UC Observer logo
UCObserver on SoundCloud UCObserver on YouTube UCObserver on Facebook UCObserver on Twitter UCObserver's RSS Feeds

Time for a Rendez-vous

A national gathering of United Church young people kicks off today in Toronto

By Miriam Spies

The excitement has been building for over a year now. Rendez-vous 2011, a national gathering of United Church youth, young adults and their leaders, is finally here. Organized by staff at the General Council Office and volunteers from across the country, the event will bring more than 500 folks to the University of Toronto campus to play, pray and ponder the work of the church and our role in it.

As a workshop and group leader, I cannot wait to meet youth from all over Canada. It’s a rare opportunity to be gathered together to interact with and learn from each other, to develop and name a sense of calling, and to celebrate God’s presence in our lives.

Over the next four days, we will hear addresses from Christian activist Shane Claiborne, playwright and actor Trey Anthony and youth ministry expert Rodger Nishioka. I hope to be challenged by their words. I hope that we, as a youthful voice and presence in the church, can turn their inspiration into action.

Our United Church moderator, Mardi Tindal, will be there also. I’m hoping to hear words of encouragement and commitment from her and other representatives of our denomination as they reach out to the participants, our present and future leaders.

As a young adult in the midst of the formal discernment process and just beginning theology school, I hope these next few days will deepen my call to serve the church. It is easy to see signs of death within the church, but I believe this time can be one of life and renewal. With singing, worshipping, playing and more, how could this event not be a moment of joy and transformation?

Yes, my expectations are high. But I know the wonderful things that can happen when you’re surrounded by the love of community.

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


David Wilson%


by David Wilson

If statues could talk

Promotional Image


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


July 2017

From far and wide

by Various Writers

Meet 11 immigrants who are putting down new roots


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.


June 2017


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.


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.


April 2017

Dear Grandkids

by Various Writers

Six acclaimed Canadian authors write letters from the heart


March 2017

Called to resist

by Paul Wilson

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

Promotional Image