Down a long road behind a large fence in Nairobi, Kenya, is a safe house for LGBTQIA and Two-Spirit refugees from Uganda, Somalia, and South Sudan, supported by Mission & Service partner Pembizo Christian Council. The refugees who live here dream of a day they are resettled in Canada or another country where they can live freely without fear of imprisonment.
Fairfield, a historic village in Bothwell, Ontario, was first settled by the Lenape people on May 8, 1792. It was established by Eelünaapéewi Lahkéewiit (El-na-pow-way Lah-ka-weet) ancestors and the Moravian missionaries who lived among the group for generations. For the past 74 years, Fairfield has been operated as a historical park and museum by The United Church of Canada through a grant from Mission & Service.
Our gifts for Mission & Service support community ministries like Stella’s Circle. People come to Emmanuel House at Stella’s Circle for a variety of reasons. Some have experienced mental illness or addiction, and others have suffered emotional stress or trauma or had a conflict with the law. The staff and volunteers at Emmanuel House are dedicated to helping them move forward in their lives.
At Toronto Conference’s annual meeting in 2011, youth delegates presented a vision for the future of their church and their place in it. The result of those first ideas was a song that has since inspired many people. Thanks to a Mission & Service Vision Fund grant, the group was able to record it, and that amazing and inspirational song—“Our Generation”—has become the theme song for the Mission & Service music video.
Over 65 years ago, the Korean War ended in an armistice agreement. The agreement created the Demilitarized Zone, or DMZ: a place where the two parts of the country can come together. The two parts of Korea, North and South, have very different political and economic systems and ideologies. Some may think the differences are too great for the two countries to overcome and unite.
Our gifts for Mission & Service make the Wampum-Neechi program at Five Oaks Education and Retreat Centre in Paris, Ontario, possible. This week-long program brings together 10 Indigenous and 10 non-Indigenous youth (ages 12–14) for six days in the summer. They forge new friendships across cultures, enjoy summer days together, and learn about Indigenous (Haudenosaunee and Cree) history and cultural values.
Many people who attend summer camp come from a long line of campers, following in the footsteps of their parents and grandparents. That is one of the amazing things about camp—it’s loved by generation after generation. Our gifts for Mission & Service make United Church camps possible.
As we begin Asian Heritage Month, we look back to one of our past overseas personnel, Caroline Macdonald (1874–1931), a missionary to Japan. Born in Wingham, Ontario, she graduated from the University of Toronto in math and physics. She became the first National Secretary of Japan’s YWCA in 1904 and worked to establish hostels for girls in Tokyo. Caroline studied theology in Aberdeen, Scotland, from 1910 to 1911, and after 1913 she became deeply involved in work with prisoners and their families.
Water is sacred—a gift of the Creator and a source of life. Clean water is a cornerstone of public health and a fundamental human right. In 2015, United Nations member states established 17 goals essential to sustainable development. The sixth goal is the availability of clean water for all.