Dear Board or Council secretaries, chairs, and members; ministry personnel, pastoral charge supervisors, and lay delegates to the Regional Council:
Greetings again as we follow up with a second letter to all pastoral charges, sent to all our available contacts named above on 17 January 2024. The Regional Council again invites your careful consideration of a significant process underway across the United Church. Currently, a Category 3 Remit is before the church, focused on creating space for a National Autonomous Indigenous Organization within the United Church of Canada. Every Pastoral Charge governing body has the right and responsibility to vote between now and March 31, 2024.
Voting reminder: set a date
Please bear in mind that if your governing body does not vote on this Remit at all, that will be counted as a vote against it. We urge you to ensure that your Council or Board votes! Since Pastoral Charge governing bodies may not meet as often, we also urge you to set a date for a meeting. Better yet, set two dates, so that you have time to discuss the Remit. We’ve created a conversation process you’re welcome to use. If you want access to a paid Zoom account for an online meeting, please contact the Regional office and Bev Diebert can help you: 306-704-0181 or email@example.com
Please take your responsibility to make an informed decision to heart. If you feel a “No” is the correct answer, then be sure that is an informed and deliberate decision. If you feel that you can support this Remit, please don’t wait until the last minute to submit your “Yes”.
As of 15 January, 87 out of 206 eligible Pastoral Charges in Living Skies have already voted on the Remit. This means that within the next two months, we need almost 60% of our Pastoral Charges to send their votes in. Please make sure your vote is submitted soon.
For those who have already voted: thank you. We appreciate your patience with our continued communications, and you are still invited to future learning spaces (see below).
Checking in by phone
In early February the Region will being calling pastoral charges who have not yet voted, to see what assistance the Regional Council can offer you.
Invitation: Remit learning time 2
Tuesday January 30, 6:30PM MST, 7:30 PM CST we will again have an open learning conversation on the remit on creating an autonomous Indigenous organization within the United Church. This time we are honoured to work with Gloria Cook, Fisher River Cree Nation and member of the National Indigenous Council; Rev Murray Pruden, Saddle Lake Cree Nation and Executive Minister, Indigenous Ministries and Justice; Rev. Shannon McCarthy, Regional Council Executive Minister. Please click here to register. Be sure to check your email spam folder if you do not get the automated reply from Zoom in your inbox.
All welcome, whether your pastoral charge has voted or not. We strongly encourage everyone to read, prior to the gathering, the latest letter from the General Secretary and to watch two short videos first: Perspectives on the Remit from the National Indigenous Gathering, and a new video on questions addressed by members of the non-Indigenous church.
Resources for your discussion and decision process
You should have received a message from the General Secretary of the General Council, Rev Michael Blair, sharing his thoughts on the Remit. Here is the link to that letter.
The Regional Council has created a resource page to help your process of learning, listening, and deciding. Click here to view it; it will be updated on a continuous basis and includes all national resources too, such as new, short videos on the Remit from both Indigenous and non-Indigenous perspectives, and a review of frequently asked questions.
We hope that your courageous conversations will help us all respond to this opportunity that is before us. If you have questions and concerns, please contact your Regional Council office, and staff will work out who best can respond.
With gratitude for the faithful leadership and care, and the time and skills you offer not only your community of faith, but the entire church.
Rev Darrell Reine, chairperson, Living Skies Regional Council
Rev Shannon McCarthy, Executive Minister