Round the Table

Sharing stories of life, faith, and ministry in the United Church and beyond.

Last updated: 
July 19, 2018

This first entry from the GC43 Pilgrims is written by Navan Forsythe, the pilgrim from the Conference of Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario. Find out more and follow along with the GC43 Pilgrims on Facebook and Instagram as they make their way across Canada, including a stop at the 43rd General Council....

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July 13, 2018

The wooden prayer cross has been on my desk since a trip to Bethlehem some years ago. The grain of the olive wood is beautiful to the eye, and the cross is shaped to fit perfectly in a hand for a time of prayer or contemplation.

When a team of colleagues from our office signed up as a relay team in the Mississauga Marathon in May, we received the following instruction:
 
Teams are encouraged to select a team “baton” to represent their cause or...

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July 9, 2018

When I was growing up, our family did not have a summer cottage, but we spent part of many summers at the cottage of our good friends, the Fosters. That cottage was on a beautiful lake in Muskoka, and although I haven’t been there for years, I have many clear images in my mind of the times there, swimming in the cold clear water, hiking over the rocks to pick blueberries, and reading by flashlight in the little bunkhouse down by the shore.

For years, if I was asked to name my favourite church, I would name the island on Muldrew Lake where cottagers gathered for outdoor worship on...

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July 9, 2018

The United Church of Canada is kicking off the 43rd General Council with the Festival of Faith. This celebration of our work and witness through the arts takes place July 21-22, 2018 in Oshawa, Ont.

The festival will be infused with an old-time country fair vibe, and feature an inspiring and joyful line-up of workshops, musicians, authors, dancers, storytellers, and craftspeople. There will also be opportunities to connect and offer your own voice and artistry in the coffee...

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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...

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July 6, 2018

With the remits likely moving us toward a three-council model in The United Church of Canada, Living Waters Presbytery (Toronto Conference) wanted to ensure that local communities of faith will receive the support of being connected to other faith communities that is currently provided through presbytery.

One aspect of the upcoming changes is the development of clusters and networks. According to the Executive of the General Council, clusters will “provide community and support for communities of...

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June 27, 2018
I was probably going to make a fool of myself.
 
My colleague asks all of us, kids and adults, to sit in a circle. She pulls out a single roll of toilet paper. She tells us to pick off as many sheets of toilet paper as we wish. But she doesn't say why. It's for our first activity together. There is tension in the air. She hands me the roll first. I tear off several sheets. 
 
The roll goes around the circle. More sheets are torn off. The kids who have been with us before pepper my colleague with ideas about what the purpose of the activity...
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June 27, 2018

It was an historic moment and new day for world peace and for peace on the Korean peninsula when U.S. President Trump and North Korean Chairman Kim Jong-un met in Singapore on June 12, 2018. Unfortunately, Canada’s reaction to the summit is lining us up to be the wrong side of history.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, in her response to the summit, re-affirmed Canada’s continued support for the out-dated strategy of global sanctions against North Korea. By using sanctions to maintain what then-U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called “maximum pressure” on North Korea...

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June 20, 2018

Today, June 20, is World Refugee Day, and there are events scheduled in many different locations in Canada.

I wonder if those who began World Refugee Day could have imagined the state of our world today. They must have been people of foresight who did have some sense of what lay ahead for our world, and wanted to shape a better future.

Europe is in turmoil as people migrate (or try to migrate) from places of violence and danger to countries seen as peaceful. The words in...

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June 20, 2018

In February, members of Keewatin Presbytery — the first Indigenous Presbytery in The United Church of Canada — gathered to say good-bye (see photos). They made the trip to Norway House First Nation, in northern Manitoba, by winter roads, small aircraft, and by the nine-hour drive up windswept Highway 6 from Winnipeg. One vanload did not get there because it hit a moose along the way; the passengers were badly banged and bruised, but not critically injured and...

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