Blessed with a new, young minister

United Church Speaks is a regular submission by Rosemary Manarin

Rosemary Manarin

Rosemary Manarin

At Castlegar United we are feeling truly blessed! We welcome our new minister, Greg Powell from Ontario, to lead us now in worship services. He is as excited to take Castlegar as his charge as we are to have him lead us in our spiritual journey. Greg is leading worship services here starting Sunday, September 7. Our long standing minister Reverend Ann Pollock has retired.

Greg has had much experience in part-time ministry in Calgary and Toronto, leading youth groups and managing a variety of outreach projects. He has met people’s spiritual needs through both worship and Bible study. He is actively involved in social justice issues not only through the outreach programs in Toronto but also within those regarding climate justice that help our environment.

The teachings of Jesus are dear to his heart. Faithful followers of the Way resisted injustice and did so from a position of disempowerment, but in faith of the vision Jesus depicted and called, “Heaven.” Greg says, “I tenaciously hold the naïve belief that Heaven on Earth is possible and I believe we are called to participate in God’s mission to make it so.  I hear hope, conviction, love, and faith from many in Castlegar and wish to continue faithfully participating in God’s mission so clearly articulated by Jesus Christ.”

Although September is a busy time—back to school, back to church—reflection on what is important in life, to our soul, our community and God’s creation can help to keep us on track. Worship services at Castlegar United offer opportunity to not only nourish our souls but also to express our gratitude for the life we live here and to centre ourselves on love for others and our world and the hope that empowers us.

Did you know that the United Church of Canada did not exist until 1925? It was born out of a desire by the Methodist, Congregational and the majority of Presbyterian Churches to join together to form a united Canadian church. A primary mandate was to work for social justice for all people in our society, to follow Jesus’ teaching, to “love thy neighbour as thyself.” Working to improve social conditions and being a voice for the poor has been a core purpose of the United Church since its beginning. This is one reason why I have attended the United Church for years and now this September, am particularly glad to know our new minister is closely involved in justice issues. The United Church of Canada is involved in mission and partnering here in Castlegar and abroad to help alleviate poverty and better the life of others.

Greg is looking forward to embracing full time ministry for the first-time and we at Castlegar United are happy he has chosen our church to fulfill his goal.


“We cannot own the sunlit sky, the moon, the wildflowers growing,

for we are part of all that is within life’s river flowing.

With open hands receive and share the gifts of God’s creation,

That all may have abundant life in oneness with their neighbour.”

Excerpt from “Hymn” by Ruth Duck