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 as Theotokos, or “Bearer of God.” But for just as long, there has been debate about how “special” that place ought to be.
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." Take a look at all the blog posts in this series.
At the end of September 2017 the commissioners of the 42nd General Council will gather electronically for the reconvening of General Council. This purpose of reconvening the General Council will be to further the work began by the Comprehensive Review Task Force to make structural changes to The United Church of Canada.
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.
This is an excerpt from Moderator Jordan Cantwell's Accountability Report for the meeting General Council Executive, May 6-7, 2017. Please pray for those meeting for GCE as you consider the Moderator's reflection below. You can read the full GCE Workbook here.
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. But if we force ourselves to do and be things that we aren’t, we won’t be happy, God won’t be pleased.
Doves have been an important symbol of peace for Christians since early biblical times. In 1944, when the United Church Crest was adopted, a dove representing “the Holy Spirit (Mark 1:10) whose transforming power has been a distinctive mark of Methodism” was placed at its peak.
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 changed her reality.
We can say things often enough that they start to actually determine reality rather than just describe it. They might be factually true, but they are unhelpful because of what they reinforce.