A congregation of the United Church of Canada
July 27, 2022
Our denominational triennial meeting called General Council has just concluded. You may recall that in 2018 we hosted General Council 43 in Oshawa and many people reading this were very involved in helping make that happen. GC44 was meant to happen in Calgary in 2021, but like everything else the pandemic threw a wrench into those works. As a result, instead of an in-person week-long gathering GC44 had to adapt to be a 7-month long all-online experience. It was spread out, of course, with only short bits happening at a time, but it was still a marathon for those participating. (I was not part of it this year.)
As always there was a mixture of worship, business proposals, and connecting with people from across the country, and the election of a new Moderator. You can find all the news about these things on the website called generalcouncil44.ca. Our new Moderator is Rev. Dr. Carmen Lansdowne. She is an Indigenous person who has most recently worked as the director of the First United Church ministry in downtown eastside Vancouver. I look forward to Carmen’s leadership in these next 3 years.
This will also mark the end of our current Moderator Rev. Dr. Richard Bott’s extended term. Instead of three years he served for four years because of the pandemic delaying GC44 from gathering. I think Richard’s favourite thing he accomplished during his tenure was the framing of our new Vision and Calling for the church. It’s summarized in these six profoundly powerful words: Deep Spirituality ~ Bold Discipleship ~ Daring Justice. Richard’s exceptional depth of experience in computers and technology served the Church remarkably well during the pandemic as we all adapted to online church. It’s amazing how we always seem to select a Moderator for the times we are in, and that was certainly true for Richard. I wonder what times Carmen will lead us through?
I hope you’ll have a look at the General Council website, and watch some videos, and read about some of the proposals. It’s good to climb up into the balcony and get a wider view of the Church from time to time. And it’s good to remember that we are not in this alone. We are part of a national, and international denomination, all striving to practice deep spirituality, bold discipleship, and daring justice. How might you be deep, bold, and daring in the coming months?