Carmen Lansdowne is an optimist who inspires actions that promote human prosperity in a flourishing web of life.

Carmen Lansdowne with Green Shirt
Credit: The United Church of Canada

Elected as Moderator at the 44th General Council in July 2022, The Right Rev. Dr. Carmen Lansdowne (she/her), Kwisa’lakw, is an ambassador for the new Call and Vision of The United Church of Canada, identifying three main priorities for her tenure:

  1. Engage Canada in change-making conversations involving for-profit, non-profit, faith, and different levels of government on issues that matter, resulting in deep dialogue and bold commitments.
  2. Widen the engagement of the Moderator’s office within and beyond the church.
  3. Mentor and invigorate next-generation leadership in the church, including Elders, in the process.

“For too long, our words and messages to each other in the church have been centred around fear,” she notes, as an invitation to the church to embrace prophecy and dreams, and the visions promised in the book of Joel and of Acts. “To flourish, we must uncover new and engaging ways of living into the beloved kin-dom in the world.”

Passionate about justice issues, she hopes to address specific concerns during her term:


Born in Alert Bay, BC, and a member of the Heiltsuk First Nation, Moderator Lansdowne attended the Vancouver School of Theology (VST) and was ordained into The United Church of Canada in 2007. She served Marengo Pastoral Charge (Alsask and Loverna, SK), and then completed a PhD from Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. She maintains her academic interests through guest lectures and various writing projects and as a Christ Institute Fellow with the Westar Institute.

In addition to her theological contributions as a writer and speaker, the Moderator has served the church in a variety of roles locally, nationally, and with the World Council of Churches. Until she was elected Moderator, she served as Executive Director of  First United Church Community Ministry Society, which serves the people of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. She resigned from First United effective June 30, 2023, and following her term as Moderator she is excited to join the faculty at Emmanuel College as Assistant Professor of United Church of Canada studies—she starts teaching January 2026.

An avid reader and traveller, she lives with her partner and two children in Coquitlam, BC. She is committed to Indigenous ways of being, partnering, and parenting. She works from both Toronto and Burnaby (or on a plane).

Moderator Carmen Lansdowne waiting for a train

Her experience in community

  • joined First United Church Community Ministry Society as Executive Director in February 2017;
  • has served on the executive and central committees of the World Council of Churches and various subcommittees;
  • has served as an ex-officio corresponding member of the General Council Executive;
  • has served on the Pension Board of The United Church of Canada; the Theology, Inter-Church and Inter-Faith Committee; and various subcommittees;
  • has served as one of six facilitators offering feedback from commissioners at General Council 43 and one of five facilitators at General Council 44;
  • chaired the Indigenous Candidacy Board of the United Church;
  • has served on the Keepers of the Vision of the Sandy Saulteaux Spiritual Centre;
  • sits on the Board of Directors of the Vancouver Foundation, Canada’s second-largest community foundation, until April 2024.