Welcome to the Intercultural Network Site

Welcome to the Saskatchewan Conference of the United Church’s Intercultural Network Information Site.  This site is the communication forum for:

 The Affirming Ministries of Saskatchewan Conference;
The Ethnic Ministries of Saskatchewan Conference;
The Women in Ministry within Saskatchewan Conference.

If you are interested in one specific area of our work, please click on the blue highlighted category below and you will be able to scroll through all the posts that have been categorized in that area.

If you would like to be kept up to date on what is being posted here, please click the “Follow” button on the black toolbar above and join us on the continuing Intercultural journey…..

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Report from the Be Bold intercultural gathering May 2018

In May 2018, prior to the SK Conference annual meeting, the Conference’s Intercultural Network held a gathering for clergy and lay leaders who are Indigenous or people of colour.

The goal: to create a safer space to “boldly share stories of overcoming fear, as well as discuss ways to (continue) living out of generosity and openness and calling the whole church to celebrate diversity and practice inclusivity.” From this lively gathering of 20 or so people came recommendations for the continued work of SK Conference/ Region 4, and for General Council. Some of the recommendations were brought to the floor of SK Conference’s annual meeting, and went from there to the triennial General Council meeting of the national church in July 2018. Please share the report freely, and take some time to read through this summary of the work and recommendations this group offers the wider church: Be Bold Intercultural Gathering Report- May 2018, SK Conference (PDF)

Group shot!

Celebrating InterPride with faith perspectives Oct 4 2018, Saskatoon

Faith and Pride, OCTOBER 4TH 7:30-10PM: PANEL DISCUSSION AND RECEPTION, Part of INTER PRIDE 2018 YXE

Event summary: Faith and Pride panel, October 4 2018.

Where: Lounge, St. Andrew’s College, U of S, Saskatoon. Accessible venue; some pay parking. FREE; all welcome.
PDF poster here.

Our speakers:

REV. CINDY BOURGEOIS BSC., M.DIV. Wesley United Church, Regina SK, Reverend Cindy Bourgeois is a settler living on Treaty 4 Land in Saskatchewan. She is committed to righting relations in any way she can. Cindy is the first trans woman ordained to ministry in a mainline denomination. In 2008, she co-wrote one of the first Trans Inclusion Policies in Canada for the Centre for Women and Trans People at the University of Toronto. Cindy has spoken many times on the intersections of being trans, Christian, and a feminist. She is currently serving as the pastor for Wesley United Church Regina, where she also serves two cats.

REV. EMILY CARR LTH., M.DIV. St George’s Anglican Church, Saskatoon SK

Emily Carr grew up on a dairy farm in Eastern Ontario. From the age of five, she wanted to be a priest- to walk around in a decorated robe, sing songs, and never have to shovel manure again. Her hopes of finding a place in the church dimmed when she realized she was gay. Emily struggled to belong in her Church, the Anglican Church of Canada, that still does not offer equality for LGBT2Q people, and has been a part of the journey and discussions over the past decade as the Church moves toward inclusion and unity. These days, Emily is honoured to serve as a priest at St. George’s Anglican Church and as prison chaplain at Killburn Hall Youth Centre in the prairie city of Saskatoon, where she lives with her wife, five-year-old, and their pets. Emily’s focus in ministry is reconciliation, healing, and inclusion, especially for folks the Church tends to forget, marginalize and hurt.

Emily’s favourite bible teaching is “the last shall be first”, and she rejoices every time she sees oppressed people growing in strength and dignity.

R.W. HOEKSTRA, Lay Leader, St Paul’s United Church, Edmonton AB

Anni , Boozhoo; I am a fluent Dutch speaking, full blood adopted Mohawk, Iroquois Confederacy Niizh Maandoowag (2 Spirit) and member of the Snapping Turtle clan. I am a Fire keeper, Elder helper, Keeper of the ceremonies, Vision keeper and board member Sandy Saulteaux Spiritual Centre. Waabskiiki-Gah-Bo is my spirit name (White Bear Standing.) I am a son, brother, uncle; raised into a 4th generation of clergy family whose great grandfather, grandfather, father and sister are/have stood in congregations in the Netherlands , Suriname SA , Canada and Bermuda in my lifetime. I am a recovered alcoholic (27 yrs ) and an inter-generational residential school survivor (my birth mother D.M, Six Nations on the Grand), possible 60’s scoop child. I am entrenched in the teachings of the 3 Fires Midewiin Ojibway beginning my homecoming journey (1991) and the bundle I carry for this journey I received over the years from the Elders and Mishoomis/Knookmis Ojibway Nations .

It began to come together a number of years ago when I became involved in TRC worship services and gatherings and  subsequently when I was invited to attend the Pinawa 2016 Aboriginal Spiritual Gathering as being a Urban Indigenous UCC member. It was an incredible honour to be asked to be part our past Moderator Jordan Cantwell’s ongoing Reconciliation dialogue delegation to Australia past March. Listening, learning and working with the Right Rev. Jordan in a variety of circles with Indigenous ministries and UCC and the Australian Uniting Church has opened my eyes further to the ongoing work that is needed.

Being part of the Caretakers Circle and as a 2 Spirit and an Urban Indigenous UCC member allows me to be aware of the needs of the many to be part of the UCC and to ensure a safe space for all within the restructuring and rebirth of our beloved United Church of Canada. To add my voice, my life experience and my eyes and my heart to the ongoing Reconciliation process as we walk Hand in Hand into Living into Right Relations, Inter-relational faith, First peoples Culture and Second peoples Christianity. Gchi-miigwetch

Affirming Sunday 2018 materials

The Intercultural Network invites all of SK Conference to celebrate Affirming Sunday on May 6, 2018. This year, we will be using a worship service by Iridesce, the Living Apology project shared by The United Church of Canada and Affirm United/ S’affirmer Ensemble. St Andrew’s United in Moose Jaw, an Affirming ministry, has also created a skit that might be familiar to some: the church board asking why the congregation would embark on the Affirming process. (Download it as a PDF or as Word.) Continue reading

May 23 Be Bold gathering

Be Bold: a gathering for racialized church leaders in SK Conference, organized by the Intercultural Network of SK Conference.

Wednesday May 23 2018, 10:00AM- 4:00PM. Battleford United Church, 52 4th Ave W, Battleford SK. Click here for a map.

Cost: $30 (The fee can be reduced or removed if it creates a barrier to your being with us. Please email jgraham@skconf.ca if you need us to waive or reduce the fee.) Please bring cash, or a cheque payable to SK Conference. 

Registration formhttps://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LHX5BVJ 

Download a PDF flyer here, and please share widely! Read on for full details.

Continue reading

Advance notice- Affirming Sunday, 6 May 2018

Your Intercultural network conveners, Nobuko Iwai and Brian Mitchell-Walker, are pleased to announce that Sunday May 6, 2018 will be our Conference’s annual Affirming Sunday. We’ll be using the worship prepared by Iridesce, the Living Apology project that is shared by the national church and Affirm United. St Andrew’s United Church in Moose Jaw, the Conference’s newest Affirming ministry to date, will be adding children’s and sermon resources. Keep an eye on E-Notes, this intercultural network blog, and the worship section of the Conference website.

Reminder: Help us evaluate the Affirming Sunday program, please! It will take you about 15 minutes. Your ideas and thoughts will help us plan for the future.

Black History Month resources

Black History Month, February 2018

Have a look at the online Saskatchewan African Canadian Heritage Museum to see personal and family stories from our own province. And on the United Church’s worship page, four themes and excellent, extensive resources for the four Sundays have been posted. If you want to explore further, R. Bruce Shepard’s Deemed Unsuitable: The Search for Equality in Canada’s Prairie Provinces by Blacks from Oklahoma is an important exploration of the racism faced by Black people fleeing the US for a hoped-for better life in Canada.

Reconnect Couples weekend-all identities

Reconnect:  A Couples Weekend for all identities, November 24-26, Saskatoon

This event is co-presented by the Saskatoon Unitarians and Affirm United/S’affirmer Ensemble for people who are in intimate relationships and who want to enrich those relationships. People of all sexual orientations and gender identities are welcome.   Download the event poster here. (PDF)

The facilitator, Brian Mitchell-Walker, and our hosts, the Saskatoon Unitarians, will strive to create a safe, inclusive space with accessible main floor and gender-neutral washrooms so that those in relationship can learn to be in the moment with their partner and speak their truth.

There will also be an opportunity to explore how each relationship is unique and how we can support all to be in healthy and caring relationships.  Please help us promote this event by sharing the poster, and encouraging others to visit https://ucsaskatoon.org/event/reconnect-couples-weekend/ for more information.

Congregations are ask to consider sponsoring attendees that may benefit from a weekend away that might not be able to afford this low price of $125/couple.  If you have any questions you can contact Brian Mitchell-Walker at bmw@bemindfullywell.com or Kathryn Green at kathrynlgreen@gmail.com