May 2018 Meeting Summary

The long-awaited colours and warmth of spring that arrived in late May have been glorious. Do we notice more energy in our steps and new ideas in our minds?

At our May 16th Council meeting, we stretched our minds to think beyond today while still attending to current questions and decisions on behalf of Harcourt.

Several opportunities are providing food for more thought about the future for Harcourt and the United Churches in Guelph. Ongoing discussions will continue! In the meantime, here are updates from our Council meeting.
• Bill Lord guided our first discussion on the book Joining God, Remaking the Church, Changing the World. We brainstormed key ideas that seem valuable to Harcourt and/or our work as Councillors. We will explore these more deeply during two study sessions in June. How might we try mini-experiments to explore ‘being with’ rather than ‘doing for’ as part of our connection with our neighbourhood? What is our neighbourhood? What are our practices? What is God calling us to do?
• We received notes from a May 6th debriefing conversation by some of the thirty Harcourt people who attended the GUM-hosted John Pentland event on April 28. Some threads reinforce what Harcourt has been doing and learning along our Harcourt 20/20 journey. Some threads might not be effective at Harcourt. Some threads might connect with our book study outcomes.
• On June 1, Harcourt will host a joint group of a few Trustee and Council representatives and Ministers from each GUM church, to continue conversation that started in January. The discussions have focused on getting better acquainted and thinking towards an imagined future. How do we collectively picture the United Churches of Guelph in five years (in 2023)? In April, Harcourt participants were Murray Woods (for Marilyn Murray), Lynn Crow, Lorraine Holding, Mark Sears, Jim Ball and Miriam Flynn.

Peter Gill requested that Council consider providing some financial assistance for an Iraqi family who are pursuing refugee status in Canada. With thoughtful consideration through our hearts and our heads, we authorized the Trustees to release $2000 from the Outreach Pillar as a gift of support to the family. Peter will provide an update on the family’s legal situation at our June meeting.

With the pending dissolution of Waterloo Presbytery, the Two Countries One World (TCOW) program committee needs a new sponsor for financial administrative purposes. After consideration of accountability requirements, and recruitment of Kent Hoeg and Merrill Pierce as volunteer financial administrators of the TCOW bank account, Council agreed to be the sponsor. Program participants will travel to Columbia in March 2019.

Council decided that September will be a good time to celebrate the many Harcourt volunteers who contribute to committees, teams, and other tasks.

As we prepare for summer and changes in pace, remember to keep in touch with Harcourt. May your vacations and other activities provide relaxation and rejuvenation, preparing us for a busy fall within our community of faith.

With faith and hope.