Round the Table

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

Last updated: 
May 2, 2018

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.

Why me? I wondered, when I was asked. Is it because I am “Asian?” There is nothing politically incorrect or derogatory about calling me that, but still, this identification is never easy to accept. Judith Butler writes, in Vulnerability in Resistance, that names, categories, and descriptions are applied to us before...

Last updated: 
April 26, 2018
Excited to see old friends and make new ones.
 
Frustrated that we aren't going to do all of the same activities that we did last year, especially the ones I was really good at.
 
Hopeful to experience God's grace in a safe, fun, and nurturing environment.
 
Anxious to see how I will fit in.
 
Happy to learn new ways to be together with people from diverse places and homes but share many of the same rituals as I do.
 
Worried about how good the snacks will be this year...
Last updated: 
April 27, 2018

From April 25 to 27, I and other United Church and Mennonite Central Committee colleagues are going to Ottawa to meet with members of Parliament, senators, and government officials. We are privileged to have as part of this delegation Michael Lynk, UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories (Michael is a Canadian and Professor of Law at the University of Western Ontario), as well as Brad Parker, who is International Advocacy Officer and Attorney with Defense for Children International—Palestine (DCIP). DCIP is a Mission & Service partner of...

Last updated: 
April 20, 2018

It was one of those mornings where I had 30 minutes of stuff to do before I left home, but only five minutes to get into the car and get to the office. I stopped to look at my phone and there it was an email from the General Secretary. My first thoughts were, “What have I done now?” The email was an invitation to be part of a United Church of Canada delegation to a National Council of Churches (USA) event to mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr...

Last updated: 
April 17, 2018

My father was not much of a churchgoer. I still vividly recall him putting dollops of pancake batter onto a sizzling griddle, or devouring the weekend newspaper, on Sunday afternoons when I came home from singing in the local church youth choir. But my father is a deeply spiritual individual. A research scientist by profession, he believed that faith and nature are incredibly intertwined—and we have nothing short of a calling to care for the earth. ...

Last updated: 
April 13, 2018

The Iridesce Project aspires to be a community movement of reflection and reconciliation as we approach the 30th anniversary of the vote of The United Church of Canada not to reject gay and lesbian people from membership and eligibility for ordination… and as we reflect on the past 30 years of welcome, inclusion, and affirmation of LGBTQ+ and Two-Spirit people, their family, friends, and allies in our churches.

The whole church is invited to participate in this process of sharing and hearing, acknowledgement, lament, celebration, and healing. Iridesce invites many voices, and many...

Last updated: 
April 13, 2018
Last Friday night, our hearts were still full of the joy of Easter’s glorious resurrection when news of the terrible bus crash near Tisdale, Saskatchewan took us back to the depths of Good Friday’s sorrow and confusion.

The Humboldt Broncos hockey team was on its way to a semi-final game when a transport truck collided with the team’s bus, leaving a wreckage of twisted metal and broken bodies. Life changed in an instant for the families, friends, and communities of the 15 who died, and for those who were injured. Everyone...
Last updated: 
April 5, 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...

Last updated: 
April 3, 2018

Author Adam Kilner was one of the United Church participants in the World Council of Churches' Conference on World Mission and Evangelism, which took place March 8-13, 2018 in Arusha, Tanzania.

As the Dreamliner touched down in Addis Ababa, after 13 hours crossing the Atlantic and the great Sahara, I glanced out the window and noticed the terminal: “Welcome to Ethiopia – Land of Origins,” it said...

Last updated: 
April 12, 2018

There used to be an angel who walked, or rather seemed to float, about my west-end Toronto neighbour. His name was Michael Stone. With a clean-shaven head and an exquisitely calm and gentle demeanour, I always thought Michael exuded a majestic sense of inner peace.

Michael was—and remains—one of Canada’s most beloved Buddhist meditation and yoga teachers. He was also a father, partner, author and activist who transformed many lives, teaching people to connect with their breath, which is the very essence of human life.

The news of Michael’s unexpected death at age 42 in...

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