The announcements for this week include:

  1. More Than Friends Marriage Preparation Launch in Sackville
  2. Four Important Remit Updates Aim to Provide Clarity on the Proposals before the Church
  3. Prayer Bench Advent Resources
  4. United Church Hurricane Matthew Appeal Update and More . . . From Roger Janes
  5. Open for Justice Campaign
  6. AST Continuing Education Opportunities – Winter Term 2017

1. More Than Friends Marriage Preparation Launch in Sackville – Nov 24th


  • Thursday, Nov. 24, 2pm at Maritime Conference Centre, Sackville.

We’ll have conversation on what the latest research shows about Marriage Preparation.

We’ll preview one of the five videos in the series.

We’ll have conversation about different models for easy use of More Than Friends.

And there is cake!

The first 10 people who order the Leader Resource will receive a free USB drive containing the videos.

For more information, contact Janice MacLean, Project Coordinator, through the More than Friends website.

2. Four Important Remit Updates Aim to Provide Clarity on the Proposals before the Church


Some new (and some revised) material is available on for pastoral charge boards/councils and presbyteries as they deliberate on the eight remits now before the church.

  • slide presentations are available for remit 2 (Elimination of Transfer and Settlement) and remit 3 (Office of Vocation). These slide presentations could be used to guide discussion about the remits.
  • for information about the other six remits, you can read through our frequently asked questions. That document spans all the proposals being voted on, and it has just been updated.
  • two of our remit study guides for the remits have been updated, to correct inaccurate information. The remit 2 study guide now states that transfer and settlement have been optional for candidates for ordination and commissioning since 2011. The remit 8 study guide now states that a document about how people see and understand church membership is expected in early January.
  • a letter from General Secretary Nora Sanders reminds pastoral charge boards/councils and presbyteries about the importance of remits, and how the changes that they could bring will be fundamental to how our organization works.

To ask questions about any of the remits, please direct your query to

3. Prayer Bench Advent Resources 


Small Group Study – The Isaiah Poems, using the readings from the lectionary. Just download and print and you have every thing you need. Sample the Leader page for Session 1.

Get more information here.

Advent Email Retreat. Advent Exclamations:  Create a soul pause for yourself this Advent with a retreat that comes to your email.  Starts Saturday. More here ….

4. United Church Hurricane Matthew Appeal Update and More


I want to take the opportunity to thank individuals and congregations for their recent gifts to our United Church Hurricane Matthew Appeal.

Your generosity, promotion and leadership has meant that as a denomination we are having a real impact and making a significant difference in the lives of many people affected by this terrible storm.

Thanks so much!!


I also want to take this opportunity to give our people an update as to how our emergency appeals work and to share some of the things we have accomplished early on with our donations.


How we respond to emergencies in the UCC:

First of all, all of the money collected for Emergency relief is spent in emergency relief.  There is no administrative fee.

Secondly, in order to respond quickly (which is so important in emergencies), we take 15% of money collected to save for a future emergency.  In other words, if I give a $100 donation to Hurricane Matthew, $85 immediately go to partners to address the current need … and $15 is put aside for the next emergency appeal.  For instance, when Hurricane Matthew Struck we were able to immediately send $20,000 to our partners in Cuba and Haiti … because of the 15% we saved on the last emergency appeal.

Thirdly, because we work with trusted and proven partners in areas that are affected … we are able to work both effectively (they are on the ground and know what is needed) and efficiently (no wasted cost trying to send people or aid to the region).  See below on work of our partners + video.

So far, as of November 14th, we have received $101,250.00  More is being collected from churches and will be sent soon.

Click here for letters of update we received recently from the region.


Links to visuals:

From AlterPresse (alternative media service in Haiti – Kate knows them!)

(there are a series of links on this FB page to AlterPresse videos)

Some can also be accessed through Youtube at:


And some astonishing (and disheartening) before-and-after satellite images:


Here is a recent video that tells about our response:


To conclude, updates on Hurricane Matthew Appeal will be posted here:



Roger Janes
Stewardship & Gifts Officer, Atlantic Canada
77 Harmsworth Drive
Grand Falls-Windsor, NL
A2A 2Y7


Update your congregational giving program with
Called to Be the Church: Salt and Light

Find out what’s new this year!

All resources online:

5. Open for Justice Campaign


The United Church of Canada and KAIROS are among the many sponsors of the Open for Justice Campaign. The Maritime Conference Church in Action Committee also supports this campaign. See the KAIROS backgrounder: You will find there a letter you can sign to Minister Freeland and your MP. It would be even better, if you have the time, to send a hand-written letter and add a personal brief note, saying why this matters to you from a faith and/or citizen perspective.


If you want to gain more knowledge and confidence, you are invited to attend the upcoming Webinar. See info below.

Register Here:

Please act. We may be able to influence our MPs, and passing the Ombudsperson legislation is one way to start to stand with our sisters and brothers around the globe, profoundly and negatively impacted by mining injustice. If we who care do not act now, the opportunity may be lost.


Open for Justice Webinar – Towards action for mining justice
Tues. Nov. 29th, 3pm Atlantic Time
In this 90 minute webinar, you will:

– Hear an update from Emily Dwyer, Coordinator of the Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability, about the Open for Justice Campaign and the recent launch of model legislation to create an extractive sector ombudsperson to hold Canadian mining companies accountable

– Learn, with the help of Elana Wright from Development and Peace, how to engage your MP through office visits and targeted letter writing

– Be encouraged, thanks to Fiona Koza at Amnesty International Canada, to action and meet with your MP and some of the common questions that are coming up

– Get an idea of how MP visits are going from members of Breaking the Silence, United for Mining Justice and others who will share their experience around MP engagement

– Ask questions in order to feel prepared to take steps toward action

6. AST Continuing Education Opportunities – Winter Term 2017


Visit our website for registration details:

  • The Social Gospel: Hastening the Kingdom of God
    January-February 2017 (6 weeks) / Online
    Instructor: Dr. Rob Fennell
    Cost: $100 ($120 with a CEU certificate).  This non-credit program offers you an exploration of the distinctive themes and applications of the Social Gospel movement, its theology, and its place in Canadian Church and society. The movement’s relationship to liberation theology and other disciplines (economics and sociology), and the contemporary renewal of the Social Gospel will be of special interest.
  • Reading Each Other’s Scriptures
    January-March 2017 (8 weeks) / On Campus: Tuesdays 6 to 8:30 pm
    Instructor: Dr. David MacLachlan
    Cost: $100. Besides getting to know the scriptures of other religious faiths, students will also explore how the scriptures function in their various communities and worship services. Guest lecturers will represent various religious communities. Readings are optional, and there are no assignments for continuing education students.
  • Workshop: Fishing Tips
    April 28-29 (two days) / On Campus
    Instructor: Rev. John Pentland
    Cost: $150. This exciting on-campus workshop is for clergy and lay leaders who are interested in revitalizing their congregations. The Rev John Pentland from Hillhurst United Church in Calgary and author of Fishing Tips—How Curiosity Transformed a Community of Faith will lead participants on an inspired journey. Learn about the methodology used by Hillhurst and the “fishing tips” that came from the experience. John will also share his latest research on the elements of Good Religion. Registration for this workshop opens in early 2017.