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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Be Bold event: Good News/ Real News, 29 May 2019

This gathering is a follow up to last year’s Be Bold gathering. All racialized and Indigenous lay leaders and ministry personnel are welcome. Come and share individual and scriptural experiences and stories related to InterCultural Ministry from Indigenous and racialized perspectives, from 10:00AM-4:00PM at First United Church in Swift Current, SK, Wednesday May 29.

Resource people: all present; Charlene Burns; Rev. Sun Do Hyun, Rev Nobuko Iwai; others TBA.

Please bring to share: 1) a Biblical passage with the theme of InterCultural Ministry; 2) One issue or news report related to racial Justice or public policy of reconciliation or InterCultural ministry in Saskatchewan/Canada. The Biblical passage and the racial justice issue may be either linked to each other or unrelated

Registration: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/GMCBCZN

Agenda and cost: We ask that all participants plan to come for the whole day (10:00AM-4:00PM). We will send a complete agenda closer to the time. Lunch and snacks will be provided.  Registration is $25; the fee can be reduced or removed if it creates a barrier to your being with us. Please email jgraham@united-church.ca if you need us to waive or reduce the fee. Please bring cash or a cheque payable to “Region 4 of the United Church of Canada”. It can be mailed to: Living Skies Regional Office; 60 Athabasca St. E., Moose Jaw, SK S6H 0L2 (please note “Be Bold event” on the cheque).

 For more information, please contact Rev SunDo Hyun  hyunsundo@hotmail.com or Intercultural Network co-conveners Nobuko Iwai (nobuko.gpuc@sasktel.net) and Brian Mitchell-Walker (bmw@bemindfullywell.com)



A personal reflection and a book review of “Interdependence”

A book review by Rev. Hoeun Lee. Rev Lee Hoeun serves Lucky Lake pastoral charge in Region 4 (SK) and is in the admissions process for the United Church of Canada. 

This would be a kind of testimony rather than a book review.

Just a few days after I came to Canada in 2017, I visited the Niagara-on-the-lake, a very beautiful town near the Niagara Falls. In front of a restaurant, my wife and I were looking at the menu on the street and talking about the food we would order in Korean. A white lady with a very cute dog approached and said to us, “Would you like to go back to your country if you can’t speak English?” At that moment, I felt vulnerable, insulted and humiliated. I couldn’t help but feeling of being misplaced. I started acknowledging that I am not in home anymore. What is home? Where is my home? Whose home am I at?

In the Wizard of Oz, when Dorothy arrived in land of Oz, she said to her dog Toto, “Toto, I’ve a feeling that we’re not in Kansas anymore.” We’re not in Kansas anymore. Interdependence (written by HyeRan Kim-Cragg) makes the readers realize that we’re not in Christendom anymore. We’re not the center of the universe anymore. (I wonder if we ever were.) This book begins with the interdependent reality we cannot and should not deny. The reason why we no longer cannot stay our own sweet and comfortable home of traditional theological notions and framework anymore is the whirlwind or tornado of huge and rapid change already brought us to land of Oz or the beyond the boundaries. We’re already living the interdependent reality.

In Interdependence, ‘beyond’ is the first word of each title of all six chapters. This preposition reflects the main theme, ‘interdependence,’ and penetrates the whole book which deals with various topics and areas. Chapter 1 articulates that we all are dependent on others and no exception. Thus, the interdependent imagination of the reality beyond the dominant norms based on the idea of the independence and self-sufficiency of existence is desperately required. Chapter 2 inquires the heterosexuality as the usual in our community life, chapter 3 questions the adultness as basis in our worship life, and chapter 4 inspects the notion of pure Christianity in our interfaith life by exploring the postcolonial concept of ‘hybridity.’ Plus, chapter 5 examines belonging and border in the age of migration and chapter 6 contests anthropocentric worldviews in the era of environmental crisis.

HyeRan Kim-Cragg invites us to challenge and go beyond the status quo and encourages us to imagine and reconstruct the mutually-beneficial communities interdependently. While I have read this book, I learn that I also need to imagine the beyond because everyone including me is interdependent beyond the boundaries.

I shared the earlier experience in the classroom, too. What I didn’t tell my classmates was how I responded to her. I said, “I can speak in English, but it’s none of your business.”  Now I admit that my response was inappropriate and unproductive. I has begun thinking that I could’ve said differently: “Do you feel uncomfortable or anxiety when you hear that other people speak in other languages you don’t know? It is a window of opportunity of stepping out of the comfort zone. I believe that it is OUR business to figure this out because we are living in this land together.” We’re all interconnected. We’re not in Kansas anymore.

When Dorothy arrived in land of Oz, she killed the witch. Her house fell over the evil witch’s body. The winds of the Spirit move us and guide us to the new land of interdependence. When we follow the winds of the Spirit, we may cast out the demonic ideologies based on the notion of independence.


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


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.