This webpage is for the people of the Toronto Conference for story sharing and networking.

President's Report at September 2002 Executive meeting 

 

I had a great discovery as I began my office in relation to Executive Secretary's job description: to make the president look better. This eliminated many worrys and as result, I had a wonderful relaxing and nurturing summer. As I ponder this friendly comment, it really points to our Conference look better. I imagined how our conference will look like when all of us do this as part of our ministry.

 

The beginning of my presidency of Toronto Conference has been very exciting. It started with a barbeque with the Christian

Formation and Congregational Development (CFCD), and with many celebrations to which I have been invited: UCW's 40th Anniversary; Massey Centre for Women's AGM; the Pope's welcoming ceremony; and a Coptic Orthodox Church's event. For me these were learning experiences.

 

At CFCD barbeque dinner, through the fellowship with relaxed and yet joyful conversation, I sensed uplifting dynamic and the passion of the committee members for the future of our church. At UCW's 40th Anniversary, I learned how powerful the passion of the women in the Church is. They provide support from the congregational level up to leadership education in the national church, which I cannot name all of them. The main thrust, though is their unique gift as women, women of faith that tells me of the genuine beauty of passion and compassion. At Messay Centre for Women's AGM, I have enjoyed rather traditional way of environment and I have learned that while we all have different ways of working, we still have the same faith - which motivates us to serve the world

 

At the Pope's welcoming ceremony for the Word Youth Day, two past-presidents, Maureen Huisamn and Karen Hamilton, were invited too. It was a big event that grabbed both secular and religious society's attention. My reflection from this participation was that we, "The United Church of Canada" also need to create some event that is visible to the secular world that convey "We, the church, love the world as God loves it." To the Coptic Orthodox ceremony, both Maureen Huisman and I were invited. From the priests' outfits, my previous impression was that of men alienated from the people and the world - or highly ritual with a conservative way of expressing their faith.  But, when I actually saw them in action, their way of celebration was not solemn but more liberal. They all had a great sense of humour and were most friendly. How are we enthusiastic to invite the people of other faith and denomination? Is it a must or an option to invite our Church's celebrations?

 

On church business level, I was involved in meetings concerning Toronto Korean United Church. I learned that within the midst of tension and confrontation, it is hard to behave in a Christian manner. All the groups speak of their understanding of justice, but as a whole, they were in a painful conflict situation. Now we have formed a resolution team and have made recommendations which should sort the problem out. I learned that the individuals have a great potential with energy, and by turning the direction, their gifts will benefit the church, their congregation and wider church.

 

During my summer holidays, I thought about my vision for the Conference, which I had initially stated as being a "Hand in Hand, Face to Face, Heart to Heart" experience within the Conference. This is to conceive the whole Conference as one body. So many things have to be done this year. But the first thing I want to do is to establish a communication tool through the website for the people in the Conference. Through this I want to hear and share the stories and visions of the conference people and go from there to develop plans and activities from these visions.

 

Another thing that I want to do is to visit not only the Presbyteries, but also each congregation as far as I possibly can. These goals cannot be done by myself alone. I found that I cannot do anything by my own power. I need help of the Executives as well as many within the conference. The purpose of my visit is to see, hear and feel the dynamics of the churches directly, and find the gifts that I believe are in there. I recently visited Hillcrest and Emmanuel-Howard Park United Churches. Even though it was during the week, I could feel what was happening in these churches through their introductions and sharing of stories.

 

I am creating a website, UCCPEOPLE.COM, and anticipate that this cyber space can be a place for sharing stories and visions for the conference people. I am hoping to have more interaction through website development rather than one way information giving. I am also offering to the congregations free web pages (2-3 pages for introduction of the churches and sharing their stories) within this website. There are volunteers who are ready to support technical and financial matters. What I need now is the church's sending me information for the content of the website.

 

My dream as I begin my office at the Conference is that we get to know each other more and better through developing comunication tools, and feel connectedness as one body.

 

  

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