eastcentralontario@united-church.ca
Train track curves

The Speaker reflects on the Regional Council

We have entered into the second year of transition. I acknowledge that transition is not complete –  but we have come a long way and I believe that we have turned a corner,

The Very Reverend Peter Short described our church as “rich in history and great in faith.” That has been accurate in the past year. We held the history of two conferences and seven presbyteries and the faith to journey into the unknown. I give thanks for the daring creativity of those who served on the Transition Commission. I give thanks to those who have taken the tentative steps of leadership in this new structure. I give thanks to those who, with patience, have asked the right questions. Slowly policies evolved, the ChurchHub became operational, the Office of Vocation and our leadership teams began to meet. It leaves me optimistic that as we enter this second year we may be less focused on structure and more on the mission and ministry to which we are called. Together we are the story keepers and story makers.

I am writing this seated alone in the dome car of the westbound VIA Train #1. It is the darkest hour of the night and, without cellphone connection, I don’t know where I am. As the train curves, the headlights illuminate the path ahead and I get glimpses of where we are going. In the same way, I have a glimpse of what our Regional Council is becoming. Planning has begun for our next face-to-face meeting, May 23-24, at Pickering Village United Church in Ajax. I stress the our in that sentence. It is our work and we on the Assembly of Elders, the executive, hear from our communities of faith. I hope that we can find together the closeness, the camaraderie and the support of our former presbyteries. I hope we find the courage and capacity of the former conferences.

Between now and then the nominations team will be receiving expressions of interest to leadership roles, the leadership teams providing accountability reports and the Assembly of Elders holding the interests of the whole at heart. It is in  this context of nominations that I honour Reverend D’Thea Webster who served on the Assembly of Elders until her untimely death this fall.

I am privileged to have been entrusted with this exciting work. It feels good to walk in hope and faith towards a vision that is always just a bit more. Rich in history, great in faith. Story Keeper, Story Maker.

Reverend Paul Reed is the Speaker (chair) of the Regional Council’s executive, the Assembly of Elders.
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Photo by Irina Iriser from Pexels