United Fresh Start is a program offered by the General Council Office through trained presbytery-based facilitators. The goal of the program is to nurture the pastoral relationship between a minister and key congregational leaders, especially at the beginning of a pastoral relationship after a new minister is called or appointed.
In 1986, Fairview United Church in Halifax, Nova Scotia, opened a family resource centre in its building. The programs the church initiated focused on providing education and support in a safe and welcoming environment.
Let’s hear from one long-time participant, now board member Tia Forsythe, about the centre’s lasting impact:
The widespread displacement of people is a crisis around the world. In 2014 the United Nations High Commission for Refugees reported 19.5 million refugees—those fleeing their homes across international borders—and 38.2 million internally displaced people—those who remain within their own country but cannot return to their homes. Throughout 2015, many more undocumented people were displaced as refugees or were internally displaced due to natural disasters, including here in Canada. More than half of refugees and displaced people are under the age of 18.
Graham shares the story of his call to leadership: “Every day I am thankful for this amazing opportunity, and every day I wonder what I would do if I wasn’t in ministry; I still don’t have an answer to that question!”