Reformers were conflicted about the cross. They disagreed about whether to reject or use the crucifix, to adopt an unadorned cross, or to discard the symbol altogether. Most Protestant churches today tend to be less ornate and our crosses bare—a direct reflection of the Reformation call to integrity.
The Millstream Pastoral Charge in New Brunswick may be small in size — less than 40 active families in a four-point charge — but its generosity towards others is major league. Its members already support various outreach services in the neighbouring town of Sussex, including a clothing depot, sponsoring a foster child in Africa, donations to the Red Cross for disaster relief, and a transition house for abused women.
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.
A colleague mentioned that the salmon were spawning in the Humber River yesterday, so I chose that route for my run this morning. I stopped near a small waterfall and watched these sleek, gleaming, determined fish make their way against the current, trying again and again to overcome what looked like an insurmountable barrier. Science has explanations for these things, but not for the sense of wonder I felt as I observed it.
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 United Church of Canada is participating in a dialogue process on reconciliation with the Uniting Church in Australia focussing on both countries' and churches' shared yet very different experiences of colonization and reconciliation. Rev. Dr. Chris Budden, a member of the delegation from the Uniting Church in Australia and the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress, which visited Canada July 14-31, reflects here on their experience.
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.
1988. Even mentioning this date is enough to silence a room. For others in the United Church it is the beginning of new conversations around acknowledgement and lament, apology and reconciliation with lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and 2-Spirit (LGBTQ2) people.