MacDonald to leave Blyth, Brussels for Calgary church - April 19, 2018
BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
After several months serving at the head of Blyth and Brussels United Churches, Hillary MacDonald is moving on to Calgary.
MacDonald’s last service in Huron County will be on Sunday, April 29, a joint service at Brussels United Church at 11 a.m. followed by lunch. She will then begin her time as the Co-ordinating Team Minister with St. Andrew’s United Church in Calgary on June 24.
With her internship coming to an end this month, MacDonald had been considering her options, which included applying to be the full-time minister for both Blyth and Brussels United Churches. However, as she consulted the United Church of Canada’s vacancy list, she kept coming back to St. Andrew’s, saying there was something that was attracting her to the job.
The church, she said, made a drastic change to its operations five years ago when it rid itself of its church building. Without the traditional bricks-and-mortar church building, the congregation has focused on outreach throughout the Calgary community, which MacDonald feels is very “dynamic” and “progressive” for the United Church.
“It’s just so different from the traditional congregation,” she said.
Not only did she feel like the church’s vision fit with her own, but she feels it’s the way of the future for ministry. Reaching out into the community and expanding beyond the faith community into the community proper, she said, should be something for which every church strives.
MacDonald first applied to the job earlier this year and then travelled to Alberta for an in-person interview that would land her the job late last month.
She says that she’s sad to be leaving Huron County and the communities of Blyth and Brussels.
“My heart is sad that I have to leave,” she said, but she feels that she truly listened to God’s calling throughout the process and feels that St. Andrew’s will be a good match for her specific set of skills.
She said she was ready to apply to the local church, but St. Andrew’s just kept coming up again and again every time she looked at the list.
As far as what she’s taken with her from the Blyth and Brussels United Church congregations, she says it has been a true sense of community that expands beyond the faith community.
She says the churches have taught her a huge lesson that she’ll take with her to her next placement within the church.
MacDonald’s final service is set for Sunday, April 29 at Brussels United Church. The service will begin at 11 a.m. and a lunch will follow.