As we near Thanksgiving Sunday we most often recall memories of a huge Turkey Dinner, and families sitting at their table. Each individual would relate something that they are thankful for over the past year. I would like to take this opportunity to relate some of the things that our congregation should be thankful for as we approach this time of the year
First we should be extremely thankful for the wonderful ministry of Rev. Brian Colbourne over the past six years and wish him well as he moves forward to another congregation. We should be thankful for our new clergy, Rev. Wilson Gonese as he moves to our community and prepares to lead us in our faith and worship.
Then we should give special thanks to the individuals who came forward and offered their services to ensure that we had and will continue to have Sunday worship in the absence of clergy. This speaks volumes to their dedication to this congregation.
We also have to give thanks to all members of our congregation as they continue to support this church with their stewardship of their time, talents and money because without that support we would not exist.
We have to be very thankful for the donation of money that will allow us to purchase and install a new video system that will allow us to view our hymns and readings during the worship.
We also give thanks to the Outreach of our church through their support of M&S as well as the Outreach Ministry to the Senior Citizens facilities as well as people’s homes through Eastlink TV.
We also give thanks for the youth and youth leaders of our church. Even though they are small in numbers they have developed, with neighbouring churches, the program called “Messy Church” and with the anticipated funds from the sale of Davis Elementary will continue to grow that program over the next five years and beyond.
These are just a few of the highlights of our church and I am sure there are many more that can be expressed. I would ask you all to take some time and reflect on things that we have to be thankful for because you are a part of the ministry of Bethany United Church. Over the next year as we move forward under the direction of a new minister I am sure we will create other things that we will be thankful for. All of these things can only happen if we all work together to continue the work and life of our church.
THANK-YOU ALL FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT.
Our New Minister:
On November 3rd, 2016, we will be blessed as a congregation to welcome our new minister, Rev. Wilson Gonese.
Rev. Wilson is originally from Africa where he was ordained to the ministry of the Word and Sacraments in 1995 after obtaining a Bachelor of Theology degree from the Theological College in Zamdia. He served in many congregations over the next 12 years as well as serving as the Moderator of the Dutch Reformed Church in Botswania. In September 2007, he moved to NL Conference where he served for the next five years in Burgeo Pastoral Charge. In July 2013 he moved to the Springdale Pastoral Charge where he has served until the present.
Since moving to Newfoundland and Labrador he has obtained a Masters of Arts in Theology and Religious Studies from the Atlantic School of Theology as well is presently studying for a Doctorate of Ministry Degree in Rural Ministry and Development. He will receive that degree in May of 2017.
Rev Wilson has been involved extensively in numerous committees in the West District and is presently serving as the Chair of that District. He has also served on various committees at a national level and was a part of the national committee dedicated to the reorganization of the United Church of Canada. Their recommendations were presented to General Council in Corner Brook and will be voted on at the next General Council meeting in 2018.
In conversation with individuals from his present congregation as well as people whom he has served with, he is described as a hard working individual who gives 120% to everything that he has been involved with. He is also described as an individual who loves people and enjoys socializing within the community. He has been an excellent advocate for the United Church within each community that he has served.
Rev. Wilson is married and has two children, one starting University and the other will be attending High School.
Please welcome him and his family to our church and community.
Spring Conference 2016
NL United Church
First we would like to thank the congregation at Bethany for allowing and supporting us in becoming a delegate to East District as well as the Conference meeting held in Burin and hosted by Burin, Creston-Red Harbour, and Epworth Pastoral Charges on June 2-5th 2016. We would like to take the opportunity to report on the events that occured at that conference.
The theme of the conference chaired by our own Rev. Brian Colbourne, Conference President, was “How Can We Keep From Singing” which was very appropriate considering his love for music as we have witnessed over the past six years. Two speakers, Rev Jocelyn Cook and Sid Woolfrey gave three exceptional presentations on how music has affected their lives as well as their ministry within the United Church. These messages were very inspirational and well received by all attending. Opening worships were held daily and on Friday and Saturday we were blessed with them being done by Youth Groups from First United, Mount Pearl and Burin Pastoral Charge respectively. It is great to see youth involved at this level.
There were several reports throughout the conference which included Incorporated Ministries by Rev. Bill Bartlett, EDGE presentation by Rev. Scott Parsons, Special Gifts by Rev. Roger Janes, General Council Report by David Armour, Interim Ministry by Marion Davis, Fall Learning Event and Church in the World
The majority of our business was focused on the remits that had to be discussed and at our East District meeting on Friday Night three of these remits, numbers 5, 7, and 8 were passed . Number 5 dealt with the Ministry Partners in which the United Church of Canada has partnered with other denominations of like theology allowing ministers to move here from other countries as well as ours able to move to other countries.
#7 Remit dealt with the Candidacy Pathway and eliminated some of the bureaucracy that exists at present for individuals to enter Ministry. #8 Remit dealt with the model of membership which will now allow the opportunity for all individuals at congregational meetings to vote on all issues. At present only full members were permitted.
These remits will now be forwarded to General Council for ratification.
The other remits were discussed but will have to be voted on by each congregation and then forwarded to our next Conference for ratification. These remits concern The 3 Council Model, Elimination of Transfer and Settlement, The Office of Vocation for Ministers, One order of Ministry, and Funding of the new Model. There was much discussion and explanation on these remits.
Two other pieces of business were discussed and voted on. A proposal was presented that the NL Conference would seek the opinion of a practising Newfoundland lawyer to determine the implications that the Newfoundland and Labrador Act may have for this Conference with respect to the structural changes and funding proposed by the United Church of Canada.. This was passed.
A second proposal was presented that a task group be asked to look at the ramifications of the dissolution of East and West Districts and presented at our next Spring Conference. A vote will be taken at that conference for the dissolution of both districts. This was passed.
Election of a President Elect was held and with only one nominee Rev. Bill Bartlett was acclaimed.
Saturday night banquet was held entitled “Milestones for Ministry”. Several ministers were recognised for their years of service as well as some individuals celebrated retirement.
Sunday Morning worship was held at Zion United Church and President Hope Rowsell was installed as the new president. The banner “Home Congregation of the President” was transferred.
In total, the Conference was an enjoyable experience with good discussion and good fellowship