Yesterday, Parish Council met for an informal meeting to gather and look ahead at our work together for the coming year. It was a really insightful time together as we shared our life stories, histories and backgrounds and got to know one another a little better in the process. Among our conversations we discussed what we see as possible priorities for the coming year and a few new initiatives we hope to incorporate going forward.
First of all, we brainstormed ideas around our priorities and – lo and behold – they all centered around the hospitality that St. Mary’s is known for, both in the outside community and within our diocese as a whole. It was voiced that the last three years have been a bit rocky – with Selinde’s illness, interim ministry with Alan and of course COVID being the biggest factor in all of this! However, we are coming out on the other side and are ready to engage again – so Council sees this coming year as a time to rebuild our connections with one another and the community in Nanoose Bay. We hope that 2023 will hold some events that work to build community, foster connections and engage people once again.
The other area we see as a priority this year is to focus on open communication and transparency between what we do as Council and the parish at large. Each month we are going to try and offer a summary highlighting the things discussed at our meetings, in hopes of communicating any changes or things that may be on the horizon. We also will continue to post the minutes on the bulletin board outside my office door – and offer the reminder that ANYONE is welcome to come to a meeting at any time if they want to know more about what we do or how we operate.
In some ways it feels a bit like we were a flower that had gone to seed and have been lying dormant for the last few years – But now – just as the crocuses, hyacinths, daffodils and other spring bulbs are beginning to poke their heads up out of the soil after their winter sleep – we too are ready to emerge and engage with the world once again. As with any form of growth it is a slow process – one stem, one leaf, one bloom at a time, but I truly believe that this is our year to bloom as a community of faith and I am excited to see the garden that God has planned for us as we move throughout the year. Please hold our Parish Council in your prayers in the coming months and be ready to engage, to grow and bloom along with us!
Have you always wanted to do a strawberry tea? Or a Chili cookoff? Or want to see a summer picnic happen? This Sunday at coffee hour is your chance to bring your ideas as we will be discussing what we might want to see happen in our community this year! Hopefully by the time we leave, we will have an idea of what events we want to see happen this year, as well as when to have them and who is going to champion each event. So lets’ get creative and see what sort of FUN and FUNDS we can raise together in 2023!
Rev. Kirsten will be doing some study on her own March 8th - 15th and will be out of office during this time. Therefore the bible study will be on hiatus for the next two weeks but will resume on Wednesday March 22nd at 10:30am.
An A-2 Respectful Conduct Acknowledgment Form is to be signed by:
1. All volunteers who are in leadership/authority roles.
2. All volunteers who work with children or vulnerable persons.
3. All volunteers who handle money or financial decisions.
4. All volunteers who hold a key to the parish buildings.
These are the same people who must complete the Safe Church program.
The good news is that people don’t need to submit a new form every five years—it’s a one-time thing! As Safe Church Liaison, Val has been tasked with contacting all parishioners who have completed Safe Church training and who now need to read the Respectful Conduct Policy before March 30.
To read the policy, please click on this link , then click on Respectful Conduct Policy. The document is attched below for you to review.
The policy has been reduced from 44 pages to just 7 pages and so a half hour of your time would suffice. Val will have Form A-2 for signatures at coffee hour on Sunday. Please contact Val if you have any questions.
A weekend journey into a more intimate walk with the Divine - Discover different ways to open your heart and experience God's presence in your life more fully.
Camp Pringle has suspended all its programs for Spring and Summer 2023. Due to this, the Diocesan Women’s Retreat has changed venue to St. John’s, Duncan. Please fill out the attached new registration form by the deadline, April 10. Please keep Camp Pringle in your prayers: that whatever problems they are encountering this year will be rectified. Being a Christian camp we would hate to see it not return to full operation.
In this issue: 'The neighbours that God has given us' by Bishop Anna; The medicine of truth; Draw closer: A diocesan women’s retreat this April; an update on the refugee program, an announcement about the Land, Law, Religion and Reconciliation colloquium this May; and more! For more information visit: https://faithtides.ca/