Moderator Mardi’s Blog: Denominational identity

This week’s General Council Executive meeting unanimously decided that the work of the General Council Office will be focused on supporting denominational identity and connection. (Read more about these decisions on the United Church website.)

In the days since our meeting, I’ve been blessed by events and conversations that have reminded me of core strands in our denominational DNA—our identity.

As I prepared presentations to Montreal and Ottawa Conference’s Living for the Earth event in Chateauguay, Quebec (May 4–5), I reviewed related historic actions of The United Church of Canada. One especially brought back memories.

In my early 20s, I served on the General Council Task Force on the Environment. In 1977 we recommended that “The United Church of Canada adopt and implement at all levels, local, regional and national, a new administrative and organizational goal, namely: The care of our earth with all its implications.”

We outlined the deep implications of this goal for denominational administration, education, and advocacy. Since then, General Council has made many more statements building on and enhancing this goal, such as A Song of Faith.

The world desperately needs us to live up to our identity, to who we truly are as church, without delay in the “fierce urgency of now.”

It heartened me to see young adults in their early 20s participating fully in Chateauguay. With them, I will continue to act and pray that they may see broader and deeper results of our church’s adoption of this goal over the next 30 years than we’ve seen over the past 30. We are called to love the world as God loves the world, to leave our nets or “business as usual” behind and follow Christ.

This is the strand of our DNA that particularly engages my passion. What other strands might you name?