Intercultural

Last updated: 
April 9, 2019

Cameron Watts responds to the question, "How do we measure whether inclusion has been achieved?" which was raised at the 9th Annual Federal Policy Forum on Inclusion.

Last updated: 
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...

Last updated: 
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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January 17, 2019

The United Church of Canada has long been involved in interfaith dialogue and action to build respectful, mutual relationships. The church has recognized Islam as a religion of peace, mercy, justice, and compassion and has affirmed that we want to journey towards reconciliation, understanding, and cooperation with our Muslim neighbours. For more information, see Interfaith Relations.

Eleven members of Grace United Church participated...

Last updated: 
January 7, 2019

During this past Advent, we put ourselves in the shoes of God’s people in biblical times as they wait for God to act. But the difference is that for us, we know what we’re waiting for (or we think we know), whereas for God’s people at the time, I don’t think they were quite sure what God had in mind or knew how long they were going to have to wait.

The Korean people can identify with this. They have been waiting for decades. When World War II ended, they thought the long years of Japanese occupation were over and the Korean people had finally found their independence. But it...

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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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December 11, 2018

People sometimes share that they forget I am a person who is totally blind. I experience this as a good thing, an acknowledgment that they feel acceptance, and embrace me for who I am, my abilities and disabilities.

When I or others are not focusing on my disability and “forget” it, so to speak, it is not really forgotten. I don’t believe that people intend to dismiss my blindness.

People really don’t overlook I am blind. That is certainly not avoidable. Trust me! People don’t suddenly ignore my seeing eye dog at my side. They don’t suddenly stop needing to self-identify...

Last updated: 
December 11, 2018

I am a person who is totally blind. I use a dog guide. Wilson is a 7½ year old black lab. He can be correctly described as a seeing eye dog, as he is a graduate of that school. “Seeing eye dog” is actually not a generic term, though it is often used erroneously that way.

Service animals work helping people who live with PTSD, very low vision, blindness, very limited hearing, deafness, autism, diabetes, epilepsy, and medical support such as assisting those in wheelchairs. Service animals could be canine officers supporting police, search and rescue, and the like.

One cannot...

Last updated: 
July 12, 2018

Almost 3.8 million Canadians (about 14 percent of the population) identify as having a disability.  The United Church is committed to becoming an open, welcoming, and accessible church, and to affirming people of all abilities. Read the church’s response to the Accessible Canada Act.

I have lived my entire life with a disability. Growing up in...

Last updated: 
May 17, 2018

I am a third-generation Japanese Canadian living in southern Alberta among the third-largest concentration of Japanese in Canada; the other two concentrations of population are in Vancouver and Toronto. In my city of Lethbridge, no one questions our presence here, because people have grown up with us in their midst.

During the Second World War, the Japanese were deemed to be “enemy aliens” and were forcibly removed from the West Coast of Canada to exile in relocation camps in the Interior of BC. Others came to do the hard labour of sugar beet farming in southern Alberta. Both of my...

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