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Pegi’s Report from Victoria

Jan 31, 2013   //   by admin   //   News  // 

Before I came to Forest Hill, I served most recently for almost 3 years as Director of Five Oaks Education and Retreat Centre, one of four Centres of the United Church of Canada, spread across the country. My responsibilities included administration, finance, staff and Board development and visioning. The nature and rhythm of my work there were quite different from those of congregational ministry. So as I contemplated returning to the pastorate, I felt that some continuing education might help me reconnect.

For a week in January, I attended “Epiphany Explorations”, an annual conference sponsored by First-Met United Church in Victoria. A Jewish storyteller and an Imam helped us to experience the richness that emerges from interfaith conversations, and a musician from world music. Shelagh Rogers witnessed to the stories heard by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Seminary Professors of History and of Homiletics challenged us to speak the Word afresh for our day and time.

The conference had two particular highlights for me. The first was to hear, once again, John Dominic Crossan. As he always does, Dom put Jesus in his context geographically and historically, which Dom calls the “matrix”. Then he applied those understandings to our theology of the crucifixion and the resurrection. You will hear that disseminating in sermons over the next few months I’m sure.

The post-conference workshop was also very exciting. Cameron Trimble’s topic was Effective Congregations in a Rapidly Changing Society. This included: creating a compelling vision, transformational worship, and effective communication. Speaking with an infectious enthusiasm, and at a rate of a mile a minute, she barely scratched the surface of her knowledge and experience. I was reminded of what I know and recovered my sense of urgency for what we’re about as church.

Epiphany Explorations was all I’d hoped for in re-engaging me in the opportunities, challenges, theology and complexity of congregational ministry. I look forward to sharing that with you!

Pegi

 

The Messenger: February 2013

Jan 31, 2013   //   by admin   //   News  // 

Click here to read:  February 2013

The Messenger: January 2013

Jan 28, 2013   //   by admin   //   News  // 

Click here to read:  January 2013

About Katharine

Mar 1, 2012   //   by admin   //   News  // 

Katharine Edmonstone, diaconal minister and former leader of the flock at Highland Road United Church, has the responsibility of Pastoral Care. It’s a happy choice, because Katharine is no stranger but a familiar face to our congregation, a number of whom have joined us from Katharine’s former charge at Highland Road United.  Previously she has acted as substitute minister during our ministers’ absence and been a frequent visitor on other occasions. You warm to Katharine almost immediately. She is so unaffected, has a marvelous sense of humour, and there is a centred calmness about her…clearly someone you feel comfortable talking  to…admirable qualities for her new role in pastoral care.

Born and raised on a farm in Kemble, Ontario, north of Owen Sound, she attended a one room school and with her four siblings went to church every Sunday. But the church was not in her plans back then or for many years after. There was a Bachelor’s degree from University of Guelph in Psychology and Philosophy, graduation from Conestogo College in non-traditional arts for women—carpentry, maintenance mechanics, and welding—a year in England, a turn in banking, and much more. In fact, she confesses, you could say she was “shoved” into the ministry. She applied for a job as secretary at Dublin Street United in Guelph, and while she didn’t get the job, it was suggested by the minister that she would be great in Christian Education.

So in 1982, to develop the skills she needed, she enrolled at the Centre for Christian Studies. Later, as a diaconal minister she served for a time at Calvary United in Kitchener and, since then, never needed to  apply—the churches came to her. She served at both Conestogo United and Highland Road simultaneously—the congregations adjusting the times of their services to make this possible—and she has served the wider church: as Chair of Waterloo Presbytery, President of Hamilton Conference and Co-chair of the local arrangements committee for General Council in 1994.

If you wish to be in touch with Katharine, she is at the church from 10 a.m. to 12 noon on Mondays or you can use our contact page to send her a note.

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