Saturday, 23 September 2017



                The United Church of Canada will be going through
governance transition in the next two years. Discussion between General Council Executive and the churches have been ongoing for about 5 years and with Remits or votes taken from across the country, the answer is clear. The church will move to Regional councils instead of having both Presbytery and Conferences. But what is unclear is how many regions, who will work at this level of the church and most importantly for many people is will it make any difference when it comes to cost, or running the governance and administration of the United Church of Canada.
                What does this mean for the person who comes to church? Not a lot really because connections to the national or regional councils will be limited. However the cost of governance will make a difference in budgets across the country especially during the transition period of 2018 and 2019.
                The United Church of Canada has been a unique church throughout its history. Will this change in governance model make a difference in its outreach to people? This is unknown but one of the things we must keep in mind is that no matter the governance model being used, the church is led by Jesus Christ, the one true head of the church. If we lose sight of this, we might as well close our doors.
                What does it mean to be “United Church” today? What attracts people to this church? Is it its structure of governance? Probably not but what is important to know is that the church is changing and this may make a difference for ministry personnel and their role or activity in the ‘wider’ church. It means being very intentional about meeting other clergy and working with other churches in order to grow and develop in faith. It also means letting go of the way things used to be and living in the present.
                Jesus said, “I have come that they might have life, abundant and full.” Jesus was not a proponent of the established church during his time. The Pharisees felt threatened by his new ways of thinking and teaching. They tried to trip him up in the teachings of the law. And they wanted to do away with him. But Christ rose from death in order to give us life. Sometimes we get tripped up in the governance of the church and forget who we are as Christ’s followers and why we meet in churches- to worship God our creator. Maybe we need to pray about this for clarity and look to the future placing everything into God’s hands through faith. Jesus brings us life. Let us receive it with humility and love.

God you call us to be with you and when we face changes, transitions and challenges you guide us and love us. Help us to trust your Spirit as we face transitions in every day life not only in the church, but in what we experience in this life. We ask in Jesus’ name Amen.

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