Round the Table

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

Last updated: 
September 22, 2017

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.

Together in 2015 the church voted to support a national project of story-sharing and dialogue (The Living Apology) indicating that now is a good time to reflect and talk about what happened in the years leading up to (and following) our landmark 1988 vote that affirmed sexual orientation is not a barrier to full participation...

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September 12, 2017

On my desk I have an article posted behind my computer by William H. Willimon. In the February 17, 2016 edition of The Christian Century, Willimon wrote an article titled: “Why leaders are a pain.” When I was hired in my current job as program coordinator for ministry recruitment, I was enthusiastic about finding and encouraging the leaders of tomorrow to answer their call to...

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September 8, 2017

Labour Day is past, kids are back in school, and churches across Canada are gearing up for all the busy activities of the fall season.

At the General Council Office, we are in the midst of massive upheaval unrelated to the change of seasons. After months of preparation, and weeks of camping out in temporary office spaces, we are in the final stages of our big office move.

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August 30, 2017

In a few days, I will begin my Master of Divinity degree at Emmanuel College, studying with the intent to serve the church as a minister. After having completed an undergraduate degree in French literature, I suppose it’s a bit easier for me to see how studying theology might seem, well… more Christian. However, I’m left facing the question that all students face as we enter a new school year: What’s the point?

To be sure,...

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August 25, 2017

Rivers and lakes should be important to all Canadians. For Indigenous groups, however, who have been sustainably caretaking and traversing these waterways for over 15,000 years, water is a sacred gift, an essential element that sustains and connects all life. That’s one of the reasons why a large tipi was erected on the banks of the Athabasca River on Canada Day, by members of the Keepers of the Athabasca.

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August 18, 2017

Two years ago, I was driving out of a town where one of our congregations was located. My younger son was in the back seat of the car. As we turned onto the highway leading out of the town my son raised an alarm. He noted that a Confederate flag was flying in the yard of someone in that town. Things changed for my son that day. This was the congregation he always liked attending and always wanted to come with me when I was going there. Indeed, he had made many good friends with the young people there (and he still...

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August 22, 2017

A practiced curiosity about “what God is up to” has pointed EDGE to the huge creative energy welling up in the social enterprise sector in Canada. All well and good, but what does this have to do with church?

First let’s define what we mean by the term “social enterprise.” In this context, social enterprise refers to a movement of creating not-for-profit and for-profit businesses with a core vision to make a better world. This movement is engaged largely by post-Boomer generations. Typically, these enterprises focus on...

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August 10, 2017

Not far from Pinawa, Manitoba there is a fascinating place where centuries ago, people arranged rocks into the shapes of turtles, snakes, fish, and humans. There is a sense of mystery, even of the sacred, as you walk among these ancient figures. God has spoken to people throughout history. God continues to speak to us today.

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July 31, 2017

Last week, I wrote about truth-telling and took a walk back along some of the key moments of my recent truth-journey in relation to the legacy of residential schools. I mentioned that in conversation with a colleague I spoke about how there are other truths we need to know as Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples journey forward.

What are these other truths that we need to know? What paths do we need to travel backwards along in order to learn truths that will help us move forward? Truths about other...

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July 24, 2017

"We don’t seem to hear much or speak much about truth any more." That’s what a colleague said to me on my second day at work in my new role as an Indigenous Justice and Reconciliation Animator for the United Church of Canada. We were speaking about truth-telling, healing and reconciliation in relation to the legacy of residential schools. I observed that in addition to the ongoing need to talk about residential schools there are many other truths yet to be told and understood as Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples walk together towards reconciliation. Truths about other aspects of our...