The announcements for this week include:
- Discussion Page For Regions Proposal
- Preliminary Report from Commission on Regions
- Message from the President of Maritime Conference
- Breaking the Silence delegation to Guatemala May 5th-19th
- Important Stewardship News
- AST Continuing Education Opportunities – Winter Term 2018
1. Discussion page for Regions proposal
Maritime Conference has reactivated our Regions Facebook page for discussion of the Boundaries Commission report on Regions, especially from the Maritime perspective. Please follow the link, and join the conversation!
2. Preliminary Report from Commission on Regions
Remits 1-4 received substantial agreement from both Presbyteries and Pastoral Charges. https://www.gc42.ca/remits Work is underway to prepare for implementation of the Remits, which still requires final and formal approval by the 43rd General Council, meeting in Oshawa, ON in July 2018. Inherent in Remit 1 is the expectation that Presbyteries and Conferences will come to an end, and Regions will be formed as the new “in-between” council of our structure. A Commission has been working to arrive at decisions about the configuration of Regions and has prepared a preliminary report: http://www.united-church.ca/news/interim-report-regional-council-boundaries.
Feedback and suggestions on this interim decision will be accepted until January 31, 2018, at email@example.com. If any church court (pastoral charge, presbytery, Conference) has a suggestion for a specific change, that court’s governing body must pass a motion naming the requested change. Maritime Conference Executive is holding a conference call meeting on January 18 for this purpose. Several Presbyteries (or Executives) have already set dates for this same purpose. If, upon reading the report, you feel called to make a motion for a specific change, please do so through your Pastoral Charge Board/Council, through your Pastoral Charge representative to Presbytery/Synod, or through your Presbytery/Synod representative to the Conference Executive.
Remember, the deadline for feedback is January 31. For assistance, please contact Executive Secretary David Hewitt at firstname.lastname@example.org or 506-536-1334, ext. 1.
3. Message from the President of Maritime Conference
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
By now, many of you have had a few days to sit with the interim report from the Boundaries Commission. For some, what is being suggested is more than was expected, while for others it is less. Still others are wary of change, whatever may come. For many within the Maritime Conference, the possibility of brothers and sisters in faith being divided by the line drawn by the commission, is not a future toward which many are eager to walk.
Let us take time to breathe. Let us also take time to imagine what might yet be in the regions that are proposed, and along with that look at what can continue, what can’t continue, and what might have to take new shape and may gain new life.
Whether what we have been given is what the shape of the church ends up being, or just an iteration on the road of who we will become, we have been asked to reflect. What are the pitfalls? What are the possibilities? The more that we can offer back as authentic reflection and feedback, the better equipped the commission will be in finalizing their work.
In the midst of all our reflecting, let us also make room for the Holy Spirit to move within us, to inspire us to look at who we can be in a new way. And whatever may come, wherever the road may take us, God is already at work finding new ways to break into our lives, calling us to service and the sharing of our gifts. The shape of the church may change how we are called, but it won’t change the fact that we are called.
Rev. Richard Bowley
4. Breaking the Silence delegation to Guatemala May 5th-19th
An extraordinary opportunity to learn from human rights leaders and community development projects. Warning: This experience could be life-changing! If you want to understand and experience the courageous and inspiring work of Guatemalan community leaders re-building after genocide, this is the trip for you.
There are still a few spots available, so the application deadline has been extended to January 24th. The delegation will include visits to community members peacefully resisting the Escobal mine, owned by Canadian company, Tahoe Resources; Rio Negro where an agricultural community is slowly re-building after the genocide that destroyed the community and the Highland Small Farmers Committee whose members produce the coffee beans for Breaking the Silence fair trade coffee. Don’t miss out!
Orientation weekend: February 9 – 11.
Cost: $2300, including international airfare and in-country expenses.
If funds are a barrier, we will work with you to help you find funding. We welcome younger and older people!
For more information, go to www.breakingthesilenceblog.com/?p=4547
5. Important Stewardship News
Here is the latest Important Stewardship News. Please take note, and please share with people you feel would be interested.
A Reminder: Mission & Service Deadline is Wednesday, January 31st.
To ensure that your pastoral charge gets credit for all their Mission & Service donations in 2017, please transfer to General Council Office by the 31st.
(Last week I gave details as to how to transfer your Mission & Service to General Council. If you need this information, contact me: email@example.com)
Our 2018 Congregational Stewardship Program, Called to Be the Church: Loving Our Neighbours is just in the mail to every pastoral charge.
You should get yours soon. For more information, be in touch. I am willing to provide workshops, training and consultations in your area.
We are excited to announce that the spring 2018 Seeds of Hope granting cycle is now open and accepting applications!
Applications are due by 8pm EST on April 15th, 2018. Submission by email is preferred.
Seeds of Hope grants will be available Canada-wide for a all projects types!
This year we are also offering a variety of scholarships including The McGeachy Senior Scholarship, The Roy M. Davidson Trust Award, and the W. Norman McLeod Scholarship. Scholarship Applications are due March 15th.
Don’t miss out, visit www.unitedchurchfoundation.ca/grantinfo for more information and to download the application today.
Finally, a great big thank you to all who gave gifts through our Gifts with Vision Program this past Christmas!
The program has become quite popular and through it we are really making a difference with these extra gifts to our Mission & Service Ministries.
Continue to share the booklets and promote the program. The good news is – these Gifts with Vision can be given anytime.
To check out online, see here: Gifts with Vision
6. AST Continuing Education Opportunities – Winter Term 2018
Learn something new this winter! Registration is still open for these upcoming continuing education opportunities – check them out today!
Transitions: Making Sense and Finding Peace with Change
DATE: Friday, January 26, 2018
LOCATION: President’s Lodge
FACILITATOR: Diane LeBlanc, IPMI Power Change
COST: $275 (includes materials, breaks and lunch)
Spring Refresher for Ministry Leaders
DATES: March 6 and 7
LOCATION: On Campus
INSTRUCTOR: The Rev. Dr. Rob Fennell, Academic Dean
COST: $150 (includes materials, breaks and lunch on March 6)
Engaging Youth in Worship
DATES: Online for 4 weeks – April 10 to May 7, 2018 AND
One full day on-site – Saturday, May 12, 2018 | 9 am to 5 pm
LOCATION: On-site day in the President’s Lodge, 630 Francklyn St., Halifax, NS
INSTRUCTOR: Rick Gunn
New Testament Greek Seminar
DATES: January 9 to April 3, 2018 (Tuesday evenings 6 to 8:30 pm)
LOCATION: On Campus
INSTRUCTOR: The Rev. Dr. David MacLachlan, Associate Professor of New Testament
COST: $150 / $170 with Continuing Education Unit certificate
Re-imagining Children’s and Youth Ministry
DATES: 3 sessions / January 29, February 26, March 26 / 7 to 8:30 pm
LOCATION: On Campus
INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Dave Csinos, Assistant Professor, Practical Theology
COST: $25 / All three session for $60 / Groups of three or more: $50