As an accredited interim minister, Rev. Marsh comes prepared to lead congregations through the five tasks of interim ministry:
- Owning one’s heritage, both the triumphs and the failings
- Exploring identity and direction
- Considering new possibilities
- Renewing linkages
- Committing to new leadership and new goals
More Actions in the Community
2012 – 2015 Successful Efforts on Behalf of The Multifaith Housing Initiative
In 2012 I agreed to serve as one of the Spiritual Patrons of the Multi-faith Housing Initiative of Ottawa. MHI, as its names suggests, is a coalition of faith based organizations that work together to provide low cost housing to some of Ottawa’s most vulnerable families. In 2014 they launched a capital fund drive called “A Place to Call Home” with the aim of doubling their number of rental units.
At our annual meeting that spring the Ottawa Congregation agreed to make support for MHI and “A Place to Call Home” a priority for the Congregation for the next two years. We kicked off the fall with a series of speakers (a Baptist Minister, a Jewish Rabbi, an Islamic spiritual leader, and me) talking about the legacy of Abraham, Sarah, and Haga, the theme of homelessness in their stories, and the importance of supporting the “A Place to Call Home” campaign.
I worked with others to organize a fundraising banquet to honor one of the elder couples in our Congregation (Werner and Marjorie Daechsel) that have been long time activists on behalf of public housing. In February we put together a benefit concert celebrating the life and songs of Pete Seeger. We were able to feature some of the best local folksingers as well as the lead singer and lead guitarist from “Hey Rosetta” one of the most sought after indie rock groups in Canada. That spring the First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa was given an award by MHI in recognition of being the Congregation that raised the most money that year.
The next fall MHI, in part because of the success of its fundraising campaign, was awarded a gift of land from the city of Ottawa on which to locate its new homes.
Sunday Worship for the 2015 Canadian Unitarian Council Conference: “The Refuge of Three Rivers”
“The Sunday Worship Service at the 2015 Canadian Unitarian Council Conference in Ottawa was unlike anything I had ever seen before. Part spectacle and part exploration of Canada’s history, it was a worship service that both explained and challenged. It included projected images, a soundtrack, a large choir assembled from across Canada, young children, and youth and adults together manipulating giant puppets. While it evidenced collaboration on a massive scale, it also clearly flowed from the imagination of John Marsh: from his writing the lyrics to many of the hymns, to the stories and pictures in the Prelude, to the short sermon he gave which wove the themes together. It was both a joyful celebration of Canada’s heritage and an honest look at some of the unfortunate historical incidents. It was a call to preserve the wilderness of Canada, and to move forward with the project of building a more perfect human community.”
— (Rev.) Steve Dick, Executive Director, International Council of Unitarians and Universalists
2014: “Samuel Gridley Howe,” biographical essay published in “The Online Dictionary of Unitarian and Universalist Biography”.
2012 – 2017 Produced a number of YouTube videos (view them online)