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June 17, 2019

Basil Coward asks, Can you be both queer and Black, and enjoy a celebrated and visible presence in the United Church? 

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June 12, 2019

Jordan Sullivan asks, “What measure of privilege are we willing to give up to create equity for others?”

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April 30, 2019

For Asian Heritage Month, YoonOK Shin writes that our diverse heritages are gifts to give and receive, transforming bleak cultural boundaries. 

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March 21, 2019

In this blog post for the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Sara Stratton writes that it is a tremendous act of presumption and privilege to assume that we are “all the same inside.”

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March 14, 2019

“Your English is so good!” she said politely as I sought to explain the nature of the transaction I would like to undertake. I couldn’t help but respond, “Well I am from a British colony.” I have never been assessed by the quality of my English before but I guess there is a first time for everything.

What would have given this friendly woman the idea that I was unlikely to speak English well? I shudder to think that she looked at me and, from my physical appearance, had some expectations — but when I was different from what she expected she was impressed. Yet in interaction after...

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February 26, 2019

Row on row we stood… in the brand new courtyard… row on row of young girls in navy tunics or navy skirts, white starched shirts, ties, and polished oxfords. I wore my new navy blazer with its red school crest, because it was a special occasion. The Honourable Lieutenant Governor Lincoln Alexander was coming to our school’s reopening, so row on row we stood. I remember it was a bright autumn day, and it was so warm that I did not need my pea jacket. I thought, “This new private all-girl school is interesting! We...

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February 11, 2019
Black History Month is about the history of all of us.

That was brought home to me loud and clear when I read Paul Douglas Walfall’s blog about the role of United Church ministers in supporting the Ku Klux Klan in the prairies in the 1920s. It is a part of history that I did not know about, and that I would rather not know about. But it is important that I know about it.

Why did I hear about this uncomfortable part of our history from Rev. Walfall, who began his life and his...
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March 4, 2019

“History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.” —Maya Angelou, “On the Pulse of Morning”

In July 2017 I received the then latest issue of The Journal of the Historical Society of the Alberta and Northwest Conference of The United Church of Canada. In that issue I was particularly interested in the article “The KKK and the Church,” written by Rev. Lloyd Lovatt. It was interesting reading and yet it was also difficult at points to absorb. I read that the Ku Klux Klan came to Alberta in the 1920s through...

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December 13, 2018

My earliest church memories are tethered to St. James-Bond United Church in Toronto. (Of course, we called it “Bond…St. James Bond, United Church,” with a Sean Connery burr.) I won’t elaborate with tales of basketball courts and bowling alleys, wonderful ministers, witty musicians, finger sandwiches, ukuleles, and poster paint because you likely have similar memories of a church with a slightly less cool name. These days, when I travel along Avenue Road, I see condos where there was once a church. And I feel a little sentimental tug—a nostalgia that I can often confuse with sadness....

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August 3, 2018

On Friday, July 27 as I sat in the General Council meeting, a flood of emotions, thoughts, and reactions washed over me. I had no idea that the plenary would have taken the direction it took. I listened and heard the stories, some of which I had heard before and some which were new to me. I said to myself, “Now I will be blamed for being the reason which led to the derailing of the meeting.”

In many ways the 43rd General Council stopped, it did not end. It stopped because we had...