General Secretary

Posts and reflections from General Secretary Nora Sanders

Last updated: 
May 13, 2019

In her "Note from Nora," General Secretary Nora Sanders writes that as live into our new church structures, we can now look forward to having more time for conversations about what we seek to be as church.

Last updated: 
April 12, 2019

General Secretary Nora Sanders writes that "Even in times of sadness, there is much to be grateful for."

Last updated: 
March 25, 2019

How is your Lenten practice going? 
I am happy to report that I have not eaten any candy since Shrove Tuesday. Well that is almost true; I did accidentally forget that a marshmallow might be considered candy and helped myself to one in my hot chocolate a couple of weeks ago. Candy is such a small thing to give up, although given my habits and sweet tooth, I am reminded several times each day that this is Lent, and that there is something that I am foregoing during this time.
There have been a lot of things bigger than candy for us to think about

Last updated: 
March 8, 2019

Lent is a time for contemplation, for going a bit deeper, for finding the places where pain and joy and fear and hope intersect.

Last updated: 
January 25, 2019
We finally have winter in Toronto. At least, we have had three or four days of winter, with beautiful fresh snow, and temperatures that have many staying inside.

Having lived in the far north, I have all the clothes to keep me warm in the cold weather, so I have been enjoying being out. There is something about winter weather that makes you feel very vigorous, very Canadian. I have to admit to being a little disdainful when I hear the voices on the radio talking about “extreme cold warnings”…I have never actually experienced extreme cold in Toronto.

Of course,...
Last updated: 
December 24, 2018

If I am a little bit turned upside down this Christmas there is some reason for it. I am recently back from “Down Under” where I met with my counterpart from the Uniting Church in Australia and those in similar roles with the United Church of Christ (U.S.) and the United Reformed Church (Great Britain). When we are together, which doesn’t happen...

Last updated: 
November 30, 2018

“Great is thy faithfulness, Great is thy faithfulness, Morning by morning new mercies I see…”

For no reason I could think of, this was the song I was humming to myself as I set out for my early walk with the dogs on a recent rainy, windy, November morning.

Heading out in the early light on such a morning, before some of the houses on our street even have their lights on, one could wonder, “Why?” What and where are the new mercies?

Yet, in the company of two large and enthusiastic canine companions, it is hard to not share at least a little in their...

Last updated: 
October 19, 2018
Time is such a precious commodity, and we often complain about not having enough of it.

Last weekend when the GC43 Executive Elect met to continue discerning how they will meet and be accountable and ensure that they hear from diverse voices, one of the things that was mentioned was that we may need to get over being so rigidly time bound. It was left as a challenge, an intention, but without a clear strategy for now.

I had cause to reflect on the value of time on Wednesday as I sat in the parking lot on the north edge of Toronto that is otherwise known as...
Last updated: 
September 28, 2018
By season, fall is a time of endings, but in most of our lives, and certainly, in our regular church cycles, it is a time of new beginnings.

For us in The United Church of Canada, this fall is a time when endings and beginnings are swirled alongside each other as we say goodbye to former structures and roles and prepare for new ones. As is always the case with change, we are preparing for the new as well as we can, yet knowing that there will be unexpected experiences or issues or feelings that we encounter. That is something to be both nervous and excited about.
Last updated: 
August 4, 2018
The 43rd General Council is over and I have been catching up on laundry, sleep, and family since arriving home on Saturday. I imagine that most of those who attended are feeling much the same way after a very full time together.

It is always good to be together with such a great variety of people who love God and love the United Church.

This meeting had a new format, with a combination of the ...