Brothers and Sisters,
As mentioned in the last eNews, life has picked up in the church (both local and the wider church) this week.
On the national scene, as many will have heard over the last year and a half, Remits have being going to the church regarding some significant changes to the structures and processes of the church as a whole. Remits are proposals (with some background information) that each congregation’s governing body (in our case the Board) discusses and votes on. This past week our Board voted on the last of the Remits for congregations, and the work on implementing another has begun in earnest. Remit 1: Three Court Model passed with a majority of yes votes from congregations and presbyteries and so the reshaping of the upper levels of the church has begun. This week the Boundaries Commission, a group tasked with deciding what the shape and size of the new Regions will be, put out their interim report. In it they lay out a map that removes all of the presbyteries (88 across the country) and removes all of the conferences (13 in all), and replaces both with Regions (the draft suggests 17 across the country). There is more information available from this website: http://www.united-church.ca/news/interim-report-regional-council-boundaries
Another Remit that was just voted on by your Board this past week was Remit 6: One Order of Ministry. The goal of the remit is to unify the varied paths to ministry into one path. After some education, some conversation, questions, clarification, and prayerful consideration, the Board voted in the majority against Remit 6. In order to pass nationally, a remit must be approved by a majority of congregations and presbyteries.
Other work that your Board has been doing over the last few months and will continue to look at in the coming months is education around our relationship with our Indigenous brothers and sisters. In particular, the Board has been reviewing some of the Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that pertain to faith communities with education around the land on which we live, work, and worship. As this work continues, the Board may also invite the congregation to learn along with them with occasional inserts in the bulletin.
The Board has also set a date and a storm date for the annual meeting of the congregation of St. Pauls. Mark your calendars and – if you are on a committee – get your reports in to Cathy ASAP because we will be meeting following worship on February 18th, 2018, with a storm date of February 25, 2018.
Continuing with the local work of the church, the women’s group; Spirit Sisters, has started again, and will continue to meet on Monday evenings. The men’s group will be starting back up on Wednesday, January 17th. Both groups are looking at the book Bullseye: Aiming to Follow Jesus.
Also this week for the younger crowd, our youth group will be gathering on the evening of Friday, January 12th from 6:30 pm to 9 pm.
This coming Sunday we gather for worship as usual at 10:30 am. The focus scripture for this Sunday will be John 2:1-11, and these verses tell us the story of the Wedding at Cana. Here Jesus joins with friends and family and before all present performs the well known miracle of turning water to wine. How can this story inspire and guide us today? Come and experience the words and the presence of the Holy as we gather this Sunday morning.
With the new year comes the tax season on the horizon! Tax receipts are available for pick-up in the Narthex of the church (George St entrance) on Sunday mornings or through the office during the weekdays.
We hope that the New Year is treating you well and we offer our blessings on the days and weeks to come.
Yours in Christ,
Rev. Richard & Rev. Michelle
The bulletin for Sunday, January 14th can be downloaded from here.