Round the Table

Sharing stories of life, faith, and ministry in the United Church and beyond.

Last updated: 
February 24, 2017

Connecting to young adults is a problem for churches across the land. Brenda Timpson, minister at College Hill United Church in Belleville, Ontario, may have found the answer: invite them to a cooking class.

“Everybody has to eat,” says Timpson. “These classes have proven to be very successful in reaching an age group that is traditionally very difficult for churches to reach out to.”

Last updated: 
February 16, 2017

Ministry at Emmanuel United Church in Ottawa doesn’t just stay inside the church walls — it regularly extends to Africa, Central America, and beyond.

Last updated: 
February 13, 2017

Attendance at a Friday afternoon Muslim prayer service at the General Council Office (GCO) almost doubled last week, thanks to the presence of about two dozen GCO staff members and guests. They were there to show solidarity, following the mass shooting at the Centre Culture Islamique de Québec in late January.

Last updated: 
February 10, 2017

Moderator Jordan Cantwell is halfway through her three-year term in office. She has a very ambitious plan for what she hopes to accomplish in her remaining 18 months in office, as she explains in this interview with Paul Russell.

Paul: 2016 was a busy period in the church’s life. How did you feel at the end of it?

Jordan: I was utterly exhausted at the end of last year. When the General Council Executive meeting at the end of November was done, I was done.

Paul: How did you re-energize?

Last updated: 
February 3, 2017

Somewhere in The United Church of Canada’s General Council Office (GCO) in Toronto lies a piece of the Berlin Wall.

That important piece of mortar is mentioned in two undated documents, both stating it was once shown in a display case near the reception desk. The Wall remnant was presented as a covenanting gift from the German-based Evangelical Church of the Union in 1992. While the chalice, paten, and pyx (goblet, plate, and container for consecrated bread) that were also presented as covenanting gifts are still on display, the Berlin Wall fragment is nowhere to be seen.

Last updated: 
January 24, 2017

Last week I published a blog, 5 Reasons the Church May Not Find a Way Ahead. This blog is the counterpoint.

First, a couple of preliminary clarifications.

Last updated: 
January 18, 2017

On the wet, West Coast of Canada, where I live and work, we have grown accustomed to the decline of the mainline church, particularly The United Church of Canada. We now whine very little about the unfair playing field of a consumer society, soccer on Sundays or undisciplined Christians.

The sod has settled over the grave of Christendom. The church and its leaders no longer carry the clout that existed when many current leaders were in their youth.

Last updated: 
January 13, 2017

Congregations undoubtedly do amazing work. We have health services, food banks, children’s programming, leadership development, summer camps, long term care facilities, and programming to support every subsector of society with almost any challenge (not to mention supporting our communities with spiritual grounding, emotional support, and connection).

Last updated: 
December 19, 2016

If you are part of a group working to improve the social good of your community — or if you have skills or experience that could help such a group grow and expand — the Social Mentor Network wants to hear from you.

Last updated: 
December 15, 2016

It’s Advent, a time of preparation.

With the lives we lead, juggling various responsibilities, are any of us ever just preparing for one thing?