Amazing Grace Discussion (Friday, January 18th, 2008)

What would it take to change the world? The Manitou Intentional Learning Community Presents Amazing Grace, a movie chronicling the story of William Wilberforce and the abolition of slavery.

The film stars Ioan Gruffudd (Black Hawk Down), Albert Finney (Erin Brockovich), Romola Garai (Vanity Fair), Michael Gambon (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban), Benedict Cumberbatch (Hawking), Rufus Sewell (Legend of Zorro), Ciaran Hinds (Rome) and introduces Youssou N’Dour.

Join us for a discussion of this movie as a mirror for our own lives and times.

Friday, January 18th 2008
St. Andrew’s Place @ 7 p.m.
Discussion leader
Dr. Carolyn Morado

“. . . some of the old issues are being played out in new arenas and times require us to try differently. . .”

Discussion Leader Dr. Carolyn Morado has had a distinguished career as an educator and social activist. She worked for twenty-five years as a teacher and school administrator in Ann Arbor Public Schools. She chose to work with children of colour “too often poorly served by the public schools.” She has also taught early childhood courses at the University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University.

Carolyn is a member of the Unitarian Universalist congregation in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Since retirement, Carolyn has become active in the anti-war movement in Ann Arbor. More recently she has joined the Michigan Prisoner Re-Entry Initiative because “more African-American men are in prison than in college.” She notes that this “only underscores the need for a renewed focus on race. Some of the old issues are being played out in new arenas, and times now require us to try differently, rather than harder. It seems to me that this is what Wilberforce did in Amazing Grace.”

We welcome Carolyn to lead our discussion of this provocative, challenging movie.

The Changing Role of the United Church of Canada in Sudbury and Beyond (January 2008)

We were delighted to welcome Will Kunder, executive secretary of the Manitou Conference to our Annual General Meeting to share his reflections on this important issue.

Will asked us to consider the “Call to Purpose” of the 39th General Council focusing on the four key statements:

  • We long for a deeper relationship with God.
  • We long for a deeper connection with one another.
  • We acknowledge the brokenness, pain and fear we carry.
  • We believe that our spirituality and our prophetic voice spring from one source and are lived in one Body.

He suggested that we must not yearn to return to earlier times when United churches were springing up across Ontario and the church’s influence was clear. Rather, he challenged, we must be about the fundamental work of examining who we are and whose we are, so that we can find a new prophetic voice for our times.

We must seek answers to some fundamental questions

  • Whom do we understand God to be?
  • Whom do we understand Jesus to be?
  • Whom do we understand ourselves to be?

… so that we can make new sense of why we exist and what God is calling us to be about.

Will’s insights and commitment to this task inspired us to continue to ponder these questions as we dialogue with fellow MILC members, our congregations and the wider church.

More information about the “Call to Purpose” can be found by clicking here.

Suggested reading…

Will also suggested some books which can help our exploration of these issues:

Christianity for the Rest of Us: How the Neighbourhood Church Is Transforming the Faith, by Diana Butler Bass, HarperCollins Publishers, 2006

Cause for Hope: Humanity at the Crossroads, by Bill Phipps, Wood Lake Publishing, 2007

Both are available from the Grand River Bookstore by calling 1 (888) 668-0871, supported by Manitou Conference and located at Five Oaks.