Category Archives: Social Action & Justice

IRIDESCE: The Living Apology Project


At General Council 42 the church voted to support a national project of story-sharing with people affected by the Church’s 1988 decision — when the church declared that all people, regardless of sexual orientation, are welcome as full members and all members are eligible to be considered for ordered ministry. These stories would then help the church to discern if, and how, it might live into a possible apology to lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer and Two-Spirit people (LGBTQ2).  You are invited to share your experiences and add to the discussion. Visit our Stories Page or Contact Page for information on how to contribute.

– an invitation from Aaron Miechkota, the Project Coordinator of Iridesce, 

For more information, please contact Aaron Miechkota, Project Coordinator, Iridesce: The Living Apology Project.

Email:              Website:

Facebook:            Twitter: @iridesceproject

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Perspectives on Indigenous People and Settler Folk in Northern Ontario Compiled by Dr. A. Ernest Epp Professor Emeritus of History Lakehead University and Chair of Christian Outreach and Social Action
Perspectives on Indigenous People and Settler Folk in Northern Ontario Compiled by Dr. A. Ernest Epp Professor Emeritus of History Lakehead University and Chair of Christian Outreach and Social Action

While Canadians generally are celebrating Canada 150, many Indigenous People are cool at best and often deeply critical of the celebration. After all, the nation created in 1867 subjected them to its imperial control and used various means to destroy the First Nations. The paper, “Perspectives on Indigenous People and Settler Folk in Northern Ontario,” recognizes this dark era between the many millennia of Indigenous life in the Western hemisphere and the recent Indigenous efforts to escape their colonial experience. The paper illuminates the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and focuses Ontario’s responses to its Calls to Action.

Happy Canada Day,
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Emission control

United Church buildings produce as much carbon dioxide as 30,000 cars. Why are so few congregations cleaning up their act?

Article: Emission Control By Mike Milne in the Observer February 2017 pg 38

Here’s some fresh global warming data that’s bound to send a chill across the United Church: the denomination’s 3,000 congregational buildings produce the equivalent of an estimated 135,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year. That’s about the same as burning 63 million kilograms of coal, or driving 30,000 cars, or powering 15,000 homes for a year — and it would take a forest about the size of Quebec City to offset it.

Perhaps even more worrying is the fact that few congregations are taking steps to reduce their energy use — even in areas where church-funded no- or low-interest loans are available to help them retrofit their buildings.
Several General Councils have recognized the existential threat of climate change and passed motions calling on congregations to try to lower their carbon footprints. The General Council Office has tried to reduce its energy use by cutting back on travel and meeting electronically more often. And the denomination and its Foundation took a stand against climate change in late 2015 by selling about $8 million in fossil fuel investments.
But a report released last July, called “Caring for Creation, Our Communities and Our Congregations,” gives the church its first national estimate of how much carbon its buildings are pumping into the atmosphere. It says that for the church to be “a truly credible and inspiring climate change leader [it] must put its own house in order.”
Commissioned by General Council’s finance department for $90,500, the report was completed by Faith and the Common Good, a Toronto interfaith environmental group, and BuildGreen Solutions, an Ottawa consulting firm. “This is a proactive thing,” says General Council finance chief Erik Mathiesen. “This is a chance for the church to lead by example. But in order to manage something, you need to measure it.”
Lucy Cummings, executive director of Faith and the Common Good, says the carbon reduction report makes clear that carbon-producing energy use is a theological, environmental and ethical issue, as well as a financial issue for congregations. “The energy used to light and heat United Church faith buildings is one of the denomination’s largest carbon contributors — and one of its biggest expenses.”
In other words, congregations can save money and take steps to slow global warming by making their buildings more energy-efficient or offsetting energy use by generating clean energy with solar panels.
Read full article…..


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Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: 

Calls to Action

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples:

Acknowledging the Territory in Worship :











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Moderator urges Prime Minister Trudeau to protect non-violent actions for just peace.

The Moderator of The United Church of Canada has written to Prime Minister Trudeau asking him to uphold democratic rights and freedoms by defeating the following motion which has been tabled in the House of Commons February 18, 2016.

“That, given Canada and Israel share a long history of friendship as well as economic and diplomatic relations, the House reject the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which promotes the demonization and delegitimization of the State of Israel, and call upon the government to condemn any and all attempts by Canadian organizations, groups or individuals to promote the BDS movement, both here at home and abroad.”

Moreover, Moderator Cantwell calls on the Canadian government to “be part of global efforts to promote a non-violent, negotiated end to the occupation and a just peace for Palestinians and Israelis.”

Download the Moderator’s letter

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Refugee Sponsorship

The United Church is concerned for the millions of forcibly uprooted people in the world—our brothers and sisters—alternatively called refugees and internally displaced people.Read more »

Three Ways You Can Help Syrian Refugees  (UCC, News, 11 sept 2015)

Funding:  Trinity Refugee Fund
The Conference of Manitoba & Northwestern Ontario (MNWO)
has established the “Trinity Refugee Fund” which is administered by the Conference Justice, Global Relations & Public Witness Committee.  Congregations and accountable ministries are eligible to apply for grants up to $2,000.00 to help with refugee settlement.
Contact for details.  The Conference of MNWO also communicates updates from General Council on the Refugee Crisis in the Conference Weekly News.  To sign onto the Weekly News or check out the Conference website

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