Round the Table

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

Last updated: 
April 28, 2017

I was sitting in the basement at Windermere United in Toronto on a dreary Sunday afternoon. I felt heartsick and numb as I stared down at pieces of cloth that were crumpled and cast aside on the floor.

I had just participated in a KAIROS blanket exercise, which uses blankets to powerfully show how settlers took away land—and with it, rights and dignity—from Indigenous peoples. The few colourful remnants of material left on the dull carpet represented the colossal impact of colonization: vibrant communities, cultures, and...

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May 1, 2017

May is Asian Heritage Month, and the perfect time to prayerfully reflect on the contributions of Asian Canadians to Canadian society. Liturgies, songs, and other material that can be used in Asian Heritage Month services can be found on our Worship Resources pages.

The month has been celebrated in the United States since 1979. In December 2001, the Canadian Senate adopted a motion proposed by Senator Vivienne Poy — the first Canadian of Asian descent appointed to the Senate of...

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April 20, 2017

Doves have been an important symbol of peace for Christians since early biblical times. In 1944, when the United Church Crest was adopted, a dove representing “the Holy Spirit (Mark 1:10) whose transforming power has been a distinctive mark of Methodism” was placed at its peak.

Another dove — this one much harder to see — has been flying high in the main reception area on the second floor of the General Council...

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April 18, 2017

If you are part of a group working to improve the social good of your community — or if you have skills or experience that could help such a group grow and expand — the Social Mentor Network wants to hear from you.

The network is a joint project between the United Church’s EDGE and Embracing the Spirit networks and The Presbyterian Church in Canada. Since launching in June 2016, it now...

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April 12, 2017

Moderator Jordan Cantwell urges everyone to watch and share this powerful three-minute video, “Letter to a Terrorist,” made by a group of young Muslims in Winnipeg. 

The Rev. Dr. Loraine MacKenzie Shepherd of Westworth United Church in Winnipeg sent the video to the Moderator, noting that the group used the Assiniboine...

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April 6, 2017

Attracting young people is a challenge every congregation faces, but the Rev. Dr. Simon Muwowo thinks he has the answer: engaging youth using an outside-in approach

“Our engagement with the youth is not aimed at locating Christ in their hearts, but in their midst,” he explains. “Our ministry with the youth is not within the four corners of the church building, but outside.”

As minister for the Burin Pastoral Charge in Newfoundland, Muwowo helped start Coffee House Two 52. The group, open to anyone between the ages of...

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February 12, 2018

In the dark hours before sunrise, United Church minister Rev. Al drives through downtown Victoria greeting the city’s street community. He welcomes them with hot coffee, breakfast, and other necessities. The morning run lets Rev. Al and his team at the Dandelion Society plan their response to individual needs.

Doreen Kot and the folks at Parkdale United Church, are engaged in partnerships that effectively work to reduce poverty. One way...

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April 5, 2017

As part of her commitment to reconciliation and reaching out to Indigenous communities, Moderator Jordan Cantwell recently travelled to Manitoba, then British Columbia. She talks about what she learned in this interview with Paul Russell.

In February you attended the Keewatin presbytery meeting in Winnipeg. Tell me about that.

Keewatin only meets once per year, when the winter roads are open. For the rest of the year, many of the communities can only be reached by airplane. The cost of flights in the north is prohibitive, making presbytery gatherings at any other...

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March 28, 2017

What was the most touching experience you had in 2016?

Seeing Lorna Standingready (former Elder, All Native Circle Conference) and Alberta Billy (who in 1985 asked the General Council for the Apology) at the 30th anniversary celebration of the Apology in Sudbury, Ontario. It was beautiful and poignant to see them sitting with their heads together, a great moment of mutual consolation and friendship.

What was your...

Last updated: 
March 28, 2017

A couple of years ago, my wife decided what she would give up for Lent was complaining about being tired and overworked. Amazingly, she discovered that once she stopped telling herself how tired and overworked she was, she felt a lot less tired and overworked! Changing how she talked actually changed her reality. 

We can say things often enough that they start to actually determine reality rather than just describe it. They might be factually true, but they are unhelpful because of what they reinforce....

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