Our gifts for Mission & Service offer people of The United Church of Canada an opportunity to visit our global partners through the People in Partnership program. An opportunity to “come and see” our Mission & Service global partners can deepen our understanding of what it means to be in partnership.
Rhonda Johns, Program Coordinator of Nations Uniting on the Six Nations of the Grand River First Nation in Ohsweken, Ontario, engages with a lot of seniors, many of whom are residential school survivors, and with youth who don’t know who they are and where they belong. Observing this intergenerational dynamic, she realized that many on the reserve needed to experience healing. She asked herself what she could do.
In these times of change, people are asking, “What’s happening with the Mission & Service of the church?”
Our congregational and our Mission & Service revenues are both declining quite slowly at this point—two to three percent a year—so we have time to make changes, and we have time to do things differently.
The good news is that together we are making important changes, and we are taking the time to do things differently.
Many ministries these days are wondering what they can do to serve young adults. In 2015, a small team of youth and young adult leaders in Southern Ontario met at Five Oaks Education and Retreat Centre to envision a resource that could be used by the church to accompany young adults as they discerned questions of vocation and meaningful work.
Paul said, “I’m going to die on February 23rd at 10:30 a.m.”
Paul has cancer. He was given three months to live but he has already surpassed that timeline by a month. In the meantime, his body continues to waste away and he is in constant pain. Here is a story from a United Church hospital chaplain about Paul. “I have been visiting Paul for several weeks in the palliative care unit of the hospital. He has called me in on this particular day to tell me that he has requested medical assistance in dying, and the date and time for the procedure are set.
Our gifts for Mission & Service support ministries like Our Place Society in Victoria, British Columbia, which offers programs for those on the margins that make everyone feel like family.
One of the proudest moments of the Victoria Pride Parade was when a young pre-op transgender woman said that she never felt brave enough to walk in the parade until the day she marched with the staff and family of Our Place.
Our gifts for Mission & Service support theological education in seven theological schools, including Emmanuel College in Toronto, Ontario.
Aside from The United Church of Canada ministry training degrees, Emmanuel College offers interfaith programs in Muslim studies and Buddhist studies. These programs have created a more enriched program of study and diversity in the student population. Here is the story of one of these students:
In India, Mission & Service partner Human Rights and Advocacy Research Foundation works with fishing communities, urban poor, traditional farmers, prisoners, Dalits (people of low caste), and Adivasis (Indigenous people) in the continuing struggle for economic and social justice.
One of its programs helps children whose families cannot provide essential school supplies. In addition, it educates the children on their human rights. Here are two of the children who have benefitted from this program.
Thirteen Youth Forum pilgrims were on a journey during the summer of 2018. After work and orientation in their home Conferences, they travelled east to Newfoundland. With their two young adult leaders and a global partner, these dedicated young people visited each Conference of the United Church. They stopped in Oshawa, Ontario, in July to participate as commissioners at the 43rd General Council and then continued their pilgrimage, ending in British Columbia in mid-August.