The church universal often has the most heated disagreements about three things: gender, sexuality and outsiders.
I believe that the biggest crisis of the United Church is not dwindling congregations, it’s not buildings that are too big for our present needs, it’s not a lack of resources, it’s a lack of ability or willingness to tell the story of Jesus in a way that is engaging and inviting. It’s a lack of conviction that our faith matters to those outside our walls.
Will we recognize Jesus?
Many years ago, when I was in ministry just across the harbour in the north end of Halifax, I was invited to the groundbreaking ceremony of the L’Arche Community that was being built just a couple of blocks from United Memorial, the church I was serving. For those of you who may not be familiar…
Sometimes we think our stories are set and unchangeable, but like playdough, we have the opportunity to reshape and reimagine what our story might be in the future.
The church is broken and beautiful. We are broken and beautiful. But like the leper, we can reach out to Jesus. And Jesus will touch us and heal us. We are treasured by God, broken and beautiful.
Picture a crowded auditorium. It’s the last day of General Council, the national gathering of the United Church, where approximately 300 delegates, an equal number of clergy and lay people from across the country meet to make decision that affect the entire church There are also a number of observers and guests from around the…
What does this story have to say about being a congregation that focuses on faith, love and community?
I was there that day. That day in the synagogue when Jesus came to preach for the first time. Oh my, we were so excited and proud! Mary and Joseph’s son! The gathered community was eager to hear what he might have to tell us.
With the events south of the border, we might be tempted to be complacent about Canadian society. But when we venture out of our mostly white, middle class bubbles, we find all kinds of isms. Our baptism challenges us to live differently and we can start in our own neighbourhoods!