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St John's United Church

Congregational Questionnaire on Ministry Needs

The call of a new minister is an important event in the life of a congregation. It is especially vital at this moment in time for St. Johnís United Church as we continue a long path of discernment about how to carry our mission and vision into the future. The Joint Needs Assessment Committee (JNAC) is tasked to assess the current needs of the congregation and the skills and strengths perceived to be of the highest priority for effective pastoral leadership moving forward. This questionnaire is designed to assist the JNAC in this task. The JNAC is seeking input from everyone affiliated with St. Johnís United, whether your connection is as a member, an adherent, or a newcomer, and regardless of your current level of involvement in the church.

The questionnaire asks four sets of questions about the work and programs of St. Johnís, your perception of the churchís identity, your satisfaction with the Sunday worship experience, and your vision for pastoral leadership in the church. The questionnaire is anonymous but includes a final section to gather a few personal facts that will help the JNAC develop an accurate demographic profile of respondents.

The questionnaire is available for you to complete on-line by using the following URL addresses:

Part 1: Feedback for JNAC

Part 2: Background Information for JNAC

There are also hard copies available on Sunday morning October 29 and November 5, or from the office. The deadline for completion of the survey is Sunday, November 12, 2017.

Thank you for your time and co-operation. The Joint Needs Assessment Committee hopes that, in addition to assisting its work, the process of completing this questionnaire may be meaningful to you and an opportunity for reflection on your personal journey as well as our collective journey.

Our furry friends accompanied us to church on Sunday October 15th, 2017
for our Blessing of the Animals Service!

Sunday After Service Lunches

soup We hope to offer a light and informal (ie. soup, bread, cheese) lunch each Sunday after church as a way to strengthen our community, and generally help us get to know one another, young and old. One way of organizing it might be to have different groups within the church (eg. bible study, Outreach, Official Board, Transition Team, choir, youth group, Christian Development) take turns hosting and preparing food each week.

If you have some ideas and energy to put towards this and would like to think it through with the minister, please email


Corrymeela Pilgrimage 2017

In May 2017, Martha Martin was in Northern Ireland on an 8 day pilgrimage to the Corrymeela Peace and Reconciliation Centre with a group of pilgrims from St John's United! Martha posted daily updates on her blog The Corrymeela Diaries.

St. John's United Welcomes
The Al-Issou Family to Canada

They have finally arrived!
The Syrian refugee family our congregation sponsored are here!
See the Facebook photos.

St John's United Church Annual Report and Financial Statements for 2016

Annual Report 2016    Financial Statements

St John's United Church Annual Meeting is on Sunday March 26, after church.

Read the Letter of Solidarity for Our Muslim Neighbours
from The Right Reverend Jordan Cantwell, Moderator,
The United Church of Canada

"To all of our Muslim brothers and sisters,
Our hearts overflow with sorrow for the victims of the shooting at the Centre Culturel Islamique de Quťbec. Shock and outrage mingle with our tears at this horrific act of terror perpetrated against innocent, faithful people. We are holding you all in our prayers at this most terrible time."

"This heinous violent act and other recent attacks targeting Muslims in Quebec and elsewhere are designed to instill fear and division within and between our communities. We will not let this happen. The United Church of Canada stands with our Muslim neighbours. We share your grief, as we share your determination to stop the forces of hate that seek to divide and destroy us. Trusting in a compassionate and just God, we will resist fear and prejudice with love." Read more

Ray, Judy amd Jim

Music Director Ray Grant (centre) was recognized on May 3, 2015 for his exemplary leadership and lasting legacy in music ministry for the Congregation and for the broader United Church of Canada. Pictured with Ray are wife Judy Grant and Chair of the Official Board Jim Sharpe.

Ray Grantís Lasting Legacy as Minister of Music at St Johnís United Church

As a tribute for more than forty years of dedication and service to St Johnís United Church in Halifax, Music Director Ray Grant was recognized on May 3, 2015 for his exemplary leadership and lasting legacy in music ministry for the Congregation and for the broader United Church of Canada. As Minister of Music, Mr. Grant has inspired many individuals and transformed the spiritual life of the Congregation of St Johnís United Church.

On May 3, St. John's United Church also celebrated its 222nd Anniversary. As part of that celebration, the Adult Choir, Handbell Choir and String Orchestra came together under RayĎs direction to harmonize, gloriously, Ode to Joy. Later in the service, the Youth Choir sang for the congregation, an early start to their choral training.

Ray was involved with the church since his early days in Cape Breton. He was baptized at Knox United in Glace Bay and sang in the Youth Choir there. He played the organ at the United Baptist Church while still a high school student. After graduating from the Nova Scotia Teacherís College in 1967, he taught school in Sydney River, Cape Breton for 2 years and was organist at Warden United Church in New Aberdeen.

After completing his studies in Music at Dalhousie University in 1972, Ray taught in the Dartmouth City Schools Music Department, and was Organist/Choir Director and Sunday School Superintendent at Grace United Church in Dartmouth. Ray also sang as bass soloist in three Halifax churches, St Paulís Anglican, First Baptist, and St Johnís United. After Ruth Lawley retired as organist at St Johnís in 1976, Ray was hired to fill her position, and he and his family have been members of St Johnís ever since.

ďI donít think of myself as just the Director of Music at St. John's United, but also as a working member of the congregation. My interest in the life of the congregation has led me to do more than to simply help create a Sunday Morning experience. Fellowship and fundraising events have played a large part of my time here. Cabarets, concerts and dinners have been a source of great pleasure as I try to foster the talent so prevalent in this church community.Ē
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Would you like to find out what is happening in our very active, vibrant church on a weekly basis? Please send your e-mail address to Marilyn Peacock at the church office- ...We will add you to our mailout list and you'll never have to miss the news!

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