REPORT FROM THE BOARD OF ELDERS ~ OCTOBER 21, 2018

Greetings to all.

The busyness of the Transition Team has flowed over to the Board of Elders. We have met on several occasions to deal with regular business and to review the various documents put forward by the Transition Team. The Transition Team has done a remarkable job developing these documents and leading the Board to a place of understanding and recognizing the need to implement a structure for doing ministry. All of the Policy Documents, the Governance Model and the Church Constitution will be presented at the Annual Congregation Meeting in February for ratification by the members of Central.

The Board welcomed Brad Oneil to the Board meeting in August to give us a review of how the Celebrate Life Recovery service has been going. As reported by him, the numbers have grown over the past year. The “Nothing Short of a Miracle” event last year was an outstanding success with several hundred in attendance. We look forward to a repeat of this event October 28 and hope many will join in celebrating recovery in this way.

In the midst of dealing with establishing policies and procedures, we were presented with the very serious situation of the break in the water main on our property. Newton Hislop discovered this on August 31 and immediately took control of the situation. I offer the thanks of the Board, Trustees, Staff and the congregation to Newton for his many hours applying his knowledge and expertise to this situation. In the coming week, there will be excavation happening outside the church on 7th Avenue to complete the repairs and get us back to having full use of our water system. This has been a long and very complex repair and only when it is complete will we know the full extent of our cost.

In anticipation of the ratification of a new Governance Model, the Board authorized the establishment of the following three teams: Christian Development, Property and Worship. A brief description of these teams will give some indication of what each ministry entails.

Christian Development

The Christian Development Team is responsible for providing leadership, direction, encouragement and oversight for all Christian education and development programs within the Central United Church community.  The Team devotes itself to the Christian nurture, discipleship and development of faith in all members, adherents, Celebrate Life Recovery participants and any who call Central their faith home.  The Team takes the initiative of implementing new ideas and creating meaningful ways of living out our Christian faith in an evolving and ever-changing world.  The Team also seeks to build bridges of understanding between world religions.

Property

The Property Team of Central is tasked with all work related to the operation and maintenance of the church building and property, including The Bible Society building.  The Team is responsible for ensuring the building and properties are safe, in good repair and able to accommodate the requirements of the faith community and its user groups.

Worship

Worship is an expression of our faith in a triune God:  God, as Creator; Jesus, as the human expression of God’s grace and unconditional love; Spirit, as the ongoing source of energy that sustains our faith.  As part of the Protestant Reformed Tradition, the Bible forms the basis of our theological grounding in the conduct of worship.

Corporate worship, on Sunday morning and Sunday evening, is the largest weekly spiritual gathering of our faith community.  In order to ensure orderly and appropriate conduct of worship at Central a Team has been established for the conduct of deeply spiritual, scripturally centered, vibrant and relevant worship experiences that include the whole people of God.  Through the spoken Word, prayer and spiritually uplifting music, the community of Central is invited into a deeper relationship with God, as lived through the ministry of Jesus. The Worship Cluster has oversight of and sets policy for Sunday worship, for special services (Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, etc.), weddings, funerals, the Sacraments of Baptism and Communion and all other matters related to the conduct of corporate worship, both inside and outside of the church setting.

The Celebrate Life Recovery service and ministry that is offered on Sunday evenings is a unique ministry of CUC that provides a scripturally-based recovery program which incorporates the 12 Steps and 12 Promises of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) into a worship setting.  The service offers a unique blend of spirituality, counselling and uplifting music.  This ministry is overseen by and is accountable to the Worship Team, governed by the Official Board.

These are excerpts from the Structure Documents but give a general indication of the responsibilities of the Teams. Please prayerfully consider if any of these are areas in which you feel called to serve and let me or the office know of your wishes.

As you can see, we are making great use of this time of transition. Thanks to Rev. Linda for guiding us through this process and the Transition Team for their many hours of work. Together, they are creating the foundation for us continuing to provide our unique ministry in the Heart of the City.

With much gratitude for God’s rich blessing and your continued support,

Dine Scheibner, Chair, Board of Elders