OCTOBER 25: We Love our Ministers

The Rev. Bronwyn Corlett shares this reflection:

When my father was sick, my minister visited. The minister didn’t stay
long—just long enough to let us know we were cared for, thought of,
and prayed for. We were not alone.
After I was in a car crash, I visited my minister to share my fear, anxiety,
and confusion. My minister listened and asked questions. Not too
many—just enough to let me know I was heard, I was okay, and I was
prayed for. I was not alone.
Our ministers are present in the big moments: baptisms and funerals,
weddings and divorces, celebrations and crises. They are there in the
everyday moments: visiting, witnessing, and walking with us. They
remind us of God’s presence while we wrestle with life, faith, and love.
Ministers are not perfect or infallible. They each have different gifts from
God and are called to unique service.
Thank you to our ministers. Thank you for the sermons, the prayers,
and the visits. Thank you for the times you leave your own families to
sit with someone else’s. Thank you for your leadership and your late
nights. Thank you for answering God’s call and living it out in The
United Church of Canada.
Thanks to our gifts for Mission & Service, ministers are supported
through training at theological schools and education centres and
through continuing education


Imagine living in a refugee camp with minimal rights to work, own
property, or travel. Imagine families living in that camp—parents,
children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren all together. Imagine if
those families could see no end to the cycle of poverty and violence they
were experiencing living there. That reality is what Palestinians in 12
refugee camps in Lebanon have been facing for 70 years.
The camps themselves are overcrowded, and the infrastructure is
deteriorating. More Palestinian refugees displaced from camps in Syria
have added to the cramped living conditions. Youth, many rebellious and
frustrated, are particularly affected by the overcrowding. Seeing no future,
many of them drop out of school or are recruited by violent extremist
factions in the camps. Mission & Service partner the Joint Christian
Committee for Social Service in Lebanon, part of the Department of
Service to Palestinian Refugees, is working to change that dynamic with a
program for children aged 11–15 called Children on the Go.
The program offers an alternative to the growing culture of violence by
providing at-risk youth with other ways to creatively express themselves
and imagine a positive future. The program teaches conflict resolution
and gives young people the skills to resist social pressures to resort to
violence. And just as important for their future, the youth are given
practical vocational training. They are then able to make a meaningful
contribution to their families and their communities, learn skills, and
gain the respect of peers, parents, and community.
Your gifts to Mission & Service help build resilience and a culture of
peace in the midst of conflict in the refugee camps of Lebanon.

If Mission & Service giving is already a regular part of your life, thank
you so much! If you have not given, please join me in making Mission &
Service giving a regular part of your life of faith. Loving our neighbour is
at the heart of our Mission & Service.