Church Life

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October 12, 2017

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.

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October 10, 2017

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, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.” (1 Timothy 5:17 NIV)

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October 19, 2017

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.

The Protestant Reformation is arguably the most...

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September 25, 2017

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. Yet these changes will not become final and definite until they are confirmed by the 43rd General Council, which will be held in July...

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May 23, 2017

Windsor / Detroit churches commemorate their connection to rum-running and the Underground Railroad.

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May 18, 2017

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.

My dad is a United Church minister, which means I grew up deeply involved in The United Church of Canada. It was always comfortable. When I was young, it was a place to steal communion bread and play with my siblings, a place to sing and accidentally break stuff. During high school, it was a place...

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May 5, 2017
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
 
I was reflecting recently on the story of Jesus and
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May 4, 2017

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.

God has made us each as we are and when we deny who we are, with all our various gifts and faults, we are denying the uniqueness and individuality that God blessed us with at our Creation....

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April 20, 2017

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.

Another dove — this one much harder to see — has been flying high in the main reception area on the second floor of the General Council...

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March 28, 2017

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....

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