Last Sunday Laura Shwetz told me to watch for cherry blossom trees in town. She said that the blooming period in Manitoba is short, actually very short compared to the ones in Vancouver. “They last only a week!” Laura emphasized. Taking her advice, I paid attention to surroundings while driving or walking. I found some, and they looked gorgeous and beautiful. They also looked precious and ready for change. When we see that the end is coming, we can’t take anything for granted. We feel the urge to celebrate while it lasts, while anticipating a new thing to come.
The United Church of Canada is now undergoing a time of transition. One of the changes we anticipate as a denomination in the next year is its structural change. To put it simply, we hope that our structure will serve our mission, not the other way around. For example, we want to move from the four council model (Pastoral charges, Presbyteries, Conferences and General Council) to the three council model (Communities of faith, Regional Councils and Denominational Council) so that we can have more effectiveness in decision making. The annual meeting of The Conference of Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario this year will be the last one before the new structure. The four days of meeting and worship will take place at University Centre at University of Manitoba next week, May 24 – 27 with the theme, ‘Remembering, Celebrating, Imagining.’ You are invited to attend the celebration of ministry service on Sunday, 27th at 10 am at University Centre. Would you join me in celebrating this special moment so we can anticipate a new thing God is about to make? Like the cherry blossom tree, our structure looks ready for change.