Collaborative and Forward Planning
Background: We called it our 20/20 Vision
St. Andrew’s United Church, Calgary, began in 2008 to consider its future mission. Through careful prayer and persistent research, the congregation identified it could do more ministry and outreach by liberating itself from brick and mortar and developing intentional partnerships and shared ministries with other churches and organizations. In 2012, the congregation voted to let go of its building and in 2013, the former south west Calgary facility was sold. The St. Andrew’s congregation now has a multi-sited, collaborative ministry with offices and program space at St. Andrew’s Centre.
With approval of The United Church of Canada, the Regional Ministries Initiative came about. Building sale proceeds have been invested and are used to fund a range of initiatives in Calgary and beyond. Regional Ministries is governed by a Management Committee with representatives from Chinook Winds Region, The United Church of Canada and partner programs. The continuing St. Andrew’s United Church congregation receives no financial support from the Regional Ministries Fund.
What We've Learned in the Past Five Years
- We can be a catalyst for new ministries and outreach.
- We need to work collaboratively with others. Our vision and mission is about reaching out to the wider community. We need to work with congregations and social service agencies — complementing their mission — not replacing or competing with their programs.
- Establishing coordinating/supportive groups is critical to the management of the organization.
- Providing safe places is a must.
- Leadership development is a key part of the programs.
- We need to be open to new ideas and try new initiatives.