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Neighbours receive food at the Don’t Go Hungry food program site at Gordon Presbyterian Church in Burnaby, B.C.
 Growing Together, Following Christ
ourselves includes exercising col- laborative discernment as a pro- cess for groups in the congrega- tion, from Session to coffee and conversation groups, so that all have a chance to be heard, even if the process takes extra time.
Support for worship has come to involve many lay leaders, re- vitalized music groups and lead- ers, and the pastoral and IT team. Questions for discussion arise, as they do when blending many per- spectives and practices, such as: Do we use the traditional Lord’s Prayer or the ecumenical one? We have found it good to answer, “Both!” and then add to the va- riety by rotating in several sung versions of the prayer as well. We are laying the groundwork for en- gagement with spiritual practices like meditation and prayer walks. Not everyone will respond to all invitations to undertake differ- ent Christian worship and prayer practices, but we encourage each other through participating as Christ speaks to our hearts.
We are looking forward to using our evolving IT skills in webinars, podcasts and social media to engage a wider, online community in conversations that matter about theology, caring and compassion. A recent Lenten podcast series, “Creation Cries
 By Dr. Patricia Dutcher-Walls, Interim Moderator, Knox Presbyterian Church in New Westminster, B.C.
At the Growing Together churches in New Westminster and Burnaby, B.C., three small congregations are creating an experiment by be- coming a transformed and trans- formative faith community. Grow- ing together into one congregation during the pandemic has created opportunities, challenging us to figure out new ways to worship and helping us find ways to serve our neighbours. Our participatory worship has persevered and flour- ished on Zoom during COVID-19 lockdowns and in a hybrid format of in-person plus Zoom when pro- tocols allow. Our Don’t Go Hungry food support program involves many of us in direct compassion- ate outreach, feeding about 900 people every week, and serving alongside over 260 community volunteers and organizations that help us in this work.
We have named shared values for how we worship, speak, learn and work together: showing the love of God in our communities, creating places of fellowship and belonging, encouraging coura- geous and diverse leadership, celebrating God’s grace in Christ
in our worship, engaging in acts of generosity, and becoming places of learning and sharing the gospel. We have expressed our purpose: The Growing Together churches are called to be a peo- ple who by faith are willing to take up our cross and follow where Christ leads. The real question that matters for our lives together is, “What is the right pathway that will lead us into being faithful fol- lowers of Christ?”
Through Christ’s leading, our values and prayers transform our lives and actions. Showing the love of Christ for our neighbours through Don’t Go Hungry food program includes handing out frozen ice cream treats on a cool, rainy day, and making sure a Mus- lim neighbour waiting in the line for food could enjoy the treats by taking some home so he and his family could eat them after sun- set because they were observing Ramadan. Experiencing Christ among us in our lively worship services includes making sure our Zoom congregation, spread out from Burnaby to Kamloops to Edmonton and beyond, can en- gage actively in worship with oth- ers who gather in person in one of our three (for the time being) sanctuaries. Following Christ in how we build relationships among
Baptism of a young member at St. Aidan’s Presbyterian Church in New West- minster, B.C. PHOTO CREDIT: GLORIANNE CHINN
 Trustees and Trust Deeds
By the General Assembly Office
When we think of congregational life, some of the activities that leap to mind are worship services and gatherings for mission, educa- tion, prayer, music and fun. Along with these important activities, a congregation will occasionally deal with legal matters, such as buying or selling property. Instead of having all the members of the congregation line up at the office of the Realtor or lawyer to sign the
necessary documents, the con- gregation elects trustees to act on its behalf. Each congregation, therefore, needs a trust deed that describes how trustees are cho- sen and what they are to do. (See Book of Forms, section 149.)
149. The property of the con- gregation is held by trustees appointed by the congregation, in the manner provided for in the trust deed. Trustees must be professing members of the church. Great care should
be taken to define clearly the purpose of the trust and the powers, duties, obligations and mode of appointment of the trustees and their successors, and the perpetuation of the trust, this last point being spe- cially important (Declaratory Act: A&P 1991, pp. 250, 37). In 2012, the General Assembly
approved a Trust Deed Template for congregations to use that may be adapted to meet their re- quirements. It is found in Book of
Forms Appendix C. A Microsoft Word version of the template is available at in the General Resources drop- down menu. This article answers some questions that might be asked about the template:
Is it a Trust Deed or a Declaration of Trust?
While Book of Forms, section 149, refers to the need for a trust deed, the official name of this document as it appears in Book
Out,” involved our pastoral and lay leaders in writing and read- ing podcasts—a six-week effor t that garnered over 450 followers. We have learned how to throw an animated Zoom Christmas par ty and we commit to connecting a small group after worship each week for online fellowship.
As we have grown, we have es- pecially valued flexibility, collabo- ration, inclusivity, vulnerability and a willingness to try out new
ideas—much needed in growing together during a pandemic! We repeatedly come back to a prayer expressed by one of our partici- pants: “Help us Lord, not to be afraid to live larger and wider lives so that we can reflect your glory.”
*Sections of this article were adapted from the “Vision for a New Congregation” from the Proposal for the Amalgamation of Knox, St. Aidan’s and Gordon Presbyterian Churches.
of Forms Appendix C is “Dec- laration of Trust.” This title was recommended by legal counsel as a more accurate description of the purpose of the document. The trust deed is a declaration that describes how the property of a congregation is held in trust for the benefit of the congregation and for the denomination if the congregation is dissolved. Hence, the name, Declaration of Trust.
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