News Items

Boundaries Commission Update, President Cari Copeman-Haynes

Dear Friends in Christ,

I now have another opportunity to provide you with information about the conversations in BC Conference following the release of the Interim Report of the Boundaries Commission on January 10.

Last weekend, two members of every Presbytery, one representative from the BC Native Ministries Council, with President-Elect Jay Olson, GCE Rep Graham Brownmiller, myself and our Executive Secretary Doug Goodwin of the BC Conference Executive, gathered for our third annual Presbytery Consultation, facilitated by Allison Rennie.

Top of mind and heart for all present, of course, was the Boundaries Commission report that had just recently been released, so we spent significant time on Friday airing all perspectives. Though building consensus was not the goal of the consultation (and that group has no governance authority), there was a strong and clear consensus opposing the proposed division of BC Conference into two Regions.

The unified negative response to the proposal was based on its disruption of established relationships, its disregard of geographical divisions (such as mountains), and the complications that would arise for access to resources (both financial and people) if we are divided. Those present also worked to see the proposal from the angle of opportunities – what might we learn by considering having two Regions? Throughout the conversations, those present maintained an attitude of concern for the support of congregations and the mission of the church.

Then, on Wednesday afternoon, the Conference Executive gathered by electronic means to consider our response to the report as the governors of the Conference. Again, there was a strong consensus that dividing the Conference into two Regions is not our desired outcome, though we noted some positive observations by some in our congregations in the Interior of the province that a distinct interior region might serve the rural church in supporting mission in that context.

In order for our church to stay focussed on its mission and ministry, it is the clear position of the Conference Executive that we not enter into a time of reorganization into two Regions, which will distract our church from mission at a time when we are deeply challenged by decline and secularization.

Currently, members of the Executive are drafting a motion that will be considered at our second electronic meeting, scheduled for Thursday, January 25. As soon as the motion is passed, we will publish it on the Conference website. Our staff are working to create a webpage devoted to the sharing of motions by Presbytery Executives and Congregational Boards and Councils, so please send your motions to Doug Goodwin or me so that they can be posted and shared. Check back as the “mind” of our church in BC on this question continues to emerge. Please remember that the deadline for submissions to the Commission is January 31.

Finally, a word on “purpose.” All ministry is about relationships. A situation such as we find ourselves in now tests our capacity to trust one another, especially when we are at a distance from one another. I invite us into an intentional attitude of humility, prayer for one another (especially those with whom we disagree), and curiosity.  This could be a time of acrimony and dissent… or it could be a time when we recognize our deep bonds and care for one another.

May the grace of Christ attend us in this kairos time.


President Cari Copeman-Haynes

BC Conference

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:

The Sussex Redevelopment - Building Jubilee United's New Congregational Home

Jubilee United Church breaks ground on its new development!

It’s been a long and winding road, but this summer the Redevelopment Project at Sussex achieved a huge milestone – the Rezoning Application was approved by the City of Burnaby and we are finally in the position to begin construction. To mark this occasion, several members of Jubilee United – and its antecedent congregations, South Burnaby and West Burnaby United – gathered for a ground-breaking ceremony at 6050 Sussex Avenue on July 31st. Dave English and Charlotte Au, the Project Manager and Project Coordinator from Townline, participated in the event led by Rev. Graham Brownmiller, along with Terry Harrison and Doug Goodwin from BC Conference (who took the pictures).


More details and photos available in this update.

Email Fraud - August 14, 2017

A document was emailed out from someone claiming to be Cari Copeman-Haybes. DO NOT OPEN. This is spam.  Communications from Cari as Conference President will always come from a BC Conference email address. Once again, please do not open the attachment that was sent today.



BC Conference

Holy Shift: Innovation and Our Story

Start Date: 
Oct 20 2017 (All day) - Oct 22 2017 (All day)

What is the future of Church in the 21st century and how do we tell the story of our faith in this context?

Holy Shift is a dynamic learning conference for congregation members, staff and clergy to share ideas, connect and dream about the unfolding of Spirit in their communities.

Held in Parksville at Knox United on Oct 20-22, this year’s event features Beth Ann Estock, author of Weird Church: Welcome to the 21st Century, and Kelli Walker-Jones, author of Know Your Story and Lead with It: The Power of Narrative in Clergy Leadership. Beth Ann’s book meshes spiral dynamics with analysis and examples of new expressions of faith communities in the 21st century.

A must-read for anyone daring to innovate!

Full details are on the Leadershift website. Read the poster!

Registration is now open and available here.

Pastoral letter regarding summer 2017 wildfires in BC

BC Conference President Cari Copeman-Haynes writes to all of those in BC Conference:

This weekend has marked the most extraordinary set of circumstances with regard to fires in the interior of our province for more than a decade. Hot weather, dry lightning, high winds, and human activity have all conspired to endanger many people in many parts of our province due to the huge spread of fire through dry tinder.

Many of our congregations are ministering right in the heart of the threatened and enflamed territory. Some of our people are among those evacuated from their homes, and others are among those who seek to support and house those who have been evacuated. And meanwhile, the fires keep on starting (97 new fires on Saturday alone) and spreading.

At a time like this, when fear, anxiety, loss and dislocation trouble the hearts of many of our neighbours (and ourselves) in BC Conference, we turn to prayer, we turn to Scripture, and we turn to each other.

Continue reading.

The United Church of Canada sends this prayer to all.

Archives are moving!

November Archives update

In June, the Conference Archives announced that we will be moving to 312 Main Street in Vancouver. We continue to look forward to it with great anticipation!

Our move to the new location will likely take place during the spring of 2018. Stay posted for updates.

Meanwhile, the Archives will remain open to the public. Full story of the move below.

Naramata to reduce its 23-acre footprint

May 18, 2017

Over the next few years, Naramata Centre will sell a portion of its 23 acres in the heart of Naramata village. The Centre's Board of Directors arrived at some difficult, but necessary, decisions this spring and presented the plans to Society members this month.

Naramata Centre Society Board Chair, Doug Wollard, says "We believe by creating a smaller footprint we can operate in a way that fits the demand in today's world. Having fewer acres will require less maintenance, and will better fit our registration requirements as the Centre no longer hosts large conferences."

Read the full press release. More information on future plans are here in the Centre's newest newsletter.

BC Conference United Church Women Annual General Meeting

Start Date: 
Apr 27 2017 - 9:30am - 3:30pm

Thursday, April 27, 2017
Golden Ears United Church
22165 Dewdney Trunk Road, Maple Ridge, BC

9:30 am – 3:30 pm

Contact lynn [at] kluane [dot] net (Lynn Lancaster) for more information.



External Organizational Audit completed in 2016

Every three years the BC Conference Executive hires an independent “auditor” to look at the whole work of BC Conference (not just its finances). The goal is to make sure the work being done is following the purposes and goals of the Conference and is being done in an effective and efficient manner.

In 2016 the well-known church governance “guru”, Dan Hotchkiss, carried out the review. Since receiving his report in November the Conference Executive has been discussing it and exploring ways of following up on its recommendations.

His findings and recommendations can be read here.

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