Annual General Meeting
June 13, 2019
St. Anselm’s Anglican Church
The Annual General Meeting of the Neighbourhood Ministry was held on Thursday, June 13, 2019. It began at 7 pm with The Rev’d Alex Wilson leading with a prayer. Introductions around the room illustrated there were almost equal number of representatives from St. Anselm’s, St. Helen’s, St. Philip’s and St. John’s Shaughnessy.
We remembered two of our longstanding volunteers who died in the past year: Don Lamb and Elinor Han. A moment of silence and thankfulness was held.
As the Neighbourhood Ministry celebrates its 12th year, Deacon Pitman announced that he will be retiring in June 2020, and Vicki plans to step down as Operations Lead at that time to focus on Angel work. The Neighbourhood Ministry begins a year of transition and reflection. Pitman spoke of his optimism for the future of the Ministry. This is a time for prayer, reflection and discernment as the four parishes, led by the Rectors and Parish Liaisons, plan for the future.
The Neighbourhood Ministry’s current leadership and staff were introduced, and our community partners were identified and appreciated. The relationship with UBC’s Family Practice Unit, as well as School of Social Work, were highlighted, and Dr. Janet McKeown was thanked for her important contributions. Following this, volunteers presented overviews of the various Neighbourhood Ministry Activities.
Indoor Team: Shirin, Ken, Rhona and Shaun provided information about the important role of the indoor teams and all those who help prepare the packets and fresh food for distribution. Stories were shared about the impact the packets have on clients and volunteers alike, and the appreciation of the Outdoor Teams to hand over such generous offerings.
Outdoor Team: Mary Lymburner described the experiences of a typical Saturday outing. Mary spoke on the deliberate mixing of volunteers on the Outdoor Teams from the parishes to promote inter-parish fellowship. She was followed by Jane Davis, another experienced Outdoor Team lead. Jane spoke on her passion, motivation and commitment to the community we serve, and how proud she is to call them her friends.
Rhona Thornton, who was one of the Coordinators this year for the Christmas Blitz shared the feedback from this year’s event. She added that she was inspired by the stories relayed in the bulletin to begin volunteering for the ministry, and encouraged the teams to continue sharing the special and impactful interactions. She continued, the Blitz was an opportunity for the various volunteers to come together to put the special bags together. She suggested that the event be held earlier in December this year.
Mobile Care Unit: Vicki Potter described the activities and sites served by the Mobile Care Unit. Then, Dr. Janet, the lead physician in the Mobile Care Unit, described the unique needs and barriers facing the clientele the Mobile Care Unit serves. Dr. Janet shared the transformative impact and importance of earning trust and building rapport with the vulnerable community.
Angels Program: Vicki spoke on the Angels Program, the one-on-one extra support team. Vicki added “you are all Angels, but this is just the name we gave to this program”. She elaborated on the purpose of the Angels program, to accompany an individual to an appointment, to “grease the skids” and ensure that they be treated with decency and respect. Vicki stressed that she is retiring from the Operations Lead role so that she may focus on Angel work.
Training Program: The training requirement for each of these programs was emphasized, noting a need to “train new trainers” will be important this year, given Vicki’s impending retirement.
Dunbar Program: Joan Stewart spoke about volunteering at Dunbar Apartments for the four seasonal events. It is an amazing opportunity for “camaraderie”. If you are unsure about volunteering for the Neighbourhood Ministry, try this first, she said. “You know the old saying about too many cooks in the kitchen? …. well, we’ve thrown that” out the window. Joan advised that this past year, she helped almost 100 Coast clients with their taxes.
Briefly mentioned were the other special events and activities that occurred this year: Neighbourhood Ministry volunteers’ participation in the Homeless Count and mapping exercise; Homelessness Action Week events at each of the four parishes, including the Concert at St. Philip’s; Topic articles; and Pitman’s numerous Op-Eds in the Vancouver Sun.
Operations Report: Vicki provided a report on operations, including a budget report. The Neighbourhood Ministry has a healthy budget, thanks to the four parishes who contribute and to the Diocesan care+share funding, which expires in December 2019. Our largest expenses at present are the part-time staff expense and office expenses paid to St. Philip’s.
Pitman closed the meeting by reinforcing the need for prayerful preparation and discernment through this year of changes, emphatically stating his appreciation for all the volunteers and Vicki for their service and support.
The Annual Meeting ended at 8:30 pm with the Doxology:
Glory to God, whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine. Glory to God from generation to generation, in the Church and in Christ Jesus, for ever and ever. Amen.
Modular Housing Buildings have given many of our neighbours the opportunity to have a safe place to call home for the first time in a long time. Two of our clients recently moved into housing. The Neighbourhood Ministry was able to provide a few essential items to help ease their transition: towels, bedding, cleaning supplies and toiletries. We are incredibly grateful that when the call for items is made, our volunteers and community rise to the occasion. We were able to give our newly-housed friends a generous “Welcome Home” package. One special item we were able to give a client this time was a beautiful hand-crocheted blanket.
Recognized by the Anglican Church of Canada
The Westside Anglicans Neighbourhood Ministry is recognized by the Anglican Church of Canada. Read all about it at