Round the Table

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

Last updated: 
October 25, 2016

A glimpse into the lives of LGTBQ people around the world who face real struggles most of us can only imagine, by freelance journalist Kaitlin Bardswich.

Last updated: 
October 24, 2016

A United Church in Winnipeg has found a unique way to reach out to and engage the surrounding community: through art. For 11 weeks, from late February to mid-May, Crescent Fort Rouge United Church (CFRUC) held art-related activities at the church, complemented by a three-day art show in April.

When asked about the impact in terms of church attendance and outreach to the community, visual...

Last updated: 
October 13, 2016

The important work of Canadian missionaries in China in the years from 1892 to 1950 comes alive through hundreds of historical photos in the Canadians in China: Old Photos from Sichuan exhibit at the Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto, from Oct. 14 to 18.

The exhibit is in conjunction with The Canadian School Association, a group made up of those who attended The Canadian School in West China from 1909 to 1950. Although the school closed almost 70 years ago, executive member Marion Walker says members...

Last updated: 
January 2, 2018

Within hours of arriving in Cuba for celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the ecumenical seminary in Matanzas, rumours spread through our group that Hurricane Matthew was headed our way.

Last updated: 
October 12, 2016

If you want to see how The United Church of Canada is building bridges to specific groups in Canada, look no further than College Street United in Toronto. For the past 18 months, this downtown church has been home to Pontes de Graça, a lively ministry aimed at Portuguese speaking people in the city.

Last updated: 
March 16, 2018

Canada is often ranked as “the best place to live.” We often perceive Canada to be a friendly and accepting place. But for some it is a place where they experience racism.

Racism is a system of oppression. It is fed by individual and collective attitudes, and by actions that discriminate against, oppress, exclude, and limit ethnic groups based on their race and/or colour of their skin. It is also a system of privilege that gives White people in North America unearned economic, social, political, and cultural advantages.

The United Church has taken a strong stand on racism....

Last updated: 
July 30, 2018

For a United Church chaplain on his first naval posting, it was a “real baptism by fire.”

So says Padre (Major) Mike Gibbons, 37, recounting the evening of February 27, 2014, aboard HMCS Protecteur. The supply ship was 600 kilometres out of Pearl Harbor when a large fire suddenly engulfed its engine room, crippling its power supply, as four-metre waves tossed the darkened, disabled ship around.

“It was a very intense event,” he says, noting it was the worst fire on a Canadian Navy ship in 45...

Last updated: 
October 27, 2016

I spent the first part of this week as an ecumenical guest at the annual gathering of the Canadian Council of Catholic Bishops. There are some things about their meetings that are very different from ours in the United Church, (no lineups at the women’s washroom is one of them), but as with any Christian group, the things we hold in common are greater than the differences.
 
A presentation about Pope Francis’ encyclical letter, On Care for our Common Home, conveyed powerfully the responsibility for God’s creation that we share with all...

Last updated: 
September 28, 2016

“When you do something, someone will come behind you.” Alberta Billy, who asked the United Church for an apology 30 years ago, said that. She and many others trusted that it would be so, and we have been blessed through their courage and trust.

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Last updated: 
March 16, 2018

For centuries an olive branch has symbolized peace.

Greek and Roman cultures used the symbol as early as 2,500 years ago. The dual image of a dove with an olive branch has been a Christian symbol of peace since the end of the first century CE. This comes (in part) from Genesis 8:11, which tells of a dove sent from Noah’s ark and returning with an olive branch.

The symbol continues today. In Palestine, olive oil is the primary source of income for about 75,000 farmers. Olive trees also produce olives for food, soap, jewelry, woodcarving, and firewood.

Under the...

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