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Easter message from the Board Chair (2018)

Easter is once again upon us. Unfortunately, this will be the last Easter that Third Avenue United Congregation will be worshiping together as the Congregation of Third Avenue United Church.

A congregational vote was taken on February 25, 2018, as to whether or not Third Avenue United Congregation should continue to worship in Third Avenue United Church. The result of the vote was that Third Avenue Congregation members would cease to worship in Third Avenue Church as of June 30, 2018. It was also decided by vote that all members of Third Avenue would be given their membership certificates to take wherever they wish to worship next.

Why June 30, 2018 to cease to worship at Third Avenue Church?

  1. This is our last year (2018) in our 5-year plan agreement, which we had negotiated with River Bend Presbytery. (2014 was year one of our agreement). Presbytery hoped, and so did we, that we would be self-sufficient by the end of 2018, without the use of any interest from our investments.
  2. Presbytery told me (the Chair) that they were not willing to negotiate an extension to our agreement.
  3. Our lease agreement would be due for renewal this fall, with whomever would be the owners at that time. Our cost of lease would therefore likely be increasing at that time. Without the money from our investment interest, we would be hard pressed to keep viable.
  4. June 30th is right before summer, allowing the congregants to visit other churches before fall.
  5. The Reverend Sharon Ferguson Hood completes her time with us as of the end of June.

At this point in time, the church still has not been sold by the present owners who are trying to finalize a deal. This puts the congregation in a position where there is still a lot of uncertainty. I was hoping that a sale agreement would come about before our congregational numbers dwindled down as far as they have.

With all of this in mind, I ask that the members of Third Avenue United Church continue coming and worshiping together on Sundays, while still thinking of Third Avenue as their home church. The congregation will be celebrating Third Avenue’s 113 years of existence over the next few months and will be having special events during that time.

Third Avenue has a long happy history that needs to be remembered and celebrated. The congregation has done much to help the people of Saskatoon and surrounding area. We want to leave behind a legacy that we will be proud of and that will be remembered for a long time. Please help us to do this by coming and helping as you have always done. The congregation needs your help, guidance, support and presence during its last months of worship. Each of you have something to contribute, be it knowledge of the past, moral support, a helping hand, or just your presence. We have worked together as a congregation to get through the last 113 years and we need to continue to work together for the next few months.

Come and Worship together through this Lenten and Easter Season, and help us to go towards the ceasing to worship as a congregation at Third Avenue, with dignity and our heads held high.

May Easter be a time of renewal for all and may our transition into our future be revitalizing.

Kenneth Holmes (Chair of the Unified Board)

Third Avenue United Church to Close

Third Avenue United Church Congregation had a vote Sunday, February 25, 2018 and voted to cease worshiping at Third Avenue Church as of June 24, 2018. At the end of June, the members of Third Avenue United will be going their own way to join whichever church they wish. Membership transfer certificates will be given to each member to take with them.

It is too bad that the congregation ended up in this situation; however Third Avenue Unified Board trusts that the members of Third Avenue will stay together until the end of June, and celebrate the 113 years of our congregation’s existence. The Board will need the members’ help to make sure everything is ready for the end of June and therefore ask for their continued help and support.

The Unified Board thanks Third Avenue United Church Congregation and Staff for their support and patience over the past trying times, and look forward to working with them towards ending the existence of the congregation with dignity. We will continue Sunday Church Services each week at 10:30 a.m. and there will be many special events planned leading up to our closure.