It was one of those mornings where I had 30 minutes of stuff to do before I left home, but only five minutes to get into the car and get to the office. I stopped to look at my phone and there it was an email from the General Secretary.
I was wondering if you might be available to write a Bible study for Black History Month?
“There’s no way I can do this,” was my first thought when asked by those at the United Church General Council Office to contribute a Bible study for Black History Month. Me, a White guy,… Read more
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… Read more
Paul Douglas Walfall writes that if we are to claim diversity, we need to challenge our assumptions about who and what is normative in Canada and in the church.
Canada is often ranked as “the best place to live.” We often perceive Canada to be a friendly and accepting place. But for some it is a place where they experience racism.
Racism is a system of oppression. It is fed by individual and collective attitudes, and by actions that discriminate… Read more
Rev. Dr. Paul Douglas Walfall calls on White people in the church to put their love into action to counteract racism.
“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… Read more
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.”
“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”
Rev. Dr. Karen Georgia A. Thompson writes about the UN International Decade for People of African Descent and how it extends the opportunity to focus on Black history beyond February.
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… Read more
I had the amazing privilege (no pun intended) of attending the White Privilege Conference Global in May, held for the first time in Canada. (It has been held in the U.S. for the past 19 years). It was an amazing event, and I was delighted that other than school boards, The United Church of… Read more
I am a racist – a recovering racist. My workplace has helped me open my heart and mind to how racism shaped me. As editor of the At the Heart of Justice blog, I was pleased to uplift the theme of racial justice. What I came to understand was that my pleasure reflected… Read more
Wendy Gichuru reflects on how the negotiation of sacred and profane in Kendrick Lamar’s music contributes to the making of Black meaning.
Rev. Andrew Kinoti Lairenge writes that growing up in post-colonial Kenya, he did not know what it was to be a person of colour or visible minority. It is in Canada that he is learning to be Black.
In the wake of Don Cherry’s divisive and hurtful statements, Rev. Dr. Paul Douglas Walfall asks, “Why is it that immigrants and people of colour have become the punching bag for some in our society?”
Rev. Dr. Bentley de Bardelaben-Phillips of the United Church of Christ, writes about the recent powerful tour he took with colleagues to the Alabama cities of Birmingham and Montgomery, where much civil rights history took place.
Dr. Velda Love of the United Church of Christ writes that her history is African centred and it’s beautiful.
General Secretary Nora Sanders writes that, when we fail to recognize that our acceptance of inequality is a form of racism, we fail to live up to our basic Christian commitments.
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… Read more
For Asian Heritage Month, YoonOK Shin writes that our diverse heritages are gifts to give and receive, transforming bleak cultural boundaries.
Full disclosure. I am a Black man. I was born in Jamaica and I am an immigrant to Canada. Having served as an ordained minister of The Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas, I am now an ordained minister of The United Church of Canada. I wanted to say this upfront so that you can… Read more
Jordan Sullivan asks, “What measure of privilege are we willing to give up to create equity for others?”
Basil Coward asks, Can you be both queer and Black, and enjoy a celebrated and visible presence in the United Church?
For the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, Peter Cruchley writes about the Council for World Mission’s efforts to seek truth and make reparations for its historic role in support of slavery.
We stood in the hallway of a retreat centre and listened to our instructions. The animator would read us a question. If our answer was yes, we were to take a step forward. If our answer was no, we were to stay where we were.
The animator told us to move forward if this statement was true… Read more
Canada became my home at the age of five. I entered the Canadian education system as a kindergarten student. Although I felt some racial tension throughout elementary school, it was not until I reached high school that racism became bluntly obvious. Upon my acceptance into high school I was… Read more
That our United Church of Canada is undergoing change goes without saying. As generational and demographic experiences of church have shifted, the church has been exploring many matters which centre on diversity and inclusivity.
He was beautiful to me. We exchanged knowing glances and I thought “he could be my son.” Then a subway authority officer stopped him, the twinkle left his eye, and my heart sank.
As a recent immigrant from Asia, Rev. SunDo Hyun finds that opening oneself to intercultural opportunities — despite the challenges — can be transforming and life-giving.