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The Messenger: September 2017

Sep 6, 2017   //   by admin   //   News  // 

To read more please click here:  SEPT 2017

The Church is Changing…

Jul 27, 2017   //   by admin   //   News  // 

And this time it’s structural! No, really, the United Church is changing several basic ways that it organizes itself.
A number of years ago a task group was appointed to suggest ways that the church structures could change to accommodate modern realities. Part of what drove this was financial and part was due to a reduction in numbers of lay people able or willing to serve on the various committees of the larger church. Forest Hill has also changed it’s structure for similar reasons.

Suggestions from the task group were approved at the last General Meeting and then the whole church got to vote on them by Remits sent to the
Presbytery and Congregational (through the Board/Council) levels. I want to briefly mention one Remit that was approved. The change from the
four courts (General Council, Conference, Presbytery, and Congregational Board/Council) to a three court (Denominational Council, Regional Council, Congregational Council) system. The hope is that with fewer levels we will need fewer volunteers and money to run the governance of the whole church. Now some things will be lost like the level of support Forest Hill received during the time of transition and search for the new ministers. The Presbytery supplied guidance and folks to walk with us.

That will not happen in the same way in the future. How will support like this happen? Nobody knows for sure, but it will be lead by those who feel it is important and want to be part of moulding the new structure. So here are a couple of questions to ponder: How has Presbytery been part of your or your congregation’s faith journey? Will it be missed? What would you imagine replacing it with?

If you would like to talk more about these and other changes, I invite you to an after church gathering in September to talk about our changing church. More information can be found at https://www.gc42.ca/remits
Gary

The Messenger: August 2017

Jul 27, 2017   //   by admin   //   News  // 

To Read More click here:  AUG 2017

The Messenger: July 2017

Jul 5, 2017   //   by admin   //   News  // 

To Read More Click Here:  JULY 2017

Hey Summer! Are we here yet?

Jul 5, 2017   //   by admin   //   News  // 

A number of people have commented to me, “It just hasn’t felt like summer.” At least the summers of old where the sun shone all the time, the temperature was always in the eighties (Fahrenheit that is) and… well you get the point. We often long for the best selective memory of the past and conveniently forget the rain, the cold and the grey days that are part of our lives. Since we can not live in that past, it is best to get on with the business of living today in the here and now.
For me, as an adult, I know the rain helps me appreciate the sun all the more. It also waters the fresh veggies and fruit that I love. Rain slows me whether I am walking, biking or driving. Slowing down is good! I seek to find the best in the greys and cold of life. For every season and the parts of each season have a rich gift from God to us if we are open to receive it.
I invite you to begin each day with a stating of the obvious: Oh it’s raining; oh it’s sunny; oh the sky has some clouds and then ask God for some gift in the weather. In my experience this little spiritual exercise has helped me enjoy the day no matter what the weather. It has also connected me with the Holy as I enter the new day and anticipate the gift the Creator has sent my way.
Finally, when the summer is over, I will see every day as a blessing and not just the ones with the sun.
Have a blessed summer everyone,
Gary

“The Message”

Jun 13, 2017   //   by admin   //   News  // 

The “Message” is coming to you on the Sunday when I will be worshipping in the Abbey on the Isle of Iona in the county of Scotland.
The Abbey and monastery were founded by Columba around 563 AD. For centuries, this place of worship and study has been considered a ‘thin place.’ A place where that divide between our mortal existence and the Holy, narrows to such a degree that God feels so physical.
I go seeking ancient ways to bring that essence of a ‘thin place’ back to Forest Hill. I go seeking spiritual renewal and a deepening of my relationship with the Holy One. As I sing and pray in that ancient place, you will not be far from my thoughts. Indeed I will be bringing you daily before God in prayer, asking blessing for you and giving thanks that God has brought us together in ministry.
As the stained glass images outside our sanctuary proclaim, I now ask that Peace, Joy, Love and Hope be yours while I am away,
Gary

The Messenger: June 2017

Jun 13, 2017   //   by admin   //   News  // 

JUNE 2017

Happy Easter!

May 4, 2017   //   by admin   //   News  // 

Happy Easter!
What a wonderful time of year for new beginnings! On May 1st I will be moving into an office in your church and I hope you will drop by for a visit (and help me unpack many boxes of books). This is a new beginning for us but I am humbled by the tremendous amount of work and ministry that has happened over the whole history of Forest Hill United. So many hands at work and hearts poured out for the love of God in your community. I want to thank Rev. Pegi for her service but mostly for how much she loved you and how that love echoes off every wall in your church. I feel that I have already been blest just by walking in the front door. In the years ahead I pray that together we will continue to fill the church and the whole community of Waterloo Region with the grace of God known through Jesus and his followers.
See You Soon, Peace
Gary

Voluntary Thank You

May 4, 2017   //   by admin   //   News  // 

This week past was “Volunteer Appreciation Week”. I almost missed it. Then I asked, “Am I oblivious of the amount of volunteering going on in my community? Am I doing my share?”
So, I did what many do when they are wondering about something these days…. I googled it. It being ‘National Volunteer Week’.
I learned that I am indeed oblivious to many kinds of volunteer work happening in front of me everyday. Some is visible. Helping a neighbour with outside chores; a pet taken to the Humane Society to be cared for and available for the frantic owner; a ride for someone to an event; picking up garbage on Earth Day or any day; giving up your bus seat for someone; or, visiting someone who just spends too much time on their own.
Then there is the less visible: a driver waiting patiently for someone to cross the road; choosing to not get upset and be gracious to someone who is rude to you; paying attention to the children in your neighbourhood to see they get to and from school safely; praying for people you see struggling and loving someone who is difficult to love.
All of these efforts I have described are unorganized. They often occur on the spur of the moment. How beautiful. Doesn’t it give you just a little hope for the world? Spontaneous caring and giving. It is a currency of its own. Priceless really.

In no way do I mean to take away from the volunteer work that is more intentional and organized. Just as essential to our community. After all, it is due to these intentional people we have Mother’s Day Breakfasts, Bazaars, AV during church, clean up and set up and cooking and baking for special events, website updates, leadership and progressive change and… and…. This facility could not make it without all those who give each and everyday in some generous way.
I will make an effort this year to recognize voluntary kindness and grace in all its forms. I appreciate it, benefit from it and grow from participating in it. It is an open club. New members are encouraged and embraced. God blesses all who join and receive. That means you.
Tanya

The Messenger: May 2017

May 4, 2017   //   by admin   //   News  // 

To read more, click here: MAY 2017

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