Round the Table

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

Last updated: 
July 29, 2016

When I was growing up, our family did not have a summer cottage, but we spent part of many summers at the cottage of our good friends, the Fosters. That cottage was on a beautiful lake in Muskoka, and although I haven’t been there for years, I have many clear images in my mind of the times there, swimming in the cold clear water, hiking over the rocks to pick blueberries, and reading by flashlight in the little bunkhouse down by the shore.

For years, if I was asked to name my favourite church, I would name the island on Muldrew Lake where cottagers gathered for outdoor worship on...

Last updated: 
July 25, 2016

Violence and racial injustice are making headlines these days, brought to attention by the Black Lives Matter movement and the tragic killings of black men and police officers in the United States. But this kind of violence and hatred isn't limited to the U.S. Canada has also suffered racial attacks and discrimination, as Canadian people of colour know all too well.

In 1976, (the soon-to-be Rev.) Anthony Bailey and his brother were attacked in Montreal by men shouting racial epithets and his brother was stabbed to death. This tragedy became part of the journey toward what Bailey...

Last updated: 
September 18, 2016

Walking home from work at this week at noon hour, I have seen groups of people congregating behind the community pool between the office and our house. I guessed what they were up to even before I noticed them all staring down at their cellphones. The resident Pokémon Go expert in our house had already discovered the Pokémon gym in that location about a week ago.

I understand that Pokémon are also being...

Last updated: 
July 15, 2016

Sun and shadows dancing across the pages of my book as the breeze moves through the branches above.
The earth moist and flowers perking up after yesterday’s much needed rain. 
The oppressive humidity cleared.
Two dogs stretched out sleeping under the patio table.

Last updated: 
July 6, 2016

Summer is an excellent time to schedule repairs to a heating system. Even though I can’t quibble with that logic, I am hoping that the man whose job it is to pound on a large metal heating vent with a hammer, right outside my office window, will soon be done his work.

Some things that are necessary are unpleasant, yet they still must be endured.

It’s easier to put up with unpleasant things when we understand the point of them. I know I will be grateful for this work when winter comes and the office stays warm.

Sometimes it is harder to understand the point of things...

Last updated: 
February 16, 2017

When the Toronto Pride Parade hits the streets on July 3, Rachel Lauren Clark will be marching and celebrating. The Emmanuel College theology student is very happy that organizers of this year’s Pride celebrations “made an effort to be much more adept at highlighting trans people and trans issues, plus the unique struggles they face.”

That awareness campaign got off to a big start early in June, when Clark, who transitioned in 2013, threw out the ceremonial first pitch at a Toronto Blue Jays game. That toss—“a really good...

Last updated: 
June 30, 2016

Welcome to Round the Table, a new blog from The United Church of Canada.

The Round the Table blog will cover topics related to the life of faith lived through the people and ministries of The United Church of Canada, including thoughtful messages from church leaders, stories from our partners  around the world, exciting new worship ideas, theological reflections, Bible studies, testimonies of faith, ministry best practices, and more. Each blog post will offer a peek at the work and life of The United Church of Canada.

In this time of increasing...