United Church makes historic declaration to become an anti-racist church

 — October 29, 202029 octobre 2020

Adele Halliday has been appointed as the first Anti-Racism and Equity Officer for the United Church of Canada.
Adele Halliday has been appointed as the first Anti-Racism and Equity Officer for the United Church of Canada.
From the United Church of Canada

After decades of nipping around the edges of the issues of systemic racism, the Commissioners of the 43rd General Council voted to declare the denomination to become an anti-racist church on Saturday, October 24, 2020. “This doesn’t mean we have achieved this goal,” explains the Moderator, the Right Rev. Richard Bott, “but we are taking a stand and saying we are publicly committed to eliminating systemic racism from our practices and policies.”

The United Church acknowledged racism as a sin in 1960, after the destruction of the Africville neighbourhood in Halifax, NS, and has addressed it in a variety of ways since, but the final two hours of the 2018 General Council brought the issue of racism in the church into sharper focus. With the previous Moderator, the Very Rev. Jordan Cantwell, still in the chair, racialized clergy and lay members lined up, one after the other, to share their painful stories of the blatant racism they had experienced at the hands of committees, educational institutions, and in congregational settings. “I stood, there, on the eve of my installation as Moderator, horrified, humbled but also certain that the time has come in this church to face our own sin head on,” recalls the Rev. Bott, who is now part of the General Council Executive’s (a functional subset of the General Council) working group on anti-racism. “Our work is just beginning. There are several initiatives in the church, and our responsibility is to oversee their work and keep moving the church to a place where the stories we heard two years ago become things of the past. This country is a nation made up of people of many cultures, many stories. The church needs to reflect and live that reality,” he adds.

The annual meeting, drawing in more than 200 General Council Commissioners (delegates), is an innovation made possible by the expansion of electronic video meeting platforms. At the 2018 meeting, Commissioners agreed to meet annually to conduct routine business, such as approving financial statements and auditors. It also provides an opportunity to address any pressing issues that cannot wait for the next in-person General Council and its cohort of new Commissioners.

Along with the declaration of becoming an anti-racist church, the General Council directed the General Secretary to develop a strategy to engage the full church in this process. This work will fall to the new General Secretary, the Rev. Michael Blair, who was covenanted into this new role at this meeting.

One of the last actions of outgoing General Secretary Nora Sanders was to create a new Anti-Racism and Equity Officer position in the General Council Office. After an extensive search process, we are pleased to announce that the successful candidate is Adele Halliday, who has already been deeply engaged in related work within the Church in Mission Unit and has worked with the United Church since 2004.

Posted: October 29, 2020 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=10850
Categories: NewsIn this article: anti-racism, equity, United Church of Canada
Transmis : 29 octobre 2020 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=10850
Catégorie : NewsDans cet article : anti-racism, equity, United Church of Canada

Gathering God’s Harvest: An Ecumenical Stewardship Webinar Series

 — October 6, 20206 octobre 2020

You are invited to join a fall ecumenical series on stewardship, Thursdays, Oct. 22 to Nov. 19 at 3pm and 7pm. Oct. 22, Stewardship in the land of ‘Mammon’: How are we working for God?, with Joe Gunn Currently the executive director of the Centre Oblat – A Voice for Justice in Ottawa, Joe is
… Read more » … lire la suite »

Serving a Wounded World in Interreligious Solidarity

 — August 27, 202027 aoüt 2020

The World Council of Churches (WCC) and the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (PCID) have released a joint document, “Serving a Wounded World in Interreligious Solidarity: A Christian Call to Reflection and Action During COVID-19 and Beyond.” Its purpose is to encourage churches and Christian organizations to reflect on the importance of interreligious solidarity in a world wounded by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The document offers a Christian basis for interreligious solidarity that can inspire and confirm the impulse to serve a world wounded not only by COVID-19 but also by many other wounds.

The publication is also designed to be useful to practitioners of other religions, who have already responded to COVID-19 with similar thoughts based on their own traditions.

The document recognizes the current context of the pandemic as a time for discovering new forms of solidarity for rethinking the post-COVID-19 world. Comprised of five sections, the document reflects on the nature of a solidarity sustained by hope and offers a Christian basis for interreligious solidarity, a few key principles and a set of recommendations on how reflection on solidarity can be translated into concrete and credible action.
… Read more » … lire la suite »

Members of the Trilateral Dialogue Commission at their meeting in February 2017. Photo: Wilhelm Unger

Remember your baptism: Trilateral dialogue report presents gifts and challenges

 — August 12, 202012 aoüt 2020

The final report on the Lutheran-Mennonite-Roman Catholic Trilateral Conversation has been published. The report summarizes five years of theological consultations between the three communions on the understanding and practice of baptism in light of contemporary pastoral and missional challenges facing all three Christian communities.

“The report shows that today these three churches agree that baptism is for discipleship,” says Mennonite delegation member Larry Miller. “It raises the question for each of these churches: are there ways of acknowledging our different practices of baptism that grow the unity for which Jesus prayed?”

Representatives of the Catholic Church (Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity), Lutheran World Federation (LWF), and Mennonite World Conference (MWC) met from 2012–2017 to discuss understanding and practice of baptism.
… Read more » … lire la suite »

Pope Francis baptizes a baby as he celebrates Mass on the feast of the Baptism of the Lord in the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican Jan. 12, 2020. Photo: CNS/Vatican Media

Vatican says baptisms that used a modified formula are not valid

 — August 6, 20206 aoüt 2020

Changing the words of the formula for baptism render the sacrament invalid, said the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Specifically, a baptism administered with the formula “We baptize you …” instead of “I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” is not valid because it is the person of Christ through the minister who is acting, not the assembly, the congregation said.

The doctrinal congregation’s ruling was published Aug. 6 as a brief response to questions regarding the validity of baptisms using that modified formula. The congregation was asked whether a baptism was valid if it had been performed with a formula that seeks to express the “communitarian significance” and participation of the family and those present during the celebration. For example, it said there have been celebrations administered with the words, “In the name of the father and of the mother, of the godfather and of the godmother, of the grandparents, of the family members, of the friends, in the name of the community we baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
… Read more » … lire la suite »

Video Conferencing Etiquette

 — March 16, 202016 mars 2020

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, churches across Canada are cancelling services, meetings, and other gatherings. Many are exploring options for live-streaming services and for video-conferencing of meetings. With this in mind, I have drafted these suggestions based on my own experience and some ideas I have found in the documents listed at the end.

The following tips are provided to enhance the effectiveness of video conference technology in church meetings. These suggestions are based on using Zoom, but many of them are applicable to other software as well, such as GoToMeeting or Skype.
… Read more » … lire la suite »

Bishops from around the world walk in procession from St. Peter’s Basilica at the start of the Synod of Bishops for the Amazon at the Vatican in this Oct. 7, 2019, file photo. Pope Francis has chosen the theme of “synodality” for the next synod in 2022. Photo: CNS/Paul Haring

Pope chooses ‘synodality’ as theme for 2022 synod

 — March 9, 20209 mars 2020

Pope Francis has decided the next world Synod of Bishops at the Vatican, which will take place in October 2022, will have the theme: “For a synodal church: Communion, participation and mission.”

The Vatican announced the choice of “synodality” as the theme in a brief communique March 7.

“Synodality,” which literally means “walking together,” has become a key topic of Pope Francis’ pontificate, but one which has raised questions and even confusion.

The basic idea in the pope’s teaching is that the grace of baptism makes one part of the body of the church and, therefore, responsible for its life and mission. In a hierarchical church, that shared responsibility calls for regular, serious and structural forums for listening to all members of the church. At the same time, as the pope has said, it does not mean putting decisions to a vote as if a synod were a parliament.
… Read more » … lire la suite »

Protest participants at Unist'ot'en Camp honour missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls as police move towards the camp. Photo: Michael Toledano

Church leaders sign statement of support for Wet’suwet’en

 — February 18, 202018 février 2020

A statement calling on the government of Canada and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to “immediately cease their occupation, arrests, and trespassing on Wet’suwet’en sovereign territory” has drawn signatures from 71 church leaders in in the Anglican Church of Canada and beyond.

The statement of solidarity with Wet’suwet’en Nation pipeline opposition was released by Toronto Urban Native Ministry in the diocese of Toronto. Posted Feb. 6, it was signed by several Anglican bishops, including National Indigenous Anglican Archbishop Mark MacDonald and National Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada Susan Johnson. Many more signatures have since been added via the web.

The statement notes the unanimous opposition of the Wet’suwet’en Clan Chiefs to the construction of the pipeline. It says that the “militarized forced removal of the Wet’suwet’an from their own territory” is in violation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP) and is “consistent with the colonial practices of genocide,” and that the RCMP “does not hold the jurisdiction or right to arrest sovereign Wet’suwet’en peoples on their own unceded Nation and territory.”
… Read more » … lire la suite »

The Revd Dr Will Adam with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby. Photo: Lambeth Palace

Unity, Faith and Order

 — February 7, 20207 février 2020

The Department for Unity, Faith and Order in the Anglican Communion has at its core the search for deeper unity between Christians, be that within and between the churches of the Anglican Communion or between the Anglican Communion and other Christian churches and bodies.

Much of the work of Unity, Faith and Order (which goes by the extra-terrestrial acronym UFO) is taken up with encouraging Christians to talk together. Over the course of the last century much work has been done to break down mutual suspicion and division between churches by patient dialogue and the building up of relationships. This happens at the local level, where Christians find that when they come together to pray or get involved with mission and ministry that they have more in common than they first thought. It also happens at national and international level, when theologians from different churches and traditions talk together to come to agreement on issues that have previously divided them.
… Read more » … lire la suite »

A new Communion-wide Eucharistic liturgy prepared by the Task Group was used for the first time during a service for Primates on the shores of the River Jordan. Photo: Alex Baker/ACNS

Anglican Communion called to repent as primates affirm commitment to walk together

 — January 20, 202020 janvier 2020

The work of the Task Group which was established by the Archbishop of Canterbury after the January 2016 Primates’ Meeting has been commended by the Primates. The Task Group has called for a Season of Repentance, focused around the fifth Sunday in Lent this year (29 March), and has prepared a common Anglican Communion eucharistic liturgy and papers on Anglican identity.

In their communiqué, released at the end of last week’s Primates’ Meeting, the Primates explained that the Task Group was established “to look at how we might walk together despite the complexities we face.”

They added: “at this meeting we affirmed our continued commitment to walk together; we received the work of the Task Group and commended it to the other Instruments of Communion – the Lambeth Conference and the Anglican Consultative Council.”

They also recommended that a new group be established “to continue the work of the Task Group to explore how we live and work together in the light of the Lambeth Conference.
… Read more » … lire la suite »