By Vicki McPhee, Presiding Officer
The Executive of Chinooks Winds Region met together via Zoom for two days at the end of September. We had hoped to have an in-person meeting – the first since March 2020 – but with COVID numbers such as they are in Alberta, it was determined that we would meet online and hope for an in-person meeting in the New Year. We are a people of hope, so we look forward to the possibility of gathering once again in 2022 in the Region’s office in Okotoks.
The majority of our meeting was spent in conversation with Dan Hotchkiss, author of Governance and Ministry: Rethinking Board Leadership. We worked through the process of setting the Executive’s 2022 Annual Vision of Ministry. The Annual Vision of Ministry guides the Executive in setting policy for the Region and authorizing the Executive Minister to operationalize the Vision of Ministry.
In our discussions, we recognized that we are still early in the formation of our Region and that much of our existence, as Chinook Winds Region, has been during a global pandemic. The work of supporting and guiding the Region and its Communities of Faith through pandemic times has not allowed for much time or space to do future planning. While there have been opportunities for innovation and creative responses to the imposed restrictions, there has also been deep feelings of grief, loss and lament as well as challenges to overcome.
But now we are ready to look forward. After noting the challenges that the new denominational structure presents and that we are still learning how to best work within the new model of governance, we explored ideas and options for what the work of the Region will be in 2022 and beyond. We want to honour the diversity and different needs within our Region, particularly those concerning rural and urban ministries. We will strive to create and support healthy Communities of Faith, faithful public witness and effective leadership within the Region. These three areas will be our areas of focus and we will work to define goals for each year within these three areas of focus.
The Executive meets next via Zoom in November. We will complete the Annual Vision of Ministry and finalize the policy work that has been in process for much of 2021. We will also be looking at plans for our next Annual Regional Meeting, scheduled to take place May 5-8, 2022, which we hope will be in person!