The meeting opened with President, Robert Lawson, interplaying the theme with T.S. Eliot’s poem, “The Hollow Men”. This image was woven through both the Thursday evening and Saturday morning sessions.
Wendy Lowden, Chair, Agenda, and Business, led worship on Thursday evening, building on the theme. Diane Matheson-Jimenez and Thérèse Samuel led community-building time in small groups naming bold and brave figures from the Bible, identifying actions considered to be brave and bold, and pondering how God might be inviting Horseshoe Falls Regional Council and its members to be brave and bold. New technology was explored when the gathering created a WordCloud.
A second community building session was held Saturday morning. Diane Matheson-Jimenez and Dianne Everitt moved to a time of discerning the regional council’s call to develop and strengthen relationships in the region and beyond, and a second WordCloud was created.
On Thursday evening, Tim Blair, CEO of United Property Resource Corporation (UPRC), outlined the exciting work UPRC is doing.UPRC Presentation
And on Saturday, info on Stewardship was presented by Dave Jagger, Stewardship and Gifts Officer.Stewardship Presentation
The fall meeting is focused primarily on business and accountability. Written reports were submitted from the
Responsible for the vision of the regional council and management of its resources (staff and finances)
Working in partnership with congregations on their mission and vitality
Human Resources Commission:
Focused on the formation of healthy pastoral relationships and the licensing of Lay Worship Leaders
Mission and Discipleship Commission:
Resourcing justice and outreach work including oversight of Mission Support Grants (Mission and Service at work in our regional council)
In their reporting time during the meeting, the Covenant Commission reviewed the nature of its work and the Mission and Discipleship Commission shared the highlights of its work. The Human Resources Commission introduced us to the Licensed Lay Worship Leaders process and to those who have been licensed by the regional council. This presentation can be found at:LLWL Presentation
To receive contact information for Licensed Lay Worship Leaders, please contact Micol Cottrell, email@example.com until October 31st and Diane Blanchard, firstname.lastname@example.org after November 1st. Because these lists contain personal information, they cannot be publicly posted on the website.
Treasurer, John Hurst, gave an overview of the regional council finances noting that 2021 is on track with budget and should finish close to plan. The budget for 2022 reflects the same income as 2021 from Assessments grants, the Mission and Service grant and planned transfers. The transfers are from the operating reserve to fund growth programs (learning grants and resources for Commissions) and from the property fund (the regional council’s share of disbanding property) to support .5 of one staff position. John noted:
Total Expenses for 2022 are $16,000 higher than in 2021. Most of the increase is Staff Cost of Living and miscellaneous changes ($11,400) and the remaining increase in cost is building expenses and miscellaneous costs ($4,100).
The principles that guided the budget preparation and the budget itself can be found with the other written reports in the workbook for the regional council meeting at:HFRC Fall Meeting Workbook
One of the highlights of the regional council meeting was the recognition of Janice Pow as a Designated Lay Minister. Janice’s energy and enthusiasm in her address to the regional council was inspiring. Many thanks to St. Paul’s United Church, Paris, and their leadership for serving as our hosts. Be sure to catch the video of worship on the Horseshoe Falls Facebook Group. In the Facebook Group, congregations and ministry personnel often share wisdom and advice with one another. It is the way time-sensitive information is shared. If you do not belong yet, please ask to join!
Horseshoe Falls Facebook Group
All ministry personnel in Horseshoe Falls (both active and retired) along with community of faith representatives to the regional council are asked to reserve the weekend of May 27th to 29th, 2022 for Horseshoe Falls spring meeting. The number of sessions and times will be confirmed closer to the date. The regional council has reserved space at the Meridian Centre in Fonthill (where the regional council met in the fall of 2019) in hopes of an in-person meeting. This will depend on public health advice re large gatherings at that time. We need to be able to meet both gathering size criteria and food service regulations. The latter are more stringent and that may impact our ability to be in-person.
Many thanks to all who attended and participated in the meeting.