History - KUC History II.
KILLARNEY UNITED CHURCH History Part 2
Many changes and challenges have taken place since the "Reflections" History Book was published in 1982. Our Killarney United Church has continued to be a very active and progressive church. God has continued to bless us and challenge us over the past 24 years. Our vibrant Sunday morning worship service is, of course, at the heart of all that we do. It is there where we are uplifted and nourished for all of the work that we endeavour to do in Christ's name.
Some of our regular church activities through the years have included: Bible study groups, special days for seniors, many work parties (repairs, painting, cleaning, planting flowers), Fall suppers and other special fundraisers, Christmas carolling, organizing a church float in the Summer and Christmas parades, a monthly church luncheon, and a Book Club which was started by the Ekatons Group in 2006.
We try to be a church who reaches out to care for others and for the world. This is done through offerings to the Food Bank, recycling, our giving’s to the Mission and Service Fund (over the past 24 years we have given a total of $420,473.00 to M&S, including 156,054.68 from our UCW), and knitting teddy bears for the "Teddies for Tragedies" project, to name a few.
Our church has hosted many special services through the years that we see as a form of outreach to the community. These have included Christmas and Easter Cantatas, Blue Christmas services held in memory of loved ones, and Communion and Sunday services at Bay side Personal Care Home.
Countless volunteers help in all areas of our church's life. We are very fortunate to have so many dedicated people in our congregation who give of their time and talents. Some of these include: church office helpers, committee members, U.C.W. and Thrift Shop workers, those who volunteer at teas and sales, our choir members (Senior and Junior), pianists for Sunday school, Sunday school teachers, Vacation Bible School and youth leaders, people who prepare communion, fall canvass organizers, those who tape our Sunday services, deliver Sunday bulletins to seniors, create birthday/anniversary cards for our members, decorate the sanctuary for special occasions, make seasonal banners for our sanctuary, offer pastoral visiting, and many more. God never says "Someone else can do it. I have done my share."
Our United Church Women (U.C.W) is an organization for all women of the United Church. There have been as many as seven units with four active at present. The neighbouring Rowland and Lena U.C.W.'s carried on for many years after their churches closed, but both units disbanded in 1985. Each U.C.W. unit meets monthly, as well as a general meeting for all women. These women do a terrific amount of work in and out of the church, all done through a love for the church and to the glory of God.
Some of the work the ladies have done over the years and are still doing includes: raising money for local church improvements and additions, special appeals and general church expenses through catering, teas, an annual yard sale, sale of 40th anniversary cookbooks, and many other projects; support for mission projects and disaster relief overseas (in Bangladesh, Mexico, India, El Salvador, & Southeast Asia, to name a few); countless hours of pastoral care and visiting in homes, hospital, and care homes; leadership in special services such as World Day of Prayer and the Least Coin Service.
The U.C.W celebrated their 40th Anniversary in 2002 and the 30th anniversary of the Thrift Shop in 2004. These ladies have continued through the years to be a very faithful and dedicated group and spend many hours in preparation for all the activities they do. Their work is always a shared venture, with countless women taking turns in leadership and in every facet of their ministry. Behind everything our United Church Women do is the spiritual side, with prayer and study being a vital part of every meeting. Their faith in God and their willingness to be disciples of Jesus Christ has been a vital part of our church, and has touched countless lives through the years. Remember to "Trust in the Lord" as it is from God that all good comes.
Many generous and thoughtful donations throughout the years have added to the use and comfort of our church. These have included: major renovations to the church in 1982 (wall papering, painting, new carpet, completion of choir room and baby fold, upstairs washrooms, and new entrance completed, coloured windows by pulpit restored). In 1983 the manse was renovated and church windows were repaired. The new organ fund was started in 1987 and our new Allan organ, as well as a new sound system, was purchased in 1989. In 1991 a church library was established, and renovations to the minister's study were completed.
In 1995, we began talking about the need for a major building project. In 1996, Voices United Hymn Books were purchased, and we upgraded our Sunday School classrooms.
In 1999, we purchased the lot beside the C.E Centre from Chapman's. Since 2000, the church has purchased round tables, new chairs, mailboxes for the sanctuary, and had pew cushions donated.
2000 saw the 1OOth anniversary of our Church building and we celebrated in style with special events throughout the year. In December, we held a very special C.G.I.T Vesper service with many former members.
We had Congregational Directories made in 1992 and 2000 with pictures of our church families.
We are fortunate to have a good relationship with the Anglican Church as we share Maundy Thursday Services, our two choirs join together for funerals and Remembrance Day services, our Sunday Schools combine classes a couple of times a year as well as the summer Vacation Bible School, and we share our buildings whenever needed. Dean Letts has been a welcome friendly face around our church for the past few years as he picks up and delivers our mail twice a week.
The Sunday School is also very active. For the last two years Christmas cards have been sold with pictures of our Sunday School children on them, the proceeds going to Mission & Service. The Sunday school children receive certificates, and each child receives a bible when they are in grade 3. Enrolment continues to stay constant even with all the pressures of the times.
In 2002, our Acting Crazy Comedy Troupe was formed. Rev. Cole and Diane Grambo founded the group and we have been enjoying amateur theatre in our church ever since. We have performed a major comedy each year and it has become a major fundraiser for the church. Many members of our congregation have taken to the stage and worked behind the scenes to help make these productions successful.
The Thrift Shop has continued to be a very important part of our church. Many volunteers have worked so hard through the years, organizing, pricing, repairing, and selling the clothing. The Thrift Shop was located in the basement of the church since 1975. In 2006, it was temporarily moved to the basement of the Killarney Professional Building until the new church is built. The Thrift Shop is a much needed service for the community. Any clothing left over at the end of a season is boxed up and sent wherever it is needed.
An Easter flower fund is collected each year in memory of loved ones. Half the proceeds buy flowers for the sanctuary and they are delivered to the shut-ins of our congregation after the service. The rest of the proceeds go to our Mission & Service Fund.
The Killarney Nursery School has been a welcome resident in the basement of our C.E. Centre, holding weekly classes there for many years.
In 1986 our church embarked on a new committee structure which includes Church Council and many committees.
In 2000, we expanded our vision of ministry, and hired a half time Staff Associate. We also began a relationship with St. Andrew's United Church in Ninette in which we share our ministers.
Church attendance has stayed fairly steady over the past 20 years with approximately 150-190 in attendance each week. Our congregation stayed strong through the challenges and changes of the mid 90's. George Holliday served as our Interim Minister and spent two years with us, helping us through that time with many tears, laughter, and much pastoral care.
In 1995, our congregation started talking about the need for a new church building. The original church was built in 1900, and had served us so well through the years, but the time seemed to have come to plan for the future. The congregation voted in favour of building our new church, and plans have been coming along ever since.
In 2005, we made the difficult decision to close our church sanctuary. Our final service in the old church was January 15, 2006. The following week, we moved our worship services next door to our C.E. Centre, which has proven a very suitable worship space until our new church is completed.
The old church was demolished on June 19, 2006, and plans are to start building in the fall of 2006. The original plan called for both sanctuary and CE Buildings to be demolished, but after much thought and discussion, we voted to keep our C.E. building, and to replace only the church building.
With the building of a new sanctuary much fundraising was needed. In 2000 we started raising money in earnest. Some of our special projects have included Valentine's dinners, fish frys, talent/pie auctions, a booth at the summer fair, men's breakfasts, selling of pewter Christmas ornaments, special concerts, a Christmas Memory Tree, and a $100/square foot campaign.
Since 1982, our ministers have been: Rev. Tony Maunder (1981-1991), Rev. Barb Jardine (in 1987 while Tony was on sabbatical), Rev. Brent Denham (1991-1998), Rev. George Holliday (1998-2000), and Rev. Cole Grambo (2000-2012). Two staff associates have served us: Beth Clarke (2000-2003) and Marianne Olfrey (2003-present).
We have also had three student interns through the years: Michelle Downs in 1993, Noelle Bowles in 1998, and Emmanuel Menyereye in 2003-2004. We were very fortunate to have these three students in our midst. Emmanuel and his family were with us for 16 months. They were originally from Burundi so we not only learned about them as a family, we also learned about a different country and way of life.
Church secretaries since 1980 have included Frances Gerdis, Doris Enns, and Aileen Bridges (May 1984-present), and office helpers have included Gwen Powell, Jean McMullen, and Merle Campbell. The following have served as church treasurers: Terry Lewis, Alvin Jones, John Chester, Larry Cox, and Jeanne Jones. Our caretakers have been Henry and Marion Stockwell, Paul and Kathy Berry, Allan and Betty Urquhart, and Brian and Aileen Bridges (June 1996-present).
Choir Directors through the years have included Harold Kuipers, Carol Avison, Ken Harms, Jonelle McLellan, Cheryl Scharf, and Diane Grambo.
We have enjoyed the talents of two long-term organists/pianists over the past 24 years, Harold Kuipers and Glenda Archibald, with Jackie Olver joining us in 2006 (as well as many others who have offered their gifts in music leadership playing organ/piano, leading Junior Choirs, Mens' choirs, special groups and Sunday School Christmas presentations. Special mention should be made of Jean Lawson, who helped in many of these areas.)
Sunday School and youth groups are areas where we have enjoyed many blessings through the years with thanks to many leaders and volunteers.
God has greatly blessed us here at Killarney United Church. We are thankful for God's guidance and continued presence, and for the faithfulness of all those who have been part of our church family through the years.
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