Round the Table

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

Published on: 
August 4, 2016

Embracing the Spirit has been launched! It was launched at the Skylight Festival in Paris, Ontario.

Published on: 
July 29, 2016

When the Canadian team enters the stadium at the 2016 Summer Olympics opening ceremony in Rio on August 5, Islington United Church member Jean MacLennan will be watching closely. For at the very front of that team will be her 27-year-old granddaughter, Rosannagh (Rosie) MacLennan, a seasoned trampoline gymnast.

“As a grandmother, I’m as proud as I can be of her,” says Jean. “I think she is wonderful, not only as an Olympian, but she is a nice, nice person. When she...

Published on: 
July 28, 2016

United Church Women have been very busy this past year, working to keep the issue of child poverty in Canada front and centre among all levels of government. Their Bread not Stones website at www.endchildpoverty.ca, has received stories and news from UCW groups and churches across Canada about their efforts to end child poverty in their areas. Linda Woods shares news about their activities.

The London-...

Published on: 
July 25, 2016

Violence and racial injustice are making headlines these days, brought to attention by the Black Lives Matter movement and the tragic killings of black men and police officers in the United States. But this kind of violence and hatred isn't limited to the U.S. Canada has also suffered racial attacks and discrimination, as Canadian people of colour know all too well.

In 1976, (the soon-to-be Rev.) Anthony Bailey and his brother were attacked in Montreal by men shouting racial epithets and his brother was stabbed to death. This tragedy became part of the journey toward what Bailey...

Published on: 
July 25, 2016

It’s the children of Palestine I think about the most!

In the summer of 2015 I spent two months in Susiya, a small village in the South Hebron Hills of Palestine on a UN assignment. The homes of Susiya were once again being threatened with demolition by the Israeli government. The people of Susiya had twice been forced out of their village in recent years. This time they were determined to stand their ground!

Our assignment was to provide a protective presence for the village and advocate for changes in policy. If there was a demolition, there would be witnesses.

...

Published on: 
July 22, 2016

Walking home from work at this week at noon hour, I have seen groups of people congregating behind the community pool between the office and our house. I guessed what they were up to even before I noticed them all staring down at their cellphones. The resident Pokémon Go expert in our house had already discovered the Pokémon gym in that location about a week ago.

I understand that Pokémon are also being...

Published on: 
July 15, 2016

General Secretary Nora Sanders reflects on her "reading week."

Published on: 
July 7, 2016

Canadians have made huge progress in advancing LGBTI rights here. But what about the rest of the world? Is there something in our experience from which others could draw? How might we act in solidarity with people who live under more repressive regimes?

These were some of the questions that drew about 70 people from 30 organizations to the Dignity Initiative Roundtable in Ottawa June 1-2. The Dignity Initiative came about after efforts in 2014 to press the government of Canada to play a more...

Published on: 
July 6, 2016

Summer is an excellent time to schedule repairs to a heating system. Even though I can’t quibble with that logic, I am hoping that the man whose job it is to pound on a large metal heating vent with a hammer, right outside my office window, will soon be done his work.

Some things that are necessary are unpleasant, yet they still must be endured.

It’s easier to put up with unpleasant things when we understand the point of them. I know I will be grateful for this work when winter comes and the office stays warm.

Sometimes it is harder to understand the point of things...

Published on: 
June 30, 2016

When the Toronto Pride Parade hits the streets on July 3, Rachel Lauren Clark will be marching and celebrating. The Emmanuel College theology student is very happy that organizers of this year’s Pride celebrations “made an effort to be much more adept at highlighting trans people and trans issues, plus the unique struggles they face.”

That awareness campaign got off to a big start early in June, when Clark, who transitioned in 2013, threw out the ceremonial first pitch at a Toronto Blue Jays game. That toss—“a really good...