings by lay people, as well as a story time / Moment of Discovery with the children before they depart for their Church school time. The sermon is a reflection on the scripture reading. Music is a highlight of the service with a chancel choir of up to 30 participating each Sunday. At Easter and Christmas there have been joint services and choral presentations by the United, Baptist and Presbyterian congregations in Agincourt. The members of the Chinese community are fully integrated into worship. On the first Sunday of the month, Knox has a Mandarin component within the service, with prayers, responses and scripture readings in Mandarin. The Minister is expected to work closely with the Coordinator of Chinese Ministry in preparing these services. A gift from the Chinese community has been the practice during the Sunday service of a time for sharing prayer and joy concerns before the prayer time. During the year, worship services include: Baptism, Communion, Church School promotion, UCW, Outreach, Mission and Service, Stewardship, Cemetery Sunday and others as required. The services are recoded on CD’s and videotaped and copies are distributed to shut-ins on CD’s. Special Communion services are arranged at Shepherd Terrace, the nearby seniors’ residence, in cooperation with the Pastoral Care Committee. Ministry personnel use their study leave time to grow their worship leadership skills. Knox devotes a major part of its annual budget to Worship including the Minister’s time for preparation and leading the weekly Sunday worship service; the Music Director’s time for choir practices and participation at the Sunday worship service; the Office Administrator’s time to prepare the worship folder; and the operating and maintenance costs associated with the Church building. As well there is an allocation for the Minister’s time to attend Worship Committee meetings.

We have a specific goal as follows:

Our specific goal this year (2018 – 2019) is to call a new Minister of Word, Sacrament and Pastoral Care. The new minister will need to be excited about the Mandarin speaking community at Knox in our intercultural ministry.


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