Today I sent an email to staff titled, “Behold I bring you good news of great joy.” I acknowledged that my news did not rival that announced by the angel choir but it was good news.
It is also good news for our regional councils that Rev. Mark Laird has offered himself as our next Executive Minister. Mark has been engaged with our regional councils from the first meeting of the Transition Teams, so knows what has guided our leaders as they sought to be church in a new way. The goal was to need fewer volunteers so that more of our leaders could focus on “being” the church in their local context. We also sought to grow expertise and understanding among those serving in leadership and the ability of Commission and Executive members to step into staff roles when needed attests to that working.
From our evaluation, we have further steps to take but, as I prepare to leave, I want to applaud all three regional councils for your willingness to work collaboratively, to create a staff complement to strengthen congregations and to steward resources for the future of the church as a whole, and the regional council in particular. It has been a privilege to work with such dedicated and visionary leaders. I will miss you.
To allow Mark to provide the required 90-days’ notice to Drayton United Church, his start date is March 1, 2024. I will be working half-time as your Executive Minister and half-time in my new role as Senior Governance Support Lead. I look forward to when our paths will cross as, together we celebrate 100 Years of Deep Spirituality, Bold Discipleship, Daring Justice starting June 9, 2024, and gather together for General Council 45 in 2025.
It is not me who is announcing the good news of what next for our regional councils but, as a member of one of them, like the shepherds on the hillside, I welcome this good news.