Daniel Benson writes that as church in the time of COVID-19, we must care for each other like family, not just spiritually, but bodily as well.
During Asian Heritage Month, Noel A. Suministrado, a United Church minister from the Philippines, sees great opportunities for the church as it opens itself to Canada’s changing demographic realities.
In his online worship service, Moderator Richard Bott shares a reflection about the followers of the risen Christ finding power and joy in the breaking of bread together - even when it's shared virtually during hard times.
For Vocation Sunday, Rev. Bronwyn Corlett writes about how others helped her develop leadership skills after she was first ordained.
Ruth Noble shares her memories of Lisa McCully, one of those killed in the Nova Scotia shootings. In the hours after learning of her death, the Berwick Camp community came together online to remember her by placing candles in their windows.
Moderator Richard Bott shares a worship service for Sunday, April 19, 2020 and reflects on the role of doubt in our faith and how it can lead us to experience the good news for ourselves.
In response to COVID-19, communities of faith are learning to be neighbourly in new ways.
During these difficult days of pandemic, Moderator Richard Bott shares that the Resurrection happens in every moment, and calls us to be people of new life even in when we're locked down in our virtual spaces.
General Secretary Nora Sanders writes that we might find our faith deepening as we experience church in new ways during the COVID-19 crisis.
Katherine Brittain writes about Camp Pringle's experiment of "Gender Inclusion Week" and how its success provides a model for welcoming children and families of all kinds to be part of the camping experience.
At The Great Gathering in November of 2019, 24 people from United Church of Canada camps, joined more than 540 innovative outdoor ministry partners gathered at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. The event was hosted by… Read more
In this excerpt from the new Lenten devotional "Faithfully Yours: Letters for the Wondering," Bri-anne Swan reflects on the perennial question, “God, where were you?”
An LGBTQ member of the United Church writes that they came to Canada with their partner to be free, yet are still not fully accepted in the church. So they never imagined their wedding would be so beautiful and noble, made so by friends and God.
Bronwyn Corlett shares a review of the book Piloting Church: Helping Your Congregation Take Flight, by the Rev. Cameron Trimble.
Privilege is not only about racism! While we usually associate the phrase “check your privilege” in discussions about racism, the phrase has much wider implications. Ever so often we may need to check our privilege, to do that type of self-examination to see what advantages we may have which… Read more
Kelsi James shares her video poem "[REDacted]," as a reflection on her experience serving as United Church oversea personnel in China.
In this video, Kelsi James, United Church oversea personnel in China, shares the song "Echo" which she wrote after arriving in Lanzhou, China as a reflection on her experience.
Serving in a country that doesn’t celebrate the holiday, overseas personnel Kelsi James discovers the Christmas spirit lives in friends.
Padre Tyler Powell writes on the important role of military chaplains who help soldiers decompress and reflect on their service as they make the transition back home.
Rev. Dr. Paul Douglas Walfall reflects on the story of Joseph and finds a lesson about the importance of supporting men and offering them a space to talk about their feelings.
Tessa Blaikie Whitecloud writes that neighbourhoods should be places where everyone is given a chance at the best life.
For the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, Peter Cruchley writes about the Council for World Mission’s efforts to seek truth and make reparations for its historic role in support of slavery.
General Secretary Nora Sanders wonders how much the church is willingly to waive in order to welcome new generations.
Kim Uyede-Kai writes from the Asian Ecumenical Women’s Assembly, a “herstorical” assembly where women could hear one another’s stories be given voice, some for the first time.
Rev. Ruth Lumax reflects on how learning to become an intercultural church can help us develop into lush and vibrant communities of faith.
Kelsi James, United Church of Canada Overseas Personnel in China, writes on her experience of finding authentic community so far from home.
For Remembrance Day, military chaplain and United Church minister Capt. (Rev.) Linda Tomlinson-Seebach reflects on the cost of war and peace.
“Friendship with the minister is really awkward for a couple of reasons,” writes the Rev. Dan Benson.
One minister shares his story of depression in hopes of lifting the stigma of mental illness among ministers and encouraging churches to provide better mental health support.
Dan Benson writes that, "like all those stereotypes of ministers’ work, none is so sticky as the stereotype that the minister mustn’t swear. Heaven forbid!"
Sunday, September 8, 2019 wasn’t the warmest early fall day and the St. Lawrence River had already begun to cool. Nevertheless, seven people from our faith community elected to be baptized (or renew their baptismal vows) through full immersion in the river. It’s powerful to witness members of… Read more
Dan Benson writes that few things can instill apprehension in a minister as the annual church picnic.
Writer Julie McGonegal reflects on the radical generosity of the people of The United Church of Canada.
Sharon Ballantyne shares about a conversation on inclusion, in which participants sought brave and safe space to engage with each other with all their hearts.
The Rev. Dan Benson writes that, even in the solving of a minor plumbing problem such as a kinked hose, God opens the door for us to one another and the world.
Tom Reynolds writes that the experience of being with people with disabilities can reawaken an awareness of the deeply human condition of vulnerable interdependence.
Senior United Church chaplain Shaun Yaskiw writes that for United Church chaplains, ministry at sea is ever-changing.
The Rev. Norm Seli writes about creating worship that speaks to people on the autism spectrum.
Recent acts of hate targeting United Church ministries who are affirming of LGBTQIA2S+ people, show the importance of continuing to struggle for justice and inclusion for all.
Basil Coward asks, Can you be both queer and Black, and enjoy a celebrated and visible presence in the United Church?
Mandate magazine consulted people with disabilities across the church and invited them to share their experiences in The United Church of Canada.
Following personal challenges and global tragedies, Japhet Ndhlovu finds fortitude and centring in God and colleagues through United Church clergy gatherings.
Two Canadian Armed Forces chaplains remember United Church minister, the Rev. William Alfred Seaman, who served as a chaplain during World War II and is among those who lost their lives in Normandy 75 years ago.
Get to know Emmanuela Loccident and Fritz Gerald-Joseph, new Co-workers in Mission. They begin a joint appointment of The United Church of Canada and the Common Global Ministries Board (United Church of Christ USA/Disciples of Christ) assigned to the Evangelical Church of Morocco.… Read more
In her "Note from Nora," General Secretary Nora Sanders writes that as live into our new church structures, we can now look forward to having more time for conversations about what we seek to be as church.
Called to serve in global mission, Rob Witmer writes about his lifelong passion to serve in Japan.
Called to serve on a global mission trip to Nicaragua, Sarah Jane Wetelainen's faith journey and life choices were fundamentally shaped by the experience.
Called to serve in global mission service in Korea, John Egger is discovering firsthand the exciting new things God is calling us to.
In the blog post Rev. David Sherwin writes that being a Christian isn’t something we are, it is something we aspire to be. When we practice our faith we set ourselves free.
A reflection on the temptation of Jesus (Luke 4:1-13).
I seldom imagine Jesus as vulnerable to temptation. For me, Jesus is confident, outspoken, insightful, inspiring – even unshakable in his conviction that the world can and must be better, and that love is the way. But… Read more
Lent is a time for contemplation, for going a bit deeper, for finding the places where pain and joy and fear and hope intersect.
The editor of Mandate magazine finds that in these times of change, there are no easy answers when it comes to talking about God with youth.
Everyday Skeptics: Devotions for Spiritual Growth is the new United Church Lenten devotional for 2019. It features reflections from United Church partners who do local and global ministry, often in challenging situations of "prophetic risk." We spoke with the editor of the book,… Read more
I join other people in the ecumenical world to celebrate and recognize an honour that has been bestowed on the Rev. Jose Belo Chipenda. The President of the Republic of Angola, João Lourenço, recognised the contributions to the gaining and preservation of National Independence, as well as peace… Read more
My earliest church memories are tethered to St. James-Bond United Church in Toronto. (Of course, we called it “Bond…St. James Bond, United Church,” with a Sean Connery burr.) I won’t elaborate with tales of basketball courts and bowling alleys, wonderful ministers, witty musicians, finger… Read more
We have received many comments and questions about whether or not to incorporate the “’Twas in the Moon of Wintertime” into Christmas carol services. Thanks to Dana Lynn Seaborn, of seabornsong.com, who offered us a helpful response to start the conversation… Read more
In the summer of 2018, our church decided to try Vacation Bible School camp (VBS).
The last time the United Church had organized a Vacations Bible School in the Gatineau Hills was circa 1955. Unsure of whether we could do this alone, Église Grace United Church asked our Anglican… Read more
During their visit to Saskatchewan Conference, the GC43 Pilgrims learned more about the First Nations groups in the area and more.
Are you a clergy person needing a little reminder about why you are in ministry? Are you a person considering ministry? This is the book for you!
The GC43 Pilgrims learn about human rights movements, Métis culture, and community in Winnipeg.
The GC43 Pilgrims learn from Creation and community, during their visit with the All Native Circle Conference.
It’s an anniversary year for the United Church as we celebrate and reflect on numerous milestone events that have played a significant role in shaping the church that we know and love today. Recently, I had the opportunity to interview a variety people about these anniversaries (see below) for a… Read more
In London Conference, the GC43 Pilgrims visit sites where healing is overcoming the oppression which once took place.
The GC43 Pilgrims take part in the Skylight Festival and visit some of the innovative ministries in Hamilton Conference.
The Bay of Quinte Conference was the fourth United Church Conference that we, the GC43 Pilgrims, had the amazing opportunity to see.
The GC43 youth pilgrims experience the rich history and culture of Canada during their visit to Montreal and Ottawa Conference.
Throughout our time in the Maritime Conference we had many insightful talks that were helpful leading into our time at General Council 43.
It started with a text message. The buzzing of my phone woke me up and I lay there for a few minutes enjoying the warm sun coming through my window. The Maritimes had been experiencing something of a heat wave but on this glorious morning everything seemed perfect. That soon changed.… Read more
I was eighteen, heading off to university, full of both excitement and anxiety for the new adventures of learning and life ahead. I was also already thinking about entering ordained ministry in The United Church of Canada. My spirit was bursting with passion for all things related to… Read more
We started this wonderful journey together separately, working in our home Conferences to understand the work our Conference does. When that week was over we traveled to Newfoundland to covenant and to learn from the wisdom of the place.
With the remits likely moving us toward a three-council model in The United Church of Canada, Living Waters Presbytery (Toronto Conference) wanted to ensure that local communities of faith will receive the… Read more
The old, grey stone steps of my local United Church in Toronto were recently transformed. They are now awash in a cheerful rainbow of hues, almost daring people who bustle by on the busy Toronto street not to stop and smile. I’m sure more than a few pedestrians have wondered, “What’s going on… Read more
Ever so often in the church I hear statements and experience attitudes that cause me concern. One such incident occurred recently in response to the outcome of Remit 6 (One Order of Ministry.) My concern is not about the apparent merits or demerits of Remit 6, or about who voted either for or… Read more
During this upcoming year, as major changes to our church structure are under consideration, many of us will be planning worship services for people who are dealing with and working through the complex feelings involved with change: the grief, loss, and sadness in saying goodbye to the courts of… Read more
For the first thousand years of Christianity, and particularly since the Council of Ephesus in 431, Mary has held a special place in Christian faith. But for just as long, there has been debate about how “special” that place ought to be.
Did you know that October is Clergy Appreciation Month? It was introduced in the United States in the 1990s but throughout church history people have taken time to thank their leaders.
“The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honour… Read more
October 31, 2017 marks the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, an important date in the history of the United Church and for Reformed Churches around the world. To commemorate the occasion, we are publishing a series of blog posts by Trisha Elliott on "What Makes Us Protestant… Read more
Windsor / Detroit churches commemorate their connection to rum-running and the Underground Railroad.
I’ve travelled enough that I know it’s possible to find a feeling of home away from home. I mean real, authentic familiarity, not just a good friend’s place or a comfortable motel. I’ve also travelled enough to know that this is really quite rare. A sense of belonging doesn’t come easy.
A review of Parker Palmer's Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation (Jossey-Bass Inc: San Francisco, 2000, 109 pages).
Sometimes we want to be people and things that we aren’t. These desires can be aspirations, and are sometimes even altruistic goals.… Read more
A couple of years ago, my wife decided what she would give up for Lent was complaining about being tired and overworked. Amazingly, she discovered that once she stopped telling herself how tired and overworked she was, she felt a lot less tired and overworked! Changing how she talked actually… Read more
In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night…
As we enter into Advent, we bring to mind the birth of Christ and the mystery of the Incarnation. It’s a time when we become a little more awe-filled with the chaotic, gracious… Read more
Keith Howard, former executive director of the Emerging Spirit project, writes about the future of The United Church of Canada.
At the risk of sounding naïve, the shape of The United Church of Canada, in my corner of the continent, seems to be emerging from the fog generated by… Read more