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It’s Your Call – Podcast

News from the Pews Newsletter

To view upcoming programs at the Tatamagouche Centre please click here.
To view upcoming events at the Atlantic School of Theology please click here.
To view Continuing Education opportunities at the Atlantic School of Theology please click here.

Bermuda-Nova Scotia Regional Council Committee Volunteer form.

Condolences – Rev. Shelagh McCulloch-Taylor

Our condolences are extended to the family of Rev. Shelagh McCulloch-Taylor who passed away on March 19, 2024. An obituary can be found here.

Condolences – Robert “Bob” Charles Stevenson

Our condolences are extended to FSLDW President Rev. Dr. Elizabeth Stevenson and family on the passing of her brother, Robert Stevenson. An obituary can be found here.

Proposals Deadline

The proposals templates can be found here. The deadline for proposals is April 5, 2024.

Annual Meeting Registration is Open

Registration is open for the annual meeting.  Please read the memo sent from the Executive Minister.  Visit the annual meeting webpage regularly for the latest updates and information on the upcoming meeting.  Reminder, if you require meals and/or accommodations, they must be registered for separately.  To read the welcome letter from Dalhousie University, Agricultural Campus (Truro), with meal/accommodations information, please click here.

It has come to our attention that the link to register for the Dal AC accommodations and meals will not let allow those staying off campus to choose just meals. Therefore, they have provided a form for those wishing to select meals only. Please fill out the form and return it to the email address provided ( at the bottom of the form. If you have any questions, please contact Dal AC directly.

Youth @ Region 2024

Calling all Youth, between grades 6-12! Registration is now open for Youth @ Region!

Y@R is a place of community and a place of faith where United Church youth, between grade 6 and grade 12, meet from across Nova Scotia and Bermuda. It takes place during the Annual Meeting of Bermuda-Nova Scotia Regional Council (BNS), which is a gathering of representatives who make decisions and set policies for the United Church of Canada. The group creates an inclusive, diverse and safe community for youth in the name of Christ. We provide a place for youth to explore their faith and to learn more about the United Church of Canada while sharing in music, worship and fun in a spirit-filled community. We hope to see you there!

If you have any questions, please email

Register here.

Annual Meeting Draft Agenda

The annual meeting draft agenda can now be found on the Annual Meeting webpage. As information for the meeting becomes available it will be posted on this page.

Elected Members to Regional Council 2024

Please use the below link to complete the elected members form to Regional Council for 2024, thank you to those who have completed it already.  Without completing this form elected members will not be able to vote at the Annual Meeting.

BNS Elected Members Form

BNS Elected Members Memo

President’s Monthly Message – February 12, 2024 to March 11, 2024

This was my 9th month as your President.

Still recovering from this illness, I was able to attend the following live streamed funeral and meeting via Zoom.

On your behalf (as I wasn’t able to travel), I attended a live streaming of the funeral of Alison Etter. I asked the Regional Council Executive to represent me at the very sad funeral of Rev. Alison Etter, aged 41 of Warden/Knox United Churches, Glace Bay, Cape Breton, NS., on Saturday, February 24, 2024. Thank you so much.

On your behalf on Thursday, February 29, 2024, I attended a Zoom meeting of the Annual Meeting Planning Committee as we prepare for the upcoming AGM at Dal AC, Truro, May 10-12, 2024.

I didn’t post my “monthly message” on Wednesday, March 13, 2024 as we were waiting for the results of blood work. I was hoping to have a cause for this virus. I must allow my body to heal.

Please take care of yourselves and those around you. Life is precious!

In Peace and Hope,

Shauna MacDonald
Bermuda-Nova Scotia Regional Council

Bermuda-Nova Scotia Region Pastoral Relations News – March 2024

  • Approved the Renewal of Supply Appointment of Katie Aven with Bedford United Church, full time, March 1 to 31, 2024.
  •  Approved the Supply Appointment of Carol Joy Shatford, DLM, with West Bay Pastoral Charge, 30 hours/week, April 1 to May 15, 2024.
  •  Approved the extension of Supply Appointment of Tom Woods with Knox United Church, Lower Sackville, full time, until May 31, 2024.
  •  Approved the Supply Appointment of Doug Pilsworth with Hopewell Eureka East River Pastoral Charge, 12 hours/week, March 17 to July 27, 2024.
  •  Approved the Renewal of Supply Appointment of Brenda McKay, retired, with Newport Pastoral Charge, 20 hours/week, March 25 to September 30, 2024.
  • Approved the Call of Darlene Brewer with Rawdon Pastoral Charge, 20 hours/week, effective May 1, 2024. Anne Hoganson, Liaison.
  •  Approved the Request for Change in Pastoral Relations from Pieter Le Roux of North Highlands Pastoral Charge, effective June 30, 2024.
  •  Approved the termination of the Appointment of Kelly Thomson with Trenton Pastoral Charge, effective February 29, 2024.
  •  Approved the Profile and position description for half-time ministry at Crossroads Pastoral Charge and authorize Search. David Hewitt, Liaison.
  •  Approved the Request for Change in Pastoral Relations from Kevin Little of Bethany United Church, Halifax, effective June 30, 2024.
  •  Approved the Profile and position description for Middle Musquodoboit Pastoral Charge, and authorize Search. David Hewitt, Liaison.
  •  Approved the Profile and position description for Orchard Valley United Church, and authorize Search. David Hewitt, Liaison.
  •  Approved the conclusion of the Appointment of Anne Hoganson with Rawdon Pastoral Charge effective April 30, 2024.
  •  Approved the Supply Appointment of Linda Yates with Waverley Pastoral Charge, 16 hours/week, April 8 to June 16, 2024, during the sabbatical of Sally Shaw.
  •  Approved the Profile and position description for Hopewell Eureka East River Pastoral Charge, and authorize Search. Jack Canning, Liaison.
  •  Approved the revised position description for Minister of Congregational Care, 20 hours/week, at Bedford United Church.
  •  Approved the plan for Supply ministry at Bedford United Church, defining the roles between three half-time ministry personnel.
  •  Approved the Call of Kevin Little with Woodlawn United Church, full-time, effective July 1, 2024. Betsy Hogan, Liaison.
  •  Approved the Appointment of Beth Benjamin-Cameron with Woodlawn United Church, full-time, July 1, 2024 to June 30, 2028. Betsy Hogan, Liaison.
  •  Next meeting: Friday, April 26, 9:00 a.m. For more information, please contact Regional Minister David Hewitt at

Younger Ministry Personnel Spring Retreat

Once again, the younger ministry personnel (under 50-ish) of Bermuda-Nova Scotia Region and Fundy St. Lawrence Dawning Waters Region are organizing a time of retreat.

Please join our spring retreat as we come together to be together.  This retreat is designed to be a time of rest and reflection for all those 50ish and under in the Atlantic Region, and will include a special worship to laugh and to cry as we remember and lament our dear friend and colleague, Alison Etter.  Please join us at 1 pm on April 4, at the Tatamagouche Centre, for this special 24-hour retreat.

The spring retreat will be held at the Tatamagouche Centre on April 4th and 5th, at a cost of $170 per person. This cost includes all food and accommodations. There is a reduced rate of $150 per person for those who are interested in sharing a room.

More details will be shared closer to the date, but registration is now open.
Visit the UCC Regions East website here to register today!

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact Daniel MacDonald

Intergenerational Worship Education Series

The Faith Formation and Leadership Development Committee of Bermuda-Nova Scotia Region invites you to participate in a 4 week program exploring Intergenerational Worship. Designed for lay persons who provide worship leadership within their own congregations, the sessions will be offered via Zoom on Tuesday evenings at 6:30 April 9-30 inclusive. Join presenters Rev. Catherine Stuart, Regional Minister for Children, Youth and Young Adults; Paige Fraser, Families Ministries Leader at Bedford United Church. Rev. Dr. Karen MacLeod-Wilkie of South Shore Pastoral Charge in Prince Edward Island and Rev. Rick Gunn, minister of St. Luke’s United Church, Upper Tantallon NS. There is a cost of $25.00. Click here to register for the series.

From Struggling to Thriving: How to Revitalize Canada’s Medicare System

Join Moderator Carmen Lansdowne and respected health journalist André Picard. As a keynote event in the Moderator’s Flourishing initiative, Picard will reflect on which changes would transform medicare from a “sickness care” system to a “health care” system.

April 11, 6:30 p.m., Canadian Museum of Immigration @ Pier 21, 1055 Marginal Rd., Halifax, NS. Registration and tickets available on Eventbrite.

Is Your Church Flourishing?

Moderator Carmen Lansdowne and Cameron Fraser, Director of Growth for The United Church of Canada, will conduct a free workshop for congregations with a view to dreaming great ideas into reality. Spend the day reflecting and engaging in energizing activities towards dream-oriented actions for our churches and communities (Flourishing Project)

Open to everyone. Invite your friends, too.

April 13, 9:30-4 p.m., Bedford United Church, 1200 Bedford Hwy, Bedford, NS. Free registration.

UCW Annual Meeting Registration Deadline Approaching

The Maritime UCW Annual Meeting “Pass on Beauty – Spiritual Practices for These Days ” April 26-28 at St James United Antigonish is fast approaching. Registration Deadline is March 26th, 2024. Registration can be found on the UCW ministries webpage.

Greetings Growth Seekers from Growth Animator Sharon

How is it with you this Holy Week? Are you feeling as you are coming out of a wilderness, still in its midst, seeking Easter celebrations? Recall the urgency Jesus shared as he lovingly served the disciples, washing their feet on Maundy Thursday, sharing the last supper with his friends in the upper room. In the intimacy, a loving act offered. What small things can you do as acts of great love as you journey this holy week? For yourself? Another? In the preparations of your sacred spaces? In your neighbourhood around you? Attend to your own inner sanctuary of your heart, to family, your COF and stretch yourself to reach the sacred space outside your building, with welcome, with invitation, with urgency, the sharing of the Good News of Easter? Perhaps make a large invitation that you put in the door or window of each entrance, a sandwich board sign, put up flyers of invitation in public spaces where such is permitted, phone someone and invite them, make some Easter cards and if you did Palm crosses and have extra distribute them in a card. Get some Easter eggs and make small snack bag ziplocks and distribute outside your doors with a word of encouragement to passers-by. Consider a Easter bonnet invitation and take a photo of all. Have an Easter theme dessert auction or cup cake decorating activity. Fill plastic Easter eggs with a message of hope, an invitation to worship, and a treat and leave one with staff at all the places you have to visit this week. Spread the message of love to all you see. You can reach me by email at or by phone 705 875-8837. Let’s grow together with deep spirituality, bold discipleship and daring justice.

Annual Declaration of Criminal Records

Dear colleagues in ministry,

You’ve made it through another intense Advent and Christmas season!  We know, and appreciate, how much you have put into your ministry as you enter this season of Epiphany.  Of course, there are always more tasks and ministry waiting for you in 2024.

The Annual Declaration is one of those required administrative tasks that Ministry Personnel are asked to prioritize each year.

The Annual Declaration is a mandatory process, where Ministry Personnel declare whether or not they’ve been charged with a criminal offense in the past year. This is a simple process that must be done through ChurchHub, by logging in to your account at

As per the Police Records Checks policy, if the Annual Declaration is done by the deadline, you will not be asked to obtain a new formal level 1 and level 2 Police Records Check.

Please remember that even if you were late in completing the form for 2023, it still needs to be done on schedule this year.

If you have any questions about this process, please contact your Vocational Minister Andrew Richardson ( ). Need help accessing ChurchHub? Please contact

Don’t delay, complete your form today!

General Council Commissioners

The deadline for nominations for General Council 45 Commissioners is Friday, April 19. The original announcement can be read here. More information about the role of a commissioner can be found here. If you are interested in serving as a Commissioner to the 45th General Council, please fill out the form here. If you have, any questions, please be in touch with the Nominations Committee Chair, Rev. Alicia Cox.

Palestinian Land Exercise

On February 17th, individuals from across our three regions gathered at the Dalhousie Campus in Truro for Facilitator training in the Palestinian Land Exercise. Modelled on the Kairos Blanket Exercise, this education tool will help participants understand the historic conflict between Palestinians and the State of Israel. It is an experiential tool that will put you into the shoes of those who experienced it.

The first version… the UNJPPI version of the Palestine Land Exercise began in 2015 under the title “Just Work in Progress” by Doug Rigby. It was renamed and rewritten in 2018 by the Mennonite Central Committee to include personal stories based on the work of Mennonites on the ground in Palestine. This version, the version we are working with, was then edited and updated by the Halifax Just Peace Group.

During our day – After an introduction, participants and trainers got into character before beginning.

The participants each took on a role as a participant but also practices their role as a facilitator as the teams prepared to take the exercise back to their communities. The time ‘on the ground’ was followed by a debrief session. Each presentation of the exercise will be followed with this opportunity to talk about the experience.

We were then fortunate to hear Linda, Doug and Magi speak. Each shared information about the situation in the Middle East and helped those gathered to integrate the days learning.

If you are interested in having the Palestinian Land Exercise come to you, please contact a member of the Just Peace for Palestine and Israel Working Group, part of the Justice, Mission and Outreach Committee of your region.

Nova Scotia Pastoral Charge Seeking New Minister

Windsor United Church is actively searching for a Minister to lead us in meaningful worship.

Windsor United is a unique, growing, family-oriented church located in the Annapolis Valley area of Nova Scotia. We are a vibrant multi-generational congregation with a strong foundation of over 100 years of ministry. There exists a very active support system within the church that enables the various committees to meet their commitments, thus assisting the ministerial staff with their responsibilities.

The profile and position details available on ChurchHub. For more information contact

Choir Gowns

Beacon United Church in Yarmouth has 15 choir gowns (blue with yellow/gold scarf) to give to a congregation or organization that can use them. Please email Janet Sollows at for more information.

Guidelines for Online Banking in Our Communities of Faith

From Your Financial Accountability and Investments Committee

The pandemic has changed the way we do church in many ways, not the least of which is the way we bank. During the pandemic online banking became a useful tool for giving to our churches even when we weren’t gathering in person, and e-transfers have now become a regular vehicle for receiving donations in many of our communities of faith.
The General Council Office has provided the following best practices for receiving e-transfers in our communities of faith:
§ Create a dedicated email address for receiving e-transfer donations, and direct all e-transfer donations to that email address
§ Configure the e-transfer service to enable auto-deposit to the church’s bank account
§ Develop a standard set of e-transfer donation instruction for donors. Here’s an example:

If you wish to donate via Interac e-Transfer, please follow these steps:
1. Log into your online banking and select Interac e-Transfer
2. Add “xxx Pastoral Charge” as a new recipient, using this special email address set-up for receiving e-transfers only: Please do not include any security question, as the account is configured to deposit the funds automatically upon transfer
3. In the message space, please provide your name and indicate the purpose of the e-transfer, for example, “donation to M&S,” payment for 2 tickets to the coffee house,” etc.
4. If you wish to receive a receipt for your donation, please also include your full name, address, phone number, and email address in the message space

Please Note: Though many of us have also become accustomed to the convenience of paying of our personal household bills online, this practice is not an appropriate way for faith communities to pay bills, reimburse expenses, or otherwise disseminate funds, as two-party-approval of e-transfers is not possible. Two-party-approval practices (e.g. requiring two signatures on a cheque) help protect both Communities of Faith and Treasurers from risks of misappropriation of funds, whether intentional or accidental.

Church treasurers and others involved in congregational finances have become regular guests of United in Learning’s “Webinars for Church Treasurers”. These are a great way to keep up-to-date with best practices and changes to church financial policies. The next webinar will take place Wednesday, April 3rd at 8pm Atl. If you wish to take part, you may register at Alternately, these informative webinars can be viewed live or after the fact on YouTube; search for “Webinars for United Church Treasurers” in the YouTube app to find them.

With appreciation for all that you do, and we hope this information is helpful!