Greetings to The United Church of Canada from the Partner Council
For more on the visit from the Partner Council members this week, please see this news post (opens in a new window).
United Church of Canada Partner Council
Greetings to the UCCan General Council 44
October 21, 2023
Dear Siblings in Christ gathered in the General Council of The United Church of Canada,
It is a blessing to greet you today on behalf of the Partner Council. The purpose of the Partner Council is to connect The United Church of Canada with a global perspective, to share wisdom, and to draw upon the experiences of our worldwide partners. This Council is presently composed of members of partner organizations around the world: Rev. Kangwa Mabuluki, Mrs. Annie Namala, Mr. Samer Laham, Mr. Marcelo Leites, and Mr. Horacio Mesones.
Let me start with a profound sense of gratitude. We thank The United Church of Canada for the opportunity to collaborate in a joint mission to proclaim hope, human dignity, and care for Creation. We also appreciate the chance to participate in the shaping of the new strategy, the contact with your ministries and Regions, as well as in this General Council.
Today, we celebrate the UCC´s new call and vision: Deep Spirituality, Bold Discipleship, and Daring Justice, as well as the vision to become a bold, connected, evolving church, united in deep spirituality, inspiring worship, and daring justice. This vision underscores the commitment of the UCC to ecumenism and the principles of partnership in the shared mission.
Yet, in celebrating, we must also acknowledge the significant challenges of our time. The disruptions to the fullness of life and the suffering of Creation are painfully evident. Armed conflicts continue to devastate communities worldwide, particularly affecting innocent civilians. Climate change threatens our planet and its most vulnerable inhabitants. Inequalities and poverty persist in the world. In this time, we can also see the growing influence of authoritarian government structures, as well as the shrinking space for the action of civil society.
In the face of these challenges, we find hope in our shared faith. The Bible reminds us that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. As we navigate these turbulent waters, we are called to be instruments of God's hope and justice.
Our message to you is one of encouragement. In times of darkness and uncertainty, we can be beacons of light and vessels of hope. Our partnership stands as a testament to the power of unity in diversity. Together, we can inspire peace, cultivate justice, and spread love in a world with so many wounds.
As you embark on this journey, know that you are not alone. In unity, we can shine a light on the path ahead, a path filled with the steadfast love of God.
May God's blessings be with The United Church of Canada, this General Council, our partnership, and the mission we share.
Partner council members (2023–2025 term) include:
- Samer Laham, Director of Emergency Response Services, Middle East Council of Churches
- Marcelo Leites*, General Secretary, World Christian Student Fellowship
- Annie Namala, Human Rights Advocacy and Research Foundation (India)
- Kangwa Mabuluki*, General Secretary, All Africa Theological Education by Extension Association
- Horacio Mesones, Centro Regional Ecuménico de Asesoría y Servicio (Argentina)
*Participating remotely due to visa issues.