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Consolidation and Renewal Team

Introducing the New Consolidation and Renewal Team

You may recall in the summer, the Board set some short-term goals for the rest of 2022, that would allow us to continue the momentum from our transition work and set us in good stead for Richard’s arrival later this year. One of those goals related to the challenge that Rev Helen left for us … specifically to truly achieve complete unity. The idea that we are all one, as Grace United.  The Board agreed that Heather and I would bring together a group of folks over the coming months to recommend opportunities for new or repurposed “worship furniture” – in other words really get into the symbols of church life here at Grace.

So we are thrilled to share that we had the first meeting of our Consolidation and Renewal Team this past week. We chose our name because we thought Consolidation and Renewal was a good way to represent the bringing together of the histories and experiences that created Grace United, but also acknowledges the openness to renewal and growth that is bubbling up here at Grace. And that regardless of the faith journeys we have all travelled to this point – we are one, Grace United Church.  And while we may already feel that in our hearts, it’s time for our space to reflect that too.

So, I want to thank the members for their willingness to be a part of this team. Each of them brings a unique and valuable perspective, but each of them has also committed to listening and learning from everyone who considers Grace home.

We agreed at our first meeting to the purpose of our team –

To recommend changes to the physical environment of the entrance, the sanctuary, and the furnishings within, that will support us spiritually and emotionally as we move forward together as Grace United Church.

We felt it was important to put some parameters on the space we’re talking about (ie this is not a capital expansion project for the entire property) but it’s important to call out the spaces that influence first impressions and faith experiences. And its equally important to acknowledge the spiritual and emotional “atmosphere” that makes up the physical environment at church.  So, whether you join us in-person or virtually you feel part of our Grace community through the furnishings and space that you see or feel.

Finally, I want to emphasize that our team very much appreciates that for some this sacred space and the symbols within it, will carry an emotional connection. While others may be ready to embrace something new and creative that represents what Grace is and can be.  That’s why it is important to the team to hear your thoughts, ideas and questions as it relates to our purpose. So, in addition to being able to speak with members of the team in person, you can also provide your feedback or ask questions via our “Suggestion Fish” suggestion box at the back of the narthex, or via email consolidationandrenewalteam@gmail.com.  The team will respect any requests for anonymity should that be your request.

So, while you can use these channels to provide feedback or questions to the Team at any time, to help us kickstart our work, we’re asking a specific question to everyone:

Name one thing (in our physical church environment) that you think would enhance Grace United moving forward as one?

Please take a moment to reflect on that question and share your thoughts with the team in the coming days.

We’re looking forward to your input as we progress our work over the next few months and commit to updating everyone on a regular basis. Thank you.

Stacy Goodale along with Heather McGavin, are the Co-Chairs of the Board and Co-Chairs of the newly established Consolidation and Renewal Team.