Town Hall - Wed. May 22 @ 7 pm

Rental Proposdal - Update & Next Steps

Islington United Church
Rental Proposal - Update & Next Steps
at Town Hall meeting

Wednesday, May 22 @ 7 pm

Town Hall 2 is almost here and to be up to date for our evening together on May 22, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. in Stewart East Hall, we have prepared a second Q&A 2 from the feedback from our first meeting on April 24th. Our congregational response was very postive. We now have new information to share with you as well as floor plans. Our facilitator for the evening will be Keith Regehr.

Our format for the evening will be a little different to encourage everyone to share and speak their thoughts in a less formal setting. A hard copy Q&A 2 will be available as a hand out.

Be sure to join us on May 22 in Stewart East Hall at 7:00 p.m.

Second Set of Questions and Answers
1.  What rooms have been requested in this rental proposal and what rooms are exclusive and what rooms are shared?

GIST has proposed a list of the rooms they would need on an exclusive basis Monday to Friday during the school year, as well as the rooms they would like to use on a shared basis. The frequency and the times they would like to use shared space has been discussed to ensure that Islington United Church programs would not be disrupted.

The GIST runs a German language program for adults in the community on Monday and Tuesday evenings. In addition, there are evening monthly Board and Parent Meetings. All of these evening meetings would occur in the exclusive use rooms. They would also like to use one of the exclusive use rooms for four weeks during the summer, but they know our summer programs must have priority.

There could be small changes that would occur if this opportunity proceeds to a negotiation stage.  The rooms proposed for their use are listed below:

Exclusive rooms include:  KRT Room, lower level washrooms, Rainbow Room, River Room, Son-Rise Room, Board Room, Facilities Office, and Library.

Shared rooms include:  Toddler Room, Youth Room, Godly Play Room, Scout Hall and kitchen, Stewart East Hall, and Music Room.
2.   What current Islington United groups, committees and programs would be affected if this rental proposal is accepted by Islington?

We have reviewed the space used and required by Islington United groups and programs to ensure that our programs would not be negatively impacted by this rental. We are aware of a few small incompatible situations and have recommendations for how they can be avoided. If the rental proposal were to be accepted, it has been recommended that Tuesday Bridge be held in the Stewart East Hall. The ushers would likely need to find an alternate space to count the offering following the second service on Sunday.  Many room options are available for them. 

The potential renter (GIST) is aware that many groups (e.g., Mabelle Food Program) need regular access to storage areas in the lower level of our church and they have no concerns. They would like to see their children assisting with our Food Program and Giving Garden.

 3.   What will happen to volunteer fundraisers?

Assuming we continue to get the volunteer support needed, the Rummage sale and the Craft sale will continue, possibly with some changes for set up and storage.  As in the past, we will continue to run other fun fundraising events.
4.   What outside community programs would be affected if this rental proposal is accepted by Islington United Church?

The community programs that we have supported for many years, including Scouts, Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and Nar ANON would not be impacted by the rental.  There are potentially five or six paying renters that might be impacted.  If we move to the negotiation stage, we would inform the congregation and consider the loss of this rental income in the negotiations with the new potential renter.
5.   There is a request for playground space outside of the building.  Where would that be and what impact will it have on noise to the community and church users?

The playground area is for Grades 1 and 2.Older children will go to a local park. We propose that GIST would be responsible for researching by-laws, safety regulations, design, payment and building of the play area, all with approval of Islington United Church.
6.   Will the Library be disbanded?

Prior to receiving the GIST Rental Proposal the Library Team was already reviewing the use and viability of the Library as we know it today.  There are ongoing discussions of a new approach to keep the library collection as part of the resources of the church. 
7.   What are the school hours?

7:15 am  Faculty and staff arrive
7:30 am  Students arrive; classes start
1:15 pm  Formal school day ends; lunch for those who stay
1:30 pm  Approximately 40 – 50 students leave
1:45 pm  Afternoon activities for those students who stay (approx. 20 – 30 students)
3:30 pm  Approximately 10 – 20 students leave
5:30 pm  All remaining students are picked up (approximately 10)


8.   What are the tax implications for this rental and how would substantial rental income affect our charitable status and payment of property taxes.

We have investigated the concern that the charitable status of the church could be impacted by this rental, and determined that we would not jeopardize our status as a registered charity with Canada Customs and Revenue Agency. We would continue to comply with all regulations.
9.   What is the expected minimum net gain from this rental proposal, not including capital expenses, per year? (water, garbage, heat, hydro, caretaking, early morning snow removal, phones, internet)  

We cannot provide this information until the negotiation stage is underway.  Islington’s Negotiation Team would seek a positive relationship and the best return possible.
10. What are other potential gains for Islington besides financial?

The GIST has expressed an interest in having students become involved in community programs such as the food bank, Giving Garden, and an extended music program that currently exists at Islington United. They believe the school’s CHARAKTER/ Character program educates the whole student and speaks to the heart, mind, and soul.
11. What capital projects would need to be completed before the GIST took up occupancy at the church?

Certain projects already identified in Islington’s capital budget will be undertaken prior to taking on any new renter/s. This will make the Islington United space more attractive for any potential renter/s. They include window replacements, drinking fountains and washroom freshening. Any improvements that are specific to the GIST school space, will be paid for by the school. 

12. Who would act as the ongoing Property Manager for the entire building including GIST?  Who would be the lease agreement negotiating team?

In the negotiation stage, we will discuss the needs of the school in terms of property management and support. Currently we believe our Facilities Manager could provide the needed support to the school. 

At this time we have compiled a list of experienced and qualified Islington United members to serve on the Negotiating Team in addition to a Resource category of people who can contribute their expertise, when necessary.

13. How would this proposal, if accepted, affect facilities staff?

A revised job description for the Facilities/Property Manager’s position and each facilities staff person to include GIST and Islington United Church responsibilities would be prepared and approved by Church Council.

14. What are the next steps in this process after this Town Hall meeting?  When will the results be announced?

The Rental Proposal Working Group is near completion of its due diligence and will finish its work following Town Hall 2. We are not accepting any further feedback, email questions, and personal conversations with church members. If further feedback is necessary, please respond to Wendy Sexsmith ( and/or Carole Bennett (

Church Council will receive the Rental Proposal Working Group Report and its recommendation and make Council’s own decision on May 29. Council will then develop and recommend an Action Plan to the congregation on June 5. If the congregation does not endorse the Action Plan (i.e., to negotiate or not to negotiate), Church Council will revisit its recommendation to the congregation.

Islington’s new Space Committee will begin work with staff and other members of the congregation to find a suitable renter or renters to occupy available space, if Islington United does not proceed with this GIST Rental Proposal.
15. Will there be another Town Hall before the results are announced of the Church Council vote for this Rental Proposal?

No. At this time we have not scheduled a third Town Hall meeting. At this May 22 meeting we will share with you information from email questions, ongoing research and conversations with members of Islington United. This Q&A 2 will be distributed in advance of the Town Hall and will also be available on the evening of May 22.

First Questions and Answers (Issued April 21, 2019)

To following were the Q&A's developed for the April 24, 2019 Town Hall:


1. What is involved with the Rental Proposal received by Islington United Church from the German International School Toronto (GIST)?
The GIST proposal came to Islington United Church in January 2019. GIST's proposal asked for exclusive and shared use of certain spaces within our church (in the basement/lower level with the exception of some use of Stewart East Hall for gym classes) to conduct a school for preschool and grade school children for a term of five years. The Church Council reviewed the proposal and received a presentation by school faculty and board members. Shortly after, Church Council established the Rental Proposal Working Group to conduct a thorough examination of all the many details that need to be considered and to listen to and learn the views of the congregation. This work continues.
2. Is this a private, not-for-profit school and what ages are included in its student enrolment? How many faculty and support staff operate this school? Is the ownership abroad and who is the owner? Is it a financially sound school?
Education is offered from pre-kindergarten to Grade 8, teaching German, English and French to students. The school meets both Province of Ontario and German curriculum standards. Faculty and staff come from both Germany and Canada and are certified by either the German Education Board or the Ontario College of Teachers. GIST is a not-for-profit school and is governed by a Board of Directors. The Principal, Kathrin Sander, and Vice Principal, Sarah Miles, shape the daily pedagogical life of the school.
There are 20 full- and part-time faculty and support staff in the GIST administrative structure. The GIS has 140 schools abroad and is supported by the Federal Republic of Germany’s Central Office for Schools Abroad (ZfA). The Toronto school was founded in 2000.
3. What is the educational approach taken by GIST?

In addition to robust curriculum standards (see question 2), GIST has a strong values-based program.
“Education is about the whole child. It is about building a great mind, but it is also about shaping a kind heart. The fast-changing world of the 21st century will ask for the independent and critical thinker, for the culturally aware individual, but also for the empathetic and respectful leader. The German International School Toronto’s program combines academic excellence with a high-quality character education. Our “CHARAKTER”/Character program educates the whole student and speaks to the heart, mind, and soul.”
 4. Why is GIST looking for space at this time? Is it looking at other possible locations as well as Islington United Church?
GIST’s current location in a TDSB (Toronto District School Board) school has been designated for demolition. A developer has bought the land for a new condo project and has extended GIST’s lease until the end of June 2020. Yes, GIST is considering other potential organizations.
5. What are GIST values? Do they align with Islington United?
I have had the advantage of meeting some Board members and staff of GIST and have formed a very positive impression of the school’s Charakter/Character program. (Note: I was very skeptical at first.) Its values and their various manifestations in the school’s programs are consistent with the values of Islington United Church. The testimonials by parents I have heard and the behaviour I have witnessed on a visit to the school bear out what we have been told. During our on-site visit we saw evidence of the community programs that the children have undertaken including fundraising for broad community causes.” --From a visit by a Church Council member
6. What would be the projected start date of the new rental agreement, if approved?
The rental agreement would begin July 2020, when GIST’s current lease expires. If the proposal is recommended and then approved, a separate negotiations team would work on the rental agreement until it is acceptable to both parties. At any time during this process if an impasse develops, all negotiations would stop and the Rental Proposal will be declined.

7. Why was there a need to do a survey about space we have for rent at Islington United Church?
The Church Council was reminded by the Trustees last fall 2018 that the five-year deficit needs to be addressed. The fastest and most efficient way to add revenue to the existing operating budget was to look at other forms of revenue in the building. What was available to rent? A room usage report was undertaken. The report, Analysis of Room Usage, prepared by Toronto United Church Council (TUCC) in early 2019 provides ample evidence that our space is significantly under-utilized. Our congregation and current renters use only 18.74% of our useable space. It was necessary to understand our potential to look at other forms of revenue within the building.
8. Would a long-term renter impact our work, our mission and ministries? How?
Accepting GIST as a long-term renter will affect our work and ministry in some of the following ways:
There would be a need to adjust to a different use of space. We would need to negotiate the use of shared space so that Islington volunteers could carry on programs and ministries during the week.
Storage is a major issue that we must address whether this proposal is accepted or not; storage “creep” is a big problem; so is failure to “clean house” with regularity. This effort may free up additional space within the church.
Noise could potentially be an issue regarding funerals and quiet places in the church. This would need to be carefully addressed.
There could be constraint on starting new programs that would require space weekdays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and during the summer for day camp. There is a high priority placed on ensuring that existing programs are minimally impacted. GIST has shown a keen interest in our outreach programs and would like to explore ways their children could participate, (e.g., helping in the Giving Garden). Events to build community and highlight Islington’s gifts could still happen in the evening and on weekends.
Current renters of church space will be reviewed and moved to a suitable space in the church, if at all possible. This realignment or reallocation of space will be considered in ongoing planning. Unfortunately, not all of our current renters would be accommodated.
9. What effect would school parking have on our parking availability?
GIST requires several (6-8) permanent week-day reserved parking spots. This would be subject to negotiations.
10. What is the fire-drill/evacuation plan for Islington United including what could be the rental space for GIST?
There would be a new fire-drill/evacuation plan for Islington United including the school rental space. This would be developed with the Office of the Ontario Fire Marshal.
11. Will there be signage on the front lawn and will it affect the image of the church?
There may be agreed-upon signage on the front lawn but the Islington United Church signage would always dominate.

12. As Islington United Church is a registered charity will significant rental revenue change its status?
We are investigating the registered charity status of the church in regards to rental revenue. We would not jeopardize our status as a registered charity with Canada Customs and Revenue Agency. We would continue to comply with all regulations.
13. What would a stable new revenue stream do to support our work, our mission and our ministries?
The assurance of a stable long-term rental income over a period of up to five years would relieve some of the pressure on event-based fundraising while Islington United plans its future and addresses its long-term goals for carrying out God’s mission. Fundraising would continue, however, with less pressure on volunteers. Many people have commented that revenue could be used for staffing ministries and programs. It could also be used for deficit reduction.
14. What happens to our insurance coverage?
Should final negotiations proceed, insurance coverage will be part of the rental agreement.
15. What will happen with the general ‘wear and tear’ usage costs to the building with increased traffic?
The increased usage costs within the building would be calculated and included in the rental/lease agreement. Expected increases in utility costs can also be incorporated in the agreement.
16. Where would our finances net out after all the building capital improvements and expenses we could incur with this new rental/lease agreement.
The Rental Proposal Working Group will continue its due diligence and gather the data to have an accurate financial picture.

17. What is the process for Islington United Church to vote on this Rental Proposal?
The Church Council has been elected by the congregation to make decisions on a variety of matters. Church Council will be the only body to vote on this Rental Proposal. Council will continue to use church communication avenues, e.g., the weekly announcement bulletin, website, e-blasts, and blogs, asking for your questions and feedback as it prepares to make its decision.

In addition, Church Council meetings are open meetings; anyone can attend, but they cannot vote.

18. Why should we consider this rental proposal at all? What’s wrong with staying the way we are?
Our five-year cumulative deficit needs to be addressed. We are constantly in need of fundraising just to stay in one place, let alone move ahead in God’s mission. This is something many would rather not hear and would rather deny, but it’s the reality and the challenge we face. And we’re not alone. Most communities of faith across Canada and North America are in the same situation.

The world is changing, our lives are changing, and people’s choice of active church engagement is changing. But Islington United has been a bastion of faith in our community for two hundred years. We’re known and have a strong but dwindling base of assured support. We need to create a new, base of financial stability.
19. How does the timing of this rental opportunity affect our long-term planning?
The Five-Year Strategic Plan – 2020-2025 planning for Islington United will begin this fall 2019. The acceptance of this long-term rental would give us time to build clarity about what is important to Islington; give us time to assess volunteer resources and staffing needs; give us time for self-reflection; give us time and the opportunity to create a wish list, plan, then implement. At the end of five years we could re-evaluate our long-term rental experience.

20. What are the next steps in this process after this Town Hall meeting?
The Rental Proposal Working Group will continue its due diligence and finish its work by early May. Town Hall feedback, email questions, and personal conversations with church members will provide valuable and critical information upon which to make their final recommendation to Church Council. Please get your questions and comments to the working group by Wednesday, May 1.

This Rental Proposal recommendation will be presented to Church Council on May 29. Council will review and discuss this recommendation and subsequently vote. If approved, Church Council would then appoint a Rental Negotiation Team to work with GIST to negotiate a rental/lease agreement to the satisfaction of all. If during this process an impasse is declared, negotiations will stop and the Rental Proposal will be turned down.
21. Will there be another Town Hall before the results are announced of the Church Council vote for this Rental Proposal?
Yes. There will be another Town Hall meeting in mid-May. At that time an update on the new information that has been gathered from the Rental Proposal Working Group will be shared with the congregation. An updated Q&A will be distributed.
22. When the vote has been taken by Church Council will the results be shared with the congregation?
Yes. The final outcome of the vote will be announced to the congregation using several communication channels, e.g., weekly announcement bulletin, website, e-blasts and blogs.

Rental Proposal Working Group
Ted Wilson, co-lead
Val Greenfield, co-lead
Kim Blackwell
Marjorie Booth
Jo Cook
Bev Walton

Affirm Anniversary Sunday

Sunday June 2 @ 11:15 am

Affirm Anniversary Sunday
Celebrating Our First Year as an Affirming Church
Sunday Service, June 2 @  11:15 am


A year ago, Islington United Church, committed to becoming an Affirming congregation in the United Church of Canada, a congregation that welcomes everyone, that is public, intentional and explicit in our commitment to diversity and inclusivity.  
We are celebrating our first year of such justice and compassion by welcoming Pam Rocker, the past national chair of Affirm who is from Calgary, to preach at our Sunday service on June 2 at 11:15 am. Pam has chosen to speak to “Burnt Toast for the Journey.” She believes that Affirming is a radical hospitable notion, a dedication to honour difference, and a mark of leadership and boldness in a world that can be ambivalent.
Pam is an atypical activist and an award-winning writer, musician and speaker who has been chosen as one of Calgary's Top 40 Under 40!  She seeks to communicate with humanity and humour, and to challenge prejudice exploring theology, feminism, equity and diversity. Pam is currently board chair of the United Church of Canada’s Broadview magazine, and she  plays a mean ukulele.

AFFIRM IUC Merchant Gift Cards

Raise $30,000 for Islington

Raise $30,000 for Islington
At No Cost to You
Will You Buy Groceries or Gas This Week?

Here’s how it works: Let’s suppose you’re going to spend $75 this week on groceries and $25 on gas (most families will spend more). Over the month, that’s $300 on groceries and $100 on gas. By purchasing a gift card from Islington for $300 of groceries and $100 for gas, the church will get $11.
Okay, that’s not a lot. But what if 250 people in the church did this every month? That would add up to $2,750 a month and $33,000 a year for Islington. And that is just for groceries and gas – money you’re spending anyway.
You can get gift cards for movies, restaurants, clothing and more. Here is a just a SMALL sample of retailers: Amazon, Hudson’s Bay, Staples, Best Buy, La Vie en Rose, Starbucks, Canadian Tire, M&M Meat Shop, Swiss Chalet, Chapters/Indigo, Old Navy, Children’s Place, Cineplex, PetSmart, Tim Horton’s, Dollarama, Pizza Pizza, Toys R Us, Home Depot/Rona, Shopper’s, Walmart.
To see all retailers, visit For an order form, email or visit Stewart East Hall after services.

Monday & Friday Meditations

Summer Schedule

Mediation with James
Summer Schedule

There will not be meditation on May 20 and 27; June 3; July 1, 8 and 22; August 5 and 19; September 2. There will be meditation on June 10, 17 and 24; July 15 and 29; August 12 and 26.

Meditation will return to a regular weekly Monday evening schedule beginning on September 9.

All are welcome!

Ready, Set, Go

The Go Project Welcomes Summer Staff

The GO Project Welcomes
this year’s summer staff team
from May 20 to June 7

As Alana Martin and Bailey Fleming gear up for a busy summer with the GO Project, we are excited to welcome Mark Anderson this week to the GO office. Mark joins us for his fifth summer on the GO Project team and this year he will be working in the GO office at Islington as the GO Administrator and Program Animator. Please join us in offering Mark a warm welcome and come say hi in our office on the lower level by Scout Hall! It is already proving to be another full and exciting summer for GO!
The GO Project is also excited to welcome this year’s summer staff team from May 20 to June 7. These young adults will be joining us at Islington for three weeks of team building, theme development, program planning, and worship prep.
During their stay in Toronto, the staff will have the opportunity to live, work, and grow in community together. We are currently looking for volunteer billets who are able to host one of our staff members throughout their stay. We are also seeking volunteers to help one of our staff members with transportation to and from Islington.
Anyone willing to host one of these amazing young adults for anywhere from one to three weeks, or able to help with transportation, please contact Bailey Fleming (


Healing Pathway Sessions

First and Third Thursday from 2 pm to 3 pm

Healing Pathway Sessions
First and Third Thursday from 2 pm to 3 pm
September to June


Healing Pathway Ministry has been active at IUC for six years. Practitioners have learned and developed the skills of energy-based healing within the Christian tradition, using prayer techniques to restore balance and wholeness of body, mind and spirit. After the session, most people feel relaxed and renewed, with a deep sense of peace.

You are invited to receive prayers in a confidential 30-
minute Healing Pathway session. To book a session or
if you have any questions, please contact Dorothea Vickers (

Healing Pathway Sessions are held in our Chapel the first and third Thursday of every month between 2:00 and 3:00 pm (September to June).

Healing Pathway is a ministry sanctioned by the United
Church of Canada. Learn more at


Islington Opens Its Doors

Weekend of May 25

Small Commitment/Big Reward

We are participating in Toronto’s DOORS OPEN on the weekend of May 25 and 26. We open our doors to the public so people can admire our beautiful sanctuary, hear about our history and learn how we live up to our motto of “Open Hearts, Open Minds and Open Doors”!

We need friendly faces to act as greeters, guides and congregational historians. To learn more, contact Jill Stewart ( or 416-532-4205).

Grand River Luncheon and Cruise

A Good Company Event

Cruise the Grand River
June 12 5:30 - 10 pm

Just a few tickets are available for the Good Company June cruise event.  Tickets are $100 and include bus transportation, lunch, entertainment and delightful day on the river. Tickets available in Stewart East Hall.  Bus departs IUC at 9 am.


Observer Is Now Broadview

More Great News and Features

New Name. New Look. More Pages


Starting in May, The United Church Observer will be renamed Broadview. It will retain the very best of The Observer with a refreshed design and 16 more pages!

Only $25 for an annual subscription that delivers so much more than you expected. To renew or start your subscription, drop off your payment at the church office.

Please make cheques payable to Islington United Church. For more information contact Leslee Armstrong at 416-239-1131 x230 or


Sponsor and Dedicate A Colour Bulletin

Colour Makes A Difference

A dedication in the bulletin is a lovely way to recognize a special occasion or person in your life. Your donation will include a highlighted announcement and the bulletin and announcements printed in full colour for that week. If you'd like to learn more, contact Leslee Armstrong inthe church office (416-239-1131 x230;

In May...

Support Islingtonā€™s Food Programs

Support Islington’s Food Programs

In May please donate canned pasta sauce for our Mabelle Food Program and Emergency Food Pantry. This will help supplement the food provided by the Daily Bread Food Bank.

Place your donations in the Food Bank Box in the Narthex or outside the church office.

Thank you for your generous and ongoing support to this program!

Calling All Photographers

We Want Your Pictures

We want your pictures!

The Church is active on Facebook and Twitter. In order to post fresh content we need your pictures! 

Please bring your camera to Church events and snap away! Send us your pictures to post on the website, Facebook and Twitter by emailing them to


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