During General Council 43, various people will be reporting on what’s happening, sharing moments and offering their reflections. Tammy Allan and Marlene Britton-Walfall share sites, insights, music and a new Moderator is elected.
Another couple of days have passed. Yesterday we dealt with business in the morning and then had the afternoon for excursion tours to see some of the area beyond Durham College campus. Several tours were organized, and I chose a winery tour to Prince Edward County. Beautiful countryside, lots of trees, the beach, all made for a great drive. Oh, yes, and there was wine. Lovely.
Today, after FIVE ballots, we elected a new moderator, Rev. Richard Bott, from B.C.
We also met in our discussion groups to delve into more proposals, which we will then make decisions on in the plenary session tomorrow.
This evening, the youth (some 60 young people) offered a presentation, recognizing more than 30 years since the first apology to Canada’s indigenous people. Some of the youth offered reflections on their understandings and learnings in this area. I am surprised at how many of them spoke of not learning about this part of Canada’s history in either Sunday School or their public schooling.
It’s been good to have time at our table groups for discussion and reflection on what we’re experiencing here. There are so many common points in the stories we share – although we live in a very large country, this United Church of ours is like a family that shares common traits. It’s been wonderful getting to know people from every corner of our church, and share in the work of being the church together.
One more full day, with a whole lot of decision making yet to happen, then closing worship tomorrow evening, and we travel home on Saturday.
Tammy Allan is a diaconal minister at Old United Church and graduate of CCS.
THE WORLD IS TURNING ‘ROUND
We were invited this morning to savour raspberries using all our senses. In the same way we were reminded to experience creation and all that it entails using all our senses. There are beautiful things to be experienced, and this can be done through various methods and through people, at different stages of life and with different energies to offer.
We were definitely turned around by an incredibly gifted musician – Jeff Burke. He played the theremin, an instrument which is based on electronic waves and the interruption and conducting thereof – it was truly amazing. He also played the bassoon. He accompanied the worship songs.
During the voting period for moderator there were several periods of meditation and he also played during those times. An amazing raspberry gift!
The Church during its business sessions, has chosen to live into some new realities, to turn around, and it will do so under a new moderator. Rev. Dr. Richard Bott was chosen as the Moderator to lead the church for the next 3 years. After he was acclaimed by the members gathered, he was blessed by a male healing song offered by Aboriginal leaders.
This was a very moving ceremony, which culminated with a prayer of blessing being offered by Elder Lorna StandingReady.
Thursdays in Black
Every Thursday, United Church staff and affiliates wear black as a visible sign that we are working to turn the world around, towards a world without rape and violence. The majority of the court were wearing black, and everyone was given a button with the message emblazoned thereon.
Marlene Britton-Walfall is a diaconal minister at Knox United Church in Thunder Bay.
CCS Central Council co-chair Kathy Platt is sharing her reflections on GC43 at http://mckenzieuc.blogspot.com/. Check it out.