More Franchises: A Second Cup
Over 500 United Church folks from across the country gathered at Emmanuel College June 18-21 for four days of learning about and celebrating the work of the Spirit in congregations and ministries across the nation.
More than 100 participants attended two pre-events: How the Spirit Moves Us
, an exploration of spiritual practices of our faith neighbours and ourselves; and Living for the Earth: Choosing Creation Over Empire
, exploring the United Church's mission theme with global partners and United Church leaders and theologians.
The pulse of the event was carried through the more than 100 workshops and presentations offered by individuals and groups, on emerging models of ministry and
best practices from across the United Church in areas such as
congregational renewal, development, and leadership; faith formation;
theology; congregational structures; worship and music;
interfaith/intercultural ministry; and spirituality.
The Friday evening was blessed with a concert by SAMA and music throughout the event was spectacular under the leadership of
Bruce Harding with Neeraj and Sajan Prem, Linnea Good, David Jonsson, Maki Fushii, David-Roger Gagnon, Cheryl Harding, Lloyd MacLean and Amy Lee.
Keynotes included Michael Ward Minister at Central United in Calgary, Alberta on Hope for Leaders Lost in Transition
; Raheel Raza, writer, interfaith intercultural diversity consultant, film-maker,
playwright and poet on The United Colours of Christianity and Islam;
Tite Tienou, Professor of theology of mission at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School on Dare to Make New Mistakes: Doing Christian Mission without Historical Guilt
; Kofi Hope,
a Rhodes Scholar currently living in Cape Town, South Africa and former United Church staff for the Youth Connection Project on Harnessing the Passion of Youth and the Wisdom of Elders: Becoming United Church.
Audio Recordings of the plenaries and some workshops are available through Swordfish Digital Audio, www.swordfishdigital.com
Materials from the workshops can be found on-line at ucc.resources.ca
On Sunday afternoon conference participants gathered with other United Church folks at Metropolitan United Church and across the country through the internet, to celebrate the 85th anniversary
of the United Church of Canada. Spirited music, preaching, dancing, praying, and sharing of bannock and juice in communion marked a celebration which included participation from United Church folk from the fours directions across the country.
Celebration of National Aboriginal Day with a Sunrise Ceremony led by
the Francis Sandy Theological Centre began the final day of the
conference when Grafton Antone reminded us that we are all called to be messengers. Drumming ended the day as United Church members prepared
to carry the pulse home.