The following is my Christmas letter to the St. Giles and Centenary congregaitons
Dear friends in Christ,
This is a letter I always look forward to writing. To folk at St. Giles: receiving a letter at Christmas from me is new. For Centenarians, this is not the first.
Much has changed for members and friends of both congregations over the past year. Now you are part of One Main Street United Church, an exciting new endeavour in the United Church’s ministry in Hamilton’s urban core and lower mountain.
One Main Street United is not a church yet – it is the imagination and hope of a church, born out of the ashes of declining possibilities at both the St. Giles site and the Centenary site. In a genuine sense it is an Advent church: a church waiting for its realization in faith.
One Main Street is an opportunity; an opportunity for all of us to experience the birth of Jesus Christ in a unique way. Next year? Next year may be one for all of you as a new church, with a new name (as the temporary name “One Main Street” is set aside).
It is with the vision of a new birth church that I reach out to you with this Christmas message, acknowledging as I do that we traverse the very difficult space of endings and beginnings:
One Main Street United Church, creating a tipping point for an inclusive and affirming ministry:
• a multi-generational congregation feeding the spiritual needs of the people;
• a church responsible in stewardship, spending energy and dollars on ministry instead of buildings;
• honouring and growing from congregational identities and usable history;
• committed to offering social justice and outreach ministry 7 days per week.
May God bless you in the practice of faith in the coming year; may the blessings of Christmas be there for you.