Zoom gathering will take place Saturday April 17.
With no end in sight for the COVID-19 pandemic, The Renewal Fellowship board of directors, which met on November 21, decided to play it safe for its annual general meeting and Renewal Day.
As we did in 2020, the gathering will most likely take place completely online via Zoom Meeting. The likelihood that restrictions will be eased by the spring is doubtful. Even if a vaccine is widely distributed this winter, the chance of finding a congregation willing to host us is slim.
Besides, the 2020 Renewal Day was a great success considering it was our first attempt at a purely online AGM.
As press time, we are still confirming details, such as theme and speakers. Details will be posted on our website, Facebook page, sent by email and, for those who prefer, Canada Post.
We will have a nominal fee as we did in 2020 in order to cover speaker honoraria.
While there is no substitute for gathering in person, we recognize that an online gathering is an equalizer for those spread out across this vast nation. Renewal Days naturally happen in Ontario because that’s where the large majority of our supporters reside. When it’s online, it’s feasible for just about everyone to take part.
However, there is one challenge with an online meeting — not everyone has access to reliable high-speed Internet. Sadly, those in the furthest reaches of Canada (who would gain the most from equal access) are the ones with bandwith challenges.
The board spent some time discussing where we would place our priorities in the months to come. Theological change has caused us to ponder our continued place in the PCC. The pandemic has grounded our executive director. Consequently, we will continue to emphasize our use of online technology for meetings and communication. One notable new initiative will be to develop downloadable devotions and messages to make up for in-person presentations. Think of it as a gift of a virtual message to congregations which are having a tough time finding willing pulpit supply in the pandemic.
Another notable initiative is Renewal Café, a new online community intended to help us connect in an age of travel bans. (Go to renewal-fellowship.ca for updates.)
On the financial front, we are profoundly grateful to have received a $50,000 bequest from the estate of Margaret Hill. We are also grateful for the increase in donations following a fundraising appeal. Renewal also received a forgivable $10,000 loan from the funds from the Canadian Emergency Business Account.
The board meets next on Jan. 30, 2021.