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Nov 14 Update from President Rev Jay Olsen

Friends,

The Pacific Mountain Regional Council Executive is at work! We had our first meeting in September, and we are meeting again this week. We were energized by the spirit from the Inaugural meeting of the Regional Council last May and the volumes of feedback we received from you. Connection, connection, connection is a theme that came through loud and clear from the feedback. Connection is what we long for the most, connections with one another and our neighbours. We fear the loss of connection through the changes in our structure and many are seeking ways to both strengthen ties and establish new connections in this new form in which we find ourselves. Please let us know how you are making connections today so we can share those stories with one another.

My goal with the Executive is to connect us together in such a way that we can connect to every part of the Region in order to facilitate the deepening of meaningful expressions of the mission* entrusted to us.

The Executive is a new group of people so of course we spent time at our first meeting getting to know each other and the gifts and insights each brings to the work. It was a time of re-orientation and I am grateful to Debra Bowman who facilitated the process so that I could be free to participate fully and listen more deeply. We established a sub-committee to implement the Regional Council’s decision to become an Affirming Region and I am seeking to populate the sub-committee with people who reflect a variety of life experiences and cultures.

An exciting part of our time together was discerning what big question might be ours at such a time as this. Several good questions surfaced. What would we look like if we were the answer to Jesus’ prayer for unity that we be one as God and Christ are one? What needs to be our message, our voice, in this time of the rise of extreme populism? What would it look like if all our physical plants were energy efficient and we pooled our resources to make it happen? Who and how are we Church and how do we proclaim that? What is our response to fear and how do we offer hope and trust in times of uncertainty and fear?

When the Executive meets this week, we will focus on our big question, work toward a 2-3-year Ministry Plan and do the technical work needed in preparation for the next General Meeting in Victoria in May 2020. We will with gratitude continue our work with Treena, Regional Executive Minister, as she lives into her new role sharing her wisdom and skill with us.

I continue to be awestruck by the amazingly faithful work that you all are doing in every corner of the Region. What a privilege it is for me to witness it!

Thank you and peace be with you,

(Rev) Jay Olson, President
*Mission: healthy Communities of Faith and ministries, effective leadership and faithful public witness