Report from the Congregational Interim

Ministry Event on Sunday, December 1, 2020

Anne Cunningham started our Sunday event off with an introduction to What both Hillhurst United Church (HUC) and Living Spirit United Church (LSUC) bring to the table.
Today is an opportunity for us all to share with each other our hopes and dreams for this congregation as we move forward into a new beginning ……. A possible partnership with Hillhurst United Church. This is the only partnership that is now being considered. If in fact we cannot find a way forward with Hillhurst, when we will be pursuing the Legacy option.
What Hillhurst United Church brings:

  • Hoping for 20-30 households with a younger demographic to join the LSUC location

  • They have outgrown their building and are looking for a new call to serve communities in the south end of Calgary via a “satellite” ministry

  • Several ministers/paid staff to run specific variety of programming

  • Established success! –Strong presence in the community they attract inner city folks/ minister to the “homeless”

  • They serve lunch every Sunday.

  • Live stream their services so already they’re tech savvy in this regard

  • Vibrant music ministry with choir, bands and large productions

  • Strong affirming ministry

  • Strong aboriginal ministry

  • Refugee family support – 2 families from Syria and additional relatives. They just began support of a family from Sudan.

What Living Spirit United Church brings:

  • 40 – 50 core of faithful folks, who have been through a lot recently with proved resilience…. And are hope filled!

  • Senior demographic with LOTS of experience and wisdom

  • Excited to have this opportunity to be able to continue

  • A building in relatively good shape with a variety usable spaces

  • Over $100,000.00 as the legacy from the 3 original amalgamating congregations

  • Our wonderful ministers leave at the end of June 2020 and if we pursue a call it will be in partnership with HUC. We are very attached to our music and support staff

  • While we have waning membership we still have strong community connections through our renters, especially Klub Care, and our Moms and Tots program.

  • Vibrant Music ministry with fabulous choir!

  • An Affirming congregation

  • Supported a Syrian refugee family in recent years

We entered a process to gather the Hopes and Dreams of LSUC for this potential partnership and a set of priorities that the Negotiating Team would have ready to bring to the discussions with HUC. Here is a summary of the themes that were expressed:
Hopes and Dreams; What excites you most about this process? (27 responses)

  • Excitement for a lot of NEWNESS was expressed: New Energy, New People with a range of ages, New Programs both inside the church in the in the community : about 14 responses cited hopes/dreams that were about “New…”

    • Hopes/Dreams for new families with children/youth were specifically named 8 times

    • New Energy was mentioned 5 times

  • Having a Direction or a New Direction was cited 4 times

  • Other Hopes/Dreams mentioned once each:

    • Build on Hillhurst’s success

    • Hope we don’t waste any more time talking about healing

    • To joyfully jump into social justice issues with friends

    • Start compassionate ministry and make difference in people’s lives outside church walls

    • Encourage inclusive congregation

  1. A summary of the list of LSUC’s Must Haves/ Non Negotiables

  • The Choir and music program was most mentioned in this section cited 9 times

    • would love to have a children’s choir

  • Some preservation of LSUC identity and sense of “family” (XO) or “community” was cited 5 times

  • Worship at this location and time was cited 3 times

  •  Having a Designated Pastoral care/worship leader Minister attached to the LSUC location was cited 3 times

  • Keeping Mary on staff as Administrator was cited 2 times and Jampa as caretaker was mentioned once

  • Community outreach was cited 2 times

  • HUC and LSUC working together to become one entity/being open-hearted or Spirit-centered together was cited 3 times

  • Other “Must-Haves” were:

    • implicit LGTBQ2 Affirming

    • Passing of the peace during service

    • Youth ministry

    • Good parking

    • Long term financial stability

    • Keep Klub Care and Mom & Tots group- don’t want to strand them!

    • Dog friendly


  1. Here is a Summary of the “Nice-To- Haves” - but we’d be willing to be flexible

  • Worship time/style was mentioned 4 times

  • The music program/staff were mentioned 3 times

  • Hire AV person/social media was mentioned 2 times

  • Pre-and Post- church service coffee/treats were cited 2 times

  • Letting go of faltering LSUC programs was cited 2 times

  • Church programs at LSUC both continuing and joint were cited 2 times

  • Keeping current staff in music, office and maintenance was cited 2 times

  • Other “Nice-To-Haves” mentioned once each

    • Guest speakers interfaith dialogue

    • Our crazy/lovely passing of the peace

    • A real “live” human minister in building (vs live stream)

    • Available space for community groups

    • Community events, fun get-togethers

    • More youth and leaders for Sunday School and ‘Young Adult’ group

    • Retaining some sense of LUSC’s Legacy 

    • Banners at the front of the sanctuary

    • Happy with all we have going here! Keep it going please!

  1. The things that we are ready to say “Let It Go!”

  • The Pews were the big winner in this category coming up 8 times

  • “Worry” and “Uncertainty” came up 3 times

  • “Hurt”, “regret” and “negativity” were cited 4 times

  • Choir gowns and the organ were both cited 2 times

  • LSUC’s identity and name were cited 3 times

  • Too few people and lack of energy were mentioned 3 times

  • other items to let go of were:

    • storage stuff we don’t use

    • Old banners

    • sanctuary rug

    • the current kitchen

    • All of the ‘infrastructure’ -even the building if necessary

    • LSU’s  financial unsustainability

    • The Jennifer/Tracy story

    • the need to have a revolving door of ministers

    • Give up: Transition and Healing phase. Move into: re-birth and new energy of moving forward

    •  Keep the LSU Core ideals, let go of our historical biases  ie “This is the LSU way” – This is a new start!

    • Let go of the human crap and move on to healing gifts

Thank you to everyone who took part in this important process—it truly is a gift to our Negotiating Team as they meet with the Hillhurst Team this coming Wed. Remember them in your prayers and keep praying the Transition Prayer!!
Many Blessings,
Shannon Mang


Living Spirit United Church strives to be an open-minded, relevant and inclusive inter-generational faith community that, in keeping with the Spirit of Christ, welcomes all people regardless of age, gender, economics, status, ethnicity, beliefs, culture, gender identity or sexual orientation.

Come help us live out our values of Joy, Compassion and Spirituality and fulfill our mission to be a joyful community that loves God and enthusiastically embraces all people.



         629 49th Ave SW

         Calgary, AB  T2S 1G6

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