“Faith and queerness have not always been natural friends,” says the Rev. Ralph Wushke, chaplain at the Ecumenical Chaplaincy at the University of Toronto.
In 2005 the chaplaincy created Qu(e)erying Religion. The program creates a safe space for students of all faiths to explore gender identity, sexual orientation, and religious belief. It has grown to become a meaningful and life-giving program for students.
Marie was 11 years old when she was raped and became pregnant. Her story is that of many girls in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The country’s citizens have been traumatized by a long-standing and brutal conflict. During the civil war that ended in 2003, 5.4 million people died. Localized conflicts continue. Millions of people have been uprooted and displaced.
Many social services are not provided by the state, so hospitals and schools are run by churches, like Mission & Service partner Église du Christ au Congo, Department of Women, Children, and Family.
Let us hear a story of one ministry and a historic event in Moraviantown, London Conference.
We give thanks that in April 2016 land was transferred from The United Church of Canada back to the Delaware Nation. The land is known as Fairfield and has become a national historic site with a history dating back to the 1700s.
The Liqwiltach Elders’ and Youth Culture Group hosts events and learning experiences in the Campbell River area of British Columbia. Led by volunteer June Johnson, the group connects residential school survivors with local Indigenous youth to provide learning experiences that revitalize culture and language.
These experiences also provide a space for youth from different communities to share their oral histories and traditions, which are once again being passed down from generation to generation.
From Lorne Calvert, Principal of St. Andrew’s Theological College in Saskatoon:
“Our United Church of Canada has initiated a new campaign to attract people to ordered ministry under the theme 'God’s World Needs Leaders.' As a college whose mission is to offer justice-driven education for Christian leadership, we welcome this undertaking.
May is Asian Heritage Month. The month provides a continuing opportunity to prayerfully reflect on the contributions of Asian Canadians to our church and Canadian society and to honour and celebrate this important aspect of Canadian history.
In church and society, Asian cultures and traditions are broad and diverse.
Comprising many language groups, cultural traditions, histories, and ways of expressing faith, Asian Canadians have many ways of being.
Anchored in faith, the staff of London Community Chaplaincy in Ontario walks with the communities of Southdale and Limberlost, building relationships and offering hope, presence, opportunities, and support to people living in poverty.
Countless volunteers help with programs that enrich the lives of the many children who are impacted by poverty. London Community Chaplaincy walks with the families in a non-judgmental, loving way.
Canadians think of our country as a multicultural society. Migrant populations arriving in Korea are a relatively new phenomenon. In 1997 there were only about 380,000 foreigners living in Korea. By 2011 that number had increased to 1.4 million.
We celebrate the Mission & Service foundation of missionaries like Dr. Robert Baird McClure!
The thick file on Dr. McClure at the United Church Archives contains many newspaper articles, images, and personal stories about this incredible man. He went from being the child of missionaries, to a doctor in China in the 1930s and 1940s, to the first lay Moderator of The United Church of Canada.
Fran Forsberg shares her experience of Camp Caterpillar on Candle Lake, Saskatchewan:
“Being a mom of three gender-variant children I was afraid to give my children the experience of camp. I was afraid that my children would be singled out as weird, bullied by staff and other children for the simple fact that they do not fit into the gender norm.