Communications in 3 Regions
I have worked with Michelle Owens, Principal, for a number of years, back when we were both at the London Conference of The United Church of Canada. We were the cyclists who would bike into the office on warm summer days, arriving sweaty and a little musty. But the bike rides home were always the glorious part – no rush, just riding leisurely on dirt paths all the way home.
I hear with envy (the good kind) that Michelle still rides her bike regularly. I, on the other hand, am now working with three regions of the re-structured United Church: Antler River Watershed, Western Ontario Waterways and Horseshoe Falls Regional Councils. My position at this time is mainly communication, for which I work online from home, with 2 to 4 days a month at the Hamilton office. I can’t ride my bike to the Hamilton office – it takes over 90 minutes to drive there on the highway. And, I haven’t ridden my bike while working from home, as the regions are in their infancy and need all of my time.
Communication is vital through this changeover. There are now over 2,000 email addresses in my contact lists between three regions. And we know that quite a few have slipped through the cracks and haven’t received any of our communication. One minister wrote us an email just to let us know how he didn’t feel connected anymore and didn’t know where to turn to find out what he didn’t know. A few people who knew me from my previous role were ecstatic when they reached someone they knew.
I aim to help set-up the communication in these regions in a manner similar to the communication plan used by the Centre for Christian Studies: thoughtful, grounded, engaged, serving even the margins, building bridges and being an agent of change. This reflects my own faith and why I work for the United Church. Being a Buddhist, right thinking, right speech, right livelihood and right action are just four parts of the Eightfold Path that I try to live by every day.
When Michelle passed my name onto Kimiko Karpoff as a recruit for the Communication Committee, I heard a call to align with like-minded searchers. I send out emails, MailChimp newsletters, answer phone calls, work on websites … and yet …. in all of these tasks I am hoping to reach those who are looking for their answers, looking for their peace of mind, trying to do God’s work in their own actions.
Tomorrow I will practice right mindfulness … on my bike.
Pretima Kukadia carries responsibility for administration, communications and records for the Antler River Watershed, Western Ontario Waterways and Horseshoe Falls Regional Councils. She is a member of the CCS Communications Committee.