General Secretary

Posts and reflections from General Secretary Nora Sanders

Last updated: 
July 13, 2017

Thunder is rumbling outside the giant hall in Indianapolis where the General Assembly of the Church of Christ (Disciples of Christ) is meeting. I am here because we are in a full communion conversation with the Disciples, who are already in full communion with our full communion partner, the United Church of Christ. That’s quite a mouthful...

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June 28, 2017

This time between National Aboriginal Day and Canada Day is a good time for some reflection.

Some voices have questioned why we should celebrate ...

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June 2, 2017
Photos cannot capture the hope I saw in the faces of people who desperately want peace in Colombia.
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May 15, 2017

I am excited to visit Colombia, to see how the generosity of United Church members is improving lives in a country my mother lived in almost 90 years ago.

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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...

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February 24, 2017

I am writing from midway through my sabbatical. It’s my first ever experience of a sabbatical, and a wonderful experience. It’s wonderful, but also slightly disorienting.

Right now I am sitting in the front room upstairs at our cottage, (my past and future home). There is a strong wind off the lake and a bit of fresh snow outside but inside all is peaceful. The dogs are stretched out on the floor next to me, sound asleep.

Flexibility is one of the great things about sabbatical time: being able to work from different locations; being able to do the drive on days with good...

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December 15, 2016

It’s Advent, a time of preparation.

With the lives we lead, juggling various responsibilities, are any of us ever just preparing for one thing?

If you saw my office right now, you would think that I am preparing for a big move. And you would be right. We are moving ahead with a plan to condense two-and-a-half floors of offices onto one floor by September. We will all be working in an open-space environment then, and there will be no place for the many pictures, books, and mementoes that currently cram my office. I think it is a good plan, because it will save the church a...

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November 28, 2016

General Secretary Nora Sanders on the racist graffiti attacks in Ottawa. Even when acts of fear and hatred are in the news, we must keep our Christian values.

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October 27, 2016

Bare roads, sunshine, and bits of white in the fields left over from the snowstorm last week…. The drive from Fort Saskatchewan to the Edmonton airport was beautiful.

I’m sitting in the departure lounge now, ready to head home after spending a little time with the Executive of Alberta and Northwest Conference. Last night we gathered in the sanctuary of St. Paul’s United Church for the covenanting service for the Conference’s new two one-thirds Conference Executive Secretaries. A collaborative arrangement that seemed complicated —...

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October 27, 2016

I spent the first part of this week as an ecumenical guest at the annual gathering of the Canadian Council of Catholic Bishops. There are some things about their meetings that are very different from ours in the United Church, (no lineups at the women’s washroom is one of them), but as with any Christian group, the things we hold in common are greater than the differences.
A presentation about Pope Francis’ encyclical letter, On Care for our Common Home, conveyed powerfully the responsibility for God’s creation that we share with all...