UC Observer logo
UCObserver on SoundCloud UCObserver on YouTube UCObserver on Facebook UCObserver on Twitter UCObserver's RSS Feeds
Photo by Jill Kitchener

New friends, abundant community

Rendez-vous 2011 begins with a bang

By Miriam Spies

Rendez-vous 2011 kicked off yesterday with our masters of ceremonies in a tuxedo and a fancy dress, rolling out the red carpet, asking us to present ourselves at this spectacular event. As over 550 United Church youth, young adults and leaders gathered in Koerner Hall near the University of Toronto, there was a sense of energy and anticipation in every face.

During the opening worship, I couldn’t take my eyes off the candle flame, reminding me that the presence of God always surrounds us. I felt blessed to be present when rEvolve, a Canadian band that ties faith and justice together, performed with great jubilation. Later that evening, the Abbey North Drummers filled the room with rhythm as we beat our hearts out. The atmosphere was vibrant, and you couldn’t help but move with the drums.

Rendez-vous calls us to live out our faith, and a huge part of that is being in community with each other. I quickly discovered that travelling from one building to another would take two or even three times longer than usual because I kept meeting friends along my journey. Friends I haven’t seen in a while. Friends who share a love of faith. All over campus, I heard squeals of excitement as people reunited. During home group time, folks created circles across the lawns. A new community of new friends.

United Church Moderator Mardi Tindal led a discussion about the chance to create loaves and fishes, to live in abundance, to care for our ministries and Creation. She invited us to sit with Christ and with others to discern and live out faith. Educator Rodger Nishioka followed with a dynamic reflection on how the treatment of youth has changed over the past 40 years. He reminded us that we are not the future of our church but rather “the church of Jesus Christ today.”

I ended this day with much joy and hope in my heart, anticipating the blessings tomorrow will bring.


Author's photo
Miriam Spies will be blogging daily about Rendez-vous 2011 from now until Aug. 15.
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!
Promotional Image

Editorials

David Wilson%

Observations

by David Wilson

If statues could talk

Promotional Image

Video

ObserverDocs: Stolen Mother

by Observer Staff

The daughter and adoptive mother of one of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women share their story

Promotional Image

Society

July 2017

From far and wide

by Various Writers

Meet 11 immigrants who are putting down new roots

World

June 2017

A suitcase for Cuba

by Christopher Levan

You’ll find more than giveaway toiletries and hand-me-downs in the writer's luggage. Each carefully chosen gift offers a glimpse into the lives of Cubans today.

Justice

June 2017

Undocumented

by Kristy Woudstra

Up to half a million people are living in Canada without official status. The ‘sanctuary city’ movement is growing, but the fear of deportation persists.

World

June 2017

Resisting genocide

by Sally Armstrong

In August 2014, ISIS attacked Iraq’s Yazidis, slaughtering thousands and forcing women and girls into sexual slavery. Today, the survivors are fighting for their ancient way of life.

Society

April 2017

Dear Grandkids

by Various Writers

Six acclaimed Canadian authors write letters from the heart

Society

March 2017

Called to resist

by Paul Wilson

Liberal Christians in the United States test their faith against a demagogue

Promotional Image