KOOTENAY PRESBYTERY REPORT
Respectfully Submitted: Greg Powell, Chair
Kootenay Presbytery has enjoyed a fruitful year since BC Conference last sat. We have continued to meet for two weekends each year, giving us an opportunity to explore important faith issues and to worship and sing together. We don’t know what form we’ll take in the post-transition era, but we do want to continue getting together in some capacity. We devoted our April gathering to exploring the range of possibilities and, with help from LeaderShift, we explored what resources we would need. We called this “A Kootenay Kairos: Reimagining and Rising Together”. And at our fall gathering, we hope all this ‘blue sky-ing’ will turn to something tangible. We’ve even struck a team to imagine and consider the range of possibilities, and another team to investigate what technologies might help us. With some notable lament, our spirits remain high as we approach the end of what we have known and the beginning of something yet unknown.
Each of our congregations has its share of struggles and celebrations. Two of our congregations are finding new life after conflict. Cranbrook UC is figuratively rebuilding after some challenges, and Trinity UC in Creston has literally rebuilt after a fire and continues to rebuild after conflict. BC Conference resources have been tremendously helpful in both of these congregations. The rising phoenix and maybe even Jesus’ emergence from the tomb are apt images there. Some congregations explore new partnerships: Nelson UC has a new partnership with the Nelson Food Cupboard. Windermere Valley Shared Ministry (in Invermere and area) has been meeting and walking with the First Nations and Métis communities in efforts to learn and grow in Truth and Reconciliation relationships. Some congregations continue to trial new ways of gathering: Castlegar is in the second year of piloting its “Un-Church” initiative with support from ProVision. Communities in Faith (Trail/Rossland) has hosted (by the time of publication) an event on “Reframing Ministry” with Weird Church co-author, Beth-Ann Estock (also with support from ProVision). Although some of our church buildings have been sold in recent years, our congregations are keeping their imaginations open for the future, recognizing the challenges of ageing demographics. We imagine much of this resonates throughout the Conference.
Camp Koolaree and Rock Lake Camp continue to offer outdoor recreation spaces. Both are in need of reinvigoration in one way or another; creativity and imagination will be important there. Kootenay Presbytery remains committed to getting kids outdoors and encountering Spirit. Camp Koolaree’s first LGBTQ2 camp takes place this July, with hopes for annual events.
As we prepare to wind down our formal existence, we look back with fondness and forward with confidence, knowing there is enough love for all and that God continues to invite us to partner in manifesting the kin-dom. And we offer great thanks to all who have gone before us and built up the church, as we have known it.
Two proposals from Kootenay Presbytery were presented to the Conference, both were accepted.
Conference Proposal 2018 – 04: Proportional Representation
Conference Proposal 2018 – 07: Slocan Community Health Centre Crisis
Rev. Sun-Young “Sunny” Kim (Kimberley United Chuch), already ordained in the Methodist Church in Kenya, was admitted to the BC Conference of The United Church of Canada.
Rev. Greg Powell (Castlegar) and Jody Dudley (Nelson) were elected Commissioners to the 43rd General Council July 21–27, 2018 in Oshawa, ON.