Summer Wrraps up some activities.

Choir:  This Wednesday, June 22nd in preparation for our ‘Museum service next Sunday.  Then we will be on a break until the fall.

Reel Theology: Supper and movie night this Thursday evening.  Sign up!  I believe this also the last one for the Summer.

Sunday School Closing: Many thanks to Dean and Bonnie Allan for the very fun barbeque and swimming party!  It was a wonderful day. 🙂

Sundaes on Tuesdays :  will be starting up.  Watch for the sign up sheet and have a perfect excuse to indulge.

Bike & Clothing Exchange – April 30/16

In this bad economy, a lot of people are feeling the pinch.   Our Bike & Clothing Exchange is an easy but effective way of reaching out to non-church goers, helping the environment and saving them money.  Reducing waste by communal collaboration speaks to me as something Jesus would advocate whole-heartedly.



Joint Needs Assessment

Carstairs Bancroft Pastoral Charge
Carstairs, Alberta

Red Deer Presbytery
February 15, 2015

Committee Members:
From Carstairs Bancroft Pastoral Charge:
Ruth Roedler (Chair), Doreen Bills, Bob Clark, Cheryl Kindrachuk, Bob Peel, Harold Foong, Janet Lowry
From Red Deer Presbytery:
Rev. Marie Wedderburn, Mary Jane Davies (Cremona)

• Joint Needs Assessment has been prompted by the retirement of the minister, as of June 30, 2015
• Joint Needs Assessment Committee is recommending to the Red Deer Presbytery that a vacancy be declared at Carstairs Bancroft Pastoral Charge as of July 1, 2015
• Carstairs Bancroft Pastoral Charge requires the services of a full time equivalent Ordered Ministry Personnel

Carstairs, a rural town of approximately 3900 residents, is located 64 kilometres north of Calgary on Highway 2A running parallel to the Queen Elizabeth II highway (QE2). The QE2 is the main transportation corridor between Edmonton and Calgary. The town serves both the rural community and town residents.
The town of Carstairs, founded some one hundred plus years ago, works together in a caring, diverse community. The economic base for the town is primarily agriculture, with some petroleum and transportation related industries. The area surrounding the town is prime agricultural land, both for grain and cattle. There are also numerous gas and oil pipelines, and some large gas plants in the area.
We have recently experienced a very high growth rate, similar to other towns located on the QE2 corridor, but our growth is one of the highest of all towns on this corridor. Many of the new residents of Carstairs are younger families who are moving here from Calgary seeking a less hectic lifestyle and more affordable housing. We are becoming a “bedroom community” to the city of Calgary, with many of the residents commuting to Calgary for work.
Primary and secondary schools
Hugh Sutherland School, located within the town, provides education for Grades 4-12. Due to the increasing number of young families moving to the town, the Carstairs Elementary School, located in the southwestern portion of town, was built in 2010 and provides education from Kindergarten to Grade 3. There is a fairly even mix of rural and town students and most of the rural students are bussed to the school. There are three playschools and several day homes operating in the town. Support is readily available for special needs education, and there are some non-traditional schools available in the surrounding communities.
Post-secondary Institutions
Carstairs is fortunate to have easy access to a wide variety of post-secondary institutions including:
• Olds College
• Red Deer College
• University of Calgary
• Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT)
• Mount Royal University
• Bow Valley College

The town of Carstairs has the following services:
• Medical clinic
• Dental clinic
• Chiropractic and massage services
• EMS and ambulance
• Pharmacy and naturopathic services
Near to Carstairs are the following services:
• Hospitals in Didsbury and Olds
• Urgent Care Facility in Airdrie
Social Services
• Two manors and a lodge for senior accommodation
• Food Bank in Olds
Recreational, Cultural and Social Opportunities
• Arena
• Curling rink
• Soccer pitch and ball diamonds
• 18-hole golf course
• Splash park
• Tennis courts
• Seniors’ Half Century Club
• Legion, Lions, Elks, IODE groups
• Scouting and Guiding programs
• Library
• Roulston Museum
• Campground
• Seasonal community activities
• Carstairs Bancroft United Church
• Church of God
• St. Agnes Roman Catholic Church
• Morning Star Lutheran Church
• Bethel Evengelical Church
• West Zion Mennonite Church
• Bergthal Mennonite Church

The roots of our church go back to 1901 when Rev. Edward Wood established both Carstairs and Bancroft congregations as part of the Methodist circuit in the area. In 1925 both congregations agreed to join the newly formed United Church of Canada, with the Carstairs United Church worshipping in Carstairs and Bancroft United Church worshipping at Bancroft School, which later became part of an amalgamation of rural schools called Midway School, twenty-eight kilometres east of Carstairs. The Cremona United Church, located in the village of Cremona thirty kilometres to the west of Carstairs, was also once part of the three-point charge served by our clergy. Over time, our ministers have commuted by horse, motorcycle and automobile. Cremona United Church became an independent Pastoral Charge in 1986. The Carstairs and Bancroft congregations amalgamated and, in 1998 on Easter Sunday, began worshipping together as the Carstairs Bancroft United Church.
Carstairs Bancroft is a friendly, open and vibrant congregation, active both in church and community. We seek a spiritual guide who will join us on our journeys.
As a church which welcomes all seekers after God’s truth, we will honour, respect and encourage all people in their spiritual journeys by providing Christian services and programs for the community.
Faithful to the scriptures and through prayer, we will strive to help people to know, love and serve God as revealed in Jesus Christ.
These are the goals to which Carstairs Bancroft United Church aspires:
As followers of Jesus Christ, we will:
• be mindful of and attempt to meet the spiritual needs of those around us
• by word and action communicate God’s unconditional love for all of his children

As a welcoming church, we will:
• strive to understand, honour, respect and reinforce others as they learn to know, love and serve God as revealed in Jesus Christ
• be caring and accountable to one another as members of God’s family
• be tolerant in our differences, respecting one another as children of God

As a church for the community, we will:
• bear witness in the community through informational and educational programs and a healing ministry
• unconditionally provide to the community Christian services for all ages
• encourage and develop leadership and other special qualities among the lay members to better serve the congregation and community
• be open to new ways of providing outreach to others in the community and to the world at large

As a church that respects God’s creation, we will:
• be informed and active on issues involving God’s natural world
• seek justice and freedom for all and resist evil

Special Services
• Christmas Eve children’s pageant
• Christmas Eve communion service
• Joint Good Friday service with churches from surrounding pastoral charges
• Easter morning sunrise service
Adult Study
• we have a Coffee and Conversation group meeting weekly – topics have included Observer articles, current events and Biblical passages
• we also enjoy activities such as “Reel” theology sessions – watching a film then discussing it
• leads in music ministry during weekly worship

Healing Touch
• sessions held upon request

Official Board
• meets every second month
• consists of seven members who are elected by the congregation for three-year terms, staggered to ensure continuity on the Board
• a chair and secretary are chosen from this group
• the entire board is responsible for the spiritual aspects of the congregation as well as the administration and maintenance of the church

Pastoral Care
• pastoral visitation is done by the minister as well as UCW to the hospital and lodge on a regular basis
Congregational Life
Various congregational activities are organized through the year-
• Zoo trips
• Sledding and skating
• Hayrides and an annual picnic
• Easter sunrise service
• International supper
• Mother’s day breakfast and Shrove Tuesday pancake supper, both hosted by the men in the congregation
• “Sundaes on Tuesdays” for children and families visiting the splash park
• Tai chi weekly
Sunday School
Children attend the first part of the church service then dismiss to Sunday school each week. Other activities include:
• Participating in Nativity pageants, Palm Sunday services
• Year-end swim party
• Sharing in Vacation Bible School in the summer with other nearby congregations
• Using their weekly collections to go to special Christmas projects
• Participating in communion
United Church Women
• Meet monthly on the first Thursday for fellowship, service and personal enrichment
• Make chili for the Calgary Drop-in Centre twice a year
• Give financial support to the board, church institutions and many outreach programs
• Hold a Christmas program for the congregation providing worship, entertainment
Kasota East Camp
• Owned by the United Church and is situated on the shores of Sylvan Lake
• Carstairs Bancroft Pastoral charge offer financial support and currently have one member serving on the Board of Directors
Local Ministry (minister and congregation)
Members of our congregation are very visible in the community, participating on many local boards and committees. We have a strong commitment to participate in and improve our community with Christian values and stewardship.
• Visitation in homes, active hospitals, long term institutions and lodges
• Provide funeral services and pastoral care for bereaved families in our congregation and community
• Supporters of Mountain View Food Bank, local Lion’s Hamper Fund, Calgary Drop-in Centre and Women’s Emergency Shelters
• Support the local school’s breakfast fund

A Ministerial Association provides services at the Chinook Winds Lodge on a rotational basis. The Association also celebrates Christmas Choir Festival, Remembrance Day and a Community Ecumenical Sunday Church during Beef and Barley Days in July. When there is a request, funds raised from these functions can be obtained for gas vouchers, lodging or food vouchers for people in need; all administered by this Association.


Our congregation is made up of 74 families with an average of 70 people attending on a Sunday. We have a mostly senior congregation with a few new younger families attending.

The proposed budget for the Carstairs Bancroft United Church for 2015 will be set in February at the Annual General Congregational Meeting. (see attachment)
We have set an M&S goal of $13 000.00 and in recent years, have either reached or exceeded our goal.
During 2014, we had 68 envelope and 6 PAR giving families.
The church facilities are used for a number of programs outside of the church. We rent the hall and kitchen facility to outside groups. The committee meeting room is rented to other organizations. We currently rent to the Carstairs Parent-Link organization for two mornings a week, providing a place for parents and their preschool children to meet, learn and socialize.

As a result of the Board and Treasurer working together, we have a strong financial management team with a sizable investment and are on target to meet 2014’s budget again.
We receive some funds from the United Church Women, as well as the Annual Turkey Supper, a fundraiser that is supported by the surrounding communities.

Paid Staff Positions
In addition to our minister, we offer a:
• Part-time janitor who is paid a monthly honorarium
• Organist/pianists receive a small honorarium
• Ministry and Personnel Committee over-see the duties, job performances, and job satisfaction of these paid personnel.
Music in the Church
• A team of four organists/pianists take turns each Sunday
• Excellent team of lay preachers and worship leaders within our congregation
• Pastoral care teams in place to help keep in contact with others of the congregation
• Church maintenance is handled by enthusiastic and skilled members of the congregation
The church property consists of a 120-seat church, built in 1968, with a choir/parent room, a washroom and adjoining hall. In 1979, we built an addition to the building which consists of a minister’s office, a committee meeting room, the secretary’s office, two washrooms and a storage room. The secretary’s office is equipped with a computer (connected to internet), printer, and copier. There is also a video projector in the sanctuary. The building is located on three lots in the central area of town and is well maintained. We have a grassy area at the front of the building with a paved parking lot at the rear.
The current housing situation in Carstairs sees the prices for new and older homes continuing to rise at a high rate. A new three-bedroom home in town will average $375,00.00 to $525,000.00.

Carstairs Bancroft United Church is seeking the services of a full time equivalent Order of Ministry Personnel. The successful applicant will be expected to perform numerous tasks. Of these the following six will be the main focus:
• Worship services – 30%
• Pastoral care – 25% (including hospital/home visits)
• Working with younger families and children – 10%
• Providing education to congregation – 15%
• Administration – 10%
• Presbytery participation – 10%

The following skills are important to our congregation:
• Preaching ability (for both traditional and contemporary services)
• Communication
• Teamwork
• Ability to provide counselling services as required
• Ability to develop Christian Education programs
• Ability to appreciate and nurture traditional and contemporary music
• Ability to actively participate in the community

Salary – up to and including 1.0 of Category F
Housing Allowance – as for COL Group 4
Vacation and Study Leave – 4 weeks vacation and 3 weeks study leave/continuing education
Mileage – as set by General Council ($0.41 / km)
Continuing Education and Book Allowance – as set by General Council
Basic Telephone and Internet Charges – 100%
Secretarial Assistance – negotiable

Canada to continue to support TB Reach – Mary Ellen Speers

Reach the missing 3 million.


Canadians are still reeling from the incredible pledge our government made to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria this past December. It was an amazing 20% increase over the previous commitment. I applaud the opportunity to celebrate something positive from our country’s leadership.  Every year 9 million people are infected with tuberculosis and one third of them will never be diagnosed.  In 2009 Canada pledged monies to the World Health Organization’s Stop TB Partnership and started an initiative to focus on the 3 million that the world has not been able to reach.  Called TB Reach, Canada is the major donor for this initiative. For World TB Day 2014 – March 24th– the Stop TB Partnership has chosen to focus on these 3 million undiagnosed and untreated people. The goals are early and increased case detection of TB with timely treatment.  It has proven an essential and cost effective solution. TB Reach has supported 109 projects in 55 countries through 3 waves of funding.  I am looking to Canada to continue to support TB Reach until every case of TB across the world has been identified, treated and cured! Let’s harness this positive momentum started by the Government in December and ask for further investment in tackling TB through TB Reach. Contact your local MP or Christian Paradis, International Development Minister and ask for continued investment in this good news story as we approach World TB Day.




Mary Ellen Speers

Carstairs, Alberta

Love Kindness, Seek Justice, Walk humbly with your God