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Our Continuing Transition

Our Faithful Future
This is our second interim report to you.
Our final report will come at the very end of Martha Martinís interim ministry as required by Presbytery. But we are well aware that we Ė the Transition Team and the whole congregation -- are moving to a new stage - the formation of a Joint Needs Assessment Committee (JNAC), and a Joint Search Committee (JSC). The Transition Team recognizes the importance of continuity until the end of the Interim Ministry period, as planning for the future will shift towards these new committees (JNAC and JSC). The Transition Team will continue to meet and support Martha and the activities of these committees.

We anticipate that the JNAC and the JSC processes will take approximately eight or nine months. By June 2018, we expect we will be getting to know a new minister; but the life of St. Johnís United continues and we have much to work on before and after that new minister arrives.

Transition Team Interim Report
Download the PDF

On September 21, 2016 the Official Board received an Interim Report from the Transition Team, and copies of the Interim Report are now being circulated widely to the Congregation. In addition to electronic copies circulated by email and available here for download, paper copies of the Interim Report will be available in church starting Sunday, September 25, 2016.

The Transition Team will be working through the month of October to consult with the entire Congregation to get feedback on the Interim Report and next steps leading to the Annual Meeting on March 5, 2017. The Transition Team will have members available at 9:45am before church, each of the five (5) Sundayís through October (2, 9, 16, 23 and 30) - we hope you can attend on one of these days to meet with us!

If the pre-church meetings through October do not work for you, PLEASE reach out and let us know so we can arrange an alternative date/time to get your feedback after you have read and considered the Report. This process of collective discernment is crucial as we move forward, and we look forward to meeting with you!

Blessings from the Transition Team.

St. Johnís United Church Sold to Developer
from THE CHRONICLE HERALD, May 4, 2016

Halifaxís venerable St. Johnís United Church has been sold. The Windsor Street church, built in 1918 and empty since January 2009, was put up for sale in January for $1.35 million and almost immediately got offers to purchase it.

The church was sold for $1.2 million, according to information posted on the Viewpoint Realty Services website. Well-known local developer Sol Ghosn told the Chronicle Herald Wednesday that he bought the property personally, not through his company Brookshire Developments, as has been reported elsewhere. Ghosn said heís working on plans that include keeping the church as a heritage property and creating 45-50 apartment units in it. He said he has been interested in the property for quite a while and has been considering different concepts that at one point included leveling the building and putting up townhouses. Read more

Church Property Sale Update

St John's is walking in new fields! On Saturday, April 2, almost 40 people came out to participate in a workshop led by Paul Hutchinson, our friend from Northern Ireland, former director of the Corrymeela Community which is dedicated to reconciliation and peace-building, and a man of many parts. We walked outside, walked the labyrinth, "walked" through tai chi, sang, looked at our past and present, identified the values that they embodies and then dreamed about our future together. Have you got a dream for St John's, one that you would like to work on? You are invited to send a paragraph to the Transition Team at, describing the dream, what it would take to bring it to reality and what you would be able to do to help.

See the Facebook album. For more information on the workshop click here.

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Good news! The Transition Team and Trustees are pleased to confirm that as of March 9, 2016 all conditions have been removed and we have a confirmed/binding sale of the church property to Brookshire Developments with a revised closing date of April 28, 2016.

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The Transition Team has been working in two sub-committees Ė Visioning and Property. This past Sunday, a Congregational Meeting approved a motion for the Trustees to move forward with a conditional offer to buy the Church and Church House. This is a significant step forward in the work of the Transition Team mandate, and we are encouraged by this progress. The Visioning part of the work is essentially to tap into our current way of thinking of who we are, our mission and how we hope to accomplish it. To that end, we have planned another exercise that we will do during service on Sunday, January 31. Bring your thoughts, reflections, opinions and hopes to church (as you do every Sunday) and be prepared to share some of it with other members of the congregation.
Thank you, Lesley Griffiths & Katherine Harman (co-chairs); Deidre Dacanay, Sean Foreman, Louisa Horne, Jeanne Manning Ė Stright, Martha Martin, Rod McInnis, Rick Fullerton

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The Church property was listed for sale with Turner Drake before Christmas and was placed in the MLS system this past week with a viewing appointment coming in on the same day.
Any items left in the Church at the point of sale will go to the purchaser. If any members of the Congregation have an interest in acquiring any items, please contact the office as soon as possible. We may want to extend an invitation to Presbytery and Conference members for salvageable items once the Congregation has had a chance. We will also be reaching out to recyclers to see if we can sell any items to them. Materials in Church house will go to storage.

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Following the rejection of our development application by HRM, the Congregation of St. Johnís United Church has opted to put the Church and the Church office (St John's House, 6233 Willow Street) up for sale. The properties have been listed for sale with Turner Drake & Partners. Efforts are now being made to evaluate salvageable items for storage or recycling.

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The Trustees have oversight of the Real Property (land and buildings) and have the management role in dealing with the sale of the Church and Church house. The Transition team is in place to guide the interim ministry and develop a plan, with congregational input, for future direction of the church. There is a membership overlap between Trustees and the Transition Team that keeps both committees up to date.

Following the September 27, 2015 Congregational meeting approving the sale of the church and church house, discussions were initiated with the Trustees of St. Johnís United Church, Halifax Presbytery Property Committee and the Conference office. The Halifax Presbytery Property Committee approved the sale and initiated a motion to sell which was approved at the November 10, 2015 Full Court meeting of Halifax Presbytery subject to the submission of forms identifying the Trustees and formal request to sell. These forms have now been submitted. Turner Drake and Partners were suggested by Presbytery and Conference as a resource and subsequently have been engaged to list the property for sale. They are currently working on a sales brochure and valuation and it is anticipated that the listing will be in effect the week of December 1, 2015.

The sale of Church house will force us to find alternate office and storage space, perhaps without much notice. Conversations are ongoing with the Conservatory to provide space.

When the Church closed, an inventory list of contents was developed. The sale of the Church will require a review of the inventory list to identify salvageable/saleable items. There may be items in the Church that are of interest to members of the Congregation. We are looking for volunteers to take another look at the inventory list and suggest options for the sale/auction of items.

Background Information and Motion for the Congregational Meeting on September 27, 2015

At their September 9th meeting, the Official Board unanimously approved the enclosed insert titled Backgrounder and Proposed Motion for the September 27th Congregational Meeting. This motion to approve the process to sell our property on Willow Street started with a recommendation from the Board of Stewards and was formulated by the Transition Team with input from the Trustees and consultation with Halifax Presbytery. I would like to thank all of these groups for their work in providing information to the Congregation for a decision on this issue at our September 27th meeting. Read more

Jim Sharpe, Chair, Official Board