An Introduction from Presider Joanne Anquist

Our Chinook Winds Regional Executive

     Over the next few weeks, our Chinook Winds Regional Executive members will be introducing themselves. We begin this week with Rev. Joanne Anquist, Presider. 

Joanne and Naomi Anquist in New York City

This week I’m on a holiday with my daughter in New York City. Why NYC in March when everything is still cold, wet, rainy and snowy? Well, I love this city – it’s energetic, unknowable and a little bit dangerous. But mostly I’m here because my daughter, who is 24 and attending Concordia in Montreal, asked me to meet her here! I mean, when will that happen again? Sometimes you just have to say yes, even if you’d rather be on a beach in Mexico!

That’s how I feel about serving on the Chinook Winds Regional Executive. I think this time in The United Church of Canada (UCC) requires a new kind of energy, because there is a great unknowable future, and a little bit of danger, but mostly because I was asked…dare I say called? I love my Community of Faith at McDougall in Calgary where I’ve served for about 8 years. My 3 adult children and amazing husband mean everything to me. But I’ve recently realized that sometimes just showing up to serve is the greatest gift you can give. That’s why I said, “yes,” to being the Presider and apart from all the “official” duties I didn’t quite know about (such as chairing the Agenda and Planning Group for the Regional Meeting), it’s been great.

I serve on the Regional Executive with a group of wonderful folks whom you’ll meet over the coming weeks through the newsletter. The last few meetings we’ve had rich conversations about the beliefs of the UCC, the ethos of the Chinook Winds Region, and the UCC commitments to Deep Spirituality, Bold Discipleship and Daring Justice. We’ve reviewed the communities of faith in the region, discussed finances and prayed for the ministry of our churches.

Through all this, we’ve come to believe this really is a time of opportunity and challenge that we must embrace! I trust this time in Chinook Wind’s history will be full of energy as we navigate the unknown, aware of the danger but called to be the beloved people of God, renewing and transforming as we go. May God be with us as we journey.