In 2011, a committee was set up to look at education of our members that could lead to the Old Barns and Hilden United Churches to be open to the full inclusion of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities in The United Church of Canada and in society. On November 16, 2014, a Service of Celebration was held declaring the Old Barns and Hilden United Churches and the Clifton Pastoral Charge as Affirming Ministries.
Board of Stewards
Hilden and Old Barns each has a Board of Stewards meeting monthly. In Hilden, the Board of Stewards look after all finances and fundraising. In Old Barns, the Board of Stewards look after all finances, undertakes repairs and upkeep of church and Fellowship Hall. Stewards in each congregation serve a three year term.
Hilden and Old Barns each have an active Christian Education Committee that oversees Sunday School and supports Camp MacLennan. The Committee consists of representatives from Session, UCW, Mens Club, Baby Band, Youth Drama, Sunday School and Stewardship.
The Pastoral Charge has a finance committee which consists of the Chair, the Central Treasurer, Congregational Treasurers, and a representative from the Hilden and Old Barns Board of Stewards.
The Memorial Fund Committees in Old Barns and Hilden are responsible for looking after memorial receipts and expenditures.
The Ministry and Personnel Committee consist of members from Old Barns and Hilden. They support pastoral relationships and facilitate communication between congregations, Ministry and Personnel and staff. They meet twice each year, once interviewing paid Charge personnel. A job description is available for paid staff.
Each congregation has a nominating committee as well as the Pastoral Charge.
The community of Hilden has a bi-monthly newsletter that includes church events. In Old Barns, on the first Sunday of the month from Fall to June, the Outreach Committee prepares refreshments for a coffee and conversation time following the worship service. After the service on the first Sunday in the month in Hilden a potluck luncheon is held every other month. Both churches tape services for shut-ins. Old Barns hosts an exercise class open to the community twice a week led by a local trained instructor.
Each church has a Presbytery representative attending Presbytery meetings and Maritime Conference in May.
There is one secretary for the Pastoral Charge.
The Old Barns church has a fourteen member Session and the Hilden church has an eight member Session who each serve a five year term and are assigned to a visitation district. Session members serve on the following committees: Worship Committee, Christian Education, Outreach and Administration. A session member from both churches sends correspondence relating to sympathy, get well and thank you, and acknowledges special celebrations such as births, special anniversaries and special birthdays.
The Elders of Hilden and Old Barns, on a rotation basis, prepare the elements for communion and are door greeters for the congregation on Sunday Mornings. Session is very active and holds Session meetings four times a year with the Official Board meeting three times a year.
The Charge contributes generously to the Mission and Service Fund meeting is objective and has a Stewardship Committee consisting of representatives from Old Barns and Hilden. Once or twice a year they provide a worship service. Other appeals to which we contribute are Water of Life, Canadian Foodgrains Bank, Emergency Appeals and United for Peace. They also head a Green Enthusiast Program in each congregation.
The charge has the following schedule of worship services: the first Sunday of the month the services are held in Old Barns at 9:30 a.m. and in Hilden at 11:00 a.m. The first Sunday of the month is considered to be Family Sunday. On the second, third and fourth Sundays of the month the service times are reversed.
Usually two services are held on Christmas Eve, one in Hilden and one in Old Barns and a Sunday morning service as well in Old Barns (if Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday).
The Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services are joint services and are held alternately in the two churches. Each Church holds a communion service on Easter Sunday.
Each summer, the churches take turn hosting an outdoor worship and picnic lunch. Other groups such as UCW, Mens Club, Youth Drama, Boy Scouts, 4-H, Sunday School, Stewardship Committee, Worship Committee and The Cliftones also conduct or take part in worship services for the Charge throughout the year.
Both the Hilden and Old Barns churches have active choirs with many soloists and musicians and a male musical group in Old Barns, The Cliftones. Both churches use Voices United and More Voices.
We are committed to a vision of ministry that is welcoming, inviting and affirming of all people. The vision we boldly claim is one which we identify in Jesus ministry among the people of his own time, teaching through word and action that each person is a beloved child of God, and worthy of God`s and therefore our love, care and compassion.
We celebrate the richness that diversity brings to our church, as it challenges and transforms our concept of community. We journey in faith, publically declaring our commitment to create a community where people of every age, race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, mental and physical ability, family status, economic level and cultural background are welcome to take part in every aspect of church life, including membership, leadership, fellowship and celebrating life`s milestones.
By word and action, with God`s spirit to guide us, we will work to counter injustice, which violates a person`s right to respect, dignity, and a fair and equitable treatment in church and in society.