Rosemont United Church in Regina served its community for almost 100 years, but the decision to close the church’s doors after 98 years in May 2012 due to the congregation’s dwindling numbers didn’t end Rosemont’s mission.
St. Andrew’s College was pleased to be one of the recipients of almost half-a-million dollars, proceeds from the sale of the church, that was recently distributed by the congregation to a number of church and social justice groups.
Principal Lorne Calvert received a cheque of $24,420 from Doug Barss, chair of Rosemont’s trustees, during the college’s annual fundraising gala and concert held April 17, 2013, in Regina. The college will use the funds for capital improvements.
Barss told the Regina Leader-Post the church council wanted to ensure that a number of the groups that had the support of Rosemont United Church would share in the sale in the proceeds once the church’s financial books were closed in January.
“All of these groups, we had a strong commitment to them as part of our congregational life,” Barss said.
In addition to St. Andrew’s, recipients of Rosemont’s funds were: Calling Lakes Centre ($24,420), Carmichael Outreach ($48,840), Clare Parker Homes ($9,768), Lumsden Beach Camp ($73,260), United Church Housing Corp. ($73,260), Regina Anti-Poverty Ministry ($7,500 plus $41,340 in an endowment fund for future support), United Church of Canada ($48,840 for mission and service, $24,420 for congregational development, and $24,420 to ventures in mission), and Regina Wascana Presbytery ($14,652 as well as $73,260 for "seed money" to establish a youth ministry).
A St. Andrew's College professor has been named as the recipient of a scholarship that will help further the study of social justice and activism among indigenous people confronted by the forces of global capitalism.
HyeRan Kim-Cragg, the Lydia Gruchy Professor of Pastoral Theology at St. Andrew's College, has been named as the recipient of the $10,000 Kaufman Scholarship awarded by The Central Council of the Centre for Christian Studies.
Kim-Cragg's project will continue her engagement in the ecumenical (United Church of Canada, Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea, and the United Church of Christ in the Philippines) study on "Empire, Peace and Economic Justice."
Her project will develop a theology of resistance in thecontext of global capitalism where the life of indigenous people and their land are violated due to the mining. This study engagement will involve meeting with local activists and Christian leaders in Guatemala, Korea and the Philippines.
She will also teach courses while she is travelling and is committed to doing justice action and education following her return to Canada.
Kim-Cragg earned her Doctorate in Theology in 2006 from the Emmanuel College in the Toronto School of Theology, University of Toronto. She studied for her Master of Divinity degree at Hanshin Graduate School of Theology in Seoul, Korea. She most recent publication is Story and Song: A Postcolonial Interplay between Christian Education and Worship.
The Kaufman Scholarship was established in 1945 by Emma R. Kaufman — who spent much of her career in Japan and was a founder of the Japanese Y.W.C.A. — as an expression of her concern that women have the opportunity of experiencing a different culture and come tok now what it meant to be a world citizen. Her experiences cemented in her mind the importance for Canadians, and especially for Canadian women, to have international experience
Kaufman, who died in 1979 at age 97, indicated her preference that the award be given to a Christian and to someone with a commitment to a theology of social justice.
Kim-Cragg's background and vision for her project fits well within the dream that Kaufman had for the scholarship, The Central Council of the Centre for Christian Studies said in a news release.
It was a dream deferred, but the goal of making St. Andrew’s College accessible through the installation of an elevator took on new life just a couple of years ago, thanks in part to a phone call from one of the college’s supporters.
“I was the principal of St. Andrew’s College about a week and the phone rang and it was Professor (Isabelle) Mills asking ‘When are we going to get this building accessible,’ ” principal Lorne Calvert said to laughter as the college dedicated its new elevator July 7 as part of its 100th anniversary celebration.
“It’s been decades in the making, and today it is a great thrill for us all to know that our building and all of its public areas — with the exception of our library reading room where we have not quite finished the work — can be accessible to all.”
Mills, a retired University of Saskatchewan professor who began using a wheelchair just seven years ago, had the honour of cutting the ribbon and taking the ceremonial first ride in the elevator.
She said the college’s effort to ensure accessibility is important recognition of the needs of people with disabilities and a tangible sign of its commitment to welcoming all people into the life of the college and the ministry of The United Church of Canada.“It is a wonderful, wonderful asset to the college and it welcomes people not just with wheelchairs but with mobility disabilities from all problems," Mills said. "They are now welcome to come and even be part of the ministerial team.”
A fundraising campaign college to make the building accessible was started several years earlier but became lost in the many financial demands that the college was facing simply to survive, said board chair Vic Wiebe. The college’s centennial provided new emphasis when it came to reviving the effort.
“The campaign may have died, but the dream never did,” Wiebe said. “Two years ago, as the college came out of struggles it was having and the board looked at the fact that we were gong to be celebrating 100 years, we established a goal that we wanted to revive that dream and make this building fully accessible.
“It is really with a sense of gratitude and satisfaction that we are able to launch into our second century to be able to say that we are truly open to persons with all levels of ability and we are very proud of that.”
Working with Saskatoon-based Access 2000, the college was able to develop a project with a $300,000 budget, one-third of a previous and almost “impossible to achieve” estimate. The campaign received its first lift from the people who call St. Andrew’s home on a daily basis — its faculty, staff and board members who established the seed fund necessary to develop the publicity and resources material for the campaign.
“One of the things we determined up front was that we wanted all of the donations to the project to go to the project,” Wiebe said. “We determined amongst the faculty, the staff and the board members that we would dig in our pockets and put up the money that would handle the expenses of the project itself.
“I want to extend a big thank you to the staff, to the faculty and to the current and former board members who saw the vision and saw the need for us to take some leadership if we were going to reach out and expect others to make some donations.”
Funds for the project came from a variety of sources, including $75,000 from the federal government’s Enabling Accessibility Fund. Individual and corporate donations also played a key role, as did support from within the United Church.
“We have relied deeply on the support of members of the United Church from right across this conference, the three Prairie conferences and, I may say, across Canada,” Calvert said, “and our gratitude to all those from The United Church of Canada who have supported us.”
Rev. Bill Unger, the minister of St. David’s Trinity United Church in Saskatoon and secretary of The United Church of Canada’s Saskatchewan Conference, said the elevator was a milestone worth celebrating.
“In the mid-’80s when I was here as a student being prepared for ministry … I had a colleague, a fellow student, who had great difficulty with stairs. Not only did she have to face the challenge of preparing for ministry here, but she had the daily challenge of just getting into the building and finding the classrooms,” Unger said.
“She navigated stairs with great difficulty so this was a place with barriers for her, ones that she did overcome, but she did have days where she seriously wondered if it was all worth it. We know our building should never be a barrier to one who is doing their best to answer God’s call in their lives.”
Wiebe said despite the success of the college’s fundraising campaign it remains about $20,000 short of covering the full cost of the elevator’s installation. The college’s operating budget will cover the remaining costs, but any additional dollars contributed toward the project will reduce the amount of money that has to be drawn from operating funds.
At the library in St. Andrew’s you can now borrow a book or a bike! This unique program offers a bike loan to students of the Saskatoon Theological Union to allow easy travel between the library collections of St. Andrew’s, Emmanuel and St. Chad, the Lutheran Theological Seminary and Horizon Pentecostal College that comprise the STU's joint library collection.
For information contact library technician Mallory Wiebe at firstname.lastname@example.org or 306-966-8983.
Our dream of making St. Andrew’s College accessible to those for whom stairs are a barrier is a reality. With the financial support of many an elevator now serves three floors of our building from street level, providing access to all. And we are happy that our fundraising is nearing the goal of $300,000 to complete the project. Thanks to everyone who has ‘given us a lift’ and we yet welcome those who help us complete the campaign. During the midst of the construction St. Andrew’s welcomed Mr. Rick Hansen, Canada’s “Man in Motion,” who gave our elevator its first ‘test flight.'
St. Andrew’s has been awarded a Responsive Initiatives Grant by The United Church of Canada to provide an opportunity for ministers of Korean Canadian congregations to join a learning circle with our students in the study of the polity, practices, history and ethos of The United Church of Canada. The grant will also provide for the translation into Korean of United Church documents that describe the polity and practices of the church.
As an Affirming Ministry within the United Church of Canada, we are welcoming and inclusive of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities.