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The Year in Review

I’m struggling to believe it’s already June. The soggy early days of “June-uary” (which the Search Committee fully warned me about) may be part of it. But, even more, it’s my surprise that we’ve almost completed our first year together as minister and congregation. How did that happen, so quickly?! Yet, looking back over my calendar and adding up the many milestones, the math does, indeed, check out.

It’s been a wonderful year, from my perspective. I have enjoyed learning the rhythms of the year at VanU, navigating together through the seasons with all the holidays and holy days they bring. I’ve made progress in learning your names and taking in your stories. I’ve basked in the music of the choir. Been awed by the dedication of the congregation’s many committees, teams, and task forces. I’ve appreciated our conversations across meetings, one-on-ones, and several special listening circles. I’ve been moved by your generosity in stretching to surpass the goal for this year’s canvass. And I felt deeply honoured to be installed with the promises we’ve made to one another in support of our shared ministry. Thank you for the adventure of this year together!

While I will be here for most of the Sundays of June, I will be taking an extended break over the summer to catch my breath and to begin planning for the coming year. I will return to the office and the pulpit in mid-August. I’m grateful to everyone who has stepped forward offering to lead services in July and August.

Whatever your summer plans, I hope you will find the gifts of deep rest and renewal in these slower, warmer months. (And don’t forget to scoop up a bit of water to share in our Water Communion Service on September 8th!)

In faith and love,

Upcoming services, June 2024

June 9th: The Good, the Bad, and Everything in Between

Rev. Shawn Gauthier

It’s been said that experience is what you get when you don’t get what you wanted. And, yet, experience can be an incredibly valuable gift. In this service, we will reflect on the role that experience plays in shaping our existence.

June 16th: Bridging Ceremony

Youth, Kiersten, Olivia, Shawn and more

In this year’s Bridging Ceremony, we will meaningfully mark a number of transitions, including our graduating youth group members moving into adulthood. The service will include reflections from those transitioning from one life stage to another.

June 23rd: Life at the Improv

Rev. Shawn Gauthier

So much of life is made up as we go along, an improvisation of the themes of everyday life. Shawn’s sermon will focus on embracing improvisation as a key to the art of living.

June 30th: Another World is Possible

Reilly Yeo

“Another world is not only possible, she is on her way,” says Arundhati Roy. “On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.” How do we keep sight of this other world — the one so many of us are working towards — in ways that can renew our spirits and our commitment to justice? Join Reilly for a service where we will explore this extraordinary, possible world, and imagine together what life could feel like if we turned towards healing and collective liberation.