Sanctuary Coffee is participating in this year's YYC Hot Chocolate Fest! Every February, Calgary becomes a little sweeter through the various restaurants and cafes competing for the coveted awards of YYC's Best Hot Chocolate, Best Spirited Hot Chocolate and special Cup That Runneth Over Award. This event is organized by Calgary Meals on Wheels, which donates some of the proceeds of the hot chocolate sales to their cause of providing nutritious meals to vulnerable Calgarians.
Sanctuary Coffee has submitted our own creation to this competition: our Victorian Hot Chocolate! This hotchocolate sensation features warming spices and refreshing orange zest enrobed in rich chocolate sourced from small woman-run cacao farms from Calgary’s own chocolatier, Kin + Pod. These flavours are reminiscent of mulled wine concoctions of the Victorian era known as “ecclesiasticals,” a series of cocktails named after various orders within the Catholic church. Come enjoy this dance with your senses sans the port wine and church bureaucracy. Elegantly served in bone china tea cups in the stained-glass sanctuary of Knox United Church (take away also available). Can be made with almond or soy.
Please come by the cafe to try our creation, and then vote for us online!
To learn more about YYC Hot Chocolate Fest, please visit their website by clicking here.
The Next 1100 Days vision is a challenging, compelling, and exciting one - but up to now, it has also been a vision that has involved a relatively few individuals. However, it is time now to broaden the involvement! We've talked about relational structure, and about becoming more of a community. Along the way we have talked about pastoral care, about how we recruit people to our formal structure, and about how relationships and friendships are at the core of belonging. Now we're working on a system to keep those who are not longer able to worship with us in the loop, a system to help with crisis care, and a team to help us create events and practices that will build community. Are you a people person? Are you interested in helping us build Knox into a more caring, fun-filled community? If so, let know know and he'll connect you to the team.
We have talked about becoming a post-colonial church. As we are discovering, this is an all-encompassing thing! It involves building a new, and more just relationship with First Nations and Metis, it involves learning and developing a new theology, as well let go some of the baggage that has been with the Western church since the days of Constantine. It will almost certainly involve changes in the way we "do" church, and changes in the way we form Christians and practice discipleship. We are currently developing one or two leadership teams to help (re)design our worship life, and to help design a process of spiritual formation in which all of us can participate. Are you interested in worship? In spiritual practice? In reconciliation? In helping Knox be a community in which young and old, families and generations together, can learn and practice a vibrant spirituality? If so, let Dave know and he'll talk with you about the possibilities.
Finally, we have had an idea for children's play place in the background for a long time now. Thanks to some very skilled and imaginative people, we now have a solid idea on the table. At the present, we are developing a team to build a business plan and bring the idea to birth. "Let's Grow Play" will, we hope, be a completely accessible play place for children - to enable downtown children to have a year-round place to play, to support and encourage parents, and to provide play and therapy space for children with disabilities. Are you interested in child development and play? Skilled in business? A parent? Would you like to help bring a major project to to birth here at Knox? If so, talk with Dave and he'll let you know what's going on.
At Council I get to work regularly and closely with our ministers, our office and facility manager, representatives from our committees and commissions, the Chair of the Knox Strategic Community Partnership Team, and our Council secretary. Their work on Council has been considerable. In 2018 they grappled with difficult issues, stepped up and into new leadership roles when needed, were willing to think outside the box, worked to keep Knox’s mission-driven vision, front and center and regularly stayed late to attend to important business. And they kept their sense of humour.
This is an opportunity to publicly thank each of them and acknowledge their contributions to supporting and evolving our mission-driven vision. The following report reflects their leadership efforts.
I reread my 2017 Knox Council Report before I wrote this one. I hadn’t read it since submitting it a year ago and I felt a bit of trepidation when I was looking it up. I wondered if what I had written then, would still resonate with me and make sense a year later.
What I had written still rung true for me, with one notable difference. I felt even more fervor and urgency about what we as a council and congregation are trying to do. There is no doubt that there are times when I find myself frustrated by the lag between endorsing a plan of action and execution of that plan, but our mission-driven vision continues to resonate with me.
In my 2017 annual report I stated that I wanted to back The Next 1100 Days because, “I wanted to help support a vision of church that was personal, practical, accessible and relevant - not only for people like me who attended Knox, but for so many others in our families and communities… who found traditional ways of doing church not relevant to their lives and with that, distance from the Christian message.”
For this report I chose to look at the past year through the lens of this question. How does supporting and evolving Knox’s mission-driven vision, articulated in The Next 1100 Days, make church more relevant, accessible, personal and practical? Here are a few brief examples, most justifiably applicable to one or maybe all of the headings.
Here, I am thinking of God’s mission and Knox’s vision in terms of conversations that facilitate connections, reconnections and/or reconciliation.
Council supported the ongoing work of sanctuary stakeholders to find creative ways to work together to adapt and support the emerging ministries that are taking place in our beautiful sanctuary, such as Sanctuary Coffee, Pax and soon ABBEY coworking. Our office manager, Sue Forsyth, and the Church Management Commission, have taken critical leadership roles in facilitating cooperation between stakeholders and managing any logistical challenges.
Council supported Dave’s organizational leadership and Knox’s participation in the Elder-led Reconciliation Project that began last fall and is on-going.
Council supported Dave and Greg’s efforts to provide three Christmas Eve Services, which included experimenting with a new, non-traditional, 9pm Christmas Eve Service aimed at connecting with Millennials and Generation Xs, the target demographic for Knox’s emerging ministries.
Council supported the work of our two ministers. In addition to what many of us recognize as traditional ministerial roles, a lot of their work involves making and facilitating connections and conversations at Knox and in both the downtown community and the larger Calgary area. Here are a mere few examples of that work.
Dave’s work with Presbytery (now Region 3 or The Chinook Winds Region), his leadership work with the Calgary Alliance for the Common Good, which works to make connections between organizations and communities for the greater good of all Calgarians, his work to gather the Knox congregation into God’s mission and Knox’s vision, his work to step in and help problem solve when needed (e.g. current work with the Church Management Commission and Sanctuary Coffee to get necessary permitting from Alberta Health Services and both city and provincial historic resources, his temporary Chair of the Trustees) and his leadership work to develop and build the Opportunity Knox team.
Greg’s presence in Sanctuary Coffee, connecting with our community and corporate neighbours, his work to hire and support our strategic communications coordinator, Jenn Herring, to make connections between Knox and the larger community using the church’s social media accounts (Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook) and a digital, biweekly newsletter exclusively focused on The Next 1100 Days, his work establishing connections with the Calgary bike community, his work finding community volunteers to help in Sanctuary Coffee, his work to launch Pax and build a core group of people for this emerging ministry and his work to get ABBEY coworking and a Knox community kitchen off the ground.
Here, I am thinking of the many important tasks that support The Next 1100 Days.
Council supported the necessary stone restoration for our historic building.
Council supported the collaborative work between the ministers and the Ministry and Personnel Committee that led to some changes in ministerial job descriptions. These changes (the most notable change being Dave taking sole responsibility for the 10:30 service to free up time for Greg to focus on emerging ministries) were deemed necessary to enhance the success of meeting the initiatives of The Next 1100 Days.
A big part of my job as Chair is to work very closely with our ministers. Dave, Greg and I commit to meeting regularly to catch up, to make sure we are aligned on important issues, to prioritize mission and vision work and to evaluate our progress in achieving goals.It is a privilege to work with them. I am extremely grateful for their leadership, their energy and their devotion to their calling. Their passion to work towards a Knox future that is vibrant and sustainable means that their work frequently leads to skipping meals, long days and work that overflows into days off and holiday time. Late in 2018, Council supported a motion to provide administrative support, on a pilot basis for up to ten hours a week for a four-month period, to both Dave and Greg.The effectiveness of this support will be evaluated after the trial period.
Council encouraged and supported work to create a structure that allows us to track our Café revenue and expenses. Sanctuary Coffee has Point of Sales (POS) technology that allows people to make donations with their phones, credit cards or watch via Apple Pay and provides practical information for Sanctuary Coffee (e.g. sales by hours of each day, by week, counts of sale items, of customers, both new and returning, etc.). Work is now underway to create the structure needed in Knox’s regular monthly financial reports to accept revenue and expenses data for Sanctuary Coffee.
Council supported streamlining how Knox authorizes and pays for its smaller, irregular bills by moving to corporate credit cards for the ministers, the office manager and the café manager and adopting a credit card policy put forward by our treasurer.
Here, I am thinking about how Council works to stay focused on the initiatives of The Next 1100 Days.
Updates on The Next 1100 Days initiatives atop each council agenda.
The church cannot be relevant if it is not sustainable. Council brought a Motion to the June 17, 2018 Congregational Meeting to accept a $1,000,000.00 loan from The Calgary Foundation (Carried). The loan will allow Knox to cover projected operating deficits, the portion of the stonework not covered by grants, start up costs for emerging ministries such as Sanctuary Coffee, Abbey coworking, and Pax, and hiring a staff fundraiser.
Council, supported by a carried motion at our March 2018 AGM, worked on hiring a professional fundraiser.That work led to the conclusion that a staff fundraiser (versus an external consultant) would be most helpful at this point in time. Council is currently looking for a staff fundraiser who understands our mission-driven vision, wants to support it and is skilled at building community connections and donor relationships. That position has been advertised and interviewing will be under way by the end of February.
Council continued support of the Strategic Community Partnership Team to find mission-aligned partners interested in renting the annex, an important step to help put us on a path to sustainability.
Here, I am thinking about initiatives that encourage and invite people who might otherwise walk by our doors into Knox’s beautiful space and initiatives that make volunteer leadership roles at Knox more transparent and accessible.
Council supported expanding Sanctuary Coffee weekday hours to 7am-2pm and Sunday hours 10am-2pm, for both the public and our two Sunday services.The church doors are open during these times and street signage invites people in, even during service hours on Sunday.
At the March 2018 AGM, a concern was expressed about how formal volunteer leadership at Knox is chosen. Council felt this was an important concern and formed an ad hoc group to develop a recruitment and nominations process for formal volunteer leadership roles at Knox.
A first step was to look at other not-for-profit volunteer leadership governance models for guidance and then develop a process suited to Knox. A main goal is to have a formal volunteer-led leadership process that supports a relational leadership structure so that the talents and interests of new leaders will be aligned with advancing and evolving Knox’s mission-driven vision. Another important goal is to make this process readily known and easily accessible to as wide an audience as possible.
The next two steps were to give this new leadership group a name and to pilot the process.The ad hoc group named this new volunteer leadership, Opportunity Knox and ran a pilot of the process late last year. Two members of the ad hoc group met with Norm Fenton who had stepped up to volunteer on the Ministry and Personnel (M&P) Committee. After that meeting Council accepted the recommendation of the ad hoc group to have Norm Fenton join M&P and this nomination will be presented for a congregational vote at our March AGM.
One of the lasts steps was to find leadership for Opportunity Knox.This began in the fall with advertising this new leadership role at church and in our newsletters, by talking to people about it and by hosting a supper and information get together at Knox.Council knows the difficulty of filling volunteer leadership roles and Opportunity Knox faces those same challenges but we believe that this is an important way to strengthen our core volunteer leadership going forward. The ad hoc group completed meeting with people who have indicated an interest in being part of the Opportunity Knox team and they will report their recommendations at the February Council meeting. Stay tuned for more updates and if you, or someone you know, are interested in helping to build this new leadership team please speak to me, the ministers or any other Council members.
Here are a few important things on Council radar for 2019.
The Next 1100 Days countdown ends next January. The ministers will be inviting all of us to contribute to the important and exciting next steps that will build on the foundation of The Next 1100 Days. Looks like more town halls are in our future.
To continue support for our Sunday service, a valued and much appreciated more traditional service and Knox’s new Pax service, a less traditional emerging ministry focused on Millennials and Generation Xs.
To support and nurture the work of developing a Congregational Care Team.
To complete the work of getting Sanctuary Coffee the permitting it needs (from Alberta Health Services and both city and provincial historic resources) to allow the Café to move from pilot phase to an official launch.
To provide continued support for emerging ministries, a Knox community kitchen and the work of the Community Strategic Partnership Group to find mission-aligned partners for the annex.
To encourage and support more conversations with our financial bodies (the Knox Foundation, The Knox Trustees and The Knox Finance Committee) to ensure that we continue to develop effective and efficient ways to support Knox’s evolving mission-driven vision.
To get the Opportunity Knox team off the ground to help strengthen our core volunteer leadership.
To support both existing and emerging ministries by accepting bid proposals for hi-speed internet.
Council is charged with carrying out the mandate of the congregation so this Council report is really a report about us, the entire Knox community. I am deeply grateful to be working on behalf of a congregation that is willing to step into a brave mission-driven vision of transition.
This new path is not without risk and I know it sometimes feels foreign and makes us anxious and worried. However, I have experienced and witnessed, over and over again, lots of us embracing the challenges of the many transitions underway at Knox and being rewarded with unexpected joy and blessings. One doesn’t have to look further than the increasing buzz of connections and conversations occurring in Sanctuary Coffee during weekdays and on Sundays.
Together, we have the opportunity to honour our past, live fully in the present and focus on nurturing our path forward. We also have an opportunity to create a legacy of support aimed at making Knox financially sustainable and more broadly relevant, accessible, and externally focused. A future driven by, and organized around, missio Dei - “God’s mission of mending the world and bringing shalom, healing and wholeness through the challenging work of reconciliation” (The Next 1100 Days).
Your support remains critical to advancing the mission and vision that we have chosen.
You have the Council’s sincerest gratitude.
Your 2019 Knox Council Members
Chair: Janet Dargie Past Chair: Mardy Roberts Future Chair: Vacant Treasurer of Finance Committee: Josh Gordon Secretary: Lisa McKay
Committee and Commission Representatives
Worship and Spirituality Commission: Margaret Miyagishima Community Life and Justice Commission: Ellen Lang Church Management Commission: Chuck Curry Staff and Volunteers Commission: Janice Aiken Ministry and Personnel Committee: Tim Bell
Other Council Members (Not Representing Commissions)
Chair, Knox Strategic Community Partnership:
Kay de la Ronde Office and Facility Manager: Sue Forsyth Minister:
Rev. Dr. Dave Holmes Minister:
Rev. Dr. Greg Glatz Chinook Winds Region Representative:
PAX continues this Sunday at noon.
This upcoming week, Pax will be featuring musician Jess Werner, of the duo Jess&Robb. PAX at Knox is explicitly designed to connect with adults age 25-54 who are not connected with a church community, or rethinking their connection to an existing community or church service. If you have friends or family in this target demo, please let them know. It will take time to build a new core community for this new service and word of mouth is an excellent way to promote this new ministry.
Read more about Jess Werner by clicking this link.
Get to Know Laura Schoenberg
We conducted an interview with one of our PAX musicians: Laura Schoenberg! Get to know Laura in the interview below.
Where do you consider home?
I consider home to be where my loved ones are, as well as the place where I can feel free to explore. Currently, that's Calgary and the beautiful Rocky Mountains surrounding us.
What brought you to music?
I had an interest in music as a child, and m family had an old acoustic upright piano in our home that belonged to my Great Grandmother. Everyone took turns playing on it and taking lessons, so when I was finally old enough to have lessons myself, it felt like a real privilege. I began singing in a choir as a child as well; these rehearsals were the highlight of my day.
What kind of music do you create as an artist?
I create alternative folk music. I'm also a writer and enjoy penning words together. Taking poetry classes and journaling for most of my life has really made lyric writing a prominent and important focus of my songwriting.
How do you define connection? How do you connect with people through music?
Connection is when you feel at home and comfortable with another human being. They could be the complete opposite of you, but if you're comfortable with them that is real gift. Connecting with people through music is easy because most musicians feel comfortable playing their instruments or creating tunes.
Where can we find you outside of PAX? I don't really have a large social media footprint right now. I'm actually trying to free up the mental space that social media was taking up in my life. I do have an EP up for sale on iTunes, and I co-wrote the album "Into the Glow" with the local Calgary Band Locomotive Ghost.
Laura Schoenberg is performing at our PAX service on Sunday, March 3rd.
Please click the icon below to listen to Laura's music on iTunes!
Help Build the Vision!
Take advantage of our mission-driven newsletter and social media.
If you'd like to get the word out about your work on a Next 1100 Days initiative, please email Jenn Herring with details! We would like to include the info in our newsletter and social media promotions.
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