"I am about to do a new thing"
When we met together in Eganville in March of this year, the scripture read to centre our time together came from Isaiah 43:18-19: "I am about to do a new thing...." In these intervening months, a lot has changed for many of us who worship in the churches that make up this part of the Diocese of Ottawa in the valleys of the Ottawa, Madawaska, and Bonnechere rivers.
On June 1st, something new came into being: the Parish of the Valley. It includes twelve congregations: St. Anthony's, Whitney; Epiphany, Barry's Bay; Ascension, Killaloe/St John, Tramore; St John's, Eganville; St Paul's, Cobden; St Patrick's, Stafford; St Stephen's, Micksburg; St Thomas, Rankin; St Augustine's, Beachburg; Holy Trinity, Pembroke; St George's, South Alice; and All Saints, Petawawa. The chapels of Holy Trinity, Madawaska and St Clement's, Clontarf have also been entrusted to the care of the new parish.
We continue to exist as individual congregations, each with its own finances and governance, and with unique histories and important ministries in our local areas. And now we have a new opportunity to work together as one Anglican Body of Christ in the Valley: with new opportunities share strengths and build capacity, working together on areas of shared ministry where we will all have the opportunity to play to our strengths in order to benefit the whole.
Together we will explore how and in what ways we will be the Anglicans of the Valley. To help guide us through these conversations is a team of four clergy, who will be a regular and familiar part of our communities through the leadership in worship, prayer, discipleship, and pastoral care. Each of the clergy will have an area of "primary focus" but they will work as a team to support one another and all of the congregations of the new parish.
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