The 2021-2022 academic year is going to be a definitional year for FBCH. Hopes remain high that more of us will be able to convene in-person in September (we will continue offering online worship)–even so, we know much of how we gather has and will continue to change. In September, the congregation will also receive a significant report from the Property Redevelopment Committee that will require a high level of congregational involvement and dialogue as we think together about our congregation’s future and the best ways to live out our congregational vision. Needless to say, this could be an exciting year for the FBCH congregation.
Even as plans were already underway for an important fall season, the congregation received the resignation of Jenny Eisener, Minister of Fatih Development. As always, vacancies in our staff team call forth a time of reflection about our congregation’s vision and what support we need to live into all that we are called to be as community of faith in the Way of Jesus. Such reflection is especially important in a time of profound change. What will post-COVID ministry be like? How can we best support the faith development of families in today’s rapidly evolving world? How might congregational decisions about Property Redevelopment be a part of our discernment? These questions, and many more, need careful study before we are able to chart a course ahead.
Realistically, it will be challenging for the congregation to engage these questions with the attention they need in the fall of 2021 while we are discussing potential redevelopment of properties. Our collective attention will rightly be absorbed in this work as well as the work of regathering in this phase of the COVID pandemic.
Thus, the Diaconate, with support from other senior lay leadership, is planning for an extended period of interim ministry that will take us at least through the upcoming school year.
And now, the really exciting part! Rhonda Schofield will be continuing her study at AST this academic year and is available to serve alongside us in this important role. On July 27, the Diaconate affirmed the call of Rhonda as our Interim Minister of Faith Development. We feel a great sense of relief and joy in welcoming Rhonda back and we know she is prepared and eager to hit the ground running! Her responsibilities will be focused on our ministry to children and families, particularly ensuring that Sunday morning is a meaningful time of worship and formation for our children. She will work alongside the ministry team, Board of Christian Education, Godly Play teachers, and Diaconate as she leads in this way.
Rhonda will begin serving with us on August 23, joining Rusty, Lynette and Jean to finish plans for September-December. Her first Sunday back at FBCH will be September 5. Rhonda is particularly looking forward to meeting more of the FBCH community in person!
In early September, we will have more good news to share about ways that members of the FBCH congregation are stepping up to serve the congregation both in the interim period and into our future as a congregation.
With Hopeful Expectation,
Kathy Schwartzentruber, Deacon Chair
David Clarke, Deacon Vice-Chair
Neil Ritchie, Deacon Vice-Chair
Rusty Edwards, Senior Minister