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Slave Lake Conference Meeting in Photos

84th Conference Meeting, May 28-31, 2015
Multi-Rec Centre, Slave Lake, Alberta

Latest News Posts

Let’s reclaim our Mission

Time to change our church conversations By Rev Paul Wallfall In our conversations about United Church restructuring, let’s put more emphasis on what makes us the Church: Our Mission and Ministry. Since the Newfoundland General Council conversations led us towards restructuring and subsequent conversations and decisions made by the GC Executive, I continue to reflect on what type of change we really expect in the church. I’m concerned we are more preoccupied by structures than Mission and Ministry. The conversations seem to suggest that if we find a more effective way to organise ourselves or a better bureaucracy then we will have a better church. In so many ways, I feel that we have the same conversations over and over again: fewer people seem to come to church; contributions to local churches and the Mission and Service fund are diminishing and many pastoral shares no longer can afford full-time ministry personnel. While these are real concerns, I wonder if they are symptoms of the problem and not the real problem. So, let’s change the conversations we are having, just a little. Because the conversations we are having don’t seem to get us anywhere beyond where we have been and ignore the fundamental question of what makes us church. Shortly after arriving in Canada, I met a gay man who told me about his life and how the proclamation of one United Church congregation influenced his not ending that life. One night he left a non-United Church religious event to head to an Edmonton bridge. He no longer wanted to feel like an aberration and error because of his sexual...

Enter our 2016 Photo Contest!

Photo Contest for Alberta and Northwest Conference of The United Church of Canada Deadline: Wednesday, March 9, 2016 at noon. (originally posted January 26, 2016) For the second-year in a row, we are holding a Conference-wide photo contest. What fun it was last year to see a wide-range of ministry from around Alberta and Northwest Conference! We are looking for photos from congregations and ministries of ANW Conference.  All photos submitted will potentially be used on the website or in other media for the Conference.  The top two photos in each category will receive gift cards from Chapters-Indigo. When all submissions are received for the March 9 deadline, we will put the photos online and invite people to vote. Do encourage your congregations, friends, family members and others to get involved in the voting! Photo Categories are the Conference’s Four Goals Healthy Congregations — e.g. Photos of people at congregational events; Sunday School pageants, etc Effective Ministry — photos of ministry happening — e.g. worship settings, visitations, outreach work, camping programs, children’s programs, celebration of ministry services, etc. Strong Public Witness — examples would be sandwich making for homeless centres, a fund raiser for the Mission and Service or other project, food bank program, protest, etc Open Connections and Communication — examples might be photos of people talking together and other scenes of people making connections with each other. Prizes to be won Two prizes will be awarded in each category: $25 gift cards to Chapters-Indigo. Contest Rules Photos needs to be taken in United Church or ecumenical ministries from Alberta and Northwest Conference (overseas photos of mission projects...

Resources and Events for Black History Month

  More information about Rev. Dr. Wilbur Howard: •  Wilbur Howard biography page within history of Dominion Chalmers United Church Church •  Wilbur Howard article by the Rev. Adam Kilner Alberta Human Rights Commission information page on Black History Month The Canadian Children’s Book Centre: Black History Month Reading List. Canadian Government’s webpage on Black History Month with links to achievements and contributions of black Canadians. February 13  Edmonton  — Black History Month Gospel Concert. February 26 – 27.  Lethbridge — Booths, music, food, fashion show. Galt...

Remembering the past; Creating a better future

By Paul Walfall Because February is Black History Month in Canada, I am writing to you to acknowledge and celebrate the contributions of people from the African Diaspora to Canada’s development and to the United Church of Canada’ mission and ministry. Black people have a long and strong connection with the history of The United Church.  Many contributed to the work of local Congregations, presbyteries and our denomination in significant ways. The legacy of the late Rt. Rev. Dr. Wilbur K. Howard, the first and only black person to be elected as Moderator of the church, continues to resonate through the church.  We also give thanks for those black persons in the church today who continue to work to enable a strong witness and mission awareness in our church.  Our church is indeed blessed because of their commitment and ministry. Let us not forget to give thanks for them. The celebration of Black History month, however, must present a platform for us as a church to look at and discuss once more the influence of race on the ways we treat people and relate to each other.  While racism is officially not tolerated in Canada or the United Church, we must not for one moment believe that racism is dead! Instances of intolerance and racist speech still occur. Politeness is not a substitute for acceptance and welcome.  Many black people, several of whom are migrants to this country, comment that while they are greeted with smiles they do not feel as though they are fully welcomed or can make our church their spiritual home.     The celebration of Black...

Watch for Youth Events coming this Spring

•  I will wait for you       a youth Retreat for grades 7 – 12 St Albert United Church May 6 -8 , 2016. • St. Andrew’s Regional Ministries Annual Youth Camp. River’s Edge Camp near Cochrane. June 3-5, 2016  Photos from last year. More information and Registration Forms for the above events to come...

Opportunity for Youth to be part of GO Project Saskatoon

   The Alberta and Northwest Conference Executive has approved a Conference-wide project for youth between the ages of 16 – 20.    The project provides for 18 youth and four adult facilitators to participate in the 2016 Saskatoon Go Project from July 28 – August 4.  Our young people will be joining with other youth from the United Church of Canada for 11 days of fun, learning and growing in faith. What is the GO Project? The GO Project was started in Toronto Conference.  It began through a discernment process of youth and young adults to seek a unique program that would engage young people within the wider United Church of Canada in a Canadian context. Out of that discernment came The GO Project —  a-hands-on experience of mission and outreach.  It is intended to integrate action and discernment in a safe, questioning atmosphere that matched  a theological understanding of Christ’s inclusion of all and acceptance of difference.  There are three different programs. The longest running program is Youth GO which is for high school youth and their leaders.  Children’s Adventure Day Camps are hosted by individual churches for younger children. And for young adults looking for a more immersive and long term experience, there is the GO Intentional Community. You can find out more about GO at Who from Alberta and Northwest Conference can be involved? Each Presbytery is invited to name two high school youth to be part of this project.  If by the end of February if a Presbytery is unable to select two youth then those spaces will be available to other Presbyteries on “a...

Messy Church Workshop to be offered in Edmonton

  Saturday, April 9th, 2016, 10:00am to 3:00pm Holy Trinity Anglican Church   Messy Church aims to create the opportunity for adults and children to enjoy expressing their creativity, to gather together for a meal, to experience worship and to have fun within a church context. You will have an opportunity to experience what Messy Church can offer your church. The session will allow you to experience a Messy Church, to brainstorm around your own Messy Church, to gather resources, and to explore the history of this innovative way of being church in a changing world. You will take away knowledge, skills and materials to help you get started. For participants who have already started a Messy Church, we will share ideas and network, facilitated by seasoned Messy Church practitioners. Workshop is $25 and includes lunch and supplies. Presenters: Sue and Andy Kalbfleisch (Messy Church Canada Team Leaders and Practitioners) You’ll find more information and can register via Holy Trinity Anglican’s...

Online Lenten Resources Check out The Prayer Bench

   Looking for individual or small group study resources for the Lenten Season? Check out Janice MacLean’s The Prayer Bench from Sackville, New Brunswick. In ANW Conference, we were first introduced to Janice’s extensive work when she was Maritime Conference’s Minister of Christian Nurture & Enrichment and provided wise counsel as we developed our Conference’s website. 1. Small Group Study: The Trinity and Everyday Spirituality. A six-week study with the Rev. Dr. Rob Fennell, Atlantic School of Theology Professor, and a liturgy provided by the Rev. David Roberston from High River, Alberta.  Includes audio talks, written material, reflections and prayers. $25. Check out a full-description and samples online. 2. Individual E-Mail Lenten Retreat: Journey toward the mystery of Easter by exploring the sayings of the Wisdom Jesus. They point to everyday spiritual practices that help deepen our contemplative life. Take time this Lent to discover goodness and grace in the human journey. $25. Check out a full description and samples online. 3. 40 Gestures supporting mindfulness and Presence. A Lenten Calendar. Free resource to...
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