Transition Team Report
As summer beckons on our doorstep, we are thankful for the beauty it brings during these challenging times. Your transition team has been gathering twice a month since February 5, 2020. The team members are Helen Harvey (co-chair), Shirley Broadbent ( secretary), Vicki Casey (co-chair), Mackenzie Smith, Bruce Hodgson, Louise Hall (regional council), and Pegi Ridout (interim minister).
Marilyn Willis served as our chair from March 9 until her passing on March 29/2020. Marilyn was a strong and dedicated member of our team, and a good friend to team members. Her absence has been felt by all of us. She served Central United with love and passion. We miss her.
We suspect that many congregants are wondering what our team has been doing during this time. We can tell you that we have been working diligently and faithfully given the limits that Covid 19 has presented. With Pegi’s leadership, we have moved to bi-weekly Zoom meetings. We miss the face to face contact, but have continued to work hard, and serve on your behalf.
One challenge we initially faced was understanding the role of a Transition Team. Many of us have been eager to move forward with a call for a fulltime minister for Central United Church. That moment will come. However, a Transition Team is not established to fulfill that specific need. Instead, we are called to examine, understand and contemplate larger, deeper issues and concerns within our community of faith. We are also called to provide feedback, ideas, suggestions and solutions to these identified issues and concerns. As a team, we have had many candid conversations about our church. Through faithful, honest discussion, we have been examining how things are going, and the problems that exist in our church life. We have offered our thoughts and ideas about how we can make our church community stronger. Fortunately, we have a diverse group with an even greater diversity of ideas, experiences and observations.
The goals we identified, presented and were approved by the congregation are as follows:
To develop more respectful relations.
As a team we have agreed that we need to provide strategies to help people effectively communicate their feelings, and hold people accountable for disrespectful behaviour.
To develop structure and support to ensure effective leadership throughout the church.
We indicated that there was a need for training for our leadership. Unfortunately, due to COVID we were unable to move forward to offer a workshop which had been planned for May 23/20. This is still a planned activity for the future when our “new normal” resumes.
To develop strategies to improve participation in church activities.
To address this goal, there is a need for outreach to the congregation in some form. This could be a survey or phone call in the near future. We will be addressing ways to connect with congregants at our next meeting on Tuesday, June 9/20.
On May 31, Pegi gave a sermon for Pentecost Sunday. She brought to light the importance that church is more than a building. It is the people who make a church community. Church work and service in its essence goes far beyond Sunday worship. It is with this spirit that your Transition Team continues to serve on your behalf.
On June 7, Daryl, the minister from First United, emphasized the importance of people, and their faith stories as his congregation also moves through the transition process. We look forward to hearing those stories and to connecting with the congregation in some way to pave our way forward as Central United Church.
The Transition Team really wants to hear from you. Since we’re not able to gather as a congregation in the way we used to, we can’t just make a presentation on Sunday morning and ask you to talk about it – or invite you to chat with us at coffee hour. So, we have a favour to ask of you! Now you’ve read this report, please get in touch with one of us by phone or email to give us your feedback. Let us know your thoughts, concerns, questions, and feelings about the work the Transition Team is doing, or anything else you want us to know about Central. We need to hear from you and we’re really hoping we will. Here are our names and contact information for the Central members of the Transition Team: