This document contains elements of the history of what got us to where we are today, plans for moving forward and elements of decisions yet to come. It is the product of working groups, joint council, the project management team and of the staff in pulling together the many strands, conversations and presentations made over the last 3+ years
While it contains motions for amalgamation and this is an important step, it is much more than that. It contains directions and questions that will form the basis of the next steps in the process. While some might wish that the questions left for decision still were well formed and decided, our steering groups have been unwilling to put the tremendous amount of time that will be needed in the next steps if both congregations are not invested in moving forward. Thus you have before you are both the steps that have been taken as well as those yet to come.
Once it is approved by the members of both congregations and the Pacific Mountain Region, the two churches will be amalgamated and become the new “yet to be named” United Church effective Pentecost Sunday, May 31st 2020.
Throughout the discernment about this amalgamation, there has been wide participation in small group conversations, open invitation meetings and formally called congregational meetings. There have been opportunities for feedback with leadership. There have been multiple working groups with a large diverse group of people thinking, planning, dreaming and discerning together. The process is still unfolding and there will be many more opportunities for feedback and input as we move forward in our planning for the next stages of living together and embarking on some new and bold initiatives in ministry and mission.
This movement from a neighbourhood to a regional church is not simply a merger of our former selves, but rather the birth of a new church, a new platform, a new way to be church for the 21st century. By combining the people and material assets with which successive generations have faithfully stewarded, we are working to create a vibrant, faithful, contemporary and progressive expression of church for the region of Saanich.
Like the Ministry Vision that has emerged and is emerging still, this new platform for church will be ever evolving. It will always be looking for fresh expressions of the Progressive Christian faith to share and engage with folks who are seeking transformation in their lives and the life of the world we all live in. Ministries will grow and fade in response to where we discern in an ongoing way our individual and collective callings and where people feel their energy and passion is moving.
All those involved at each of the various stages of providing leadership have worked tirelessly on behalf of both congregations to make sure that multiple voices have been heard and good research has been engaged in. Imagination has been evoked and learning to think outside the box has been a solid requirement along the way.
While there are still significant decisions to be made as we move into the future, we do so with a trust in one another and in our leadership. At times it will feel like we are in the midst of chaos, at other times the choices and path ahead will be clear. Regardless