Conference Calling 14

June 2007


Every morning I try to read at least one chapter from the Bible. After a few years of this practice it became clear that not every morning produces inspiration. There certainly are times when I just want to linger on a beautiful passage, or where I am staggered as a passage strikes home for the first time. I have teared up from time to time. But a lot of the time I just plow through stuff that seems petty, or repetitive, or boring. Some, of course, is frustrating or worse. What strikes me after these years, though, is just how broad and comprehensive this amazing Story is, from creation to apocalypse, from mundane to profound, from sinners to angels, from plodding prose to flights of poetry. Unlike many spiritual guide books that focus on our higher or spiritual sides, the Bible seems to delight in telling stories about the whole spectrum of experience. There always seems to be a place in the scripture for whoever we are and whatever we are going through at the moment.

I was thinking of this when I noticed the broad range of items in this note to you, everything from the courageous faith of the Moderator undergoing surgery, to the Spirit-filled joy of new ministers, to the frivolity of a Hawaiian barbecue, to the routine posting of office hours. Somehow it is comforting to know that all of it, from mundane to profound, is part of the Story we share through Jesus Christ.

Friends, Neighbours, and the Curious: You are invited to the Conference office for a Hawaiian-Style Open House BBQ on Monday, June 18 from noon to 4:00 pm. Visit with staff; see the office; enjoy the food and fun. No RSVP necessary. This will be a FUN afternoon filled with professional Hawaiian dancers, a limbo contest, lots of pineapple, and a luau with the office staff. Come dressed in Aloha Attire (Hawaiian shirts, sarongs, etc). Location: 4383 Rumble Street (at Sussex) in Burnaby.


Recently Cynthia Smith, Assistant to the Personnel Minister (Treena Duncan), left the Conference office when she found new work at the Justice Institute. Sliding over from her Receptionist job, Brenda Wolff took over from Cynthia, leaving the Receptionist job vacant (see immediately below). Paul Davis continues to work with Prince Rupert Presbytery until a permanent position is established, and Clare Hill is working temporarily with the Native Ministries Council.


We are looking for an efficient, hospitable individual to serve as the Conference office Receptionist. The Receptionist is the communication hub of the office, the first point of contact most people have with the office whether they are dropping in personally or telephoning. Calls are forwarded, queries are addressed, people are welcomed. The Receptionist also keeps the database current, takes on secretarial work, runs office equipment, and helps maintain a welcoming office environment. Send an application letter and resume, with at least three recent references, to Rev. Doug Goodwin by June 22, 2007. To view the job description.


Thank you to Doris Kizinna, Eric Hamlyn, Tracy Murton, and the many others who planned and hosted the Imagine Concert, Auction and Dessert Evening on June 1. Over $3,300 was raised for the Conference Imagine Fund (for youth and young adult work), the Vancouver Presbyteries YAYA Ministry Fund, and the Keep on Swimming Fund. Three concerts, killer desserts, and lots of auction items all helped make this a fun, successful evening.


Are you aware that your congregations records actually belong to the United Church as a whole? It is the responsibility of every congregation and pastoral charge "to use utmost diligence to secure the accuracy and safety of their records" (Section 090(a) of The Manual). How can you meet this requirement? The national Committee on Archives and History has guidelines to help you. Archives & Recordkeeping: A How-to Guide for Congregations and Conferences gives you tips on everything from how to keep an archival copy of minutes to how many years you should hang on to bank statements. View the guide.
Learn more about BC Conference Archives records management services


The Moderator of the United Church, David Giuliano, recently underwent serious surgery to remove a tumor in his head. The surgery went well and David reports he is recovering quickly. Read his recent letter to the church. David visited BC Conference in late April and early May, traveling to Prince Rupert, the Kootenays, Fraser Presbytery, and Burnaby. View some pictures of his visit to the Conference office. There are also pictures from his time in Fraser Presbytery.


It seemed appropriate that the Conferences Celebration of Ministry worship service fell on Pentecost this year, for the winds of the Spirit were greatly in evidence in the joyous, packed St. Davids United Church. Ordained were Blake Field, Carmen Lansdowne, Karen Millard, Jeffrey Seaton, and Robert Smith. Commissioned was Elizabeth Bowyer. Recognized as Lay Pastoral Ministers were James MacNaughton, Kenneth Robinson, and Eva Stanley. Received from another denomination was Maki Fushii. Usually the Celebration of Ministry service is held at the end of the General Meeting of BC Conference but when the General Meeting is not held, like this year, it is celebrated on its own. Just as on the day of Pentecost, the church has been richly blessed! Pictures of the candidates are here.


In late April the Conference Executive traveled to Prince Rupert to meet with the Native Ministries Council. Joining us was the Moderator, David Giuliano, and the General Secretary, Nora Sanders, as well as several other guests from across the country. This was the first time in recent memory that the Executive has met outside the Lower Mainland, and the first meeting concurrently with the Council. It proved to be an important and moving time together. Watch for pictures of the gathering soon on the Conference web page.


The Conference office will be open almost all summer at our regular hours, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with the switchboard open from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The office will be closed from August 6-10 for a summer break.

As one more sign of the changing times, BC Conference rarely sends out information any more by Canada Post. Instead, we rely upon e-mail messages. Occasionally we use direct e-mail to everyone we know with e-mail, like we are doing now for Conference Calling. Usually, however, we rely upon our voluntary e-mail lists to get information out. If you have not signed up for at least one of these lists, you are missing out on important information about the life of the United Church in BC.

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