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. Over two years, a facilitator works through pieces of the United Fresh Start curriculum with the minister and key congregational leaders to facilitate effective leadership, cooperation, mutuality, creative problem solving, and potential reductions in conflict.

“The program enables shared learning and growing as a tool for strengthening and enhancing the new ministry relationship,” reports Bob Wallace, a facilitator in South Alberta Presbytery. Brenda Watt, a facilitator in Foothills Presbytery, says, “I have watched relationships and attitudes be transformed with renewed enthusiasm and awareness. I have experienced creativity and collaboration emerge from inspired participants who are willing to step outside of their comfort zones and their typical boxes to seek new ways of reflecting on, behaving, and leading in their relationships with others. I am especially grateful for Mission & Service funding and to our church leadership for having the foresight to bring this program into our midst!”

A vibrant ministry that shares in God’s mission of love with our neighbours is often rooted in a healthy pastoral relationship. Thanks to Mission & Service for supporting United Fresh Start and other programs for vital ministry personnel and their healthy pastoral relationships.

If Mission & Service giving is already a regular part of your life, thank you so much! If you have not given, please join me in making Mission & Service giving a regular part of your life of faith. Loving our neighbour is at the heart of our Mission & Service.

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