Hello Pastoral Charges, Communities of Faith, Ministers, Leaders and Lay members 😊:
It takes a lot of people and places to make up a Region, a church family. Each one brings gifts and skills to add to the richness of our gathering together.
There are times when we need to lean on each other, times when we may be struggling because our human and financial resources are stretched beyond their capacity. These are the times when we need to receive help. However, as is the case with all families, it is hard to support or help if we don’t know that someone is in trouble. We can’t help lift each other up if we don’t admit that our balance is off, that we are hurting.
We have a responsibility to each other to be truthful about our congregational health and welfare. This responsibility is shared by the Congregations and their Ministers. It should never come as a surprise that the money in the bank will not cover next week’s expenses. But it does.
As we begin to emerge from our COVID experience, we are hearing from more churches that they are facing crises that, if the Region had heard about them earlier, could have been avoided or faced with grace and a plan forward.
Do you remember that in the beginning of April I reminded us that we all must file our Annual Reports with the Region? This is not because we need extra work – trust me we have enough. But – we have a group of readers who help us take a look at your Annual story and perhaps highlight situations that may need extra care before they become a crisis.
Do you remember that in the beginning of April I reminded us that we needed to complete the Financial and Ministry Assessment Tool – and that, if you find yourself looking for new Ministry Personnel, this will become Mandatory? You may find that doing this type of financial self-assessment might highlight tiny rips or large holes in your financial fabric that you can mend now before you are ripped apart. You may find that you have a pattern of doing very well and that you can celebrate stability and growth.
Of our 90 listed Pastoral Charges 44 have taken the time to do the Financial and Ministry Assessment and only 32 have sent in their Annual Reports. Thank you. But almost 65% of our Regional family are not sharing their challenges or their successes.
At our Annual meeting we are responding to some questions by: having a workshop to show us how we can create our Community of Faith profile – our story of who we are and where we want to be; having workshops on options and processes for partnering with other churches, creating a new community ministry or reaching a conclusion of our ministry with thanksgiving and grace.
How are you doing? Is your Community of Faith sharing with your Regional family?
Rev. Helen Reed
Chair of the Northern Spirit Regional Executive
and member of the Community of Faith Support Committee