Richmond Hill United Church

Richmond Hill United Church



February 13, 2013

PRESENT:June Blanchette,Linda Butler, Donna Byres, Janet Centa,Kathleen Crosbie, Terry Davies, Donna DeVita,JoAnne Fotheringham,David Leyton-Brown, Doug Loweth,Warren McDougall,Brandon Moore, Brian Moore,Harry Ramsaran, Donna Smith,Wendy Thomson, Lynn Townsend, Jane Wedlock

REGRETS:Steve Armstrong, Sue Baker, Lloyd Dunham, Penny Fabbro,Lyn May,Chuck McClelland,Donna McErlain

GUESTS:Jane Ridout

The secretary confirmed the presence of a quorum.

Kathleen Crosbiepresidingand Brandon Moore recording, the meeting began at 7:35pmin the Chapel.


Warren McDougalllead the devotion.


M/SBrandon Moore / Terry Davies that the minutes of January 9, 2013 be approved as presentedand taken as read. CARRIED


  • Living Waters Presbytery Congregation Planning Guide – Terry Davies explained this document; it is a self-help tool for use by congregations “that are already in process of change, or wondering where to begin”; it would be a good resource for the Council retreat. The program also includes a facilitator, for whom Presbytery will pay 2/3 of the cost.


Accessibility strategic initiatives—policy amendments

Doug Loweth reported that the Worship Committee has agreed to take on the responsibilities specified under the policy. He will bring forward a motion for Council approval to amend the policy accordingly.

Website proposal

Steve Armstrong had circulated a Proposal for the Richmond Hill United Church Website Redesign from Katherine McCurdy-Lapierre (see Appendix A). We agreed that we like the proposal, her work samples, and the budget. Brandon Moore explained a few technical highlights:

  • The designer is proposing we use a proprietary CMS (content management system) which can limit our long-term flexibility to modify the site (an alternative would be to use an open-source CMS, however that sort of proposal tends to depend more on volunteer labour and/or more expensive developers; given our skill level and budget, it’s not a suitable alternative for us);
  • It’s unclear whether or not the CMS is mobile-compatible (it’s not a feature listed on the supplier’s website), although the proposal does reference current coding methods as one of the features—we will need to clarify that with the designer;
  • The most significant step for us will be Step 1 ensuring that the Site Map Development has the long-term flexibility we need.

M/S Brandon Moore / Terry Davies that we accept the proposal from Katherine McCurdy-Lapierre for the Richmond Hill United Church Website Redesign, with Option A for Future Maintenance Options, with the necessary funds allocated from the Memorial Fund. CARRIED

Brandon Moore and Jane Wedlock are both interested in also being involved in the Site Map Development as described in the proposal. It was suggested we should also extend an invitation to George Moon as he has been involved in maintaining our current website.


Lynn Townsendcirculated the finalFY2012 statement, as of December 31, 2012. Highlights are:

  • Income / Contributions is approximately $16,000 below plan; this is due in part to errors on pledge forms (people incorrectly entered an intended annual pledge in the space for a monthly pledge) and pledges that were not honoured;
  • Shortfall of Income over Expenditures is higher than budgeted;
  • Harry Sayers Fund will need to be replenished back to $25,000; we are waiting to see if there are any unspent Accessibility Funds that can be allocated towards the Centennial Hall repairs, another possibility is re-directing funds from the Building Fund;
  • As of November 2012, we thought were going to be breaking even but December 2012 Contributions were an unexpected and historic low;
  • Statements are going out for independent review which we hope will be complete for the Annual Congregational Meeting.


Jane Wedlock distributed the proposed FY2013 budget, which projects for a $25,000 deficit and a $66,453 accumulated deficit in the general fund by the end of FY2013. We noted that the FY2012 actuals used in preparing this budget were not the final actuals.

We discussed our concerns with proposing such a budget to the congregation, and recognized that when we present it at the Annual Congregational Meeting, we need to emphasize two messages:

  • The congregation’s expressed enthusiasm for the mission of our congregation;
  • That we are developing a plan for increasing our income.

Jane Wedlock and Terry Davies will work on crafting an appropriate story to present at the meeting.


M/S Donna Smith / Donna Byres that we approve the Richmond Hill United Church Occupational Health and Safety Act Harassment Policy, Ontario Human Rights Code Harassment Policy, and Occupational Health and Safety Act Violence Policy as distributed. CARRIED


Kathleen Crosbie presented the proposed Annual Congregational Meeting agenda (see Appendix B). We agreed that we wanted to keep the Future Initiatives and Affirming Ministry Initiative table discussions separate to ensure both items get due consideration. As the agenda is lengthy, we will ensure that we start promptly and keep the table discussions to the time allotted.


Warren McDougall distributed a copy of the Affirming Ministry Process calendar (see Appendix C). We agreed that the time line is on track. We set the date of April 28 for the congregational meeting, however we will not announce the date until after the AGM in case the table discussions raise any unanticipated issues. We agreed that a two-thirds majority would be the requirement for approval. We have also introduced a comment box to address questions and to hear concerns.


Warren McDougall had nothing else to report.

Linda Butler reported that as the lift is now functioning, we should plan the commissioning that we previously discussed. We proposed February 24, pending confirmation of the availability of Steve Armstrong and Chuck McClelland.

We also agreed to schedule the Council Retreat on May 4, noting that this will conflict with the Men’s Breakfast.


Property Committee: Kathleen reported on behalf of Chuck McClelland – the key-holder procedures for the lift will need to be discussed.

Ministry & Personnel Committee: Brian Moore reported on a number of issues that have been raised during the staff liaising meetings, which he will address with the appropriate Committees. One issue was the setting and review of staff goals and achievements which we can consider at the Council retreat.

Net Zero: We received a report from the NetZero Committee (see Appendix D.) The Finance Committee needs to review the TUCC SELF funding proposal.

March Meeting: We agreed that the full Council did not need to meet in March, provided that the Executive Committee met to review the budget issues and discussion arising from the Annual Meeting.


The meeting was adjourned at 9:45pm.

Next meeting: April 10, 2013 at 7:30pm.


Kathleen Crosbie, Vice-ChairBrandon Moore, Secretary


Proposal – Richmond Hill United Church Website Redesign

January 17, 2013

This proposal is for the redesign and development of a website for Richmond Hill United Church

(RHUC), at The work included in the proposal includes:

1. Site map development

• Through examination of the current site, and discussion with RHUC staff, determine the revised

site map, including:

o Top level pages, e.g. Home, Contact Us, Ministries, About Us, Net Zero, etc.

o Secondary pages as required, e.g. Sub-pages for more information about the types of


o Links to blog, online calendar

• Based on the current site, estimating approximately 20-30 individual pages will be required in

the new site

o Should the site require the creation of more than 30 pages, additional fees may apply

o Any fee increases will be clearly communicated by Katherine before beginning work

outside the scope of this proposal

2. Concept design

• Discuss the ideal look and feel for the new site with RHUC, look at examples of other sites that

work well

• Design a concept for the website

o Design a complementary look/feel for the blog (header, basic font treatment)

• Integrate an updated treatment for the logo/identity of RHUC into the design (unless one

already exists)

• Make modifications and changes, as per direction provided by RHUC, until sign-off can be


3. Site production

• Create a web template based on the approved design, including all images, cascading style

sheets (CSS), menus, etc.

• Produce HTML pages, as per the site map, using content provided by RHUC

• Production of one online form (optional), e.g. an email contact form

• Site will feature current coding methods, allowing for easier addition of new pages or larger

changes in the future, including:

o CSS based site design

o jQuery (JavaScript) for interactive image rotations (if required)

o template-based page layout, etc.

• All pages will be properly optimized to improve search engine ranking (SEO), including:

o HTML heading structure, page titles, image alt tags, description tags

o keyword integration throughout site

• Assist with enhancing the website text provided to follow website standards/principles, e.g.

less/more concise text, bullets, headings, etc.

• Provide the ability to track the site traffic in Google Analytics

o set-up of automatic bi-weekly or monthly tracking reports (emailed in PDF format)

Total Fee: $1,300.00

Future Maintenance Options

Option A – Site edited by RHUC staff

• Build in the ability for RHUC to easily update the content on the site (excluding the overall

design/template/navigation) using an online website content

management system (CMS)

o Surreal offers a discount for non-profit organizations – if this is the option chosen I will

inquire about the potential saving

• The CMS system will allow RHUC staff to login and access the site editor through any web


• Katherine will provide a written instruction/manual for RHUC staff

o Further documentation is available for free online on the Surreal CMS website

o Katherine can provide additional support as needed at an hourly rate of $50/hour

o Optional in-person training for staff can be provided for an additional fee (rate will

depend on time required for training)

• Initial Set Up Fee: $200.00

• Year 1 Monthly Fee: $10.00/month ($120.00/year)

o Monthly fee includes 1/2 hour/month of support by Katherine to assist RHUC editors

with simple issues or questions

Option B – Site edited by Katherine

• Changes will be sent to Katherine on a monthly basis

• Charges will be calculated at a rate of $50/hour – minimum of $25/month

• No additional set up fee for this option

• Year 1 Monthly Fee: estimate in the range of $25 - $75/month for basic, standard changes

o e.g. changing basic text, updating or posting 2-3 PDF documents, adding a few images

or posting a video

A deposit of 25% is requested when the project is started.


AGM – March 3 2013


1.Opening Prayer

2.Election of Chair and Secretary

3.Acceptance of the Minutes of the 2012 AGM (BM)

4.Review of Financial 2012 (LT)

5.Acceptance of Annual Report (BM)

6.Review of Progress on Priorities 2012 (SA)

7.Future Initiatives/Table Discussion (JW)

8.Affirming Ministry Initiative/Table Discussion (??)

9.Acceptance of the 2013 Budget (JW)

10.Acceptance of the Report of the Nominating Committee (KC)




October 10/12Council approval to begin process

November 21/12First meeting of Steering Committee

December 9/12First after-church conversation (Nancy, Brian) (30 participants)

December 13/12Steering Committee

January 10/13Steering Committee

January 13/13Sermon and Talkback on “Scripture” (Warren) (22)

January 14/13Conversation with HAIR (Warren, Terry, Donna, Anne) (13)

February 3/13Sermon and Talkback on “The Family” (Warren) (19)

February 6/13Conversation with UCW Morning Unit (Donna, Nancy) (20)

February 9/13Conversation with Women’s Spirituality group (Donna) (?)

February 10/13Workshop on results of 2011 LGBT Consultation (Jamie) (15)

February 20/13Steering Committee

February 24/13Conversation with Teen Seekers (Sandra, Brian)

February 25/13Conversation with Shalom Seekers (Nancy, Sandra, Terry, Anne)

February 28/13Community Event (Jackie, Warren)

March 3/13AGM Table Groups

March 24/13Presentation by Jim Patterson,

father of female-to-male transgendered son (tentative)

April 6/13Conversation with Men’s Breakfast (Brian, Anne)

Congregational Meeting – late April/early May

June 16/13York Region Pride Service, hosted by RHUC

Affirming Ministry Celebration?

Also:Information Table in Centennial Hall

Frequent pulpit announcements

For Council:

1) time line – are we on track?

2) set date for congregational meeting

3) confirm % vote required to proceed


Net Zero Status Report February 2013

This report provides a short summary of where we now are.

1. General Review

Our plan was to address our energy/environment impact along three lines:

a) Conservation

b) PV System

c) Geo Thermal System.

A short status of these is provided below. I also attach Section 3 of a 176-page report recently produced by University of Toronto’s energy efficiency and GHG reduction plan – “Carbon Neutral Report’. As you can see, the report is an exact mirror of our Net Zero plan.

2. Conservation Measures

This has been divided into two parts. The first, dealing with Electrical Energy conservation, is ready to go. We obtained (last week) a grant approval (CDM). Project details are attached. This first electrical project will reduce RHUC’s GHG per year by 1.6 tons.

The second part of these measures is related to building insulation. The energy audit has identified the costs and savings potential for this work. In general, the impact is large with paybacks running 3 to 5 years. This work needs to be updated. Given the new TUCC SELF program, it is potentially much easier to now proceed with real projects. See the attached flyer for TUCC’s SELF initiative.

3. PV System

We had originally applied for a FIT project. The OPA then went into an extended review causing many industry suppliers to go out of business, including our selected supplier, while the government lawyers tried to sort out “technical” issues. We are now back on stream but will likely need to update our application.

The new TUCC SELF program can now make the financials very simple. A 10kW system price has dropped from about $90,000 to $50,000. A 10 year SELF loan (1st 5 years interest free) will cost RHUC $417 per month but we can earn about $622 per month. So basically, we make $205 per month on average for 10 years, then make $622 per month for another 10 years. While we make all this money we reduce GHG by about 2.6 tons per year.

4. Geo Thermal System

This is the largest financial project (approx. $300,000) with very large GHG impact. We have completed an RFP and chosen potential suppliers for the bid list. Progress on this has been delayed in favour of heating/cooling energy conservation. It is possible to reduce our heating/cooling load by 20% to 50%. With a 20% reduction, as an example, the size of a Geo system would be reduced by 20%, i.e.: estimated saving of $60,000. Such a saving would more than cover the cost of insulation, which, on its own, has a 3 to 5 year payback at current consumption, levels. So it makes sense to do the conservation work first.

With an added water reservoir, the heat pumps could run at night, thereby shifting a major electrical load to off-peak hours. As it now happens, this shifting is a potential resolution to Ontario’s province wide electrical grid issues. This is somewhat outside of the scope of the Net Zero Committee and crosses into my involvement with OSPE’s Energy Committee. The objective is to lobby the Ontario government for an incentive program that would help pay for the Geo system. The Net Zero objective is to reduce our loan requirement so that we can pay for the system from the average monthly savings.

With the TUCC SELF program in place, it is now practical for RHUC to move ahead on all the planning and building auditing work that has been done in the last few years.

In the coming few months we look forward to Council and congregation support for these major initiatives.

Peter DeVita

Chair, Net Zero Committee

RHUC Council Minutes – February 13, 2013Page 1 of 9