Through the course of the weekend, we heard reports, worshipped, had conversations in table groups around the theme, discussed proposals, ate, conversed about the work of the Comprehensive Review Task Group, held elections for the lay member on the General Council Executive and the President Elect of BC Conference, and celebrated with those who were retiring.
We also listened to a First Nations Panel, Rev. Jenny Carter describing her experiences at the National Truth and Reconciliation Commission event in Vancouver, and an emotional presentation by Chief Jim Angus in which he thanked BC Conference for the decision made at the 1989 meeting in Terrace to raise one million dollars to assist the First Nations in BC as they dealt with land claims.
The two Leslies, representing the Leslie and Leslie Detective Agency, introduced the candidates. Jean MacDonald was elected for the lay representative to the General Council Executive; Keith Simmonds, President Elect.
Five proposals were presented: one requesting a decision and the others were for education and conversation. The one requesting a decision was concerning the storage and shipment of thermal coal. The motion “Be it resolved that the British Columbia Conference of the United Church of Canada requests that the Port of Vancouver rejects the application from Fraser Surrey Docks to establish a coal transfer facility on its site” passed.
The meeting was interspersed with singing, worship, meditation, and reflection time. We connected with how our many parts could form the body of Christ and contemplated who were our neighbours.
On Sunday, we gathered for the Celebration of Ministry Service in which six were ordained, two were commissioned as diaconal ministers, one was admitted to the United Church from the United Methodist Church, and one was recognized as a Designated Lay Minister. As well, Rev. Karen Medland was installed as President of BC Conference.
Much more information about this General Meeting is found on the BC Conference web site. Considerable portions were recorded. Links to these recorded pieces are listed with the General Meeting information. The minutes are also available.