The GC43 youth pilgrims share their learnings and adventures from their visit to the Maritimes. 

The GC43 youth pilgrims gather around the Atlantic School of Theology entrance during their visit to Maritimes Conference in Summer 2018.
Credit: Courtesy of the GC43 Pilgrims
Published On: August 28, 2018

The GC43 youth pilgrims made their way across Canada this summer, with the goal of visiting every United Church conference, including a stop at the 43rd General Council meeting in Oshawa, ON. Read all the blog posts from their journey and see more pictures on their Facebook page and Instagram feed.

As our time with Newfoundland and Labrador Conference came to an end, our journey with Maritime Conference began. Once we arrived in Halifax we were greeted at the airport by the welcoming smile of one of our fellow youth from the Winter Gathering, Jason O’Hearn. Jason lives in Cambellton, New Brunswick, which is a 10-hour train ride to Halifax. We were so grateful to have him present during our stay in Maritime Conference.  

We were hosted by the Atlantic School of Theology, this is where we spent our nights and some of our presentation time. The campus is absolutely stunning. Our lodge was right by the water, so it embodies one of the characteristics of the Maritimes. The day we arrived we celebrated the birthday of our fellow pilgrim, Robert Goss from Bay of Quinte, with ice cream cake. The following day we had time off from programming, so we went and explored downtown Halifax and the waterfront.  

Throughout our time in the Maritime Conference we had many insightful talks that were helpful leading into our time at General Council 43. One of these talks include our time with Shannon MacLean and Emma Seamone. We talked about proposals in the areas of social justice and pension plans which helped us to acknowledge all the perspectives in the church.  

On Sunday we worshiped with Bedford United Church, where we met with another youth from the Winter Gathering. On this particular Sunday they were celebrating their Pride service because this is their twelfth year as an affirming church. Seeing first-hand how proud they are to be an open and inclusive congregation is incredible. Their sanctuary was also shaped like the crest, which was unlike any other church we’ve been to. While at Bedford, we talked with David Hart, who ran for Moderator at the 43rd General Council. He shared with us his passion for supporting the congregational level of the church. It was interesting to hear about some of the ways we could support this part of the church.  

To end our time in the Maritimes we worked at an outreach mission called Sunday Suppers. This is an outreach ministry that feeds those in need. At this specific ministry, food is served directly people sitting at a table. The process is all so quick!  

During our final hours in Halifax we talked with Jesse Hilts about the “seven deadly sins in the modern day” and finished with donairs for lunch. We then proceeded to the airport where we said goodbye to the Maritimes and made our way to Montreal. We were so thankful for the experiences we had in Halifax and we couldn’t wait to see what the rest of the summer had in store for us. 

— Co-written by Jesse Moffat of British Columbia Conference and Isabella Barbeiro of Manitou Conference. 

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