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On Saturday, March 9, the new Parish Council met for the first time at a Retreat to be reminded of their responsibilities, code of conduct and to start the plan head for St. Mark’s Church, Barriefield.

We gathered in the church where Rev Sandra led us through an Iona Morning prayer.  We prayed to work together, to be respectful and kind to each other in our discussions and to be prepared to make the difficult decisions for the good of the Parish.  We joined together in a prayer of commitment.    At the conclusion of our worship, we corrected an oversight at our Annual Vestry Meeting by adding Scott Carson to the list of Members-at-Large in the Parish Council and reviewed together our Code of Conduct.

We moved to the Parish Hall for a soup lunch prepared and served by Rev John while continuing with our agenda.  Special thanks to all those who attended our Visioning Process held on January 14 that produced a myriad of good ideas on our faith development, worship, fellowship, outreach, communication, and fundraising activities.  Rev John’s analysis of that data was in a report he presented at our Annual Vestry Meeting, that included some recommendations.

We then reviewed the report, recommendations and further analyzed additional data collected by Rev John.  Consequently, the following decisions were made:

  • to conduct a gift/talents survey (to better appreciate the talents in the Parish).
  • to conduct a course on Anglicanism.
  • to pay more attention to our ‘shut-ins’, Seniors, and former active Parish members no longer able to come to church by increasing the numbers and involvement of the Pastoral Care mission.
  • to organize a Garden Group that will work together to take care of our Parish gardens.
  • to have an instructional Eucharist (April 14).
  • to hold a Spring Clean Day (church, hall, and outside) on Saturday April 13.
  • to set out our fundraising and outreach plans for the year.
  • to start Sunday School and Confirmation classes this year, and
  • to make-up our Parish calendar for 2024.

Many other ideas were discussed to be considered by the Parish Council.  Their next meeting is on March 20.