People in Partnership invites you to learn more about the work and mission of partners around the world by inviting an individual to come and share their stories with United Church of Canada communities of faith. Find out more about these pilgrims, companions, co-workers, and learners below, as well as by contacting pip [at] united-church.ca
Featured Speakers Currently Available
Lyn Miller, Companion in Mission, China
Available for speaking January-June 2019, Peterborough
Lyn Miller is a retired teacher and active member of Emmanuel United Church in Peterborough, Ontario, including being the Mission and Service enthusiast, teaching in the Sunday School, and sitting on committees at the local, presbytery, and conference levels.
Lyn took part in the 2018 Summer English Program in China hosted by the Amity Foundation, a Mission and Service partner. The United Church of Canada and Amity have been working together as partners since 1985.
"I am thinking … how privileged I am to have this opportunity and how gracious and welcoming the Chinese people have been."
Adele Boy, Companion in Mission, Palestine and Israel
Available for speaking February-July 2019, Peterborough
Adele Boy is a retired secondary school teacher and Curriculum Leader from the Toronto District school Board where she taught Dramatic Arts and English for 32 years. She is an active member of Sandford United Church as well as doing pulpit supply as a Licensed Lay Worship Leader.
Adele participated in the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel, an initiative of the World Council of Churches, a Mission and Service partner. Participants of the programme monitor and report violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, offer protection through non-violent presence, engage in public policy advocacy and, in general, stand in solidarity with the churches and all those struggling against the occupation.
Find out more about Adele’s experience by reading her blog posts.
"Sipping tea, from a seat under a lemon tree, Ahmed and I can see The Wall (the separation barrier) on three sides of his family's farm.”
Come & See Pilgrimage, Pilgrim in Mission, Palestine and Israel
Available for speaking January-June 2019, Various Regions
In October 2018, Newfoundland and Labrador Conference sponsored a group of United Church members from across Canada to visit Palestine and Israel for a Holy Land Pilgrimage. The visit was a response to the calling from UCC global partners in Palestine Israel to ‘come and see’ from a multi viewpoint perspective on advocacy in the region.
Participants came from the following regions: Newfoundland; Central Nova Scotia; Goose Bay, Labrador; London area, Ontario; Regina area, Saskatchewan; Calgary area, Alberta.
“…there was a potent moment when the Muslim call to prayer rose in the air, the sound hovering above the singing and dancing of the Jewish people as they welcomed Shabbat. But in my dream, there was also another prayer, another presence...the stones underfoot were beating, beating, beating.”
Zaya Kuyena, Pilgrim in Mission, India
Available for speaking January-June 2019, Ottawa and Montreal area
Zaya Kuyena is a member of Parkdale United Church, as well as the Student Christian Movement in Ottawa. Zaya’s been involved with his community of faith in various ways, including supporting a recently-arrived Syrian refugee family, mentoring youth, and taking part in the Social Justice and Communications committee.
Zaya recently accompanied United Church Delegate Hans van Nie to Chennai, India for the 2018 Annual General Meeting of Mission and Service partner Oikocredit (a worldwide microfinance investor). While there, they also visited with Mission and Service partner the Human Rights Advocacy and Research Foundation.
“I guess the ordinary can too be radical if we choose it to be.”
Brianna Huet, Pilgrim in Mission, Japan & South Korea
Available for speaking January-June 2019, Lower Mainland BC
Brianna is a member of the former Okanagan/Kamloops Presbytery, participating in their leadership cycle and being involved in outdoor ministry outlets and youth retreats. She was also part of a 2017 BC Conference delegation visiting the Gyeonggi South presbytery of the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea.
Briana participated in the 2018 Korea Peace Treaty Seminar from June 10-20, organized by the National Council of Churches in Korea. The Seminar, including study sessions and exposure experiences in Korea and Japan, brought together about 20 people from around the globe to learn about, educate others and advocate on issues of peace and reunification in the Korean peninsula.
“South Korea stole a piece of my heart when I was there, showing me all the work that is possible to be done by hard work and the grace of God.”
Ralph Wushke, Pilgrim in Mission, Netherlands
Available for speaking January-June 2019, Toronto area
Ralph Carl Wushke is recently retired from his positions as Minister at Bathurst Street United Church, and Ecumenical Chaplain at the University of Toronto. His work in the field of AIDS/HIV extends back to the 1990s.
Ralph attended the 2018 International AIDS Conference and the pre-event Faith Building Bridges (hosted by the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance) as part of an inter-faith chaplaincy team embedded among 15,000 participants from around the world.
“In an HIV context, a sermon about Miriam saving Moses’ life made all the difference: both mother and child got back on treatment."
Sarah MacGregor, Pilgrim in Mission, Japan
Available for speaking January-June 2019, Huron County and North Bay, ON
Sarah is a member of Brucefield Community United Church, just north of London, Ontario. She has been involved in youth initiatives at various levels of the church, such as a GC43 commissioner, a program coordinator with GO Project, an employee of Camp Menesetung, and a guest at the All Native Circle Spiritual Gathering.
Sarah MacGregor and Martha Wood were both guests at the Minority Youth Forum in Hokkaido, Japan, hosted by the Center for Minority Issues and Mission (CMIM). The 2018 Forum focused on the history, injustices, and challenges that affect the indigenous Ainu people of northern Japan, as well as other indigenous peoples around the world.
“A big first step to loving and serving others is being actively engaged in listening and conversation.”
Martha Wood, Pilgrim in Mission, Japan
Available for speaking January-June 2019, Bracebridge (Region 10)
Martha Wood is a member of Bracebridge United Church. She was also part of a 2017 Toronto Conference delegation visiting the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea, and as a steward at the 2017 General Council of the World Communion of Reformed Churches in Leipzig.
Martha Wood and Sarah MacGregor were both guests at the Minority Youth Forum in Hokkaido, Japan, hosted by the Center for Minority Issues and Mission (CMIM). The 2018 Forum focused on the history, injustices, and challenges that affect the indigenous Ainu people of northern Japan, as well as other indigenous peoples around the world.
“I believe that travel is one of the best ways to learn about the people, places and cultures that share the Earth.”
Gary MacDonald, Pilgrim in Mission, Kenya
Available for speaking March–September 2019, Maritimes
Gary MacDonald is an active member of Sackville United Church and community, including being a Sunday school teacher, choir member, and food bank volunteer, and is interested in the art of storytelling.
Gary took part in the 2019 AFARI Kenya Trip hosted by the American Friends of Asian Rural Institute (AFARI). The group was accompanied by the Executive Director and met graduates of the Asian Rural Institute, a Mission & Service partner. The United Church of Canada and ARI have been working together as partners for many years.
“What a privilege to visit Kenya. The skills and confidence that Kenyans gained at the Asian Rural Institute is leading to impressive success in their community work.”
Didn’t find who you were looking for? There may be other speakers available in your region; please contact us at pip [at] united-church.ca for more information.
Do these profiles pique your interest in people-to-people opportunities with global partners? Visit our list of Current Opportunities to learn more about how to participate.