Ministry Report to Parish Council
Firstly, my apologies that I will not be present at our PC meeting for May, but will be at the Annual Clergy Conference for the Diocese of British Columbia which takes place in Chemainus in this week. I will be back for Sunday Worship on May 22nd.
A big thank you to you all for your engagement and commitment to our Parish Council process, I am grateful for the work you have put in so far, and looking forward to continuing to work together. Here are some things which have come up in the past few weeks, and some items we are continuing to address.
Graeme Brown, Tony Barlow and I are hoping to meet to discuss how we might begin consideration of the integration of the redevelopment thoughts of the past few years. This will just be a brainstorming session, and we will bring any ideas to PC with regards to moving forward as soon as we can. Likewise, beginning to choose some of the items from the Church building redevelopment report to address (along with those items such as sound and lighting which the property committee are already looking at) will need to be the task of the PC in the coming weeks. Anyone wanting to be a part of a task team to begin to address these issues, please speak up at the PC meeting
Recapturing our Vision
Who are we and where are we going? We have had plenty of time to digest the excellent work of the Quo Vadis team, now it is time to take these things to the next level. Not that we haven’t done lots of work in response to this already, particularly regarding our need to focus on communications, and more work (as Joan will doubtlessly remind us) needs to be done there, but a more focussed approach is needed, I believe, led by you - our PC. I would appreciate some discussion, and guidance, as to how to take this further, please. This can either be an agenda item for next PC, or a discussion you have amongst yourselves this month, or something we begin in informal discussions with myself as an when able – but I am convinced we need to address this soon.
Clergy and Ministry
I am grateful for the support of PC in welcoming our new Curate, Gillian Hoyer, who will be joining our PC at the next meeting. I will be looking into ways in which our clergy can cover all of the needs of our parish in partnership with you, our Parish Council, and our exceptional team of volunteers at St John’s. We await the Bishop’s word as to how long Patrick Sibley, who will be ordained Deacon on 29th May at the Cathedral, will be a part of our ministry team.
My hope is that at some point in the near future all the parts of our leadership team – Clergy, Staff, PC and Wardens can gather, along with our Honorary Clergy for some kind of informal evening and then consider how the broader leadership of the parish can co-ordinate our efforts to serve our community.
I am researching the best way to recruit and a new Deputy People’s Warden, finding out exactly what the process should be in line with our Canons, and will bring that to PC as soon as I can – I know you will all join
with me in giving our thanks to Trish Punnett for her hard work and dedication in serving St John’s, and her wisdom and thoughtfulness in our PC
We will begin the formal recruitment of our Family Ministry Co-Ordinator at the end of May – Ruth Mackintosh is still an interim appointment and either she, or another, will become a staff member at some time over the summer following a recruitment process. I will make sure PC are informed of the process as it proceeds, the next step is to advertise and to revise the job description we have.
Worship, Inclusion, Reconciliation
Following last month’s report, I have begun making enquiries around forming a Worship and Liturgy group – when I have more news I will bring it to PC.
I am hoping that we will have something to send to the Bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada regarding the Marriage Canon in the next few days, and will circulate that to PC when it is finished. I have been provided with some excellent material by Kevin Farris, and need to read that more carefully before I proceed with it, or an amended version of it.
As part of our ongoing commitment to LGBTQ inclusion and affirmation, I am hoping that we will be taking an active part in the events leading up to the PRIDE parade (1-10th July, Parade on 10th) – details will be circulated as soon as they are available – we are hoping for a Pride Eucharist, in partnership with the Cathedral, an evening reflecting on Sexuality and Spirituality, a time of telling stories of LGBTQ experience of faith, and in sharing Archbishop Justin Welby’s apology for the Church’s attitude towards LGBTQ people. We are also exploring the possibility of an Evensong with specially chosen music and readings – which will take place on PRIDE day (10th July) following the parade at which we hope St John’s (and other Anglican Churches) will have a significant presence. The name we plan to use for all these events is PRIDEchurch and there will be a special section of our website dedicated to this.
We have been asked to join in the reading of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls To Action for the Churches as part of a Diocesan initiative to continue to walk this road of truth-telling and healing, this will take the place of a sermon on either the 12th or 19th of June and I hope that some members of the First Nations will come and hear that reading and commitment to action that day.
There are many events that happen all of the time at St John’s, and many are significant for building a sense of community and learning from and about one another. One of these events, which I would encourage all of us to attend and to encourage others to take part in, is our Parish Retreat at Camp Pringle on 17th-19th June with the theme of Being ǀ Community. We will be joined in this, we hope, by members of St Mary’s Church Oak Bay, The Cathedral parish, and the Emmaus Community.
Thank you all for your time, attention, care and dedication in our service to St John’s and for our partnership in the Gospel.