Greetings to you all at the beginning of this new program year. My name is The Rev. Adam Hall and I am the new Pastoral Relations Minister for The Northern Spirit Regional Council. As this new season of our lives begins, I wanted to reach out to you, the governing bodies of your communities of faith and to offer my help and support to you as we continue our covenanted relationships with one another. As you know the last four years have been quite the journey in this United Church of ours and as I have begun this work, I have learned that there is a strong need to build relationships between our communities of faith and our region. It is my hope that by sending this letter that we can begin to build connections that are grounded in care, compassion, and most importantly, hope.
Currently, I am working from two office locations. For the majority of the time, I am working from my home office in Tofield, Alberta. I also spend one day as week in the Regional Council office, located at the Kirk Centre in the city of Edmonton, Alberta. Regardless of where I am located my contact information remains the same. You can reach me by phone by phoning 1-800-268-3781 ext. 6443 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org (Please note this is a change to my email address. Originally my email was email@example.com but has now been changed to the one above). The pastoral relations work of this region is quite extensive, but I will do my best, along with those that serve on our pastoral relations commission and committees, to respond to each of your inquires in a timely manner.
The Northern Spirit Region is the largest geographical region across The United Church of Canada and because of that, connecting with your communities in person can be quite daunting. With that said the geographical size does not mean that it is impossible to connect or that I cannot help to support you because of the distance between us. Technology is such that we can converse and I can offer support to your communities from a distance. We also have the capacity within our region for myself, or others, to be physically present with you if the situation you are in requires it. I say that as a means to encourage you all to reach out to me if you need support, if you have questions, if you need clarity about our Pastoral Relations policies and processes, or if you just want to say hello. I want to be connected with you all and I hope that together we can build a stronger connection for the future.
The pastoral relations work of our region includes formulating and offering training and education, not only for our ministry personnel, but also for all of you as the lay leaders within our communities of faith. I certainly can think of a number of training modules that might be helpful, but the reality is that you all should be guiding this worked based on your needs, rather than it being based on my perceptions. To that end I am hoping that you might help me to prioritize training and education is a priority for your community of faith.
Some of the areas of interest and need that I have heard from you so far are as follows:
- Training for our Ministry and Personnel Committees
- How to create a living faith story for Church Hub
- How to act as a liaison for the search process
- Training for Pastoral Charge Supervision
- Additional worship education, including funeral preparation and leadership, for our Licensed Lay Worship leaders
- Visioning for memorandums of understanding, amalgamations, and Ecumenical shared ministry opportunities
By no means is this an exhaustive list, but all of these suggestions are within the scope of our Pastoral Relations work and can be opportunities for us to connect. I invite you to reflect with your governing body and wider community, if you so choose, about whether any of these listed opportunities, or any others that you can think of, would be helpful. It would be great if after those discussion you would connect with me to share your interest in them and/or your ideas for furthering education so that we can begin to put some of these training programs into place.
I sincerely appreciate your attention to this letter and I pray that together we will continue to hold one another with compassion and care and always look towards the future with hope.
The Rev. Adam Hall,
Pastoral Relations Minister,
Northern Spirit Regional Council