June 2018 Meeting Summary

Before Harcourt slows its pace over summer, Council experienced another full and important meeting on June 20. Our work continues through the next two months and some of our decisions will be ‘old news’ by September. For that reason, I share these brief Council updates.

  • Facilitated by Peter Jackson and Bill Lord, we completed our three-session book study of Joining God, Remaking Church, Changing the World (by Alan Roxburgh). What have we learned as persons of faith and Harcourt leaders? How will these learnings be shared with the Congregation? How might Harcourt experience visible and/or subtle changes that are sprouting from our learnings in tandem with other creative happenings?

    More sharing about the book will continue in the months ahead. Here is a short list to start. Ask any Council member about our experience.
    * Leadership is about asking better questions, and to model/guide that for committees/teams and the Congregation. Where is God at work in Harcourt Church? Personally, internally and as we reach outward?
    * We are trying to re-shape our thinking from ‘doing for’ to ‘being with’.
    * We are learning new language and words to practice in our conversations.
    * We are trying to be more creative while doing our business differently and more deliberately.
    * We are more accepting of experimentation, ‘letting go’, and risk-taking with the freedom to know that we can learn from any failure.
    * Intentional Hospitality has continued to grow as a focus since the June 2017 in-home conversation groups, through to recent small experiments and new ideas in the works.
    * More details about some specific activities/experiments will appear through the weeks ahead.

  • Peter Gill provided an update on the Iraqi family who are pursuing refugee status in Canada. Council authorized an additional donation of support to the family from the Outreach Pillar, based on the Canada Child Benefit for which the family is not eligible at this time ($14,400).
  • Council will host a session for the Congregation during the summer to learn more about community development work within the context of Harcourt’s narrative of radical change. We will initiate a short-term contract project to help us explore these aspects (using the approved Ministry & Personnel budget for 2018).
  • Council authorized funding from the Music & Arts Pillar to support Alison MacNeill’s proposal to reinstitute a Music Intern Program for eight months.
  • Planning continues on other projects: Summer Student tasks; Food Trucks at Harcourt in September; updating the Greeting Area to be more welcoming; a new participatory banner … and more. Watch for updates!

If you have questions or comments about this update, contact any Council member.

Lorraine Holding, Chair