Jennifer Janzen-Ball and Julie Graham share their experience of celebrating love of the soil, of God, and of humanity with Mission & Service partners in Japan.
During Asian Heritage Month, Noel A. Suministrado, a United Church minister from the Philippines, sees great opportunities for the church as it opens itself to Canada’s changing demographic realities.
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.
Rev. Dr. Alan Lai writes about how Asian Heritage Month challenges us to grow deeper into intercultural awareness and understanding.
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.
Dr. Velda Love of the United Church of Christ writes that her history is African centred and it’s beautiful.
At the Minority Youth Forum in Japan, Jacob Burns and Jacqueline Warner-Smith were exposed to a struggle for justice that had similarities to the Canadian experience.
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.
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.
An LGBTQ member of the United Church writes that they came to Canada with their partner to be free, yet are still not fully accepted in the church. So they never imagined their wedding would be so beautiful and noble, made so by friends and God.
Kelsi James shares her video poem "[REDacted]," as a reflection on her experience serving as United Church oversea personnel in China.
Kim Uyede-Kai writes from the Asian Ecumenical Women’s Assembly, a “herstorical” assembly where women could hear one another’s stories be given voice, some for the first time.
Rev. Ruth Lumax reflects on how learning to become an intercultural church can help us develop into lush and vibrant communities of faith.
Kelsi James, United Church of Canada Overseas Personnel in China, writes on her experience of finding authentic community so far from home.
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?”
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.
Sharon Ballantyne shares about a conversation on inclusion, in which participants sought brave and safe space to engage with each other with all their hearts.
Working with deaf children, author Susan Lukey discovers that we lost something important in worship when the focus became words, spoken and written.
Tom Reynolds writes that the experience of being with people with disabilities can reawaken an awareness of the deeply human condition of vulnerable interdependence.
I have a new perspective on life.
While I am waiting for two hip replacements, my mobility is decreasing – in direct proportion to the increase in chronic pain I am managing. These two factors, along with the long wait for joint replacement in the Ontario health care system, have come… Read more
The Rev. Norm Seli writes about creating worship that speaks to people on the autism spectrum.
Participants in the Minority Youth Forum in Japan are amazed by the similarities and differences between Indigenous cultures around the world.
Mandate magazine consulted people with disabilities across the church and invited them to share their experiences in The United Church of Canada.
Following personal challenges and global tragedies, Japhet Ndhlovu finds fortitude and centring in God and colleagues through United Church clergy gatherings.
For Asian Heritage Month, Yoonjoo Shin, an early childhood educator, writes about the importance of having racialized educators who can embody inclusiveness for children from immigrant families.
With the start of the King Street transit pilot project in Toronto, I discovered a new way to get to work. Even if it took an additional 15 minutes more than taking the tube, it was worth it to see a glimpse of Lake Ontario. Memories of Luneta Park at Manila Bay flood in as I watch the waters of… Read more
For Asian Heritage Month, YoonOK Shin writes that our diverse heritages are gifts to give and receive, transforming bleak cultural boundaries.
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.
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
“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”
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,… Read more
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… Read more
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
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… Read more
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… Read more
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… Read more
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… Read more
To be candid, when I received an invitation to create a worship service and Bible study for Asian Heritage Month 2018, I hesitated at first. I am grateful for this opportunity to share why I accepted.
I am black and beautiful, O daughters of Jerusalem, like the tents of Ke’dar, like the curtains of Solomon. Do not gaze at me because I am dark, because the sun has gazed on me. My mother’s sons were angry with me; they made me keeper of the vineyards, but my own vineyard I have not kept!… Read more
Why did I write a worship service and sermon for Black History Month? It’s a difficult question to answer. I was filled with excitement and dread at the prospect. I was excited because the topic of race and identity is volatile at the moment (well, really, when hasn’t it been?) and the… Read more
Sankofa is a symbol which comes to us from West Africa. The symbol is usually seen in the form a bird with its head turned backwards carrying an egg in its mouth. The symbol speaks about the need to reach back into the past to get that which is important for life today. It has also been… Read more
These are my blessings: seven adopted First Nations children that have chosen me as their mom. Our family has included many children, including White, Asian, transgender, Two Spirit, and more. As a family we choose to celebrate our differences and learn from each other. Sadly, we have… Read more