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