June 15, 2020
Greetings to all.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continuing support of Central during this very confusing and life-altering time. I also want to bring you up to date on some of what is happening at the church as we continue to live out the ministry of Jesus Christ.
Churches throughout the country have been given the go-ahead to hold worship services and conduct meetings. I know many are wondering when Central will open again. When we do re-open we will have to follow the regulations set out by the Chief Medical Officer and the Provincial Government. Some of these restrictions, as essential as they are for maintaining a healthy and safe environment for all, can turn a warm, welcoming, worshipful setting into a restrictive and hostile environment. We want to avoid that.
Some places of worship have been able to accommodate the rules and have opened. Most have not. The Board has taken the regulations into consideration and the recommendations of our Chinook Winds Regional Council and General Council into account and has made the decision to hold off re-opening. In all likelihood, no services will be held before September 2020, if then. We will have a better idea of a possible date as we see the results of other places opening and what recommendations come from the greater church and the government.
In the meantime, Newton Hislop, Chair of the Trustees, and Bill Moore, Duty of Care Officer, are meeting with our Staff to determine the best way to implement the regulations set forth by the province. Both of them have a full understanding of what needs to be done as well as the limitations of the building. We are so grateful to them for being willing to take on this huge responsibility.
Another matter I would like to advise on is the appointment of Rev. Linda Hunter. As our Transition Minister, she is appointed only for one year at a time. These appointments typically end June 30 of each year, unless both Church and Minister agree to end the appointment, giving 90 days notice. The Board has asked Linda (and she has agreed) to extend her appointment for another year. Linda has been such a blessing and has tirelessly and lovingly worked with us to build up the teams of volunteers needed to take on significant lay ministry responsibilities. At this critical time of navigating the COVID pandemic, we are grateful to have her skilled and compassionate leadership for another year.
Next, in accordance with the recommendation of the Ad Hoc Visioning Team and the direction given by the Congregation at February 9, 2020, Special Congregational Meeting, I wish to refer to the approved Staffing Model:
- Accompanist – a contract position.
- Celebrate Life Recovery – part-time contract leadership and music team.
- Children and Youth Ministry Coordinator – a contract part-time position.
- Custodian-Security – a contract part-time position to be filled prior to the building reopening.
- Minister – one full-time ordained minister.
- Music Director – currently a temporary part-time position.
- Office Administrator – a permanent part-time position @30 hours per week.
- Tech Team Supervisor – a contract part-time position.
- Treasurer – a contract part-time position.
It was recommended and accepted by the Congregation, that the Congregational Care Coordinator position be eliminated effective June 30, 2020. The ordained minister (Rev. Linda Hunter at this time) will be responsible for supporting the Congregational Care Team. Eliminating this position means that Lorraine Anderson’s appointment will not be renewed and will end June 30, 2020.
Lorraine has been such an integral part of Central for over 40 years, starting as a member, accepting volunteer roles, and spending many years on staff as a Designated Lay Minister in charge of Congregational Care. It is sad having to say farewell to a dear friend, colleague, leader, and minister who has influenced and blessed many people in and around Central.
June 28, 2020, will be her final Sunday with us, and I encourage everyone to tune in to the pre-recorded service to share that experience. When we are again able to gather together, we will be organizing a proper farewell celebration with her. In the meantime, please forward your best wishes, in writing by mail, or by short video clips to the office email. If you wish to participate in a love gift of cash, please contact the office for further instructions.
I would like to end as I began, by thanking everyone for your ongoing support through your time, talent and treasure. The building is closed but Church has taken to the streets across the city, province and country. This too will pass, and we will be part of a “new normal” focusing on being the hope and love that we need to give and receive.
Diane Scheibner, Chair of the Board