The United Church Rural Ministry Network was established in 2020 through a grant from Embracing the Spirit. There was a strong feeling that after the meeting of General Council 43 in 2018, which had committed to support rural ministries throughout the country, there needed to be an organization that could network rural folks across Canada.
The mission statement of UCRMN is to “share the successes, the opportunities and the culture of the Whole People of God of the Rural Church, throughout rural Canada, specifically in the United Church of Canada,” with an awareness we will be connecting with ecumenical partners who share rural communities with us. It is a goal to reach all rural communities of faith, whether ‘lay-led’ or with resident order of ministry folk.
UCRMN is an online network stretching across the country, hosted at http://www.ucrmn.ca Have a look at our resources, and connect to us. We’ve been publishing a newsletter ten times a year, in which we encourage stories to be told, conversation to happen, and communicating issues and events to happen. People can subscribe and find past newsletters here, and submissions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A second tool of connection has been Zoom webinars/workshops, which we hold 4 times a year. The last one, on Oct. 13, was led by Michele Rowe of Maple Creek on Trauma, Grief and Recovery (stemming from the impacts of COVID). The next will be on January 19, 2023, Checking in with the Rural Church, facilitated by Peter Bartlett, a staff member from Eastern Ontario Outaouais Regional Council. This will invite people to share experiences and concerns with the rural church. The registration mechanism (through Eventbrite) is found on the Nov. 2022 newsletter. Information about past workshops is on our website.
Catherine Christie (email@example.com) is an executive member from Living Skies Region.