MAYNOOTH MADAWASKA PASTORAL CHARGE
“By your acts you shall be known”
Therefore, we the congregations of the Maynooth-Madawaska Pastoral Charge commit ourselves:
–To provide worship and offer fellowship that welcomes and supports all
–To celebrate God’s love and to explore the teachings of Jesus Christ
–To nurture our faith, our church family, our community, our global family, and God’s creation
–To reach out with compassion to those in need
–To show thanks through sharing our faith, our love and our gifts
MAYNOOTH-MADAWASKA PASTORAL CHARGE
—Worshiping God in Community: We proclaim God in three persons, Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer, and the importance of worshiping together in music, word, prayer, communion, and reverence
—Open Mindedness: We affirm new ways of doing and seeing, while treasuring the heritage we have received. We know the rewards of flexibility and a questioning spirit.
—Celebrating Our Faith: We joyfully see ourselves as followers of Jesus the Christ and are committed to deepening our spirituality and growing closer to God.
—Welcoming Caring (Family/Community) (Fellowship): We open ourselves to accepting and supporting each other, and cherish the comfort and the fellowship we find. We welcome newcomers, and encourage them to grow with us.
—Local and Global Service: We recognize service to the community, locally and worldwide, as an outgrowth of our faith, and an essential part of our identity in Christ.
—Ecumenical Involvement: We encourage opportunities to work and worship with other denominations.
–We, the Maynooth-Madawaska Pastoral Charge, envision ourselves as a unified Christian community on a life-long faith journey, welcoming and open to all.
–We recognize and support the many different gifts within our church family.
–We strive to nourish and maintain a supportive environment, encouraging our members to fulfill their responsibility as Christians of bringing God’s love and justice to God’s world.
–With Christ as our Teacher, Sustainer, and Redeemer, we seek to fulfill our vision.
Finding Our Future – Making Dreams Come True
Not everyone who is part of the Maynooth-Madawaska Pastoral Charge is in our church each Sunday. Please share this article with anyone who is connected with our churches and the life of our charge –
Rev. Jennifer Canning ministered with us 4 ½ years and has now answered a call in Brantford. This is something with which we are very familiar in the Maynooth-Madawaska Pastoral Charge. For many years newly ordained ministers have come to us, spent a few years developing skills and confidence and then moved on to other churches. We seem to have a knack for nurturing new ministers.
But somehow things feel different as we begin this search for a new minister. The familiar path of “settlement”, where the United Church sent us a minister for a 3 year term is gone. At the same time, we are aware that our congregations are smaller, we don’t have the finances we did, and in general, we are getting older. Who can we find to lead our churches forward?
Dream Team 2.0 – the name we have given to the process where we are asking questions and finding answers about the Maynooth-Madawaska Charge’s future. Meetings are open to anyone who is interested, and you can come to one or all of the meetings. Since January we have shared hopes and concerns, considered what is important and what may need to change.
Often we have felt we are on a journey, finding the way clear one step at a time. Here is a summary of the road we have covered so far:
- We have looked at our strengths, and yes, we do have some valuable assets. There is a strong commitment to continuing and supporting each other as a charge. There is lots of lay support worship. There is a willingness to adapt. The UCW’s are excellent resources. We value the area where we live – even have heard it called “God’s Country”.
- We also acknowledge there are some challenges. There are fewer people at church, finances are strained, and the congregations are aging. In addition, travel distances between the churches ad the availability of candidates may be a problem.
- If we are going to hire someone to minister here, we need to know what we want them to do. Our Mission Statement reminds us what we believe we are called to be. The person we call will be someone who can help us live out our mission. After much discussion and sharing the three areas we find most important are:
*Worship: Much more than meeting each Sunday to sing 4 hymns, say 2 prayers, hear 1 sermon, it is gathering to give thanks and deepen our understanding of faith and self, and it can happen many ways.
*Pastoral Care: We are hungry for someone who will develop and nurture relationships with people in the church and in the community, and call on those who are sick, shut-in, or lonely and want a pastoral visit..
*Community Outreach: How can we make a difference in the lives of the communities where we are? The food bank is important, but surely there is more we can do. Would our neighbours notice if we were gone?
We want someone who will enlarge our vision.
- Our finances indicate that the next person we call to minister here will be hired part-time. As we look at salary ranges we will need to decide if we mean half-tinme or three-quarter time. It definitely means members of the church will need to work with the minister in these three areas of concern.
- We are asking Maynooth to allow the Manse to become a charge property again, which will make it easier for a part-time person to have a place to stay.
- It is possible that we will not have four services each Sunday.
- We will need to explore as many avenues as possible to find someone to minister here. It is possible that a student, or a diaconal minister instead of ordained clergy would be interested. We mention this because we would then need support for communion.
- Although video screens, internet and projectors will not replace live worship, such technology can be a valuable tool in our spiritual growth.
Now we have asked for feedback from the people of the charge. We hope each person will read and consider the possibilities. We have asked for responses by Palm Sunday, so feel free to talk with anyone who has been to the Dream Team meetings. You can also email Erin Morlock at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will be discussing responses and next steps at the next Charge Meeting April 6. We invite all to join in the discussion. Dream Team 2.0 so far has been full of hope and possibility. The willingness of so many people to share openly and deeply, truly seeking the higher goood and the leading of the Spirit has been both humbling and empowering. We trust in that Spirit as the journey continues.