Recent media headlines paint a picture of a world of immense pain, suffering, and injustice. On a note of optimism, the newly released United Church 2017 Year in Review is an inspiring reminder of the all the life-changing work that church congregations, volunteers, advocates, and donors have achieved. Here are four of the many inspiring short stories inside the 2017 Year in Review:

Rohingya relief: The Rohingya people are the world's most persecuted minority. Almost a million individuals have fled violence and now live in refugee camps. The United Church began accepting donations for the Rohingya crisis in 2017. This is helping Mission & Service partner, ACT Alliance, provide much-needed food, clean water, sanitation, health services, and shelter.

On the frontlines of reconciliation: In Montreal, Trinity United Church members teamed up with The Right Relations Committee of the Quebec Presbytery and GO Project youth to stand in solidarity with the Mohawk people of Kanehsatake, who are deeply concerned about development on their ancestral lands. Trinity United Rev. Read Sherman, told CTV National News, “It’s important for us to show up at protests like this, to try and build a new relationship that is more based on justice and equality.”

Rendez-vous 2017: Eager to change the world, youth from across Canada gathered in Montreal for Rendez-vous 2017 last August. Over four days young people worshiped, prayed, sang, and immersed themselves in social justice issues. Participants said they were deeply inspired by the event and returned home motivated to lead in their churches and communities. 

On the cutting edge: EDGE is transforming the way we think about, and “do,” church. Here’s a snapshot of a few things this innovation hub (funded by Mission & Service) achieved in 2017:

  • 450: people involved in the social mentor network.
  • 300: non-church partners.
  • 300: congregations participating in Embracing the Spirit (EDGE’s learning network).
  • 300: congregations in the Buying United cost-saving program.
  • 200: communities of faith engaging in workshops.
  • One in six: faith communities in the church connecting with EDGE.

Read the complete 2017 Year in Review online, including the church’s financial statements.