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Rev. Maya Landell (left) and Rev. Ross Bartlett. Photos by David Wilson

And then there were eight: two more moderator nominees (Sunday, Aug. 9, 2009)

By Mike Milne

The number of nominees for the 40th moderator of The United Church of Canada jumped to eight on the opening day of General Council, with two additional nominations from the meeting floor.

Two ordained ministers, Rev. Ross Bartlett of St. Matthew’s United in Halifax and Rev. Maya Landell of the Innerkip-Eastwood pastoral charge near Woodstock, Ont., join a field of moderator hopefuls that already includes four ordained ministers and two lay people.

Nominations for the three-year position are open until Monday, the second day of the eight-day meeting. The election takes place Friday and the new moderator will be installed during the gathering’s closing worship service Saturday evening.

Rev. Ross Bartlett has spent 27 years in pastoral ministry in Ontario and Nova Scotia charges, served as president of Maritime Conference, chair of Kingston and Halifax Presbyteries and on various Conference and national committees as well as the Executive of General Council.

Bartlett says the church has “much to lament and repair, but we also have much to celebrate regarding our work in concert with the Spirit.” He says “the challenge before us can be manifested in numbers. But ‘counting stuff’ is the way of the Empire and we must be very cautious about the tyranny of numbers as they drive us towards actions which may appear ‘profitable’ in the short term.”

Rev. Maya Landell is a relative newcomer to pastoral ministry with a much longer and deeper experience working in United Church youth, camping and leadership development programs. She was director of the Pearce-Williams United Church Christian Centre, program staff at B.C.’s Naramata Centre and has served London Conference and General Council committees and Youth Forums.

Landell’s leadership and youth work touches her vision for the church, noting that “the need for leadership . . . is vast. The remnants of Christendom sometimes give us false confidence that the way forward is the way it has always been. It is imperative for us to struggle with and recognize that we all must learn to lead.”

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