Round the Table

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

Last updated: 
November 28, 2017

The band U2 has some inspiring lyrics in their songs, and the song “Grace” is one of the best. Grace is a concept that many people of faith struggle with, but for me, the line “She carries the world on her hips” shows a hopeful way of looking at caring for the world.

Grace was my starting place for the Giving Tuesday prayer. For many people, Christmas can be very stressful and I must admit that it’s my least favourite time of year! Yet,...

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December 11, 2017

The International Day of Persons with Disabilities is celebrated annually on December 3. This year, the day coincides with the first Sunday of Advent, when we traditionally celebrate a theme of hope.

Several years ago, I found hope when I was wrestling with questions of theology and disability. I was working with a diverse group of people with disabilities, caregivers, and allies; we were talking about disability and theology. The United Church had already committed to becoming an “open, accessible, and barrier-free...

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November 27, 2017

Growing up in Southwestern Ontario, I always knew that I had been adopted and I took pride in that. My parents assured me that they loved me so much that they had chosen me! What could be better? I felt lucky. I was raised by two loving parents who taught me that I could grow up to be anything I wanted to be. But it was in growing up and going into ministry that taught me there was a lot more to my adoption than just being picked by two people I now call mom and dad.

You see, my birth mom had three children and I was put up for adoption. She...

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November 22, 2017

The resuscitation of the church implies we are seeing things declining and so we seek to apply life support systems to prolong life. Resuscitation talk occurs when we are wanting to go back to the so called “good old days.” The thing about resuscitation is that there is the tacit acknowledgement that death will eventually happen, and we are only seeking to prolong what we have for a little longer. Resurrection, however, points to a different reality.

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November 22, 2017

I would not be who I am, without camps.

My first foray with camps was in 1999, when I joined the team at Sherbrooke Lake Camp in Nova Scotia as a Counsellor-in-Training. Like most 15-year-olds, my mom had to convince me to do most things that were good for me – and that included camping. I was one of those quiet kids who had zero self-confidence and frankly, I didn't "get" the church. I attended with my mom for as early as I remember so it was part of my Sunday routine. But it was after my first summer of camp that I...

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November 20, 2017

When I look out of the windows from Our Place in Victoria BC, I see a veritable flock of large metallic cranes constructing new buildings in our downtown core. While part of me relishes the thought of more and much needed housing, another part of me wants to turn this economic boom into a positive for the most vulnerable citizens in our community.

It’s far too easy to dismiss people without jobs as being “lazy,” but that hasn’t been my experience. Instead, I see all the barriers that must be hurdled in order to secure...

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January 15, 2018

Me, too.

"If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote 'Me too' as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem."

A friend posted “Me too,” I did, and then another, and then another, and then another…

It continued. It felt quite overwhelming.

For me it was a re-learning of a truth I already knew—the prevalence of sexual harassment and assault of women. So I was not alone. What I had experienced, the threat… the remorselessness, was not an isolated incident. Unfortunately, it is part of the make-up or structure...

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November 10, 2017

We are over a week into November and as I write this on Thursday night, the weather forecast says that we may get the first snowfall of the year in Toronto this weekend.

I am a little excited about the snow coming. Oh sure, it can be inconvenient in many ways, but I like winter. I also like spring, summer and fall. I tend to like whichever season we are in, or about to be in. Each time of year has something wonderful about it. Even though science gives us explanations for the changing seasons, our experience of them holds both mystery and miracle.

This week we mark...

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November 9, 2017

Moses said to the Lord, ‘See, you have said to me, ‘Bring up this people’;
but you have not let me know whom you will send with me.
Yet you have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found favor in my sight.’
—Exodus 33:12

“I know you by name.” A short declaration, but one that speaks volumes. About community and inclusion. About love and value and respect. A promise, of sorts, that you will always be cared for, no matter what you go through. And there will be a lot to go through.

My parents were born in a fishing community called Safe...

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November 6, 2017

As the Healing Programs Coordinator for the Aboriginal Ministries Circle, I am often invited into Indigenous communities that are engaged in healing, cultural restoration, and community revitalization. Recently, Cynthia Tribe invited me to the Orange T-Shirt Event at Chippewa of the Thames First Nation in Muncey, Ontario.