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A Holy Week Pastoral Reflection from the President

April 9, 2020 Dear Friends, I wonder when I stopped. I wonder when I stopped saying “goodbye”. About a week ago I noticed that at the end of phone calls or physically distant conversations with neighbours and grocery clerks, I was no longer saying “goodbye”. I wonder when I stopped saying “goodbye” and instead started saying “be safe”.  I carry with me the memory of experiencing the 1989 Loma Prieda earthquake in Marin County California. I had moved there to do Doctor of Ministry studies. One day as I sat with a small group of people in my professor’s office, I had a peculiar, uncomfortable feeling and within seconds of the onset of that feeling, the building shook. The initial hit was bad enough but then the rolling started. I swear to this day that I heard the stones in the outer walls grind together.  Read More

Postponed: 2020 General Meeting

Our May 2020 General Meeting of the Pacific Mountain Regional Council is postponed until the Fall; the Celebration of Ministry will still be held in the late Spring, much like the years when a general meeting is not scheduled. Updates to the General Meeting 2020 information, along with details of how and when certain pieces of work and celebration will be held, will be added to the 2020 General Meeting page on our website. Please check back there for updates, and be sure to be accurately subscribed to the PMRC newsletter list: PMRC Newsletter Sign Up Read More

From the April 1st Online Townhall Conference – power point resource

Dear friends, Treena and Jay, Executive Minister and President of the Pacific Mountain Regional Council, hosted an online Townhall Conference earlier today, with guest Erik Mathiesen. Erik is the Chief Finances Officer for The United Church of Canada. This is the Power Point slide show used in the meeting: Congregational Finances during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Read More

Pastoral Letter to the Pacific Mountain Regional Council

Who would have imagined even a few months ago that we would be in this situation?  No in-person meetings or gatherings, no hugging, restaurants closed, self-isolation, mad dashes for groceries, line-ups at the drug store, hospitals awaiting an onslaught of sick people and our physical separation from loved ones. And who would have imagined the extraordinary expressions of generosity and creativity!? Windows covered with the breathtaking artworks of children, neighbours leaving gifts of groceries and notes at their neighbours’ doors and they may not even know their neighbours well! Phone calls just to check in, thousands of people at the same time everyday standing on city balconies clapping in gratitude for our first responders and medical personnel. Communities of Faith kindly reaching across boundaries to support one another with resources. Oh yes, and meeting after meeting after meeting via video-conference ... Read More

Generosity in Unprecedented Times

This letter comes from the Philanthropy Unit of The United Church of Canada - shared to us in the Pacific Mountain Regional Council by Jane Harding.  As communities of faith, we find ourselves unable to gather in person due to the Covid-19 pandemic. These days, when we aren’t able to meet physically, are challenging but also heartening as our church has come together to help each other offer new ways of worshiping and reaching out to those in need. Our ministry continues; especially online. So in these unprecedented times, to help make giving accessible and easy - here are some practical, recommended, tools you can use to invite an ongoing commitment to God through the continued support of important ministries in your community of faith and the ministry we do together, through Mission & Service: Read More

National Prayer for Canada in the Wake of COVID-19

This beautiful message came to the PMRC leadership, forwarded to us by leadership in the Jewish, Anglican and Indigenous communities that we have relationship with. We give so many thanks for the unifying power of compassion and grace that are holding us right now, and hope that you'll make time for prayer, together - across Canada, tomorrow March 31st at 12:00 PDT/ (3:00PM EDT). The letter of invitation is below, and the prayer follows. Read More

Finances in Communities of Faith During COVID-19 – Some Step-by- Step Process Tips

In the midst of the COVID-19 odyssey on which we have all embarked, Pacific Mountain Regional Council wants to work with your community of faith to keep ministry vital and active. We want to continue to be there for one another, to remain connected to our participants and our communities. We want to minimize loss and distress to our congregational staff and ensure that ministry can unfold without placing our congregational finances under undue strain.  In order to help out, Chinook Winds Regional Council leaders (and have given us permission to share with PMRC) have put together the following step-by-step approach to think through your situation.  Read More

A Pastoral Letter to the Members of the Pacific Mountain Region                                              

As we learn to live with the circumstances created by COVID-19, the Regional Executive and Staff are searching for ways to relieve the profound stresses on Communities of Faith and leaders. I am awed by you all and how you are exercising meaningful and safe ways of staying connected through online and printed worship resources as well as phone calls to those who feel loved and cared for in hearing a kind voice.  Someone said to me today, “I’m loving the phone calls! People are being so kind.” The Regional Executive members join me in being deeply grateful to our Regional Executive Minister and all our staff for their work in continuing to support and care for us all especially in these trying days. The Executive met by video conference on Friday to discuss issues raised at the first online Townhall video conference, emergency financial support for Communities of Faith, and the 2020 General Meeting. The results are as follows: Read More

Resources for Faithfully supporting children, youth and families in your congregations at this time

The Pacific Mountain Regional Council's First Third Ministry Team is responding to  the needs of clergy, youth group leaders, Sunday school leaders, and youth and families that are emerging during this time of  building closures and physcial distancing in our efforts to flatten the curve of COVID-19. Our staff have created a public landing page of resources for those working with our younger Siblings in Christ here: pmrfirstthirdresources.ca Amen! Read More

March 18 Update from Treena Duncan, Executive Minister

This is a strange time for all of us, but we are lucky to be part of loving, cautious and connected community. As I write this, I see signs flowers breaking through and lovely sunshine and somehow these signs of new life are a bit at odds with our life experience at this moment in time. However, we are an Easter people and we know that a different reality awaits us, and I am grateful that for all of you as we encounter this Lenten experience. Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi’s words are a great summary of our call to be church during this time: “Clean hands, clear heads and open hearts!” Read More

Supporting one another in times of traumatic events

The moment when a crisis becomes “real” may be different for each one of us. During our current pandemic that might have happened in a grocery store aisle with empty shelves, or in a sudden realization that a loved one is out of the country, or when picking up a message telling you not to come to work. As time passes with no relief, anxiety builds and our fears increase. But there is some relief you can give yourself even as the crisis continues and there are simple ways to support others. Read More

Be Cautious and Stay Connected – 5 Guidelines for Communities of Faith Regarding COVID-19

The United Church of Canada’s Emergency Plan  asks that all communities of faith have a plan or guidelines in place. If your congregation has not already done so, I would suggest that your leadership put guidelines in place that suit your context. In my email on Saturday, March 7, suggested guidelines were included. Our office has continued to expand on those suggested guidelines with your input and you’ll find those guidelines HERE and below. Read More

Online Worship Directory

In the church, and in church leadership, we are also making sense of our communal relationship to COVID-19, and bolstering our health and awareness in church and ministry practices for the benefit of all. We are multi-generational communities of faith and ministry who meet for worship, work and community. We are unique in being one of the few places in society where we gather across generational divides, and many in our church are seniors and elders. We make decisions based on care taking, as much as possible, of all our members. Sometimes that requires a lot of creativity, extra communication and mindful limits. Read More

Online Townhall Conference, with Treena and Jay

Our next Online Townhall Conference is scheduled for Wednesday April 8th, from 1 – 2:30 pm. Here is the link to the April 8th Zoom call: https://united-church.zoom.us/j/497880582?pwd=enhPaEZaWHRYMWFYbmNORVFEVThIZz09 Please note that this Townhall is 1pm Pacific Daylight Time. Over the next while, Pacific Mountain Regional Council Executive Minister, Treena Duncan is hosting online Townhall Conferences via […] Read More

Online Townhall Conference, with Treena and Jay

Over the next while, Pacific Mountain Regional Council Executive Minister, Treena Duncan is hosting online Townhall Conferences via Zoom, with President Rev Jay Olson, for all PMRC folk who would like to join for connection with executive leadership, prayer and conversations, with time to ask the questions you have. Join join the Townhall Conference, click on the link (you can join by audio only). If it's your first Zoom experience, the Zoom link will prompt you to download the App for accessing the meeting. Read More

Online Townhall Conference, with Treena and Jay

Over the next while, Pacific Mountain Regional Council Executive Minister, Treena Duncan is hosting online Townhall Conferences via Zoom, with President Rev Jay Olson, for all PMRC folk who would like to join for connection with executive leadership, prayer and conversations, with time to ask the questions you have. Join join the Townhall Conference, click on the link (you can join by audio only). If it's your first Zoom experience, the Zoom link will prompt you to download the App for accessing the meeting. Read More