From the Desk of the Interim Moderator…

Categories: Church,Congregational News

A letter from our Interim Moderator, the Reverend Bernie Skelding, was included in the church bulletin for February 4th.  Copies of the entire letter are available in the Narthex (or, in lieu of any remaining there, check in the church office). Following are excerpts pertaining to the status of our Search process:


Bernie SkeldingAs I’m sure you know and appreciate, the Presbyterian Church in Canada provides guidelines for congregations who are looking for a new minister. It is the Interim Moderator’s responsibility to guide the congregation accordingly.

To begin with, it is helpful to remember that the search process is ultimately a journey of discernment – discerning God’s will and direction for the congregation, including who God is calling to pick up the mantle of ministry as Haney’s next senior minister.

Given that the Call to ministry of Word and Sacrament within a congregation is a fundamentally critical decision for both the congregation and the minister, the Presbyterian process is set up to ensure it is never a rushed decision, nor a decision driven strictly by emotions or simply by practical expediency, but rather couched in thoughtful, careful and prayerful reflection before our loving Saviour and Lord. The Presbyterian process is also inherently a collective one, as together we discern God’s will.

Thus the process requires the Session to prayerfully and respectfully name a Search Committee made up of representatives from the congregation. The Search Committee then takes time to survey and gather input from the congregation to help them in their own discernment as they put together a Profile of the congregation that summarizes ‘who we are’, our sense of purpose, priorities, values and calling. In short, the Profile is meant to capture our unique sense of identity in Christ, specific to our presence in Maple Ridge in 2018 … The Profile is an important piece in helping the Search Committee discern a good fit between a minister and the congregation.

Once Session approves the Profile and the minister’s Stipend (financial) Package that is contained therein, the Package and associated financial data will be taken to the Ministry Committee of Presbytery for a ‘check and balance’ approval … Then the Search Committee will enter into an active search process that includes receiving candidates’ applications, interviewing, and prayerfully asking the Holy Spirit to guide us and the candidate in the faithful discernment of the Lord’s calling.

Once the Search Committee and the Session feel confident to bring a name forward to the congregation, there is a more detailed process to follow … [which will] include a congregational vote, a Presbytery vote, followed by a Presbytery-led Induction Service at Haney for the new minister….

You should know that I think the world of your Session and I’ve been so impressed by the commitment of the Search Committee! I commend them both to you, to uphold in prayer as they continue to be faithful in the Lord’s work among you, God’s holy and dearly loved people. Peace in Christ!


If you have any questions about the process, speak to your elder, or check with Hugh McIntyre who is chairman of the Search Committee.

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