Update letter about The United Church of Canada

  Dear Friends, Easter greetings to you! We hope that this note finds you well. As a Church, we recently moved from Lent into Easter; we have just come through a time of reflection and prayer on death and resurrection, endings and new beginnings. The current context of The United Church of Canada is also one where we are considering how some aspects of our church’s life will soon come to a difficult end, and where we will prayerfully reflect on the Spirit’s work in creating new life for our church’s ministry. It is in this spirit that we offer to you this update letter about the church in this time. Like many mainline churches in North America, we in The United Church of Canada are in the midst of challenging times: changing forms of church, changing contexts for ministry, changing human and financial resources, and changing generations of members and leaders. We are being challenged to live out God’s mission in different ways than in the past. The United Church’s … [Read more...]

Church Says Limits to Freedom of Religion Are Reasonable

Toronto: In a statement released this afternoon, the Moderator of The United Church of Canada, the Right Rev. Gary Paterson, welcomed today's Supreme Court ruling that says there are limits to freedom of religion when it comes to hate speech. "Freedom of religion is not absolute," says Paterson. "It does not include the right to engage in religiously motivated hate speech, and it does not extend to conduct that harms or interferes with the rights of others." Today's court decision, explains Paterson, confirms the position taken by the United Church when it appeared before the Supreme Court in October 2011 as an intervener in the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission versus William Whatcott appeal. That appeal originated with a human rights complaint that was filed in Saskatchewan against William Whatcott, an activist who was found guilty and fined for distributing anti-gay flyers that he said expressed his religious beliefs about homosexuals. This ruling was later overturned by … [Read more...]

United Church Moderator Invites Acts of Hope and Encouragement

  La traduction française de ce communiqué de presse est disponible à : www.united-church.ca/fr/communications/news/releases/130108   For Immediate Release Tuesday, January 8, 2013   United Church Moderator Invites Acts of Hope and Encouragement   Toronto: In a video posted today on The United Church of Canada's YouTube Channel, the church's Moderator, the Right Rev. Gary Paterson, is inviting Canadians to join with him this Friday in offering signs of encouragement to government and First Nations leaders who will be meeting that day.   youtube.com/unitedchurchofcanada "This call to action is being made to encourage Canadians to demonstrate their support for the January 11 meeting between Prime Minister Stephen Harper and a delegation of First Nations leaders, including Attawapiskat First Nation Chief Theresa Spence," explains Paterson.   For some people, he says, the response to this call may mean a day … [Read more...]