Amalgamation Steering Committee Update – Letting Us Know Your Thoughts

Hello all

A few weeks ago, we sent out the Moving Forward Report for everyone to review and provide feedback on.  We invited both communities of faith to participate in information sessions to review the report and recommendations, answer questions and capture feedback. 

35 members from our communities of faith participated in 5 Zoom sessions and 1 in-person session that were held from June 15 to June 22.   

At the sessions there were lots of questions and good discussion around concerns and suggestions.  

While there are many things to consider, there are feelings of excitement and anticipation as we move forward together.

Here is a summary of the feedback we received so far:

  • We are on the right track and should continue moving forward to making a recommendation on amalgamation.
  • Proceed with prudence but don’t take too long.
  • Keep the Communities of Faith informed and engaged as we proceed. 
  • We will need to build strong buy-in from the communities of faith so that when it comes time for the 2 congregations to vote there is a very large majority that support the recommendations
  • We need to make sure we continue to nurture our faith community connections, support our members in their faith journey and provide pastoral care as we move forward.
  • We need to a have a good ministry leadership transition plan, especially with Hillary not returning until the beginning of June 2021 and Tom planning to retire at the end of June.
  • There are many options to consider as we look at space and building requirements for staff and the programs we want to pursue

This is a good start but we need to hear from more members of our communities! 

Let us know:

  • What excites you about moving forward together?
  • What suggestions do you have?
  • What concerns do you have?
  • How you would like to be engaged in this journey?

We want to make sure we hear from as many people as possible,


  • send a letter or email to either church office with your thoughts to be passed on the steering committee


  • Contact any member of the Steering committee by email, phone or even Zoom

(see committee members list below)

If you would like to take a look at the Moving Forward Information that was previously sent out, here are the links to where they are on the Congregational websites:

Deer Park:

St. Andrew’s:  please see below

We will be staying connected to you on a regular basis.

Stay tuned for an opportunity to participate in the development of Faith, Vision and Mission Statements in the near future.

Jan van Egteren and John Palmer

Amalgamation Steering Committee Co-Chairs

Steering Committee:

  • Richard Betts – SAUC
  • Bruce Dean – DPUC  
  • Karen Decoux – SAUC
  • Jocelyn Gelinas – DPUC
  • Merle Ann May – SAUC
  • Brenda McKellar – SAUC
  • Rev. Tom Melvin – DPUC
  • John Palmer – SAUC
  • Shelley Spence – DPUC
  • Jan Van Egteren – DPUC

[1] In the new structure of the United Church of Canada, a congregation is now called a faith community.


The Amalgamation Steering Committee (ASC) would love to invite you to VISION with us this summer! We are looking at everything MISSION and VISION. Throughout the summer we will be seeking your involvement in looking into the future, what does the perfect church look like? What are our passions, our prides and our hopes? What is God’s plan for us? The mission and vision will guide us through all aspects of our planning and we need YOU!

Over the course of the summer we will continue having a conversation through questions, discussions and reflection. By the end of September we hope to have Faith, Mission and Vision statements, goals and values, as well as a personal connection that will lay the foundation for the important work ahead.

Our churches both have amazing histories, serving our communities and reaching beyond. Attached is a very rough copy of a possible FAITH STATEMENT (What we believe). We are inviting your feedback, what are some things that speak to you? Is there something you would change/add/take out? Does this represent where we currently are in our faith journey together?

Fun activity: If you were to read a newspaper headline about something our new church does in the future, what would it read and what would the date be?

Please submit all responses to Jocelyn Gelinas or John Palmer. We look forward to hearing from you!

DRAFT Faith Statement 07_2020


Summary of Discussion Group and Survey

Updated Summary of the Report and Recommendations – May 2020

What is Amalgamation?

Final Report and Recommendations