By Dr. Kathy Yamashita, Conference President

Kathy Yamashita, Albertanorthwestconference

New Conference President Dr. Kathy Yamashita

In February I attended a meeting of Conference Presidents and Leading Elders at Church House in Toronto. Our group heard about the plans to implement the remit changes to our church governance, pending the approval of the 43rd General Council which meets in Ottawa this summer. This is my report to Alberta and Northwest Conference on some of the changes that we can now expect.

In July, our Conference office will move to Kirk United Church in Edmonton to begin the wind up of Conference work. The lease on the former address is conveniently coming up at that time.

On December 31, 2018 the nine presbyteries will end their work as well. There will be a need for treasurers and those with signing authority to remain in place as the financial transfer work will take more time.

At this time we have all heard the report of the Boundaries Commission and we know whether we will be in Region 1,2 or 3. On January 1, 2019 these Regions will replace the present Presbyteries and Conferences. The Yukon and Banff are going to be part of Region 1 along with British Columbia, save northeastern B.C. which has requested to remain in the Northern Alberta Region 2. The Northwest Territories will also remain in Region 2. Pastoral charges south of Alberta Provincial Highway 13 will form the Southern Alberta Region 3. Small areas of Saskatchewan have asked to remain with their Alberta Regions.

There will be Six Executive Ministers who will work with the 16 new Regions of the United Church. B.C. and Southern Alberta will share an Executive Minister. Northern Alberta will share an Executive Minister with all of Saskatchewan and Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario.

Each region will receive an equal portion of funding in order to operate. The existing presbyteries will be asked to appoint a representative to the new Regional Council which will determine and administer the focus of work within their Region.

There is the myth that those of us who are doing Conference and Presbytery work will then be able to take a rest. Who do they think will be doing the work of the Regional Councils – Martians? Realize that the same work will need to be done but within a new structure. I look forward to meeting and working with the same gifted church people when 2018 turns into 2019.

God bless all who work in Church administration.