Becoming an Intercultural Church in Western Canada/ Turtle Island
For a number of years, the United Church has pursued a vision for becoming an intercultural church, meaning that we live “together with a respectful awareness of each other’s differences. We do this by examining ourselves, building relationships, and distributing power fairly.” In Western Canada/ treaty and traditional territories, this work is carried forward in part by the Western Intercultural Network.
The Western Intercultural Network: Who are we? We are people and communities in the United Church of Canada committed to a fully inclusive and intercultural church, from northwestern Ontario to the Pacific, and north to Yellowknife. Anyone of any identity is welcome! Please see our mission statement and terms of reference here.
We’re new, trying something different as the United Church continues the major restructuring begun in 2019. We occasionally hold gatherings and online conversations that focus on the communities named above. We work in our own Regional Councils across Western Canada, and we gather as the Western Intercultural Network in person every fall. An executive from the five Western Regional Councils of the United Church offers us leadership.
Our vision of becoming an intercultural United Church encompasses:
Black people and people of colour and communities, which includes ethnic churches within the United Church, lay leaders and ministry personnel who are people of colour or Black, and more.
Indigenous people and communities, within the United Church and beyond, of all traditions.
People with disabilities/ disabled people.
LGBTQIA+ and Two Spirit people and communities.
We honour these identities, and the spaces where they intersect. Our ministry includes courageous (and awkward!) conversations about our diversity, and about the social privilege and history that hinder right relationships. We believe the Good News of Jesus Christ calls us into such conversations and relationship. To get involved with the Network, please get in touch with the Prairie to Pine office, and we will put you in touch with our Regional Council’s representatives. Their contact information is not shared here in order to protect their privacy.
Racial justice training program of the United Church (open to all); further details about the online format are here.
Deepening Understanding for Intercultural Ministry program, Canadian Council of Churches
Disabilities and inclusion
Affirm United/ S’affirmer Ensemble, the LGBTQIA2S+ and ally movement within the church
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