LivingWater Campaign

We Are Almost There

“…out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.” John 7:38 (NSVR)


            Link to Specific Sections
         Requirements for Our Future 
         Your Campaign Committee
         Questions You May Have

We are sincerely grateful to the 143 families and individuals who have pledged to give
$317,339.50over the next three years to the LivingWater campaign. We are almost 80% towards our goal of raising $400,000!


It is important for churches to do two things often. The first is to celebrate the good work done in the service of our Lord. Celebrating acknowledges great effort and helps to generate energy for future effort. The second is to frequently assess, vision and plan in order to continue as a relevant and thriving congregation doing God’s work.

At Islington United Church, we will kick off 2013 by doing both through the LivingWater Campaign. LivingWater will begin with a celebration of what our church is today—busy, with many opportunities to explore and deepen one’s faith, become part of a nurturing community, and contribute time and talents to welcome and support others in the community.

Through the LivingWater Campaign, our goal is to ask every member to share why they love this church. We want to share your passion with others who may want to join us.

But we must also acknowledge that there is much more
we can and need to do. We chose the name ‘Living Water’ because this is what the Holy Spirit empowers us to be. In our own community, we don’t have to look far for neighbours who are desperately thirsty and need the ministry of the Holy Spirit. We need to welcome them.

If you have questions about the LivingWater Campaign that are not answered by this website, please send a message

View of The LivingWater Campaign Brochure:


LivingWater Campaign



LivingWater Campaign

Requirements for Our Future


LivingWater Campaign

Your Campaign Committee


LivingWater Campaign

Questions You May Have

What does ‘living water’ mean?

By calling our campaign LivingWater, we are acknowledging the way God works in our lives.  Our God is a generous God. From his abundant love, we receive one blessing after another and each of us has a received at least one gift (Romans 12:6-8) that we are expected to use to build up the body of Christ. His gifts to us are meant to be used and poured out if we are to make room for more to flow in. We may be called to give of our material treasures, or to develop and use natural talents, or to offer up precious time or any combination of these. In whatever way we are able to serve, God’s amazing love will inspire us to do it generously and cheerfully.

When we offer what we do to God and pray that our words and actions help others want to know more about Jesus, then we have been channels of the ‘living water’ Jesus offered to the Samaritan woman in the gospel of John– “those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.” (John 4:14 NRSV). Studying God’s Word, worshipping, and fellowshipping with others are some of the ways we drink in this ‘living water’. Later Jesus publicly announces, “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture* has said, streams of living water will flow from within him” (7:38).  Here Jesus is referring to the Holy Spirit which empowered his followers at Pentecost (Acts 2).

Jesus continues to offer us water that brings life to the soul. By drinking the living water, we, too, can live and never thirst again. Just as the physical body needs water to continue living, so does the spirit. Believing in Jesus enables the Holy Spirit to come into our lives so that what we say and do points back to the gracious nature of God revealed to us in Jesus.

(*Isaiah 55:1.  See also: Psalms 36:9 and 42:1; Jeremiah 2:13 and 17:13; Zechariah 13:1(NIV))

How do I make my commitment to support the LivingWater Campaign?

You can obtain a commitment card from the Church office or by clicking on the following link. The commitment card outlines the options for how you can contribute financially including cash gifts or donations of securities now, monthly or yearly. We hope that your donation to LivingWater is in addition to your existing financial donations to Islington United Church.      
LivingWater Campaign Commitment Card  (PDF file opens in a new window.)


If I contribute monthly through PAR, when will I start making my contributions?

If you are currently making monthly contributions through PAR (Pre-Authorized Remittance), the Church office will assist you in increasing the amount of monthly transfer by the new additional contribution amount you would like to give. You may also note this amount and the starting month on your commitment card, sign it and hand it into the Church office. You will be contacted by the staff to assist you with the new contribution.

I currently donate to Islington United each week/month with my envelopes. Can I use these same envelopes or will I get a new supply of envelopes for the LivingWater Campaign?

We would like to track the LivingWater donations separately in order to report back to the congregation about the effectiveness of our campaign and to tell everyone what the funds have been used for. It is therefore important that any contributions to the LivingWater initiative be marked as such – whether it be through your existing methods of donation or through a new cheque, cash or securities donation you make specifically for LivingWater. You can also make a donation online from Islington’s website, using your credit or debit card. Select ‘LivingWater’ from the list of funds when directing your online gift.

Our church already sends a sizeable amount of money to The United Church of Canada for mission and service work. Why should we contribute more?

Islington United is very active with mission & service work in our local community (e.g., food program, rummage sale, facilities rental), and in Canada with the GO Project. But for a congregation our size, we have the Christian obligation to complement our local efforts with expanded attention to international needs.

Who will be in charge of ‘spending’ the money?

Your Church Council made the decision to initiate the LivingWater Campaign with the congregation’s approval, and they will be in charge of investing and determining how all funds are spent. If you have any questions or concerns about how funds are used, you are encouraged to contact anyone on the Council.

What new programs are planned with funding from the LivingWater Campaign?

There has been much discussion in Council meetings and other committees about new programs that would engage particularly seekers (people looking for a church home), new church members, youth and young families. Ideas include: a primer or introductory program on Christian spirituality for newcomers, March Break program, couples enrichment program, additional youth music programs and events, parenting program for baptismal and other young families, youth drop-in, family retreats and camping events.

The major cost in launching new programs is the ‘people’ cost—someone to take ownership, lead the program and ensure that it is meeting the needs identified within our community and congregation. Often we can adopt programs that have run successfully in other churches but even then, it takes time to adapt programs for the specific needs and skills in our congregation. We’re fortunate that we have many volunteers that assist with programs, but to ensure long-term success, we also need professional leaders (who may be engaged specifically for a program or who may join our team on a part-time basis).

Will church members be advised in a timely manner as to how the money has been spent?

Yes. We will provide regular updates in the church bulletin and on our Web site ( If you would like to be added to our distribution list for Campaign e-news (which we hope to distribute 2 to 3 times per year over the next 3 years), please send your email address to

How does the church intend to implement all these new programs? I thought our staff was overworked even now?

As churches often are, Islington United is in transition in terms of staffing as we study and make decisions on how to continue to fulfill the responsibilities previously assigned to Michael Shewburg and Lauren Hodgson. As we make decisions on what new spiritual engagement programs we want to implement, we may determine that additional full- or part-time staff are required.

If I contribute to the LivingWater Campaign, can I direct my support to specific initiatives (e.g., drilling wells in Zambia)?

Yes. You may indicate which parts of the campaign you wish to support if you do not wish to contribute to all initiatives.

Tell me more about the ‘wells’ project in Africa.

Millions of people in Zambia don’t have ready access to clean water. Women and children travel miles carrying water from shallow pits or impure streams to satisfy daily needs. During droughts, even these sources are unreliable. There is a desperate need for local and reliable sources of fresh water for communities. Access to a safe water supply improves a community’s health and quality of life. It increases capacity to raise livestock and crops and allows children time to go to school.

The People’s Action Forum (PAF) supports community-based water projects and helps develop systems for the supply, delivery, and maintenance of clean water. Working in partnership with churches and support groups, the PAF identifies regions in need of permanent deep boreholes. Wells are placed where they can be shared by multiple villages. One well can affect the lives of up to 2,000 individuals. Since 2003 PAF has supported the drilling of 14 wells across Zambia.

I have heard one of our members, Doug Watson, talking about Africa Arise. Is this related to the LivingWater Campaign?

Doug has a passion for mission and service as do many people at Islington. This is a great example of how spiritual engagement can motivate people to help others. There are thousands of ways that we could share through mission and service. At this time, Council is supporting the goal of drilling wells in Zambia through the LivingWater Campaign.

I know there is a big need for funds for people in Africa. But there is also a big need for money for poor people in Canada. Why have you chosen a mission and service project for Africa and not one for Canada?

Actually, Islington United offers and supports a number of mission and service projects close to home. For the Islington community, we operate a food program, a homework club, a Refugee Support Ministry and support groups for physically-challenged adults. We also expanded our successful GO Project —which focuses on mission work in the inner-city—to include Vancouver, Halifax, St. John’s, Toronto and Stratford.

The church building seems to me to be in pretty good shape. What improvements are required for our building/property?

Only $100,000 of our fundraising goal ($400,000) is earmarked for property maintenance and improvements. We must make upgrades to meet new building code accessibility requirements. This includes installing automatic door openers and lifts. Given that hospitality plays such an important role in our lives at Islington, some funds have been earmarked to upgrade the kitchens.

How would the campaign impact a major capital project that might arise in the next five years (e.g., given the warming trend, we may wish to air condition the sanctuary)?

Church Council will determine how the funds are to be used. Projects requiring a very large amount of capital, such as a new boiler or a new sanctuary roof, may require a special ‘dedicated’ campaign or an authorized use of trust funds.

Is it realistic to expect that funding would continue to support additional programming after the 3 years?

Yes. Funds raised by our previous Polaris Campaign (held in 1998) were spent over a number of years. We expect funds from LivingWater to financially support new programs and ministry opportunities beyond the 3-year fundraising period.

Traditionally, it has been necessary to ask the congregation to make additional contributions to meet a fiscal-yearend deficit. Would the campaign impact this request?

This campaign is raising funds for projects over and above the annual operating costs. If we meet our annual operating budget there should be no year-end deficit.

Are there trust funds available currently to finance capital projects?

Yes. We do have a Memorial Fund that is managed by our Board of Trustees. Money from that fund has been used, for example, to purchase the digital signs in front of our church that tell the community what is happening at Islington United and that they are welcome anytime.

How Do I Contact Someone If I Have Other Questions?

If you have questions about the LivingWater Campaign that are not answered by our website, please call our Church Office at 416-231-1131 Ext.21 or send us a message at