Categories: Minute

COUNCIL MEETING: Mar. 28, 2023

We begin this gathering by acknowledging the land on which we gather is the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe peoples, many of whom continue to live and work here today. This territory is covered by the Upper Canada Treaties and is within the land protected by the Dish with One Spoon Wampum Agreement. Today this gathering place is home to many First Nations, Metis and Inuit people and acknowledging reminds us that our great standard of living is directly related to the resources and friendship of Indigenous peoples.

Present: Rev. Dr. Gordon Crossfield (Minister, Search Team), Bev Cutler (CD), Marilyn Daniels (M&P), Shelley Gault C. (M&O), Hugh Graham (Past Chair), Shawn McCart (Fundraising and Recording Secretary), Rev. Christina Paradela (Minister) Carol Sernasie (Chair), Tom Wilkinson (W & M), Doug Willford (Regional Council Rep., Library), Kathy Young (Memorial).

RegretsDel Fraipont (Property), Dave Reed (Men’s Group, Search Team, Treasurer, Finance), Wendy Reed (WOW), Joan Simpson (Search Team).


The meeting was called to order at 7:05 p.m. Hugh read the land acknowledgement. Christina opened with a prayer.

Approval of Agenda:

Moved by:  Doug Willford                                          Seconded by: Shelley Gault C.

Carried:  √

Approval of Minutes of February 21, 2023:

Moved by:  Hugh Graham                                          Seconded by: Tom Wilkinson

Carried: √


  • Wesley Website: Christina introduced Ikeena (Carl) – a student from Nigeria, who is studying International Business for the next two years at Niagara College. Carl has a Computer Science degree from Niagara, and has offered his assistance with the Wesley Website. He has created a private portal for Council Members to go look at Minutes, Agendas, and Schedules. Committees still need to provide information to Shawn for updating the website. Information needs to be web ready when sent to Shawn. That information (if applicable) will also go on the new digital outdoor sign for public awareness.

Transition Team Report (By Christina):

  • The Transition Team Event on March 19, 2023 was well attended. Engagement was high with a real vision for Wesley and a possible ‘Community Garden’ at Wesley United Church.

Motion: To strike an Ad Hoc Committee for The Community Garden.

Moved by:  Tom Wilkinson                                        Seconded by: Hugh Graham

Carried: √

  • The work of the Transition Team is now complete and the team will be decovenanted on Sunday, April 9, 2023.

Search Team Report:

  • Marilyn Daniels shared that the team contacted 15 ministers – 3 no replies, 9 said ‘no’, 2 interviews were conducted, and 1 more interview was forthcoming.
  • An August start date is possible, however the new minister will likely have to give their home church 90 days notice.

Committee Reports:

Board of Trustees:

  • No report.

Christian Development:

  • Nothing to report.

Submitted by Bev Cutler


  • The fundraising committee met on March 9, 2023. We reviewed our plans for Wesley United Church’s First Souper Bowl, which was rescheduled for March 19, 2023.
  • We also adopted a new motto to be read at the beginning of every Fundraising Meeting “Sugar is sweet, and so is honey; let’s all try to figure out how to get this church more money”
  • The committee also discussed possible new fundraising events: Wesley Waffles, Burger and Bingo Night, and a Music Trivia Night.
  • Wesley United Church’s First Super Bowl finally took place last week on Sunday, March 19, 2023. We made approximately $200 from our event, which was for our Wesley Congregation, which was encouraged to make a donation of $5 or more. Thanks go out to all of our Soup and Chili makers and everyone who worked at and attended this event. Hopefully, next year we will be able to have it on Super Bowl Sunday in February.

Submitted by Shawn McCart

Membership & Outreach:

  • Due to member’s absence and illness and waiting upon the outcome of the Transition Team Event, a February meeting was not held. We will meet the last week of March or the beginning of April, at which time we’ll look at what we have accomplished and in what direction we wish to head.
  • We were pleased to have the opportunity to show our appreciation to the TT by way of hosting a small draw at their evening event.
  • Information about the new name and logo of “Birchway Niagara”, formerly known as Women’s Place, was shared in “What’s Up At Wesley?”

Submitted by Shelley Gault C


  • Nothing to report.

Submitted by Kathy Young

Men’s Group:

  • No report.

Ministry & Personnel:

  • Nothing to report.

Heather Denoncourt, Acting Chair


  • The church facility rental program has been going well with the Family rentals for birthdays, Showers, and personal celebrations.

The disappointing news is that Weight Watchers, one of our long-time renters, will discontinue their in-person gatherings at the Church as of March 31/23.
Weight Watchers has decided to shut down their operations in Welland and St. Catharines. The programs in Niagara Falls and Port Colborne will continue for now in some form? This rental loss will be about $7000.

  • Lawn care contact for the 2023 season has been again set up with Paul’s Lawn Care.  The 2023 rate is $140 per cut, which is about a 7% increase from last year.

(2022 rate was $130/ cut)
Paul’s has provided excellent service over the past 5 years.

Submitted by Del Fraipont, Chair

Treasurer’s Report/Finance:

  • After the first three months of 2023, the Local Ministry Fund expenses exceeded income by $33,104.
  • At the end of March, the Endowment Fund had a “book value” loss of $9,402.   Note: as of April 16th, the Endowment Fund had a “book value” of $759,672, which suggests that the “book value”, will probably oscillate up and down like it did last year.
  • In March, $10,000 was transferred from the Tangerine Local Fund Savings account to the CIBC chequing account to maintain a positive balance.

Submitted by Dave Reed, Treasurer

Discussion: Tom Wilkinson asked Council if they were concerned with the deficit that was presented. Hugh Graham informed us that historically, the numbers are usually at a loss until December.

Worship & Music:

  • Christina presented George’s suggestion for the Good Friday Service at a meeting of four clergy but it was turned down. We will have the traditional joint service with Central, Fenwick and Fonthill. The service will be a dramatic reading led by four clergies with all churches at Wesley.
  • The proposed joint service with four churches for Ash Wednesday and Maundy Thursday was also turned down, so Fonthill and Wesley will have joint services. Ash Wednesday service will be at noon on February 22 at Wesley. Maundy Thursday service will be at 7 p.m. on April 6 at Wesley.
  • George will try to get a trumpeter for the April 9 Easter service. Christina proposed an interactive service with a liturgical drama featuring five stations, six or nine participants and a procession led by a real donkey.
  • Christina was on study leave on March 26. John Van Duser filled in and led worship.
  • Regarding policy when the church is closed, as in a snowstorm, Council agreed to have the worship service led by the minister on Zoom.
  • George suggested using the digital sign outside to advertise for singers.
  • Scripture reading on screen: After discussing putting the readings on the screen to help people understand what is being read, the committee decided to try it.

Submitted by Tom Wilkinson, Chair


  • Nothing To Report.

Respectfully submitted by Wendy Reed

MotionThat Council approves the March committee reports as a docket.

Moved by:  Tom Wilkinson                                                    Seconded by:  Shelley Gault C.

Carried: √

Minister’s Report:

  • Christina and Hugh drafted up a letter for Welland City Council. One edit that needed to be made was changing the word ‘Equality’ to ‘Equity’. Other groups can sign our letter and add their own appendices. Council will vote online.
  • Easter Sunday (April 9) will be the last worship service for Christina.
  • The worship and Music Committee will lead the Humour Sunday Service on Sunday, April 16
  • Dr. Gordon Crossfield will lead Sunday Worship on Sunday, April 23.

Business Arising from Previous Minutes:

  • Have Del look into our audio issues in the sanctuary – speakers and a new headset microphone.

New Business:

  • Supply Minister: Hugh approached Rev. Dr. Gordon Crossfield, who is a member of the Transition Team and Search Team, informally through email and explained our need to him. Rev. Dr. Gordon Crossfield has agreed to stay on until a new minister is in place.
  • Shelley read a letter from Women’s Place (now called ‘Birchway Niagara’). She was impressed by how it closely reflected Wesley’s letter to Welland City Council. Justice – the root cause – why are we doing it? – and how we are inviting others to come along. One edit tha

Around the Table:

  • Carol invited all of the Council members to share their favourite memories and moments of Rev. Christina Paradela.

Chairperson’s Remarks: Carol offered her thoughts about Rev. Christina and thanked her for the work she did while at Wesley United Church.

Closing Prayer: Rev. Dr. Gordon Crossfield.


Moved by:  Kathy Young                                             Seconded by: Hugh Graham

Carried:  √

Next meetings: Council:  Tuesday, June 20, 2023, or by call of the Chair.


Date:               ______________________________


Chairperson:   ______________________________________  Carol Sernasie

Recording Secretary:       ______________________________ Shawn McCart