An Awkward Conversation in the Church event

Alberta-Northwest Conference “welcomes its neighbours” to a conversation about race that is more important than ever in light of racist rallies on both sides of the border. An Awkward Conversation in the Church: Race, Discrimination and the Mission of The United Church of Canada will be held October 4-6, 2017 at the Providence Renewal Centre in Edmonton.

Info and registration:

The Intercultural network encourages you to consider attending. If you are interested in attending, please let the Intercultural Network conveners know; contact Nobuko Iwai or Brian Mitchell-Walker, or get in touch with Julie Graham at the Conference office.


Bill C-16 stalled in the Senate: take action for transgender human rights

Trans* people are ministers and leaders in the United Church and across the country. They are members of our families, our loved ones, our friends, colleagues, and neighbours, and they deserve to have their identities protected by the law. As an Affirming Conference, we invite you to support Bill C-16 through the United Church of Canada’s action.

Bill C-16 would amend the Canadian Human Rights Act to prohibit discrimination on the grounds of gender identity and gender expression. It will also amend the Canadian Criminal Code to include gender identity and gender expression as a recognized group when offences are motivated by bias, prejudice, or hate.

Bill C-16 passed its third reading in the House of Commons in November 2016, and is now in its second reading in the Senate. Some groups are actively campaigning the Senate to block this bill. Please take action by contacting your senator as soon as possible, and urge the Senate to make Bill C-16 law.

Saskatchewan Senators:

Raynell Andreychuk

Denise Batters:

Lillian Eva Dyck:

David Tkachuk

Pamela Wallin:

Affirm United’s Affirming Ministry and Volunteers of the Year Awards

Every year, Affirm United/ S’affirmer Ensemble is pleased to honour ministries and volunteers who have inspired us to new hope and energy over the past year and beyond. With gratitude we name the exceptional contributions of Trinity- St. Andrew’s United Church in Brighton, ON; of Brian Mitchell-Walker; and of Rev. Shaun Fryday.

To see the full article and biographies on these honorees, please click here.


Upcoming Intercultural Opportunites

Dear Friends of the Intercultural Ministries Network,

The upcoming months are rich in events and opportunities involving intercultural ministries, and we thought we’d let you know about some upcoming opportunities to connect and share with others around your intercultural work.

Nov 14, 2015
Workshop: “Building an Intercultural Community”
Time: 9 am–12 noon
Location: Westway United Church, 8 Templar Dr., Etobicoke, ON M9R 3C7
More info: Toronto Conference, Southwest Presbytery’s website

Nov 18–19, 2015
Webinar: Racial Justice Training Workshop
Time: 11 am–1 pm EDT each day
Location: Join online from anywhere
More info: The United Church’s United in Learning’s website

Nov 20–21, 2015
Workshop: “Intercultural Worship: Living Faithfully into God’s Call”
Time: 4:30 pm (Nov 20)–4:00 pm (Nov 21)
Location: Five Oaks Centre, R R #3, 1 Bethel Rd., Paris, ON N3L 3E3
More info: Five Oaks Centre’s website

January 25–29, 2016
Program: “Engage Difference! Deepening Understanding for Intercultural Ministry (DUIM)”
Location: Queen’s House, 601 Taylor St. W., Saskatoon, SK S7M 0M8
More info: Canadian Churches’ Forum’s website
Funding: United Church bursaries are available!

Upcoming—watch for more info soon:
May 2016
Deepening Understanding for Intercultural Ministry (DUIM)
Sandy-Saulteaux Spiritual Centre, Beausejour, MB

Summer 2016:
Deepening Understanding for Intercultural Ministry (DUIM)
TBD, Toronto, ON

NEW program in the works:
“Welcome the Stranger!”
A program designed for congregations and communities seeking just relationships as they engage in refugee hosting and sponsorship. Based on DUIM. For more information, contact the Canadian Churches’ Forum.

Special Pre-General Council 42 Issue – Connect Online

E-ssentials logo

The 42nd General Council is quickly approaching! Even if you aren’t going to Corner Brook, there are many ways to connect, share, and follow GC42 online. Find out more about the proposals going to Council in the Workbook and then follow along in real time! August 8-14, 2015.

Live Stream Video
Connect on YouTube Live and follow the GC42 live stream video, including worship, plenary sessions, the vote for the next Moderator, and more! You can also log in using your Google account to share comments and discuss the proceedings directly on the YouTube page. Tune in and see General Council in action!

Each day short video clips will be posted on the United Church channel offering new perspectives on General Council. Includes daily introductions, the day’s top issues, peeks behind the scenes, and more!

The United Church Facebook page will feature ongoing news, commentary, video, and photos throughout the 42nd General Council. Follow the United Church page to share your own comments and keep up to date on all the proceedings! There is also a Facebook group for GC42 Commissioners and others to share and discuss the proposals and work going to Council. Join in!

Twitter is a great way to connect with GC42! Follow @UnitedChurchCda for the latest, up-to-the-minute updates! Share your tweets at #GC42 and join in the discussion with others.

Follow the official GC42 Flickr collection, or join us on Instagram, using #GC42.

Sign up to receive daily news updates from GC42 directly to your inbox! Subscribe here.

Invite Your Faith Community to Join In!

  • Download the GC42 bulletin insert [PDF] and invite your church or group to join us online for GC42!
  • Use this GC42 slide in your digital presentations during announcement time, at the end of service, etc.

Use one or more of these prepared worship services to introduce GC42 to your congregation!


Recognizing Diversity Event

The Intercultural Network is having a one day workshop as a pre-event before Conference, May 27th, looking at helping people build a toolkit for working with diversity in their own context.

Ethnic diversity is the most obvious aspect of intercultural work, however, there are many other aspects of diversity that congregations encounter every day even if their ethnic diversity is minimal. How do we connect with those who are different than us, e.g. in age, in gender, in size etc. and celebrate who they are?  How much are we aware of our own cultural and diverse experiences and stories?  These are important questions toward building a community that reflects our church and society, that reflects Christ.  We are all intercultural.

The workshop will offer tools to help recognize and work with diversity in committees, groups and teams within our congregations.  It will be a very helpful resource for any congregation, including Affirming Ministries.  This will be a benefit for working together in whatever context.

You are encouraged to bring others from your ministry to share in this experience.  Register here