Round the Table

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

Last updated: 
March 16, 2018

Since 2010 the people of Grassy Narrows have continued to bring focus to their 50 years of frustration over mercury contaminated water in their community. Every second year they journey to Queen’s Park to lobby the provincial government through their River Run—demanding justice for their people and protection for the waters and forests that give life.

In 2016 the members of St. John’s United Church in Marathon, Ontario, followed their core ministry of “radical and...

Last updated: 
March 16, 2018

On April 28, 2016 in Ottawa, an impressive turnout of close to 300 people showed up for Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna's townhall for the government's consultation on climate action. This first climate townhall kicked off two months of similar consultations, to be held by Members of Parliament in communities across Canada.

“The room was packed – people were lining up to speak up for real climate action,” said Aurore Fauret of 350.org and the People’s Climate Plan...

Last updated: 
March 16, 2018

There was a sense of hope, and of moving forward, when on March 31 the United Church made a public statement on adopting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. But without doubt, there were also questions, not the least of which was “why?”

There is an easy answer: because we were asked.

Almost a year ago, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC), after seven years investigating the roots, facts, and legacy of abuses committed Indian Residential Schools, asked the churches that ran those schools to adopt the Declaration as “a...

Last updated: 
March 16, 2018

At the Heart of Justice blog continues the focus on Health Care in Canada with a series by Bill Blaikie, The United Church of Canada’s representative to the Canadian Health Coalition. We offer these personal reflections by Bill as an invitation to move deeper into the many important issues surrounding health care in Canada.

On May 3, 2016 representatives of the Canadian Health Coalition (CHC) were on hand in Montreal to show...

Last updated: 
March 16, 2018

At the Heart of Justice blog continues the focus on health care in Canada with a series by Bill Blaikie, The United Church of Canada’s representative to the Canadian Health Coalition. We offer this personal reflection by Bill as an invitation to move deeper into the many important issues surrounding health care in Canada.


This past January I experienced a reversal of roles thanks to my having become The United Church of Canada’s representative on the board of the Canadian Health Coalition (CHC).  

I

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Last updated: 
March 16, 2018

When you can’t find a family doctor in your community, or if you’re a hospital patient waiting for care from a desperately overworked nurse – then you understand the importance of finding solutions to Canada’s shortage of doctors and nurses. But allowing more private health care facilities won’t fix the shortage of health professionals. In fact, it will make it worse.

This September, a serious challenge to our universal system, will be heard in the British Columbia Supreme Court.  If it is successful, it could open the door to a wide range of private user-pay medical services,...

Last updated: 
March 16, 2018

Many church ministries are going through a process to declare that they are Affirming—enabling the full participation of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities.  Despite these efforts, stories of heartache and healing continue to unfold. 

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Last updated: 
March 16, 2018

This month’s At the Heart of Justice blog focuses on the work of eradicating poverty. We offer this personal reflection by Bonnie Morton (Regina Anti-Poverty Ministry) as a way to move deeper into the important issue of poverty as a human rights violation.

One truth about poverty that sometimes gets lost in research is that no one wakes up one day and says; “Doesn’t poverty look great.  I aspire to be poor.” Poverty is not a...

Last updated: 
March 16, 2018

Scripture tells us that we are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27), and throughout the Bible we are reminded to act justly and to care for those on the margins (Isaiah 58:5-10, Mark 10:21). The United Church of Canada believes that as we lead lives of compassion and justice, “the poor must have priority… over the wants of the rich.” (“The Church and the Economic Crisis (1984)” see 1c.)

Globally, more than one billion people live in extreme poverty, living on less than $1.25 a day. In Canada 4.9 million live in poverty (low-income measure) – with greater rates among people...

Last updated: 
April 2, 2019

The United Church’s “A New Creed” reminds us that we are called to live with respect in creation. Not respect “for” creation, as a separate entity. But respect “in” the creation that is all around and within us. That is our origin story, we people who were formed of soil and of one another.

As global temperatures rise, and destructive weather patterns become more frequent; as poor and vulnerable regions become more vulnerable; as the call to live into reconciliation rings out across this sacred land… How can we...

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