January 16, 2007

Minister's Annual Report

Well here we are again at Annual Report time. It seems hard to believe that this is the 6th time I have sat down to write an Annual Report since I arrived here but indeed it has been 5 and a half years already. So where does the end of 2006 find us as a congregation.

In many ways we are in really good shape. Certainly financially this has been the best year since I have been here as we find ourselves in a surplus position at year-end. Our average attendance on Sunday mornings remains steady. We have a committed group working to provide musical leadership. The Harvest and Ham Suppers as well as the Father’s Day BBQ continue to be great community building events not only for the congregation but the larger community. We continue to provide space for a variety of community groups to meet. Things are going well.

For myself, 2006 has had much that was rewarding. As part of the ministry of this congregation I continue to serve on the hospital board. Regular devotionals and worship services at the Extended Care Wing are a highlight. Also this year I put together a seminar for funeral leadership back in February. Five people from Riverview took part as well as three folks who travelled in from out of town. The idea has caught on in fact and I have been asked to lead a similar event in Thunder Bay later this year. Another one of my projects for this year has been to launch a web-presence for Riverview. This presence is a web-log (or blog) called Riverview Rolls On and can be found at http://riverviewrollson.blogspot.com/. This is a place where I post weekly “Looking Forward to Sunday” entries about the next worship service – complete with early sermon thoughts. As well bits of news and coming events are posted as they arise. Also on the web, the conference website has a space for all Pastoral Charges to have a “minisite”. The link to Riverview’s page is found in the sidebar of our blog. One of the points that has been raised by some people on the WonderCafe website is that if a church has no web presence they take it as a sign that the congregation is not speaking to their reality as a person in a wired world so it seems being web-wise is important for a church.

And what does 2007 hold? Well to a degree we won’t know until it hits us. But as people of faith we take comfort in the knowledge that God will face it with us. More importantly, as people of faith we continue to try and discern what God is calling us to do and be as the world continues on its way. As one of the songs in the new hymn book supplement More Voices says:

Spirit of challenge, Spirit of truth.
(God’s still speaking. Are you listening?)
Speaking a word the world would dispute
(God’s still speaking. Have no fear.)
Spirit who shows us the work to be done.
(God’s still speaking. Are you listening?)
Spirit who sends us as tools of God’s love.
(God’s still speaking the Spirit is here)
God’s still speaking the Spirit is here.
[verse 3 of God’s Still Speaking by Jill Kirsten Warner, © 2003. Used with permission under License #C6531 LicenSing – Copyright Cleared Music for Churches]

God is speaking to us, calling us forward. Let us move together with joy and with hope, ready to be God’s people sharing God’s love.

Gord Waldie

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