Message from our president, Cari Copeman-Haynes, regarding the interm report on regional council boundaries

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

With yesterday's release of the Interim Report of the Boundaries Commission, we move into a time of reflecting, responding, and listening intently to one another and the Spirit. The mission of Christ’s church is not dependent on the ways in which we structure our life together, but these relationships and functions impact us as we carry out our ministry in response to Jesus’ call.

So I would like to encourage you, whether you are a congregation member, an ordained, diaconal or lay minister, a lay leader in your congregation’s board, a presbyter, and/or a participant in the life of our Conference, to take a good look at the proposed boundaries of the 17 regions as proposed by the Commission. You can find the information here:

 http://www.united-church.ca/news/interim-report-regional-council-boundaries

And then I would encourage you to participate in the conversation as the church in BC responds to the recommendations of the Commission. This weekend, two members of every presbytery will gather for what has become an annual consultation in this time of change. Next week, the Conference Executive meets by electronic means, to have a first conversation in preparation for making a formal response to the interim report. Your Conference Executive members are listening for your opinions and your views, and will faithfully carry those ideas forward.

And, you can also make your views known directly to the Boundaries Commission. Here’s the catch: you can send your feedback to this address: remits [at] united-church [dot] ca. But they will only receive proposed changes to decisions they have made about relationships to regional councils from “courts” of the church. Since they are a Commission, and can make decisions for the General Council, that means communication with them must be formalized. It needs to be from a Congregational board or executive, a Presbytery executive or Conference executive, by motion, with the officers’ signatures. If you do decide to send in a feedback or a formal response, please copy myself (president [at] bc [dot] united-church [dot] ca) or our Executive Secretary Doug Goodwin (dgoodwin [at] bc [dot] united-church [dot] ca) on that correspondence.

The deadline for these feedback and formal responses is January 31, 2018, so that gives us a bit of time to consult with one another and discern. Please send formal change requests to:  regchange [at] united-church [dot] ca and as I requested above, please copy myself or our Executive Secretary.

I am (and your Conference Executive are) intensely interested to know how our people are responding to the proposed division of our current Conference into two separate Regions (with the addition of a few congregations from Alberta & Northwest Conference), and I hope you will be bold to share your thoughts and convictions with each other (especially Conference Executive members, who are listed here on our website) in this time of structural change. The structure of the church needs to follow the mission or purpose… and so these are vitally important decisions that are currently being made. Our formal participation in the process ensures that the voice of the church in BC is heard. Please take this opportunity to reflect on this proposal and provide feedback.

I pray God’s rich blessing of grace and wisdom on each and all of us in the days ahead.
Cari
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Rev. Cari Copeman-Haynes,
President, BC Conference 
The United Church of Canada

president [at] bc [dot] united-church [dot] ca