Dear Alberni Valley United Church and Courageous Community Center,
Thank you for the wonderful gift to journey with you in ministry. Thank you for the gift of the “Ministers Purse” and all the beautiful cards and notes. I have cards and letters from my last two Pastoral Charges, which are in my bentwood box. The box now holds your cards and messages. A couple of times a year, I pause and reread the words shared with me. I do this to remember every person who has blessed my life in the ministry contexts where I have served as the Minister to the ministers. You are the most unique, caring, and courageous Churches. Thank you for your commitment to being the church outside its four walls.
As I prepare to leave, something beautiful has emerged, which I’d like to share with you as my parting words.
Dewayne Parfitt, Sarah Williams, Coreen Humphries and I, along with the AVUC Council and the CCC visioning team, have been working with a vision that Dewayne has hosted for many years. The idea of AVUC being a hub church with several satellite or campus churches. We have developed a one-year pilot project and strategic plan to put the vision into reality. We presented the project to an AVUC Information update on April 26. Following the presentation were responses of excitement, curiosity, and hope. There was a lot of information presented, and I have prepared to brief project overview for you as a follow-up and for those who could not attend the session. Dewayne offers to meet with you for further discussion if that would be helpful.
Project name: Collaborative Partnership Ministry Church Hub
Start date of a Ministry Personnel appointment: Tentative start date Sept. 1, 2021-August 31, 2022
Brief description of Proposal: Collaborative Partnership Ministry Church Hub (CPM) is a pilot experiment between Alberni Valley United Church and 2-3 Communities of Faith (also called satellites or campuses), Rural Connect, and Pacific Mountain Region to explore what’s possible when Communities of Faith(particularly small congregations) share resources including, but not limited to, Ministry Personnel and collaborative, multi-site Sunday Worship, based on the principles of equity and abundance. Alberni Valley United Church and Courageous Community Center are two unique expression of church. AVUC and CCC are in a partnership ministry sharing a Minister, an office manager, and many other gifts, skills and resources in a spirit of reciprocity. This means that you are in a unique position to reach out to other small congregations and help them, support them, and offer what you have learned through oyur six-year journey of livestreaming and our firm commitment to reconciliation. The CCC Virtual Neighbourhood has a variety of programs and opportunities for connection which we are ready to offer to other small congregations. The pilot will, all being well, receive funding from the ProVision Fund and the Leadershift Church Plant Project. If those grants are not approved, we have a plan b.
Rural Connect is a key partner with a mission to support multi-site worship.
More info: www.ruralconnectucc.ca
To support and partner with congregations without sufficient resources to call a full-time Ministry Personnel by developing a Church Hub.
To support the UCC reshape the church in its commitments toward anti-racism, inclusion, equity and decolonizing practices by establishing an equity-centered capacity building learning lab.
To support Hybrid worship in a post-pandemic world.
To pilot a model of partnership ministry that will benefit the Pacific Mountain Region of the United Church of Canada
Communities of Faith, smaller congregations, who may have limited resources, who may be need of leadership, for example, Ucluelet, Bamfield, Ahousaht, Taloquiaht.
Communities of Faith committing to innovative ways to be the church. Together we have and are enough and, similar to the biblical story of the miracle of the loaves and fishes, together we experience abundance ( not a scarcity).
AVUC & CCC in their commitment to reconciliation.
Communities of Faith experiencing connection instead of isolation and cost sharing instead of financial depletion.
Pacific Mountain Region will benefit from the Pilot’s learnings.
Reach beyond our four walls and to reach out beyond silos. We firmly believe now, more than ever it is important to ‘reach beyond our four walls’ to those who are unable to or unwilling to join us physically. There are thousands of people with a connection to church who are looking for ways to reconnect.
Communities of faith intentionally partnering and sharing connections and resources. Our feeling is that with many congregations financially struggling along with declining members and adherents we must do our best to continue building our congregation through these initiatives and to reach out to and partner with other congregations in sharing our connections and resources.
To develop an equity-centered way of being. Equity has the possibility to deconstruct the system of colonial power.
Equity and equality are not the same thing. Equality means giving everyone the same thing, whereas equity means giving people what they need to be their best selves. For example, in the picture above, three people of different heights are trying to reach the fruit on the tree.
If we treat these people equally, we will give everyone the same box to stand on, so only the tallest person could reach the fruit. If we treat them equitably, we will give them as many boxes as they need to reach the fruit.
EQUITY, then, is about each of us getting what we need to survive and thrive—access to opportunity, networks, resources, and supports. Think of it as each of us reaching our full potential. Equity what Jesus meant when he said in John 10:10. “I have come so that you will have life, the fullness of life.” And the words of St. Irenaeus, the great second-century theologian, “the glory of God is every human being fully alive!”
Equity, mutuality, and inclusion are Jesus’ love in action.
Equity invites the Church Hub project to ask this quintessential question: “What does each campus need?”
Provision Fund Application Budget
Initially it is expected this grant will assist AVUC & CCC in funding the CPM Church Hub concept and up to 3 satellite congregations. Once in operation, and after a period of experimentation, we expect these satellite congregations will contribute financially to AVUC & CCC to cover some of the costs of Ministry and other personnel, cellular service and other costs borne by AVUC & CCC. These contributions would need to be negotiated with the satellite congregations based on their needs and affordability.
Faith Connection – Scriptural references supporting project
There are many instances shown throughout scripture that point out that we are to go out and spread the word to as many others as possible, using the means available to us.
Establishing a Collaborative Partnership Ministry will create opportunities to reach out and share this message while empowering other congregations with our support.
Mark 16: 15 says: When Jesus appeared to his disciples, he said to them, “Go throughout the whole world and proclaim the gospel to all mankind.”
2 Corinthians 5: 18 – 20a proclaims, “All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us.”
Philemon 1:6 tells us, “And I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ.”
Well folks, thank you for reading through the project overview. It is a lot of information to take in and we’d appreciate your thoughts, reactions, clarifying questions, hopes and fears. Please send those reactions to firstname.lastname@example.org
I look forward to hearing about how the project dream unfolds.
Thank you again to all who have contributed to writing the Provision Fund Grant Application, Dewayne, Sarah, & Coreen.
With much love and prayer,
God of all love, breathe on us your spirit of compassion. Open us to receive you, communicating through us. Open us to find you in the face of each person. Open our hearts and minds to experience your presence. Guide and direct us with your wisdom.
Help us discern how to live into creating an equitable and just world, embracing all creation.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Reverend Minnie Hornidge