Round the Table

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

Last updated: 
May 9, 2017

There is something about being in a church full of people gathered to honour an exceptional life, well lived. Those who gathered at Emmanuel United Church in Ottawa on Thursday remembered Anne Squire as one of the people who started that congregation, where just a few weeks before her death she moved the motion that made her congregation an affirming congregation, something she had been working towards for years.

As the first lay woman to serve as Moderator of the...

Last updated: 
May 5, 2017
This is an excerpt from Moderator Jordan Cantwell's Accountability​ Report for the meeting General Council Executive, May 6-7, 2017. Please pray for those meeting for GCE as you consider the Moderator's reflection below. You can read the full GCE Workbook here
I was reflecting recently on the story of Jesus and
Last updated: 
May 4, 2017

Sometimes in applying for grants, the questions you are asked can lead to new avenues for reflection. When a committee at Crescent Fort Rouge United Church (CFRUC) in Winnipeg applied for funding from Embracing the Spirit, the questions we were asked led us to  give real thought to two subjects: “What makes a successful partnership?” and “What is the connection between art and...

Last updated: 
May 4, 2017

A review of Parker Palmer's Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation (Jossey-Bass Inc: San Francisco, 2000, 109 pages).

Sometimes we want to be people and things that we aren’t. These desires can be aspirations, and are sometimes even altruistic goals. But if we force ourselves to do and be things that we aren’t, we won’t be happy, God won’t be pleased.

God has made us each as we are and when we deny who we are, with all our various gifts and faults, we are denying the uniqueness and individuality that God blessed us with at our Creation....

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April 28, 2017

I was sitting in the basement at Windermere United in Toronto on a dreary Sunday afternoon. I felt heartsick and numb as I stared down at pieces of cloth that were crumpled and cast aside on the floor.

I had just participated in a KAIROS blanket exercise, which uses blankets to powerfully show how settlers took away land—and with it, rights and dignity—from Indigenous peoples. The few colourful remnants of material left on the dull carpet represented the colossal impact of colonization: vibrant communities, cultures, and...

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May 1, 2017

May is Asian Heritage Month, and the perfect time to prayerfully reflect on the contributions of Asian Canadians to Canadian society. Liturgies, songs, and other material that can be used in Asian Heritage Month services can be found on our Worship Resources pages.

The month has been celebrated in the United States since 1979. In December 2001, the Canadian Senate adopted a motion proposed by Senator Vivienne Poy — the first Canadian of Asian descent appointed to the Senate of...

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April 20, 2017

Doves have been an important symbol of peace for Christians since early biblical times. In 1944, when the United Church Crest was adopted, a dove representing “the Holy Spirit (Mark 1:10) whose transforming power has been a distinctive mark of Methodism” was placed at its peak.

Another dove — this one much harder to see — has been flying high in the main reception area on the second floor of the General Council...

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April 18, 2017

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.

The network is a joint project between the United Church’s EDGE and Embracing the Spirit networks and The Presbyterian Church in Canada. Since launching in June 2016, it now...

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April 12, 2017

Moderator Jordan Cantwell urges everyone to watch and share this powerful three-minute video, “Letter to a Terrorist,” made by a group of young Muslims in Winnipeg. 

The Rev. Dr. Loraine MacKenzie Shepherd of Westworth United Church in Winnipeg sent the video to the Moderator, noting that the group used the Assiniboine...

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April 6, 2017

Attracting young people is a challenge every congregation faces, but the Rev. Dr. Simon Muwowo thinks he has the answer: engaging youth using an outside-in approach

“Our engagement with the youth is not aimed at locating Christ in their hearts, but in their midst,” he explains. “Our ministry with the youth is not within the four corners of the church building, but outside.”

As minister for the Burin Pastoral Charge in Newfoundland, Muwowo helped start Coffee House Two 52. The group, open to anyone between the ages of...