We - Grandma and two of the grandsons - were rushing towards Safeco Field to see the Toronto Blue Jays play the Seattle Mariners. The delay at the border had been long, traffic had been heavy, the shuttle was overbooked and the hotel was a distance from the ballpark.
We were scurrying. All hope of seeing batting practice had been abandoned; the goal now was simply not to miss the first pitch.
A United Church in Winnipeg has found a unique way to reach out to and engage the surrounding community: through art. For 11 weeks, from late February to mid-May, Crescent Fort Rouge United Church (CFRUC) held art-related activities at the church, complemented by a three-day art show in April.
The important work of Canadian missionaries in China in the years from 1892 to 1950 comes alive through hundreds of historical photos in the Canadians in China: Old Photos from Sichuan exhibit at the Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto, from Oct. 14 to 18.
If you want to see how The United Church of Canada is building bridges to specific groups in Canada, look no further than College Street United in Toronto. For the past 18 months, this downtown church has been home to Pontes de Graça, a lively ministry aimed at Portuguese speaking people in the city.
For a United Church chaplain on his first naval posting, it was a “real baptism by fire.”
So says Padre (Major) Mike Gibbons, 37, recounting the evening of February 27, 2014, aboard HMCS Protecteur. The supply ship was 600 kilometres out of Pearl Harbor when a large fire suddenly engulfed its engine room, crippling its power supply, as four-metre waves tossed the darkened, disabled ship around.
I spent the first part of this week as an ecumenical guest at the annual gathering of the Canadian Council of Catholic Bishops. There are some things about their meetings that are very different from ours in the United Church, (no lineups at the women’s washroom is one of them), but as with any Christian group, the things we hold in common are greater than the differences.
“When you do something, someone will come behind you.” Alberta Billy, who asked the United Church for an apology 30 years ago, said that. She and many others trusted that it would be so, and we have been blessed through their courage and trust.
Attracting young families is a challenge many churches face, but Castlegar United Church in Castlegar, British Columbia, thinks it may have a solution.
Every fourth Sunday, families from the surrounding community are invited to take part in a Worship for the Child Within event. Rev. Greg Powell, minister for Castlegar United, says that Castlegar has tried to design a style of worship that is “engaging for young and old alike.”