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The Vision for our Amalgamated Congregation:
Intentionally Missional,  Strongly Relational, and Imperfectly Spiritual

Kerrisdale Presbyterian Church and West Point Grey Presbyterian Church have spent several months imagining what a renewed vision for ministry might look like if we join forces. This included an understanding that an amalgamation of our two congregations would take place within a larger vision that incorporated the strategies and goals of the Presbytery of Westminster. 

We organized our work around several conversations. The KPC session constituted a discernment committee. Committee members varied in length of time in either congregation, participation on various committees, as well as perspectives on the present ministries of Kerrisdale, the legacy hopes of WPG, and future ministries of an amalgamated congregation. We consulted previous work on the history and vision of both congregations. 

We structured our conversations through examination of five “vitalities”, or ways of being strong and active: spiritually, relationally, organizationally, missionally, and financially. For a comprehensive description of these vitalities, see the One Amalgamation—Three Visions document on our website.

The conversations identified priorities that can be summarized in the following statement:
“An amalgamated congregation of Kerrisdale Presbyterian Church and West Point Grey, in partnership with the presbytery, seeks to be a community of faith for those looking for a place to belong, be accepted, and be engaged in an authentic life of faith in Christ for the larger vision of God’s compassion and action in the world.”  

How is our amalgamated congregation going to do this? Primarily by creating an atmosphere in which our people are encouraged to match their deep concerns with critical needs, and are set free to engage in ministries that address those needs.  We will begin however, by committing to the following ministries which are grouped under three general focus areas:
1.    We will be intentionally missional. We will be a congregation that reaches out to the community in ways such as these:
•    Around the Well: a new church at UBC and other new worshipping communities
•    Ministry to youth, including partnerships with Christian groups that do youth ministry well 
•    Refugee sponsorship 
•    Ensuring that support for existing ministries that have been a long-term commitment from WPG will continue. This may include the Cariboo Ministry.
•    Social justice issues such as ministering to seniors and affordable housing
•    Collaborating with and supporting the work of our presbytery for the flourishing of all congregations and ministries within its bounds.
2.    We will be a congregation that is strongly relational. We will be a community where relationships matter and people are valued in ways such as these:
•    Small groups: study groups, discussion groups, various relational groups, social and informal congregational gatherings 
•    Caring for online attendees 
•    Partnerships with The Vancouver Taiwanese Presbyterian Church, Tenth Church Westside, the theological schools, and the Presbytery of Westminster
•    Ministries that build relationships within our multicultural neighborhood
3.    We will be an imperfectly spiritual congregation, focused on progress in the Christian life and not on perfection. We will be a community where people can ask questions, express doubts, find forgiveness, and live authentic lives. We connect this with the following practices: 
•    Developing music in worship and as a ministry tool
•    Utilizing existing gifts of all ages throughout our various ministries 
•    Providing a space for people to question, grow, find grace and forgiveness as we continue to grow and mature as followers of Jesus 
In summary, the newly amalgamated congregation will begin with the above ministry focus areas. The details of our work will be based on the information presented in Section IV of the “One Amalgamation—Three Visions report. It is our hope that the amalgamation process, in partnership with the presbytery, will form a new congregation focused beyond its own survival to a larger vision of the Kingdom of God. 

There is additional work to do in allocating the finances and setting the groundwork to start the newly amalgamated congregation on a financially stable basis. These ministries will not flourish without resources. It was our understanding at the beginning of the process that the amalgamation will result in maintaining only one building. Finances from the sale of the West Point Grey property will be used to support the vitality of the amalgamated congregation; the strategic priorities of the presbytery, including Camp Douglas and Hummingbird Ministries; and the national church.

How to divide the resources amongst these groups will need to be discerned. However the percentages are calculated, it is assumed that a percentage will first be apportioned to the amalgamated congregation. Our vision described above will need financial support. Like many congregations, we also have needs associated with the building that will be home to the amalgamated congregation. 

Second, to support the strategies and goals of the presbytery we will also need to establish a trust fund from which funds will be allocated to presbytery at their request for the benefit of all congregations and ministries within its bounds.

A further commitment is that a percentage of funds will go to the ministries of the national church. This is required in the amalgamation approval process and, as part of The Presbyterian Church in Canada, we want to see the ministries of the broader church flourish. The present policy requires that a range of 5% to 15% of the finances of the sale of the building be apportioned to the national church ministries. We may wish to provide more. 

How the amalgamated congregation will live out our three key areas may change over time, but our missional, relational, and spiritual commitment to them will be the compass that provides our direction into the future, including our commitment to the broader work of the presbytery.