Colourful Worship Opens General Council.
The 42nd General Council got off to a colourful beginning with evening worship. Purple, green, red, blue, orange, and yellow banners bearing the GC 42 logo of a Christian fish symbol atop three stylized waves were carried down the centre aisle and placed upon the main stage.
“We are all pilgrims on a journey,” said Maya Landell, Worship and Music Coordinator, as she welcomed everyone and introduced a photo montage of the youth commissioner pilgrims who travelled across Canada before arriving in Corner Brook.
Greetings were offered by Charles Pender, Mayor of Corner Brook; Mary Bluechardt, Vice-President of Grenfell Campus; and Vice Chief Kevin Barnes of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation.
Barnes told the people to follow the way of the caribou, “to journey together, to work in union, to live in a community together, and to prosper.” Accompanying himself on a drum, Barnes sang “Amazing Grace” in Mi’kmaq. He invited everyone to join in singing the last verse.
“I believe in togetherness,” he said. “One is good. Many is powerful.”
Several languages were spoken, prayed, and sung during the opening worship service.
Commissioners were also reminded of the challenges and decisions they will be facing during the coming week.
“All throughout the ages we have been called to act boldly, to discern what is it we are called to be as a church,” said Ian March-McCuish. “Again, this is one of those times when we find ourselves trying to discern who we are to be as church.
“This week, in this sacred time, as we are called to give leadership to the church, may we put our weak and trembling hands into God’s strong hand and not be afraid,” said March-MCCuish. “May we know and believe in Jesus’ presence with us in the past, in the now, and in the future.”
Ian March-MacCuish was preaching a sermon written by his spouse, Faith March-MacCuish, who was unable to be participate due to being on restorative care.
During the worship service, Moderator Gary Paterson officially constituted the court. Members of the Planning Committee and the Local Arrangements Committee were introduced. An offering was collected, to be used to help offset the carbon footprint of General Council 42.
The service also included table group time, during which commissioners and guest began to introduce themselves to each other. Commissioners and guests shared communion in their table groups, while visitors celebrated in the bleachers.
General Council 42 is meeting in a hockey arena in the Civic Centre of Grenfell Campus of Memorial University in Corner Brook, NL.
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