I am pleased to (finally) share the final report from the justice consultation that was so ably run by Janet Gray. I am very grateful for her work, and for the participation of the Region. The Regional Executive has considered the report and believe it provides good direction and focus for this work. In recent correspondence, President Blair shared with you some of the areas of focus the Executive has identified for the Region:
- Identity: Reconciling, Affirming, Anti-Racist
The Pacific Mountain Regional Council has already made significant steps in re-shaping the identity of the denomination within its bounds. We continue in the work begun with an apology to the first peoples of our region in 1986, to continue the identity shifting work of reconciliation. We have developed policy stating we would be an anti-racist regional council. We have decided to follow a process to discern the decision to become an Affirming Ministry of the denomination.
- Healthy Communities of Faith
The Executive has come to believe that when communities of faith are healthy, the whole church is healthy. Communities of faith and congregations are the place where our identity as a reconciling, affirming, and anti-racist church is lived out. Communities of faith and congregations are where our response to an encounter with the living Christ is practiced regularly – in worship, in prayer, in scripture study, in justice making and mending the world, in whole life stewardship. Because we also recognize that leaders play an important role in Communities of Faith, we will continue to invest in, and support Leadership development work in the Region.
- First Third Ministry
The denomination’s age demographic is weighted heavily in the Baby Boomer and older age groups. In this reality, there is no substantive succession plan in all aspects of church life, threatening the church’s call to proclaim the gospel as we understand it. The denomination’s lack of attention and focus on the first third demographic is systemic, from early childhood development, through discipleship formation, through ministry leadership development. As a result, this priority needs to be addressed at every level of regional council work.
These priorities give strategic direction to the work we are already undertaking, whether it is core work like leadership development and property re-development or mandated work like pastoral relations. In addition, these priorities will be shaped by project work currently underway – new church development and a justice consultation.
This report identifies areas of focus for this ministry that align with these priorities. Based on this, we will be posting the Regional Justice position (currently vacant .5 FTE) with the following areas of priority:
- Anti Racism
- Affirming ministry
- Support to Community of Faith, First Third Ministry and Networks with a special emphasis on initiatives involving climate justice.
I am excited about the future direction of this work. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns.
- You can find a copy of the report here: PMRC Justice Ministry Consultation Report February 2021 (PDF)
- You can read President Blair’s past newsletter about regional priorities here: Advent Blessings & Updated Organizational Priorities News
- The position posting will come early-Spring. Stay tuned.
12 Feb 2021