Which Mission and Service stories speak to you?

Primary Media
A teenager holds a slice of orange in the shape of a smile in front of her mouth.
Credit: Cave Springs Camp
Published On: December 6, 2023

For January, we asked four staff members to choose a Mission and Service story that is meaningful to them and tell us a bit about why.

January 7: Learning the Gospel at Camp

Church camp has been an important part of my faith journey. I attended youth camp as a teen with my girlfriend (who would later become my spouse), counselled for a couple of summers, and our kids started as soon as they could and went for many years. It was as a counsellor that I learned many of the important practical skills that impacted my years of congregational ministry.

United Church camps are one of the longest lived and most successful training grounds for leaders, and for sharing gospel living, that the church has.

I am happy to know that Mission and Service is part of helping them continue.

Dave Jagger, Community of Faith Stewardship Lead

January 14: Making a Home for Refugees

A banner held up by 2 people reads Welcome Refugees
Credit: The United Church of Canada

The story Making a Home for Refugees: ChrisAnn Alvarez's Work is accompanied by a video in which ChrisAnn talks about how people don’t necessarily want to come to Canada—they are forced to leave their home and seek safety elsewhere.

In light of the siege on Gaza, I have been thinking about how terrifying it is for families with nowhere to go. Palestinians have been displaced and occupied for decades, and many have ended up in Canada. This presence of new Canadians may be great for our country but doesn’t solve the underlying issues of the occupation.

I can’t imagine the internal struggle for those in Gaza and the West Bank—if an opportunity opens, do you go and leave everything, feeling that your departure is disloyal? Or do you stay in this incredibly unsafe space, where missiles don’t discriminate and a peaceful future seems impossible?

At the end of the video, ChrisAnn chokes up as she says, “I want to see a world where everyone has a place they can call home. I think we take that very much for granted here.” That is all I want too. Whether that home is the place where they were born or a country far away, I want everyone to have a land to connect with and feel safe in.

Vicki Nelson, Community of Faith Stewardship Support

January 21: Providing Tuition Assistance

Three young Muslim girls sit around a table discussing their homework.
Credit: © Rawpixelimages | Dreamstime.com

For a long time, I have been so proud of the justice work we do through Mission and Service. Yes, we offer important emergency aid, but I believe that our best work happens when we help bring long-lasting impacts to the lives of individuals and communities.

One of the areas I am passionate about supporting is education. As Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful [instrument] we can use to change the world!” I like that. Providing tuition assistance to young people in Lebanon is life-changing and will have lasting impacts on the whole community!

Roger Janes, Community of Faith Stewardship Officer

January 28: Preserving Culture through Language Revitalization

An older man and two young women sit at a desk stacked with papers, books, and binders. In the background are more small groups sitting at tables.
Credit: Haida Gwaii Skidegate

When a language disappears, we aren’t just losing words. The world is losing the stories, the culture, and the unique perspectives and ways of an entire people. The thought of someone pouring their heart into sharing stories and songs, and someday those expressions of humanity being unreadable, is deeply unsettling.

The efforts of Mission and Service partners to preserve languages unites people in a common passion while rediscovering history. When a language is restored and revitalized, knowledge, perspective, and passion are restored alongside it. The language allows the essence of loved ones to dance in our memories and encourage our future.

Lindsay Vautour, Engagement and Stewardship Associate