July 5, 2017
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Greetings from the General Council Office.
I am writing to let you know of the voting results for Remits 1 to 4. All four remits were approved by a majority of the 84 voting presbyteries and 2136 voting pastoral charges of the United Church.
Remit 1: Three Council Model
Presbyteries: Yes: 74 No: 7
Pastoral Charges: Yes: 1672 No: 222
Remit 2: Elimination of Transfer and Settlement
Presbyteries: Yes: 74 No: 7
Pastoral Charges: Yes: 1792 No: 89
Remit 3: Office of Vocation
Presbyteries: Yes: 69 No: 12
Pastoral Charges: Yes: 1681 No: 190
Remit 4: Funding a New Model
Presbyteries: Yes: 70 No: 12
Pastoral Charges: Yes: 1472 No: 398
There is one final step in the remit process to be taken by the 43rd General Council when it meets in July, 2018. We will now be working to be ready for that prospect.
A Remit Scenario Planning group, co-chaired by Alan Hall (Executive Minister, Ministry and Personnel), and Peter Hartmans (Executive Secretary, Hamilton Conference), has been meeting over the past year to do preliminary thinking on the change process, depending on which of the remits received approval. This group will now be re-mandated as the Remit Implementation group, to have broad oversight over the plans for implementation of the changes that will follow if General Council gives its approval to the decisions that have been approved by remit. David Allen has agreed to step away from his position as Executive Secretary of Toronto Conference to accept the full time assignment as Project Leader for this work.
The 42nd General Council will reconvene for an electronic meeting on September 30, 2017 to put plans in motion for determining the boundaries of the regional councils, and a nominations process for the next General Council Executive, pending the final step in the remit process.
Thank you all for your participation in this important work of the church.
General Secretary, General Council
A reconstruction of the speech given by me on Monday, January 30, 2017, at the YEG Vigil for those who died in the shooting for Victims of Quebec Mosque Shooting*
I bring the greetings and the prayerful support of the Alberta and Northwest Conference of The United Church of Canada. We are deeply saddened by what has occurred in Quebec. We are shocked and hurt by what has happened and we stand with our Muslim brothers and sisters to offer our solidarity and support especially to the families and friends of those who have died and to those who have been injured. That which has occurred did not only happen to the Muslim community but to all of humanity. As a church, we are saddened by this event and outraged at this example of xenophobia, racism, and discrimination which has raised its head in our country.
As a Christian community, we offer to you the most powerful gift we can offer at this time. We offer to you our love!
Love for us as a Christian people is not simply an emotion. It is not that “mamby pamby” mushy sort of thing you hear on the radio. To love is for us as Christians an active choice that is made to seek the highest good for all people. Because we offer to you our love we therefore offer to you
When the vigils of support are over, and the speeches have ended, we urge members of our society to begin a process of getting to know about each other. Let it not be that what we know about our Muslim brothers and sisters is simply from what we read in the media (as much as I respect the media) or from the odd reference from our favorite television show. Let us start speaking with each other and educate ourselves about each other. Let us start talking with each other in order to educate ourselves about each other. The only way that we remove ignorance is by replacing it with factual knowledge. As such we urge each one of us to get to know the Muslim, the Hindu, the Jew, the Sikh and the Indigenous person your community. Learn for yourself and allow that information to allow you to know that we are all human beings created in the image of God.
We pray peace upon you all. The peace that we will leave from this place resolved to make a new day in this country, A new day where will replace ignorance, fear and cowardice with knowledge, love and respect.
Speech Given by: Paul Douglas Walfall
Edmonton Journal Coverage Link click HERE.
By Vicki Brown
Nov. 29, 2016 | EDMONTON, Alberta (UMNS)
The hymns in Shona mingle with sounds of the hosho gourd and a drum, creating a bit of home for the 25 members of the Zimbabwean diaspora community gathered for Sunday worship.
The enthusiastic gathering and response to the sermon by the Rev. Tazvionepi Nyarota give no clue to the struggles faced by the United Methodist Church-Edmonton and other churches in Canada started by Zimbabwean migrants. A new partnership and funding from the United Methodist mission agency will help.