Special Video Announcement – April 5, 2021

By Rev. Dr. Elizabeth Cunningham and Barbara Hendren

Rev. Dr. Elizabeth Cunningham,

I wanted to take this time to talk with you about something important. As you know, Stouffville United has been looking into its future options, through the work of the Futures team and our TUCC consultants. And it is very exciting and promising.

In February, I began to sense a stirring to look at what my future might look. And so I put my profile on to the United Church of Canada’s Church Hub so that I could see what churches were searching for ministers. Many churches sent me emails asking me to consider their profiles, which I did, but none of them were right.

And then, I got one email to say, please look at us. And I did. And they were very different. And I was quite intrigued. And I accepted an invitation for an interview, which led to a second interview. And this ministry site voted last week to unanimously call me as their minister.

I have been called to the United Community Ministry, or UCM for short, in Eastern Central Ontario Regional Council. It is a collaborative of six churches – Woodville United Church, Peniel United Church, St. Andrew’s, Beaverton, Trinity United, Cannington, Oakwood United Church, and Cambray Community Church. I will begin on July 1, 2021.

It is hard for a minister to share such news with their congregation. It’s because you are a part of me, and as a minister, I always hold my flock close to my heart. And the letting go is hard to do.

You have some very trusted people in your leadership team who will continue to guide you confidently into your decision making that is ahead. I have asked one of those very trusted people to be with me now to read to you my letter indicating my request for a change in pastoral relations.

Here is Barb Hendren, the Chair of Council of Stouffville United Church.

Greetings, everyone,

Today I am speaking to you as the Chair of our Church council.

Spring is bringing changes to our world.  Winter has ended with the disappearance of the snow.  A new season is beginning as crocuses appear in our gardens.

Just prior to the celebration of Easter, I received a letter that will bring change to our congregation.  Please view the video that accompanies this letter to first hear the news from Rev. Elizabeth herself, followed by my own words.

I know this news will surprise you a bit.  We will all miss our Rev. Elizabeth but I know you will join with me in saying thank you for her ministry among us these past seven years and in wishing her much joy in her new adventure with her new congregation.


Barbara Hendren