Round the Table

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

Published on: 
June 30, 2016

Welcome to Round the Table, a new blog from The United Church of Canada.

The Round the Table blog will cover topics related to the life of faith lived through the people and ministries of The United Church of Canada, including thoughtful messages from church leaders, stories from our partners  around the world, exciting new worship ideas, theological reflections, Bible studies, testimonies of faith, ministry best practices, and more. Each blog post will offer a peek at the work and life of The United Church of Canada.

In this time of increasing...

Published on: 
June 16, 2016

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...

Published on: 
June 9, 2016

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...

Published on: 
May 30, 2016

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...

Published on: 
May 26, 2016

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 support for an...

Published on: 
May 12, 2016

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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Published on: 
May 3, 2016

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,...

Published on: 
April 1, 2016

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. 

In 2011 a series of events were held to listen to the experiences of LGBTQ* people in the United Church. At one of these events a trans participant lamented, “after coming out I was informed that [the church] did not want me to stay… I had no opportunity to...

Published on: 
March 21, 2016

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...

Published on: 
March 7, 2016

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...