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Reader survey: If I were moderator, my priorities would be . . .

By Observer Staff

“Working toward promoting world peace and ending world hunger. Encouraging clergy to listen to church members: not many do. Encouraging people to live better lives through integrity, compassion, less nihilism and less addiction.”
—Female (35-49), Ontario

“Reducing the red tape for the JNAC committees.”
—Female (35-49), Ontario

“How do we get our message of love, hope, healing and inclusiveness out to those who feel something is missing in their lives, but don’t know what?”
—Female (50-64), British Columbia

“Better use of volunteer time. Our current processes are so bureaucratic and require too much time that could be spent enhancing spirituality.”
—Female (50-64), Ontario

“Visibility: try a video on the UCC website. True to theology updates: communicate to every parish. Outreach to all communities for social justice: the church should not be a collection of small, private social clubs.”
—Female (50-64), Ontario

“Ensuring that head office functions well and supports us all, without being too unwieldy. Ensuring quality training and support of ministry personnel. Not trying to be all things to all people!”
—Female (50-64), Ontario

“Influencing public policy in a more humane direction. Meeting the needs of the aging membership, and at the same time support congregations in coping with lack of replacement and declining youth.”
—Male (65-74), location unknown

“Getting rid of the national payroll scheme. Rethinking the Emerging Spirit Campaign. Finding a way to make the national office and executive at least appear relevant to the outposts of the church.”
—Female (50-64), British Columbia

“Putting greater emphasis on secular and pressing issues, more non-sacred music, broader use of speakers from outside as triggers for thought and action.”
—Female (75+), Ontario

“Maintain focus on The Call to Purpose, pursue a three-court model of governance (congregation, District, General Council Office) and provide more funding to The Observer, while maintaining its editorial independence.”
—Minister, Male (35-49) Ontario

“Look after our poor and marginalized, especially First Nations peoples, many of whom live in appalling conditions. Make sure the church is wise in using the earth’s resources and people’s financial contributions.”
—Female (35-49) Ontario

“Ministering to the at-home community and continuing new media communication approach in the United Church. Reaching out to poorly developed countries.”
—Female (35-49) Ontario

“I have only one priority—the church must be less formal. Relax more! Mainline churches here are lacking folk. All evangelical-type churches are full and very successful.”
—Female (75+) Alberta

“Discuss what is ‘the Church.’ Continue to encourage fringe members in our faith journey. Downplay emphasis on numbers (finances and membership) and be positive.”
—Female (50-64) Ontario

“Strong leadership in modeling and promoting sustainability. Listen to the needs to struggling, smaller congregations and work together to find creative ways to carry on as communities of faith. Develop programs in tune with the spiritual hunger in society: yoga and meditation classes are packed, why isn’t the church?”
—Female (50-64) Alberta

“The needs of the congregation are primary: force mergers of small congregations unable to support themselves.”
—Husband and wife (65-74) Ontario

“Show the importance of Jesus’ words, ‘Feed my sheep,’ even if it means letting go of heritage buildings, living within our means and giving more to the poor among us and abroad.”
—Male (75+) British Columbia

“Stop paying $6 million to an ad agency. Stop the selling of camps. Stopping ways of corporate thinking is the bottom line.”
—Female (75+) British Columbia

Readers’ advisory: The discussion below is moderated by The UC Observer and facilitated by Intense Debate (ID), an online commentary system. The Observer reserves the right to edit or reject any comment it deems to be inappropriate. Approved comments may be further edited for length, clarity and accuracy, and published in the print edition of the magazine. Please note: readers do not need to sign up with ID to post their comments on ucobserver.org. We require only your user name and e-mail address. Your comments will be posted from Monday to Friday between 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Join the discussion today!
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