Brenda  Stenson
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The following is the report to the congregation about the September 24th Parish meeting:

Many people went into Saturday's meeting worried that there would be a rehashing of old news but it turned into a positive, looking forward time. 

Maureen, our facilitator started out by outlining the shape of the morning and recapping the highlights of the cottage meetings.  We were asked to reflect on a number of themes:
our appreciations, concerns, wishes and the consultant’s thoughts.  Appreciation for Keith and Sharon’s interim ministry to St. Catherine’s was roundly applauded and they were thanked numerous times for the stability and confidence they have brought to worship services, parish council and the parish in general. A main theme that came out of the morning was that the majority of parishioners had moved on from where we had been, even 6 months ago, and that we were a strong, committed and compassionate group of people who cared for one another and were looking to find our, and God’s, purpose for St. Catherine’s.  There were still concerns over the number of young families, lack of outreach and parish

Appreciation for Keith and Sharon’s interim ministry to St. Catherine’s was applauded and they were thanked numerous times for the stability and confidence they have brought to worship services, parish council and the parish in general. A main theme that came out of the morning was that the majority of parishioners had moved on from where we had been, even 6 months ago, and that we were a strong, committed and compassionate group of people who cared for one another and were looking to find our, and God’s, purpose for St. Catherine’s.  There were still concerns over the number of young families, lack of outreach and parish

A main theme that came out of the morning was that the majority of parishioners had moved on from where we had been, even six months ago, and that we were a strong, committed and compassionate group of people who cared for one another and were looking to find our, and God’s, purpose for St. Catherine’s.  There were still concerns over the number of young families, lack of outreach and parish purpose, however, those conversations morphed into our dreams and wishes for the parish, putting a positive and energizing note on what otherwise could have been a dismal topic.  There was also

There was also acknowledgment of the pain the parish has been through. Time was spent talking about our concern about the restrictions of our buildings and the restrictions put on us by the Synod office for what we could, and could not, do.  It was with great delight that we found out that there is a new policy in the works at the Synod office with regards to church buildings and redevelopment. This led to a discussion about our vision for ministering to the community and how our facility could be adapted to that ministry. 

The notion that we need to move forward and change with the times in what we are called to do was spoken of often and there was a buzz of excitement for the possibilities that are in front of us.  It was accepted that there was a process to the moving forward and recommendations were made to parish council to make some preliminary inquiries into those possibilities with thoughtful and prayerful judiciousness, ever mindful that we needed to move forward with our parish vision in a timely manner. 

Keith and Sharon committed to us that they would do all in their power to support us in whatever direction we chose, being mindful that we had been through painful time and that we must not forget to be kind and compassionate to one another as we moved forward. 

There was a sense of hope and excitement for what is yet to come for our parish and that was repeated often in the discussion. There was no doubt that God was with us and guiding us in a positive and outward thinking direction!