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.